Best AR Muzzle Brake?


June 27, 2011, 08:08 AM
What's the best muzzle brake for the AR 15 out There?

So many options it's hard to decide?

What are your experiences guys?

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June 27, 2011, 09:01 AM
First, there is no Best. It changes every time one more is put on the market.

Second, what does it need to do? Recoil reduction, muzzle control, blast direction? And in what circumstances? If it's a competitive compensator, do you want or need to have your fellow shooters blasted at your side? All's fair in love and war, they say. Is there a future possibility a suppressor might be used? Ask then, why spend $50 to $125 for a muzzle device that won't be compatible, and sit in a box?

The reason there are so many types and designs is to market to a wide variety of different uses - identify exactly what is the priority, then narrow the field to those that offer the corresponding design, and that will leave the few that really are worth your consideration.

Just like vehicles, there's quite a few different kinds, if you are planning to haul sheetrock or lumber in it weekends, maybe a Fiesta isn't the best choice. Driving a 3/4 ton diesel dually may not work, either, because the nearest pump is 5 miles the wrong way. There is no best - just what works best for what you plan to do.

June 27, 2011, 09:15 AM
I have been 3 gunning for 9 months and have gone thru several and my shooting buddies have covered the others. Many will do a fine job of limiting recoil and muzzle lift.

I shooted tactical-optics so i limited my search to stay within the rules of my class.

I started with the Miculek which is a steal at its price, but it is does a fine job on recoil, but not as good for lift. I wanted a bit muzzle lift reduction for quick follow ups.

JP Cooley, Benny Hill, rolling thunder, Battle Comp are all great breaks and will cover most application

The JP tank brake is out of my class, but i have seen it work quite well.

After shooting my miculek and friends JP, Benny Hills, battle comp, etc, i settled on the SJC titan. I felt the most reduction in both lift and recoil with the SJC Titan. I shot several rifles with the titan and all had the same result.


June 27, 2011, 09:18 AM
Thanks Tirod for the input;

But my question was: What's the best MUZZLE BRAKE in your opinion?

I am only interested in Muzzle control (Recoil).

June 27, 2011, 09:19 AM
Thanks Gotigers!!!

June 27, 2011, 09:20 AM
Rock river arms tactical muzzle break. I found it to work the best. Jp

June 27, 2011, 09:45 AM
I have three muzzle brakes (FSC556, Miculek and a DPMS Panther w/ slots). I agree with gotigers the Miculek which is a steal at its price, but it is does a fine job on recoil, but not as good for lift.

I prefer the FSC556, it reduces recoil plus I can dump and entire mag and there is minimal muzzle rise. The biggest drawback is that it is VERY loud.

The DPMS panther is mounted on a 20" barrel so it is tough to tell if the added barrel weight minimizes recoil/muzzle rise or if the brake is really that effective. Either way the the rifle is soft shooting and has minimal muzzle rise.

June 27, 2011, 10:04 AM
As inexpensive as the Miculek is, you can start with it and not lose much. Besides, it can always be sold on a forum if you want another.

Last I looked Cheaper Than Dirt had the Miculek for $25+/-. It is definitely worth that.

June 27, 2011, 12:47 PM
But my question was: What's the best MUZZLE BRAKE in your opinion?

I am only interested in Muzzle control (Recoil).
I may be wrong here, but I believe a device that purely reduces muzzle lift is generally referred to as a compensator, rather than a brake. Most muzzle brakes also reduce muzzle lift, but reduce longitudinal recoil as well.

June 27, 2011, 02:18 PM
JP Cooley Comp or the Jerry Miculek Comp. I run the Miculek and love it, but the Cooley is fantastic as well.

June 27, 2011, 02:48 PM
Yankee hill gets my vote.

June 27, 2011, 03:36 PM
Thanks Tirod for the input;

But my question was: What's the best MUZZLE BRAKE in your opinion?

I am only interested in Muzzle control (Recoil).

If you don't care for any other factors (size, blast, noise, flash, etc) and want the ultimate in muzzle control, this is probably it:

If you are wanting to use the rifle solely in limited or tactical divisions for 3 Gun, gotigers SJC Titan recommendation is the one I would go with also.

June 27, 2011, 05:12 PM
I like the DPMS Levange Linear; send the noise AWAY, not to the guy in the next lane.

Rail Driver
June 27, 2011, 05:39 PM
I just recently bought a miculek to try, but from what I've read in this thread, it won't help with muzzle rise much... Any ideas on a brake I can try that won't break the bank?

June 27, 2011, 05:41 PM
agreed there is no best as there are so many on the market to choose frome which are all good. got a sabre complete upper with their gill typ muzzle brake, this thing is awesome

June 27, 2011, 07:09 PM
Use search and you should find links to a very interesting test someone did (I think on Brian enos site) fixing a pen to the buttstock and placing the rifle on paper and measuring how long the mark it made was using same gun/ammo but swapping brakes

The giant jp brake was tied for second as I recall

Personally I prefer the fsc556 and the mac triple tap is good bit not worth the price

July 2, 2011, 11:02 PM
Guys, I'm making some...

