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The 5.56 shoots flat with slight wind drift, having twice less energy and three times less recoil than .300 BLK, but moves rapidly enough, taking advantage of its sleek projectiles.

Best 5.56 Muzzle Brakes - Editor's Choice

The 5.56 felt recoil almost has no impact on actual shooting. Your rifle is still good, but you are keen on upgrading it, then you can try to add a 556-muzzle brake.

Why do we need 556 muzzle brake?

A muzzle brake or a recoil compensator should be installed to the barrel open end (called muzzle) of a cannon or a weapon to redirect the propellant gases, preventing recoil and unwished barrel upward movement.

Best 556 Muzzle Brake | 5.56 Muzzle Brake Review

ImageProductBrand
SureFire SFR ProComp 5.56 Muzzle BrakeSureFireBUY
Strike Industries JCOMP V2 Barrel 5.56 Muzzle BrakeStrike IndustriesBUY
Precision Armament Hyper Tap 5.56 Muzzle BrakesPrecision ArmamentBUY
LANTAC Dragon SilencerCo ASR .223/5.56 Muzzle BrakeLANTACBUY
Faxon Firearms 5.56 3-Port Muzzle BrakeFaxon FirearmsBUY
Fortis Manufacturing 5.56MM R.E.D. Barrel Muzzle BrakeFortis ManufacturingBUY
TacFire 5.56 1/2X28 Flash Can Muzzle BrakeTacFireBUY
Troy Medieval Muzzle Brake 5.56mm 1/2x28 TPI BlackTroy MedievalBUY
Yankee Hill 26-MB-A Slant Muzzle Brake 5.56mmYankee HillBUY
Yankee Hill Machine Phantom 5.56 Aggressive Compensator/Muzzle BrakeYankee HillBUY
JL Billet V.P.R. Muzzle Brake 5.56/223JL BilletBUY
TacFire 5.56 1/2X28 6-Prong Muzzle BrakeTacFireBUY
Ruger 90486 Radial Port Muzzle Brake 5.56 NATORugerBUY
Midwest Industries AR-15 5.56/.223 Muzzle BrakeMidwest IndustriesBUY

#1 SureFire SFR ProComp 5.56 Muzzle Brake

SureFire SFR ProComp 5.56 Muzzle Brake

Specification

Caliber: 5.56x45mm NATO
Threads per Inch: 1/2×28
Length: 2.5 in

SureFire designed the muzzle brakes with blind pilot holes, which allow adjusting the device: for recoil characteristics, fine-tuning put at the 3 and 9 o’clock position; for the adapter indexing at bottom dead center and to pin-and-weld on short-barreled rifles place at the 6 o’clock position. These compensators are crafted from US mill-certified machined heat-treated stainless steel, covered with Black Melonite. The muzzle device is outfitted with a rigid mounting adapter, fitting SureFire SOCOM Series 5.56 mm Fast-Attach suppressors. The rifle length with the muzzle device will be 16.2 in.

What I liked:
  • Minimizes both recoil impulse and muzzle rise: the firearm moves back to keep the shooters on target for quicker shot-to-shot recovery;
  • Makes a difference: the recoil and up kick definitely diminished;
  • Diminishes backward-directed concussion and side blast effects;
  • Comes with a Crush Washer;
  • Optimal thread interface due to the high-precision single-point cut threads;
  • Quality machining and finish.
What I didn’t like:
  • Does not allow for a suppressor.

#2 Strike Industries JCOMP V2 Barrel 5.56 Muzzle Brake

Strike Industries JCOMP V2 Barrel 5.56 Muzzle Brake

Specification

Caliber: 5.56x45mm NATO
Threads per Inch: 1/2×28
Length: 2.55 in
Weight: 3.6 oz
Diameter: 0.87 in

The Strike Industries offers a two-in-one muzzle device: brake and compensator with a two-chamber construction that allows diminishing recoil for faster follow-up shots. These Hybrid Muzzle Brakes, featuring stunning performance, are appropriate for competition, small game hunting, or any shooting when it’s necessary to keep the target in the sights.

What I liked:
  • Effective muzzle rise and flash decrease;
  • Modern design;
  • Low Concussion;
  • Affordable price;
  • Easy to install.
What I didn’t like:
  • Directs muzzle blast towards the shooter;
  • A bit hard to time;
  • A bit loud;
  • No suppressor QD version.

