One of the most important aftermarket accessories that you can get for any rifle is the muzzle brake. While it was previously thought that the only real application for a muzzle brake was with long range precision shooters, the truth is that a muzzle brake is also something that will be good to have for a variety of other applications, including tactical missions and hunting purposes.
Best Budget Pick: VG6 Precision Gamma 65 Muzzle Brake
The VG6 Precision Gamma 65 is a muzzle brake and compensator hybrid that works very well at keeping recoil as low as possible. In addition to the 6.5 Grendel, it is also compatible with the 6.8 Remington SPC and the 6.5 Creedmoor rounds as well.
Best Value Pick: Lancer Systems Viper Muzzle Brake
The Viper Muzzle Brake from Lancer Systems relies on a conical blast chamber design to help reduce muzzle rise and recoil at the same time. It also ships with the necessary tools to easily adjust it and is available in either a stainless steel or a black nitride finish.
Best Overall Pick: Area 419 Hellfire Muzzle Brake
The Area 419 Hellfire Muzzle Brake offers considerable recoil reduction for your 6.5 Grendel rifle. It also does not require the use of tools in order to adjust or install, and ships with a universal adapter that makes it easy to switch between the suppressor and the brake as well.
After all, the whole point to a muzzle brake is to help reduce felt recoil, so it should make sense as to why and how your muzzle brake can help serve you in a variety of different shooting applications. This holds true for virtually all centerfire rifle cartridges, including the 6.5 Grendel,
In this piece, we will dive into the merits and benefits of the 6.5 Grendel, why you should consider having a muzzle brake installed on your 6.5 Grendel rifle, the top qualities to look for in a 6.5 Grendel, and then our choices for the top three best 6.5 Grendel muzzle brakes for 2020.
What Are The Benefits of the 6.5 Grendel Round?
The 6.5mm Grendel, also known as the 6.5x39mm, is a low recoil and high accuracy round that was designed specifically for the AR-15 platform for use at ranges up to 800 yards. In many ways, it’s really just an updated version of the 6.5mm PPC. Despite originally being designed for the AR-15, the 6.5 Grendel has increased steadily in popularity over the years and is now offered in a host of other rifle designs as well, including but not limited to AK-type rifles and bolt action rifles.
When the 6.5 Grendel was originally designed, it was intended for it to be a new round that could fit into a traditional AR STANAG magazine like the 5.56 and .223 cartridges use, but while offering vastly superior performance at longer ranges. The 6.5 Grendel utilizes a shorter but also wider diameter case so it can hold more powder. This also helps it to improve its ballistics. Depending on the specific round you are using, the velocity of the 6.5 Grendel varies from as low as 2,500 feet per second to as high as 3,000 feet per second.
But while this cartridge will work with 6.5 Grendel magazines as well as with 5.56 magazines, it is not compatible with all 5.56 AR-15 parts. For example, because the diameter of the 6.5 Grendel is greater than that of the 5.56, it will not work with a 5.56 bolt so we recommend to check out our guide on the best 6.5 Grendel bolts. This also means that while the 6.5 Grendel is compatible with most 5.56 magazines, less 6.5 Grendel rounds will fit. A 30 round 5.56 AR-15 magazine, as an example, will fit 26 rounds of 6.5mm Grendel ammo.
In more ways than one, the 6.5 Grendel serves as a compromise between the 5.56 NATO and the 7.62x51mm NATO or .308 Winchester. It offers greater terminal energy than neither cartridge and superior ballistics to the 5.56 but less than the 7.62x51mm.
Why Should You Go With The 6.5 Grendel Round?
Why should you go with the 6.5 Grendel? The answer is simple: if you want to still use an AR-15 but attain ballistics superior to the 5.56, you will be well advised to go with the 6.5 Grendel round.
The only other real option will be to go with an AR-10, which is much larger and heavier than the AR-15 in order to accommodate larger rounds like the 6.5 Creedmoor or .308 Winchester.
By going with the 6.5 Grendel, you can fire bullets accurately to longer ranges than you could with the 5.56 while still using a carbine that is relatively lightweight and compact. The tradeoff here is that you will have to contend with higher muzzle flip and recoil, but this is where a muzzle brake device can come into play.
What Is the Muzzle Brake and What Purposes Does It Serve?
A muzzle brake, or a recoil compensator, is simply a device that is attached to the end of a firearm’s barrel. Its purpose is to redirect gases away from the firearm in order to counter recoil and reduce muzzle flip.
