AR15 muzzle brake test (courtesy Jeremy S. for
Previous Post
Next Post

Welcome to the third installment of our 5.56 muzzle brake testing series. This time around we’ve put 42 new muzzle devices to the test, measuring the recoil reduction performance of each.

Recoil Testing

The procedure for this test was the same as the previous brake tests. You can find the first one here, the second one there, and a .30 caliber version here. For the Operators out there, we got a sweet Lux meter and tested the muzzle signature reduction effectiveness of various flash hiders, brakes, and comps. Flash hiding test #1 is here, and #2 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.

As the protocol remained the same as before, we’ll keep the description of it quick. For more info, refer to the video above and/or the previous 5.56 brake tests.

  • My AR-15 was strapped to the test rig, which was free to slide on a plastic table. I measured how far the rig slid back for each shot. This is one method of quantifying rearwards recoil energy. Bare muzzle is the basis for comparison against which all of the muzzle devices are measured.
  • Only a single round of Federal American Eagle XM193 was loaded for each shot (one in the chamber, zero in the mag).
  • The rifle’s Adams Arms XLP gas piston system was turned off. This means the action did not cycle — the bolt remained locked in battery — and each round was manually ejected before loading the next.
  • Each muzzle device was timed properly, and tested twice.
  • Recoil distance was measured in 1/16″ increments. All of the data here has been converted from that to decimals.

As simple and as “redneck” as this test looks — and is, sure — the average difference between the shortest slide and the farthest slide across all 44, 2-shot tests was 0.1477″. It’s highly consistent and repeatable.

Without further ado, our recoil reduction winner is…drum roll please…

The SJC Titan Compensator!


That’s right. A new champion has been crowned! The Precision Armament M4-72 was king of the recoil reduction hill against 138 other 5.56 competitors and 23, .30 cal competitors, but it just got Joffrey’d by the SJC Titan. It’s no fluke, either. After the initial round of testing I took another trip to the woods and did back-to-back testing with three types of ammo and different recoil sled weights, and the Titan always beat out the M4-72 (video of that starts here).

In the initial testing, the SJC Titan reduced recoil by 78.18% as compared to the bare muzzle. The M4-72’s performance was consistent with the previous shootouts, reducing recoil by 74.03%.


The Titan is larger and heavier than the M4-72, but breathes less fire. At least on the first shot in a string, as both of them get significantly less fiery — becoming basically equivalent — on subsequent shots. I believe the blast/wind from both of these brakes is approximately the same, but the Titan may have a little more concussion that your neighbors at the range will feel. You’ll find a split-screen, slow-mo comparison of each brake during rapid, offhand firing in the video here.

Note: there is no comparison whatsoever between the inch measurements in this test and those in the previous 5.56 tests (or the .30 cal test). The important stat is the recoil reduction as a percentage, which has proven pleasingly consistent.

Recoil test results for all of the entrants can be seen in the graphs and tables below. Click on any of the images in this article to see them full-size. Additionally, all of the raw data can be downloaded in an Excel doc by clicking here.





Muzzle Brakes / Compensators

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

2111 Arms 5.56/.223 Compensator:


I wasn’t familiar with 2111 Arms prior to coming across this comp, and I’m glad that I did. It’s a very compact, extremely lightweight compensator that truly surprised me with its recoil reduction performance. Material choice and machining are top quality. I’m not a huge black oxide fan, but 2111 Arms has done it here as nicely as it can be done. Concussion was minimal, and based on the slow-mo footage it compensates for muzzle rise fairly aggressively.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: 17-4PH stainless steel
Finish: black oxide
Length: 1.752″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.815″
Weight: 1.58 oz
MSRP: $95

Apex Tactical Enhanced Stabilization Attachment:


“Enhanced Stabilization Attachment” is a bit marketing-lingo-heavy for my tastes, but this muzzle brake has a good reputation for performance. In this test against tough competitors it ended up middle-of-the-road, but over 60% recoil reduction is nothing to sneeze at. A small gas vent hole above the first port (I managed to photograph it upside-down) provides a hint of muzzle rise compensation, which I think is just the right amount. Machining is clean, if simple, with no visible tool marks. Nitride finish is nicely done and has held up well on the high-mileage loaner unit I borrowed for this test.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: steel
Finish: Salt Bath Nitride (QPQ)
Length: 2.595″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.747″
Weight: 2.25 oz
MSRP: $59.95

Armageddon Tactical CompTek Type I Compensator/Brake:



Truly great machining and a flawless finish left me shocked when the CompTek refused to thread onto my rifle. In the 160+ muzzle devices I’ve tested, this was the first one that had to receive a DQ — I simply couldn’t install it. I’m fully willing to believe that this was a complete and total fluke, and Armageddon Tactical immediately offered a replacement, no questions asked, while also stating that they’ll be upping their inspection protocol to ensure this can’t happen in the future.


I didn’t take the replacement, though, as running a 1/2-28 thread tap through it — Melonite is really hard, by the way — resolved the problem completely. While it had to be DQ’d for the primary testing with the rest of these brakes, I did bring it out the following weekend when doing further testing between the SJC Titan and the Precision Armament M4-72. In that testing, it reduced recoil by 60.73% compared to a bare muzzle.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: 4140 steel
Finish: Melonite QPQ
Length: 2.752″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.951″
Weight: 4.868 oz
MSRP: $99

Black Dawn Muzzle Brake:



The Black Dawn Muzzle Brake’s baffles are unique in both functional and aesthetic design, with no top or bottom to them outside of the internal bore area (and no baffle wall inside the bore area), which also leaves unusually small, rectangular ports. I wasn’t expecting a lot of recoil-reducing performance, but cutting it by over 55% ain’t too shabby.

I dig subtle machine marks that show a piece like this has been turned down from stock on a lathe, and the Black Dawn wears it proudly. The nitride finish is very nice. Although I’d really appreciate 19mm wrench flats for easy installation, I understand that a narrow, 3/8″ wrench can be used on the flats between the baffles and, once installed, the smooth exterior can make for a clean look on a bull barrel of the right diameter.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: steel
Finish: nitride
Length: 2.803″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.874″
Weight: 4.48 oz
MSRP: $69

Cobalt Kinetics EVOLVE Pro Comp:


Cobalt Kinetics includes this brake on their EVOLVE Rifle in a handful of different finishes. Although it isn’t currently available for purchase separately, I was able to get my hands on one and figured we may as well include it in this test, especially considering the unique design. It’s certainly an extremely effective brake, cutting recoil by a hair over 70% without as much concussion as many brakes create, while maintaining a dead-steady muzzle.

The Cerakote job on my sample was done evenly and thoroughly, but the machining leaves something to be desired. Actually, most of it is crisp and clean, but on the flat, recessed area on both top and bottom and the wrench flats at rear, there are obvious tool marks that are deep enough to be felt with a fingernail. This brake should have been tumbled and/or media blasted after it was machined.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: steel
Finish: Cerakote (or similar)
Length: 3.372″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.933″
Weight: 4.445 oz
MSRP: not sold separately

CORE15 Rifle Systems .223/5.56 Muzzle Brake:


My CORE15 brake loaner is well-used, but the nitride finish still looks great. It’s an effective dual chamber brake with top vents to combat muzzle rise, muzzle prongs for flash reduction, and no flaws or tool marks that I can see.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: steel
Finish: black nitride
Length: 2.406″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.829″
Weight: 2.515 oz
MSRP: $59.99

Dead Air Armament Keymount Muzzle Brake:


Like most muzzle devices that act as QD mounts for a specific company’s suppressors, I think it would be a bit of an odd choice should one not own a matching suppressor. That said, Dead Air’s pricing is far lower than the typical QD-mount brake, and it’s a good looking, flawlessly machined and finished piece.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: steel (“high strength corrosion resistant alloy”)
Finish: black nitride
Length: 2.604″
Diameter (at largest point): 1.081″
Weight: 4.092 oz
MSRP: $89

Dead Air Armament Sandman Ti (.30 cal vs. .223 cal end caps):


One end cap fits inside of the tool used to swap them. Handy.



It’s well-established that suppressors do reduce recoil, although to varying degrees (like brakes and comps) based on design, caliber, and more. There has been a lot of back-and-forth in the industry about swappable suppressor end caps, though, with some stating that they’re nothing but a marketing ploy to sell accessories while some insist that they’re truly effective at reducing volume levels when shooting smaller diameter calibers through an oversized bore. Although I don’t yet have access to professional dB metering equipment to test volume level claims, I figured the same gas-trapping principals were likely to lead to a change in recoil reduction.

And, indeed, this is what we found. When shooting 5.56 through the .30 caliber end cap, the Sandman Ti reduced rearwards recoil by 46.69%. After switching to the .223 caliber end cap, recoil reduction jumped to 49.45%. Result! In my subjective opinion doing a little shooting out in the woods, I did also find it slightly quieter with the correctly-bored end cap. Not much, but enough to notice and to be relatively confident of it.

Machining and finish, like on the brake, is as good as it gets. I like this suppressor a lot. For the record, I used a Precision Armament thread adapter to thread the 5/8-24 suppressor onto my 1/2-28 rifle.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: Titanium tube, Stellite baffle core
Finish: Cerakote
Length: 8.2″
Diameter (at largest point): 1.5″
Weight: 16.8 oz
MSRP: $849

Diamondhead T-Brake Muzzle Compensator:


Diamondhead’s T-Brake was a hot request in the comments of muzzle brake test #1 and #2, both here and on YouTube. Clearly, a lot of people find the triangular shape compelling and wanted to know how the recoil reduction stacks up. In this tough competition it didn’t come within sight of the podium, but cutting recoil by more than half (55.52%) is still admirable.

Only at close-up inspection do minor flaws in machining and finish become apparent. Light tool marks on the circumference, a couple nicks on the 90° edges, and one or two really small points where finish is missing. Overall though it’s very good, and were it not for the close scrutiny of this test and the tough competition, it probably wouldn’t be noticed.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: hardened steel
Finish: black
Length: 2.805″
Diameter (at largest point): 1.014″
Weight: 4.057 oz
MSRP: $129

Dynamic Resistance Muzzle Break:


This little guy, regardless of whether it’s a “brake” or a “break,” punches well above its weight class. The packaging states a 62% recoil reduction vs. an A2 birdcage (which we have shown to reduce recoil by a few percent compared to a bare muzzle), and I found a 68.5% reduction vs. a bare muzzle. From a compact, 2-port brake, this is really impressive. Personally, I’d be an even bigger fan if the top ports were smaller, as I think they provide too much downwards force, but this is completely subjective and affects every shooter differently.

