ARs are an incredibly popular build, but when picking out the finishing touches you need to be sure you’re helping your overall handling, control, and accuracy. Sometimes, however, AR builds with shorter barrels can have a significant ‘fire & fury’ factor, making a lot of noise and spitting a lot of light.
Any AR enthusiasts that normally shoot shorter barrels “raw”, will certainly be familiar with this, and many people may also find them more challenging to handle. That’s where a good linear compensator will come in handy.
Best Linear Compensators for AR’s
- Troy Claymore Compensator
- SLR Synergy Linear Compensator
- Ultradyne C4 Dynamount Folding Front Sight with Compensator
- Hera USA Linear Compensator
- TacFire Linear Compensator
- Archon MFG Linear Compensator
- KVP Linear Compensator
Troy Claymore Compensator
When it comes to finding a great muzzle for your AR, the Troy Claymore Compensator is a great choice. This sturdy compensator is constructed from hardened 4140 steel with a parkerized finish, you can expect it to last a long time.
The goal of the Troy Claymore Compensator is to blast the sound forward, moving it away from the shooter while still maintaining the muzzle brake properties you expect from a compensator.
- Lightweight muzzle weighs just 3.18 oz
- Made from strong 4140 steel
- Forces the sound directly forward
SLR Synergy Linear Compensator
This hybrid compensator is a great choice for anyone that likes a chunky compensator. It is 2 inches long, weighs 4.5 ounces, and is 1.25 inches in diameter. You should have no problem with most rails systems. There are wrench flats on the rear end and has a titanium sleeve.
- Has a titanium sleeve with a steel core
- Short in length but still very effective
Ultradyne C4 Dynamount Folding Front Sight with Compensator
This Ultradyne Sight and Compensator is a game-changer. Not only do you have the Dynamount Folding Front Sight, but you also get to take advantage of their high-quality compensators. Constructed from 416 stainless steel, this compensator is designed to stand up to wear and tear.
- You get both a compensator and a sight
- Compensator is made from durable 416 stainless steel, while the sight is 4141 chrome-moly steel
Hera USA Linear Compensator
This 3.5-inch linear compensator from HERA USA is designed for pistol and short-barrelled ARs. It has a longer design which was intended to help add some length to a shorter gun. There are 12 expansion chambers that work together to throw the noise out and away from you, sending it forward.
- Has better than average flash prevention
- Large enough to get the job done
- Looks neat – resembles the old school pineapple grenades
TacFire Linear Compensator
If you are looking for a high-quality compensator, but you don’t have much extra money to work with, the TacFire Linear Compensator is the way to go. It is cheap, yet effective, making it the perfect choice for your AR.
- Weighs just 3.7 oz
- Cheap enough to fit into any budget
Archon MFG Linear Compensator
One of the biggest challenges as a leftie is finding tools and equipment that work for you. Archon takes their products to the next level. This MFG linear compensator has a 14×1 mm pitch, perfect for lefties.
- Made from 330 stainless steel
- Compact and lightweight
- Great for lefties
KVP Linear Compensator
The Kaw Valley Precision compensator is a great choice for an AR. When you use this with the right ammo and firearm, you’ll be amazed at the performance. One of the biggest perks is how resilient this compensator is. It is very corrosion-resistant and will last a long time.
- Does a great job of pushing sound directly in front
- Easy to put on and take off
- Has flats to make tightening easier
Linear compensators are a group of attachments referred to as muzzle devices. The primary function of a linear compensator is to reduce or slow muzzle flip or climb. A good linear compensator will work, and work effectively, by redirecting expanding gases from the firing cycle to the front of the gun. These gases are the driving factor behind the sound of the report and the flash following the bullet’s exit from the barrel tip.
A linear compensator doesn’t suppress any of the reports, but it does manage to redirect a portion of it away from the shooter, in the direction of the shot fired. This helps to minimize the concussion that is felt from the firing and helps to lower the perceived sound intensity of the shooter’s perspective. All of this together is one of the most common ways to increase the comfort level of your shooting experience.
This is an important consideration, since linear compensators are definitely not for every gun, not even close. They are most effectively and enjoyably used on weapons with short barrels. In cases like this, equipping a linear compensator will help you enjoy a more comfortable shooting experience.
In most cases, they also work best on gun calibers that do not produce much recoil. Once your compensator is attached, you should practice putting some rounds down range and become accustomed to the new functions. A compensator on a short-barrelled, small caliber gun should allow the shooter to boost their accuracy with follow-up shots that are in a much tighter grouping.
Linear compensators and suppressors are both muzzle devices, however, they serve different functions and are seen in very different lights in the eyes of the law. In many places, suppressors are illegal for civilian use while compensators are much less of an issue.
Suppressors work by muffling the sound and reducing it by large amounts, or to very low levels. Most locations have legislation in place that bans suppressors for civilian use. Linear compensators do not reduce or eliminate the sound from a report, they simply redirect it. This makes linear compensators and suppressors quite different.
Linear compensators come in a variety of weights, lengths, diameters, and designs. No matter what your build is like, you should be able to find a comp that will work well with it. Ideal weights will often be in the 2-ounce range, while a standard length will range from 2-4 inches. The diameter will often not be a huge factor, but if you have a slim build, a big fat comp can look a little clunky.
Each time you remove and reattach your linear compensator, you will need to reindex it. You will have to make sure that all of the ports are lined up correctly with the barrel, and you may need to shim it before it’s all set. You will also have to screw on or attach the linear compensator to the barrel correctly, so make sure you evaluate how easy it is to attach.
Simply put, they often improve them both. High-quality linear compensators help you keep your shots on target much easier. Not only do they redirect the sound of the report away from you, reducing the perceived intensity, but with the gasses vented and directed away from you, the felt recoil will be far less than otherwise.
While you won’t be shooting a laser, you will still feel the recoil, it does become far more enjoyable than shooting a raw barrel. This reduced and uniformly directed recoil allows you to maintain much tighter control over the gun while firing repeated shots, increasing your overall accuracy. Since it mitigates some of the perceived recoil as well as reducing sound to an extent, it may also allow you to concentrate more on your shots.
There are many jurisdictions where suppressors, flash hiders, or both, are illegal to own or use as a civilian. Linear compensators do reduce muzzle flash somewhat, but since they do not fully hide it they remain legal in these areas. In jurisdictions where it is prohibited for civilians to own muzzle devices that reduce or suppress the report from a shot, linear compensators are still legal to own, since they do not reduce or suppress the report, they simply redirect it in a different direction.
In short, while other muzzle devices such as flash hiders or suppressors are restricted in most areas, linear compensators are completely legal to own in the vast majority of situations and featureless builds.