Are you currently on the hunt for a new muzzle brake for your AR-15 rifle or carbine? If so, your search is about to end because you’ve come to the right place.
The muzzle brake is a device attached to the end of your AR-15 that is designed to make it much easier to shoot. With a muzzle brake, less kick will be delivered into your shoulder, and you should be able to make faster follow-up shots as well.
That being said, not all muzzle brakes are created equally, which is why it is important to carefully do your research to find the best one for you.
In this guide, we’ll dive into the top three best AR-15 muzzle brakes that you can get in 2020. We’ll also discuss the merits of the AR-15 as a platform, the purposes the muzzle brake services, a comparison between muzzle brakes and other muzzle devices for the AR-15, and the top qualities that you need to look for in a muzzle brake in the first place.
|556 .223 1/2x28 Muzzle Brake w/ Crush Washer and Nut|| ||$64 Shop NowClick to read my review|
|Threaded Muzzle Brake .223/5.56 1/2-28 w/ Washer and Jam Nut|| ||$64 Shop NowClick to read my review|
|Wilson Combat Q Comp AR-15 Muzzle Brake|| ||$59 Shop NowClick to read my review|
|Nemo DC-1 AR-15 Muzzle Brake|| ||$127 Shop NowClick to read my review|
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What Is the Muzzle Brake and What Purposes Does It Serve?
The muzzle brake is also known as the recoil compensator. It’s a device that you can affix to the end of your AR-15 barrel. The purpose behind the muzzle brake is to redirect gases created from the fired round away from the gun. This counters the recoil, therefore reducing the kick delivered back into your shoulder. As you can imagine, this should make your rifle more pleasurable to shoot at the very least.
In other words, a muzzle brake makes it much easier to shoot your rifle and to make faster and more accurate follow-up shots as well. A muzzle brake is useful for all sorts of purposes, including tactical use, hunting, competition shooting, or just normal target shooting.
The concept of a muzzle brake in the first place originated in the military. Muzzle brakes were originally installed on artillery guns used by militaries so they could increase their rate of fire. It didn’t take long for weapons designers to realize that they could shrink down muzzle brakes substantially to small arms. Today, most military snipers use muzzle brakes installed on the end of their sniper rifles, again because they help to reduce recoil and make their shots more accurate.
As a golden rule, you can expect the muzzle rise to your AR-15 to reduce by up to 50%, which is nothing to laugh about. Muzzle brakes really are effective at making your rifle easier to shoot. However, muzzle brakes are also not without their cons, and it’s important that you be aware of what these cons are.
One major downside to muzzle brakes is that they do make your gunshots much louder. Furthermore, they can enable the redirected gases to come back at you. The only way around this is to prepare yourself for it and to wear the appropriate hearing protection. Your rifle will become even louder if you utilize a muzzle brake and compensator hybrid. Also, take note that other people at the range may not appreciate you firing such a loud rifle. It’s best to just keep this in mind.
Another downside to muzzle brakes is that they add weight and length to your rifle. This is inevitable, but you can mitigate it by investing in a muzzle brake that is more compact and lightweight.
A commonly cited alternative option to using a muzzle brake is to use a ported barrel. However, ported barrels will create greatly increased muzzle flash. This can easily disorient you in darker conditions. Muzzle brakes do create muzzle flash as well, but significantly less than muzzle brakes.
So, is installing a muzzle brake totally necessary for your AR-15? No. However, if you want to reduce muzzle rise, adding a muzzle brake is a good option.
Now, why should you upgrade your muzzle brake?
The simple reason is that not all muzzle brakes are created equally. For example, your existing muzzle brake may be too long or too heavy, or it may not reduce recoil as much as you would like. Muzzle brakes vary from one another when it comes to factors such as size, weight, durability, and finish.