Machining and finish are perfect.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: 4140 steel or 17-4 stainless steel
Finish: Mil-spec Parkerize, or raw
Length: 1.752″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.876″
Weight: 2.484 oz
MSRP: $75

Fortis Muzzle Brake 5.56 Nitride:


Fortis makes a lot of cool-looking, futuristic, angular metal products for MSRs, and this new muzzle brake is certainly no exception. Machining and finish are excellent. Quality is obviously quite high and it does look pretty badass. Recoil reduction performance is good, but nothing to write home about compared to other brakes of its size.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: 4140 steel
Finish: black nitride
Length: 2.286″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.95″
Weight: 2.796 oz
MSRP: $89.95

Griffin Armament M4SD Hammer Comp:


Griffin’s M4SD line of suppressors and muzzle devices uses the same QD mounting grooves as the A2 birdcage, meaning their suppressors work on an A2 and their muzzle devices work with most other brands of A2-compatible suppressors. This is the Hammer Comp, a combo compensator / brake / flash suppressor. We found in Flash Hiding Test #2 that it’s about 37% brighter than an A2, which is a significant flash reduction vs. a bare muzzle, and in this test we see that it cuts recoil almost in half, putting the A2 to shame. Quality is excellent in every way. It’s a very clean piece.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: 17-4PH stainless steel
Finish: black oxide
Length: 1.751″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.866″
Weight: 2.271 oz
MSRP: $94.95

Griffin Armament M4SD Flash Comp:


Much to my surprise, Griffin’s M4SD Flash Comp beat the Hammer Comp on recoil reduction by 5%. It’s longer, so it may not work with some other brands of suppressors made to mount on an A2. Considering the low concussion, decent recoil reduction, and quality machining and finish, it’s a good choice with or without a suppressor attached.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: 17-4PH stainless steel
Finish: black oxide
Length: 2.26″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.866″
Weight: 2.89 oz
MSRP: $99.95

Kahntrol Solutions 3-Gun Brake:


Kahntrol Solutions’ hexagonal brakes have a unique and fun, somewhat industrial look to them. With no shortage of blast and concussion it’s sure to wake the neighbors, but you’ll be happy in the knowledge that you just sent 62% of your rifle’s recoil energy their way instead of into your shoulder. Machining is good but not perfect, although the tough, industrial look is probably complemented by a tool pass line here and there anyway — it looks like it was made to do real work. The black oxide finish was done very well.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: 4140 steel
Finish: black oxide
Length: 2.601″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.989″
Weight: 3.461 oz
MSRP: $94.95

Knight’s Armament MAMS:


The Multi-Axis Muzzle Stability (MAMS) brake from Knight’s Armament may cost an arm and a leg, but it’s also extremely expensive. It acts as a QD mount for KAC’s 5.56 suppressor line, and is a combination brake / comp / and flash hider. While it wasn’t particularly impressive in the flash hider testing, it did perform better in recoil reduction than I would have guessed based on the external design, cutting it down by almost 53%. Of course, with the end cap welded onto it, there could be more going on inside than meets the eye.

My loaner sample was well used and abused, but it’s clear that it was machined with great precision and deburred and smoothed out afterwards. No idea what the finish is or what it looked like when new, but most of it’s still hanging in there despite the high mileage on this muzzle device.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: steel
Finish: black
Length: 2.2″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.864″
Weight: 2.35 oz
MSRP: $299.95

Knight’s Armament Triple Tap Flash Suppressor/Compensator:


Wire EDM-machined from Inconel, the ~$450 KAC 3T puts the MAMS’ price tag to shame. It’s no longer available (sorry, I know I just shattered your plans to impulse buy one), but it was loaned to me with the MAMS so I figured I’d test it. If nothing else, it’s a really cool exercise in what can be done with extreme-precision manufacturing…although there still are a few little melty mistakes from the wire either at the start or end of its pass for most of the longitudinal grooves. Anyway, it placed third from last in this test, behind two flash hiders.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: Inconel
Finish: bare
Length: 1.88″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.865″
Weight: 2.66 oz
MSRP: $450 (not in production)

Lilja Heartbraker Muzzle Break:


Lilja makes some of the most accurate barrels in the business, so turning out a perfectly-machined muzzle brake ain’t no thang. This heart-shaped port/baffle design seems to be highly effective (see the Thunder Tech brakes in Test #2, too), netting a 65% recoil reduction out of a barrel-diameter brake. This is another brake with no wrench flats, but Lilja sells a tool for torquing it down via one of the ports. I may or may not have used a screwdriver.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: stainless steel
Finish: raw
Length: 2.373″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.74″
Weight: 2.337 oz
MSRP: $125

Nord Arms Open Brake:



Nord Arms is a competition-focused rifle parts company out of Estonia. Their parts aren’t currently for sale in the U.S. that I know of, but they’re expected to be available through Brownell’s and other retailers in the near future. This is their Open brake, designed for competition classes that don’t limit brake size. Considering the huge, rearwards-angled baffles I figured this guy would be in the running for unseating the reigning champion but, alas, it was not to be. The Open came in 5th by reducing recoil by 72.38%, but realistically it tied for 3rd as the difference between the 3rd, 4th, and 5th place brakes was so incredibly small.

Machining and finish are average.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: 416 stainless steel (also available in titanium)
Finish: black matte QPQ nitriding (dark grey matte thick carburizing in titanium)
Length: 2.246″
Diameter (at largest point): 1.366″
Weight: 4.586 oz (2.68 oz in titanium)
MSRP: $67

Nord Arms Standard Brake:


For an aggressive, but not quite howitzer-like look, and for staying within size restrictions for some competition classes (although I believe in the U.S. it’s 1.0″ that’s used as a limit in some classes, meaning this one would technically be too big at 1.02″), Nord Arms makes their Standard brake. It’s more compact, but it’s still a recoil cutting beast with an over 68% reduction.

Again, I’d say the machining and finish on the steel one is about average, but the time spent sandblasting the titanium one has removed tool marks and teeny burrs and has effectively made it flawless.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: 416 stainless steel (also available in titanium)
Finish: black matte QPQ nitriding (dark grey matte thick carburizing in titanium)
Length: 2.44″
Diameter (at largest point): 1.02″
Weight: 3.451 oz (2.01 oz in titanium)
MSRP: $56

ODIN Works ATLAS 5 Comp:



This very unique compensator is comprised of three pieces: a baffle core, a titanium sleeve, and an end cap. First, the core gets installed on the rifle. Timing it is not necessary, as that’s the job of the Ti sleeve, which goes on next. Rotating the sleeve exposes different baffle core ports and changes the direction of the expanding gasses, including through the small muzzle rise control vent on top (can be enlarged with a drill, if desired). Once the sleeve is timed to one’s preference, the end cap is torqued down and three set screws lock it and the sleeve solidly in place.


Machining and finish are awesome, and the look sets it apart. A 64% recoil reduction is surprising for a comp. And how could I go without mentioning the cool packaging? Although I’m not actually sure if they’re still doing this, my ATLAS 5 shipped in a sealable glass canister with acid-etched ODIN Works ATLAS 5 logo.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: 416R stainless steel core and cap, titanium sleeve
Finish: black nitride on steel, sleeve left raw
Length: 2.56″
Diameter (at largest point): 1.0″
Weight: 4.198 oz
MSRP: $99

Phase 5 FATman Hex Brake:

20160823_154515 20160823_154545

I think it’s fair to say that Phase 5 was going for some loud aesthetics when they came up with the FATman brake. It’s big, angular, and has a lot of visual interest, looking particularly cool with its base tucked underneath an extended handguard. Phase 5 has done a truly great job machining all of the angles, chamfers, grooves, slots, and threads here, and the parkerizing is as nice as it can be.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: steel
Finish: Mil-spec black parkerized
Length: 3.007″
Diameter (at largest point): 1.264″
Weight: 6.138 oz
MSRP: $115

Precision Armament AFAB-556 Hybrid Muzzle Brake:


The AFAB is my go-to, all-around muzzle device, although in this crowd of highly effective brakes and comps its 50.55% recoil reduction seems less impressive than it really is. It continues to end up back on my rifles due to its excellent combination of muzzle stability, low blast, low concussion, low flash, and meaningful recoil reduction. And I happen to really like how it looks (that’s the sole reason I’m running it instead of the EFAB, which slightly outperforms it otherwise).

As with everything I’ve seen from Precision Armament, machining and finish are industry-leading.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: HTSR 416 stainless steel
Finish: Ionbond CrCN, matte black
Length: 2.23″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.866″
Weight: 3 oz
MSRP: $109.95

Precision Armament M4-72 Severe-Duty Compensator:


After two 5.56 tests and one .308 test, I’m sure the M4-72 is pretty bummed out to have been dethroned as reigning recoil reduction champion. It’s still good for a 74% reduction in recoil, which is absolutely amazing, but the SJC Titan did a whopping 78%. The M4-72 is smaller and lighter than the Titan, but it also spits more fire. I believe the blast/wind from both of these brakes is approximately equivalent, but the Titan may have a little more concussion that your neighbors at the range will feel.

As with the AFAB, machining and finish are as good as it gets.

Click here to jump to its point in the video, and here for the additional M4-72 vs. Titan back-to-back testing.

Material: HTSR 416 stainless steel
Finish: Ionbond CrCN matte black or bead blast stainless
Length: 2.25″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.875″
Weight: 2.55 oz
MSRP: $89.99

Rainier Arms Compensator (RAC):


RAC ’em up! Great performance, great machining, great finish, all at a great price. Or at least a very competitive price. Hard to argue with that if the RAC’s looks are to your liking.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: stainless steel
Finish: black or bead blast stainless
Length: 2.314″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.891″
Weight: 2.665 oz
MSRP: $69

Rainier Arms Xtreme Tactical Compensator (XTC) 2.0:


Rainier Arms’ XTC 2.0 looks like it’s attacking me from the future. Actually, it could be a lot of fun to build a mecha-themed rifle to match (yes, that’s a challenge). The XTC cut recoil by over 63% and, like the RAC, the machining is flawless. While the RAC was nitrided, this XTC is bead blast bare stainless, although both brakes are available in either finish.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: stainless steel
Finish: bead blast stainless, or black nitride
Length: 2.355″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.95″
Weight: 3.299 oz
MSRP: $79.95

Rifenbark Armory S.O.M. (Sound of Madness) Muzzle Brake:


This was another brake I wished had wrench flats while resorting to the ol’ screwdriver-through-the-port trick, then I felt stupid when I later found the tool it ships with sitting in my bag. If you’ve always wanted a V12 on your rifle, look no further. Seriously though, the Rifenbark primarily focuses on combating muzzle rise without sending a blast of carbon and fire through your sight picture. A long, single port is added to reduce recoil (by almost 46%) without excessive blast or concussion. Machining and finish are above average (and my loaner is used).

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: steel
Finish: black (it looks parkerized)
Length: 2.106″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.866″
Weight: 2.637 oz
MSRP: $89.99

Lund/SJC .223 Titan Compensator:


Here it is, the new king of the recoil reduction hill! First, I feel compelled to apologize for not including the SJC Titan in my first couple of muzzle brake tests. Despite its obvious popularity on the competition shooting circuit, I couldn’t find one to borrow, couldn’t get through to the manufacturer, and didn’t put it high enough on my list to spend $90 from the limited budget to purchase one. Some of that was actually because I didn’t believe it would net a noteworthy performance. I felt that way because those three, round ports always appeared in photos as though they were simply drilled through the brake perpendicular to the bore. It appeared simplistic, frankly, and I was confident of a middle-of-the-road result.

vs161007-001Turned out I was completely wrong, not only of the result but of the SJC’s build. As you can clearly see in the photo above, the ports are angled rearwards; a common theme among all of the top-performing brakes. Round ports at a ~45° angle to the round bore makes for an interesting internal shape where port and bore meet to create baffle, and it certainly seems to work. The SJC Titan captures and redirects more gas than the M4-72 does, yet it accomplishes this with less fire. Blast/wind seems about the same, although it may have just a hair more concussion if you’re off to the side.

Machining is pretty dang clean, but as you can tell my loaner from Lisa Marie AKA “Lady 3 Gun” is very, very used.

Click here to jump to its point in the video, and here for the additional Titan vs. M4-72 back-to-back testing.

Material: steel (also available in stainless steel)
Finish: black (also available in matte stainless finish)
Length: 3.258″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.98″
Weight: 5.679 oz
MSRP: $90

SureFire WARCOMP 556:


The WARCOMP is primarily a flash hider — a pretty good one, at that — but it adds a blast baffle / expansion chamber with circular ports to provide muzzle rise compensation and recoil reduction. SureFire says it’s “the world’s most shootable flash hider,” which is obviously a hard claim to put to the test, but then again it reduced recoil by nearly 36% — the most of any “flash hider” I’ve tested for recoil, I do believe.

