Ultradyne USA, the guys who made what are possibly the best iron sights on the market, also build what are arguably the best muzzle devices. The combination makes sense, as it allows them to play to their strengths by selling compensator-sight combos.
The APOLLO MAX Muzzle Brake (below) is notable: After rigorously testing the brake with a load cell device that measures up to 50,000 data points within a recoil event, Ultradyne learned that the Apollo Max can provide as much as 25% more recoil reduction compared to other top brakes on the market. Since muzzle brakes typically reduce recoil about 50%, that makes for a serious improvement in accuracy using a product that’s completely competition-legal.
Apollo Max is available in 5.56, .308, and 6.5 Creedmoor variants. This is their flagship muzzle brake, and it provides unparalleled performance without compromise. Accordingly, since its sole priority is recoil reduction, it is loud. So, Ultradyne has a full line of brakes to cater to any shooter, which we show below. First, see the differences represented visually here:
ATHENA, also available for 5.56 or .308, is significantly less loud. Its vents gases forward while still managing muzzle rise excellently for about half the price of Apollo Max.
When developing MERCURY (shown below as a combo), Ultradyne engineers had the .223/5.56 caliber specifically in mind, and they fine-tuned this design accordingly to create a brake that has a nice combination of performance and shooting comfort. It features progressive 90-degree side ports that evenly spread out recoil for an extremely smooth, comfortable shot. Mercury expels gases to the side, which helps reduce noise compared to the Apollo Max. The ports that reduce muzzle rise are spot on, so the shooter experiences very little rise during the shot. This can dramatically increase the speed and accuracy of the second shot.
Finally, PEGASUS is Ultradyne’s tanker-style .308 and 6.5 Creedmoor compensator. Besides looking badass on your rifle, it delivers best-in-class performance for those calibers. Similar to the Mercury, the progressive 90-degree ports set this brake apart.
Why would I buy a muzzle brake in the first place?
If you’re new to this accessory, the idea behind it is simple. Combustion releases gases when the gun is fired. The reactive force of those gases exiting the barrel results in recoil, and because of the position of the shooter behind the gun, that recoil causes it to move not only back but also up (this is called muzzle rise).
However, there’s no law on the books that says those combustion gases must all be directed forward. If you redirect them at a backward angle, you’ll almost negate the recoil. Distributing the gases at a perpendicular angle to the barrel will compensate for the force of the explosion, reducing it significantly. That’s what a muzzle brake or compensator is for.
The angle is important. If gases are directed straight back, the result is an extremely loud shot and a face full of smoke. This is why muzzle brakes designed for rifles are carefully engineered to sit in a sweet spot, lessening recoil and therefore improving accuracy during follow-up shots. However, one “sweet spot” doesn’t fit all, as different shooters prioritize noise and recoil reduction differently. So, to ensure a great match for many different shooters, Ultradyne offers the Athena, a linear brake oriented around comfort, the Apollo Max, a no-compromise performance brake, and everything in between.
For more on muzzle brakes, sights, and the like, check out Ultradyne USA via their website. We’ve met a few of their representatives, and they’re great people who clearly hold themselves to a high standard, so if you use Facebook, give them a hat tip by following them.