Smith Vortex vs. AAC Blackout

I’m not going to lie. Before I completed this test, I thought the AAC Blackout was all hype.

I thought AAC had engaged in shady marketing practices in order to show that their flash suppressor was superior to the competition, namely, the Smith Enterprises Vortex. I figured that I’d be spending $50 to pick up a Blackout and that I’d lose $10 reselling it after I did the comparison (maybe more than $10, if I said really bad things about it).

I was wrong.

Now, if you’ve seen my previous video comparing flash suppressors (or someone else’s comparison of popular muzzle devices), you know that the Vortex was the most effective, eliminating nearly all visible flash. So it’s not as if the Blackout could improve on the Vortex by a great amount – it’s not as if the Blackout could create a black hole or anything. But what the Blackout could do – and, in my limited testing, did do – was eliminate what tiny bit of flash the Vortex couldn’t.

Here’s today’s video. I start out with the A2 flash suppressor to establish a baseline for comparison. The weapon used is a Spike’s Tactical M4 LE, a 16″ barrel AR-15 with a carbine length gas system. The ammunition used is Federal XM193F, which is, I feel, a fairly common round.

I haven’t sat down at the bench to determine if either device has an effect on accuracy, but if you’re looking for a muzzle device that eliminates as much flash as possible, I recommend that you strongly consider the AAC Blackout.

Note – I apologize for the poor quality of the night vision video compared to the previous test. I think my video camera may have been damaged during a recent outing, and it’s not taking video as clearly as it used to, especially in low light. My view through the PVS-14 was perfect, but the camera couldn’t keep up.



Filed under Tests

4 responses to “Smith Vortex vs. AAC Blackout

  1. This has been my experience as well. The Blackout just cleans up that last little bit of flash.

    Did you experience any “ringing” (like a pitch fork)?

  2. Pingback: +Lifealist » Blog Archive » AAC Blackout vs Smith Vortex

  3. phlegm

    Thanks for doing this. I’ve wanted to see a direct comparison for a while.

  4. Skillshot

    I don’t see why you thought Silvers was doctoring his tests. He published his materials and camera settings so it could be repeatable and optimized his camera to capture the flash far better than a video camera could. I think I recall him posting that the Vortex and Blackout were the same in flash reduction but the Blackout was shorter and thus slightly more efficient.

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