#3 Precision Armament Hyper Tap 5.56 Muzzle Brakes

Precision Armament Hyper Tap 5.56 Muzzle Brakes

Specification

Caliber: 5.56x45mm NATO
Threads per Inch: 1/2×28
Inner Diameter: 0.9 in
Length: 2.54 in
Weight: 3 oz

Proprietary Hybrid Baffle construction of lightweight and compact muzzle brake is outfitted with innovative Convergent-Divergent port geometry to ensure great performance. These muzzle devices are equipped with a strong skeletonized crown; the bore features great clearance, symmetric aperture, and precision alignment. No need for shims due to an inbuilt multipurpose timing nut, which allows fast field mounting-dismounting with a lightweight spanner wrench (included) or an adjustable one. Completely tunable gas offsetting helps diminish, or exclude sight picture movement while shooting. The heat-treated stainless steel (17-4) device construction, covered with durable Ionbond CrCN.

What I liked:
  • Low Gas Blowback;
  • Safe Baffle 35-degree angles;
  • Cleaning Friendly Design;
  • 84% Recoil decrease;
  • Zero Flash expansion.
What I didn’t like:
  • Gas blowback;
  • The Hypertap is advertised to have a better recoil decrease than the M4-72, but one reviewer has tried both of these breaks on the same rifle, and according to his experience the M4-72 performed much greater at mitigating felt recoil and muzzle rise.

#4 LANTAC Dragon SilencerCo ASR .223/5.56 Muzzle Brake

LANTAC Dragon SilencerCo ASR .223/5.56 Muzzle Brake

Specification

Caliber: .223 Remington, 5.56x45mm NATO
Threads per Inch: 1/2×28

The Muzzle Brakes are outfitted with Quick Mount Suppressor Adapter, they are not regarded as flash hiders, they are legal in California. These LANTAC devices deliver the blast and muzzle rise decrease and do not work with the BMD. The muzzle brakes are manufactured from precision machined steel (hardened to 48Rc), covered with Nitride. The Rocksett thread locker is recommended to be utilized with these compensators, but it isn’t included in the kit, meanwhile, shims for due timing comes with it. Silencers can be attached to these brakes.

What I liked:
  • Locks up securely with all SilencerCo ASR units;
  • Corrosion-resistant finish;
  • Looks stylish: has an aggressive construction;
  • Patented gas handling system;
  • Short Energy Pulse system, reducing recoil length, allows the shooter to keep on the target.
What I didn’t like:
  • None yet.

#5 Faxon Firearms 5.56 3-Port Muzzle Brake

Faxon Firearms 5.56 3-Port Muzzle Brake

Specification

Caliber: 5.56x45mm NATO
Threads per Inch: 1/2×28
Length: 2.4 in
Weight: 2.9 oz
Diameter: 0.9 in

The three-port construction allows successively capture the propellant gasses and redirect them to the sides for notable recoil reduction. Gunner three-port Muzzle Brakes with MUZZLOK Nut are made from steel, covered with Salt Bath Nitride. The Faxon engineered the inMuzzlokin function especially for muzzle device MUZZLOK to make timing and installation simple without the usage of shims or a crush washer even in the field, if necessary. Both device length and rotational timing can be regulated with the extension nut. These muzzle brakes should be fastened by 20-25 foot-pounds (according to the torque specification).

What I liked:
  • Reasonable price;
  • Significantly diminishes flash and felt recoil on any length of barrels;
  • Fast and easy timing: the inMuzzlokin function allows installation without a crush washer or shims;
  • Reliable jam nut style locking mechanism;
  • Versatile muzzle device;
  • Not overly loud;
  • Smooth follow-up shots;
  • Top-notch finish.
What I didn’t like:
  • California’s Proposition 65.

#6 Fortis Manufacturing 5.56MM R.E.D. Barrel Muzzle Brake

Fortis Manufacturing 5.56MM R.E.D. Barrel Muzzle Brake

Specification

Caliber: .223 Remington, 5.56x45mm NATO
Gun Model: AR-15
Threads per Inch: 1/2×28
Length: 2.194 in
Weight: 2.4 oz

These muzzle brakes, attached to the barrel, add general rifle length and improve the speed and accuracy. The Rapid Engagement Device, known as the Fortis RED, developed military-grade brakes with stylish design and high-quality performance. The devices are manufactured from stainless steel (4140) with Nitride coating, quality machined with black or stainless-steel finish.