As with all of the brakes and flash hiders I’ve had from SureFire, machining and finish are totally flawless. The WARCOMP has no wrench flats, but ships with a custom tool that engages the prongs and allows the use of a socket wrench to torque it down.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: heat treated stainless steel bar stock
Finish: Ionbond DLC
Length: 2.736″
Diameter (at largest point): 1.0″
Weight: 3.845 oz
MSRP: $149

Tactical Advantage Armory 3P-23 Titanium 3%er Muzzle Brake:



Tactical Advantage Armory sent me a whole collection of brakes and comps, most of which are made from their metal of choice, Titanium. At least prior to testing them it was my opinion that they were made to look cool and really nothing else, but it turns out they all performed admirably. The 3%er here is a bit of an homage to the III% patriot/constitutionalist movement, with baffles cut in the pattern of III%. This guy reduced recoil by 58%.

Machining is excellent, except for the wavy side edges (I’m assuming they should be dead straight) of those front “wings” above and below the III ports. There are no wrench flats on this brake, so a screwdriver went through one of the circular % sign holes to good effect.

[EDIT: Tactical Advantage Armory informed me that I received units that are functionally identical (exact same port design) to their production units, but were either late-stage pre-production prototypes or “blem” versions made while they were refining the CNC machine code. Production versions should be without machining flaws.]

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: Grade 5 titanium
Finish: bead blast titanium or many Cerakote color options
Length: 2.54″
Diameter (at largest point): 1.259″
Weight: 3.422 oz
MSRP: $249.99

Tactical Advantage Armory BC-23 Compensator:


My BC-23 sample is stainless steel, but on the TAA website it appears titanium is the only option [EDIT: TAA confirmed that they only make Ti brakes. This one was made while they were refining the CNC code]. Netting a 62.7% recoil reduction in a tiny, lightweight package means I’m definitely a fan.

Machining is super clean, and, although I like to complain about a lack of wrench flats, the round ports that go straight through the BC-23 lend it particularly well to torquing via screwdriver. The upside to that is a clean aesthetic as the diameter of the BC-23’s perfectly round base is going to line up nicely with most standard barrel profiles.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: Grade 5 titanium (although my sample is stainless steel)
Finish: bead blast titanium or many Cerakote color options (mine is machined stainless)
Length: 1.808″
Diameter (at largest point): 1.0″
Weight: 1.42 oz in titanium, 1.77 oz in stainless
MSRP: $135.99 in titanium (not available in stainless)

Tactical Advantage Armory CC-23 Titanium Muzzle Brake:



CC may stand for “C-Comp” or something, and I think it’s obvious from the side view why TAA may have called it that. This certainly isn’t a small brake, but it nails a 66% recoil reduction and, being titanium, prevents it from being the tank it would be in steel.

Machining and Cerakoting are both very clean. I suppose a strap wrench would be the way to install this guy as, again, there are no wrench flats but also really no other appropriate feature to exploit for torquing purposes (I may have shoved the shaft of a screwdriver in the muzzle teeth).

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: Grade 5 titanium
Finish: bead blast or many Cerakote color options
Length: 2.977″
Diameter (at largest point): 1.009″
Weight: 3.284 oz
MSRP: $224.99

Tactical Advantage Armory NES-23 Titanium 3-Gun Compensator:


Despite its decent size, the titanium NES-23 weighs only 1.65 ounces, making it feel like it’s made of air. It’s pleasant to shoot, although it’s the same on all four sides so it could kick up dust pretty well from prone. It barely edged out the CC-23 with a 66.57% recoil reduction.

Really good machining but for small imperfections on the straight edges at top and bottom of the ports [EDIT: Again, TAA reminds me that my samples were not production-grade]. Wrench flats!

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: Grade 5 titanium
Finish: bead blast or many Cerakote color options
Length: 2.51″
Diameter (at largest point): 1.0″
Weight: 1.652 oz
MSRP: $235.99

Tactical Advantage Armory NT-23 Titanium Muzzle Brake:


The NT-23 is more than 4 inches of fish scale-lookin’ shark teeth with ports everywhere. Venting gas into those rearwards-facing baffles once again seems to work very well, as the NT-23 was a top performer here turning in a 69% recoil reduction. I’m not sure what would be involved in permanently attaching a titanium brake to a steel barrel, but the length of this thing would likely bring a 12.5″ barrel up to the legal minimum for a rifle.

Machining is great everywhere except for obvious tool pass marks on the center-facing sides of the baffles. No wrench flats, despite a perfect place for them. [EDIT: TAA informed me that production versions of this brake do have wrench flats and don’t have tool marks]

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: Grade 5 titanium
Finish: bead blast or many Cerakote color options
Length: 4.03″
Diameter (at largest point): 1.0″
Weight: 3.15 oz
MSRP: $249.99

Thunder Beast Arms Corporation 223CB Muzzle Brake:


Well if this isn’t the #1 surprise outperformer of the test, I don’t know what would be. The 223CB is incredibly compact, but its two, rearwards-angled baffles are obviously highly efficient at catching and redirecting gas and pressure. This bad boy landed in third place, providing a whopping 72.93% reduction in recoil. In addition to being a highly effective brake, it acts as a QD mount for Thunder Beast’s excellent, lightweight suppressors. I’d love to see them offer this brake in a simpler, lighter, less-expensive version sans the suppressor mounting elements, and I’m sure it would sell like crazy.

Machining and finish is as nice as it gets from any company. Absolutely top-notch. …although, now that I’m looking at the photograph again (the brake went to Tyler Kee for use with his TBAC cans), it appears as though one of the suppressor mounting threads is squished…

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: steel
Finish: Ionbond DLC
Length: 1.71″
Diameter (at largest point): 1.065″
Weight: 2.51 oz
MSRP: $125

Troy Industries Proctor Muzzle Brake:


Frank Proctor runs the Way of the Gun firearms training school and has also created many Way of the Gun firearms products such as slings, sights, controls, and this muzzle device. It’s made by Troy Industries, and is meant to be a good all-around unit functioning as a brake and a comp while keeping flash to a minimum. Recoil reduction was truly excellent at 68.2%, making it more of a brake than I was anticipating (with the blast and concussion to match).

Machining and finish, as with most of the muzzle devices I’ve had from Troy, are average. I might whine if it were my receiver, but I think the level of attention and care is totally fine for a muzzle brake.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: heat treated ordnance steel
Finish: black
Length: 2.151″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.852″
Weight: 3.101 oz
MSRP: $74

Tufforce Muzzle Brake with 4-side Picatinny Rail:


You’re now reading about what is possibly the stupidest F’ing thing on the planet. Well, considering I paid $22.99 of my own money for it I suppose that could be up for debate. At any rate, this aluminum (no. Just no. Don’t make muzzle brakes for centerfire rifle calibers from aluminum!) brake is adorned with Picatinny rail. On all four sides. Wait, in front of the ports? Yes, that’s right. It’s also so, so wrong.

It’s in there somewhere!

I think it’s obvious why mounting accessories to your muzzle brake isn’t a great idea. For multiple reasons. While I can’t really come up with anything that would make sense to mount to this thing, I’d just like to point out that the Tufforce website suggests that one of the best options is a front sight. Increase sight radius and such. Apparently they don’t realize that the height of this rail is way lower than AR rail height, and it would be basically impossible to jury rig a sight onto this thing at a usable height. Or maybe they do realize it, and the whole thing is just for trolling the market.

Except as a gag gift (I suggest including a TAC-SAC with it, plus a waiver of liability), please, please stay far away from this thing. It’s funny, but not functional.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: 6061-T6 aluminum
Finish: black hard anodized
Length: 2.562″
Diameter (at largest point): 1.042″
Weight: 1.118 oz
MSRP: $28.99

V Seven Weapons Systems FURION:


I pretty much love this titanium brake from V Seven. It combines perfect machining and finish with cool, modern aesthetics, unbelievably light weight, and solid performance (64.36% reduction).

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: Grade 5 titanium
Finish: bead blast titanium or Ionbond black
Length: 2.304″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.952″
Weight: 1.67 oz
MSRP: $133

V Seven Weapon Systems V SEVEN Muzzle Brake:


Okay so this is a first for me — a muzzle brake with a full-on, large port running one direction followed by another clocked 90° off from it. It looks unique, but I’m not sure it has a real performance purpose other than kicking up dust if you’re shooting prone. Once again though, V Seven’s machining and finish is great.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: heat treated 303 stainless steel
Finish: bead blast stainless or black nitride
Length: 2.222″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.901″
Weight: 2.674 oz
MSRP: $79

Venom Defense & Design AR-10, 2-Port Compensator:


Venom Defense is a bit of an Instagram celebrity (page here), especially among the “machinist porn” crowd. Unfortunately, I’m a slacker and this test is massively delayed from when I planned on running it, so Venom Defense’s designs have evolved a bit since. Most notably, this design is no longer offered for 5.56 and is now most similar to their .30 caliber, 5/8-24 brake. As we saw in the .30 cal test, though, a good design is a good design, and relative performance carried over between calibers very closely.

One of Venom’s big claims to fame is manufacturing their brakes in various metal options. Seen here is stainless steel (the pink hue on the front, by the way, is a reflection of the light I was using; the brake is 100% stainless color), but titanium is an always-available option and other metals like copper, brass, and other alloys come in and out for limited times. There are typically many finish options to choose from, too.

Long story made long, it reduced recoil by almost 69% — but, holy crap, watching the slow-mo it pretty clearly kicks the muzzle down hard — and it looks pretty awesome. Leaving the un-touched-up, raw machined finish is a bit ballsy as it leaves every little nick and imperfection fully visible. There are some of those, but overall it’s a clean and consistent-looking piece.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: stainless steel (also available in titanium, and sometimes other metals)
Finish: machined stainless (as tested) or Cerakoted (in Ti, Cerakote or flame anodized)
Length: 2.506″
Diameter (at largest point): 1.2″
Weight: 4.691 oz (2.5 oz in titanium)
MSRP: $79 and up

Venom Defense & Design AR-15, 3-Port Compensator:


A copper alloy brake definitely looks pretty slick, and this one also happens to work. Reducing recoil by 72.65% was good enough for a fourth place finish (really, it was effectively in a tie for third). I just wish it didn’t get dirty so fast from shooting with it. With the top vents starting after the first port, it appears to have a more controlled amount of muzzle rise compensation than the other VD brake tested above.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: Copper alloy (as tested), also available in steel, titanium, and sometimes other metals
Finish: machined copper (as tested), also available Cerakoted, nitrided, and other finishes depending on metal
Length: 2.503″
Diameter (at largest point): 1.198″
Weight: 5.573 oz (as tested in copper), 0.95 oz in titanium, 1.7 oz in steel
MSRP: $69 and up

VooDoo Innovations Jet Comp 5.56:


The VooDoo Jet Comp is a simple, well-made, 3-port brake that performs extremely well. In every way it’s a solid muzzle brake / compensator choice, and at a lower price point I think it would be one of the more popular brakes on the market.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: steel
Finish: LifeCoat
Length: 2.313″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.94″
Weight: 3.551 oz
MSRP: $89.18

WeaponTech Punisher Compensator/Flash Hider:


The WeaponTech Punisher Comp/Flash Hider, sold via Primary Arms (and designed by the same guy who created the ACSS scope reticle, which I absolutely love), is a novel combination of brake, comp, and flash hider. Obviously recoil reduction is achieved with the rearwards-angled baffle of the single port, and flash reduction comes from the glass breaker-tipped prongs. Less obvious is the Punisher’s muzzle rise compensation, which comes from the top slot between prongs starting sooner (closer to the muzzle) than the others, meaning gas and pressure will begin venting out of it first and providing a muzzle rise-reducing downwards force. For more on the design features, see this video.

