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King Armory contacted TTAG and asked if we’d like to review their KA-1222A muzzle brake/flash hider. As there are just way too many options from way too many manufacturers to review them individually, the project quickly escalated into doing a bit of a “shootout” with muzzle devices from multiple companies. Hopefully we’ve achieved a decent mix of well-known units from well-known manufacturers as well as some from smaller shops that many folks may not be familiar with. Basically, the intention here is to highlight a variety of muzzle device options — we gathered 35! — state my blunt opinion on machining, fit/finish, and utility plus any items of note, along with relevant stats. Since many of these devices specifically claim to reduce recoil I created a test rig to measure just that, and a winner has been declared . . .

EDIT: This is the first test I did, but it hasn’t been the last. The second 5.56 muzzle brake test is HERE, the third is HERE, the first 5.56 flash hiding test HERE, the second 5.56 flash hiding test HERE, and the first .308 brake test HERE. You may also be interested in the AR-15 Drop-In Trigger Roundup HERE.

These tests are expensive, but I’d love to do more. I’ve purchased air pressure sensors designed to log blast waves so we can compare the amount of concussion each muzzle device generates, and these will be used in test four. But I have a lot of brakes to round up for that and the funding is low. I also want to do another AR-15 trigger roundup (component triggers this time) and a couple of flashlight roundups (tactical and gun-mounted). Please consider supporting this sort of testing via my Patreon page. As a Patron you can also get free stuff, join live streams, gain early access, and more.

Recoil Testing

First, a quick note: not all of these muzzle devices are brakes/comps, or were otherwise designed to mitigate recoil. For some that is the primary goal. Some balance recoil management with flash hiding, and some have no recoil reduction consideration whatsoever (e.g. dedicated flash hiders or a linear compensators). For most brakes and comps, felt recoil reduction is only one goal anyway, with the other primary benefit being the reduction of muzzle movement in any other direction. The slow-mo footage for each device in the following video does show some noticeable differences in up/down muzzle movement as well as flash, but this test was specifically designed for measuring recoil — rearward energy.

Keep in mind that we’re also talking about the fairly minor recoil of .223/5.56 here, and many prospective purchasers will put recoil reduction at the bottom of their list behind other considerations like reducing flash and concussion.

With my gas piston AR-15 strapped in a rest and the gas block turned to “off,” which means the action remains locked shut and 100% of the gas going out the muzzle, I proceeded to “sled test” all of the muzzle devices plus control measurements of the bare muzzle and a standard A2 birdcage. The results were surprisingly repeatable and consistent. In fact, the average of the extreme spreads — difference between shortest and farthest result — for everything in the test (including bare muzzle and A2, which were the least consistent of all) was only 0.1943 inches. Seven brakes did multiple shots with the exact same result each time.

For the record, I measured in 1/16-inch increments and chose not to round when converting that to decimal measurements later.

With all of that said, our recoil reduction winner is…drum roll please…


Precision Armament’s M4-72 Severe-Duty Compensator!


With this bad boy on the muzzle, the test rig slid back an average of 2.4375 inches. With a bare muzzle, it slid 9.175 inches. That’s a 73.84% reduction for you folks keeping score at home.

I was going to force y’all to watch the video to see the results (you know, I make like three cents every time the video ad is clicked), but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Also, thanks to TTAGer NotoriousAPP’s awesome data skillz and willingness to help out, we have not only my boring tables but also some cool charts to show as well. Click any of these (or any other photo in the write-up) to see them full-size:

Table All

Table Brakes

Table Combo

Table Linear

Table Flash

Table Other

Chart 1

Chart 2

Chart 3

Muzzle Devices

Listed alphabetically. All stated weights and dimensions are as measured by me. I noted many obvious errors on manufacturers’ sites so chose not to blindly trust their info across the board.

AAC BLACKOUT 51T Muzzle Brake:


Clean machining and a low gloss nitride finish make for an attractive brake that doubles as a fast-attach mount for AAC sound suppressors. It’s a good looking and effective two-chamber brake. Plenty of fire and side concussion. If one has no use for the suppressor attachment feature and isn’t drawn to it for its unique looks, there are smaller and lighter options. Also available for 7.62.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: 17-4 Stainless Steel
Finish: Nitride coated
Length: 2.025″
Diameter (at largest point): 1.136″
Weight: 3.59 oz
MSRP: $150

AAC BRAKEOUT 2.0 Compensator:


The BRAKEOUT is supposed to combine the best features of a conventional muzzle brake along with excellent flash suppression. It’s sort of a single-chamber brake but, instead of a port on each side, it has three small ports. Each is angled rearwards and matches up with one of the gaps between the three flash hiding tines. Machining is very crisp and precise, and the finish looks great (it’s either a higher gloss nitride or AAC’s “SCARmor”).

AAC says it’s “the best of both worlds in a truly compromise-free design,” and I think it looks great but it was far from the best brake and both slow-mo shots showed some fire and flash. It also does “tuning fork” just a little bit (the tines ring). Also available for 7.62.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: unknown (AAC website doesn’t state)
Finish: unknown
Length: 2.677″
Diameter (at largest point): 1.139″
Weight: 4.625 oz
MSRP: $125

ALG SCB (Single Chamber Brake):


ALG is, loosely speaking here, like the “budget” arm of Geissele, and it doesn’t disappoint on the MSRP for this brake. A clean and simple single-chamber brake with a port on top for reducing muzzle rise, nice machining, and an even and good looking semi-gloss nitride finish. It’s light, small, and was decently effective at reducing recoil for a single chamber brake.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: 4140 Steel
Finish: Black Nitride
Length: 1.63″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.94″
Weight: 2.03 oz
MSRP: $35 AR15 .223 1/2×28 Competition Muzzle Device Brake:


For whatever reason I’ve treated this as a “generic” product and have filed it under “A” for Amazon in all cases. My sincere apologies to Field Sport, the manufacturer, but to avoid confusion I’m sticking with the “A” thing here. The price fluctuates up and down on Amazon a bit, but it was $16.45 shipped when I purchased it a few months ago and it has been in the $16-something range until today (at the time of writing, it’s $17.03 with Prime shipping). It’s the clear budget winner in this shootout!

Despite the low price, recoil reduction performance was very good. Machining has flaws like burrs and nicks. Phosphate finish is not particularly even. No wrench flats for installation means you’ll have to stick a tool through one of the ports to torque it down. Some grittiness in the threads. All that said, it performs well and should be plenty durable.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: Heat treated high quality steel
Finish: Phosphate
Length: 2.757″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.909″
Weight: 4 oz
MSRP: $19.50, but the going rate is $17 or less including shipping

Ares Armor EFFIN-A Compensator MKII:



“Coolest packaging” wasn’t a category I had in mind, but were it part of the shootout Ares Armor would have won hands down with the prescription bottle that the EFFIN-A comes in. The humor on the label was a nice touch, but it’s actually a really great way to package a small part like this regardless — especially one that comes with extra parts like the EFFIN-A does. Machining is very nice, black oxide finish is okay.

This compensator can be tuned by the end user by inserting any number of the included set screws into any of those threaded holes. They do “bottom out” in the holes so they can be torqued down, too. If you want to reduce muzzle climb and dust signature you can plug the holes on the bottom. If something about your rifle’s action makes the muzzle move left, you can plug a hole or more on the right. Basically, you have some control over how much and where the gasses are jetting out, thereby controlling the way those gasses move the muzzle around.

For the purposes of the recoil test I left it wide open, and it ended up right near the middle for recoil reduction. However, the vast majority of muzzle devices that mitigated recoil more than the EFFIN-A also exhibited significantly more concussion and more flash. Usually dedicated compensators concentrate on up/down/left/right muzzle movement much more than recoil abatement, and the ability to tune the EFFIN-A to your firearm and ammo could prove really effective.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: Steel
Finish: Black Oxide
Length: 2.079″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.866″
Weight: 2.94 oz
MSRP: $99.95

Battle Comp Enterprises Battlecomp 2.0:


The Battlecomp is definitely a known quantity, so it had to be included here (even if Vuurwapen Blog hates its guts). It’s popular because it’s small, light, an effective compensator, and a decent flash suppressor. Machining is good. Black oxide finish is standard. Yeah, it may actually overcompensate like Vuurwapen mentioned — you can see the barrel bending downwards in my slow-mo footage as well. This will depend on barrel length and ammo choice, though. It did reduce recoil by the largest amount of any dedicated compensator (no “brake” style ports) in the test. Of course, this may be due in part to it pushing the test rig down onto the table hard enough to literally flex the barrel downwards, thereby increasing the friction between rig and table.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: 17-4PH heat treated stainless steel
Finish: Bead oxide
Length: 1.755″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.866″
Weight: 1.81 oz
MSRP: $165

Bravo Company USA BCMGUNFIGHTER Compensator MOD 1 – 5.56:


Designed to reduce muzzle rise, flash, noise, concussion, and recoil. I must say that I think the design with the internal cone is pretty cool. Machining has only minor imperfections, and only if you’re looking for them, and the finish is very nice.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: Stainless steel
Finish: unknown (not mentioned on BCM’s website)
Length: 2.169″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.862″
Weight: 2.75 oz
MSRP: $94.95

Black River Tactical Covert Comp 5.56:



Alphabetically the first linear compensator in the test here. Linear comps are designed to redirect all of the blast, pressure, and as much of the noise as possible forwards, away from the shooter and anyone next to him or her. Most of them attempt to reduce flash signature as well, and the Covert Comp claims all of these features plus recoil reduction.