What I liked:
  • Good muzzle control;
  • Tested by military staff;
  • Lightweight and compact;
  • A mild recoil on the AR-15 goes to almost non-existent;
  • A crush washer is included;
  • Quick target acquisition;
  • Easy to install and to get timed;
  • Affordable and efficient.
What I didn’t like:
  • None yet.

#7 TacFire 5.56 1/2X28 Flash Can Muzzle Brake

TacFire 5.56 1/2X28 Flash Can Muzzle Brake

Specification

Caliber: .223 Remington, 5.56x45mm NATO
Threads per Inch: 1/2×28
Length: 2.6 in
Weight: 6 oz
Diameter: 1.12 in

These compensators come with a crush washer, and a 1/2×28 thread pitch, which is appropriate for AR-15 style rifles. The Krinkov-style muzzle brake is crafted of steel one-piece construction, precision CNC machined, covered with a heat-treated Black oxide finish. Properly installed, the TacFire muzzle device allows forward blast deflection.

What I liked:
  • Reduces barrel whip and recoil;
  • Made in the USA;
  • Fits well;
  • Looks awesome;
  • Erosion-resistant material.
What I didn’t like:
  • None yet.

#8 Troy Medieval Muzzle Brake 5.56mm 1/2×28 TPI Black

Troy Medieval Muzzle Brake 5.56mm 1/2x28 TPI Black

Specification

Caliber: .223 Remington, 5.56x45mm NATO
Threads per Inch: 1/2×28
Length: 2.25 in
Weight: 3 oz

The Troy developed effective compressors, which distribute muzzle blast and sound forward away from the shooters. These devices feature an aggressive look due to the serrated crown. These durable muzzle brakes deliver minimal dust signature. The Troy made the brakes from hardened steel (4140) with a Parkerized finish.

What I liked:
  • If necessary, can be used as a spontaneous device for breaching;
  • Improves accuracy and control while quick shooting;
  • The Troy logo is aligned directly on the braking top, when fastening the unit onto the barrel and crush washer is compressed;
  • Easy to install.
What I didn’t like:
  • None yet.

#9 Yankee Hill 26-MB-A Slant Muzzle Brake 5.56mm

Yankee Hill 26-MB-A Slant Muzzle Brake 5.56mm

Specification

Caliber: 5.56x45mm NATO
Threads per Inch: 1/2×28
Length: 0.95 in

The Yankee Hill Machine (YHM) developed the hybrid unit (Muzzle Brake and Compensator), which moves gases away from the shooter, mitigates both recoil and muzzle rise for a faster follow-up shot. These muzzle devices are crafted from heat-treated steel, covered with a matte black finish, Melonite QPQ.

What I liked:
  • Comes with a crush washer;
  • Durable and high-quality components;
  • Easy to install;
  • Great finish;
  • Durable machining.
What I didn’t like:
  • A bit heavy.

#10 Yankee Hill Machine Phantom 5.56 Aggressive Compensator/Muzzle Brake

Yankee Hill Machine Phantom 5.56 Aggressive Compensator/Muzzle Brake

Specification

Caliber: 5.56x45mm NATO
Threads per Inch: 1/2×28
Length: 2.25 in

The YHM developed a combined five-port unit of muzzle brake and compensator with aggressive Front End, which is not a flash hider. These muzzle devices don’t feature a downward-facing port to exclude dust signature while shooting in the prone position.

What I liked:
  • Value for money;
  • Simple to install;
  • Great fit and finish;
  • Suitable for shooting in the prone position.
What I didn’t like:
  • None yet.

#11 Midwest Industries AR-15 5.56/.223 Muzzle Brake

Midwest Industries AR-15 5.56/.223 Muzzle Brake

Specification

Caliber: .223 Remington, 5.56x45mm NATO
Threads per Inch: 1/2×28

The Midwest Industries engineered a combined device, consisting of a muzzle brake and compensator with three chambers to reduce unwished recoil and muzzle rise. These units are made of tool steel (4140), covered with Phosphate.

What I liked:
  • Lifetime warranty;
  • Affordable price;
  • Сorrosion resistant material;
  • Aesthetic look;
  • Easy to install.
What I didn’t like:
  • Not scratch-resistant finish.