Overall, the top reasons to consider installing a new muzzle brake on your rifle are as follows:
- Your carbine or rifle has a significant amount of kick that you want to reduce
- You’re willing to make your rifle louder in exchange for making it a bit easier to shoot
- You want to fire faster follow up shots more accurately
Muzzle Brakes vs. Other Kinds of Muzzle Devices
Most folks confuse muzzle brakes with other kinds of muzzle devices. This can become even more confusing when you are using a hybrid muzzle device such as a muzzle brake and compensator.
The main difference between a compensator and a muzzle brake is that the compensator redirects the gases from your rifle upwards. Hence, preventing the rifle from climbing upwards. Meanwhile, a muzzle brake redirects the gases away from the sides of the barrel. Using a muzzle brake and compensator hybrid helps to reduce both recoil and muzzle rise.
Flash suppressors are another type of accessory muzzle brakes that get mixed up. You install flash suppressors on the end of your rifle as well. However, their purpose is to reduce muzzle flash. Additionally, they do not have any impact upon the recoil or the muzzle rise of your AR. The main purpose behind a flash suppressor is to make your rifle easier to shoot in darker or dim conditions, where the bright muzzle flash could quite easily disorient you and throw your shots off.
You can also combine muzzle brakes with flash suppressors to create other kinds of hybrid devices as well. In addition, a muzzle brake and flash suppressor hybrid could be the ideal muzzle device to add to the end of your rifle for tactical missions. This is because a hybrid can reduce both flash and recoil (albeit at the expense of much louder gunshots due to the muzzle brake).
What is a Featureless Muzzle Brake?
A featureless muzzle brake is a muzzle brake that is legal in states and jurisdictions with tight laws such as California, New York, Hawaii, Illinois, or New Jersey. Furthermore, certain cities may have tighter laws in less restricted states as well.
Muzzle brakes are currently legal throughout the United States, but flash suppressors or flash hiders are not legal in all states. When you see or hear the term ‘featureless muzzle brake’ it often always refers to a muzzle brake without the addition of a flash hider or suppressor. Therefore ensuring that it can be legal.
Of course, the laws can vary widely by jurisdiction, city, or state. At the end of the day, the responsibility is yours to research whether the muzzle device you want is legal in your area.
Buyer’s Guide For The Best AR-15 Muzzle Brakes
These are the most important factors to consider when looking for a new muzzle brake for your AR-15:
- Attachment Style: You need to make sure that your muzzle brake is designed to thread onto your barrel. Not all muzzle brakes affix to a barrel in the same manner. For some types, you can easily thread them on or off. However, others will need a gunsmith in order to get it installed properly. Ideally, it’s best to look for a muzzle brake with a twist-on and off design.
- Length and Weight: Muzzle brakes can add weight and length to your AR-15. Nonetheless, choosing a more compact and lighter muzzle brake can prevent added bulkiness. With this in mind, choosing compact muzzle brakes is a better choice.
- Flash Suppression: Certain muzzle brakes will come with a flash suppressor, which means that your visibility will not be disoriented in any way when shooting your rifle in darker conditions. While it’s not a necessary feature to have, there’s also no denying that a flash suppressor is preferred in most tactical situations.
- Durability and Rust Resistant: It’s also best to get a muzzle brake that is very durable. The best muzzle brakes are built out of high quality steel, with a corrosion resistant finish that will enable it to hold up much better against inclement weather.
The 4 Best AR-15 Muzzle Brakes
Now that we’ve covered why you need to upgrade your muzzle brake for your AR-15, here are our top three choices for an AR-15 muzzle brake in 2020:
Another addition on our list of the best AR-15 Muzzle Brakes is the Muzzle Brake .223/.556 1/2-28 w/ Washer and Jam Nut. This creation is made of heat-treated high-quality steel that makes it very strong and durable. Another thing that we can’t miss on this muzzle brake is its precision CNC-machined from a high-strength steel bar for superior hit and corrosion resistance. This enables it to hold up much better against inclement weather. It has a black nitride finish that is very aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
The Muzzle Brake w/ Washer reduces the maximum amount of felt recoil while allowing the shooter to maintain an accurate sight picture of the intended target at the same time. Since it reduces recoil and climb, it improves the shooter’s shooting and control skills. It is very easy to install. So for beginners, I recommend this muzzle brake as you won’t have to deal with drilling for installation.