I got a bit of flash out of it on one shot and it definitely didn’t reduce recoil, but the machining is top notch and the gloss Melonite finish is really nice. It’s most certainly very pleasant to stand next to compared to most of the other things in this test. It’s the smallest and lightest of the linear comps tested here by far. Covert Comps are available in fluted or smooth exterior designs and in multiple thread pitches to suit many calibers.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: Tungsten Enhanced Chrome-Moly Steel, through hardened
Finish: Melonite
Length: 1.95″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.866″
Weight: 2.51 oz
MSRP: $59.95

DPMS Miculek Compensator:


Designed by Jerry Miculek and manufactured by DPMS, the Miculek Comp is a simple and inexpensive (“street price” is ~$39) 3-port muzzle brake. Although I think the design is much more of a brake, it does effectively compensate for muzzle rise with a simple design feature also found on some other brakes in this test in lieu of top ports — the top (or “top strap,” if you will) is narrower than the bottom, which means a bit more gas expands upwards than downwards.

As a brake it certainly excels, landing it a third place finish in the recoil reduction test with multiple shots coming in at exactly 3.00″, which equates to a 67.67% reduction in recoil compared to a bare muzzle.

For the price the machining is fine. The parkerized-like (DPMS doesn’t specify on its website) finish isn’t so hot aesthetically. Also available for 7.62.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: unknown (steel of some sort, presumably)
Finish: unknown (appears parkerized)
Length: 2.07″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.922″
Weight: 3.25 oz
MSRP: $49.99

FERFRANS CQB Modular Muzzle Brake plus CRD:




This system from FERFRANS combines a 3-port muzzle brake with their quick detach CRD, or Concussion Reduction Device. Run the bare brake when you’re looking for the best recoil and muzzle rise compensation, and add the CRD when you want to direct the concussion and blast forwards instead of sideways at those around you. As you can see in the photo above (also click here and here!), directing everything forwards doesn’t equate to reducing flash. May be handy if you want to kill and cook your game at the same time. Machining is good, finish is good. The CRD is easy to pop on and locks securely.

It also fits and locks onto two other muzzle devices in this test, both from Strike Industries (which does sell the FERFRANS system). As I can’t find any info on this unit on FERFRANS’ website, we may as well link to the product page on SI’s site. That said, it’s available from a handful of other well-known retailers in the U.S. if you have a different preference.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: unknown (appears to be carbon steel)
Finish: unknown (I’d guess parkerized or black oxide on the brake, a Cerakote-like coating on the CRD maybe)
Length: 2.275″ w/out CRD, 2.315″ w/ CRD
Diameter (at largest point): 0.972″ brake, 1.608″ CRD
Weight: 3.64 oz brake only, 10.25 oz brake + CRD
MSRP: $179.95

GoGun USA SuperComp Tactical Talon (Titanium):


GoGun talks a big game and claims the least sight movement of any brake on the market. The recent licensing of most of GoGun’s designs by JP Enterprises lends some credibility to this, as JP has a rock solid reputation in the competition shooting world and certainly knows a thing or two about reducing recoil and sight movement. Machining on the Tactical Talon is flawless, despite Ti often being difficult to work with, and the look is aggressive. GoGun calls it “eye candy to the max.” It’s effective and very light weight for its size.

The “SuperComp” brake line may now be licensed to JP, but I’ve filed this one under “GoGun” as the packaging I received still says “GoGun.” The other sample from them was already branded “JP” so it’s listed separately below.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: Titanium (also available in chrome-moly steel)
Finish: Bead blast (also available in “black lava shield” Ti and in parkerized steel)
Length: 2.9″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.996″
Weight: 2.26 oz (3.9 oz in steel according to GoGun’s website)
MSRP: $167.50 ($184.50 in black Ti and $98.50 in steel)

HERA Arms Linear Compensator Gen 2:




The first of two linear compensators from HERA Arms (< that link is to the manufacturer, the one in the title is to their primary distributor and retailer, LAN World), the Gen 2 is a fairly large unit that does a great job of preventing any sideways or rearwards blast and concussion, and directs noise forwards as well. The interior design is pretty cool, with a large blast chamber and a front baffle with longitudinal ports milled through it. As you can see in the last photo above, it probably looks its best when partially inside of a handguard. It could be a sweet option for permanent attachment to a short barrel in order to bring it up to the 16″ minimum while running an extended handguard without worry of singed digits.

Machining is very clean other than some minor nicks in the edges of the exterior ‘waffle’ pattern. Finish is fairly even and looks good.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: 41.40 tool steel
Finish: unknown
Length: 3.55″
Diameter (at largest point): 1.22″
Weight: 7.25 oz
MSRP: $149.99

HERA Arms Linear Compensator Small:



Same concept as its bigger brother, but in a smaller, lighter package. HERA’s Linear Comp Small is made from stainless steel and available coated black as seen above or in raw stainless. Machining is super clean the the semi-gloss finish looks nice, but it is fairly easy to scrape off — I’m not sure it was bonded to the stainless steel properly on my example.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: Stainless steel
Finish: unknown
Length: 2.95″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.988″
Weight: 6.5 oz
MSRP: $129

JP Enterprises Recoil Eliminator:


JP’s Recoil Eliminator is available for many calibers in lots of thread pitches and mount diameter configurations, and in either a black oxide finish on carbon steel or in stainless steel. Regardless of your choice there, the purpose of this brake is to keep the muzzle of your rifle as still as possible, and the results of my testing show that it’s really freaking successful here. Not only did it come in second place in the recoil sled test with repeated shots measuring 2.75″ (a 70.41% reduction in recoil vs. bare muzzle), but it eliminated almost all muzzle movement in other directions. It was one of the few muzzle devices where the slow-mo footage didn’t show obvious upward or downward pressure on the barrel — basically just a dead straight (and minor!) push to the rear.

Two gigantic, curved blast baffles catch as much of the gas and pressure as possible, pulling the brake forwards and preventing the rifle from recoiling rearwards. As the bottom is wider than the top, gasses also expand upwards more than downwards, which eliminates muzzle rise and reduces dust signature to some degree. Although blast and concussion is pretty brutal if you’re off to the sides of the rifle, it’s really a non-issue from behind it.

Machining is clean and the finish is nice and even. I think it’s the only muzzle device here that’s made from two parts (not counting the FERFRANS system) — two separate pieces of machined round stock welded together. The brake itself ain’t small, and coincidentally it won the other unofficial packaging award for largest packaging, arriving in a 3-chambered clamshell with the brake in one, instructions in another, and a package of earplugs in the last. Wearing earplugs under muffs is not a bad idea here, and I wouldn’t suggest standing off to the sides of it if you have a heart condition.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: Carbon Steel (also available in stainless)
Finish: Black Oxide (also available in bare stainless)
Length: 2.41″
Diameter (at largest point): 2.27″
Weight: 6 oz
MSRP: $99.95

JP Enterprises / GoGun SuperComp XL:


GoGun’s entire SuperComp line has been licensed by JP, which may be taking over some of the manufacturing as well. The SuperComps use a unique, patented vent design and the primary goal is keeping the muzzle steady. There are quite a few SuperComp models, so check out this JP Rifles page to learn more. Additional materials, finishes, and models can also be found on GoGun’s site (and I must say, the high polish machined titanium is mirrored bling to the max).

The SuperComp XL is an effective muzzle brake and comp, despite minimal side concussion. Recoil was reduced by just over 55% and muzzle rise was minimized.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: Chrome-moly steel (also available in titanium)
Finish: Parkerized (multiple other finishes also available)
Length: 3.0″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.996″
Weight: 4.75 oz (2.6 oz in Ti according to manufacturer)
MSRP: $125 on JP’s site

King Armory KA-1222A:



Thanks again to King Armory for kickstarting this whole endeavor. King’s 1222A is a combination muzzle brake and flash hider that reduced recoil force by just over 46% while maintaining a clean, sleek design and light weight. Its diameter is perfect for a mil-spec barrel and can look like an integral part rather than a bolt-on. King Armory claims excellent flash suppression with a clear sight picture (no ports on top mean no fire or gas in your line of sight). Machining and finish are great, as I happen to like the really fine and consistent tool marks that give it that “turned” look and the nitride finishes tend to be my favorite.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: 4140CM (also available in 416P70 stainless steel)
Finish: Nitride
Length: 2.25″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.74″
Weight: 2.11 oz
MSRP: $64.99 ($74.99 in stainless)

Ordained Arms Dragon SpitZLead:




Designed to be fun and look awesome, Ordained Arms’ Dragon SpitZLead wasn’t intended to reduce recoil, although it did have a minor beneficial effect compared to a bare muzzle. The Dragon spits blast and fire through its mouth, nostrils, and eyes. This could be fun with a high speed camera, but the GoPro was the best I could do and my favorite screen grabs (that didn’t totally flare out the lens like the video’s thumbnail) are above. Ordained Arms intends to build out the “SpitZLead” line with a boar head, wolf head, etc. These other animals may actually include design features that will warrant referring to them as brakes and/or comps.

