Recoil Reduction Reviewed: 9+ Best AR-15 Muzzle Brakes [2022]

Last Updated on August 9, 2022.

Want to make your AR-15 rifle easier to shoot quickly and precisely?

If yes, a muzzle brake might be just what you’re looking for.

Want LESS recoil?

The median price for a muzzle brake is about $100, and a muzzle brake can reduce recoil by over 70%.

A muzzle brake gives you more performance-per-dollar than almost any other accessory.

Want to know which muzzle brake is best for an AR-15? Want to know which muzzle brake reduces the most recoil?

This article is just what you’re looking for.

We’ve rounded up all the best AR-15 muzzle brakes, based on my range and gunsmithing shop experience. There’s even some recoil reduction data to help you get the right muzzle brake.

Once you’re finished reading, you’ll know which is the ideal AR-15 muzzle brake for your rifle and be ready to get your brake.

Best Choice

Precision Armament M4-72 Severe-Duty Compensator

Specifications:

Fabric/Material:

Stainless Steel

Gun Type:

Rifle

Recoil Reduction:

74.03%

Pros:

  • Industry-leading performance.
  • Minimal design.
  • Mitigates muzzle rise.
  • Minimizes dust signature.

Comparison Table

Skip Straight to Product Reviews

2. Value muzzle brake

4. Easiest to install

6. Muzzle brake suppressor adaptor

7. Muzzle brake flash hider

9. Muzzle brake Suppressor

10. Reducing flash hider

Table of Contents

Does an AR-15 need a muzzle brake?

Technically, no. The recoil of a 5.56mm or .223 round is totally manageable without a muzzle brake. However, a muzzle brake reduces the already manageable recoil even further, which can make it easier to get more precision during rapid fire.

Do muzzle brakes improve accuracy?

No. A muzzle brake reduces recoil and makes your rifle easier to control. That can make it easier to take accurate shots. However, a muzzle brake can’t make up for poor shooting technique. Accuracy is up to you, the shooter, regardless of what gear and accessories you have.

Which is better: Muzzle brake or compensator?

Your shooting context and goals determine whether a muzzle brake or compensator is better. Muzzle brakes reduce recoil. Compensators keep your muzzle from rising as much during rapid fire. Some muzzle brakes also mitigate muzzle rise, but, ultimately, it depends on what you prioritize: softer recoil or less muzzle rise.

Does a muzzle brake reduce sound?

Absolutely not. If anything, a muzzle brake makes your rifle seem louder. Muzzle brakes also increase muzzle blast around the shooter. If you shoot on an indoor range, you’ll really feel the added concussion from a muzzle brake. It’s not horrible, but it can definitely be unpleasant.

However, some muzzle brakes also serve as suppressor mounts, which gives you a way to limit the muzzle blast, if you need.

Yes, AR-15 suppressors can be a bit pricey. They’re a great option if you need a way to protect your hearing in a defensive incident, though, and they’re excellent for being polite to other people on the range.

Otherwise, flash hiders and compensators are excellent AR-15 muzzle devices.

The best AR-15 muzzle brakes: Which muzzle brake is best for AR-15?

We’re here to talk about muzzle brakes, though.

These are the best muzzle brakes I know of, based on my range and gunsmithing shop experience, and data from the internet.

Best Overall Choice

1. Precision Armament M4-72 Severe-Duty Compensator

Key Specs:

  • Recoil reduction:

74.03%

  • Overall length:

2.25”

Pros:

  • Industry-leading performance.
  • Minimal design.
  • Mitigates muzzle rise.
  • Minimizes dust signature.

Cons:

  • Fairly heavy concussion.
Check on OpticsPlanet
Check on Brownells

The Precision Armament M4-72 Severe-Duty Compensator tops the performance charts with 74.03% recoil reduction. In terms of sheer performance, this is the best muzzle brake for hunting and competition.

This is mostly due to the rearward baffles that redirect gas to the sides and rear, away from the shooter. The baffles also have a slight upward angle to help mitigate muzzle rise, as well.

The bottom of the compensator is closed, which minimizes your dust signature when firing from kneeling and prone positions and keeps your view of your target clear.

For easier handling, the M4-72 is compact and follows the contour of the barrelIt’s about the size of a standard birdcage flash hider.

So it won’t snag on gear or clothing during high tempo or high stress shooting.

