If you’re an airsoft enthusiast, you’ve likely encountered the need to remove your flash hider. Flash hiders, while providing a cool aesthetic, can pose limitations when customizing your airsoft gun or attaching specific accessories like suppressors or tracer units. In this article, we will guide you through the process of safely removing an airsoft flash hider.
You must identify whether your flash hider is held in place by a set screw, a small pin, or glue. Locate the small screw or pin and check for any signs of glue around the base of the flash hider. It’s essential to identify the correct method of removal to avoid causing any damage to your airsoft gun.
With the right approach in hand, you’ll soon be on your way to making modifications or replacing your flash hider. Safety is paramount; preparing your workspace, assembling necessary tools, and following the proper steps will ensure a successful removal without any mishaps. Let’s dive into the process.
Types of Airsoft Flash Hiders
When it comes to airsoft flash hiders, there are primarily two types that you’ll encounter: screw-on flash hiders and pin-style flash hiders. These are designed to attach to your airsoft gun’s barrel and help diffuse the muzzle flash.
Screw-On Flash Hiders
Screw-on flash hiders are the most common type and are usually easier to install. To attach one to your airsoft gun, simply align the threads and screw it onto the barrel clockwise. Some airsoft guns come with a proprietary adapter, so ensure you obtain the correct flash hider for your specific model.
- Pros: Simple to install and uninstall; fits most airsoft guns.
- Cons: It may require an adapter for specific models.
Pin-Style Flash Hiders
Pin-style flash hiders, on the contrary, require a bit more work to install. These flash hiders are secured by a small pin or screw that holds them in place on the barrel.
To install a pin-style flash hider, you’ll need to remove the existing one by gently tapping out the retaining pin with a punch, then place your new flash hider over the barrel while aligning the holes, and finally, insert and secure the new pin or screw.
- Pros: More secure attachment; less prone to unscrewing accidentally.
- Cons: Requires tools and extra effort for installation and removal.
Removing the Flash Hider
To remove the flash hider from your airsoft gun, there are a few techniques you can use:
Heat Gun Method
To remove the flash hider, apply heat to the adhesive or glue, holding it in place using a heat gun. Keep the heat gun approximately 2-3 inches from the flash hider and apply heat for a few minutes until the glue softens. Once the glue is soft, use pliers to twist and pull the flash hider off gently.
Boiling Water Method
Boiling water can also loosen the adhesive or glue holding the flash hider in place. Boil some water in a pot and submerge the tip of the airsoft gun in the water for a few minutes. Carefully remove the airsoft gun from the water and use pliers to twist and pull the flash hider off.
Strap Wrench Method
Use a strap wrench to grip the flash hider and twist it off. Wrap the strap wrench around the flash hider, ensuring it is tight and secure. Then, use the strap wrench to twist and pull the flash hider off.
It is paramount to exercise caution when attempting to remove a flash hider, as excessive force or improper techniques can damage the airsoft gun. It is also essential to note that some airsoft guns may have a flash hider that is permanently attached and cannot be removed without damaging the gun.
Unscrewing and Detaching a Flash Hider
Identify Thread Direction
Determine the thread direction on your airsoft gun’s flash hider. Most airsoft guns use a 14mm thread, of which there are two types: clockwise (CW) and counterclockwise (CCW). By identifying the correct thread direction, you can ensure hassle-free removal.
Gather the necessary tools for detaching the flash hider. Commonly, you will need a pair of pliers or an adjustable wrench. Ensure the tool fits snugly around the flash hider to avoid causing damage.
Before applying force, check if your flash hider has a securing grub screw or pin. If present, use an Allen key or pliers to remove it; failure to do so may cause damage to the threads.
Now, gently grasp the flash hider with your tool and apply steady pressure in the opposite direction of the thread (for CW, turn left; and for CCW, turn right). Avoid applying excessive force to prevent damaging your airsoft gun.
- 14mm Thread: Standard thread size for airsoft guns.
- Clockwise (CW): Tightens when turned to the right.
- Counterclockwise (CCW): Tightens when turned to the left.
- Grub Screw/Pin: small screw or pin that secures the flash hider in place.
Pin Removal for Airsoft Flash Hiders
This section will discuss removing a pin from an airsoft flash hider. The process involves two main steps: locating the pin and using the proper technique for pin removal.
Locate the Pin
The first step in removing the flash hider pin is to locate it. Look for a small hole on the flash hider, which can often be found near the base of the attachment. The pin may be held in place by glue, thread locker, or paint, so you may need to use a flashlight or magnifying glass to spot it.