This is one of two cast pieces in the shootout here (as far as I can tell). It’s pretty good with the only mistake being what looks like minor ‘weld spatter’ on the chin. The parkerizing is standard. Not gonna lie, I thought it was a bit dorky at first but it actually looks kind of cool on a rifle or AR pistol. I was surprised by how much of a kick people got out of seeing it and by the fact that so many actually thought it was “badass” and such. It does make me smile.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: hardened 4140 steel
Finish: parkerized
Length: 1.9″
Diameter (at largest point): ~1.6″ from tip of top horn to tip of opposite side bottom horn
Weight: 3.35 oz
MSRP: $99.95 — currently on “introductory pricing” for 79.95

OSS Technology BANNAR Alpha 1:


This is the other cast piece in the test, and the headliner prize from the Halloween Costume Contest. It’s a compensator that also reduces muzzle flash and recoil. It does not have to be timed on your rifle (has no specific orientation). The BANNAR series, available for a huge range of calibers and thread pitches, is definitely unique looking and pretty light weight. It did work as advertised to reduce flash and recoil, and it has minimal concussion.

The casting is pretty clean, although minor mold flashing can be seen if you’re looking for it. The black oxide finish was done more consistently than the norm.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: 17-4 stainless steel (cast with milled bore, heat treated)
Finish: Black Oxide
Length: 2.38″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.86″
Weight: 2.26 oz
MSRP: $129.99

Precision Armament AFAB-Mini:



Precision Armament’s AFAB, or Advanced Flash Arresting Brake, is a combination compensator and flash hider. Employing a waffle-like pattern with tiny passageways to diffuse gas, the AFAB reduces flash and concussion while keeping the muzzle on target. The bottom is closed to reduce dust signature and compensate against muzzle rise. Despite the apparent complexity, the machining is sharp, crisp, and flawless. Ionbond CrCN matte finish is uniform and tough as nails.

This comp isn’t entirely dissimilar from the Battlecomp, and the recoil test averages were only 1/16″ (0.0625″) apart. In my testing it was actually better at reducing flash and resulted in less muzzle movement as well. I’m now most interested in comparing it against Precision Armament’s own EFAB (Enhanced Flash Arresting Brake), which wasn’t yet available when I did this testing.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: HTSR 416 stainless steel
Finish: Ionbond CrCN — matte black
Length: 2.225″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.865″
Weight: 3 oz
MSRP: $109.95

Precision Armament M11-SPR:


The M11-SPR (Special Purpose Rifle) is the smaller brother to Precision Armament’s M11 Severe-Duty Brake that I chose for my “Ultimate Mosin Nagant” project build. The big M11 was also reviewed by Joe Grine along with PA’s M41. It’s designed for precision accuracy as well as muzzle control and recoil management. It seemed to make a world of difference on the Mosin, so I was excited to try and quantify that on the AR, and the results were solid — it came in fourth place by reducing recoil by 66.64% compared to a bare muzzle. It kept that muzzle pretty dang steady, too.

I think it looks really cool, and like the other Precision Armament pieces the materials quality, machining, fit, and finish are top notch. Worth noting: the M11-SPR is bored for .223/5.56 but can be enlarged to .338 if desired.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: HTSR 416 stainless steel
Finish: Ionbond CrCN — matte black (also available in bead blast stainless)
Length: 2.225″
Diameter (at largest point): 1.125″ (that’s width, and it’s 0.99″ tall. Diameter at barrel is 0.75″)
Weight: 3.27 oz
MSRP: $104.95

Precision Armament M4-72 Severe-Duty Compensator:



Number one in the recoil test by a consistent margin, eliminating almost 74% of the recoil compared to a bare muzzle. No doubt much of the recoil reduction is owed to the slightly reversed vents — two on each side — that are behind the first blast baffle. Despite these reverse vents, the M4-72 has less blast and concussion from behind the rifle than I expected. Pretty normal, actually. With 5.56 ammo while standing right in-line with those vents for this testing, though, the concussion is obvious. This brake certainly does prove that you can design massive recoil reduction into a small package!

Narrower on top than on the bottom, the M4-72 was also one of the very best muzzle devices in this test at eliminating muzzle movement.

Finish is a bit more of a graphite gray look on my example. It’s even and nice, and I love seeing evidence of heat treating in some areas inside of the brake (that color case hardened look). Machining is perfect. I actually thought there were some mistakes — namely, a very fine, longitudinal line on the inside and some thicker lines on the vents — but they actually are on the 3D drawings on Precision Armament’s site. Therefore, it appears to be a style choice that I just normally associate with a mill stopping a hair short. Anyway, massive efficacy here in a pretty small and light package that’s also priced very competitively.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: HTSR 416 stainless steel
Finish: Ionbond DLC — matte black (website states CrCN, but my example is DLC. The M4-72 is also available in bead blast stainless finish)
Length: 2.25″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.875″
Weight: 2.55 oz
MSRP: $89.99

Primary Weapon Systems (PWS) FSC556:


PWS’ FSC (or Flash Suppressing Compensation) series are combination devices intended to reduce recoil while also reducing flash signature. The FSC556 is factory equipment on the FN SCAR16s and some other very nice rifles, including many from PWS of course. It also acts as a QD mount for the Gemtech HALO suppressor.

Machining is great, finish is good, and this is one clear case of excellent design where a “combo” device resulted in very little compromise. Recoil reduction was very good, flash suppression was decent.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: unknown
Finish: unknown
Length: 2.335″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.865″
Weight: 2.35 oz
MSRP: $99.95

Rainier Arms Mini Compensator:


Rainier Arms has since replaced this original version with a v2.0, which is what’s linked above. The design is now just slightly different and the black finish appears to be glossier. Of course, the one you see in the photo here has a couple thousand rounds through it and a few ultrasonic cleanings. It lived on my AR for a while before moving over to my Tavor, where it usually graces the muzzle when a suppressor isn’t on it. An uncoated stainless version is also available.

Machining is fine unless you’re OCD, as close examination can reveal some tool marks and very minor imperfections. Overall, though, quality is more than high enough and the price is good. I chose this comp because I wanted something short, small, light, effective for its size (my only consideration was recoil reduction — I did not care about noise or fire) and cool looking. I think it delivers across the board, although after running this recoil test there are certainly some other small, light brakes that performed better.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: unknown
Finish: “black” (also available in raw stainless)
Length: 1.437″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.86″
Weight: 1.46 oz
MSRP: $55

SilencerCo Specwar Trifecta Muzzle Brake:


SilencerCo’s Specwar Trifecta is a 3-port brake that also doubles as a QD mount for its Specwar suppressors with ASR mounting system (in either 5.56 or 7.62 flavors). Machining is extremely clean and precise, and the finish is great. It’s certainly very effective, as it came in sixth place in the recoil reduction test.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: unknown
Finish: unknown
Length: 2.46″
Diameter (at largest point): 1.111″
Weight: 4 oz
MSRP: $85

Strike Industries Checkmate Comp:



So Strike Industries went a little bit nuts. I asked them if they’d like to pick a muzzle device for inclusion in this write-up — whichever one they’d prefer to see in here — and they sent eight of them. I believe it’s literally every one they make. Limiting the submissions from any one company never occurred to me, and since many of these are going to become TTAG contest prizes (e.g. weekend photo caption contests, etc), I figured what the heck, test ’em all.

Strike Industries’ Checkmate is a really sweet looking and effective comp at a low price. Nearly all of the ones that beat it in the recoil test are larger and heavier. The aggressive prongs help to reduce flash (click here), while the conservatively-sized single chamber reduces recoil without excessive concussion or too much flash of its own. Machining is nice and sharp with no mistakes and only very light tool marks in some places. The parkerizing on my example is about as good as parkerizing gets, which you can see in the bottom photo when it was new, while it’s a bit beat up in the top photo from being mounted and removed a handful of times over the past few months.

The is one of the other muzzle devices that accepts the FERFRANS CRD.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: steel
Finish: parkerized
Length: 1.85″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.972″
Weight: 2.56 oz
MSRP: $39.95

Strike Industries Cookie Cutter Comp:




SI claims that the Cookie Cutter is “The Most Efficient Muzzle Brake:”

“…hands down, the Best muzzle brake for compensating muzzle rise and recoil on Short Barrel Rifles (SBR’s) and AR-Pistols. It is NOT a flash suppressor. There will be side concussion so the shooter needs to be aware of surrounding personnel.”