The only thing to watch out for is the concussion. This unit delivers a bit of pop to anyone standing to the side of your rifle while you’re shooting.

In the end, this model definitely delivers the most bang for your buck and offers excellent recoil mitigation for any shooting context. The price also makes it the best muzzle brake under $100 (though just barely under $100).

Value muzzle brake

2. VG6 Precision Gamma 556SL

Key Specs:

  • Recoil reduction:

63.96%

  • Overall length:

2.21”

Pros:

  • Solid recoil reduction and muzzle rise mitigation.
  • Closed bottom side reduces dust signature.
  • Nice minimalist design.
  • Long enough to bring a 14.5 inch barrel up to 16 inches for pinning and welding.

Cons:

  • Somewhat aggressive muzzle blast.
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Other Options

VG6 muzzle devices are one of the best values on the market right now. They’re well designed, well manufactured, and, of course, affordable. So the VG6 Precision Gamma 556SL is an excellent value.

At 63.96%, the recoil reduction is really solid.

There are also vertical gas ports to help reduce muzzle rise. Then, the bottom of this muzzle brake is closed to reduce the dust signature when you shoot from a prone position.

All this performance comes from a pretty minimalist design that won’t make your gun look like a tank wannabe.

Additionally, this brake is long enough to bring 14.5 inch barrels up to 16 inches for pinning and welding. This is handy if you’d rather not go through the hassle of getting a tax stamp for a short-barreled rifle.Overall, this is one of my favorite muzzle brakes because it performs well, looks good, and is very reasonably priced.

Titanium muzzle brake

3. V Seven Weapon Systems Furion

Key Specs:

  • Cartridge:

5.56x45mm NATO

  • Fabric/Material:

Grade 5 Titanium

Pros:

  • Very light.
  • Reduces muzzle rise.
  • Minimizes dust signature.
  • Tuned for typical rifle barrel lengths.

Cons:

  • Price-to-performance ratio is only so-so
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Other Options

The V Seven Weapon Systems Furion Muzzle Brake reduces recoil by 64.36%.

The recoil reduction is better than most.

However, titanium construction makes this model lighter than average. It comes in at just 1.67 ounces.

It’s a great option for lightweight rifles.

The Furion is tuned for 14.5 to 20 inch barrels, and the baffles are more open on top of the device to reduce muzzle rise. This muzzle brake delivers its best performance on tactical carbines.

A closed bottom reduces dust when shooting from the kneeling or prone, for better target visibility.

Lastly, the Furion comes in either silver or black. So you’ve got aesthetic options.

Sadly, the price point is a tad high. So the performance-per-dollar is a bit lower than other muzzle brakes.

The Furion is best for competition shooters who need a lightweight rifle to reduce fatigue and can use their shooting grip to deal with recoil.

Easiest to install

4. ODIN Works Atlas 5 Compensator

Key Specs:

  • Recoil reduction:

64.09%

  • Overall length:

2.56”

Pros:

  • Easy installation.
  • Adjustable gas redirection.
  • Excellent price for an adjustable muzzle brake.

Cons:

  • Minimal muzzle rise mitigation.
  • On the heavy side.
Check on OpticsPlanet
Check on Brownells

The ODIN Works Atlas 5 Compensator reduces recoil by 64.09%.

What makes the Atlas 5 unique is the three-piece construction.

This design makes this unit super easy to install. The piece that fixes to the barrel doesn’t need to be timed, just tighten it down.

There’s a titanium sleeve that slides on and rotates easily to get the timing you want. Then the end cap clamps the whole thing together once it’s timed how you like.

What’s cool is that you can set the timing to direct gasses in any direction.

If you’re a right handed shooter, you can time this muzzle brake to push the rifle down and to the right to combat your natural muzzle rise.

Aesthetically, this is the only muzzle brake that offers a cool, two-tone look.

However, when the Atlas is timed straight up, it offers only a little muzzle rise mitigation. It’s also surprisingly heavy for its size at 4.198 ounces.

This model comes at a good price for an adjustable muzzle brake. It’s a great choice for shooters who want customized muzzle brake performance at a fair price.

