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Best Linear Compensator for Bullpup, Rifle and Shotgun

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If you regularly shoot guns with shorter barrels, then you’re aware of the noise and flash they produce. You might also notice that short-barreled firearms can be more difficult to handle. Luckily, adding a linear compensator can help tame your bullpup, rifle, and shotgun. It minimizes gunshot noise and reduces explosive flash. Getting one can also improve your aim by stabilizing and generally enhancing your shooting experience.

Let’s take a look at some of the top models covered in this review:

  • Hera Arms Linear Compensator Gen 2: An efficient compensator for throwing both noise and blast forward
  • Levang Linear Compensator: A compensator that effectively controls both the muzzle flip and the felt recoil
  • Ultradyne Athena Linear Compensator: A durable compensator with two model versions and features optimal sonic performance
  • Kaw Valley Precision Linear Compensator: Great compensator for 9mms that’s efficient when used for high-powered rounds
  • Tacfire 5.56 linear compensator: A simple, affordable, and easy-to-use compensator
Best Linear Compensator for Bullpup, Rifle and Shotgun Linear Compensators
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What Is a Linear Compensator?

Linear compensators are generally categorized as muzzle devices. A lot of folks use it to reduce muzzle rise. Some call it a muzzle flip or muzzle climb. Nevertheless, all these terms describe one thing, how the front of a firearm’s barrel rises after taking a shot. In addition, recoil causes muzzle rise, especially after firing multiple shots.

Muzzle devices vent high-pressure gas forward at reduced speed. These can help control recoil energy and reduce the perceived noise of a gun. They also help reduce the flash of light produced when firing a weapon. Note that a linear compensator is not the same as a suppressor as it doesn’t suppress sound. Instead, a linear compensator redirects the sound. In addition, they reduce concussions and help minimize the shot’s perceived decibel level. Hence, giving gun owners a more comfortable shooting experience.

Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Linear Compensator

First, let’s talk about the main points to consider when choosing the best linear compensator for your firearm.

Size and Weight

Linear compensators are available in different lengths, diameters, and weights. You should find one that fits your weapon nicely. They generally measure between 2 to 4.25 inches long and have a diameter of up to 1.4 inches.

The lightest linear compensators weigh only 1.8 ounces, while the heavy ones can weigh up to 3 ounces. When you add a compensator to the front of the barrel, you’ll move the balance of the gun forward. This can result in less rise after shooting, but most folks prefer to use lightweight compensators as the extra weight can affect their shooting negatively as well.

Point of Aim

You need to realign or index your compensator every time you remove or reattach it. You need to put the ports in the correct position while lined up with the barrel. In addition, you may find the need to use shims to achieve proper alignment. You’ll also need to screw the compensator to the barrel of your gun correctly. It’s important to consider ease of attachment.

Now let’s go through some of the frequently asked questions about linear compensators.

It’s worth noting that some states banned the use of flash hiders. However, linear compensators aren’t considered to be flash hiders. Hence, these are legal for use in most weapon builds. You can use linear compensators under AWB rules and regulations.

Do Linear Compensators Reduce Recoil?

Linear compensators may help to reduce recoil slightly. However, it won’t wholly mitigate it. These components work by redirecting recoil energy rearward. When a gun is fired, it utilizes pressure to set the bullet in a forward motion and push it out through the barrel. Then, as you fire a shot, the entire gun thrusts backward with an equal amount of rearward energy. Thus, redirecting this energy can make shooting more comfortable.

Do Linear Compensators Affect Accuracy?

High-quality linear compensators can help you achieve increased accuracy in repeated shots. This is achieved through reduced muzzle movement, making it easier to hit the next target. It also dulls perceived recoil while reducing noise. This may mean that you can concentrate more on your shots and hopefully hit more targets. Now how many extra targets you’ll hit using a compensator is debatable, but at least the accuracy is unlikely to be reduced.

Linear Compensator vs. Accurized Ballistics

Nowadays, most gun barrels — even bolt and lever-action rifles — come with threading. You can customize the gun by adding either a linear compensator or accurized ballistics.

Both kind of do the same job, but the linear compensator does it a bit better. It is similar in aim assist, but better in reducing the recoil.

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Best Linear Compensator

These are my top picks.

Linear CompensatorBest FeaturePrice
Hera Arms Linear Compensator Gen 2Throws both noise and blast forward$119.95
Levang Linear CompensatorRedirects the noise away from the shooter$29.49
Ultradyne Athena Linear CompensatorA durable device that features optimal sonic performance$98.99
Kaw Valley Precision Linear CompensatorA lightweight and robust device that is built to last$39.00
Tacfire 5.56 Linear CompensatorA simple, affordable and easy-to-use linear compensator$21.98

Hera Arms Linear Compensator Gen 2

First on this list is the Hera Arms linear compensator. It measures 3.5 inches with a diameter of 1.26 inches. It’s designed for short-barreled guns and pistol ARs. In addition, it’s slightly heavier than comparable products weighing 6.9 ounces. The extra weight may be a problem for some. However, you also get extra rail clearance.

