Are you looking for a way to reduce recoil on your .458 SOCOM rifle? If so, you’re come to the right place.
Best Value Pick: Vais .458 SOCOM Muzzle Brake
The Vais .458 SOCOM Muzzle Brake is a solid choice for a muzzle brake thanks to its solid stainless steel construction and intricate system of vents that keep recoil down to the absolute minimum. For a finish, you have a choice between parkerizing or a matte finish, both of which are cheaper to apply than many other finishes and contribute to why the Vais is offered for a lower cost than many other muzzle brakes on the market.
Best Overall Pick: KDF Model 83 Muzzle Brake .458 Caliber
The KDF Model 83 is a solid choice for a .458 SOCOM muzzle brake. It’s built out of solid steel and utilizes an intricate system of five vents and five baffles in order to effectively keep recoil to a minimum. However, it’s only available in blued steel as a mass produced part from the factory, and if you want the more rust and corrosion resistant stainless steel version, you will need to special order it.
One of the best ways to keep felt recoil on any firearm to an absolute minimum is to install a muzzle brake on the end of your rifle. Even though it adds a little bit of weight and length to your rifle, there’s really no accessory that will make your rifle easier to manage and shoot.
In this guide, we will discuss the history and merits of the .458 SOCOM round, what a muzzle brake is and why you should strongly consider getting one, a compare and contrast of muzzle brakes to other muzzle devices, the top qualities to look for in a muzzle brake, and then our choices for the top two best .458 SOCOM muzzle brakes on the market for 2020.
Why Go With .458 SOCOM?
Why should you go with the .458 SOCOM for your AR-15 or other rifle? The .458 SOCOM was originally designed to greatly increase the stopping power of the AR-15, which is normally chambered for the 5.56 or .223 calibers. The idea is that you can keep your existing AR-15 lower, and then switch out to a .458 SOCOM upper and its associated components (among which include the muzzle brake).
The .458 SOCOM really is a unique round. It’s designed to deliver supersonic muzzle velocities, at between 1900 to 2400 FPS. The ballistics of the .458 are somewhat similar to the .45-70 Government round, even though the .458 SOCOM is much smaller so it can more easily fit into the AR-15. The .458 SOCOM also maintains its subsonic velocities when a suppressor is added to the rifle.
Originally released in early 2001 and then introduced to the civilian market in the United States months after, the .458 SOCOM was one of many rounds developed to increase the stopping power of the AR-15. At the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu and in other armed engagement, US soldiers were needing to fire multiple rounds from their 5.56 M16s and M4s in order to bring enemy assailants down. Other rounds that were released to increase the stopping power of the AR-15 include the .450 Bushmaster, 6.5 Grendel, the .300 Blackout, and the 6.8 SPC.
Besides the AR-15, the .458 SOCOM has been released in several other rifles as well, including bolt action rifles and lever action rifles such as the Marlin 1895.
The .458 is also capable of dropping virtually any big game in North America, including bear, moose, and elk. Its ballistics, as previously noted, are in the same arena as the .45-70. In existence since the 1870s, the .45-70 Government has been widely used as a heavy hitting mid-range rifle to drop big game. Many hunting guides in North America will often rely upon it for this reason, especially for environments where it may be necessary to drop a charging brown bear.
That being said, almost all .45-70 Government rifles are either single shots such as the Springfield Trapdoor 1873 or lever action rifles such as the Winchester 1886 or the Marlin 1895. The idea is that by using a .458 SOCOM AR-15, you can fire at a much faster rate of fire than a lever action, and also reload faster as well.
What’s more, is that the .458 SOCOM will work in an AR-15, which is much more compact and lightweight than the much heavier and larger AR-10. The .458 SOCOM should also feed reliably in most GI metal 5.56 magazines, but it may have reliability issues in polymer magazines such as those made by Magpul or Lancer. That being said, specialized .458 SOCOM magazines for an AR-15 also exist, and you would be wise to invest in these in order to ensure optimal reliability.
All in all, the .458 SOCOM is a solid round that is often overlooked and underrated. It can be successfully utilized for a wide variety of different purposes, including as a tactical round where it maintains high velocities even when fired out of a suppressor, as a big game hunting round in North America, or even as a home defense round as well.
