Gun Range Etiquette: Tips for a Better Outing at an Indoor Range with Your AR-15

Should you shoot your short-barreled AR-15 at an indoor range? Learn proper gun range etiquette with the ne Shockwave Flash Forward.

When it comes to indoor shooting range etiquette, some things are black-and-white — while others are a bit gray. Here’s one example: 

Should you shoot your short-barreled AR-15 at an indoor range?

Short answer: 

Yes, but we recommend adding a Flash Forward™ muzzle device (aka Not a Silencer™) if you want to be considerate of those around you! 

Longer answer:

The newest Shockwave™ Technologies Flash Forward™ muzzle devices are specifically designed to redirect the expanding gasses at the muzzle of your firearm away from you and toward the target. 

Adding a Flash Forward™ muzzle device will not only help protect your hearing, but it will also reduce the noise your neighbors at the range are subjected to. Legally. Remember, a short barrel doesn’t have time to burn all the powder in most 5.56mm cartridges. Meaning, much of that powder gets burned in front of the muzzle, which can make short-barreled ARs unpleasant for everyone concerned.

You can also add one of these bad boys without a $200 NFA tax stamp. Because they are Not a Silencer™.

At Shockwave Technologies, we offer this must-have product for four different types of calibers. The first product is for the .22lr-caliber Ruger 10/22 rifle, and the other three products are for AR-15 firearms in .30 Caliber/.300 Blackout, 5.56mm, and 9mm calibers. 

 

Introducing: 4 Different Shockwave Flash Forwards™

shockwave flash forward

In testing, we have seen the peak decibel reading at the shooter’s ear reduced by an average of the following decibels (db):

  • Shockwave Flash Forward™ MK1 MOD 0: 5.3 db

    This hard-anodized, 6061-T6 aluminum “can” mounts directly to your factory unthreaded muzzle. No need for adapters. For a semi-permanent installation, be sure to use the included roll pin.

 

  • Flash Forward™ MK 1 MOD 1: 9.8 db

    This hard-anodized, 6061-T6 aluminum “can” mounts directly to your 5/8”-24 threaded muzzle. No need for shims or crush washers. For a semi-permanent installation, a bit of blue thread-locking compound works well.

 

  • Flash Forward™ MK 1 MOD 2: 10.1 db

    This hard-anodized, 6061-T6 aluminum “can” mounts directly to your ½”-28 threaded muzzle. No need for shims or crush washers, though you can still use them if you wish. For a semi-permanent installation, a bit of blue thread-locking compound works well.

 

  • Flash Forward™ MK 1 MOD 3: 9.4 db

    This hard-anodized, 6061-T6 aluminum “can” mounts directly to your ½”-36 threaded muzzle. No need for shims or crush washers, though you can still use them if you wish. For a semi-permanent installation, a bit of blue thread-locking compound works well.

    As the decibel is logarithmic, this is a very noticeable difference.

    However, because the overall sound level isn’t affected — just redirected — the Flash Forward isn’t considered an NFA item. It’s classified as a simple “threaded muzzle device.”

    Please note that OSHA’s “hearing safe” threshold is 140 dB. The Flash Forward is not an approved hearing-safe suppressor. Please always wear hearing protection, such as OSHA-approved ear plugs, earbuds, or over-the-ear earmuffs.

 

Our Testing Methodology

  • For the Shockwave Flash Forward™ MK1 MOD 0, Larson Davis SoundTrack LxT decibel meter microphone placed 0.15 meters left of the left ear. Muzzle, ear, and microphone all located 1.6 meters above ground. 10 shots were fired outdoors—and an average calculated. Ammo: Aguila .22lr Sniper Subsonic 60-grain ammo. Temperature: 72 degrees, sunny. Barometric pressure: 29.98 inches. Average wind speed: 2 mph. Altitude: 342 feet ASL. Humidity: 65 percent.

  • For the Flash Forward™ MK 1 MOD 1, Larson Davis SoundTrack LxT decibel meter microphone placed 0.15 meters left of the left ear. Muzzle, ear, and microphone all located 1.6 meters above ground. 10 shots were fired outdoors—and an average calculated. Ammo: Hornady 190-Grain Sub-X 300 Blackout. Temperature: 72 degrees, sunny. Barometric pressure: 29.99 inches. Average wind speed: 1 mph. Altitude: 342 feet ASL. Humidity: 65 percent.

  • For the Flash Forward™ MK 1 MOD 2, Larson Davis SoundTrack LxT decibel meter microphone placed 0.15 meters left of the left ear. Muzzle, ear, and microphone all located 1.6 meters above ground. 10 shots were fired outdoors—and an average calculated. Ammo: Winchester 5.56 NATO 55gr FMJ. Temperature: 72 degrees, sunny. Barometric pressure: 29.98 inches. Average wind speed: 2 mph. Altitude: 342 feet ASL. Humidity: 65 percent.

  • For the Flash Forward™ MK 1 MOD 3, Larson Davis SoundTrack LxT decibel meter microphone placed 0.15 meters left of the left ear. Muzzle, ear, and microphone all located 1.6 meters above ground. 10 shots were fired outdoors—and an average calculated. Ammo: Fiocchi 9mm 158-grain Subsonic Ammo. Temperature: 72 degrees, sunny. Barometric pressure: 29.98 inches. Average wind speed: 1 mph. Altitude: 342 feet ASL. Humidity: 65 percent.

 

What About Permanent Installation?

Another option is to extend your pistol barrel to rifle length with a permanent installation. You can do this ATF-approved modification and easily convert your pistol to a rifle. 

flash forward installation

In most cases, it’s a better solution than buying a new longer barrel to convert it, as you also get the sound-mitigation benefits.

  • For the Flash Forward™ MK 1 MOD 1, we will offer an easy-to-use silver soldering kit. The silver solder we will offer has a melting point of 1,145 degrees. (ATF’s requirement is 1,100 degrees or more.) Contrary to what you may have heard, permanently attaching a muzzle device with silver solder really isn’t any more difficult than sweating copper tubing when doing plumbing. Given an overall length of 9.00” and assuming a threading interface of 0.625”, the Flash Forward lengthens your barrel by 8.375”. The 1.50” outer diameter fits under many popular handguards.


  • For the Flash Forward™ MK 1 MOD 3, we will offer an easy-to-use silver soldering kit. The silver solder we will offer has a melting point of 1,145 degrees. (ATF’s requirement is 1,100 degrees or more.) Contrary to what you may have heard, permanently attaching a muzzle device with silver solder really isn’t any more difficult than sweating copper tubing when doing plumbing. Given an overall length of 9.00” and assuming a threading interface of 0.625”, the Flash Forward lengthens your barrel by 8.375”. The 1.50” outer diameter fits under many popular handguards.


  • For the Flash Forward™ MK 1 MOD 2, we will offer an easy-to-use silver soldering kit. The silver solder we will offer has a melting point of 1,145 degrees. (ATF’s requirement is 1,100 degrees or more.) Contrary to what you may have heard, permanently attaching a muzzle device with silver solder really isn’t any more difficult than sweating copper tubing when doing plumbing. Given an overall length of 9.00” and assuming a standard threading interface of 0.625”, the Flash Forward lengthens your barrel by 8.375”. The 1.50” outer diameter fits under many popular handguards.


  • For the Shockwave Flash Forward™ MK1 MOD 0, given an overall length of 5.25” and an interface of 1.125”, the Flash Forward lengthens your barrel by 4.125”. The 1.00” outer diameter fits under many popular handguards.



View all four Flash Forwards products now available. Remember, they are Not a Silencer™.

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