Best AR-15 Muzzle Brake and Compensator: 2019 Buying Guide

Finding the best AR-15 muzzle brake and the best AR-15 compensator can be quite a challenge. The AR-15 has a powerful recoil. Both the muzzle brake and compensator are designed to reduce recoil and minimal vertical movement at the same time.

Of course, there are a lot of these on the market. But the question is: which ones are the best for you? We will be reviewing some of the best muzzle brakes and compensators that we’ve handpicked for review. These are considered the best on the market.

Best AR-15 Muzzle Brakes and Compensators Reviews

VG6 Gamma 556 Muzzle Brake

VG6 Gamma 556 Muzzle Brake

The first muzzle brake is the VG6 Gamma 556. If you want a muzzle brake and compensator all in one, the VG6 Gamma does just that. This will help reduce muzzle lift while toning down the recoil that you would often feel while firing your rifle. In other words, it does a good job playing the role of both brake and compensator.

The brake uses a 2-chamber style brake and does an excellent job displacing gas and reducing overall recoil. It also comes with holes to ensure that the gas exits the barrel while at the same time, it makes the firing experience a whole lot smoother. You probably cannot ask for more from something like this.

The VG6 Gamma is lightweight at just a mere two ounces. Which is nice considering that you won’t need a lot of weight or it will bog down the barrel of your gun.

Next, we take a look at the compensation. To sum it up in two words: it's excellent. And this is in terms of when it negotiates with the barrel rise. How much rise will you get out of the VG6 Gamma? You won't get more than an inch worth of barrel rise. Which means you get faster target acquisition and in turn, a smooth but faster-firing experience.

While the compensation is excellent, it does come with a good deal of side blast. Of course, this comes with the territory of having a really good brake. So the side blast will err on the side of being strong. If that is going to be an issue, then you’ll probably need a cage device. Thankfully, VG6 makes one of those.

Main Features:

  • Combines features as both a muzzle brake and compensator.
  • Eliminates recoil and reduces muzzle jump.
  • Constructed with heat-treated stainless steel.

Pros:

  • When pitted against a stock flash suppressor, the VG6 performs much better.
  • One reviewer on Cabela’s said that the accuracy had increased on his rifle.
  • No recoil from any AR-15 reported with this. So it does its job.

Cons:

  • While side fire is expected on brakes, the side fire will be a little stronger than normal compared to other muzzle brakes.
  • May tend to be a little too noisy for people in the non-shooting position.

The Bottom Line:

What better way to begin this review with a muzzle brake that also has the ability to be a compensator. You get the best of both worlds with the VG6. If that’s something you’re looking for, then consider this to be your best possible choice.


DPMS - AR-15 A2 Flash Suppressor

DPMS - AR-15 A2 Flash Suppressor

Next up, we have the A2 Flash Suppressor. Some people may talk down about an A2 suppressor. But not all of the best AR-15 muzzle brakes and compensators are created to satisfy everyone. Perhaps, it's time to give A2 its chance to prove itself as a worthy accessory for your rifle.

The A2 is actually pretty good for all the right reasons. While it may not be as effective as some others on the market, it does a good job holding its own. The big surprise is that the A2 is actually pretty quiet compared to other brakes and compensators. But don’t chalk it up as it being the quietest on the market.

The A2 is not as long as most of the flash suppressors on the market. It also has a closed end, which is perfect if you want to not contend with the issue of snagging. All-in-all, it does a good job of keeping the flash to a minimum. The A2 does not get a lot of the appreciation it deserves. Yet, there are a lot of users that have said nothing but positive things about it.

Main Features:

  • Crafted from machined steel.
  • Five-port flash suppressor controls flash to minimize shooter exposure.
  • Super lightweight.

Pros:

  • Easy to install for most users.
  • Does a good job reducing flash exposure in both daytime and low light conditions.
  • Works a lot smoother compared to some higher end brakes and compensators.

Cons:

  • Some reviewers have complained about the finish not being the best.
  • One reviewer said that the recoil reduction is suspect, but vertical movement does decrease.

The Bottom Line:

While most may not think too highly of the A2, you should take every opinion you hear with a grain of salt. That’s because some experiences will always be different from others. If you want something that will reduce the flash and give you a considerable amount of vertical movement reduction, the A2 might be your best choice.


Precision Armament AR-15 Severe Duty Compensator

Precision Armament AR-15 Severe Duty Compensator

Next up, we have the Precision Armament AR-15 Severe Duty Compensator. This is one of the best in the market in terms of reducing recoil and eliminating muzzle rise. This also features a large initial expansion chamber that allows combustion gasses to dissipate at lower pressures. This also allows the gasses to expel through the vents via the side and rear.

The Precision Armament uses a reverse venting double-baffle design to ensure that recoil is kept to a minimum. Reduced recoil equals faster shooting. If fast shooting is more of your style, then you’ll enjoy this compensator. Because of the bottom of the compensator being closed off, you won’t see your rifle’s muzzle rise at all.

