Reducing AR recoil


September 7, 2008, 12:37 AM
Hi all. Im having trouble keeping the muzzle down when firing my AR. I got to try out a 20" A1 style rifle at the range and it didnt feel to much heavier than mine but it had more of a slow push while mine has a sharper jab to it which makes the muzzle buck up. I was told that it was caused by the shorter gas tube of the carbine causing harsher cycling of the bolt. Is this true? What could I do to change it? Any help would be appreciated.

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September 7, 2008, 12:40 AM
What you heard is correct, but all that being true, the recoil of an AR is still extremely mild. All you can really do is add weight to the rifle to counteract it.

For Freedom
September 7, 2008, 12:41 AM
You could certainly get a compensator or muzzle break.

September 7, 2008, 12:42 AM
A shorter barrel rifle will have more recoil than a longer barrel but there are a few tricks.You can use a heavier buffer. Check to see which buffer you have. Pop out the pins and look inside your lower receiver by the buttstock and see what buffer you have. You may have an H then go up to a H2.

September 7, 2008, 12:45 AM
screw a Miculek comp on there and if you have an A2 stock , fill the cavity with lead shot.

September 7, 2008, 12:48 AM
Pigtail Gas tube (

September 7, 2008, 12:48 AM
JTW- I have the collapsible stock.
Kino- How do you tell if its an H buffer.
Brentwal- Do those work?

September 7, 2008, 12:53 AM
Brentwal- Do those work?

Yes, the lower impulse pressure makes life a lot easier for you and your rifle.

September 7, 2008, 01:01 AM
The solutions that have already been offered all work.

Another issue may be your technique handling the weapon. Does the muzzle rise mostly present itself when shooting from standing? Can you give us some details on the set up you're running on your rifle? Do you use a forward pistol grip (can help)? Etc.

September 7, 2008, 01:01 AM
Ouch. 80 bucks for a tube that normally would be 10 bucks at the most when straight. I still have a bunch of tubing benders from when I was a mechanic so Id almost be tempted to do it myself. Atleast then if I succeeded everything would be good and if I screwed up I wouldnt be out much.

Edit- Horse- It is 16", no FPG, standing or at a bench it seems pretty similar to me.

September 7, 2008, 02:19 AM
To see if you have H buffer:
Push rear push pin and lift up receiver up. Now look inside your lower receiver right at the buffer tube. This is at the rear right where your buttstock attaches to your lower receiver. If you don't see an H marked on the tube, then you probably have the old CAR15 buffer.

September 7, 2008, 02:23 AM
I dont seen anything. I guess Ill try an H buffer and see what that does.

September 7, 2008, 08:39 AM
The Enidine ARrestor really works. It is heavier than the normal buffer, and its built-in "shock absorber" makes a BIG difference.

I'd also suggest a compensator of some sort. I like the PWS comps (DNTC or FSC). Combined with the ARrestor, you can almost totally eliminate recoil. You can certainly turn a carbine into a real pussycat.

Bartholomew Roberts
September 7, 2008, 10:25 AM
The most effective way to eliminate recoil via equipment on an AR is with a good compensator. I've tried everything from different gas systems to heavier buffers, etc. Don't get me wrong, all of those things will make a difference; they just won't make a dramatic difference except for the comp.

The single biggest difference is a good compensator. The downside is that most good compensators are obnoxiously loud for other shooters and usually noticeably louder for the shooter in question.

The one exception to this, also happens to be the best compensator - a sound suppressor. Unfortunately, those have regulatory issues of their own and hanging 20oz of weight off the muzzle often creates more stance/balance issues than the suppressor solves by recoil reduction.

One other option to keep in mind is formal training, a good 3-day training course can teach you a proper stance that will let you minimize recoil using your body and get you back on target for quick follow-ups even with much stronger recoil than a 5.56mm AR - and that skill is transferable to other rifles as well and a lot more useful than a new piece of gear.

September 7, 2008, 10:46 AM
Shoot a larger caliber weapon first...When I had my AK I would throw out 70-90 rounds of 7.62 then switch to the AR...Feels liek you are shooting a .22 after that...

