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AR-15 Muzzle Brakes


 

    In my never ending search for the perfect muzzle brake I have tried numerous different muzzle brakes by numerous different manufacturers.  I have spent a lot of money in the process, some of these muzzle brakes have worked as advertised, others looked cool and did little else.  The purpose of a muzzle brake / compensator is to reduce muzzle flip and in some cases felt recoil. 

Here is a short review of the different muzzle brakes that I have used and my experience with them:

    The Wilson Combat postban muzzle brake (has exit ports at 6, 9, and 12 o'clock) actually made recoil worse.  The Wilson Combat muzzle brakes (I have had 2 of their muzzle brakes on 2 different rifles)  was pushing the barrel to the 1 to 2 o'clock position (up and to the right) during recoil.  Noise was not bothersome when wearing hearing protection.

    The Smith Enterprises muzzle brake (the one with 3 holes on either side) was not that effective (to my surprise).  The Smith Enterprises muzzle brake was about as effective at reducing muzzle flip as the Colt A2 compensator on the M16A2 service rifle.  Noise was not bothersome when wearing hearing protection.

    The Bushmaster MINI Y-Comp (2 hole version) was not that effective and was VERY loud when wearing both ear muffs and ear plugs (at the same time).  It did better than the Smith but by a small margin.  The down side to this muzzle brake is it directs all the noise and gases back at the shooter.  I have had the Mini Y-Comp on 2 different rifles and after shooting 20 rounds I did not want to shoot any more due to the noise and gases being directed back at me, and I was wearing both ear muffs and foam ear plugs.

    The Bushmaster Full Sized Y-Comp (3 hole version) is a very effective muzzle brake, it kept the muzzle down and on target.  Down side is that it is very loud (even to the shooter) and I would not recommend it unless it was going on a 20" barrel, but very effective.  A side note: For some reason the Full Sized Y-Comp is not as obnoxious as the Mini Y-Comp (both were on 16" barrels).  I don't know if the holes on the Full Sized Y-Comp were not the same angle as the Mini or if the 3rd hole on the Full Sized Y-Comp had something to do with it.  It was quite loud, just not as obnoxious and painful to the ears as the Mini Y-Comp.

    The Kurts Kustom Firearms (KKF) A2 and A3 muzzle brakes.  The KKF A2 looks similar to the Colt A2 compensator, but has 4 exit slot (instead of 5 like the Colt A2 compensator) at the top of the muzzle brake.  The exit slots are in the same place as those on the Colt A2 compensator, minus the exit slot at the 12 o'clock position.  The KKF A3 is a longer version of the KKF A2, and is long enough to make a 14.5" barrel meet the minimum 16" requirement when perminately attached.  The KKF A2 and KKF A3 muzzle brakes were not as effective as the full size (3 hole) Y-Comp, but more effective than the Smith and MINI Y-Comp.  The KKF A3 seemed to keep the muzzle down a bit better than the KKF A2.  The KKF A2 and the Mini Y-Comp were just about neck and neck in reducing muzzle flip.  But the KKF A2 had much less noise and did not direct the muzzle blast, noise, and gases back at the shooter like the Mini Y-Comp does.

    The Bushmaster AK brake, is not as loud or as long as the Full Sized Y-Comp but it's effectiveness is as good as the full sized Y-Comp. I have a 14.5" HBAR fluted barrel with the Bushmaster AK brake permanently attached.  I have taken this upper and put it on one of my Department's full auto M16A1 lower receivers (I had to change out bolt carrier groups of course).  With the Bushmaster upper attached to the Colt full auto lower I was shooting 30 ROUND BURSTS at a target from 30 to 35 yards away.  Due to the Bushmaster AK muzzle brake, the muzzle had no rise, but did rock left to right slightly.  At 30 to 35 yards I was able to keep all rounds on target (target was a IDPA / IPSC style cardboard target).  I have used this brake numerous times on full auto and ever time I do, I'm impressed with it.

 

Click here to read Jeff's review of the EGW Muzzle Brake.

Semper Fi,
Jeff