This compensator is crafted from heat-treated stainless steel so it can withstand the extreme heat that is produced from rapid shooting without the erosion that goes along with it. This high performing compensator is designed for most rifles and will fit over most standard A2 flash suppressors.

Main Features:

  • Crafted from heat-treated stainless steel to withstand extreme heat.
  • Double-baffle reverse venting to ensure minimum recoil.
  • Closed-off bottom to eliminate muzzle rise.

Pros:

  • Virtually eliminates muzzle movement in almost every rifle.
  • Cuts back very well on recoil.
  • Very easy to install.

Cons:

  • One reviewer said that the muzzle blast will kick out a lot of sideways and backward muzzle blast.
  • Not the compensator to use if you tend to shoot your AR-15 in the prone position.
  • Some users have complained about getting a blowback of gas in their face.

The Bottom Line:

For a compensator, the Precision Armament does a pretty good job. If you want something that will give you a considerable amount of recoil reduction plus no muzzle movement, then you might be pretty happy with this type of compensator. If you want something that will help you shoot fast, this might be your best friend in that regard.


Wilson Combat AR-15 Muzzle Brake Q-Comp

Wilson Combat AR-15 Muzzle Brake Q-Comp

Like the VG6 before it, the Wilson Combat AR-15 Muzzle Brake Q-Comp also has the combined features of both a muzzle brake and a compensator. This was designed to considerably enhance the recoil control in rapid fire. No harsh blasts or flashes that you see from other AR-15s included. The Wilson Combat is designed specifically to minimize concussion.

With all calibers, the Wilson Combat displays minimal flash and reduces recoil. The expansion chamber is slotted and is designed to be snag-free. It’s also very durable as it is crafted from Melonite QPQ-coated steel alloy. Not only is it super strong, but it is also resistant to corrosion.

If you want an easy to install muzzle brake, the Wilson Combat might your best choice. This also comes with a crush washer. Durable, easy to install, and a good looking muzzle brake? Why not make it yours? Especially when it has the features of both a muzzle brake and a compensator.

The Wilson Combat is available in three different thread patterns. They are the ½”, ⅝”, and the 11/16” patterns.

Main Features:

  • Has combined features of a muzzle brake and compensator.
  • Crafted from Melonite QPQ-coated steel alloy for super strong durability.
  • Comes with a crush washer for easy installation.

Pros:

  • Reduced recoil was seen from the A2.
  • No noticeable side blast.
  • Excellent performance, even in low light conditions.

Cons:

  • May not be legal in some jurisdictions of the United States.

The Bottom Line:

The Wilson Combat might be for you if you hate the idea of dealing with a lot of side blast. Other than that, it is a pretty good accessory to have for your AR-15. Hybrids might be a more popular option for brakes and compensators in the not so distant future. If you want to get ahead of the game in that regard, get the Wilson Combat.


Bravo Company AR-15 Gunfighter Mod 1 22 Caliber

Bravo Company AR-15 Gunfighter Mod 1 22 Caliber

The Gunfighter is a compensator that reduces flash and muzzle blast. At the same time, it also has the ability to decrease side blast and noise. This is made with stainless steel and is finished with black oxide, making it a strong, durable compensator. This is also resistant to high heat from rapid fire and also corrosion.

The Gunfighter’s recoil reduction is much greater compared to most brakes and compensators on the market. In fact, most users have reported that recoil is non-existent. If you don’t want a muzzle brake that can be very loud or annoying, the Gunfighter might be a great alternative.

The Gunfighter is said to be available in two models: Mod 0 and the Mod 1. One distinct difference is that the Mod 0 is a shorter A-2 length while the Mod 1 is longer. Of course, for this review, we are looking at the latter.

Main Features:

  • Crafted from stainless steel with a black matte finish.
  • Resistant to heat and corrosion.
  • Special baffing system designed to limit side blast.

Pros:

  • One reviewer said that there was “next to zero” muzzle climb.
  • Allows most sights to stay on target with no movement.
  • Recoil is reduced considerably for most AR-15s.

Cons:

  • Might be considered loud for those in non-shooting positions.
  • One member on an AR-15 forum said that it seems like more of a flash suppressor than a compensator.

The Bottom Line

You'll actually be surprised with something like Gunfighter upon first use. If you're looking for a compensator that will not only give you minimal to no movement but also give you a good clear shot with the scope of your choice, then you might not go wrong with something like this. Some have been able to hit their targets from 200 yards out without any issues. If you happen to be a bench rest shooter, you'll probably fall in love with something like the Gunfighter.


FM Products Inc. AR-15 Muzzle Brake 9MM

FM Products Inc. AR-15 Muzzle Brake 9MM

Earlier, we’ve mentioned that one of the cons of finding the best AR-15 muzzle brake and compensator a matter of legality. If you live in a state like California, there are some brakes and compensators that may be non-compliant based on their laws. However, if you do reside in the state of California, the FM is compliant with those laws in particular.

For what it’s worth, FM is short for Foxtrot Mike. But for the sake of this review, we will call it the FM. If you’re looking for a muzzle brake that is ideal for AR-15s with 9mm barrels, this is the one you might need. This is crafted from stainless steel with a matte black finish. If you’re looking for something that will reduce muzzle flip and recoil impulse, the FM does not fall short of doing that.

