3GunMichelle gets to test and evaluate yet another muzzle device, this time from a company called HB Tac. This up and coming company states that their compensator will not only improve mechanical accuracy but that compensation is actually a bi-product of their design. Will this be the next big thing for the competition scene?
The S7-A, a muzzle brake released by the company HB Tactical Accessories is a recoil reducing compensator made for the 5.56/223 Remington. They also produce the S7-A design for the AK-47 Platform, the 300 Blackout and the 308 AR/LR/SR-25 platform of rifles as well.
Upon examination of the HB Tac. S7-A, I noted how well it was machined, absolutely zero noticeable machining marks, both inside and out. The ports were clean, precise, and the finish was extremely consistent and featured a slick, smooth finish.
A couple of things I would really like to point out with this compensator is; while it looks close to a marriage between a Spikes Tactical muzzle device and a BCM Battle Comp, the similarities end there (also remember, looks can be deceiving.) This is almost a hybrid between a traditional compensator and a linear muzzle device (with some Browning BOSS in the mix. Please note the design photo.)
Of course, I spoke about installation a week or so ago. But I would like to touch on it again. Installation was extremely simple, I spoke with the owner of HB Tac. on the phone, and Darren was very helpful with answering my questions and walked me through installation. It timed extremely easy, and the treads were well cut, no burrs, no obstructions. Something else I would like to point out, included with the device was a it's own, new crush washer. I personally don't like (as do many others) when a company makes the statement to "use the previous crush washer." I would be more okay with a crush washer/shim kit being optional for purchase, but, a crush washer supplied was a good touch from this up and coming company. (As many who know me will state, I notice everything.)
I have had it out twice, and fired it at different times to test for flash and recoil. My findings were quite satisfying thus far. On recoil; the recoil was substantially reduced, as well as muzzle climb. Something I've always noted on AR rifles (with bird cage flash hiders/suppressors) is, while recoil is always mild. It was a sharp jolt, and recoil in longer strings of rapid fire, the muzzle would just bounce all over the place, in an upward climb. This one, I have had the chance to fire in rapid fire some, and I have found that it stays on target very well (very little to any upward muzzle climb) and recoil is a very softened, very cushioned rearward shove now. In short, it gives the 5.56 AR excellent recoil control for longer and sustained rapid fire. It stays on target very easily.
Most muzzle devices do their job and most do it well. So, I'm sure the question will arise before long; "what sets this device apart from others?" Simple, it's design. The design of this comp. allows for excellent recoil/muzzle control while reducing blast, flash and sound. While most muzzle brakes and compensators will reduce recoil ("do their job" as I like to put it.) They normally sacrifice the ability to be bystander friendly (and sometimes user friendly) quite frankly, most are obnoxious. (Take the American Precision Arms Little B*stard for instance. It earned it's name honest.) They blast, they flash, and have an ear piercing cracking boom that makes "real friends" at the gun range, or will flash blind and leave a person deaf in a self defense situation. The S7-A gives recoil/muzzle control while keeping muzzle flash and muzzle blast down to a minimum. The sound isn't much different than that of a "bird cage" A2 Flash Suppressor (meaning it had a more typical cracking boom, much like a standard A2 Flash Suppressor.) I was very pleased with the report of the rifle. I truthfully expected a Browning BOSS style drastic increase in sound/report, as well as it being considerably sharper.
In comparison to other quality recoil compensators I use on a regular basis (LWM, or Leitner-Wise Mfg.'s C3 Hybrid Comp. JP Enterprises Tactical Compensator, and Wilson Combat's Tactical Compensator.) I would say construction (from what I can tell, I am not a metalurgist, but it is made from high quality steel.) is excellent, and definitely above average (as is the others listed. That's why I used these for example, as they are above average overall.) Let's make some comparisons.
HB Tac S7-A O.A.L.: 1.950 inches
- Info: hybrid linear/conventional compensator. Numerous ports ranging all around the comp (meaning it doesn't feature a conventional closed bottom).
LWM C3 Hybrid O.A.L.: 1.50 inches
- Info: Hybrid Compensator/Flash Suppressor design with a removable baffle system. Traditional closed bottom design. Dimensionally close to the same size as a standard A2 Flash Suppressor. 9 elongated vents.
JP Enterprises Tac. O.A.L.: 2.25 inches.
- Info: chambered compensator, with a 9 port oval shape (4 on each side, and a single forward). Traditional closed bottom design.
Wilson Combat Tac. Comp.: O.A.L.: 1.750 inches
- Info: three elongated ports, closed end and bottom. Simplistic design and dimensionally close to an A2 Flash Suppressor.
The HB Tac. performs very well against all of these competitors listed here. Felt recoil and muzzle climb rivals that of the LWM C3 Hybrid Compensator, and falls only marginally behind the JP Enterprises Tactical Comp (The JP's odd number of port designs and locations won out by muzzle rise.) But beat the Wilson Combat Compensator hands down. Where this Compensator really shines is; it's mitigation oöf blast, flash and sound.
The LWM C3 has roughly the same muzzle flash (or reduction thereof), however, it's design does provide a substantial increase of blast and report (sound) above the S7-A.
The JP Enterprises Tactical Compensator does offer a slightly greater muzzle flash, blast is comparable, however, it does have a noticeable increase in report, and it is considerably sharper sounding. The JP does excel in recoil reduction as well as muzzle climb over the S7-A however.
HB Tactical Accessories advertises that their compensator will improve mechanical accuracy by not adversely effecting barrel harmonics. They have had consistent success with the use of box store, Full Metal Jacket ammunition. I am anxious to see how this performs with the use of quality, MATCH ammunition and hand loaded ammunition. The owners and myself have spoken on numerous occasions, and they have explained that the S7-A is user adjustable for different types of bullets (much in the same way the Browning BOSS system is). This sounds very promising, and we will be experimenting with this mechanical accuracy improvement with the use of the Mega Arms SPR rifle and Nightforce 3-10x42 MOAR scope. All shots will come within 100 yards, 5 shot groups, from rifle bags and a bench.
The S7-A offers a blend of extremely favorable traits that are wanted by serious competition shooters, industry professionals, those wanting a muzzle device for a defensive roll, a CQB roll, and for a hunting roll/varmint roll. These traits are quite easy to see. Low flash, low blast, and the design doesn't increase the report drastically (or at all that I've noticed). It still offers great recoil reduction and control. The only drawbacks I could point out for a defensive roll, or for a police/private security roll would be the fact that it has an open ported bottom, however, according to owners of HB Tac. Darren and Bob, they will be resolving this issue. At this time, it is really all I can say. But, I believe that it will fit the roll that people are looking for.
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