In Flash Hiding Test #2 we saw that the Punisher is brighter than an A2 birdcage, but stealthier than most any typical brake. In this test, we find that it reduces recoil by almost 50%. Although I had actually hoped for a bit more, this is certainly nothing to sneeze at. Machining and finish are awesome; no flaws.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: 4140 chrome moly steel
Finish: salt bath nitride
Length: 2.36″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.866″
Weight: 2.983 oz
MSRP: $69

White Sound Defense FOSSA-556:


Last but not least is the White Sound Defense FOSSA-556. I’ve been very excited to recoil test this “flash hiding compensator” since it nearly won Flash Hiding Test #2, despite not technically being just a flash hider. By timing the FOSSA with the widest of the three prongs/tines at bottom, the majority of gas volume and pressure is biased upwards, which provides a downwards push on the muzzle that is pronounced enough to be seen in the slow-mo footage.

In addition to that, the unique design is supposed to provide some recoil reduction via prongs that increase in width as they approach the muzzle. The theory here is that it creates somewhat of a baffle-like restriction at the front, forcing more gas and pressure out the sides, and therefore less out the muzzle, than would happen with straight prongs. This may appear awfully subtle, but a 21.55% recoil reduction really isn’t. I’m sure recoil could be reduced further by coming closer and closer to sealing the gaps between the prongs at the muzzle end and creating a true, perpendicular baffle, but I’m also fairly sure it would do so at a meaningful cost to flash suppression (at which, again, it’s a total rockstar).

I’m still not a big black oxide (or parkerizing) fan, but White Sound has done it as nicely as it can be done, and the machining on the FOSSA is super clean.

Click here to jump to its point in the video.

Material: 17-4PH stainless steel
Finish: black oxide (as tested) or AlTiN
Length: 2.205″
Diameter (at largest point): 0.866″
Weight: 3.094 oz
MSRP: $99

Final Thoughts

There was a lot of impressive recoil reduction performance in this group of brakes, with the top 12 coming within 10% of each other. Over 79% of the muzzle devices in the test cut recoil by half or more. We also crowned a new champion; one that I’m going to have to purchase in case there’s a test #4 in the cards. No specific plans for that, but I’m sure it’ll happen eventually as new muzzle devices keep hitting the market and we’re all curious to see how they stack up.

ar-15 muzzle devices brake compensator
Jeremy S. for TTAG

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. After the previous test report, I was considering a muzzle brake for my AR. Then I stood by my buddy at the range while he shot his braked .308, and I came to the conclusion that using such a device at a range with other people in close proximity is just inconsiderate.

    I’m trying to figure out if there is any true utility for such devices on a gun that’s already so tame that a child can enjoy shooting it. Faster follow-up shots when hunting? I guess, maybe. If you hunt with your AR. But my guess is a lot of people buy these things “just because.”

    • I’m currently testing a universal blast shield from Indian Creek Design called the Blast Forwarding Device ( It’s pretty cool in that it works with almost any brake or comp on the market and allows you to essentially turn it into a linear comp in a couple seconds. Good for being nice to neighbors on the range. Then it comes right off again for when you want that recoil and muzzle movement reduction.

      The utility in cutting recoil by a huge percentage is very clear for many types of shooting. Keeping the gun still means the sights stay right on target (or get progressively closer to staying on target as you reduce more and more recoil), allowing for faster, more accurate shooting. That’s huge in competition, it’s fun when plinking, it can be important for multiple reasons when hunting, and it’s nice when target shooting. Heck, it typically allows me to see my own impacts on steel targets, when otherwise my field of view would have immediately moved off the target upon firing. Even off a bipod taking precision shots at a few hundred yards, when the crosshair doesn’t leave the target you can drill the snot out of the thing while seeing your own hits rather than fire then spend two seconds trying to find the target in your zoomed-in scope picture again. And yeah, sure, they also look cool, sound cool, and throw fire, all of which are fun as long as you’re the one behind the gun and not on the range next to it haha

      • Yea, OK, the reduction in recoil might be an issue – on a .308/7.62. Or even a 7mm using 160+ grain pills.

        It certainly becomes an issue by the time you’re up into the .300 WinMag or heavier rounds. By the time you’re in a .338, yes, a brake can really help.

        But a .223? Really? C’mon. Maybe if you’ve had rotator cuff surgery, or you’re shooting a full-auto rifle. But for most AR’s? C’mon. Brakes on AR’s are just obnoxious on the range. A high-pressure poodle-shooting round made much louder with a brake, with little net gain for the shooter.

        People always ask me why my AR’s are “so quiet” on the range. It’s because I’ve taken the brake/comp/flash hider off, and screwed on a piece of steel with a 1/2-28 thread. It’s a little more than a thread protector, but it ain’t a silencer – all the blast goes forward.

        When I do show up with my brake’d .338 WM, I tell people up and down the line how obnoxious my .338 will be. The tough guys always tell me “No problem here man, I’ll just tough it out.”

        No one ever “toughs it out.” No one. Everyone on benches on either side of me clears out – always and everywhere.

        • Dyspeptic- I helped develop the Indian Creek Design BFD (blast forwarding device) that Jeremy S is testing.
          We noted the same thing in developing the BFD, that AR recoil impulses are mostly subjective, and often stem from other kit installed on the firearm and how and where it is placed. While there are obviously effective brakes, as Jeremy so professionally points out here and in the other TTAG brake tests, we noted with our BFD that when used on a 7mm Magnum with a 3/4″ OD 4 port brake that the rifle was a pleasure to shoot with the brake, but for the need for ear plugs as well as muffs, and anyone around you was going to get a THUMP every time.
          When we installed the ICD BFD blast forwarder the wicked THUMP went away, turned it into a mild ka-whump, and yet the recoil mitigation offered by the brake was still in effect. After firing 25+ 160 grain rounds in one session I anticipated “feeling” the testing later but that wasn’t the case. A good brake on a rifle pushing a big projectile is a good thing, just not for the audience around you, unless of course there is something used to mitigate the thump.

        • Good job, I’m glad to hear someone is going something to save people’s hearing. My tinnitus makes me a real whinge on the subject of blast noise. I used to be that macho idiot who could take severe noise. Now I’m not.

          I understand why people want to make a gun more comfortable to shoot. I, being a gunsmith, just think that lots of people overlook the thing that you allude to in your posting – the fit of the firearm. A rifle that fits the shooter makes recoil (and overall handling) so much easier on the shooter. Also, far too many people obsess over getting the “lightest” possible rifle, not seeming to understand that Isaac Newton wasn’t just making suggestions in his three laws. The guys who make me shake my head the most are (eg) the guys who want a .300 WM in a 6 pound rifle, and they want to hurl 180 grain pills downrange. I always tell them: “That’s going to hurt.” They tell me “Oh, but I’m going to have this super-duper muzzle brake!”

          Again, I tell them “That’s going to hurt.” In this case, a little more mass is a Good Thing.

          Someday, I’m going to publish my laws of guns, and this one will be “conservation of pain.” You can have pain in your pocket to get the rifle to fit correctly with a good pad, you can have pain in carrying a heavier rifle all day, or you can have pain in the ears when you light off the first round. Any way you slice it, there will be pain. You just choose where, when and what hurts.

          With so many AR’s, however, I’m reminded of that old tale of the incompetent tailor with a glib tongue: upon picking up their suit, a customer realizes that it doesn’t even remotely fit, but the tailor convinces the customer to hunch over like so, hike up his left arm into the sleeve by three inches, twist a little bit to the right, walk in a half-step and presto! The suit looks marvelous!

          Upon meeting a stranger on the street, the customer is complemented on his suit immediately, and the stranger inquires who his tailor is. The customer replies and the stranger says “He must be a genius to have fit a suit so well to a deformed cripple like you.”

          That’s about what most AR furniture is to gun fitting.

        • @ Gary Adams –

          Is the BFD something that could *potentially* be fitted to heavy-caliber pistols?

          (I’m aware it would most likely require threading at least some of the barrel end.)

          I enjoyed shooting the Super Redhawk in .44 mag I had, but it was about the limit of raw concussion I would prefer to expose myself to.

          With the .454 Casull, .500 S&W Magnum and similar calibers gaining in popularity, there’s a likely market for them…

        • It’s FUDS like you who want to tell others how to enjoy their firearms, who are the people I can not stand at the range. If you don’t like noise or concussion blast, go play golf!
          You have no right to tell people what type of muzzle device they should not run at the GUN range just because it’s too loud or too harsh for YOU!

          You and the closet libtards like you are the very reason it is getting so hard to even practice speed shooting (controlled & safe), never mind trying to enjoy slidefire stalks.

          You FUDS are no better than the control freak liberals who are constantly demanding what people should or should not own, what size magazines they only need, or how no one needs machine gun or black rifle… Hopefully soon it will be your disgusting type who will no longer be welcome at our firearm ranges. Low life control freaks, the lot who think they way you do.

          Again, go golfing if you don’t like noise or concussion blast from firearms!

          Stop telling others what they “need” or “should do”. Anti-American scum.

        • Gary from ICD here… off your meds much?
          Seems to be you have an issue with free speech, son. Shall we buckle a lil safety pin on you?
          Have a nice day, buttercup.

        • That’s why my only threaded barrel rifle that wears something that arguably increases volume at the shooter or spectators is my 16″ that wears an A2 birdcage as a bump in the night gun. I also use at the bench but I figure I need the flash reduction.

          My 20″ wears a KAW linear comp and noticeably reduces concussion and noise at the shooter’s ear and spectators to the sides. My AR pistol has a Midway cheapo linear comp that makes the 10.5″ barrel about as concussive and loud to the shooter and spectators as my 16″ with the A2 on it. The 6.5 Grendel build I am finishing has a KAK micro-slimline flash can going on it to keep it a little shorter and lighter (and cheaper) than the KAW linear comp, but should achieve most of the same noise reductions for shooter and spectators (it’ll be a deer rifle and likely no earing protection, so noise reduction at the shooter is really important).

          I’ll probably do a linear comp/BFD when I build my AR-10 lower out. I don’t love recoil, but if I can manage 40 rounds through my 8lbs with scope Sako .308 bolt gun with no muzzle device and maybe have only a slightly tender shoulder wearing a t-shirt, I think with probably a 9lb semi-auto I’ll manage just fine. I won’t be feeding it hundreds of rounds in a session.

          I can see how in a 2/3-gun competition it could be useful, but for the 98% of guys who run their AR at a range/from a bench and usually are restricted by range rules to slow firing anyway, it is just a lighter wallet, annoying everyone around you and hurting your and their hearing to look cool to tame the recoil for an already pussyfoot recoiling rifle.

      • @ Geoff-

        Great observation and question- I would think that pistol application is certainly viable (One of the independent reviewers of a pre-production piece installed it on a .22 pistol for “kicks” after he’d finished his 300 B/O, 5.56, and .308 testing) . I’d want to know more (time for more research on our part) about chamber pressures and the associated potential bore pressure at “cork pop” as the projectile breaks the muzzle plane for any given caliber/barrel length (for example, 5.56 M855 has a chamber pressure approaching 58,000 psi, and a bore pressure at the “pop of the cork” at 16,000 psi for a 7.5″ barrel, 11,000 psi for a 10.5″ barrel, and 7,500 psi at 16″)
        We did extensive research on the pressures the BFD could be exposed to in various rifle applications, and can do the same for any other application prior to working on specific mounting issues that may occur.