The story: Lotta crap happened, and I'm now playing "Fifty Year Old Apprentice Machinist" with a buddy of mine who I met at the Knob Creek machine gun shoots... My background is precision shooting, all that fun anal-retentive stuff.

So, I was staring at the lathe and the CNC a while back, and I started hunting down the interior ballistic stuff, etc., etc., and cooked up several designs.

Nice having a million dollar shop at your disposal, you know?

You can see some initial pix at I've got several brakes, and one compensator design... The brakes will be more intrinsically accurate than the comps, but that's a function of the asymmetrical design for the comps. Please email me at or if you have any questions.

July 2, 2011, 11:28 PM
I have done long research for close to 2 years. There are some good ones but many that can screw up you system pretty badly in several ways.

Things to look for:
-Weight/Density should be way less than the equivalent section of barrel.
-Have plenty of bleeding in the right direction while is still effective.
-Bullet passage must meet certain tolerance requirements.
-Quality material, small footprint, easy maintenance.

A break could be more effective or not at reducing recoil and muzzle climb (faster follow up shots) but must not interfere whit the innate accuracy potential of the system.

I have arrived to what I consider a very nice design for my various configurations. I have fabricated some and some I order custom made from Mike at peak tactical that do an awesome job....

Hocka Louis
July 3, 2011, 12:15 AM
Just, wow!

July 3, 2011, 12:31 AM
Yeah, what he said... Some of those in the photo are more flash hider than muzzle brake - you need the ported internals with a properly sized muzzle hole for them to work well for recoil management. And compensators which have asymmetrical porting will result in asymmetrical accuracy - also known as fliers. Among the most intrinsically accurate are the spiral ported designs or a well-ported staggered design.

July 3, 2011, 01:17 AM
I can say which is definitely NOT BEST. AK STYLE Brake sucks real bad. Super hard report on shooters ears, does little else.

July 3, 2011, 10:00 AM
In the long row there are some standard flash hiders but most custom designs.
Many are not flash hiders, these have been tested by the dozens with different custom designs. I also tested popular ones like Vais, Harrels, JP, Brockman, OPS Tactical, Aquila, etc...

I was very surprised to find you how little the design has to do with the brake performance, sometimes fancy and 'expensive' designs that do literally NOTHING or more harm than good which is worse.
I have the results and statistical data to prove it.

I also found expensive ones that actually interfere with the innate accuracy of the system.
So, many folks end up buying expensive brakes, putting them in their systems and believing this is the greatest and many times can be true but also many times is the opposite.

I also tested the Boss break that can be tuned for harmonics. Great concept but too much meat and little performance for the average folks/use.

July 3, 2011, 11:38 AM
The .223 needs a recoil brake?

Eat more red meat, and get a pull-up bar.

July 3, 2011, 11:55 AM
I'm going to say the Miculek comp is the best on the market right at this very moment.

Since I like flash reduction with my muzzle control I use Yankee Hill Phantoms.

July 3, 2011, 12:28 PM
I really like how my PWS FSC308 performs on my 6.8SPC AR.

July 3, 2011, 12:41 PM
I used to have Smith Intl brakes on all mine, but got tired of the additional blast and dirty looks from guys on the firing line...

so I sold/traded them all off.:rolleyes:


451 Detonics
July 3, 2011, 01:59 PM
I am still fond of the old school AK type muzzle brake. It provides decent lift and recoil reduction, doesn't blow dust in prone usage, and I like the looks....

July 3, 2011, 03:25 PM
The A2X is a slightly extended version of the standard A2 flash hider. The A2X flash hider is best for me because it doesn't cost much, it doesn't look messed up and when permanently attached brings the overall length of a 14.5 barrel to a 16in which saves a lot of paperwork. It's irrelevant for the most part but in case it is relevant it seems like a trusted design.

July 3, 2011, 04:27 PM
I don't run a break at all. Other than being really loud, I have zero complaints.

July 3, 2011, 08:50 PM
I'm going to say the Miculek comp is the best on the market right at this very moment.
I am not sure how one arrived to this conclusion. What sort of testing method and comparative analysis has been done.
From all the testing I have done in dozens of brakes this is one of the worse. It showed negative impact on the accuracy. The tolerances for the bullet passage are not correct and it is too heavy. On the break side performs ok but still average. In places where the break must be pinned it leaves you with no maintenance option if you have to replace the gas block.
Just watch out for the new fashions, they come and go.

July 3, 2011, 08:56 PM
This one is a piston driven M4 with custom designed brake and my 10/22 kicks more than this. It doesn't show any negative impact in the accuracy and follow up shots are as easy as a 22LR even with M193, M855 and hotter loads....

July 4, 2011, 01:44 AM
My personal fav. Levang linear Comp.

July 4, 2011, 11:12 AM
If all you're concerned with is preventing recoil, there are plenty, as described. If anything, it makes my point - what's it going to be used for, which remains unanswered.

