Best AR-15 Muzzle Brakes [2022]

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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 we have your top picks for the best AR-15 muzzle brake.

If you are new here, 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 best AR-15 muzzle brakes that you can get in 2022. We’ll also dig into some of the why and how that you should know to pick the best muzzle brake for your goals.

Top Pick
GGD Muzzle Brake
  • Simple and easy
  • Massive reduction in felt recoil
  • Maintain sight picture
  • No flats for instalation
  • Kicks up dust
$64 Shop NowClick to read my review
VG6 Gamma
  • Compact
  • Well Priced
  • Effective for a small size
  • Less effective than larger brakes
$85 Shop NowClick to read my review
2X Dev Group VF18-X
  • Multi directional
  • Robust design
  • Expensive
$150 Shop NowClick to read my review
Precision Armament M4-72 Severe-Duty
  • Highly effective
  • Compact
  • Expensive
$93 Shop NowClick to read my review
Ultradyne Apollo S
  • Maximum effectiveness
  • Easy to install
  • Self timing
  • Expensive
  • Very long
$99 Shop NowClick to read my review
Area 419 Hellfire Match
  • Competition ready
  • Self timing
  • Ultra durable
  • Very expensive
  • Heavy
$195 Shop NowClick to read my review

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What Is the Muzzle Brake and What Purposes Does It Serve?

Attached to the end of your barrel a muzzle brake redirects the gasses after the bullet leaves the bore to redirect the energy and make it benefit the shooter. Normally this means redirecting the gasses to the side and/or backward to reduce felt recoil.

Where exactly the gases are sent depends on the muzzle brake. Some only go to the side, some to the side and back, some to the side, back, and up — it can get crazy.

A few of my favorite muzzle brakes

Bottom line — you’re forcing the gasses to work for you.

The effect of this is a massive reduction in felt recoil and can mean a large reduction in muzzle flip also.

While 5.56 NATO is not a hard-hitting recoil cartridge, reducing it even a little does help keep the rifle on target for fast follow-up shots.

The difference between a well-tuned AR-15 and an untuned one is massive once you actually shoot them. Getting rapid hits on target is made a lot easier when there is literally no felt recoil.

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.

Note the massive ports on the side and the smaller ones on top

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 that get mixed up. As the name suggests, 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 preserve your night vision when shooting in low light by reducing the flash as seen by the shooter.

You can also combine muzzle brakes with flash suppressors to create other kinds of hybrid devices as well.

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.

Technically, “featureless muzzle brake” isn’t really a category. But they are legal on “featureless rifles” so that’s what we’re calling them.

Some muzzle brakes have flash hider properties also. Many do not. This is a massive legal grey area with very poor definitions. But generally speaking, if the manufacture doesn’t advertise that it has flash suppression, then it doesn’t and it can be considered just a muzzle brake.

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. While the standard for AR-15s is a 1/2×28 thread, if you’re looking to put these on anything else you should double check the specs. The standard for AR-10s is 5/8×24 thread.
  • Length and Weight: Muzzle brakes can add weight and length to your AR-15. Weight is generally easy to ignore since even the heavist doesn’t add much, but if you’re really counting ounces it can matter. Length is something to pat attention to since a 5″ muzzle brake adds a LOT to the end of your rifle.
  • Flash Suppression: Certain muzzle brakes will come with a flash suppressor, which means that your vision will impacted less when shootingin darker conditions. While it’s not a necessary feature to have, there’s also no denying that a flash suppressor is nice.

Best AR-15 Muzzle Brakes

GGD 5.56 NATO / .223 Rem Muzzle Brake

This is a very simple and barebones muzzle brake that does a great job of reducing felt recoil and being super simple to install.

Plus, if you like your rifle having clean lines — this is perfect.

Simply twist on the brake until it’s tight and you’re done. No timing is required.

Of course, that is also the downsize. Because the GGD is symmetrical there is no timing needed, but this also means that there are vents pointed downward no matter what. If you shoot prone in dust, this will throw a lot of crud in the air.

But for a square range and having fun, this is wonderful.

VG6 Gamma

One of the cheaper options on the market, VG6 is owned by Aero Precision and makes a long list of great muzzle brakes.

VG6 Gamma Muzzle Brake

The Gamma version is their pure muzzle brake, version no flash hider integrated. 

I like these because they are simple, inexpensive, and work really well. They don’t reduce the most recoil or keep the barrel as flat as some other options, but they still do a great job and remain fairly compact also.

I have at least 5 Gammas across my rifles and is definitely my “standard” that I use when I don’t feel the need for something more niche.

X2 Dev Group VF18 X

Using a whole lot of science and testing, X2 Dev Group makes one helluva muzzle brake.

Not relying on the standard large baffle design, X2 Dev Group totally redesigned how to approve muzzle brakes and came out with the VF18 X.

X2 Dev Group VF18-X Muzzle Brake

As the name suggests, this is an X patterned muzzle brake that gives you vents at roughly the 2, 5, 7, and 10-o’clock. 

While it might look odd, this does a lot of work and keeps the muzzle very controllable no matter what angle you’re shooting at but also doesn’t throw up as much dust when prone as some other brakes do.

And on top of it, all the VF18 X has some flash hider properties that also take reduce the amount of flash you have in low-light.

Plus, it looks pretty cool.

Precision Armament M4-72 Severe-Duty Compensator

One of the gold standards of AR-15 muzzle brakes, the M4-72 Severe-Duty reduces a massive amount of felt recoil and keeps your barrel down and on target.

It’s also built like a tank.

Due to how the vents are cut the M4-72 delivers some of the best recoil reduction you can find while also keeping the overall size of the brake way down.

They can get a little expensive if you’re putting one on multiple rifles, but if you need just one compact awesome option, this is a great choice.

Ultradyne Apollo S

Do you really hate when people stand near you when shooting? Then this is the brake for you.

Ultradyne Apollo S — yes, this is really in 5.56 NATO.

Ultradyne Apollo S gives me the most felt recoil reduction I’ve ever had with a muzzle brake, so much so that it feels like I’m barely even shooting a rifle.

It is also the most horrible brake to stand next to ever. I’m honestly surprised that the concussion doesn’t give people a TBI.

If you really, really need to stop all felt recoil — this is it. But I’m sorry for anyone else at the range that day.

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Area 419 Hellfire Match

If you want overkill without clearing the range, here it is.

Now those are some big ports

For a standard AR-15 in 5.56 NATO the Hellfire Match might be a bit extra. But if you’re shooting 6.5 Grendel, 6mm ARC, or even 5.56 NATO at long range — this is a great brake.

Designed for PRS competition the Hellfire Match deletes felt recoil and keeps the rifle super flat and on target.

The downside is that it’s pretty bulky and heavy.

But with an included self-timing nut, it’s crazy easy to install.

Wrapping Up

I love muzzle brakes and I have one on every rifle that I own that can use one. I like having rifles that are as easy to manage as possible and a good muzzle brake does that for me.

Best bang for your buck is the GGD Muzzle Break. But, no matter what muzzle brake you choose, any of the ones on this list will serve you well and make shooting easier, faster, and more fun.

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