#12 JL Billet V.P.R. Muzzle Brake 5.56/223

JL Billet V.P.R. Muzzle Brake 5.56/223

Specification

Caliber: .223 Remington, 5.56x45mm NATO
Threads per Inch: 1/2×28
Weight: 0.2 lb

There are two available models: one is manufactured from Titanium (6AL-4V) in Titanium color, the second one is made of Stainless Steel (303) in Black color. The V.P.R. developed the muzzle brakes with the ports of a 15-degree back angle to minimize the gases spread moving forward.

What I liked:
  • Five-axis CNC machined;
  • Provides smooth recoil decrease;
  • Different degree angles of ports allow redirecting the gases out and up to diminish muzzle rise.
What I didn’t like:
  • Not rated yet.

#13 TacFire 5.56 1/2X28 6-Prong Muzzle Brake

TacFire 5.56 1/2X28 6-Prong Muzzle Brake

Specification

Caliber: 5.56x45mm NATO
Threads per Inch: 1/2×28
Length: 2.2 in
Weight: 2.6 oz
Diameter: 0.87 in

This muzzle brake features a flash hider function as well. The six-prong muzzle device is made of heat-treated steel, covered with Black oxide, and comes with a crush washer.

What I liked:
  • Made in the USA;
  • Operates to reduce flash;
  • Fits well;
  • Looks stylish and aggressive;
  • Top-notch milling and coating.
What I didn’t like:
  • None yet.

#14 Ruger 90486 Radial Port Muzzle Brake 5.56 NATO

Ruger 90486 Radial Port Muzzle Brake 5.56 NATO

Specification

Caliber: .223 Remington, 5.56x45mm NATO
Threads per Inch: 1/2×28
Length: 1-3/4 in
Weight: 1.7 oz
Diameter: 0.75 in

Radial Port muzzle devices can be mounted without crush washers with an 11/16″ open-end wrench or crescent one and should be torqued to 15-20 ft-lbs.

What I liked:
  • Made in the USA;
  • Diminishes felt recoil;
  • Ensures more control without muzzle movement.
What I didn’t like:
  • Not rated yet.

How to Install 5.56 Muzzle Brake

How to Install 5.56 Muzzle Brake

  • Before mounting or dismounting a 5.56 muzzle brake, unload the rifle and keep it empty.
  • Follow the manual guides, while orienting the compensator, fix it duly and place its ports in such a way to be perpendicular to the rifle vertical axis.
  • Sized shims are necessary to install a muzzle brake properly. A crush washer simplifies the muzzle brake timing. While lining up the compensator, use one of the above-listed tightening gaskets.
  • The muzzle device should be aligned with the barrel at 12 o’clock, take the barrel edge like a clock face. Place the crush washer or shim and tighten the compensator securely with your hand to the 10 o’clock point, to ensure the required timing. Mount the brake until it lines with the 12 o’clock point on the barrel, you can use an AR15 armorer’s wrench (a 3/4 inch open-end). Fix the muzzle brake in short increments without over-tightening it and not overpassing the 12 o’clock position.
  • After the 5.56 muzzle brake mounting, a silencer can be fastened directly to it, if necessary.

Venting direction In Muzzle Brake

  • Many linear muzzle brakes spread the gases forward, accompanying the bullet, allowing them to expand before leaving the weapon.
  • The mechanism of muzzle rise decrease needs kinetic energy: gases escape in the same direction, but any muzzle rise changes the gas velocity.
  • When the gases and blast energy are redirected backward, they come back to the shooter; they are pushed against the recoil at the same time, efficiently diminishing the actual recoil amount on the shooter.
  • During the upward gas direction, the braking is called a porting, when there are many precision-drilled ports or holes in the forward barrel top and slide parts on firearms, which diminish pistols tendency to rise, allowing quicker follow-up shots, especially for three-round burst shooting.

