Having run a number of my AR-15s in 5.56 and 300 BLK with suppressors over the years, I’m no stranger to the unpleasant gas and powder blowback in my eyes that comes along with suppressed experience. So, when I made the decision to go all-in and order an integrally suppressed AR-15 upper in 5.56, I knew I was going to be spending some time figuring out how to reduce that blowback to some extent or another.
To introduce some urgency to the situation, I decided my goal is to make this integrally suppressed AR-15 my go-to rifle. Which means I’m going to practice regularly with it and it’s going to get a lot of use.
If you have never shot a suppressed AR-15 in 5.56, much of the gas and unburnt powder that normally comes out the muzzle when you shoot unsuppressed, gets blown back into the upper receiver.
The problem is that gas has to come out somehow.
Unfortunately, the primary places for the gas to escape are located directly under your eyes and nose; mainly the spaces around the charging handle where it locks into the upper receiver and around the forward assist where it’s inserted into the upper.
The gas isn’t just unpleasant, it actually burns your eyes and forces your eyelids to close. As you would imagine, the quicker and more frequently you pull the trigger, the worse it gets.