    • My opinion is that if you’re using a muzzle brake on a firing line at a public range, you’re an asshole. My local indoor range has five 100 yard rifle bays. Last time I was there, I got assigned the bay next to a guy who was shooting an AR with a VG6 Epsilon. Even doubled up with 33 NRR plugs and 34 NRR muffs, shooting next to him was impossible. The noise, muzzle flash, and concussion were so obnoxious that every time he shot I flinched. After trying to “get used to it” for 10 minutes I ended up just leaving.

      I’ll admit muzzle brakes definitely have their merits in competitive shooting where you’re trying to scrub milliseconds off your stage times, but that’s also an environment where you aren’t literally ruining the experience of everyone around you.

      • This is why I never frequent indoor ranges. Everything is stupid loud, and it’s generally incredibly boring to boot.

        However, I’m not sure what you expect the guy who has one, who maybe has to frequent the indoor range to sight in his 3gun rifle, to do. Take it off? That makes no sense.

        Now if you are referring to someone who doesn’t compete and has an obnoxiously loud brake at the local indoor range, well, I might agree, they they are quite possible an a-hole

        • I’d even go as far as to say I don’t like any sort of ranges, outdoor or indoor. Shooting out in the desert or in the mountains is a ton more fun. I’m lucky enough to live close enough to the wide open spaces that it’s no more than a half hour drive to get to get to any one of three great outdoor shooting spots. Plus, you’re not limited to just paper targets. Old T.V.s, soda cans, tannerite, ect… really spice things up.

        • Denver. All of the public ranges around Denver are indoor. All the outdoor ranges are private (and have multi-year waiting lists), with the exception of the Cherry Creek State Park Shooting Center, which charges you the ridiculous $9 park fee to enter the park, then $18 to use the range. So if I want to sight something in real quick, or want to blow off some steam after work, I go to an indoor range, which has really made me hate muzzle brakes. If I’m planning on a day of shooting, I just drive up to the mountains and shoot in peace.

      • My opinion is that if you’re using a muzzle brake on a firing line at a public range, you’re an asshole.

        I could not agree more. As a NooYawkuh, small part of me is almost thankful for that provision of the SAFE Act, as many of the brakes have disappeared. Of course, there are still ways around it and honestly, I’d prefer to tolerate the inconsiderate assholes as part of the price of freedom.

        • Although that particular element of the law was struck down as it made “muzzle breaks” illegal rather then “muzzle brakes.”

        • For Hannibal – actually I’m pretty sure we ended up losing muzzle brakes on appeal. Kind of added insult to injury. Then the appeal seeking cert with SCOTUS was dropped when Scalia died.
          I really hate living in NY.

        • I live in a state just like the one you mention. Had to pin a muzzle brake in addition to my pinned stock. Can’t wait to leave this hell hole located below NY and east of Pennsylvania.

    • Thank you so much for doing these test. You’re saving all of us lots of money by testing versus us guessing on a nice looking brake and then find out otherwise. Q when will you attempt to do another test since there are many new brakes are in the market after your last video on the subject in 2016

  2. I’ve got a few of the Indian Creek Designs BFD’s, I am finding they still allow the brake to do its job while eliminating 100% of the back and side blast. I did a lot of testing on the AR’s and the recoil control is really subjective as the recoil isn’t robust anyway, but when I tested on my 7 Mag with a 4 port brake it still had excellent recoil control with the BFD on the brake. One huge benefit was the sound impulse being diverted as well as the brake blast.
    As always, Jeremy, excellent review on the brakes, thank you for all the hard work you put into these tests!

  3. At the risk of sounding crass or cheap, the table near the top of the article could have been a bit handier if it had a column for MSRP, allowing readers to quickly assess value. FWIW.

    • Well, it does have a column for MSRP. Try giving it a second look 😛 …plus, there’s a recoil reduction performance-per-dollar graph, MSRP listed in the stats for each brake under their heading and photograph (all alphabetical in the article), AND the Excel doc with all of the data is linked so you can download it and do things like sort them all by MSRP, by weight, or by whatever you want…

    • Well, it does have a column for MSRP. Try giving it a second look 😛 …plus, there’s a recoil reduction performance-per-dollar graph, MSRP listed in the stats for each brake under their heading and photograph (all alphabetical in the article), AND the Excel doc with all of the data is linked so you can download it and do things like sort them all by MSRP, by weight, or by whatever you want…

  4. “…he SJC Titan reduced recoil by 78.18%…”

    Man I hope they can make one for that Serbu .50 BMG single-shot I have my eye on.

    It just might make it civilized to shoot…

    • Recoil becomes a bigger issue when you’re shooting an AR pistol as opposed to an AR rifle as I soon learned after firing my new pistol at the range. It has a flash can on it which mitigates concussion for the shooter and others near you but multiplies the recoil effect. I’m going to get either the Indian Creek BFD or one similar to it for half the price (made by Presma) to mainly reduce the recoil which I felt in my hands after firing 60 rounds more so than anywhere else on my body.

      I’m also going to get some other angled grip for my offhand since that’s the one which hurt more than my shooting hand.

  5. Thanks again for a great informative shootout. I’ve read all the flash and comp ones. I would like to see some of flash and breaks tested. I own a couple of them and they are very well priced with a nice QPQ finish.

  6. A muzzle brake made from Inconel. What a hoot. Use a material that’s a bitch to machine, use one of the slowest machining technologies out there (EDM) and top the market in price.

    In general, the amount of recoil reduction you’ll see in a brake is a function of how much surface area is normal to the bore axis. The big, wide brakes with huge normal area (esp. flat surfaces) show how this rule applies.

    Every brake I install comes with a lecture about never, ever shooting them without hearing protection. I hate muzzle brakes, with a flaming passion. People ask for them, I try to talk them out of installing one. If they persist, I do the work – and deliver the lecture.

    • While I appreciate your understanding of physics, I hope your real life demeanor isn’t how you come across in print.

    • I fully agree with you; however in California I cannot have a flash hider, only a brake. When I went to a “featureless” lay out, I had to ditch my A2. Although it is simply a cosmetic issue, thread protectors really are not all that attractive. My only other option is to have the threads cut off and the barrel crowned (I have plenty of length) as the best solution. After all, I agree with you that a .223 requires no muzzle solution for recoil reduction if one is not shooting in competition.

  7. Great job dude, thanks for putting in the work. We clearly have a lot of good options. I’m one of the guys who bought one of the brakes, and learned that I didn’t like them. They look cool, but the blast is just…. But for 3 gun competitors that doesn’t matter as much I guess.

    I started looking for flash hiding/compensation. And chose the threaded Griffin Armament Flash comp. Which is basically the same as the one you tested. I’m very happy with it. And that’s the reason its great to see these tests. Because at an average of $100 a pop, you better hope you like the one you pick.

    Maybe in the future you could do a battle of the cheap’os, $50 or less, if someone else hasn’t already.

    • Yup, Strike makes some awesome values. I have the J-Type and a King Comp, got them just to see how “inexpensive” worked out. Terrific for the money and, for having more of a brake appearance, the J-Type is not a concussion beast. I’m much happier than if I had spent $200 and got only similar results.

  8. I’ll have to read through every word: the video was fascinating. Just wondering of you still feel like the AFAB is still the all-around king. Would also like to see the Strike Industries King Comp included. Got one in 308 and very pleasant to shoot, as is the J-Type I got for my son after test #1, and Strike makes the value winners as far as I’m concerned. The same can not be said if one is spotting for the M4-72 my cousin bought after the first test. Sheesh, what a concussion/particle throwing beast!

    • King Comp was in test #2.

      J-Comp is one of the best brakes out there for sure. Solid recoil reduction, low blast & concussion, low flash/fire for a brake, very low price. Subdued look, too, which is either good or bad (aesthetics being completely subjective, of course).

  9. I picked up a rock river r3 competition upper whenever I built my AR a few years back. Don’t know if they sell its compensator separately now (they didn’t then), but every time I fire it off hand I can’t get over the fact that I have to bring the gun back up onto target. It’s also well beyond deafening to anyone who would be gutsy enough to try a shot without ear pro

    • I’m really not a “muzzle rise” compensation fan. I don’t even believe “muzzle rise” exists in the AR platform as a function of the firearm itself but is, rather, completely caused by the shooter and to different degrees by different shooters, which is why you can’t properly compensate for it with a muzzle device unless it’s tunable for that (and some of them are!). In most muzzle devices that vent more gas/pressure upwards than downwards in order to effect a downwards force on the muzzle, it’ll be too much force for some shooters and too little for others. Devices that slam the muzzle down drive me crazy. This one being one of the worst offenders:

      …and shooting an AR without ear protection isn’t gutsy, it’s stupid. Tyler and I actually discuss this topic on his podcast that will be publishing on TTAG here this evening.

      • I had built it with the idea of a hunting /bench rifle. It’s never made it into the field because I like to be able to hear what goes on around me and I’m too cheap to buy electronic ear pro. And I’m pretty sure that I remember reading the juggerbrake review. It just seems like a company would realize that kinda thing is problematic before they start marketing it

  10. Have you guys tested the um tactical rage? Its adjustable allegedy, and also 160$. Id love to see if theres any truth to their claims.

  11. I’d love to see a comparison of brakes + blast shields, including the aforementioned Indian Creek Device (with several different brakes):

    Lantac Dragon + Blast Mitigation Device
    Fortis Muzzle Brake + Control Shield
    VG6 Epsilon + CAGE Device
    VG6 Gamme + CAGE Device

    Personally I’m looking mainly for reduced muzzle rise – reduced recoil is just a benefit. I’m curious about the blast control/mitigation to see if they redirect the sound forward. Before I drop the $ I’m hoping to find a good comparison.

    Don’t worry guys, I shoot out in the forest exclusively.

    • They do redirect the blast, concussion, and sound forward but I don’t have the equipment to quantify any of that. I’ve tested a handful of linear compensators and they all did zero for recoil reduction, with a couple actually adding to recoil a bit due to focusing those muzzle gases even more than the bare muzzle does. The more venting designed into those shields, the less effective they’ll be at focusing blast, gas, pressure, noise, etc forwards but the more effective they’ll be at compensating and/or reducing recoil. With most of the shields you can kiss the vast majority of the compensating and recoil reducing benefit of your brake/comp goodbye. By focusing the gas out the front it’s giving you that rearwards push right back, with some small recoil reduction due to the gas cooling and pressure drop depending on the volume of the blast shield. I’d basically choose the best-performing brake that’s compatible with a blast shield, and ensure that it’s a blast shield that can go on and off easily/quickly. I’d be running it bare brake in all cases except for shooting next to other people or shooting indoors, in which case I’d toss the shield on.

      Or, see comment #2 near the top for some info about a universal (works with most muzzle devices) blast shield that I’ve recently started testing on. I’ll be shooting it more this coming Sunday and hopefully publishing a review on it next week.

      THAT SAID…if it matters…all of my rifles wear a bare muzzle so I can swap suppressors around on them. With the exception of shooting in a speed-related competition where I want the best brake possible, I shoot suppressed. Nothing compares to shooting with a silencer on. It is the most pleasant experience possible, and it’s my choice 100% of the time (outside of timed competition) given the option.

  12. I’d like to see the A2 birdcage listed in the charts as part of the baseline comparison. Also, someone makes an extended birdcage but i dont know who. Flash and recoil testing of this would be appreciated in future brake shootouts.