Seriously though you could try a bigger buttstock pad or a heavier buffer...My 10.3 SBR really doesn't have too much kick to it but it has a KX3 on it, standard CAR buffer, and ACE M4 stock with a 1/2 pad.

In general the AR really doesn't have that much recoil to it at all...

September 7, 2008, 11:34 AM
Its not the recoil thats bothering me. I was just having trouble controlling the muzzle jump.

September 7, 2008, 11:56 AM
I've been shooting my Romanian AK for a long time now, and I recently shot a Bushmaster M4 clone, and it felt a lot like shooting a .22LR. I didn't notice any real muzzle jump compared to my AK rifle, but I guess people perceive things differently.

Speaking of the AR, I can't wait to pick up my Smith & Wesson M&P15 on Friday! :D

September 7, 2008, 12:27 PM
My favorite way to tame the recoil is a levang compensator. Its not gawd awful noisy and doesn't give you a headache every time you shoot it like others, it is actually better than not having any muzzle device. It reduces the recoil and rise a fair amount, not as much as a regular comp. If I'm shooting off a bipod without the levang using a 10x scope I loose sight of the target(I usually don't hold on too tight when target shooting). with it it stays right on.

Mine is slightly different than what you'll find at dpms, I made mine so it might be a little better or a little worse, never tried a DPMS levang comp. I'd recommend one of these to anyone.

I made a muzzle break a while back that actually causes the muzzle to drop, sure is noisy though!


September 7, 2008, 01:19 PM
The full size Century C15 I just bought has a nice thick heavy barrel. The rifle probably weighs 9 pounds or so!

Works great! The h-bar adds enough weight that rapid fire semi-auto shooting is a breeze.

I went from a petite, light weight Daewoo K1A1 carbine to Centurys equivelent of a Colt AR-15 hbar sporter. The experience is different for sure. The heavy long rifle is sweet shooting!

September 7, 2008, 01:45 PM
Ditto spec. I was shooting 00 magnum buckshot out of my 870 one day and switched to an AR after that, only way I knew I had fired was the sound :evil:

September 7, 2008, 05:42 PM
AR recoil--huh????

September 7, 2008, 05:49 PM
Forget gimmicks. Practice, practice, practice. Learning how to handle recoil is a fundamental aspect of shooting. Not to mention that AR's don't have any recoil, just a little muzzle flip.

September 7, 2008, 05:50 PM
seriously... recoil? haha just practice more, AR's are very controllable guns. I have never actually heard anyone said the recoil of an AR is to much...

September 7, 2008, 06:36 PM
I probably shouldve phrased my thread title better, it seems some people just read the title and post a reply without reading my post while lending nothing to the discussion.:mad: Ill say it again, I can handle the recoil just fine, I just wanted to know how to reduce the muzzle rise. I have an M44, a Saiga, and a NEF Pardner which I fire 3" magnum slugs out of just for kicks, so an AR doesnt bother me. For those of you who responded to my question with helpful advice thank you.

September 7, 2008, 06:39 PM
Ill say it again, I can handle the recoil just fine, I just wanted to know how to reduce the muzzle rise.

In that case, I'll reword my response:

Forget gimmicks. Practice, practice, practice. Learning how to control a little muzzle flip is a fundamental aspect of shooting.


September 7, 2008, 07:06 PM
In terms of devices, a compensator will do more with less hassle than most other options. But the already loud report of a 16" AR becomes a LOUD LOUD report. Shooting at a range while using a shell deflector (mesh screen) a couple feet right of my Armalite with a factory brake (ban era), it blows the screen (again, mesh!) almost a foot with each shot. You do not want be within 10' directly on either side when I'm shooting it. Other 16" AR's without brakes are not quite as loud, but do have more muzzle jump. The Armalite brake is very efficient and the recoil of that rifle is seriously not much if any more than a .22 LR.

I'll go +1 on the training too...

September 7, 2008, 07:07 PM
heehee, down from a poke to a tickle!

September 7, 2008, 08:09 PM
Like i said PRACTICE.