Budget muzzle brake

5. Midwest Industries Two-Chamber Muzzle Brake

Key Specs:

  • Cartridge:

5.56x45mm NATO, .223 Remington

  • Fabric/Material:

4140 Steel, Steel

  • Threads per Inch:

1/2×28

Pros:

  • Excellent recoil reduction for a 2-port brake.
  • Outstanding fit and finish. Everything you would expect from Midwest Industries.
  • Crush washer makes installation quite simple.

Cons:

  • Muzzle rise mitigation is only okay.
Check on OpticsPlanet
Check on Brownells

Midwest Industries has been one of my go-to brands for certain parts for a while now. Not all of their components are budget-friendly.

However, the Midwest Industries Two-Chamber Muzzle Brake is one of the best values in the Midwest Industries product lineup.

My thoughts on this muzzle brake boil down to three points:

First, the recoil reduction is good.

It’s not quite as strong as most 3-port muzzle brakes. This one is more affordable than most 3-port muzzle brakes, though.

The math checks out: this muzzle brake is an excellent value.

Next, I wish this muzzle brake offered more muzzle rise compensation.

It does all right. But there aren’t really any vertically oriented gas ports. Even a few small ports on top would probably make this a better all-around brake.

Lastly, this muzzle brake is super easy to install because it uses a crush washer instead of shims.

It’s super simple to install and time. It might take longer to get your old muzzle device off than it takes to put this brake on.

And all this comes in a really affordable package. Not a bad deal.

MB Suppressor adaptor

6. Dead Air Armament Keymount Muzzle Brake

Key Specs:

  • Recoil reduction:

56.63%

  • Overall length:

2.6”

Pros:

  • Serves as a muzzle brake and suppressor mount.
  • Reduces muzzle rise.
  • Reasonable concussion.

Cons:

  • A bit heavy.
Check on OpticsPlanet
Other Options

The Dead Air Armament Keymount Muzzle Brake performs surprisingly well for a dual-purpose muzzle device. It reduces recoil by 56.63%.

While the recoil reduction is middle of the road, the Keymount Muzzle Brake also has lugs for attaching the Dead Air Sandman-L and Sandman-S suppressors.

There are 3 vertical vents to reduce muzzle rise. The bottom is closed to reduce dust signature in low shooting positions.

Then, the concussion is more bearable than comparable muzzle brakes, which makes sense since this model is designed to work with a suppressor.

The only real struggle with this unit is the weight. The suppressor lugs add a fair bit of metal to the brake. It weighs in at 4.092 ounces.Given the weight and performance, this is definitely a muzzle brake for those who want some recoil mitigation and suppressor compatibility.

MB flash hider

7. VG6 Precision Epsilon 556L Muzzle Brake

Key Specs:

  • Cartridge:

5.56x45mm NATO

  • Weight:

1.6 oz

  • Finish:

Black Nitride

Pros:

  • Reduces muzzle flash.
  • Solid recoil reduction.
  • Long enough for pinning and welding to a 14.5 inch barrel to make it 16 inches.

Cons:

  • Relatively strong muzzle blast.
Check on OpticsPlanet
Other Options

The VG6 Precision Epsilon 556L Muzzle Brake is essentially the VG6 Gamma 556L muzzle brake, but with a short, three-prong flash hider on the end.

The recoil reduction is very similar, if not the same as the VG6 Gamma. There’s just slightly less flash signature.

Admittedly, the flash hiding capabilities are not as good as a dedicated flash hider. This muzzle brake does produce less muzzle flash than most other muzzle brakes, though.

However, it only hides the flash. The blast from this muzzle brake is still pretty strong.

The addition of the flash hider prongs makes this muzzle brake long enough to get a 14.5 inch barrel over 16 inches if you pin and weld it.

Overall, this is one of the better options if you want excellent recoil reduction from a muzzle brake that won’t blind you.

MB Compensator

8. Precision Armament AFAB Hybrid Muzzle Brake

Key Specs:

  • Cartridge:

5.56x45mm NATO, .223 Remington

  • Weight:

3 oz

  • Finish:

Matte Black

Pros:

  • Reduces muzzle rise as much as many dedicated compensators.
  • Excellent flash hiding capabilities.
  • Minimal concussion.

Cons:

  • Recoil reduction is just below average.
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The Precision Armament AFAB Hybrid Muzzle Brake boasts the performance of a fully functional muzzle brake and a dedicated compensator. The AFAB reduces recoil by 50.55%.

