A primary reason why the AR-15 platform is one of the World’s most popular firearms is in its infinite versatility and modular construction. Plus, the number of accessories, custom or production, for the ultimate kit gun is enormous.
One of the more valuable additions for the AR-15 platform is a muzzle brake. If your AR-15 has considerable muzzle climb or recoil due to larger calibers, muzzle brakes are a must-have.
The following article is a rundown of some of the best muzzle brakes on the market for 2021. Each product is rated excellent or five stars by the shooting communities. Products are uniquely designed to bring out the best in the AR-15 platform.
Each product is specifically designed as a muzzle brake first. After that, the product may offer additional qualities such as a compensator or flash hider. Each product is designed and marketed by technologically advanced companies committed to bringing shooters a quality product.
Best AR-15 Muzzle Brakes
- Dead Air Armament Key Mount
- LANTAC Dragon Muzzle Brake
- VG6 Precision GAMMA 556 Muzzle Brake
- V Seven Weapons System Furion Top Titanium Muzzle Brake
- Knights Armament QDC MAMS Muzzle Brake
- Precision Armament M4-72 Severe Duty
- Area 419 Hellfire Self Timing Muzzle Brake
- Odin Works Atlas 5 Compensator
- Fortis Muzzle 5.56 SS
- Seekins Precision ATC Muzzle Brake
Dead Air Armament Key Mount
The Key Mount is a suitable muzzle brake and suppressor that reduces recoil by a sufficient 56.63%. The Key Mount has lugs for attaching the Dead Air Sandman L and Sandman S suppressors.
Three vertical vents reduce the muzzle rise, and of course, the bottom is closed off, eliminating dust flare-up. One issue with this Dead Air is its weight, which is substantial at 4.092 ounces. The Key Mount is a quality addition to the Dead Air lineup of barrel accessories.
- Reasonable concussion control
- Good quality with the combination suppressor
LANTAC Dragon Muzzle Brake
Patent-pending “short energy pulse” system reduces recoil on the AR-15 by 51%. The Dragon Advance reduces the overlap of muzzle energy by shortening the weapon’s recoil.
LANTAC’s Dragon series of muzzle brakes are crafted from hardened mil-spec steel for durability. The Dragon is a relatively lightweight brake at only 3.2 ounces. Large gas ports on the Dragon stabilize the shooter’s barrel in a horizontal orientation. Top ports counteract muzzle climb.
The Dragon drastically reduces muzzle flash with rapid gas dissipation. Shooters praise the LANTAC Dragon because of its amount of recoil felt through the muzzle.
- Serial numbered for quality control
- Six models in the Dragon line, giving every shooter precisely what they need
- Black Nitride Finish
- Crush washer included
Precision Armament M4-72 Severe Duty
The Precision Armament M4-72 features an industry-leading 74.03% recoil reduction. This reduction is considered the absolute best brake on the market in terms of recoil.
Rearward baffles reduce recoil gases to the sides and rear, away from the shooter. The baffles also feature a slight upward angle which helps to mitigate muzzle rise. If you are firing at a kneeling or prone position, the M4-72 has a closed bottom, minimizing dust flare.
The ergonomic design follows the contour of the barrel. For bystanders to the side, be careful with concussion. The M4-72 delivers a loud concussion when firing. The M4-72 comes in a matte black finish or stainless steel.
- Minimal design
- Industry-leading muzzle climb mitigation
- Compact, rugged design
- Eliminates muzzle climb and dust signature
- Withstands extreme heat in combat situations
VG6 Precision GAMMA 556 Muzzle Brake
The GAMMA 556 is a state-of-the-art, precision-built muzzle brake for discerning AR shooters. The VG6 was crafted using CFD or computational fluid dynamics engineering techniques. GAMMA 556 is 100% CNC machined.
VG6’s GAMMA is a hybrid technology product with the muzzle brake and compensator included. The GAMMA 556 virtually eliminates recoil and movement. Fast follow-up shots and accuracy are the unique combinations of technologies to the GAMMA.
Chamber geometry and gas ports have been strenuously tested to give the shooter maximum muzzle control. The GAMMA muzzle brake has been optimized for 10.5” to 18.5” barrel lengths. Shooters can saturate targets no matter how fast they are firing.
- 17.4ph heat-treated stainless steel
- Black Nitride or Hugh Gloss Satin Finish
- 68RC surface hardness
- Small footprint and incredibly lightweight at only 2.1 ounces
V Seven Weapons System Furion Top Titanium Muzzle Brake
The V Seven Furion, a top titanium muzzle brake, is a lightweight brake with good recoil mitigation at 64.36%. Titanium construction makes this brake almost unnoticeable at the end of a muzzle, with a weight of only 1.67 ounces.
V Seven Muzzle Brake delivers its best performance with a tactical carbine.
V Seven is tuned for 14 to 20-inch barrels with the baffles opened at the top mitigating total muzzle rise. The closed bottom of the V Seven eliminates dust flare-ups.
- Recommended for competition shooters
- Designed for maximum recoil mitigation
- Lifetime warranty and made in the United States
- Satin titanium and black ion bond finish
Knights Armament QDC MAMS Muzzle Brake
The QDC MAMS (multi-axis muzzle stability) is an excellent brake with recoil reduction of 52.76%. This brake serves three purposes of a muzzle brake, suppressor, and flash hider.
If you use the firearm for competition or defense, you will like the lugs for attaching the QDC. This feature comes in handy when you need to attach the brake quickly. Holes along the top of the QDC help keep the muzzle level during rapid fire.
The bottom of the brake, like most other models, is closed to reduce dust flare-ups. QDC muzzle brake offers good silencing capability and works as a flash hider as well.
