Concussive Force.
Noun.
The result of the sound shockwave when a bullet exits the barrel.

Every firearm has a concussive force when it’s fired. Some are small and some are large. The level and degree depends on multiple factors which includes caliber, powder charge, bullet mass, barrel length and muzzle device. On most rifles the only hardware attribute that is easily changed is the muzzle device. We can change between flash hiders and brakes with a simple turn of a wrench. But since these two items produce entirely different results to not only the felt recoil but the concussive sound wave you would have to choose which affect you want.

In a conversation about decreasing the sound level but not suppressing an AR a fellow INGO'er posted;
A given round out of a given barrel length is going to produce a given sound pressure level (SPL). Any device that's not a suppressor is simply (re)directing the SPL in a different direction(s). If you're in a "normal" sized room, they'll all be loud.
A linear comp/Pig would "help" if you're shooting outdoors under a roof if your baseline muzzle device vents sound/gas upwards and/or to the sides... but with an increase in perceived recoil. A bare muzzle would, IMO, be the worst scenario in all situations unless you like fireballs, and there's definitely something to be said for fireballs!
My question is what are you attempting to accomplish? The sound and pressure will always be there, and they'll be looking for things to bounce off of, be it the inside of a muzzle device, a metal roof, or the interior walls of a room. You can go deep down the rabbit hole of fluid dynamics, the inverse square law (which you may already be familiar with for lighting - works the same way for sound), and acoustic reflections (think "bounce cards" for lighting), or you can accept that the sound and pressure will always be there and buy a muzzle device/soft box/fresnel that will best suit your needs.

I agree with his analogy. Knowing what you want and why is important to my tests. Most people want a really good brake on the barrel. This will reduce if not eliminate the recoil allowing for quick acquisition of the target for follow up shots. The down side is that the way the brake works is that it takes the expanding gasses and directs them at an approximate ninety degree angle from the centerline of the barrel. This puts a large shockwave to the shooter’s left and right. A shockwave that the shooter can readily feel behind the gun as it encompasses the gun and the shooter. There have been devices for many years that direct the shockwave blast towards the flight of the bullet. Problem is they are made for a single style or threading of a brake. Indian Creek Designs has resolved this problem. ICD has made a system that is universal to over 90% of the muzzle devices out there and is very effective. Their Blast Forwarding Device (BFD) will accept most any brake, flash hider or other muzzle device that is one inch in diameter or less. While it is available in 5.56/.223 ‘s ½” x 28 pattern and the .308’s 5/8” threads I only tested the ½ x 28 version. The secret behind the BFD is a simple mounting scheme. To install it you pull the existing muzzle device and timing component (peel washer, shim, crush washer, etc.) off then put the adapter over the threads. Then you reinstall the muzzle device using a proper timing component to position it correctly. That’s the hard part. Next is screwing the BFD onto the adapter. Installation is now complete. If you decide that you want to shoot without the BFD you simply screw it off leaving the adapter in place.

My test gun is a 7” 5.56 SBR. Ammo is American Eagle 5.56 in their standard load that is available pretty much anywhere. I already have an SD Tactical PIG Cover on the SBR using the SDTA brake. I installed the flat BFD adapter (a coned version is available for those who would rather want it) between the barrel and the brake then retimed the brake using a calibrated shim. Once installed the adapter wasn’t removed until after the testing was completed. The adapter and BFD I tested are 100% stainless steel and weigh in about 8 ounces. According to ICD the stainless adapter with an anodized aluminum BFD will be about 4 ½ ounces and a complete anodized aluminum adapter and BFD will be about 2 ½ ounces.

(Click on the individual pictures to see the high resolution files.)


^Test Gun^

^SD Tactical Brake installed^

^SD Tactical Pig Cover Installed^

^SD Tactical Pig Cover Installed^

^SD Tactical Pig Cover breakdown^

^ICD BFD Installed^

^ICD BFD Installed^

^BFD and Pig Cover size comparison^

^BFD Adapter installation breakdown^

^BFD Adapter, BFD and Pig Cover breakdown comparison^

^BFD Size Overview^

Now the trick was to show the effectiveness of something that changes a usually unseen force. You feel and hear the concussion. But by putting a box 9 inches away from the centerline of the barrel and positioning the tip of the brake in the center of the box the effect of the concussive force will be seen. With just the brake you can see it blow the paint off of the box. That's a lot of pressure.