In addition to the standard muzzle brake performance, the AFAB functions as well as a dedicated compensator with several vertical vents that reduce muzzle rise during rapid fire.

The AFAB also has a grid of channels that diffuse and cool redirected gasses.

These channels significantly reduce concussion. So this is a good option if you shoot at an indoor range.

The AFAB also sports the performance of a dedicated flash hider, and reduces muzzle flash significantly more than a standard muzzle brake.

This is definitely the best option for anyone who wants a dedicated compensator, but wouldn’t mind a bit of recoil reduction as well.

MB Suppressor

9. Dead Air Armament Sandman K

Key Specs:

  • Recoil reduction:

49.45%

  • Overall length:

5.4”

Pros:

  • Decent recoil reduction for a suppressor.
  • Basically zero concussion.
  • Compatible with multiple calibers.

Cons:

  • Not really a dedicated muzzle brake.
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Other Options

The Dead Air Armament Sandman K reduces recoil by 49.45%. The performance is decent considering this is primarily a sound suppressor.

The nice thing about the Sandman Ti is that it’s compatible with both 5.56mm, 300 blackout, and .308 rifles. So this is a handy piece to have if you’ve got an AR-15 and an AR-10.

Since it’s a suppressor, there’s less concussion than firing a rifle with a bare muzzle. This is definitely the best option for a defensive carbine or those who want to be nice to their neighbors at the range.

This is also the heaviest muzzle device in this article, by far. It comes in at 12.8 ounces.

It’s also the most expensive because it’s an AR-15 suppressor with a muzzle brake suppressor mount and muzzle brake end cap.

Even though it’s cool that this suppressor gives some recoil reduction, it’s not a great option for anyone looking for serious recoil reduction. This is best installed on a home defense rifle for the sound reduction.

Reducing flash hider

10. Surefire WARCOMP Flash Hider

Key Specs:

  • Recoil reduction:

35.91%

  • Overall length:

2.7”

Pros:

  • Excellent muzzle flash reduction.
  • No added concussion like a true muzzle brake.
  • Has suppressor lugs.

Cons:

  • Below average recoil reduction.
  • Creates a significant dust signature.
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The Surefire WARCOMP Flash Hider reduces recoil by 35.91%. The recoil reduction is pretty decent, considering this is a dedicated flash hider that happens to offer recoil reduction.

As a flash hider, the WARCOMP is one of the best. It nearly eliminates muzzle flash. This is handy for short-barreled rifles, since the muzzle flash from a short barrel can be almost blinding.

It’s not a dedicated muzzle brake, so the concussion is comparable to a bare muzzle blast, which is minimal.

This unit also provides mounting lugs for SureFire SOCOM Fast-Attach suppressors.

The gases aren’t redirected upward. So this muzzle device generates a significant dust signature when shooting from the kneeling or prone.

Lastly, this flash hider is surprisingly heavy, despite the minimal design. It weighs in at 3.845 ounces, which is heavier than most dedicated muzzle brakes.

This is a good option for a short-barreled rifle or an AR-15 pistol. Shooters who want decent performance with and without a suppressor should also consider this flash hider.

The Final Shot

Precision Armament M4-72 Severe-Duty Compensator

Key Specs:

  • Recoil reduction:

74.03%

  • Overall length:

2.25”

Pros:

  • Industry-leading performance.
  • Minimal design.
  • Mitigates muzzle rise.
  • Minimizes dust signature.

Cons:

  • Fairly heavy concussion.
Check on OpticsPlanet
Check on Brownells

A muzzle brake is almost a must-have piece of gear these days, especially for competitors.

Muzzle brakes give a noticeable performance boost. You’ll be at a disadvantage if you compete without one.

Additionally, muzzle brakes are incredibly cost-effective and easy-to-install. It’s bolt-on performance.

If you’re looking for the absolute best performance-per-dollar, go with the Precision Armament M4-72 Severe-Duty Compensator. It’s the top performer and is priced right at the median for muzzle brakes.

Now that you know which muzzle brakes are going to give you the most juice, grab a muzzle brake, torque it down, and find out how much better you can shoot.

You can also check:

Good Rifle Upper Receivers

Muzzle Devices: Brakes vs Compensators

Muzzle Devices: Brakes vs Flash Hiders

Great Ideas for AR-15 Attachments

Detailed comparative article

Top rated suppressor

Improve your shooting performance