Yeah, they ain’t kidding. Even from behind the gun (and especially on the 10.5″ AR pistol I shot it on as well) you get a bit of concussion thump. Off to the sides? Feels like a .50 BMG haha. It may not be ideal for the Operators but it’s definitely a lot of fun out on the range and the CC is effective, too. I think if the first “disk” were a smaller diameter from the second one (the blast baffle), it would reduce recoil even further. If the “top strap” was narrower than the bottom, it would more effectively inhibit muzzle rise. Regardless, it definitely does work.

Machining is clean, parkerized finish is nothing fancy but is functional — it held up to a trip through the dishwasher. It really sucks as an actual cookie cutter, and mine still has dough stuck in it.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: steel
Finish: parkerized
Length: 1.58″
Diameter (at largest point): 2.14″
Weight: 7.75 oz
MSRP: $59.95

Strike Industries “Fat Comps” 01 through 04:

1, 2, 3, 4
1, 2, 3, 4

Strike’s Fat Comps are interesting beasts, with 1.5″ diameters at their bases. This is designed to align seamlessly with their SI Cobra dummy suppressors, or to just barely fit under most free float handguards. They’re big and wild looking and, while there is some efficacy there, I think it’s fair to say that the primary design intention is aesthetics.

Machining and finish is the same across all four Fat Comps, so I’ll just describe it here once. I don’t know what kind of stock these are machined from. Quality is okay but not great. No flaws, but tool marks aren’t cleaned up and are apparent in various places (e.g. mill swirls on the base of Fat Comp 01 as seen in this pic). Still, when they’re visible you have to be pretty close to even notice and all functional parts of the machining (concentricity, threading, etc) seemed just right. The parkerizing is pretty standard.

Strike Industries Fat Comp 01(click here)

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: steel
Finish: parkerized
Length: 1.97″
Diameter (at largest point): 1.5″
Weight:  6.875 oz
MSRP: $39.95

Strike Industries Fat Comp 02:

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: steel
Finish: parkerized
Length: 1.97″
Diameter (at largest point): 1.5″
Weight: 9.625 oz
MSRP: $39.95

Strike Industries Fat Comp 03:

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: steel
Finish: parkerized
Length: 1.97″
Diameter (at largest point): 1.5″
Weight: 7.75 oz
MSRP: $39.95

Strike Industries Fat Comp 04:

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: steel
Finish: parkerized
Length: 1.97″
Diameter (at largest point): 1.5″
Weight: 7.5 oz
MSRP: $39.95

Strike Industries Japan Type 89 Comp (J-Comp):


An extremely solid performer with an asking price under $30, the J-Comp is a freaking steal. The design is inspired by the muzzle brake on the Japanese Type 89 assault rifle. It looks pretty clean on an AR, as it has a nice diameter (body is 0.77″) and a simple enough design to look a bit like a continuation of the barrel itself. Smooth machining and standard parkerizing.

The J-Comp didn’t do a lot for muzzle rise, but it tied for seventh place in the recoil test with the cover-free FERFRANS 3-chamber piece. That’s a 60.48% reduction in recoil as compared to a bare muzzle, all in a brake that gave me no flash signature (click here and here). In fact, it just beat the PWS 556 in recoil reduction and in my admittedly limited testing it was significantly better for flash suppression. It has a pin hole for permanent attachment and is long enough to extend a 14.5″ barrel to 16″. All for like $31.95 shipped.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: steel
Finish: parkerized
Length: 2.44″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.857″
Weight: 2.98 oz
MSRP: $29.95

Strike Industries Venom Flash Hider:



This would be a good time for a reminder that recoil reduction is only one possible consideration when choosing a muzzle device, and for many people it doesn’t even make the considerations list at all. Especially for .223/5.56. In the case of SI’s Venom, it’s a pure flash hider with no other design concerns other than some cool aesthetics and A2-style quick attach functionality. It doesn’t reduce recoil, but it sure as heck reduces flash. I shot it repeatedly and got no visible flash signature from it at all.

Machining is quite nice, and the parkerizing looks good. It’s also drilled to make it easier to pin and weld for permanent attachment, and will turn a 14.5″ barrel into a 16″ one. This is the other muzzle device that’s compatible with the FERFRANS CRD.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: steel
Finish: parkerized
Length: 2.36″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.972″
Weight: 3.01 oz
MSRP: $44.95

SureFire ProComp 556:


The ProComp 556 is a fairly long, dual-port brake with an internal blast chamber before the first port. Through the top of this chamber are two holes to direct gas and pressure upwards, thereby reducing muzzle rise. Although it looks like a smaller hole is drilled on either side as well, those are actually just blind pilot holes. Should your firearm pull to the right or left for whatever reason, you can finish the process and drill one of those holes all the way through to the blast chamber.

Machining is excellent and the Melonite finish looks good. It’s an effective brake, and tied for ninth place in the recoil test. The price is very good compared to many of the offerings from other “big name” companies.

Edit: many comments on TTAG’s FB page asked why I didn’t include SureFire in this test. I’m assuming those folks did actually read this and see the ProComp here, and what they mean is why didn’t I include SureFire’s SOCOM or MB556. Well, this is the same brake just without a QD suppressor mount. The performance of all of these models should be totally identical in a recoil test.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: Steel bar stock
Finish: Melonite black
Length: 2.49″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.869″
Weight: 3.4 oz
MSRP: $59

VG6 Precision EPSILON 556:


VG6 Precision’s EPSILON 556 and GAMMA 556 (below) are very similar in design, but the EPSILON gets flash hiding prongs while the GAMMA ends more abruptly. The performance out of these brakes is fairly incredible considering the light weight and small size. The GAMMA even made Nick giggle in the video part of this review.

On the machining and finish front, these two pieces from VG6 are possibly my favorites of all of the ones here. Completely flawless on both fronts, and the photos on VG6’s website simply do not do them justice (nor do mine). This BLACKNITRIDE is absolutely beautiful, and the satin finish gives it a depth of inky blackness that I dig.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Edit: I just noticed on the video that I installed the EPSILON upside down. Sorry, VG6. I’d expect muzzle rise reduction performance on-par with the GAMMA should I have installed it properly.

Material: 17-4ph heat treated stainless steel
Finish: BLACKNITRIDE, satin finish (also available in bead blasted stainless and matte black nitride)
Length: 2.21″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.866″
Weight: 2.48 oz
MSRP: $94.99

VG6 Precision GAMMA 556:



All of the EPSILON comments apply here as well, except that this GAMMA is my new brake. Sorry, you won’t see it being given away in a TTAG/YouTube contest as I’m definitely keeping it. I love the look, size, weight, quality, and function. While purely coincidental as all of the brakes have been listed alphabetically, I guess this is a case of “saving the best for last.” At least in my opinion for my normal usage. I really dig all of the Precision Armament units as well, but I have a thing for extremely compact size — hence the RA Mini Comp I was previously running — on my go-to rifle (the Tavor, at this time) when it doesn’t have a suppressor living on it, and after this shootout the GAMMA fit the bill for me. Actually, I had made the decision even before its fifth place performance (66.3% recoil reduction vs. bare muzzle and a rock steady muzzle with no rise or dip) was verified on the sled. It’s just that dang nice looking.

Considering the GAMMA is available for .300 BLK in the same form factor, 7.62 in a longer version, plus a few finish options, there could even be another one in my future.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: 17-4ph heat treated stainless steel
Finish: BLACKNITRIDE, satin finish (also available in bead blasted or raw machined stainless)
Length: 1.75″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.866″
Weight: 2.06 oz
MSRP: $84.99


I hope everyone enjoyed this shootout. It was one heck of an endeavor putting it all together, and it was also a lot of fun. I’d love to do something similar in the future, so if there was a muzzle device you were hoping to see here, please let me know in the comments and I’ll try to get it for next time. If you’re a manufacturer and you make a muzzle device that you’d like to see in a piece like this, shoot me an e-mail at [email protected]

There wasn’t much concentration on flash hiding in this project, so I can see doing another shootout with a short barrel in a fixed rig in the shade, upping the slow-mo camera game and snatching a bunch of frame grab photos. If there’s a lot of interest specifically in flash suppression, let me know.

Finally, the wife is actually overdue with our baby #2 at this point, so if I’m absent from the comments here and lagging on answering any questions, that’s why. I may fall off the face of the earth for a few, but I’ll be back to address anything that comes up.


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    • Thanks again for the assist! The charts really help visualize things. Sorry… I’m going to hijack this comment thread since it’s up at the top.


      SJC Titan
      Lantac Dragon
      YHM Phantom Brake
      Spikes Dynacomp
      JP Bennie Cooley
      Benny Hill Rolling Thunder
      American Precision Arms bastard of some sort


      Smith Vortex
      Strike Industries Venom
      Seekins Precision
      Noveske KX3?
      PWS Triad?
      AAC Blackout FH?
      Black Rain Ord?