In other words, when you have a muzzle brake on your rifle, it will be much easier to shoot, and it also makes it easier for you to make faster follow up shots as well. Whether it be for hunting, competition use at long ranges, or on tactical missions, a muzzle brake simply makes it easier for you to keep your shots on target. Most sniper weapons in the militaries around the globe have muzzle brakes installed on them for these reasons.
The major downside to a muzzle brake is that it can make your rifle significantly louder, and the redirected gases can also come back at you. Be prepared for this and also make sure that you always wear hearing protection when using a rifle with a muzzle brake installed. Other people at the range may also not appreciate you shooting a louder rifle.
Another con to a muzzle brake is that it adds a few inches to the end of your 6.5 Grendel barrel. While you can reduce the impact of this by going with a brake that is lightweight, the fact that a couple of inches will be added to your rifle means that it will become a little bit more unwieldy.
One alternative to installing a muzzle brake is to port your barrel. This is when small holes, called ports, are drilled into the barrel in order to channel the gas similarly to how a muzzle brake can. This will minimize the amount that the barrel moves when a round is fired, reducing muzzle flip and recoil.
However, ported barrels have their own cons. For one thing, the flames expended from a ported barrel will be much higher than a non-ported barrel, which can visually disorient you. And while muzzle brakes also have increased muzzle flash, it will not be nearly as bad as a ported barrel is.
In short, muzzle brakes are not one hundred percent necessary for your rifle, and you can enjoy your rifle without them. They will add weight and length to your barrel, and they will cause your gun to become noticeably louder when you shoot it. But on the plus side, they will reduce the kick and muzzle rise to your rifle noticeably as well, which will make it easier to shoot for just about any application that you could need it for.
Suggested Read: Our article on the best complete 6.5 Grendel Uppers.
Why Should You Upgrade Your Muzzle Brake?
As previously stated, the 6.5 Grendel round is more powerful than the 5.56 but less powerful than the 7.62x51mm. It’s mainly used for long range shooting, while still being used in the smaller AR-15 rather than the larger AR-10.
However, the 6.5 Grendel produces noticeably more recoil than the AR-15. Shoot the two cartridges side-by-side, and you will see for yourself. The higher ballistic coefficients of the 6.5 Grendel comes at a cost.
By installing a muzzle brake on your 6.5 Grendel rifle, you can reduce muzzle rise and recoil by up to 50%. This will make it easier for you to more quickly realign your sights after each shot, and it also will make your rifle much more fun to shoot. If anything, installing a muzzle brake on your 6.5 Grendel will help to make recoil and muzzle flip more comparable to the 5.56 round.
In general, you should invest in a muzzle brake if any of the following apply:
- Your rifle has a lot of kick to it, whether it be because the right is very lightweight or because you’re shooting a powerful round (or both)
- You want to fire fast follow up shots
- You’re willing to make your rifle louder in exchange for making it easier to shoot
Again, it’s not truly necessary to buy a muzzle brake, but it will help to create a much more pleasant shooting experience. Next, let’s dive into the top qualities that you should look for in a muzzle brake for your 6.5 Grendel.
Buyer’s Guide To The Best 6.5 Grendel Muzzle Brakes
These are the most important factors to consider when looking for a new muzzle brake for your 6.5 Grendel:
Your muzzle brake should be incredibly durable in order to ensure it long lasting. Just as you want to buy an AR-15 that you can own for life and pass on down to future generations, the same goes for your muzzle brake as well so you can pass it on down along with the AR. Several muzzle brakes are made out of aluminum, which while not quite as durable as steel, is still very strong and will not add as much weight to the end of your rifle’s barrel.
Besides durability, the most important quality to look for in a muzzle brake is the placement of the vents. Poor vent placement means that the entire purpose of having the break to begin with will be negated.
Make sure that the vents on your muzzle brake are not present on the bottom of the device. If they are, this will create a force that moves upward, which will make recoil and muzzle rise even worse. Instead, the vents should be placed on the sides and on the top of the muzzle brake. This will ensure that muzzle flip and recoil are kept to the absolute minimum.
No Gunsmith Required
Your muzzle brake should not require the aid of a gunsmith in order to install on your rifle. Instead, it should either require tools that can be easily operated by you, or otherwise no tools at all. Some muzzle brakes are indeed designed to plug directly onto the end of your rifle without there being any real effort required on your part.
