Iron Eagle Tactical: Talons (Flash Hider) Review
Recently, I was looking on the internet for a set of rails to install on the hand guard of my new Ruger SR-22 Rifle. During my search, I found the Iron Eagle Tactical website. This company specializes in providing quality custom accessories specifically for the Ruger SR-22 Rifle. They also provide other accessories for other types of rifles. One type of accessory in particular is their custom flash hiders which they call Iron Eagle Talons. They have four types Talons (flash hiders) shown below.
Each Talon is machined from 6061-T6 aluminum alloy, is type 3 hard coat anodized, and has a non-reflective black surface. You can purchase these Talons directly from Iron Eagle Tactical for $55.95, $65.95 or $75.95, depending on the model, with free shipping to the lower 48 states and Canada. Although Iron Eagle Tactical produces custom products specifically for the Ruger SR-22 Rifle, the Talons can be used on a variety of caliber firearms such as the .22, .223, 5.56mm, .308 and 7.62mm, provided that firearm has a 1/2-28 right hand thread on the end of the barrel. The original Talons were designed for the .22, .223 and 5.56mm calibers, but now the Talons come with a .375" hole to allow use on the .308 and 7.62mm calibers. Before you install your Talon on this larger caliber, you should make sure you did not somehow get an older model by verifying the larger bore size.
I was able to get two Talons for this review and to also use on my new Ruger SR-22 Rifle and Colt AR-15. The two Talons in this review are the Model 105a and Model 105c and are shown below installed on my Ruger SR-22 Rifle. Also installed on this rifle is an Iron Eagle Tactical Combat Brush Guard and Iron Eagle Tactical Rails. The other two Talons not shown in this review are the Model 105b which has the same pattern shown above at each 120 degree location around the body of this Talon and the Model 105d which has the two patterns of holes staggered as shown above at each 120 degrees around the body of this Talon. Other than these image differences, all other features of these four Talons are the same.
There is nothing fancy about the packaging and shipping materials. The Talons arrived in a bubble wrap envelope and then were wrapped in thin foam sheet as shown below. They arrived in great condition.
The next several photos show different features of the Talons. One thing you will notice is that the Talons will develop white marks when you rub your fingers across the surfaces. This is because the slight roughness of the hard coat anodizing will actually rub some skin off your fingers. Don't worry because this is common and these white marks can be removed easily by rubbing with a piece of cloth. If you notice any white marks on these parts below, it's only because I failed to wipe them off before I took the photos.
Each of these Talons measures about 3.25" in length with a maximum outside diameter of about 0.996"
The end of the Talon that screws on to the barrel is counter-bored to a depth of slightly under 0.25". Having this counter-bore creates an installed length of 3.00" which you can compare to that of the flash hider that come on the Ruger SR-22 Rifle which is 2.24". Adding these Talons will add about 3/4" to the total length of your Ruger SR-22 Rifle.
This counter-bore allows the end of the Talon to screw over the barrel washer and over the smooth portion of the barrel. I believe this gives the installation of the Talon a cleaner and more integral look as part of the rifle than the original flash hider that comes on the Ruger SR-22 Rifle.
The two Talons I received weighed in at 2.00 ounces for the Model 105a and 2.20 ounces for the Model 105c. These Talons are actually a weight savings when compared to the Ruger SR-22 Rifle's flash hider which weighed in at 2.45 ounces.
To remove your original flash hider from your Ruger SR-22 Rifle, you can use a small screw driver inserted between the slots as shown below. I held the receiver portion of the rifle while it was resting on the bipod and pistol grip and applied a counterclockwise (left turning) force until the flash hider loosened. After applying the initial breaking torque, I could easily remove it using my fingers only.
Once the original flash hider is removed, you will see the threaded end of the barrel and washer.
I applied a drop of oil on the exposed threads of the barrel and then screwed the Talon on to the barrel. Each of the Talons would easily thread all the way down while using my fingers only until it made contact with the barrel shoulder.
Next I took a piece of lint free cleaning cloth and wrapped it over the hex area to prevent from making any blemish on the surface of the Talon. Using an adjustable wrench with the jaws as tight against the flats of the hex, I was able to apply a torque sufficient to allow the Talon to line up (be clocked) the way I wanted on the barrel.
The photo below shows the Iron Eagle Talons installed on my Colt AR-15 and my Ruger SR-22 rifles. The installation of the Talon on my Colt AR-15 was as simple as the steps shown above for my Ruger SR-22 Rifle.
As one final check, I tried to evaluate the flash signature the Model 105a Talon may have when firing the Ruger SR-22 Rifle. You can see in the photo below the flash of the .22 caliber rifle and you can also see how the shape of the Model 105a covers the starting portion (left side) of the flash. Since the real intent of a flash hider is to reduce the chances that the shooter's vision will be compromised at night, I feel this photo shows that there is no significant flash visible to the shooter (projecting upwards) with this flash hider on the Ruger SR-22 Rifle. Actually, in the case of a .22 caliber bullet on this 16.1" barrel, I'm not sure if any flash hider is really needed and a flash hider on this rifle may be more for looks than functionality.
Just like the other products I have reviewed from Iron Eagle Tactical, the Iron Eagle Talons are quality products. As you can see in the photos, these parts are machined to a smooth surface and they install easily on your rifle. Depending on the style Talon you choose, you can drop the weight of your rifle by up to 1/2 once, so clearly there is no weight penalty these products. You do add about 3/4" to the total length of your rifle (for a Ruger SR-22), but I believe the custom look is worth the length. If you search on MidwayUSA.com for "flash hider" and compare the price of the Iron Eagle Talons against other similar custom aluminum flash hiders, you will find the Talon prices are within the range of the higher end flash hiders on the market. If you are interested in creating a custom look for your rifle, then I recommend you considering one of these Iron Eagle Talons while you accessorize your rifle.
The photo below shows my current configuration of the Ruger SR-22 Rifle. Installed on the rifle are the following accessories, and yes, I can actually see over/around the laser with my scope.