One of my notes during my testing of the PWS MK 107 was how loud the muzzle blast was. Specifically, I called it a downright religious experience to spectate while someone shot the MK 107 in and around your area. That blast is unavoidable when running a projectile with that much unburned powder behind it out of such a short barrel. And while the factory-installed Triad muzzle device did an admirable job of dealing with muzzle rise, it didn’t do a thing to baffle the boom. Enter the CQB Muzzle Device . . .
The CQB is a hollow “cup” threaded to the barrel with a threaded end cap on the end of the cup. Reminiscent of a small silencer (it doesn’t), the CQB is designed to redirect the sound towards the front of the gun for operations where others might be off to your side. The logical customer base is law enforcement and military, units who go into buildings as a team, sometimes guns a-blazing. That said, your ordinary consumer can probably realize some benefit, especially those shooting at crowded indoor ranges or competing in 3-gun competitions.
A quick note about my testing protocol. The CQB was designed for short-barreled guns like the MK 107. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the MK 107 when I received the CQB so I mounted it to a 16-inch barreled AR chambered in .223 Wylde. I then had my lovely assistant, my wife, shoot it side by side with a 14.5 inch barreled AR chambered in .223 Wylde. I used the same ammo, PMC Bronze 55 gr., in both guns.
I had my wife shoot while I stood about 15 feet off to the side about even with the muzzle. We then switched roles, and I asked for her opinion on the two. She and I both agreed that the CQB had a VERY different sound profile. Though not exactly quieter, the sound didn’t seem to sharply stab either of us in the ears like the 14.5 Triad equipped upper. The sound is definitely a softer push. While I would still never shoot this gun without hearing protection, it does seem to soften the blow a bit.
A quick note about weight. As you can see above, the CQB weighs in at 7.5 oz. On a 7 to 9 inch barreled gun, this is probably not significant enough to make a huge difference. However, when put on the end of a 16 inch gun, it changes the balance significantly, making it very muzzle heavy. This does help fight muzzle rise, no doubt about it. But for those without superhuman upper body strength, it gets tiring very quickly to push nearly half a pound around the front of a gun. As this was designed for short barreled guns, and I tested it outside of that design scope, I won’t knock points on a review, but it is something to consider if you’ll be building a short barreled gun.
Specifications: PWS Close Quarters Battle Muzzle Device
- Caliber: .223 as tested. .30 available as well.
- Length: 2.57”
- Diameter: 1.4”
- Thread Pitch: 1/2×28 RH
- Weight: advertised – 7.3 oz measured – 7.5 oz
- Price: $149.95 – MSRP $144.95 – online
Ratings (out of five stars):
Build Quality * * * * *
It takes a pretty robust build to contain the escaping gasses of a short barreled rifle, and the PWS CQB seems to be solidly built. The removable end cap stays put thanks to a spring detent, and gives a positive click to indicate that it is in place. The thread pitch mated perfectly, and given the hefty nature of the CQB, I’m confident this is a unit that will last a lifetime.
Installation * * * *
All the necessary hardware to install the CQB is included in the box, but there is a note that you need a strap wrench to install the CQB. They can be found at most home improvement stores for less than $20 if you don’t already own one. If you’re doing an install, you don’t need a vise and action block to mount the CQB, though you should absolutely use one. If you’re removing an existing muzzle device, you absolutely should use the proper tools including an action block and vise.
Sound Modification * * * * *
I was pleasantly surprised at how well the CQB does in modifying the sound profile of the chipper little .223 round. While my wife needed to clamp her hands to her headphones to quell the noise from the “normally” muzzled 14.5″ gun, she found the CQB to be a much nicer experience to stand beside. I also felt that the CQB gave more of a gentle push than a sharp strike to the eardrums.
Overall * * * *
The CQB does a fine job of modifying the sound profile in a manner consistent with PWS’ advertising. It adds a little under half a pound to your build, so tread lightly if you’re worried about total weight or balance. Otherwise, it does an admirable job of channeling the sound forward to save your buddy’s eardrums.