The GGD Muzzle Brake is a good purchase. Though it can be a little expensive, it deserves the right price for the quality it delivers. This package comes with a washer and jam nut. You can avail of it now at a 50% off price so don’t miss it!
- Made of high quality steel
- Reduce the maximum amount of felt recoil
- Allows the shooter to maintain an accurate sight picture of the intended target
- Precision CNC machined from high strength steel bar for superior heat and corrosion resistance
- Easy to install, no drilling required
- Can be expensive
The Threaded Muzzle Brake .223/.556 1/2-28 w/ Washer and Jam Nut. Like the previous ones, this is also made of heat-treated high-quality steel, making it powerful and durable. The precision CNC-machined from a high-strength steel bar provides superior hit and corrosion resistance. This enables them to hold up much better against inclement weather. It also has a black nitride finish that is very aesthetically pleasing to the eye. It has a compact design and the vent design dispursing the gasses works well. This one is bigger and heavier than the previous one. It weighs 7.02 ounces and has dimensions of 2.76in L x1.38in W x0.94in H.
The Threaded Muzzle Brake w/ Washer and Jam Nut helps reduce the maximum amount of felt recoil. Since it reduces recoil and climb, it improves the shooter’s shooting and control skills. It is very easy to install.
The Threaded Muzzle Brake w/ Washer and Jam Nut is also a good purchase, though it is the same price as the previous Muzzle Brake in this list it deserves its price for the quality it delivers. This package also comes with a washer and jam nut and you can get it now at a 50% off.
- Made of CNC-machined materials
- Rust and corrosion resistant
- Easy to install
- Black nitride finish
- No drilling needed for installation
- Muzzle brake/compensator hybrid
- Reduces both muzzle rise and side blast
- Creates nearly zero muzzle flash
- Built out of alloy steel for good durability
- Melonite finish is very rust resistant
- Noise from each shot fired will be much louder due to the compensator
Built completely in the US state of Idaho, the Nemo DC-1 AR-15 Muzzle Brake is a high-quality muzzle brake built out of lightweight and yet very durable 6AL-4V Titanium. Designed to affix onto most common mil-spec AR-15 barrels, the DC-1 is compatible with the 5.56/.223 rounds and assorted smaller calibers.
The DC-1 utilizes a twin top port design, which works by redirecting the gases from the bore upwards to keep the rearward movement from your AR-15 mitigated. It has a bead-blasted finish and measures just over two inches long.
It may be quite expensive for a muzzle brake, but the Nemo DC-1 still delivers. This is a compact and durable muzzle brake built out of very strong titanium. The twin top port design is extremely effective at reducing recoil out of your AR-15. As an added bonus, the DC-1 is completely American-made.
- Very lightweight
- Has an appealing laser engraved logo
- Built completely in the United States
- Bead blasted finish
- Twin top ports direct the gasses upward to stabilize recoil
- Built out of durable titanium
- Very expensive
And that concludes our list of the top three best muzzle brakes for an AR-15 in 2021.
My top pick is the 556 .223 1/2×28 Muzzle Brake w/ Crush Washer and Nut. It’s affordable and comes equipped with CNC-machined hardware. It also does a great job in reducing the maximum amount of felt recoil. Plus, it looks aesthetically pleasing, so it can match your rifle’s looks.
Any one of these muzzle brakes will be a solid choice for your AR-15, or alternatively, you can always follow the buyer’s guide that we outlined before as well to help you find a suitable option as well. The best muzzle brakes will be durable, rust-resistant, and do a good job of reducing muzzle flip so you can keep your shots on target.