View Full Version : M1A Scout Squad Compensator?

June 16, 2010, 02:39 AM
I recently bought a Squad Scout and, while I absolutely love the rifle, I quickly discovered just how loud the factory compensator makes it!
With ear protection, of course, it's no problem...but when I fired it for the first time outdoors with no protection, my left ear rang for an hour!

I like the compensator's ability to reduce muzzle rise and would like to continue using one, but I'd also like to use it without ear-gear.
I'm wondering if there is anyone here who has tried the Smith USCG vs. the stock Springfield? THAT design seems to direct some of the muzzle blast at a forward angle. Does it help with the noise?

Any other recommendations?


Mike H.

June 16, 2010, 05:13 AM
...I'd also like to use it without ear-gear.

Here's something I lifted from a site that shows sound levels for various firearms -

Below we have listed critical data describing peak sound pressure levels produced by firearms used in shooting and hunting sports. A serious byproduct of this exposure is sensory-neural hearing loss, which cannot be restored to normal. With the introduction of MUZZLE BRAKES and PORTING, the risks of hearing loss dramatically increase. Use this chart as a reference guide for promoting the need of using adequate hearing protection.

And the link -


What these folks are trying to show is that there is no firearm that can be shot without risking loss of hearing. Muzzle brakes make it worse, of course, but the idea that rifles can be shot without "ear gear" is heading down a path from which there is no return.

Even the single shot used to harvest a deer is going to cause damage. One or two of these a year is probably an acceptable level of damage, over one's lifetime. But, IMO, rifles (and pistols) should never be fired in a practice environment without hearing protection.

Look at the numbers...

June 16, 2010, 02:47 PM
That's fascinating data but, I can't help but wonder about the practical application of those numbers to real-world experiences.

In other words - "How have we survived until now"? :D

I grew up in a shooting family and, since the age of 10 (50 years ago), fired thousands of rounds of everything from .22 to .45 to .270 to .308 etc.
without ANY hearing protection! Sounds barbaric today but hearing protection for many (most?) of us is a recent concept.

This also fails to explain how I still am able to hear after a stint in the US Army, including a tour in Viet Nam where I sometimes fired hundreds of rounds of 7.62 WEEKLY! Note that this doesn't even count the additional sounds of troopers firing beside me and the, usual, mortars, grenades and B40 rockets going off! :eek:

Don't get me wrong. I realize that I can't take firing the M1A with it's current muzzle break without ear protection. I'm just wondering if studies such as this are an extension of the "bicycle helmet" syndrome. If we believe the stats, none of us who rode our bicycles without helmets, as kids, should be alive today.


June 16, 2010, 05:58 PM
I work in an industrial environment in a management position. One of the things I administer is our hearing conservation program. As we have constantly changing crew tasks, the idea of a time-weighted average of 85 dBA for an 8 hr shift was kind of hard to determine, even with the availability of sound recorders to wear for an observation period.

We conferred with "experts", and the conclusion was that any noise level over 85 dBA was considered potentially harmful. That is, given enough exposure to noise above that "threshold of damage", hearing loss will occur. Not necessarily total, but selective hearing loss is quite common. We agreed to require hearing protection for any measured noise level over 85 dBA, which exceeds the OSHA standard, rather than try to prove whether the 8 hr time-weighted average of 85 dBA was being exceeded or not.

An amazing number of things create potentially harmful noise levels, including typical lawn mowers and vacuum cleaners.

So, yes you are going to have a certain amount of exposure to high sound pressure levels over a lifetime. Like wearing nitrile gloves to reduce the odds of contracting dermititis or wearing a respirator to protect one from VOC's, wearing hearing protection is just good insurance.

As to "How have we survived until now?", there are many answers to that on the negative side, ranging from asbestos exposure (considered perfectly OK in the 1950's), painting radium on watch dials, and using direct applications of DDT for delousing humans, and very few on the positive side.

Basically, industrial safety seems to be "behind the curve", always playing catch up to hazards that were unrecognized for years, until large numbers of workers start showing up sick or permanently disabled.

Yes, it's a free country. Except in the workplace, nobody is going to make an individual be safe. I believe, however, that many things learned in the industrial environment can be applied to home situations, and at very little cost measured in either dollars or aggravation. Hearing protection is one of these cheap things with a big payoff.

June 16, 2010, 06:20 PM
I suggest you reconsider. I spent an immeasurable amount of time in a sheet metal shop and construction sites since I was 12 yrs old. I also used to think that ear pro was ridiculous and that you should just deal with it. Now I get to deal with tinnitus every day. Good luck.

June 17, 2010, 01:53 AM
They say the Socom 16 is WORSE!!!!!!!!!!!!