There’s a difference between a compensator and a muzzle brake: one eliminates felt recoil, and one eliminates muzzle climb. I wrote a more in-depth article about the distinction, but that’s a basic overview of gas dynamics. The VG6 Gamma, though, is a compensating muzzle brake, which means that it tries to eliminate both muzzle climb and felt recoil at the same time, all in the space of a standard A2 flash hider. It’s designed for those who want the smallest firearm profile possible, such as shorter-barrel carbines, shorty SBRs, and AR pistols.
In the world of the muzzle brake, conventional wisdom is that bigger is better. The more surface area you give the device, the more recoil-reducing force at work. But there has to be a point at which there’s a diminishing return — a point where adding more material doesn’t reduce more recoil from ammo, it just weighs you down. It looks like the standard A2 size might just be that point of diminishing return.
The muzzle brake portion of the device consists of two chambers, the first one larger than the second, where the expanding gasses act on the brake to push the gun forward. It’s a tried and tested design, one that’s common with a lot of other muzzle brakes. But while that part of the design is common, the second part isn’t.
Along the top of the stainless-steel-construction device are a series of slits that allow the gasses to escape upwards. It provides an unequal redirection of force, with a net downward effect on the muzzle. The overall impact is that it provides a ton of downward force to keep the muzzle under control and keep it from climbing unnecessarily.
The overall package mimics the A2 flash hider in form as well as size, with the customary rings on the bottom of the device. It allows you to use a fast-attach silencer (if configured for the A2 mount) if the desire grabs you, or any other of a number of funky muzzle devices like golf ball launchers and such. In short, while it’s a new muzzle device, it gives you the ability to use all of the old gear as if you still had that A2 flash hider.
The real question, however, is whether it really works — and the answer is yes.
To be fair, putting it on a 9-inch AR-15 SBR might not have been the smartest idea if I wanted to keep it quiet. And the 40-round magazine just looks…ridiculous. But the fact of the matter is that it works really, really well to reduce felt recoil and muzzle climb. Myth confirmed.
At the end of the day, whether this is the right compensating muzzle brake for you depends on what you need it for. To a certain extent, the old “more is more” mentality still works, so if you really need to eliminate all of the muzzle rise of the gun firing, you might want to check out Eric Lund’s pet project. But if you’re looking for a compact solution that would be acceptable in just about any practical shooting competition, checkout the VG6 Gamma.
VG6 Gamma 556 APVG100001A Features:
- Material: 17-4ph® Heat Treated Stainless Steel
- Finish: Black nitride finish (BLACKNITRIDE™ – Satin Finish(Half Gloss))
- Surface Hardness: 68RC
- Caliber: 5.56mm/.223 Remington/.224 Valkyrie only
- Thread: 1/2-28 RH
- Weight: 2.1 oz
- Includes crush washer
- Manufacturer: Aero Precision
- Similar products: VG6 Precision, VG6 Epsilon
VG6 Gamma Compensating Muzzle Brake
Overall Rating: * * * * *
Works great, looks great, and does a great job.
Been wanting to replace my standard A2 flash hider for a while now, looks like I found what I wanted. Off that 9″ barrel, pretty amazing how it made muzzle rise almost nonexistent.
What’s the increase in volume? I get that the pistol is already loud, but how much louder does this device make one over an A2 flash hider?
The reason brakes are louder is that the flat baffles provide a surface for the gas to push against. The gas expands as it enters each chamber, but the baffles redirect the flow and produce the counteracting force against recoil. There is more noise because that part of the expansion that was heading downrange is now heading somewhat back towards the shooter, but more sideways than anything else.
The A2 flash hider does not have as much surface for the gas to act upon. None for recoil reduction, and only a little bit to counter muzzle rise. The A2 shape is so open in every direction but straight down, you won’t hear any noise you wouldn’t hear with just a plain target crown.
It actually looks like the muzzle is being pushed downward during recoil below the initial point when fired
I thought so, too.
Isnt muzzle dive just as bad as muzzle climb?
I saw a vid of this on a 16 inch barrel and the dip is more pronounced. Personally I’d rather have barrel dip than climb but that’s my preference.
John from Precision Delivery Systems (VG6 Partner) here. Our first version, released in the middle of this year and manufactured for two months, had some overcompensation issues (Walker Armory Youtube Channel did a great review, but unfortunately, with the first version of the Gamma). The one Nick is using in the video is our updated version, which solved the overcompensation issue. Of course, between each rifle there will be slight variances. Gas porting, buffer weight, and much more.. even shooting stances. SBR barrels will still see very slight overcomp. but within ‘acceptable’ levels.. our full auto 10.5″ gun does the same) VG6 designs with all of those considerations in mind.
Overall, the current VG6 Gamma virtually eliminates the muzzle down problem.
If you really wanted to show how well it works you would have put it on a gun most people can relate to which is a 16″ carbine gased AR. Also, recoil on a 9″ barrel wouldn’t be as bad as on a 16″ barrel I don’t think. My guess is the video of the 16″ gun isn’t quite as visually pleasing.
The shorter barrel will have more recoil due to the lighter weight.
I wish I loved my job as much as you do, Nick!
His joyful laughter made me giggle. 🙂
Yeah. If the giggle was due to the brake working really well…. That’s just good sales right there.
I bought the VG6 a few months ago – it’s fantastic! Installed in a few minutes and made a noticeable difference. I wish they would make one in .300 so I can put it on my 308 rifle.
GAMMA 300BLK ?
so was this a Beta Gamma or a Beta Beta Gamma?
How did it do with muzzle flash? Some compensators turn an AR into a flamethrower, and others are almost as flash-free as the A2 hider.
Could barely hear the muzzle blast over your trigger reset 🙂
Any guesses based on your collective experiences what that brake would do on a “16 inch barrel? would it have increased effect due to the longer lever, or decreased effect due to the reduced gas pressure 7 extra inches out?
I have friends who run it on a 10.5″ and 16″ rifles. Works great. One of the VG6 reps told me it will work well on anything from SBRs to 18″ rifles.
Damn. I already mailed my letter to Santa.
I LOVE mine. Been a customeruser since they were first released.
Love that I can get great results in a very short lengthed brake.
The sound has been less than my Surefire, Dynacomp and Griffin. I also have no issue with flash when using irons or my Aimpoint.
What is the recoil reduction RANGE for a 308 DPMS Gen II Recon, 16 inch barrel over base bare barrel? Is there a Db rating for the same?