I got to thinking more about how to show the effectiveness on an unseen force and realized it was time for some night photography.

(Click on the individual pictures to see the high resolution files.)


^Drone view of Muzzle Brake only^

^Drone view of Muzzle Brake only^

^Drone view of SD Tactical Pig Cover^

^Drone view of SD Tactical Pig Cover^

^Drone view of SD Tactical Pig Cover^

^Drone view of ICD BFD^

^Drone view of ICD BFD^

^Ground view of Muzzle Brake only^

^Ground view of Muzzle Brake only^

^Ground view of Muzzle Brake only^

^Ground view of SD Tactical Pig Cover^

^Ground view of SD Tactical Pig Cover^

^Ground view of SD Tactical Pig Cover^

^Ground view of ICD BFD^

^Ground view of ICD BFD^

^Ground view of ICD BFD^

^Ground view of ICD BFD^

^Ground view of ICD BFD^

Now it is very easy to see the change in the concussive force patterns. The brake by itself threw a lot of flame and shrapnel to the sides. The Pig Cover lessened the effect some but was still in a sort of V shaped pattern. The BFD put the blast/flames in a narrow pattern.On a different note the “tone” of the blast changed between each device. The brake only was very low frequency and was harsh on the ears and at the shooting position there was a definite “thump” against the shooter. The Pig Cover was still low frequency and harsh but not as bad as the brake only. The thump was less but not nearly as bad as the brake only. The BFD brought the tone up more into the mid-range and the thump disappeared. It wasn’t harsh at all but did still require foamie ear plugs at a minimum. The other 2 required both foamie’s and regular hearing protection.Now the important part; cost. The SD Tactical Muzzle Brake with steel thread adapter is $86.98 and the D cell size pig cover is $58.99 for a total of $145.97 before shipping. This is the “selling” price not the MSRP. The BFD’s MSRP will be $94.95 for the stainless version and $79.95 for the 6061 Aluminum one with black Type III hard anodizing. At this time ICD wasn’t sure of the MAP/regular selling price. The best thing about the BFD, besides it working as advertised, is that I can use it on any of the brakes or muzzle devices I already have. For guns that I don’t put suppressors on I like the small Damage Industries brake. They usually run about $30 and work great. That puts a complete BFD at about $110 which is just over two thirds of the cost for the STDA version. In comparing this price with a Griffin at $150 or a GemTech at $195 the BFD becomes very reasonable. I tested the BFD on a few other muzzle devices to see if there were any differences. I didn’t photograph or take video as I was at the range by myself. I found that the results were essentially duplicated.

(Click on the individual pictures to see the high resolution files.)


^A2 Birdcage mounted with ICD BFD adapter^

^A2 Birdcage mounted with ICD BFD adapter and BFD shown for size reference^

^Damage Industries Muzzle Brake mounted with ICD BFD adapter^

^Damage Industries Muzzle Brake mounted with ICD BFD adapter and BFD shown for size reference^

^Generic Flash Hider mounted with ICD BFD adapter^

^Generic Flash Hider mounted with ICD BFD adapter and BFD shown for size reference^

One thing I like are the adapters being sold by themselves. At an MSRP or $29.95 I can put them on multiple rifles/pistols and swap the BFD as needed. The version I tested was a field prototype. The production BFD won't have any changes but the adapter will. It will be sloped between the barrel and the muzzle device. This should give it a lot cleaner look and feel on the gun. ICD said they will offer a mount for the 1/2" barrel thread (5.56, .223, 9mm etc) and a .308/7.62 version mount for the 5/8" barrel thread. While my barrel is a standard .750" outer diameter they will have a 1" adapter for people with the 0.836" and 0.950" gas block rifles. People who use a 0.750" Gas Block will get 0.780".
Overall I like this product. I think it solves a problem a lot of people put up with because of the cost. I had other people compare between the 3 test points (brake only, Pig Cover and BFD) and they saw a large difference. None of them knew which was being evaluated and were a mix of shooters and non-shooters. One of the best evaluations was by a friend’s young son. He didn’t like the brake only and really didn’t want to shoot it again after 1 shot. I skipped the Pig Cover and put the BFD on with the request he only had to take one shot. The little bugger dropped half a mag through the gun and turned around with the biggest grin I’d seen all day. This was probably the best feedback I got all week!

For more information and ordering go to Indian Creek Design, Inc.

The high resolution photos are available at DBN Photos

Dan Voils
9/13/2016