September 7, 2008, 08:15 PM
Forget gimmicks. Practice, practice, practice. Learning how to control a little muzzle flip is a fundamental aspect of shooting.

and if that doesn't work, you can go the sissy route and get a muzzle brake.

September 7, 2008, 08:58 PM
Edit- Horse- It is 16", no FPG, standing or at a bench it seems pretty similar to me.

The forward grip would help with flip -- get one and run it out on the rail as far forward as it will go and you should get less flip. Won't reduce recoil, but ergonomically it puts your body in a better position to control the rise.

September 7, 2008, 09:04 PM
Double tap

September 7, 2008, 09:38 PM
I dont have a railed handguard. Just standard carbine handguards.

September 7, 2008, 09:48 PM
9mm buffer.

Chris Rhines
September 7, 2008, 09:57 PM
Other than a good muzzle brake, I've found that a lightweight bolt carrier and buffer make a big difference in muzzle climb.

My match gun sports a JP aluminum bolt carrier and light buffer, along with an SJC Titan comp. It has about the same muzzle climb as a .22LR.

Be warned, light bolt carriers may affect your rifle reliability. It hasn't in mine, but you never know until you try...

- Chris

September 7, 2008, 10:01 PM
how are you standing when you shoot? I find that I get alot of muzzle flip regardless of the rifle in question when I shoot in a weaver style stance. However when I square myself more to the target, like a boxing stance, I have almost no muzzle flip at all, even with the M1.

Its to the point that the only time I shoot from the bladed stance is with the 10/22 and I'm going for small groups, otherwise I'm facing the target straight on.

September 7, 2008, 10:24 PM
Everyone has mentioned either gadgets or practice. Both of which will work. I'd bet changing your foregrip location would help alot.

My P85 would get terrible muzzle flip, so much so in fact that I'd use my offhand trigger finger to try and pull the pistol down at the trigger guard. One of the range officials simply said "If that ain't working try the other". Anyways, instead of pulled down on the trigger guard, I started pushing up slightly. The pistol became more controllable and more accurate. Don't know why and it seems counter-intuitive, but it worked.

Point is, if gripping the foreend is causing excessive muzzleflip, try holding it at the magwell, or reverse. It may seem awkward, but it could help. Also, change the position of the buttstock in your shoulder pocket. I find that having mine ride high in the shoulder pocket is more stable.

September 8, 2008, 07:40 AM
I also used a cheapy but very nice UTG vertical grip when I had a 16" AR. It was comfortable and aided in keeping the front end down...On the SBR though it was too short to and light to really justify the VG.

Also I'm sure the barrel has something to do with it too. I would think an HBAR or Bull wouldn't kick up nearly as much due to the increased weight up front...

Bartholomew Roberts
September 8, 2008, 08:13 AM
Look into training on what is called a "fighting" stance or "boxing" stance, like rero360 mentioned. Pat Rogers has an excellent article in an older issue of SWAT describing the stance. From a stationary position, you can virtually eliminate recoil with good stance. Now when you are moving, the gun is moving and the target is moving... well good stance will work there too; but a compensator sure makes it easier to control with something less than a perfect stance.

Ben Shepherd
September 8, 2008, 09:07 AM
I'm on board with everyone reccomending a good comp. And a supressor would be the best at this. But if you honestly go that route, be warned that your chamber/action gets dirty faster.

The Wiry Irishman
September 8, 2008, 10:39 AM
For a good illustration of how well brakes (or compensators) can work to reduce muzzle rise, check out the "Recoil Management" video here:

Toward the end of the video they have a guy dumping a mag through a comped shorty M16, one-handed, with no muzzle rise. Also provides a good illustration of what makes them so loud.

Taurus 617 CCW
September 8, 2008, 10:54 AM
The AR-15's we build with my company have virtually zero muzzle climb, even on full auto. We make our own muzzle breaks, redesigned the gas system, and added a few touches of our own to make it run like a well oiled machine, but it runs dry. We have 11" barrels that recoil like a 24" sniper barrel. It's possible, you just have to have the right components.

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