In the time that it takes you to read this sentence, 10 new AR-15 muzzle brakes/compensators will have come to market. That may be a slight exaggeration, but there is certainly no shortage of options currently available with new ones coming frequently.
The PWS Triad is one of the more unique devices to come down the pike in recent history. It lacks the multitude of small holes or large side ports of most devices that claim to help control muzzle rise. In fact, it looks like a fairly run of the mill 3 prong flash suppressor. So, can a device that looks like a flash suppressor perform like a compensator? Read on.
The Triad isn’t a compensator or muzzle brake. It is a flash suppressor that helps control muzzle rise. Most hybrid devices (devices that both suppress flash and muzzle rise) tend more toward a muzzle brake in terms of design and function. The Triad is more like a flash suppressor in terms of design and function.
The flash suppression is accomplished via 3 large prongs not unlike other flash suppressors on the market. The muzzle rise reduction is accomplished by extending the slot between the prongs at 1:30 position (from the shooter’s point of view) back a bit further. I am sure there is also some internal shaping/magic that also helps.
Observations from Use
There are really two ways to judge the Triad. You can judge it on its flash suppression and on how it reduces muzzle rise. I will address each separately.
The Triad is a good flash suppressor. It is not quite as effective as the best flash suppressors on the market, but, remember, it has an additional trick up its sleeve. I would say in my limited dusk testing, that it suppresses flash better than an A2 on a 16” barrel. It is a bit better performing than something like a YHM Phantom. It sounds like I am downplaying its performance as a flash suppressor but that is actually quite good – better than any other hybrid device that I have tried. I should also note that it doesn’t ring/ping like some pronged flash suppressors.
Your impressions of how effective the Triad is at controlling the muzzle will likely vary depending on your skill level as a shooter. Those who do an excellent job of controlling the muzzle rise of an AR-15 through their use of grip and stance will find that the Triad may actually force the muzzle down a bit. It seems that devices attempt to steady the muzzle one of two ways – they either try to trap the muzzle in space (by venting gases out both sides or fairly evenly around the device) or vent gases up to force the muzzle down. The Triad is definitely in the later camp.
I actually liked it quite a bit. While it doesn’t keep the muzzle as steady as something like a PWS FSC556 would, it does offer an extra degree of control without any real additional sound or overpressure… or at least none that was noticeable to the shooter or those beside the shooter. That is the real story here. PWS has managed to create a device that helps control the muzzle without all the negative side effects. That alone makes this a noteworthy device to me.
The Triad isn’t the best performing flash suppressor. It isn’t the best performing compensator (it isn’t really even a compensator at all). However, it is one of the best functional combinations of the two that I have used. This is an impressive device in terms of its all-round performance. If you are looking for a device that offers some muzzle control, but flash suppression and over-pressure/concussive blast are a concern for you, the Triad should be on your list of devices to try.