      Please click “reply” right below this post and add any suggestions you may have. If I do a flash hider test it’ll probably be late Q1 or early Q2. Same with a recoil test #2.



      • How come no love for Griffin Armament? I picked the Tectical Comp over the battle comp for the cost and they look very similar. Ive never seen them go head to head in any review.

        • I’ll include Griffin next time. What two brakes/comps would you want to see and what flash hider(s)? They make an awful lot of stuff so it’s too much to try and test all of it, but I will definitely include one of their FHs in that test and maybe one comp and one brake from them in the next brake/comp test.

        • I am curious when you think you will be able to add the Griffin Armament Taper Mount Muzzle Brake (with or without shield) to your results? I am trying to decide between that and the FERFRANS QCB.

          Thanks for sharing your results.

      • I was sad to not see the Lantec or Spikes on this Review, As well I have a question, Was the mag loaded the same on every test?
        So after each rd/test was it reloaded to match the weight of each test?

        • Lantac Dragon was supposed to be in this test but there was some apparent confusion between Lantac and myself. It will be in the next test no matter what. Dynacomp is on the list.

          I did mention it in the video, but the rifle only had a single round in it for each shot. The magazine was inserted just to act as a sled to make loading that one round easy. The gas block was turned off so the action remained locked and 100% of the gasses went out the muzzle. 16″ bbl.

      • I would like to add the Rock River Arms Operater muzzle break, the little chubby by RAT worx, and the JEC AR compensator to this list. Great video, Great data, can’t wait to see the next video.

      • Jeremy, It would be amazing if you setup an experiment that measured muzzle rize as well. After looking at this video, I feel like there’s a direct correlation between the recoil elemination and muzzle rise. The M4-72 Severe-Duty Compensator has no porting to direct gasses upwards, yet, it had no muzzle rize, even when compared with the JP Recoil Eliminator which does have a mechanism to direct gasses upwards. This makes sense because muzzel rise isn’t necessarily a given, it’s just that the fulcrum point of where guns are held is what dictates that they rise so if you eliminate recoil then you’re eliminating muzzle rise, probably better than attempting to eliminate muzzle rise through an upwards gas direction.

        • Actually the M4-72 is narrower on the top than on the bottom (the “top strap” is narrower). This means more gas will expand upwards than downwards. It was extremely effective at reducing muzzle movement in any direction and it did not appear to over-compensate like the Battlecomp.

        • Wow, that’s a sick brake. I’ll include it next time for sure. I actually just picked up a Lancer lower receiver plus a carbon fiber handguard to review them. When I’m done with those I’ll try to get that Nitrous brake for the next test. Considering the design of the blast baffles and the rearward angling on the large first port, I’d expect it to do extremely well.

      • I’d like to see the other SilencerCo brakes and flash hiders. Specifically the Saker Trifecta RS flash hider and Saker Trifecta muzzle break. I’m planning on putting the Saker break on a 300 Blackout SBR and the Saker flash hider on my 5.56 so I can swap the Saker 7.62 suppressor between both guns.

        • I’ll try to get their FH for the next test. However, the Saker Trifecta brake is totally identical to the Specwar Trifectra brake that I tested here except one has a mount on the back for a suppressor. They should perform 100% exactly identically in this test. Just like the SureFire one I tested is identical to their SOCOM and MB556 except for suppressor mounting parts. The design of the brake portions is totally unchanged.

      • I would like to see a couple more silencers in the test, just to give a better range. They may be the same as the mystic, but it would be interesting to see.

      • First off, thank you for this very informative review! I am in the process of building an AR, mostly for precision but with the fun factor of 3-Gun in the back of my mind. I have been shopping for a brake for a while now and have looked at almost all that you have in your review, so again your review has been very helpful in narrowing down my choices. As it is the down season, I am in no major rush to complete the rifle and only buying parts as funding permits. Last two items on that list are the MB and Hand guard.

        The last build that I did, I bought one of the Amazon units and was very impressed with its price:value ratio and personally feel the recoil reduction! It reminded me of what is on an AMD 65 and how effective that brake is. Also watching Jerry Miculek shoot in competition, he’s just fast and smooth naturally but it is obvious that his Brake helps him excel. It was nice to see you quantify both of those units in your video.

        All that being said, I am leaning towards one of the “chambered” units, be it the Amazon, best price, Miculek, 2nd best price, or one of the Precision Armament or maybe the Gamma, what I am most interested in is the effect on accuracy that these units have. You mention that the M11 was designed with that in mind.
        Maybe you could take the “Top 5” brakes and do 3, 3-5 shot groups with each. (?)

        PS, here is a brake for you to look at. It is very similar to Jerry’s and the other Amazon one, only in stainless which I would prefer to use for my build.

        Many thanks,

      • Thanks for all of the suggestions! Looks like there will be another pretty impressive collection of brakes here for the next test! Also flash hiders for that separate test. I’m hoping to actually run the tests sometime in March and the ensuing article will then publish in April, but I’ll update if this plan changes. Brakes are showing up already though so we’re on the way.

      • Awesome test. For test #2 you could retest the two best brakes and the A2 and bare muzzle as four control tests for the rig, ammo, etc. In the future test, I’d like to see more forward comps. Kaw Valley Precision, Troy Claymore, Kineti-tech with and without the sleeve, KIES, and Levang to name a few.

      • I would like to see these three:

        1. Lantac Dragon
        2. Long Range Design (Swedish company,
        3. Lars Hagemann (danish top shooter selling his own brake, look him up at FaceBook).

        I have tried numbers 2 and 3 with great results and hold them equal to the JP Recoil Eliminator.

      • I would like to see the PWS CQB, Spikes Barking Spider, and Similar (forward blasting) muzzle devices compared. Perhaps put against the Ferfrans CRD in an sbr/pistol version of this shootout.

      • Flash Suppressor: B. E. Meyer 249F

        It will WIN!….. ? It has come out on top in past tests, can it survive?

  1. Thanks for the nice write up about muzzle devices! i imagine this took a good deal of time. i appreciate all the effort!

  2. Nice write up.

    Some of those prices are little ridiculous though, it’s a hunk of threaded metal with holes in it.

    And, good to see not too many were portly, anything over 4oz and you need to take it back to the drawing board, says I.

    • In some cases these brakes were designed using expensive software programs for computational fluid dynamics virtual testing and other similar things to truly engineer the end result rather than just cut some holes in a piece of round stock and hope for the best. That is not the case for all or most of them, of course, but it is for a few of the more expensive ones. Just like a download of an XBox game or computer software costs the company $0 to provide you (per unit cost rounds to nothing), they charge for it because they invested massive money in R&D. So even if the profit margin on a single brake might look excessive just based on that one unit’s actual manufacturing cost, some of these companies are also recouping significant R&D investment that is justifiably factored in…

      Not saying that’s a reason for the consumer to spend 5x as much, though. That’s up to you. Everyone will weigh the results of the recoil test differently against design looks, quality, finish, size, weight, concussion, flash, price, etc etc…

      • I know all this. The company I work for as an engineer makes a “highly engineered” part for our equipment for $4 total cost, and charges the customers $650 retail…

        So, I know ridiculous when l see it.

        But, that said, I have a Griffin M4SD II on my AR and I dig it. I just think anything over $100 for a muzzle device is highway robbery.

    • Considering it performed the same as a bare muzzle, but still costs money, I would say a bare muzzle is the best bang for your buck. When it comes to the A2, it is not at all.

  3. Excellent comparison, but with a title like this I expecting some kind of comparison on flash suppression too… Any plan on writing one in the future?

    • If there’s enough interest, I’ll do a flash suppressor version. This one was going to concentrate only on brakes and comps, but then some linear comps were added to the mix due to specific requests (and a desire to see how they compared with recoil against brakes) and Strike Industries sent their flash hider so I decided I might as well test it. It’s the only dedicated FH in the test, really.

      The other issue is that it’s a lot harder to objectively quantify. If I do a flash test it’ll probably just involve better slow-mo footage and then just visually comparing screen grabs from each FH at its brightest frame (maybe I’ll get a new GoPro that does 240 fps instead of mine that only does 120, or I’ll grab another camera that films in decent quality up to like 900 fps). Actually getting some sort of light meter and trying to put numbers to it probably wouldn’t happen.

      • I’m looking forward to the flash hider test. Suggestion: shoot super slo-mo from the side with a black backdrop graduated with white lines like graph paper style to capture how far out the flash projects from the muzzle and how wide it gets.

      • Simplest method might be a camera in a dark room. Lock the shutter open and fire(manual settings). From the front, and side, you should get a quantifiable amount of flash with the correct camera settings..

      • If you do the flash suppression – please also measure noise for a person to the side of the shooter. Compensation is great, but if it blows away your buddy, then maybe not so good. A balance of compensation, noise, and flash is what I am looking for. Thanks in advance.