Main Features:

  • Steel construction with a matte black finish.
  • 2” in length.
  • ½-36 Right Hand Thread Pitch

Pros:

  • No blowback or smoke in your face.
  • Fits good on most AR-15s with 9mm barrels.
  • Steel crafted and very durable.

Cons:

  • One reviewer on YouTube wishes that the length should be reduced.

The Bottom Line:

One YouTube reviewer spoke very highly of this muzzle brake. FM is the brand that thrives on feedback. Any negative feedback they receive on their products, FM will find a way to use it so they can make their products much better. If you want a company that will listen to your personal pros and cons, FM might be the brand you trust for life. In the meantime, if you need a brake that best fits your 9mm barrel AR-15, the FM might be your best choice.


DPMS AR-15 Compensator 22 Caliber

DPMS AR-15 Compensator 22 Caliber

The next item to look at is an AR-15 Compensator from DPMS. This reduces recoil by 64% compared to standard A2-style flash hiders. It is crafted from carbon steel and has a phosphate finish. To ensure that your muzzle brake is installed securely and properly timed, you can use the lock nut that goes along with the DPMS.

It’s strong, lightweight, and considered to be one of the best options for those who are on a budget. High volume shooters will love the reduced noise this brings. And when it comes time to clean it, it will be easy to clean and re-attach without any issues.

Of course, no compensator is complete without doing its job of countering muzzle noise and recoil. If you have a scope, more specifically a red dot scope, you’ll be satisfied once you notice that you will still get a good accurate shot with the DPMS. With a reduced recoil, how can you not want your scope to do its job?

This is the compensator you want if you’re using an AR-15 for target shooting or even big game hunting.

Main Features:

  • Made from carbon steel and a phosphate finish.
  • Lock nut so you can securely tighten the compensator.
  • Three large baffles with six side ports for rerouting gas to the side.

Pros:

  • A good substitute for those making changes to comply with laws in certain states.
  • Excellent for competition and hunting usage.
  • Never rises while shooting in rapid fire mode.

Cons:

  • Some complained about the finish being a little dull.
  • May be louder than most compensators when in a non-shooting position.
  • May be best if you’re target practicing in private and not at the range. This may be due to the amount of pressure that expels from the sides and towards their neighboring shooters.

The Bottom Line:

The DPMS brand was made popular by Jerry Miculek, the designer of the products. He has some YouTube videos that have inspired people to buy a compensator like this. If you can take him at his word, then the DPMS may be a good choice for you. This is an excellent compensator for someone who loves to use an AR-15 for competition and hunting. At the same time, it’s also for those who want to get the best out of their red dot scopes.


Things To Consider When Buying An AR-15 Muzzle Brake And Compensator

Before making your final decision on finding the best AR-15 muzzle brake and the best AR-15 compensator, you’ll need to consider some factors. Some of them may drive you to choose one that may best fit your personal needs. They are as follows:

Intents and Purposes

The question that needs to be answered is: what is your intended use for your AR-15? Will you be using it for competition? Will you use it for hunting? No matter your purpose, you’ll need a muzzle brake and compensator to make sure that you have a good handle of your gun while you’re firing it.

The Design

The design of your muzzle brake does matter. An efficient, high-quality design will ensure that less gas is let out of the end of the muzzle. It will do its job in redirecting it away from the rifle as much as possible. This, in turn, will reduce the recoil as more of the gases are pushed backward. The best design to look for in a muzzle brake is to find one that has a higher baffle surface area and a venting cross-section. If you can find one like that, you'll know that the efficiency is going to be good.

No Hole At The Bottom

This is an important aspect to know about. If you're a prone position shooter, then you'll need a muzzle brake that has no hole at the bottom. That's because the gases will expel downward and in turn, kick up dust and dirt. This will, in turn, spoil your aim and prevent you from seeing your target.

Muzzle Climb Reduction

Whether it’s a muzzle brake or a compensator, you should check to see if it works the way your ammo and rifle is intended to work. If you must, calibrating or tuning the brake will ensure that you are balancing the muzzle climb perfectly.

Materials

The final important thing to note is the material your brake or compensator is made from. That’s because muzzle devices are exposed to gases that are very hot and high in pressure. In order to withstand this, it needs to be made from material to ensure that it is durable enough to take beating after beating, shot after shot. Most of your brakes and compensators may be made from the following materials: carbon steel, stainless steel, or titanium.

Stainless steel is your best bet when you want your brake to be resistant to high heat and even corrosion. This is something that carbon steel may fall short on from time to time. As long as it’s properly maintained, it doesn’t need a finish. Carbon steel has a finish that ensures that it won’t rust easily.

Like stainless steel, titanium is resistant to stains, heat, and even corrosion. The demand for this type of material as of this writing is currently on the rise.

Conclusion

Finding the best A-15 muzzle brake and A-15 compensator doesn’t have to be a challenge. But knowing what’s out there and what to consider for your next purchase, you’ll know which one will stand out when you see it.

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