Knights Armament QDC gives the shooter maximum downrange control. QDC reduces drift for the shooter when placing shots on target.
- Mitigates rifle flash
- Lifetime warranty
- Excellent for a multi-purpose muzzle device
Area 419 Hellfire Self Timing Muzzle Brake
Hellfire Muzzle Brake from Area 419 is loaded with technology and reduces recoil by a sufficient 52% on a Creedmoor 6.5. Ports on the Hellfire are rearward facing, giving the shooter the ultimate in reduction.
The Hellfire features a proprietary port design that helps to control muzzle rise. Markings on the Hellfire give shooters the correct orientation to aid in leveling. The Hellfire is made from specially treated 17-4PH heat-treated stainless steel. Hellfires are produced from state-of-the-art CNC machines.
Brakes from Area 419 will feature either a Black Nitride Finish or Raw Stainless Steel.
- Extremely easy installation
- Four caliber selections are available for the Hellfire: 223/6mm, 7mm/308,338
- It comes with an adapter
- Excellent return to zero/Re-installation does not require new zero
Odin Works Atlas 5 Compensator
The Atlas 5 features unique three-piece construction, which reduces recoil by an impressive 64.09%. Easy installation is the name of the game with the Atlas 5; affix the brake to the barrel and tighten. A titanium sleeve slides on and rotates—no need to zero.
A very cool aspect of the Atlas 5, you can direct gases to the top or side whichever way you choose. If you are a right-handed shooter, adjust the gases to compensate for muzzle rise in the direction you choose. The core and cap of the Atlas are made from treated 419R Stainless steel.
- Lifetime warranty
- Fast and simple installation
- Timing and tuning are done with the slide down sleeve/no shims or crush washers
- Innovative design
- Black Nitride Finish
- Four calibers available; 22LR, 6.5, 7.62, 9mm
Fortis Muzzle 5.56 SS
Precision crafted from custom-built CNC machines provides a recoil reduction on the Fortis Muzzle Brake at a respectable 59.07%. Fortis is built from a seamless solid black of treated 303 stainless steel, and customers have the option of two kinds of steel. Choose the 4140 with a nitride coating to match your barrel.
Speed and accuracy are drastically improved with the Fortis Muzzle Brake. After machining is completed, the Fortis Muzzle brake is custom bead blasted for consistency. Once attached, the Fortis will seem non-existent on the end of a barrel, weighing only 2.8 ounces.
Crush washers are included to make sure there is a perfect fit. Choose the Fortis RED if your AR is 5.56/.223. A great feature of Fortis is the compatibility across a variety of devices. Choose the Fortis Blast Mitigation Device to reduce the concussion.
- Five star rated by most firearm communities
- Built to last with custom machining techniques
- Made in America
- Compatible with the Fortis Control Shield
Seekins Precision ATC Muzzle Brake
Seekins has engineered one of the best Tactical Compensators for the AR platform. They have engineered the ATC Muzzle Brake design to reduce muzzle recoil and improve stability drastically. Faster follow-up shots with better accuracy are available.
Precision machined from treated stainless steel uses proprietary front-facing ports. This design helps to reduce recoil and control the motion of the weapon. Recoil is controlled by forcing gases in the direction the shooter wants.
Seekins uses a knurled timing nut rather than a crush washer for a custom fit. This feature ensures quick and easy installation. Customers in several communities rate the Seekins Muzzle brake at five stars.
- Calibers available; 5.56x45mm, 308 Winchester, 7.62x51mm, 300 Blackout
- Bead blast and surface treatment
- Machined from 416 stainless
What is A Muzzle Brake?
Muzzle brakes help with recoil and lessen the movement of the muzzle. Brakes are designed to redirect the pressures of gases from the barrel, either upward or to the side. This redirect lessens the effect of recoil to the shoulder and body, allowing the shooter better control of the weapon.
With a quality muzzle brake, shooters can reacquire a target and fire much quicker. Muzzle brakes are suitable for larger caliber rounds and bigger rifles like the Barrett M82.
Many of the muzzle brakes described below are hybrid devices with a muzzle brake, suppressor, and flash hider. Each system fits the AR platform.
What is A Flash Hider?
Flash suppressors or a flash hider reduces a rifle’s vented gases eliminating muzzle flash. Flash suppressors accomplish two functions; 1) The shooter’s position is more concealed when shooting in a dark location. 2) A suppressor eliminates the flash that causes night blindness for the shooter.
Related: The 6 best AR-15 Flash Hiders
What is A Compensator?
A compensator performs the exact opposite function of a muzzle brake. Compensators help the shooter stay on target for quicker, more accurate follow on shots.
The compensator keeps the muzzle from moving off target after the shot is fired.
Compensators are explicitly designed to direct muzzle gases upward, reducing muzzle climb or rise. Successive shots on target and control are more manageable.
Why Upgrade Your AR-15 Muzzle?
Muzzle Brakes: The original AR-15 was developed with the 5.56x45mm cartridge in mind. Shooters love to fire larger rounds through the platform, such as a 300 Blackout or 308 Winchester. With the larger rounds, a higher degree of muzzle recoil occurs. Using a muzzle brake reduces this recoil considerably, giving the shooter more control.
Compensator: Recoil management can be daunting to inexperienced shooters. Compensators bring recoil down to levels where the shooter is comfortable.
Flash Hiders: Muzzle blasts or concussions with larger cartridges can not be ignored by the shooter. Follow-on shots from the blast are made more difficult by obscuring the target. Flash Hiders help reduce or eliminate the blast by efficiently mixing leftover powder and the surrounding air.
Muzzle brakes, compensators, or flash hiders can be invaluable tools to active shooters. If you find yourself needing the extra protection of a muzzle brake, make sure a qualified gunsmith either installs or checks your work for any faults.