FAQ

Does 5.56 muzzle brake affect accuracy?
Muzzle brakes don’t influence the rifle accuracy. After bullets leave the barrel, the muzzle devices allow recoil to decrease, changing the way the barrel whips, as a result, bullets can move at a different point.
Does an AR 15 need a 5.56 muzzle brake?
Many shooters use AR rifles with the standard 5.56 without a muzzle brake. Choosing a quality and affordable muzzle device, you can mount it, hardly noticing a big difference.
Do 5.56 muzzle brakes affect velocity?
After installing a 5.56 muzzle device on the rifle, it extends the barrel and does not diminish muzzle velocity. The muzzle brakes enhance the overall rifle performance, capturing and retarding propellant gases, reducing the recoil and flash to near zero.
Can a muzzle brake change the point of impact?
Muzzle brakes can alter the POI because of the weight loss on the barrel end, and affecting the barrel “harmonics”. It is possible to do a thread protector of the same weight with the muzzle brake and screw it on the barrel end to hit the same POI.
Do 5.56 muzzle brakes make guns louder?
Many brakes sound twice louder than rifles without a muzzle device, they increase noise. Muzzle brakes direct the muzzle blast in varied sides, minimizing felt recoil.
Are muzzle brakes worth it?
While shooting muzzle brakes produce less felt recoil, less upward and from side-to-side motion, quicker sights realignment on the target, and better accuracy.
Does a muzzle brake count as barrel length?
Yes, according to ATF regulations a muzzle brake, being constantly mounted on the rifle, is considered to be the barrel’s part and needs to be counted as the barrel length. If you want to measure the barrel length, drop the dowel or rod into the barrel till it touches the closed breech face.
Are muzzle brakes illegal in California?
Muzzle brakes are legal in CA. It’s better to choose a muzzle device with holes, but without slots. Muzzle brakes help mini-14s in less than the traditional way.

Conclusion

Recoil compensators allow the rifle to get rid of muzzle climb and diminish felt recoil, improving accuracy. The ear protection should be your responsibility, as muzzle devices increase the noise level to about 5-10 dB.

Choosing a muzzle brake, check the length restrictions and your state regulations. Remember, the total rifle length measures with a compensator attached to it, considering the barrel part, according to ATF regulations.

If you often shoot prone, purchase the muzzle brake without holes on its bottom to eliminate the dust kicking up into the face as Yankee Hill Machine Phantom 5.56 Aggressive Muzzle Brake.

The Best Picks

LANTAC Dragon SilencerCo ASR .223/5.56 Muzzle Brake

View on OpticsPlanet

This Muzzle Brake, which is not a flash hider, is legal in California, outfitted with Quick Mount Suppressor Adapter. Silencers can be attached to these brakes. LANTAC implemented a patented gas handling system and Short Energy Pulse one to ensure great performance.

Fortis Manufacturing 5.56MM R.E.D. Barrel Muzzle Brake

View on OpticsPlanet

Lightweight and compact military-grade brakes with stylish design and high-quality construction allow speed and accuracy enhancement.

Budget Picks

Yankee Hill 26-MB-A Slant Muzzle Brake 5.56mm Threaded

View on OpticsPlanet

A hybrid unit with sturdy machining, comprising the functions of Muzzle Brake and Compensator, redirects gases away from the shooter, mitigates both recoil and muzzle rise for a faster follow-up shot.

Faxon Firearms 5.56 3-Port Muzzle Brake

View on OpticsPlanet

These brakes provide fast and easy timing due to the reliable jam nut style locking mechanism and inMuzzlokin function, which allows installation without a crush washer or shims.

Tags: 5.56 muzzle brake, fortis muzzle brake 5.56, surefire muzzle brake 5.56, ar 15 5.56 muzzle brake, best muzzle brake for 5.56, lantac dragon muzzle brake 5.56

Tatiana Kursakova
Tatiana Kursakova
Professional shooter, traveller, survivalist
My love of guns is in my blood, since childhood I have spent hours enjoying the beauty of guns and adored going through their parts.

Tactical accessories are another passion of mine that I could write about endlessly - my house and garage are full of tactical gadgets, luckily my family shares my interests.

I'm infatuated with traveling that's why work at one place with a daily routine and standard schedule is not for me. I prefer copywriting and English tutoring as a freelancer. I live in a male family among constant talks about cars, guns, hunting, fishing, and, of course, dinosaurs 😊.

My husband is an obsessed hunter, and my two sons are fans of «Demolition Ranch» of YouTube blogger Matt Carriker. They are my best consultants about weapon and all-around ammunition topics. All together we share a love for adventures. Every camping or mounting hiking trip is a "small survival", giving irreplaceable experiences. Nothing can be better than the satisfaction of observing wild nature.

Motto: «Born in Ukraine, made is the USA».

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