In addition, Hera Arms is efficient for throwing both noise and blast forward. This device is a great way to mitigate recoil, flash, and blow-back simultaneously. It’s also a high-performance product with twelve separate expansion chambers. Furthermore, it is longer than most of the others.

This results in its superb ability to suppress flashes — something you’ll notice in low-light situations. It’s also effortless to install. Just screw it on, and you’re done. Moreover, it’s one of the best compensators suited for the AR 15. It’s designed specifically for AR and SBR pistols.

  • Features a stylish look
  • Easy to install
  • Contains twelve expansion chambers
  • Provides additional rail clearance
  • Relatively heavy
  • Expensive

Levang Linear Compensator

Levang is an excellent product that efficiently directs noise away as you shoot. This compensator has one large expansion chamber. It helps control both the muzzle flip and the felt recoil.

When using the Levang linear compensator, you can still hear a snap but without the concussion of the shot. In addition, Levang’s products are durable and long-lasting. So you’ll surely get plenty of years of use from this compensator. It’s also easy to install, so it’s great for beginners.

  • Efficiently redirects shot noise
  • Easy to install and use
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Needs a wrench to match the ports to make installation easier
  • It would be better if it was available in other bore diameters as its only available for 5.56 and .308

Ultradyne Athena Linear Compensator

The next one is the Ultradyne Athena linear compensator that has two model options. Both model variants are splendidly made and durable. Ultradyne products offer AR-15 compensators compatible with the Remington model. Alternatively, you can also opt for the AR-10 .308 Winchester.

This 4.3-ounce linear compensator is made of stainless steel with a black Nitride finish. You can ensure its durability and excellent value for money. Additionally, It’s perfect for anyone looking to upgrade their rifle.

Athena produces some of the best linear compensators on the market. The company’s products often come with a sleek and stylish look compared to some of the others. You can easily screw the device to your gun as it comes with a shrouded timing nu.

This compensator sports optimal sonic performance due to the angle of the vents.

  • Comes in two different models
  • Made of durable stainless steel with Nitride finish
  • Has optimal sonic performance
  • Some folks might find it heavy on the front end

Kaw Valley Precision Linear Compensator

Kaw Valley Precision is a top-rated brand in the gun industry, producing premium linear compensators at an affordable price. Their compensators are an excellent choice for 9mm’s. In addition, it has a sleek design. It’s also lightweight and compact. The company has achieved its design aims with its product and has become popular with gun owners. Moreover, the company manufactures successful linear components for various shooting disciplines such as competitive shooting, law enforcement, and indoor shooting.

This product has an attractive melonite QPQ coating, making it durable and resistant to corrosion. The Kaw Valley linear compensator is 2 â…› inches long and has a diameter of 0.95 inches. It can be easily installed and removed as the compensator comes with a wrench for tightening it down.

What makes this product stand out is that there’s a choice of two different thread pitches. You can either choose between a 1/2 x 36″ or a 5/8×24″. Plus, a unique radial fluting. In addition, eight weight-reducing flutes effectively keep the gasses away from the shooter. This is very noticeable if you’re using a shorter barreled rifle.

Kaw Valley produces precision compensators in various sizes. It’s a great starter model as it’s reasonably priced. Moreover, it’s efficient when used for high-powered rounds as you’ll be able to fire off multiple shots without worrying about recoil.

  • Comes in two different models
  • Made of durable stainless steel with Nitride finish
  • Has optimal soni+Comes in a variety of sizes
  • Very effective when used for high powered rounds
  • Robust and built to last a long time
  • Lightweight and easy to install
  • Has a chunky look which some may not like

Tacfire 5.56 Linear Compensator

If you’re searching for a 5.56 linear compensator, then you might consider this option. Tacfire has five different models available:

  • .308 Winchester with 5/8×24″ threads: Finished with black coating and weighs 3.5 ounces.
  • .308 Winchester with 5/8×24″ threads: Has a stainless steel finish and lightweight at only 2.9 ounces
  • 5.56x45mm NATO with 1/2X28″ threads: Finished with a black coating and weighs 3.5 ounces
  • 5.56 NATO linear compensator: Made of stainless steel and weighs 3.7 ounces
  • 9mm linear compensator, Luger with 1/2×36″ threads: Has a stainless steel finish and weighs 3.7 ounces

All five models are made durable with stainless steel. These also enable efficient redirection of sound and concussion.

Tacfire is the best compensator brand for those on a budget. It’s also a good option if you want to try out a linear compressor to see how well it works before investing in a better model. Moreover, it fits a variety of guns.

  • Available in a choice of five models
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Doesn’t offer much recoil reduction


While linear compensators can’t suppress gun noises the way a silencer does, they can still protect your hearing. These remarkable devices redirect the sound, therefore reducing the perceived sound level of your shots. They also increase stability making it easier to aim multiple shots. Overall, linear compensators are a great way to have a more comfortable and fun shooting experience.

As you can see, there are many excellent linear compensators on the market. The top picks we mentioned are easy to use, durable and long-lasting. I hope this article has helped you choose the best one that suits your gun. If you want to know more about muzzle breaks, read our article about the Best AR-15 Muzzle Breaks [2021].

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