    • A2 was included in the 1st and 2nd muzzle brake test, and I didn’t do it again here. Expect a meaningless (~5%) reduction of recoil from it. Already had 42 muzzle devices to test and they’re all being compared against the bare muzzle anyway, so I cut it. A2 was also in both flash hiding tests already (and I don’t think there will be a third), as was the VooDoo Innovations Manimal, which is an extended-length A2 just like what you’re talking about. Extended A2s are available from a handful of companies, but the VooDoo is the one I got and as far as I know they’re all effectively identical (other than parkerized or black oxided or nitrided, but physically they’re the same and would perform the same).

  13. How durable do you think the copper brake will be? I remember you finding some erosion on an aluminum brake in one of your other tests. Do you see any erosion on this copper brake?

  14. First off I have a question for Jeremy, who makes the handguard youhave on the AR in the video, i am building a hex themed AR and so far that is the best looking handguard I have seen and would love to know where i can pick one up. additionally I want to thank you for the great comparison and data on these tests. I live in NJ and in my state flash hiders and threaded barrels are illegal on AR platforms so muzzle brakes and compensators must be installed then pinned and welded to permanently affix them to the barrel. This series of comparisons has been invaluable to us here in jersey seeking a muzzle device that we can feel good about permanently attaching to the barrel. It was because of your videos that i ended up going with the VG6 precision gamma and epsilon brakes on the majority of my builds and i couldn’t be happier with the decision!

    • Glad to hear it! Yeah, those VG6 brakes are super nice in every way.

      The handguard is an O2 Lite from ODIN Works. I’ve had it for a few months and will be writing up a brief review soon, but the short version is that it’s great and I have nothing negative to say at all. Well, except I wish I had gone with M-LOK instead of KeyMod just for personal preference and consistency reasons. They make it in both.

  15. Jeremy, thanks so much for the response and for answering my question. Again thanks for the videos and in depth reviews. Keep up the great work, it is much appreciated!

  16. I’m curious to see how my Ultrabrake stacks up. That thing is the loudest and brightest compensator I’ve ever seen. Literally ruins your sight picture with each shot. I stopped using it pretty fast.

  17. I have read all of the tests and I appreciate all the great information as I like to read a lot before making any purchases for my rifles. I have been looking into some SLR Rifleworks gear. They have several models, but I’m considering either the Synergy Comp or the Synergy Mini Comp. There isn’t a whole lot of reviews out on these two, but they look similar to some of the Griffin comps. If a #4 is done I’d be interested to see how they perform.

  18. Jeremy,
    Good job as always, but you need to remind your readers that “sled” results do not equate to “shoulder” results. The article I’ve linked below explains why. We have actually gone to a true “free recoil” testing method(hanging the rifle parallel) that while not perfect, gives a better comparison. We found that brakes with top venting ports that were very effective on a sled performed not so great when tested “freely”. This has to do with the downward thrust applying excess pressure to the sled causing greater friction, and in real world testing, the top ported brakes have terrible impact spacing during double tap drills. Once again, I stress that if opportunity presents itself, try before you buy.

    • I’ve installed a few of those brakes/comps with strong downwards muzzle force upside-down to test how it affects the results, and it’s minimal. And that isn’t just eliminating the downwards force, it’s turning it into upwards force and essentially doubling the effect. In one of the earlier tests there was a brake with a few upwards-venting holes that could be plugged with set screws, and the recoil difference between wide open and plugged was too tight to properly measure…I suppose the gas that would have gone out the top was, once the vents were plugged, now interacting with the baffles. So in one scenario there may be a brief moment of additional downwards force (usually followed by a bounce-back moment of reduced downwards force, btw) but in the other there’s more gas hitting the baffles and reducing recoil via that means. It was effectively a wash.

      I have not found myself surprised by my real-word perception of felt recoil not aligning with results of the sled testing. With a lot of these brakes I fired them offhand prior to the tests (for this test, for instance, I was collecting brakes for almost a year before finally doing the test! I swapped between some of the ones that caught my eye during that period) and I think my “shoulder dyno” is pretty decently calibrated haha. I did not find any of them shuffling the approximate rankings in the sled test that I had estimated in my head (e.g. “this one feels like it kicks a bit more than this one”) from normal shooting.

      That said:

      1) “felt recoil” is more than just the total amount of rearwards energy. It’s also how it’s applied — could be a very quick, sharp impulse and could be more of a push over time. The perception of which recoils “more” will be different, and it’s also subjective where some people might prefer one over the other or swear that one is weaker/stronger than the other, despite the possibility that in both instances the exact same amount of energy was transferred to the shooter. Sled testing of the sort I’ve been doing is way closer to “area under the curve,” measuring the total amount of energy much more so than it measures how it’s applied. So, yes, it’s definitely possible that peoples’ subjective opinions of more/less recoil will not perfectly align with these objective test results.
      2) NO, it is not perfect. It isn’t a scientific test in a lab with closely controlled variables. In fact I’ve joked that it’s fairly “redneck.” It doesn’t match the idea in my head of the most perfect, variable-eliminating test rig possible built inside a controlled environment. It produces strong, shockingly-repeatable results at very lost cost and complexity, but perfect it is not. To attempt to do “perfect” I’d be spending like 10 grand haha…and I think we’d end up seeing these brakes perform and rank (ranking compared to each other) so very close to what’s in these tests that it wouldn’t even almost be worth the time or money. Changes I would make would be eliminating the sliding friction like what you’re talking about (although my rig would be quite different from your hanging rifle idea), and controlling the temperature, humidity, and ammunition temperature very tightly. This would remove variables that I do not like, but that I have also proven with various control tests to be very minor.

      FWIW — I think it’s fair to say that 13 of the 20 brakes that reduced recoil in this test by more than the Kahntrol brake have either no design feature whatsoever or have only very limited design features creating downwards force. You ARE correct in that sled results aren’t a perfect approximation of shoulder results for multiple reasons, but saying “sled results do not equate to shoulder results” is definitely an exaggeration. Were that “sled results do not equate perfectly to shoulder results” I’d agree with you across the board, especially if we’re pointing out that a lot of it has to do with subjective vs. objective rather than trying to say the sled is flawed, which I don’t believe is a fair implication at all. I also prefer completely neutral brakes like your brakes, which I mentioned in various places in this article, as “muzzle rise” isn’t an inherent feature of the AR but is due to the shooter to varying degrees. At best I think downwards force needs to be tunable, because an experienced shooter with a stable shooting position who doesn’t allow the rifle to roll up their shoulder or to push their torso back will shoot much better with a neutral muzzle device than one that pushes the muzzle down on each shot. Your brakes look cool and work very well. They’d reduce recoil more if the baffles were angled rearwards, but the shooter would absolutely pay for it in more blast, concussion, and volume, and people understand that. Via feedback I’ve received from companies whose brakes were in these tests and from people directly, the vast, vast majority of people are making a purchasing decision based on a combination of — weighted totally differently for everyone! — aesthetics/design, price, recoil reduction performance, concerns about blast/flash/concussion/volume, expected muzzle stability performance, etc.

      • You’re right about recoil not being just about rearward force (and Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion) but rather how that force is distributed, aka the impact zone. I bought a gel-filled recoil pad for $27 that I placed over the butt stock on my AR and it reduced felt recoil by at least 50 to 60% and my next add-on will be a flash can. I don’t have an open area to shoot, so I have to hit the range; but, the range’s targeting system allows me to adjust distance anywhere from 3 feet to 75 feet.

  19. If you do a 4th muzzle brake test can you do two additional tests / experiments beyond your normal routine?

    1) Add extra weight at or near the end of the barrel of one of the lightweight muzzle brakes so the AR-15 weighs the same as it does when a better performing heavier muzzle brake is installed. This will determine if the weight of the muzzle brake is one of the factors in the effectiveness of one at reducing recoil.

    2) Enable the gas piston for a couple of tested muzzle brakes to see how much the gas loss to the piston system affects recoil.

    • Hi Seth,

      I’ll do request #2, since that’s an interesting data point.

      But on the first one I don’t feel compelled to do that. Mass is a legitimate way to reduce recoil and it absolutely is a factor. Add 20 lbs to an AR-15 and it’ll recoil like a BB gun. Inertia resists that rearwards acceleration, and adding mass increases inertia. It may not be a truly desired method of reducing recoil when you’re talking about muzzle brakes, but it does correlate directly to real recoil reduction that you experience while shooting and I don’t think it’s fair to tune it out.

      BTW you could download the Excel doc and tinker with the data as you please. Instead of the “recoil reduction per dollar” figure I created, you could do “recoil reduction per ounce.” This would answer the question of which brake is the most effective per ounce of its weight. Most physically efficient, basically, if weight is your determining factor in how effective a brake’s design is. The Excel doc includes all of the length, width, weight, and cost data in addition to the results of each test in inches and as a percentage, etc…

      • I wasn’t suggesting you tune it out across the whole field. I was simply suggesting doing a test or two to see how much of a factor it is. Like the SJC Titan Comp was ~.4″ better than the Precision Armament M4-72, but it weighs ~3.1oz more. Does the extra weight account for that ~.4″ improvement? Or, is the most of ~.4″ gained by superior steering of the combustion gases escaping the chamber (better design)?

        Also, how heavy is your AR-15 and how heavy is the sliding rig?

        • My guess is that the additional 3 ounces of weight represents about 1.5% of the rig’s (rest + rifle) total weight. If you believe there’s a 1:1 connection, then that doesn’t account for the SJC’s 4.15% better recoil reduction performance (and I’d highly suggest looking at it as a percentage, not a distance measurement in inches). I’ll see if I can do your test, though, at some point. I understand what you’re trying to figure out, but at the same time it’s a purely academic question. Even if the weight is the reason the SJC wins, it still legitimately wins and if you’re looking for the most recoil reduction possible then it comes out ahead. If you’re looking for the most recoil reduction possible at the lowest weight possible, then I suggest doing the maths for all the muzzle devices in the test (percentage divided by weight; e.g. 78.18 / 5.679 to give you 13.7665 percentage points of reduction per ounce for the SJC).

  20. Thank you for doing these tests, very illuminating. On the subject of flash reduction, an observation… With a given rifle, independent of muzzle device, the visible flash typically varies from shot to shot. One shot can display a lot of flash, a second shot none, and a third something in between. I have observed this variability across a variety of rifle makes and models. Whether caused by variations in ammunition or other factors, it might suggest caution in attributing variations in visible flash solely to a given muzzle device.

    • True. That’s why the procedure for the flash hiding tests (both linked in the 2nd paragraph of this article) was three rapid shots for each FH capturing the peak brightness in lux and leaving the camera shutter open that whole time to average/compile all those shots into a single image. In the case of this test, two shots were fired with each brake while on the test rig (some were fired outside of the testing) and a handful of them appeared in the FH testing, too. …anyway, in my experience while a couple no/low-flash shots might be a fluke, if a muzzle device throws a giant fireball it’s something you’re going to see repeatedly from it…

  21. Jeremy,

    Thanks for all your work on the tests – they’ve helped me in my purchase decisions as well as being quite interesting. As for test #3, why did you ‘strap’ the AR down but not in tests #1 or 2? Perhaps it was to focus on recoil reduction solely but I found it interesting to watch muzzle rise in the previous two. I’ve read/watched all tests several times and haven’t gleaned that…

    • I think I may have forgotten that I didn’t affix it previously. I had strapped it down for the flash hiding tests so maybe I had that on the mind. But I also had the “wrong” lower on the gun. This stock doesn’t sit into the strap at the rear as nicely as the one on the other lower does, so I felt it needed extra security to make sure it stayed totally consistent and the gun didn’t slide or shift on top of the sled at all.