But as it’s a powerful and hard hitting round, the .458 SOCOM can kick a bit hard, and certainly harder than the standard 5.56x45mm NATO. For this reason, a recoil reduction device such as a muzzle brake can be a hardly desirable feature to get for it.
Next, we’ll briefly discuss the different types of muzzle devices that exist on the market to clear up possible confusion in regard to definitions, then we’ll dive into the pros and cons of getting a muzzle brake for your .458 SOCOM rifle or carbine.
Types of Muzzle Devices – Muzzle Brakes vs. Flash Suppressors vs. Compensators
Many people confuse the muzzle brake with several other muzzle devices as well. Further adding to the confusion is the fact that there are many hybrid devices out there as well. Three specific muzzle devices that people often confuse are muzzle brakes, flash suppressors, and compensators.
A muzzle brake is designed to redirect the pressure and gas of the fired round out from the side of your rifle’s muzzle. This helps to reduce recoil, meaning that there will be less of a punch delivered into your shoulder. This also makes it easier to fire faster follow up shots, and in the case of a higher pressure and more powerful round such as the .458 SOCOM, it makes the rifle much easier to control.
A flash suppressor is designed to reduce the muzzle flash of a rifle. This is a particularly nice accessory to have at night or in darker conditions, where a brighter flash can be a bit disorienting to say the least. Flash suppressors also make it much easier to fire more accurately in darker conditions as well.
People often confuse a muzzle brake with a flash suppressor because they will look at either and assume that either is capable of acting like both devices at once. In reality, this only exists with hybrid devices that are a muzzle brake and a flash suppressor at the same time.
Finally, a compensator is designed to redirect pressure and gas from the fired round upwards, which stops your rifle from climbing too high. People yet again confuse muzzle brakes and compensators here because they assume that the two terms are interchangeable. This is not true: a muzzle brake helps mitigate recoil, and a compensator helps mitigate muzzle rise.
In the next section. We’ll talk about muzzle brakes in much greater detail.
Why Should You Get A Muzzle Brake?
A muzzle brake is not a truly necessary feature to have for your rifle, but it can be a nice feature to have.
As we mentioned above, the proper purpose for a muzzle brake is to mitigate recoil by sending the gases from a fired round out the sides and away from the barrel and rifle. A good muzzle brake can reduce recoil from anywhere from twenty to fifty percent, although it depends on the ammunition and the specific muzzle brake that you are using as well. How far your barrel profile is raised above your stock is also a major factor.
Muzzle brakes were originally designed for artillery guns and anti-tank pieces, where they were designed to reduce the level of hazard for soldiers in the immediate vicinity operating the weapons. They were also intended to help increase the rate of fire for the artillery guns as well, which greatly increased their effectiveness on the battlefield.
Within years, muzzle brakes were made much more compact in size so they could fit small arms such as military rifles. Most muzzle brakes utilize a venting system, with vents or ports being drilled into the brake to help make the gas easier to escape from the muzzle.
Most muzzle brakes are also very easy to install on rifles. While some require specialized tools or gunsmiths, most can just be threaded on, assuming that your .458 SOCOM barrel and the muzzle brake are compatible together.
The biggest downside to a muzzle brake is that they add a lot of noise to your rifle. When you shoot an AR-15 with a muzzle brake and then without the muzzle brake side by side, you’ll notice the difference. Guns with muzzle brakes installed are significantly louder than those without them, and many people may consider it a nuisance at the shooting range. At the very least, be sure to invest in good hearing protection. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if you value having a rifle that’s easier to shoot with less recoil, or a rifle that’s quieter.
Another disadvantage to muzzle brakes is that they add length and weight to your rifle. This used to be a major issue many years ago, but more recently muzzle brakes have been made to be as compact and lightweight as possible. As a result, the muzzle brakes of today will only add a couple of inches and a few ounces to your rifle. At that point, it may not even be noticeable, but it’s still something to consider.
In the next section, we’ll discuss the top qualities to look for in a .458 SOCOM muzzle brake, and then we will dive into our choices for the top two best .458 muzzle brakes that you can get today.