        • I was also hoping for more information on concussion. Some of the reviews mention impacts of the muzzle device on concussion, others don’t…

        • I can’t quantify concussion. There were a couple that stood out as being particularly strong while I was standing off to the side next to the table. Other than those, all of the brakes felt about the same. The linear comps and flash hiders (A2 and Venom) have less than any of the brakes or the bare muzzle. From behind the gun, shooting outdoors with ear pro on, it doesn’t much matter to me.

  4. Great review, good work and I really appreciate the effort and enthusiasm that you obviously put into this. My biggest issue with muzzle devices is the increase in noise that’s thrown back to the user and bystanders, hence I use a linear compensator. I get that its hard/expensive to test for noise reduction to the user, but it may be a good next round? That’s if the above bleating of the lambs doesn’t put you off.

    • Agreed, I’d happily drop $90 for the M4-72 (or one of the other ones reviewed that significantly reduced recoil) if I could get an idea for how much it increased noise. My AR is my HD rifle so the last thing I want to do is increase the amount of hearing damage I’d experience God forbid I ever had to use my rifle without hearing protection.

      • From behind the gun with ear pro, outdoors, it really didn’t matter. For shooting indoors and especially if your home defense scenario doesn’t involve putting ear muffs on, I wouldn’t want to fire an AR-15 no matter what’s on the muzzle. Even if I ran a brake for recreational shooting, I’d put a linear comp on it for HD… but only assuming I didn’t have or didn’t want to use a suppressor for HD and wanted to use an AR-15 rather than a pistol or shotgun or whatever. In actuality using a suppressor is my preference, and the few times that the Tavor was in the HD firearm location it was wearing a suppressor. I realize people feel that there are potential legal negatives to suppressing an HD firearm, so if you aren’t comfortable with it then don’t do it. I usually choose to but in no way am I suggesting you should as well (I’m attempting to avoid the two pages of comments that usually ensues after anyone mentions a suppressor in an HD scenario).

        • I’d love to suppress my AR but the whole NFA stamp thing turns me off for a variety of reasons. Then there’s the additional fact that a good suppressor is going to set me back about $600 at the least.

          Also, from the numbers I’ve seen, an AR shooting .223 / 5.56 is no louder than a 9mm…

  5. Holy Muzzle devices Batman!

    That looks like fun, it will take some time to look at everything youve written. Should be fun. Thanks

  6. 3rd place comp can be found for only 30 bucks? Hrmm… I think I found a christmas present for my shooting buddy.

  7. Dag, you didn’t test the one I’m currently most interested in, haha. Ah well. I may have to pick up your winner here if I ever get a black rifle. Sounds awesome.

    • Yeah, but it was pulled down like an hour after it went up. There were only 10 or so muzzle devices in that test, all from “small” manufacturers, and I made an error by including one in the notes section but not in the recoil test. We decided to take the piece down and do it again, but this time with big name brakes as well so we could all compare the performance of less well known ones to known quantities, etc. And this time I included the one that was missing from the recoil sled thing the first time around.

  8. First off, congrats on being close to #2, and get ready as you no longer outnumber them, hope everything goes well.

    Second… WAYYYYY better than your first shootout, clear empirical test criteria and straightforward transparent data and results. Would be even better if there was a repeatable easy way to objectively test side blast (my Fav the FSC556 indeed has very little compromise as you said but it definitely loosens up the crud in my sinuses, sucker is LOUD). Overall great review!

    • Like Tex300BLK, said, the FSC556 is incredible at recoil reduction but sweet Jesus is it loud. I’m considering having mine cut off my 14.5″ barrel and have something else out on there. The FSC is too damn loud for me.

    • Thanks, Tex! I was extremely happy with how consistent the results were, despite the “pen of science” and “rock of science” (and I had a bunch of boxes of 10mm ammo with me, so I’m not sure why I didn’t think of using some of those as a weight instead haha).

      Originally I had intended to hang a paper target a few feet off to the side of the muzzle but in the view of the GoPro so its movement was visible in the video. I had also considered trying to get a chronograph reading on every shot so the sled results could be weighed against velocity deviation. In the end I just decided to keep it simple so I didn’t have to try and juggle a bunch of things simultaneously and make a mistake more likely. I was also pressed for time due to the wife’s due date and my shooting area being just over an hour from home haha… as it was this already required like 4 hours out in the woods. I did actually try to get it done while the temperature was consistent, so I started setting up at like 11:00 AM and wrapped at close to 3:00. I even tested bare muzzle at the beginning and again at the end to make sure nothing had changed, and the averages were right on.

      BTW — if there’s any way to tell from the video what kind of concussion a device is good for, it’s easier to see it on the ‘main camera’ video than the GoPro (which surprised me, because I saw the GoPro’s tripod bounce/rock a few times). Brakes with decent concussion knocked that camera around on the tripod and caused it to swivel a bit. Unfortunately for this purpose I edited out excessive delay between the shot and me calling out the distance (I intentionally waited a few seconds because the microphone “clips” and muffles sound for a few seconds after a loud noise), but you can still witness the camera rotating upon firing and then see it rotate back into the original position afterwards. Only brakes with decent concussion made it do this.

  9. Two questions, one general the other specific to this test.
    1. I figure there are two compents to the recoil.
    A. Clasic Newton 1/2 MV^2 type stuff bullet mass accelerated vs the mass of the rifle
    B. After the bullet has left the muzzle/physics system, the light but extremely fast moving gasses act like rocket gasses and increase the recoil unless directed backwards.Since these gases can significantly reduce recoil when directed backwards, they must contribute significantly to the recoil when not redirected.
    Anybody know what the velocity of the gasses are when the bullet gets out of the way and what proportion of the the recoil is attributed to the accelerating bullet and to the gasses?
    Now for the nit picky question.
    If a compensator is directing force downward, would that not increase the coeficient of friction between the sled and slide table thus making it appear it is reducing recoil because the test bed would move less? Yeah, nit picky but I like physics and I will accept STFU responses.

    • JP Rifles claims that about 70% of recoil is from the gasses. Interestingly enough, the top brakes in the recoil test here that attempt to redirect these gasses as much as possible and “brake” them so as much of the gas force as possible “pushes” the brake forwards to counteract recoil, reduced recoil as compared to a bare muzzle by right around 70%. In fact, this “70% of recoil is from the gasses” thing is on JP’s product page about the Recoil Eliminators. Just so happens that in this very test the Recoil Eliminator eliminated 70.4% of recoil. I really cannot tell you if this claim is true or total BS, but my non-professional woods of N’Idaho sled test definitely corroborates JP’s suggestion that this brake reduces about 70% of felt recoil!

      …and yes, I’d have to agree with you about the friction thing. Most of the comps don’t actually push down (don’t increase the weight on the sled vs. a stationary rifle), but they do prevent the muzzle from rising as much. There’s no way I can tell you today if that affects how far the sled slides back at all. Compared to the weight of the rock and the sled and the amount of surface area, etc etc… no idea. I also have no idea if 1mm of handguard-off-the-rest rise would be any different in this regard to 15 mm of handguard-off-the-rest rise. Most of the good comps still had a tiny bit of lift. The Battlecomp *might* have been the only one to clearly push down on the muzzle, but I’d have to look at all of the slow-mo clips again to be sure. Maybe I’ll run a single test next time I go out to the woods and do the Battlecomp installed properly and then installed upside down, as it would definitely prove any difference here.

    • 1.5 times projectile velocity is often used for the velocity of the escaping gasses. Others use 4000 fps.

      Using 1.5 times projectile velocity and a 55 gr bullet at 3100 fps (wild guess for an example) I get 41.6 lb-ft/s of ejecta momentum. Remove the mass of the gasses (equal to charge weight… 26 gr in my guess) and I get 24.3 lb-ft/s for momentum. That means gas was responsible for 17.3 out of 41.6 lb-ft/s… or about 41%.

      JP and anyone else beating a ~41% reduction gets their additional reduction by redirecting some portion of the gas to the rear at some velocity resulting in a subtraction of momentum. Max theoretical reduction would be 82%, but you can’t really achieve that due to losses, etc. Getting 70% or better of an available 82% is probably flirting with the practical limit.

  10. An amazingly comprehensive review, Jeremy S! Great work.

    As far as your wife expecting, I hope everything comes out all right.

  11. Gald you included a supressor. Your data lines up nicely with theoretical values as well… Free recoil calculation would show that a perfect supressor (no gas involved in recoil, weightless) would give about a 40% reduction in free recoil over bare muzzle i.e. 5.5 inches in your scale. The supressor you used gave slightly better results due to the real weight of the can being added in. In order to beat the perfect supressor scenario, some of the gas must be forced rearward.

  12. Any chance we can please get a flash hider comparison?

    It would actually be cool is you also tested flash of these devices as well. You could do a graph with compensation on one axis and flash on another so you can see where each lands in relation to each other. Would be a great tool for people to pick based off their preferences..