Considering the 5.56 has minimal recoil anyway, those needing to reduce it further are looking for tenths of a second in competitive shooting. Which works best in that sport can be deduced by being there. Internet recommendations are all over the map, by who owns what. Posters frequently have no clue what you need, they can't always be trusted to get the specifics of what you're doing - which hasn't been spelled out.

We've got what, over 15 recommendations? It's no better now than before. Back to square one with a more specific question - What Range, What Target?

July 5, 2011, 10:46 AM
The purpose of a system has no bearing over the performance of a muzzle brake.
A muzzle brake either performs as expected, better or worse, or it doesn't.
Also regardless of the performance as a break, the main objective is to make sure that it doesn't interfere with the innate accuracy of the system.
I found many brakes, even expensive ones, that do show a good reduction of recoil and climb but they also interfere with accuracy in several ways. At this point that break option must be discarded.

July 5, 2011, 11:38 AM
I disagree. The purpose of the system has a large influence. If it's a 12" SBR that's intended as a suppressed device, compatibility with the one used is paramount. It also limits which can be used.

A hunting carbine that will be shot without ear protection means most reasonable users would prefer reducing the db impact on their ears. A side discharging brake (can we please use the correct spelling?) is tested and documented to increase the perceived impact on hearing, exactly the opposite of what might be desired. Linear compensators tend to direct the noise forward, reducing the perceived level of noise. The difference is enough to relate it as ringing your ears with one shot, vs. firing two or three before noticing any effect.

If it's a three gun competition rifle, rules enter into it, specifically allowing only certain types. You can't just screw on anything you like in some circles. In those cases, keeping the muzzle down and limiting delay on reacquiring the target means you can accept more recoil as long as the sights don't move. It's a tradeoff - and some will manage a lot of both.

Further, if it's LEO/MIL used for CQB or infra urban use, teams are specifically ruling out the use of side discharge brakes because their teammate may literally be stacked at the muzzle. Ear pro or not, getting hit with the blast when it should be avoided will interfere with tactics in a room to room search. Pros DON'T use side discharge brakes/comps in that application.

What you use the gun for has a direct bearing on EVERY part you put on it. Some don't affect the final application as much as others, but it nonetheless either supports the overall use, or it detracts from it.

Case in point, the multipronged "CQB" pain compliance models that have many sharp edges. They may function ok in street combat on a face to face basis, but for the range? You'll need an armored gun case to accept the thing, or take it off every time. And too bad it falls over and snags your shin, or somebody bumps into you on the way packing it in the car. You better have protection over it, or be ready to explain to an E-room doctor why your 9 year old needs 15 stitches.

What is the firearm going to do? It has every bearing on what brake/comp/flashhider you select, just like what stock, trigger, scope, forearm, or even caliber.

July 5, 2011, 08:11 PM
The OP specifically asked for muzzle brake but I am not going to suggest what the purpose is, he/she only can explain that.
All that I am saying is to be careful with the muzzle brake as it can screw up the innate accuracy of the carbine and/or rifle.
I have tested dozens of them, big and small, long and short, ported one way and the other and found that while not specific porting design is better than the other there are several factors that one need to consider.

July 5, 2011, 11:36 PM
i applaud your willingness to actually test things, but i also completely disagree with your conclusions.

in addition to tirod's comments... i have no idea what innate accuracy you're talking about. we're not talking about benchrest here. we're talking about AR15s that you'd want a muzzle brake on. That implies dynamic shooting, where rapid follow up shots are more important than sub-MOA accuracy.

Realistically, i can't think of any purpose for an AR like that where holding the A-zone offhand at 50 yrds wouldn't be acceptable accuracy. (don't quote me, but i think that's around 2x3" so 4 MOA?)

so unless you're going to make the case that one of those brakes you tested pushed a 1 MOA AR15 into the 4+MOA range, I remain at a loss to understand your fixation on "innate accuracy"

July 5, 2011, 11:42 PM
It showed negative impact on the accuracy
I have not seen this, but then that is just me. The shooting I do is mostly "tactical" in that I shoot off, over, and under barriers and from some really goofy stances. I have only gone out to 400m or so but I have been pleased with the results.

July 6, 2011, 12:25 AM
Dynamic shooting or not, in some cases we are not talking about minute differences.
The accuracy potential might not mean much to you but it means a lot for a lot of people and that's why we like ARs, specially if a long shot is needed.
There is no fixation of any kind. I try things the best I can, if they work well, I use them, and if they don't, I discard them.
Then I provide some feedback about my experiences like everyone else.

July 6, 2011, 10:22 AM
I have not seen this, but then that is just me. The shooting I do is mostly "tactical" in that I shoot off, over, and under barriers and from some really goofy stances. I have only gone out to 400m or so but I have been pleased with the results.
I've not seen it either, and I've tested quite a few muzzle brakes. To get one that screwed up the accuracy to a degree where it mattered - would indicate a faulty brake, IMHO. 3 gunners use all sorts of brakes to good effect...if the accuracy got screwed so much, they wouldn't use them, or they would only use one or two particular models. Now, individual brakes can and do change the point of impact - but once rezeroed, its not an issue.

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