Buyer’s Guide For The Best .458 SOCOM Muzzle Brakes
Here are the most important qualities to look for in a muzzle brake for your .458 SOCOM:
Ease of Attachment
The best muzzle brakes will be very easy for you to attach. You should not have to settle for a muzzle brake that requires special tools for you to install or that otherwise requires you to go to a gunsmith in order to get it installed. Instead, look for a muzzle brake with a simple thread-on installment system.
Durability and Corrosion Resistance
The best muzzle brakes are made out of solid steel, such as stainless steel, that offer excellent durability as well as solid resistance against rain and moisture as well. While stainless steel is already durable, many stainless muzzle brakes will often come with an additional coating such as nitride or parkerizing over them in order to toughen them up further.
Compact and Lightweight Size
Look, you’re going to add weight and length to your rifle no matter what with a muzzle brake. But you can help to lessen the weight and length as much as possible by going with a very compact and lightweight muzzle brake that only adds a few ounces of weight to your rifle
This isn’t totally necessary, but it is a nice feature to get a muzzle brake that also comes with a flash suppressor installed on it as a hybrid system as well. Many people are under the mistaken assumption that a muzzle brake reduces flash in addition to recoil, but this is only true if the brake comes with a flash suppressor installed as a hybrid system.
The Best .458 SOCOM Muzzle Brakes For 2020
Now that we’ve covered the merits of the .458 SOCOM round and what you need to look for in a muzzle brake for your .458 SOCOM, here are our top two choices for a .458 muzzle brake:
KDF Model 83 Muzzle Brake 458 Caliber
The KDF Model 83 muzzle brake in .458 caliber reduces recoil in a very effective and simple way. It’s comprised of an intricately designed external vent network, with five baffles and five internal chambers designed to help disperse gas. It’s also built out of a very solid steel to ensure that it will have a long service life and withstand high pressures from many thousands of rounds over the years.
However, the KDF only comes in blued steel from the factory as a mass produced part, but you can get stainless steel on special order from the factory as well. While the blued steel looks nice and helps stop the reflection from the sun well, it also is not nearly as rust or corrosion resistant as stainless are. For that reason, you may want to consider special ordering the stainless version.
All in all, the KDF Model 83 is an excellent choice for a muzzle brake thanks to its intricate design of five chambers and five baffles that work very effectively to reduce recoil and make your firearm much easier to shoot. However, it’s only available in blued steel in the mass produced version, and if you want to go with one that is more rust and corrosion resistant, you’ll need to special order the stainless steel version from the factory.
- Offers a flat muzzle blast
- Has several vents around the circumference
- Has five chambers and five baffles to help disperse gas
- A bit expensive for a muzzle brake
- Blued steel is not the most rust resistant
Vais .458 SOCOM Muzzle Brake
The Vais .458 SOCOM Muzzle Brake is a simple and affordable muzzle brake that utilizes multiple gas dispersing holes in order to reduce recoil as much as possible. Each of these vents are visible on the outside of the brake, permitting the gas to escape in many different directions. This is effective, because it means that there is not only one pathway for the gas to escape.
Vais builds this muzzle brake in stainless steel, which is very durable and rust and corrosion resistant. You also have the option for either parkerizing or matte for your external finish as well. Between the two, parkerizing is more rust resistant, and has been used for years on military-grade weapons for this reason.
Overall, the Vais is an excellent choice for a muzzle brake for the .458 SOCOM. It has a very durable and solid stainless steel construction, with either parkerizing or matte available for your external finish. The complex vents network work adeptly at reducing recoil.
- Simple design
- Solid stainless steel construction
- Keeps muzzle blast for a minimum
- Offers complex network for vents for minimizing recoil
- Vents at the bottom of the unit could be dropped further
And that concludes our discussion of the top two best muzzle brakes for the .458 SOCOM in 2020.
A muzzle brake truly is one of the best accessories you can use to add to your rifle to help make it easier to manage by reducing recoil. Either of the muzzle brakes that we have discussed today, or alternatively you can go with any other muzzle brake that meets the qualities and standards set by the buyer’s guide section we went over before as well.