While a muzzle brake should be durable, it should also be lightweight. The brake should not weigh down your rifle, because doing so could make it more difficult to keep your rifle on target. Again, aluminum is a common material for muzzle brakes to be made out of because of the fact that it is both durable and lightweight.
The 3 Best 6.5 Grendel Muzzle Brakes For 2020
Now that we’ve covered why you need to upgrade your muzzle brake, here are the top three best 6.5 Grendel muzzle brakes for 2020:
Area 419 Hellfire Muzzle Brake
The Area 419 Hellfire Muzzle Brake is one of the best muzzle brakes on the market because of the fact that it will greatly reduce felt recoil from your 6.5 Grendel rifle down to nearly non-existent levels. This fact alone more than outweighs the fact that the aesthetics of the Area 419 Hellfire are admittedly not the most pleasing.
One reason why the Area 419 Hellfire offers truly excellent performance when it comes to muzzle reduction is because of its innovative design. This is a self-timing brake that will not turn when you torque the collar to lock. Instead, you simply need to level the brake to your barrel and then push it into place. There are no tools requires to adjust the Area 419 other.
This muzzle brake was originally designed for competitive shooters but serves a number of other purposes as well, including tactical applications where the fact that it does not require tools in order to install or adjust will certainly come into play. The universal adapter it ships with also means that the Hellfire can be swapped between the brake itself to a suppressor in less than thirty seconds.
The Area 419 Hellfire will reduce recoil from your 6.5 Grendel considerably, comes with a universal adapter, has self-timing capabilities, and does not require tools in order to adjust. It is admittedly expensive for a muzzle brake, but you’re getting a lot of features for the money too.
- Offers 52% recoil reduction
- Comes with a universal thread adapter
- The knurled nut does not require tools for timing
- Does not use top ports to control the muzzle rise
- Does not require adjustments as it is a self-timing design
- Does not require tools in order to install
- Expensive for a muzzle brake
VG6 Precision Gamma 65 Muzzle Brake
The VG6 Precision Gamma 65 Muzzle Brake is both a compensator and a muzzle brake at the same time. Built out of high quality stainless steel using modernized CNC machining methods, it’s been built to be as precise as it can possibly be.
The Gamma 65 is coated in a black nitride finish, and in addition to 6.5 Grendel, it can also be used with the Remington 6.8 SPC and the 6.5 Creedmoor rounds. The vents have been designed to keep recoil as low as possible, and assuming that your barrel is threaded properly, you should be able to install the Gamma 65 in a matter of minutes.
Overall, if you’re looking for a muzzle and compensator hybrid the Gamma 65 from VG6 Precision represents a solid option. Built out of stainless steel with a black nitride finish, the vents have been precisely designed to help keep recoil as low as possible.
- It’s a muzzle brake and compensator hybrid
- Works with several different calibers, including 6.5 Grendel, 6.5 Creedmoor, and 6.8 Remington SPC
- Very easy to install or remove
- Offers very good recoil reduction
- Very heavy for a muzzle brake
Lancer Systems Viper Muzzle Brake
The Viper Muzzle Brake from Lancer Systems is designed specifically reduce recoil and muzzle rise from 6.5 rounds. The conical blast chamber design of the Viper permits the gases to expand properly, and there are also four adjustable jets located over the top that direct gases upward to help prevent muzzle jump.
The Viper also ships with tuning jets and a jam nut that make it easy to adjust. It’s also available in either a silver stainless steel or a black nitride finish, both of which offer excellent resistance against rust and corrosion.
All in all, the Viper is a solid option for a 6.5 Grendel muzzle brake thanks to its conical blast chamber design that will help keep muzzle rise and recoil to a minimum. It’s also highly durable and rust resistant, and ships with the proper adjustment tools as well.
- Very easy to install
- Available in black nitride or stainless steel finishes
- It’s a muzzle brake and compensator hybrid
- Good for long range precision shooting
- Ships with twelve different nozzles
- Designed specifically to reduce recoil from 6.5 rounds
- Not a good choice for smaller barrels
And that concludes our list of the top three best muzzle brakes for a 6.5 Grendel in 2020. As we discussed previously, muzzle brakes are no longer just for precision shooters like they were before, and they can play an important role when it comes to both hunting and tactical use as well.
Any one of the three muzzle brakes that we have discussed here today will be a solid option for your 6.5 Grendel rifle, but if you follow the buyer’s guide that we laid out before as well, you can still help ensure that you will buy a high quality brake that will help to improve the performance of your 6.5 Grendel.
Featured image by RobinHoodie5