  22. Will you be doing this test for Shotguns (muzzle breaks), Like how your tests keep the “human” factor out the the muzzle break tests.

  23. Love these reviews, can’t wait for round #4, maybe add Strike Industries J-Comp V2 to the mix. The original was certainly a “bang for the buck” choice. Version two???

  24. Jeremy, I’m curious as to how the Directional Muzzle Brake from Witt Machine does

    In the comments of test 2, you mentioned that you had to and were gonna test it, but you did not end up doing so – did it not last? I’d like to give it a go, but have no data on it! Thanks in advance for replying, if you do.

  25. The JP Standard and JP Recoil Eliminator brakes did well in the first test. Why are they not included in the second and third? A lot of people hold the JP RE as the index to compare others to. 🙂

    Great test otherwise and you are doing a great job putting numbers to something otherwise govern by feelings! 😉

  26. New suggestions
    MZLMAX MUZZLE MANAGER from NG2 (Nexgen^2 Defense)
    Cobalt Kinetics other, shorter muzzle brake/Compansator from the B.A.M.F.

    • Faxon slim 3-port muzzlebrake
      HS precision slim 3-port muzzlebrake
      Ferfrans muzzle brake
      Fortis muzzle brake
      Griffin Armament Sdqd
      Wilson combat rapid threat muzzle brake
      Surefire procomp

  27. I got a real kick out of your comprehensive review, especially your thoroughness in data analysis.

    I did a scatter plot of recoil vs. price. I liked it because that shows how clustered the brakes are on cost, yet widely distributed on quality. Email if you’re interested.

  28. Read ALL of these tests repeatedly. TTAG just rocks!!!

    One thing though. After giving it a great deal of thought and testing some of these devices myself, I’m thinking that there MUST be more to muzzle rise than just the rearward push that TTAG has so excellently quantified. Comps, as opposed to pure brakes, have a DOWNWARD push to them as well. They only way to know how really effective these would be, on controlling muzzle rise with real shooters would be to test them on a real shooter. I mean, we don’t really care about recoil on a .556; we care about MUZZLE RISE. Here’s my proposal :

    Take the best brake, say the M72, and several of best selling comps. Mount them on to a lightish upper with a lightish operating system. Pop this on an NFA lower with a three round burst mech. Make a white background board with bold horizontal reference lines drawn at 1 inch intervals, and post it 90 degrees to the left of the shooter. To the right of the shooter place a high speed video cam, let fly and record the results.

    I’m betting that some of the comps that didn’t do so well in the pure recoil tests will be found to be more effective where it counts : muzzle control.

    • Muzzle rise on an AR only happens because of rearwards recoil. There is nothing mechanical about the function of the firearm that causes the muzzle to go up. It’s the shooter who makes that happen by leaning their torso back and/or allowing the gun to roll up their shoulder. Different shooters will display differing amounts of muzzle rise. There’s no right or wrong amount of compensation for it — different people will need different amounts of downwards force on the muzzle to combat how much they allow the gun to push them around. But if you remove the rearwards recoil, no shooter will show any muzzle rise — it’ll just sit there totally steady.

  29. Thanks for your response Jeremy and MUCH thanks for the great service you’ve provided to the shooting community through the hard and we’ll thought-out labors involved in your tests! Amazing!

    I understand everything you’ve just said and agree. But the fact is that even the most effective brakes do not negate ALL reward forces of muzzle blast. And there is the matter of reciprocating masses, which I realize, is a different, yet necessarily intwined matter.

    My hypothesis is that the downward push imparted by comps MIGHT be effective in the bigger picture and MIGHT be part of the reason why they remain so popular even though pure brakes seem to be more effective at pure recoil mitigation.

    I am NOT suggesting that you even consider retesting all of those devices. No, no, no! Just testing a few of the more renown comps agsinst something like the M72 in the suggested manner would prove or disprove the hypothesis.

    As an engineer I know that theory, no matter how seemingly airtight, sometimes does not stand against empirical results. The limited tests I’ve proposed are about as empirical as it gets when it comes to testing the ACTUAL effectiveness of these devices in doing what we REALLY want them to achieve: Keeping the muzzle down during strings of fire. It might tell us once and for all whether comps should be considered or completely abandoned in favor of brakes.

    • How much downwards force is the right amount, though? There’s no answer to that. On a .223/5.56 AR my preference is that I really don’t want any downwards force on the muzzle at all. I’ll just be fighting it and having to pull the muzzle back up to target with my support hand.

      On an AR, the reciprocating parts and [part of] the stock are perfectly in-line with the bore. If you center the end of the buffer tube on a solid object, even if it’s just a small point like a trailer hitch ball on a truck, the gun will stay completely rock steady even with a bare muzzle. Full auto, whatever, the muzzle won’t rise. Put any muzzle device on that compensates for “muzzle rise,” though, and the muzzle will shoot downwards. If the shooter doesn’t allow the gun to push them back and holds the gun against their shoulder properly so the stock doesn’t roll up their shoulder, then the muzzle of an AR will not rise on them.

      Obviously this is easier said than done, as 90% of your body mass is below your shoulder line, so a rearwards push at the shoulder level is going to make a person lean back unless they’re in a proper stance/position. Plus the shoulder is rounded and most people hold an AR too high, so the rearwards push causes the gun to roll up on the shoulder, which obviously means the muzzle moves skyward. Anyway both of these things result in “muzzle rise” because the shooter is being pushed around by recoil. Compensating the gun (using gas to push the muzzle down) is a band-aid that’s counteracting the symptom and not the cause. 1) train to shoot from a more stable position/stance so the torso doesn’t get leaned back from recoil 2) hold the gun in a better location in the shoulder pocket or even over towards the pec — lower so the bore line (buffer tube line) is against the body instead of floating in air and 3) reduce rearwards recoil push, as it’s what’s actually causing the shooter to create “muzzle rise” from a gun that doesn’t inherently exhibit any.

      Anyway I don’t want to test muzzle rise compensation because I think it’s far too subjective. If I did it with 5 different shooters we’d get 5 different results. A shooter also learns around their gun. The second mag of full-auto is going to show a damn steady AR no matter what’s on the muzzle, IMHO, with a good shooter.

  30. As a postscript to my last post, I will say that I can well imagine why you might be reluctant to consider doing the test I propose. It would suggest that all of the immense testing you already did might be inconclusive and possibly reopen the issue.

    Part of my motivation, besides scientific curiosity, is the fact that I purchased an M72 and found that it didn’t come close seem to canceling all muzzle rise on my lightweight carbine.

    Someone will say, and they’d be right, that I should purchase a couple of good comps and test them myself. I may do that. But you’re so much better equipped and postured to do it correctly and to tell the world.

    But if you decline, I’ll certainly understand. You’ve done so much for us already. Thanks again.

  31. If you haven’t done test #4 yet consider the Omega Mfg Super Compensator Muzzle Brake.Cost is an unbelieveable $19 and will outshine most of those $100+ brakes.

  32. Hi,

    I was wondering how much of a difference it makes transitioning an 18″ rifle with a Ti comp vs an SS comp?


  33. Jeremy,

    If you are planning on doing another brake review, we would like to send you one of ours for your testing. Please email me the details.


  34. Really interesting data here….great job!! just skimmed over this but it seems as though the study fails to take into account vertical muzzle rise? IMHO the best muzzle device would be one that keeps the rifle as undisturbed from neutral (X, Y, and Z axes) as possible? Thoughts? Either way really cool to see this data. Thanks!

  35. would be interested in seeing the results of some brakes that have a shield, like the Surefire Warden, will it increase the recoil?

  36. Hey man, love your tests, been great info! My question for you is, I was hella curious as to why the precision armament m4-72 scored different in the third test vs. the first test? If u use the numbers for that comp in the first test, then technically it still beat out the winner of the third test…only by a hundredth of an inch, but it still scored better…so why is it the numbers for that comp are so different? I believe it went from a 2.4 in the first test, to a 2.9 in the third.. so im just curious as to what changed? Thanks for your help, and reviews!

    • The tests aren’t exactly the same every time (test rig weight, angle, weather conditions, etc vary between tests). So the inch results are meaningless. Recoil reduction as a percentage vs the bare muzzle, however, is much more meaningful and has some legit carryover from test to test.

      I realize there’s A LOT of text in this article, but it did include:

      “Note: there is no comparison whatsoever between the inch measurements in this test and those in the previous 5.56 tests (or the .30 cal test). The important stat is the recoil reduction as a percentage, which has proven pleasingly consistent.”

      • Cool gotcha, thanks! Yeah, sry, I’ll admit, I didn’t read every bit of it, I just happened to remember the results of the first test, and i just watched the third test..thanks for your work!

      • Hey is there any chance u could do a similar test for sbr’s, or do u believe the results would pretty much b the same, regardless of barrel length?

        • I’d expect the percentage reduction numbers to change a bit but the muzzle devices to rank the same way compared to each other. I doubt there would be much if any swapping of ranks (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 10th, etc.).

  37. Hey Jeremy S. I’m looking to get a new muzzle device. I’m looking for the best recoil reduction out of a hybrid device, but I want to keep concussion to a minimum. Do you have a suggestion?

    • Cody, pick any brake you like and add an Indian Creek Design BFD to the package, it will give you all the brake capabilities you want and throw the blast downrange too. 🙂

  38. The rifle I want already comes with a suppressor, but I’m not even sure if it comes off. (Laugh at me, it’s okay, I’m a bit of a newb.) Can we not post pictures here? I’ll put a link in my profile I guess.

  39. I second the vote for Faxon slim 3-port muzzle brake to be included in #4!!! I’m contemplating pinning this to my Faxon 14.5″ pencil barrel even after buying a VG6 Epsilon for it.. It might be helpful down the road to swap gas blocks or rails without grinding off the Epsilon… Has anyone tried the Faxon Slim Brakes?? Thanks

  40. Thanks for this thorough review. Have you tested these two in your previous reviews?
    1) Jerry Miculek 5.56 muzzle brake, 2) Lantac Dragon

  41. Hey Jeremy, interesting series. Here’s a question: many California gun owners are looking for muzzle brakes proven NOT to reduce flash. According to the strict letter of the law, this is necessary to render a rifle featureless (i.e. doesn’t need to be registered, can have a standard mag release.) In your testing, have you found that the muzzle brakes do not in fact reduce flash? If so, which ones? Thank you.

    • I did do two flash hiding tests, in which many muzzle brakes and comps and hybrid devices appeared, so I’d definitely suggest checking those out (they’re linked in the 2nd paragraph of this article). Pretty much every muzzle device available technically reduces flash as compared to the bare muzzle. Now, CA law defines “flash suppressor” as:

      (r) “Flash suppressor” means any device attached to the end of the barrel, that is designed, intended, or functions to perceptibly reduce or redirect muzzle flash from the shooter’s field of vision. A hybrid device that has either advertised flash suppressing properties or functionally has flash suppressing properties would be deemed a flash suppressor. A device labeled or identified by its manufacturer as a flash hider would be deemed a flash suppressor.

      …and I’m not going to suggest how you should interpret that. I can tell you that if you look here (, starting in the middle of Page 2, you’ll see how the final definition came to be and what the “thought” process was behind it.

      Now, in practice most people simply go by the rule that if the company doesn’t advertise any flash reducing benefits of the device and if the device has clear elements designed for reducing recoil (e.g. baffles and/or gas ports, etc., but baffles definitely above all), it’s fine under CA law. I’m not saying that’s how you should proceed, but that’s definitely how most gun owners in CA proceed. The sniff test is basically 1) is there any mention of flash reduction in the company materials and 2) does it clearly have recoil-reducing design features. If it’s 1) no and 2) yes, then people seem to feel confident that CA DOJ would not view it as a flash suppressor.

