YHM Annihilator: A whole lot of mean in under 2 inches
For a variety of reasons, there has been a virtual explosion of new muzzle devices on the AR market. I speculate that one of the main reasons is that many have noticed an easy to machine part costs under $10 in materials and can sell for over $100. In any case, the result for us as shooters is an overwhelming number of options. They all do different things well and I explain some of the stand out options on my muzzle device page.
The YHM Annihilator does 2 things very well: Suppress flash and look cool. YHM says it is engineered to equal the Phantom at the first and until I can conduct accurate, objective testing I will take their word for it. In the meantime I can say that I tested it in low light and its performance was excellent. Sadly, I have not tested it with NVG's but if it performs equal to the Phantom, then it is equal to the best out there that I have ever used. Regardless, if you want a unique look to your rifle that also functions, then the Annihilator will certainly fit the bill.
Annihilator on a YHM barrel
It ranks equal to the Phantom, Smith Vortex etc in terms of recoil reduction: they are all about the same as the A2 in that regard. They are not built with expansion chambers, they are built to make the noise go forward and to keep the flash down. I say that not to insult anyone’s intelligence but because there seems to be ongoing confusion in the greater AR community about what a flash hider does compared to what a muzzle brake does.
The pictures make the end of the flash hider look sharp. In fact it is even sharper than it looks. You could literally cut things with it. I am not an advocate of stabbing the end of your rifle into things. I think the concept of using your barrel to “breach” is a bad idea. But I do make one exception – muzzle punching people is effective if it is needed. It transcends all verbal language at communicating “get down or I will shoot you”. Yankee Hill’s Annihilator may make it a little too effective. It is a mean enough muzzle device that it could take a relatively harmless muzzle punch and put it into the “lethal force” category. I am sure many people want that and if you do, look no further. It will certainly be handy if the zombies come. Unfortunately for me, right now I would have a hard time justifying using it on someone.
There are some cons to the sharpness that rate a mention: If you keep your rifle in a soft bag and you throw the bag around, there is a legitimate potential to cut the bag up. The same goes for just letting the gun rattle around in the trunk or some similar place. A muzzle cap would solve the storage issues, however I doubt a regular one would fit over the slightly widened end of the Annihilator. If I were to recommend one change to YHM on it, it would be to include an end cap for when not in use. The overall quality is what you would expect from YHM – solid machining and built to last.
Anyone who wants a fair deal for a mean looking muzzle device that is still effective at reducing flash. The $56 MSRP puts it into the new "reasonable" price range. It also comes in 7.62.