Proper Pin Removal Technique
Once the pin has been located, it’s essential to use the correct technique for its removal. The following steps outline the proper way to remove the pin from an airsoft flash hider:
- Heat the flash hider – Apply heat to the flash hider using a hairdryer or heat gun to soften the glue or thread locker holding the pin in place. This should be done for a few minutes, ensuring the area is not overheated.
- Punch the pin out – Insert a small pin punch or thin nail into the hole and gently tap it with a small hammer to push the pin out. Be cautious not to apply too much force or force the pin at an angle, as this may cause damage to the flash hider.
- Remove and store the pin – Once the pin is dislodged, carefully remove it and store it in a safe place for future use, as some fields may require you to have a secured orange tip on your airsoft gun.
Following these steps will help you safely remove the pin from your airsoft flash hider without causing damage. Exercise caution and patience to ensure successful pin removal.
Airsoft Gun Model Considerations
Before attempting to remove an airsoft flash hider, it’s crucial to consider the specific gun model you own. Different models have various flash hider attachment methods, and understanding these differences will ensure successful removal.
AK Series Flash Hiders
For AK series airsoft guns, flash hiders are typically attached using 14mm CCW (counter-clockwise) threads. Occasionally, you may encounter a gun with a pinned and screwed-on flash hider. In this case, follow these steps:
- Locate the small pin on the flash hider and carefully push it out with a punch or similar tool.
- Once the pin is removed, unscrew the flash hider in a counter-clockwise direction.
- Replace the flash hider with a new one, install a thread protector, and then secure it by screwing it clockwise.
M4 and M16 Series Flash Hiders
For M4 and M16 series airsoft guns, the flash hider is commonly attached with either 14mm CW (clockwise) or 14mm CCW threads. It may also be glued on to adhere to US airsoft regulations. To remove a glued flash hider:
- Use a heat gun or hairdryer to warm up the glue for a few minutes, allowing it to soften.
- Carefully twist the flash hider in the direction opposite of the threading while applying steady pressure.
- Once the glue bond is broken, continue unscrewing the flash hider and replace it according to your needs.
Remember your airsoft gun’s model when attempting to remove a flash hider, and exercise caution to avoid damaging your gun.
Removing an airsoft flash hider is a straightforward process, but always remember to verify your local regulations and the specific policies of your airsoft field or arena. With the right tools and patience, you can customize your airsoft gun to your liking, potentially improving its aesthetics and performance.
There are several common flash hiders for airsoft guns, including the birdcage, four-prong, Noveske KX3, and KX5. The standard threading for these flash hiders is 14mm CCW (counterclockwise), although some may use CW (clockwise) threading.
Common tools to remove a flash hider include a hairdryer, pliers, or an adjustable wrench. A heat gun or hair dryer can aid the removal process by softening any adhesive or glue holding the flash hider in place.
By following the steps we’ve outlined, you can ensure you’re safely removing the flash hider without causing damage to your airsoft gun. As an airsoft enthusiast, being knowledgeable about maintaining and modifying your equipment is essential for enhancing your gaming experience.
With your airsoft gun customized and ready for action, you can confidently show off your new look on the battlefield. Always wear safety gear during play and follow all airsoft etiquette to ensure an enjoyable experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What are some common types of flash hiders?
Two popular options are the birdcage and the four-prong flash hider. Unique styles, like Noveske kx3 and kx5, can also provide a distinct look for your airsoft gun.
Q. How can I identify a 14mm CCW or CW threading on my airsoft gun?
You can determine the direction of the threading by referring to your gun’s manual or searching online for your specific model. Generally, airsoft guns use 14mm CCW (counterclockwise) threading, but exceptions exist.
Q. Can removing a flash hider negatively impact my airsoft gun’s performance?
No, removing the flash hider should not affect your gun’s performance or accuracy. However, it might expose the barrel’s threading to dust or debris, so keeping it clean and protected is essential.
Q. What are some essential tools to remove a flash hider?
Basic tools like a hairdryer, pliers, or an adjustable wrench can help you remove the flash hider safely. Always make sure the gun is empty and turned off before attempting any work.
Q. Should I apply heat to loosen the glue?
Yes. Applying heat with a hair dryer or heat gun can help soften the glue, making it easier to remove the flash hider. Take care not to overheat the area or expose it to flames.