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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Next Level Armament NLX-5 Helix Flash Hider

Kinetic Concepts Tactical

Some things just look cool.  And some things work well.  And a few things sit in both camps.  The NLX-5 Helix is one of the things in the this camp.

The Heliz is a swirled flash hider design, similar to the Vortex, but with numerous smaller tines.  Having shot the Vortex before, I know that it does a great job of suppressing flash, but also has an annoying "ting" when shot or struck, or when you let the bolt slam home.

Next Level Arms went to the drawing board and made a 6-prong design out of a solid block of steel. This design does a great job at suppressing flash without the noise or an obnoxiously long overall length. It's about the same length as the standard A2 birdcage.

The sample I picked up from NLA was a production blem, so it had some finishing issues that are not present on the final product.  With that said, the finish looks good, and the machining is very well done, with no tooling or chatter visible on the finished product.  The Helix is also spiraled so that it tightens itself to the gun when shot, much like the Vortex.

So if it looks cool, and is made well, how does it work?

The short answer is "very well."

I typically run some pretty concussive brakes on my AR rifles.  The PWS FSC 556, the V7 Brake, and others typically crown my guns.  Although they shoot flat and feel great to me, it is very annoying for shooters around me.  So when I cranked the Helix on, my fellow shooters were impressed by the lack of blast from my rifle.  I passed it off to them, and stood beside it as it was fired.  It went from being like hit with a hammer to being hit with a thrown sock.  I'm sure there are better ways to put that, but there you have it.

After attending a recent night class, the need for a good flash hider was again impressed upon me.  A whole night of being blasted around with brakes and seeing some huge muzzle flash from some of the guns out there really made a good flash hider an attractive proposition.

This is especially true with SBR's.  One shooter was running a Sig-braced short gun that was an absolute flamethrower on the range.  In an environment where even the soft glow of green chemlights was offensive to the eyes, it's a wonder how this guy hit anything.

To get one for yourself, check out Next Level Armament and enjoy keeping your night vision. -Ben

Kinetic Concepts Tactical

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