    • A flash hiding test would likely just involve screen shots from slow-mo video. Actually using a light meter in order to quantify empirical data necessary to create a graph would presumably be quite difficult. Obviously I’d have to come up with the sort of equipment for measuring those brief bursts and logging the peak brightness, but I’d also have to go out to the woods on a moonless night in the middle of winter (it has been like 14 degrees at night). Did I mention I don’t get paid for this? 😉

    • If there’s a next time, which one would you want to see? They’ll definitely be included in a flash suppressor comparo, as they’ve always been very popular for that, but nobody mentioned them and I didn’t think of them for a muzzle brake comparo (which was the intent of this piece, even if the SI Venom slipped in).

  13. Really great write-up and video. Would’ve liked to see a Lantac thrown in but beggars can’t be choosers. Thanks for putting all this together.

    • I really wanted to include a Lantac Dragon as well! I’m sorry it was missing. I probably shouldn’t be this candid in an open forum here, but I had chatted with Lantac and they said they were sending me one, but after a few weeks it wasn’t here so I talked with them again and they said they forgot and would drop it in the mail right away…but it never showed up. I couldn’t delay the test and by the time I realized the Dragon still hadn’t shown up I no longer had the time to purchase one, so I just had to run the test without the Lantac piece. My guess is it would do favorably along with the other 3-port brakes in the test, but not as well as the winner — the Precision Armament M4-72 — because it doesn’t have reverse-angled ports, which definitely give the M4-72 an edge in ultimate recoil reduction.

      To be clear, most of these brakes were donated by the manufacturers with the full understanding of what was going to happen, which I think is awesome. A few of them I already owned personally. One I borrowed. A few of them were purchased by TTAG just for this test. At this point I’m shipping nearly all of them off to Dan Z, who will be using them as TTAG contest (e.g. “weekend photo caption”) and giveaway prizes.

      …FYI, I have zero expectation that any company will donate a product for a head-to-head test like this, so was happy at the excitement and cooperation among most of these manufacturers while also totally understanding of the companies that chose not to provide free product (or as a matter of course, choose to never provide free product for any purpose). That’s totally fine. No favor was given to free ones (which, again, was the vast majority) and no extra scrutiny was given to ones I got through other means.

  14. Jeremy’s reviews are always my favorite. This, combined with Vuurwapen Blog’s reviews, are an indispensable resource for the average Joe, who likely could never amass this wide of a collection of muzzle devices together. Perfect. The testing must have gotten tedious, and taken some time. We appreciate all the hard work! Useful data, this testing proved fruitful.

    Question to TTAG’ers…. anyone who uses their AR-15 or similar tactical carbine for home defense, with no earpro or suppression, do you feel comfortable using a muzzle brake in your home? I love brakes on the range, but I am quite concerned about the concussion causing very serious, permanent damage were I to ever have to use the rifle indoors for CQB… What’s the best option? Thoughts appreciated.

    • My opinion, based on hearing a few centerfire rifle shots (including M16/5.56mm) inside partially- and fully-enclosed ranges WITHOUT ear protection, is that it won’t matter one whit. Yes, you could set up a digital microphone and measure the sound pressure levels to 3 decimal places, but the difference in the sound you’ll HEAR in your bedroom between a bare muzzle, a brake, and a flash suppressor, will be no different at all, as far as your ears (and any damage) is concerned. Once you get past a certain point, loud is just LOUD.

  15. Very informative…I chose a JP Supercomp XL Ti for my Ruger GSR, tamed that short barreled .308 right down…

  16. I was slightly surprised to see Surefire and AAC but not Yankee Hill Machine on this list. All three companies run QD systems on their muzzle devices. Additionally, Yankee Hill offers a compensator or flash hider for theirs.

    Of course I obviously run the compensator, hence mentioning it, but it seems pretty decent. It does need to be timed and I’m imagining it helps muzzle movement and recoil but can’t know compared to the competition because you pretty much cornered the market by using a control rifle and running 3 dozen devices. I haven’t seen this much muzzle device data that isn’t filled with company tag lines and guarantees.

    I am impressed no doubt. I am just asking if you can maybe add addendum sort of additions to still keep the format but include more muzzle devices as they come out or into vogue.

    • I’m going to be keeping a few of these muzzle devices so I can do that in the future. Future tests will not result in the same amount of sled movement, but the percentage reductions in recoil vs. the bare muzzle should not change much at all (with the same ammo especially). This way if a few more things end up here — and I’ve already seen multiple requests for SJC Titan and something from Yankee Hill (which specific brakes/comps from them would you want to see?) — we’ll be able to run the Precision Armament M4-72, VG6 GAMMA, bare muzzle, A2, and a couple others from this test that I personally own and see where the new brakes fall into place comparatively, which will hopefully also allow comparison to all of the other ones from this test as well.

  17. Two nits about the “41.40 tool steel:”

    – There should be no decimal point, the AISI designation is 4140 steel.

    – It also isn’t “tool steel,” but merely “alloy steel.” “Tool steel” usually starts at 0.50% carbon, and has more moly in it to provide keep the steel hard as it gets hot.

    • Yeah. Plenty of these things don’t always align with reality in some way. In past reviews I’ve put Nitrate instead of Nitride in the stats for something and have put in information like 41.40 even though I know it’s incorrect or typo’d or whatever. I’m just choosing to copy the information exactly as written on the manufacturer’s website when the information is available. I suppose I could include [sic] or something, but I don’t feel it’s right for me to presume corrections and override the published info…

      YES… I realize that’s precisely what I did with the length, diameter, and weight measurements haha. In that case I wanted a consistent comparison across all manufacturers though, especially after seeing extremely obvious errors on some websites (as though they listed shipping weight instead of muzzle device weight, etc etc).

  18. Please please please do compare sound and flash!!! Also it would be great if you could get a few more, and maybe some more suppressors added in the mix just for comparison.

    We want all your time, the baby and wife get none -sincerely everyone.

  19. It is great to see folks backup my claims on the VG6 lineup. I have both the Epsilon and The Gamma. They are my go to muzzle devices. VG6 makes a damn good product and have some new hotness coming in 2015.. very excited.

  20. Maybe I missed it, but did you record muzzle rise along the lines of how you recorded the recoil distance? I’d be very interested in those stats as well.

    • No, I made no attempt to measure that. It would be possible with a different rig and a much better slow-mo camera off to the side with a graph behind the gun, or something attached to the gun that physically traced the muzzle’s path on paper, but this test was solely created to measure rearwards recoil energy.

    • I think I’ll do a flash suppressor test in late Q1 or early Q2.

      BUT… I pretty much disagree with your suggestion that these are tacticool and flash suppressors aren’t! When I’m shooting I care about muzzle rise and recoil and I don’t care about flash or concussion. That’s because I’m shooting for fun and I’m not an Operator. It seems to me like ‘normal folks’ concerned with “flash signature” are the mall ninja ones 😉 . God forbid your enemy locate your firing position based on your muzzle flash. You wouldn’t want to damage your night vision. Wouldn’t want concussion to affect your teammates and other surrounding personnel. ….hahaha I kid, I kid. But only a little.

  21. I’d like to see the SilencerCo Saker and/or SpecWar Trifecta flash hider tested to see how it stacks up.

  22. I was excited to see the Ares Armor EFFIN-A MKII listed, but disappointed that you didn’t test it with some of the holes plugged. As far as I know you are the only reviewer on the web to review the “MKII” version of this thing with any kind of quantitative data.

    I think it would make the comparison with other devices more fair if you included with and without specific holes plugged (like the FERFRANS). That’s how most people would use the device. It would be interesting to see if it increases or reduces felt recoil.

    Otherwise, epic post!

    • As the test was about how much felt recoil reduction a muzzle device was good for, I chose to leave them all open. I simply assume that plugging any of them would result in more felt recoil. Plugging all of the bottom ones, for example, would reduce muzzle rise but should also increase how much gas goes straight out the front of the compensator and should, I would expect, therefore increase recoil. There must be thousands of combinations of plugged and unplugged holes possible on the EFFIN-A. I could see testing open plus a couple of likely configs but also had to watch how much time I was spending…

  23. +1 on SJC Titan.
    Would also like to see comparison of the JP Standard Bennie Cooley brake.
    Thanks for doing this!

  24. This is really a very nice and comprehensive article. Thank you. I only wish it had the Rolling Thunder in it.

  25. Nice review
    For the concussion, if you wanted, you could pretty easily get a first order approximation of the change between devices by using the microphone on your phone to measure the blast in various locations. I know it wouldn’t be the most accurate test, but at the very least you could get a qualitative order of best to worst in terms of annoyance to the guy in the next lane. And the best part is that you could do it concurrently with whatever test you perform next.
    I got thinking about how you could test muzzle rise. I’m assuming you do this mostly on your own dime so building a rig may be a little too much, but the gears have been turning. And now I’ve been nerd-sniped…to the drawing board!

  26. Fantastic work! I’m now going to view many of your other reviews.

    There are a lot of factors in choosing such a device:
    – Recoil, Noise, Weight, Muzzle rise, Muzzle flash, Diameter, Cost; Cool looking.

