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Review: Gemtech Blast Jacket

Recently, Gemtech announced the release of the Blast Jacket. The Blast Jacket is a muzzle attachment that works with your current Gemtech Quick Mount device (we briefly discuss it here). Just a short time ago I got to get hands on with one and try it out.

Gemtech_Blast001

I am not a huge fan of muzzle brakes. I’ve heard all the arguments: Yes, they can reduce felt recoil. Yes, they can mitigate muzzle rise. Yes, they can act as a sacrificial first baffle when inside a suppressor, prolonging the life of a can. However, yes, they are loud as hell, especially to the people next to you. Yes, the concussion can rattle the teeth of your companions. Yes, indoors (and especially on a short barrel) they can shake foundations. Yes, they are [usually] not very good as even the old A2 at hiding flash signature.

With the Gemtech Blast Jacket, you can simply affix it to your muzzle device and alleviate some of the more offensive symptoms when your rifle isn’t wearing a suppressor.

Gemtech_Blast004

The first thing that I noticed is that it’s very lightweight at only 3.6oz. Being formed from a solid piece of titanium tends to have that effect. Go figure. The Blast Jacket attaches just like any other Gemtech quick-mount compatible suppressor—just push it on and twist. Done. Though it’s long and stubby for a muzzle device at 2.55” with a 1.5” diameter, you have to keep in mind that it doesn’t have to stay on all the time.

The rifle I was using was the new Grey Ghost Precision Specter rifle (check out our gun porn of it here) that was appareled with a quick detach Gemtech muzzle device. Though it wasn’t the loudest muzzle brake I’ve used, it still spit significant blast to the sides. So of course, I tried it with the plain brake, a suppressor, and a Blast Jacket.

FNGP_GGP014Noise to the guys beside me? Reduced. Regarding mollifying side blast and concussion relative to a muzzle device? It did that too. The fire roared from the muzzle was directed straight forward like similar devices. No more loathsome lateral blare or pressure waves. Since it simply redirects noise and blast forward, it isn’t considered a suppressor by the BATFE.

Unlike many other dedicated linear devices, the Blast Jacket doesn’t significantly increase gas back pressure or felt recoil. If you need the added gas pressure for reliable performance (especially on the very short ARs), then by all means you should stick with what you have. However, adding gas pressure when it isn't warranted not only increases felt recoil but can prematurely wear your rifle and parts.
Gemtech_Blast002

There has been a recent trend of modular muzzle devices that I wholeheartedly approve of. It used to be that in order to make any significant changes you had to either attach a suppressor or break out the vice and other assorted armorer’s tools to get it done (and heaven help you if you had a pinned muzzle device). With the Blast Jacket and any Gemtech quick mount muzzle device you don’t have to do that anymore.
Gemtech_Blast003

A quick search reveals several manufacturers that are making devices like these, invariably with some pointing fingers and shouting, ‘Copycat!’ and, ‘XYZ stole this from ZYX’. If we take that train all the way back to the station we’re going to end up with Chinese Fire Arrows. To my knowledge, the first person to produce a device attachment that redirected the side blast from a muzzle brake forward was Ned Christiansen of Michiguns Ltd (you may recognize the name, as he manufacturers a whole line of accessories with probably the most famous being the excellent MOACKS series of gas key staking tools).

First made the better part of a decade ago, Ned calls his version, ‘The Cone of Shame’. It’s a simple device that is slipped on and then secured with a set screw. It was never made for commercial production—it was made because Ned feels the same away about muzzle brakes that I do, and he found them incredibly distracting and offensive to other shooters on the line during classes.

The Christiansen, 'Cone of Shame' blast director

The Christiansen, ‘Cone of Shame' blast director

Anyway, he’s not mad about it—he’s just glad there are manufacturers producing items like these commercially, and you should be as well.

So if you have a rifle equipped with a Gemtech quick mount and you want to send more blast forward, consider giving this one a go.

The Gemtech Blast Jacket has an MSRP of $195 and is available Cerakoted in black or FDE.  For purchasing and more information check this page out here.

 




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