  42. I would love to see how these tested using a 10.5 inch barrel as on a AR Pistol platform.
    I’m looking to prevent the fast fire AK style of muzzle rise.
    I might even be willing to loan my upper with 10.5 Faxon 223/556 Wylie

  43. Jeremy. Great information, thank you.
    Any idea how to get one of the Dynamic Resistance Brakes?
    No one online seems to have any. How did you get yours?

  44. Will you be doing a video on the Surefire Warcomp CTN, the birdcage style of the Warcomp? Definitely won’t manage the muzzle flash as the original 3 prong style, but do you think it will make a difference for recoil?

  45. Thanks Jeremy for all of your hard work and excellent information. Have you tested a Lantac Dragon – have not seen it in the recoil tests but saw one in the flash hider tests. I am considering the Dragon and BMD combo since it seems Lantac engineered the BMD to maintain the Dragons excellent performance. Is there another combo that you recommend that is as effective? Seems that most other shield systems degrade performance once the shield is applied. Another setup I am considering is a dedicated flash suppressor with compensation like like the Surefire Warcomp and deal with recoil through other means. Is there other compensating flash supressors you recommend?

  46. Link Update 1 or 3
    Dead/ Bad Links – SJC Titan Compensator
    Dead/ Bad Links – 2111 Arms 5.56/.223 Compensator
    New price – $56.95 – Apex Tactical Enhanced Stabilization Attachment
    New price – $89.00 – Armageddon Tactical CompTek Type I Compensator/Brake
    Still good – Black Dawn Muzzle Brake
    New price – $160 – Cobalt Kinetics EVOLVE Pro Comp
    New link –
    New price – $72 – CORE15 Rifle Systems .223/5.56 Muzzle Brake
    New price – $92 – Dead Air Armament Keymount Muzzle Brake
    New price – $699 – Dead Air Armament Sandman Ti
    New price – $123 – Diamondhead T-Brake Muzzle Compensator
    Dead/ Bad Links – Dynamic Resistance Muzzle Break
    New price – $86 – Fortis Muzzle Brake 5.56 Nitride
    New price – $85 – Griffin Armament M4SD Hammer Comp
    New price – $90 – Griffin Armament M4SD Flash Comp
    Dead/ Bad Links – Kahntrol Solutions 3-Gun Brake
    New price – $303 – Knight’s Armament MAMS

  47. Link Update 2 of 3
    Dead/ Bad Links – Knight’s Armament Triple Tap Flash Suppressor/Compensator
    No Change – Lilja Heartbraker Muzzle Break
    Dead/ Bad Links – Nord Arms Open Brake
    Dead/ Bad Links – Nord Arms Standard Brake
    New price – $94 – ODIN Works ATLAS 5 Comp
    No Change – Phase 5 FATman Hex Brake
    Dead/ Bad Links – Precision Armament AFAB-556 Hybrid Muzzle Brake
    New price – $87 – Precision Armament M4-72 Severe-Duty Compensator
    New link –
    No Change – Rainier Arms Compensator (RAC)
    New price – $65 – Rainier Arms Xtreme Tactical Compensator (XTC) 2.0
    Dead/ Bad Links – Rifenbark Armory S.O.M. (Sound of Madness) Muzzle Brake
    Dead/ Bad Links – Lund/SJC .223 Titan Compensator

  48. Link Update 3 of 3
    New price – $134 – SureFire WARCOMP 556
    No Change – Tactical Advantage Armory 3P-23 Titanium 3%er Muzzle Brake
    No Change – Tactical Advantage Armory BC-23 Compensator
    No Change – Tactical Advantage Armory CC-23 Titanium Muzzle Brake
    No Change – Tactical Advantage Armory NES-23 Titanium 3-Gun Compensator
    No Change – Tactical Advantage Armory NT-23 Titanium Muzzle Brake
    No Change – hunder Beast Arms Corporation 223CB Muzzle Brake
    No Change – Troy Industries Proctor Muzzle Brake
    Dead/ Bad Links – Tufforce Muzzle Brake with 4-side Picatinny Rail
    New price – $130 – V Seven Weapons Systems FURION
    Dead/ Bad Links – V Seven Weapon Systems V SEVEN Muzzle Brake
    New price – $89 and up – Venom Defense & Design AR-10, 2-Port Compensator
    New price – $65 and up – Venom Defense & Design AR-15, 3-Port Compensator
    New price – $82 – VooDoo Innovations Jet Comp 5.56
    Dead/ Bad Links – WeaponTech Punisher Compensator/Flash Hider
    No Change – White Sound Defense FOSSA-556

  49. So, you chose a bunch of 10 year old antiques from GRIFFIN ARMAMENT instead of their current manufacture taper lock suppressor mount models?

    Even my minuscule Paladin 2 chamber taper mount brake makes a very noticeable difference on my SCAR 17S. I imagine the full size taper mount brake would be a real performer especially in 5.56.

    Let me know when you’re doing another test I will dismount a couple from my rifles and send them out to you for testing.

    • No, I chose the two most popular models at the time this test was done. Which, as you may note, was two years ago. Incidentally, that was before Griffin even released the Paladin brakes. So unless you expected me to have hopped in my DeLorean and hit 86 mph and shot into the future to pick up a couple Paladins only to go back into the past to include them in this 2-year-old test perhaps you could slow your roll.

      …Based on previous tests of dozens of 2-port brakes you can expect 60-ish percent recoil reduction. There will be a fourth test soon, but the Paladins won’t be in it. I’m focusing on a handful of brakes that are likely to take the crown, then popular examples of common designs to collect data on dB levels and concussion.

      • The full size 2 port brake was my actual point of contention with the Paladin being referred to as an inferior compromise that still performs somewhat even on on a 16″ 308. That’s a 4 year old design if I am not mistaken.

        Suppressor mount brakes are increasingly popular even with people who never intend to actually mount a suppressor for some reason(cool looking?). You should devote waaaaay more testing time to suppressor mount brakes from AAC, Surefire, SiCo Sig, Griffin, etc. All of those companies make unsubstantiated claims about the recoil reduction of their brakes and for many of us that could be the deciding factor on which suppressor we end up buying since all of these cans are coming to within a few Db of each other as the technology improves.

        • In many cases these companies offer two versions of their brakes — one with suppressor mount capability and one without. But the actual design of the baffles is identical and, therefore, their performance in recoil reduction is identical. When I was presented with brakes meeting this definition I went with the non-mount brakes because they are significantly less expensive (sometimes WAY less). Additionally, once you have a suppressor and a gun that accepts it you don’t tend to shoot it unsuppressed a whole lot, eh? I do not foresee a muzzle brake test where I focus on suppressor-accepting brakes. First because it would cost half as much to run the identical but non-suppressor-accepting versions of the same brakes and second because once you have that suppressor I just don’t think it’s important to 99% of owners how the muzzle device performs without the can on it. It would probably be more helpful to recoil reduction test a bunch of popular suppressors, actually, rather than what they mount to. Then again, with suppressors we’re way more interested in length, weight, sound volume, sound tone, blowback, return to zero when taking on and off, etc than recoil reduction. And they all perform pretty dang close on that anyway from what I’ve seen.

          Basically, FROMAN, I’m not trying to poo on your ideas here but these tests take for-freaking-ever to prepare for, perform, and then edit together afterwards and I need to focus on what’s popular and what’s going to help the most people. We’ve tested something like 165 muzzle devices thus far, and test 4 is going to have a slightly tighter focus on gathering new data as well as most likely crowning a new champion as we have three or four brakes that manufacturers designed specifically to win this test haha. They’re all very confident they’ll beat the M4-72 and the Titan hands-down.

        • Looking forward to the next TTAG MB Test, Jeremy. Are there any plans to run a “blast forwarder” test still? Seems like it would be kind of cool to do in conjunction with this, but I totally understand the logistics of it could be staggering at best. if you are, let me know and we’ll send over some of the Indian Creek Design BFD’s.

        • Maybe if the pressure testing thing goes well. Though I’m not really sure there’s enough interest or enough difference between blast forwarding things to justify it. I think they’re all going to be pretty dang similar to the point where you may as well choose the one that you think looks the best or is at the right price or works with the muzzle device you want to run when the blast forwarder isn’t on there.

  50. I just want to mention that the Venom Defense 3 chamber Comp is like $22-29 on their website right now… So, that recoil reduction to price chart got even better.

  51. I just received my Venom 3 chamber comp… and I’m so confused how this part could be $13 shipped to my door. It seems like extremely high quality for the price point. How do you think, since you’ve tested so many muzzle brakes… they get the price so low for a made in America part?

  52. Since first appearing on the market in 2008, Xtreme Tactical Sports products have been recognized for their innovative designs, durability, and cost effectiveness. Held to the strictest standards, XTS products are manufactured from only the highest quality materials and are backed by some of the most generous manufacture warranties in the industry. Comparable to some, rivaled by none, XTS products simply get it done!

  53. Jeremy, great information and I liked that you did start mentioning about the side blast from some of these compensators. But the next time you test a group of compensators, could you test three different areas (recoil reduction, side blast, and noise) and which gives you the best in all three areas. I noticed in the comments that many mention about how these affect your neighbors on the range, but maybe there are some compensators that won’t disturb your neighbor as much but will still help with accuracy. And sorry if this seems like a stupid question, but pretty new to shooting AR’s as I just recently escaped an oppressive state that doesn’t allow them.

  54. Mike, Check out the Indian Creek Design BFD. It won’t matter which muzzle brake you choose, it will fit and work well with any muzzle device that is worth buying. Cheers-

  55. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

    Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

    The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol based rub frequently and not touching your face.

  56. At 50 to 75 yards 30 seconds and 30 rounds in a softball size area makes me happy from my ar 15 5.56, now you liberals who want to make noise about noise. I say I look forward to a good muzzle brake that will reduce the 2 to 3 inch jump to the upper left that I have to drop down on target to squeeze again
    At a mine pit I wondered why the old dudes ar 15 sounded so much louder than mine until I learned of muzzle brakes.

  57. Como jogar Jet X?
    Ao jogar o Jet X, cada jogador faz uma ou várias apostas, tentando adivinhar em qual multiplicador o avião irá cair. Quanto mais tempo o avião voar, maior será o multiplicador de sua aposta.

    O objetivo do jogo JET X é conseguir fazer dinheiro antes que o avião a jato exploda. Assim que ele cair, sua aposta será perdida. Você jogará com segurança fazendo um cash out antecipadamente, ou você é um jogador que quer correr riscos e atingir esses altos multiplicadores?

    Durante uma rodada do jogo À medida que a rodada avança, você vê os outros jogadores fazendo saques.

  58. American Tactical has partnered with German arms manufacturer Schmeisser GmbH to exclusively import and distribute the Schmeisser S60 60 round AR-15 magazine. Made from glass-reinforced polymer, this patent-pending magazine features a unique follower system that allows for double capacity from a normal AR magazine without being bulky or cumbersome. Designed to shoot both .223 REM & 5.56X45MM, the Schmeisser S60 will give you an instant capacity upgrade over the standard AR mag at an affordable price for your AR Carbine or Pistol.

  59. It would have been very helpful to have tested the % of recoil reduction from bare muzzle with the A2 flash hider as a reference for all to compare against!!!

    • Well the A2 is a flash hider, as you stated. This test is for muzzle brakes. I believe they have included the A2 in the flash hider shootouts, so you may be able to compare data. Most people these days have never even shot an AR with the A2 ….? Crazy, I know.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here