    I don’t know that you could have measured and provided a graph, but muzzle rise and noise measured 2ft to the side of shooter; that data would be super useful.

    No purpose to showing the 2nd shot. We can just trust you.

    Again, thank you very much for your hard work and great review / video.

    • We are a skeptical and cynical bunch here. I know the video is really long, but I wanted to include the shots so there would be much less reason to doubt the integrity of the results. On the slow-mo footage, I did actually cut out the 2nd one when they both looked identical. With rare exception, if I couldn’t see a difference between the two shots, I only included slow-mo for one of them, but if something was different (usually it was the amount of muzzle flash) then I included both.

  27. Excellent Test! Flash test would definitely be interesting especially on these “combo” devices that claim to do it all. From what I can see in the video it looked like that AFAB was the only combo brake that didnt show a visible flash…

  28. Amazing to see one of the best overall muzzle devices that does best of both worlds not even make the list. The TSD Combat Systems Extended Kompressor when on sale is under 70 and is superior to any of these. Nice to see the Jerry brake which he also uses on his tavor priced right.

    • I’m not exactly sure how amazing it is to see it missing here, honestly. I’ve never heard of it and can’t seem to find any place online that carries it or has any info on it other than a YouTube video. It isn’t even listed on the manufacturer’s own website…

  29. Jeremy, this was fantastic.
    That was a LOT of effort.
    I dig my Silencerco trifecta.

    PS- hope delivery goes well for mama and baby.

    • Dude. Home birth. All natural. Momma was absolutely amazing. Our “little” daughter was 11 lbs, 14 ounces!!! Total shocker; no explanation. Neither of our families has any “history” of big babies, our little girl #1 was 7 lbs 4 oz and born at the exact same point in relation to the due date, momma is fit and healthy and has zero blood sugar or other issues, etc. I think we’ll be enrolling the little one in peewee football this spring 😉

  30. I really enjoyed this competitive evaluation. It was completely objective and (for the most part) scientifically valid … except for that rock flapping around the sled. I know that you got some pretty consistent (and impressive) results, but the rock was observed often shifting during the tests – not always, but nevertheless, it does introduce variances in the results because when the weight shifts, it alters the entire sled assembly’s inertia and can act as a delay in recoil aspect that is hard to deny. The shift in inertial momentum negates the purpose of locking off the gas block.

    In a formal testing scenario, the tests would have to be performed again using a device to assure that the rock does not dislodge in subsequent tests (like velcro, hot glue or mammy’s old pancakes). I’m not saying that you should re-test all of the devices – just the ones when the rock moved. Otherwise, a variance such as this would be grounds for protest by the potentially-affected product manufacturers.

    I also live in MA (Lunenburg), so if you ever need a local willing volunteer to critique your evaluation criteria and methodology, I tend to think outside the box, have an inventive engineering background and can contribute as needed. Hats are off to the test data coordinator “NotoriousAPP”, who compiled a lot of data into an easily-understandable format.

    • I’m in WA. Similar to MA but you have to switch the first letter upside down 😉

      I know… the rock is janky. I had a bunch of boxes of 10mm in my rig so I should have used some of those instead. Not sure what possessed me to use a rock. At any rate, I absolutely understand what you’re saying AND I agree with it 100%, but the results were rock solid. Running the A2 and bare muzzle over a dozen times each (and one of those again at the end another 5 times to make sure things were still consistent at the end of testing as they were at the beginning) showed very consistent results and sometimes the rock shifted a little and sometimes it didn’t. There are also many other variables like temperature and ammunition (10% variance in energy level wouldn’t be a surprise) and others and it’s too hard to account for all of them. This is supposed to be a representative but not fully or legitimately scientific test and I have no expectations whatsoever that it could hold up to any scientific scrutiny. I briefly considered trying to chronograph every shot so recoil could be weighed or adjusted against velocity deviation, but I really think my results would go downhill if I started trying to overcomplicate things in the name of science.

      At any rate, I was super happy with the 0.19″ average difference between shortest and longest shot for all muzzle devices. That’s pretty freaking tight. “Rock of Science” or not 😉

  31. Too bad the Lantac Dragon wasn’t part of this test. I would have loved to have seen that result since I’m in the market for a brake. I have the Ferfrans and like it but need relative data to the Dragon.

  32. Great review, Jeremy! Glad to see the VG6 pair do as well as they did. Wonder if you had a chance to run the Precision Armament EFAB through your protocol. I believe it came out since you ran this exhaustive test. Wonder how its stacks up against the Epsilon. Thanks in advance,

    • Yeah, it came out after I got the parts from PA. I didn’t try to get the EFAB because I intended to only do brakes in this test and it sort of spread out into comps and linear comps and a FH on accident haha. I’ll try to get an EFAB for the upcoming FH test and may also include it in the next recoil test just to see what’s up.

      I believe the EPSILON would have placed better (closer to the GAMMA) in the recoil test if I hadn’t installed it upside down haha.

  33. What a fantastic effort to test all the comps you did get to. I am in the process of removing my Titan SJC, not because it is not effective, but because the concussion is getting really old. Loud is fine I can fix that but I am so tired of fellow shooters coming over to ask if my AR is a 308. If you could develop a test procedure for concussion you would really hit the nail on the head. I just ordered the Effin A, and was so glad to see it made the 50% bracket on your test scale, you have done a great job and deserve much praise from us shooters….

  34. I use Precision Armament’s M41A2 Severe-Duty Muzzle Brake on my 300BLK, and I couldn’t be happier. By far one of the best brake’s I’ve used. Thinking about putting one on my Noreen BN36 to see if it works better than Noreen’s brake. Great article, shared with everyone I know who is in the process of building an AR.

  35. So I have a slide fire upper and all I’m really wanting is a device thats ported at the 10 and 2 or the 12 o-clock. Not a break, just something to control muzzle climb. What is best?

    • Likely some of the compensators. The Ares Armor one allows you to have the ports where you want them and allows you to tune it to your firearm and ammo. The Precision Armament AFAB is a super effective comp (keeps the muzzle steady) that is also a great flash hider and reduces blast and concussion as well, and is going to perform amazingly out of the box with no tinkering. The GoGun/JP SuperComps are very effective comps and they do it with a lot less blast and concussion than any of the brakes, but with more than the AFAB and they’re also larger. But maybe they suit your aesthetic preference better.

  36. In regards to the last sentence of the Hera Arms LC Gen 2,

    “It could be a sweet option for permanent attachment to a short barrel in order to bring it up to the 16″ minimum while running an extended handguard without worry of singed digits.”

    I want to do this but am unsure what length barrel to get. It being 3.55″ I thought I could just get a 12.5″ barrel, but I guess it does not work like that. Can someone with more experience help me please?

    • Hi Nathan, sorry for the delay (haven’t checked the comments here for a while). You have to account for the overlap of barrel and muzzle device since the muzzle device screws on and covers the threaded end of the barrel. It’s the total length that counts one your muzzle device is permanently affixed, so you have to subtract that overlap. Find out how long the threaded section of the barrel you plan to use is. Since the Hera linear comp doesn’t have to be installed with a specific part pointing up, it’s going to get tightened all the way down to the shoulder at the bottom of the barrel threads. The distance from the muzzle of the barrel to the shoulder is what you’ll have to subtract from the length of the Hera piece. For example, if the threads are 0.5 inches long (which is likely shorter than most AR threads actually are) then the 3.55″ Hera will extend the barrel by 3.05 inches once installed. I would honestly err a half inch on the cautious side to be totally sure you’re compliant. Even major manufacturers very often do 16.5 inch barrels just to be safe and to hedge against possible different ways of measuring, etc…

    • FYI Lan World, the U.S. HERA Arms distributor, told me: “Using the GEN 2.0 comp as our sample it would add 2.76” to the length of the rifle.”

  37. Great review Jeremy, thanks!

    I also like the smaller devices but have stayed away from designs like the battlecomp due to reports of overcompensation by pushing the muzzle down. I’ve heard the VG6 Gamma behaves in a similar way and it’s obviously heavily ported on top. Did you experience this in your testing of the VG6 Gamma?

    • This is all highly variable, as the amount of gas and pressure exiting your muzzle is quite variable and the amount of compensation and recoil reduction depends almost entirely on that. For instance, if you’re running a short barrel there’s going to be a lot more pressure than a 16″ bbl which will have more than a longer barrel. If you’re running full-power 5.56 like I did in this test you’ll have more gas & pressure than if you’re using .223. I don’t feel like the VG6 products overcompensated for me on the 16″ bbl though, and you can compare the GAMMA slow-mo footage to the Battlecomp footage and see an obvious and large difference as the Battlecomp literally bends the barrel downwards and the GAMMA has very little barrel movement at all.

  38. Vary helpful review. I have one i would like to see tested the TEMPLAR MILITARY COMPENSATOR-ENHANCED (MC-E) BRAKE From Templar Customs.