2018 Best-Rated AR-15 Gas Blocks
The gas block is one of the most underappreciated contributors to a gun's recoil, ease of use and cleanliness. It is responsible for how much hot gas escapes from the barrel when you shoot, which, in turn, will affect lots of physical processes when you pull the trigger
However, did you know that upgrading the gas block that comes standard on the AR-15 with a new gas block can improve your gun's performance and reliability dramatically?
As it turns out, the gas block is a critical link in the chain that is too often overlooked. A high-quality standard gas block can ensure your AR runs reliably, while switching to an adjustable gas block allows you to tune your gun's performance for different types of ammo, reduce recoil and get to your next shot in less time.
We'll take a look at the top-rated AR-15 gas blocks, as well as dive a bit deeper into how this simple but powerful upgrade can take your shooting and handling to the next level.
Basics of Gas Blocks
As an AR-15 owner, you are likely somewhat in tune with the inner workings of the gun. It is a stunning feat of engineering that borders on artistry — and the gas block is one of the unseen workhorses behind its operation. Let's look at how gas blocks operate, the workings of standard versus adjustable gas blocks and what sizes they come in.
What Is a Gas Block?
The gas block is the component that fits over the small hole on the top of an AR-15's barrel. As gunpowder in the cartridge explodes and drives the bullet through the barrel and past this hole, some of the hot gas escapes through it. This hot gas enters the gas block and then gets directed down the gas tube.
The gas tube directs this hot gas back in the direction of the shooter, where it is driven down into the receiver. There, its pressure pushes the bolt backward, which is what extracts the cartridge and gets the system ready for the next shot.
Now, back to that gas block. You can think of it as the valve that controls how much hot gas gets directed back into the receiver. The gas block on most of the factory AR-15 is fixed. This means that no matter what ammo you use and what specs you have your gun set to, the same amount of gas is allowed into the gas tube. This has obvious drawbacks if you use a different weight BCG, suppressor or buffer. By only allowing a certain amount of gas through, it's optimized for one out of an infinite number of setups.
The magic happens when you install a higher-quality gas block — even a non-adjustable one. Let's explore the differences between a standard and an adjustable gas block.
Standard vs. Adjustable Gas Blocks
A standard gas block allows a fixed amount of gas to travel through the tube — typically more gas than is necessary. The justification behind this is that the hot gas carries a lot of carbon with it, which tends to gunk up the interior of the system. Overgassing allows the system to continue working even when it gets dirty. This can lead to increased wear and more difficult cleaning but also makes it easy to operate. Overgassing can also rocket the bolt back with too much force, further strengthening the recoil and putting wear on the part. However, standard gas blocks are still a simple and effective tool beloved by many shooters. A high-quality non-adjustable gas block is best for duty AR builds, it allows your gun to run safely and reliably without having to worry gas setting.
An adjustable gas block, on the other hand, allows you to tune the amount of gas entering the tube. This means the bolt can receive the perfect amount of force, you can decrease how much carbon comes into the system, and cleaning your gun will be a less grueling experience. The possible drawback to adjustable gas blocks is in the name — they are adjustable and therefore require more time and maintenance to operate. However, in return, you'll get less recoil, which allows you to set up for the next shot more quickly.
Because your rifle is fighting the good fight against some powerful momentum, efficiency is everything. Adjustable gas blocks let a direct impingement system work smoothly, while standard gas blocks are best for ease of use.
As you might suppose, gas blocks come in different sizes to fit different barrels. There are two common gas block mounting types: Set-screw and Clamp-on. On both styles, you can tighten them, but the actual curvature needs to match the radius of the barrel. A .750 is standard for barrels of a medium profile. .625 is another common size for pencil profile barrels. Simply shop for the gas block that fits the barrel of your gun.
Top-Rated AR-15 Gas Blocks of 2018
|Top AR-15 Gas Blocks||Adjustable or Non-Adjustable||Price|
|Superlative Arms Adjustable Gas Block||Adjustable||$89.99|
|Battle Arms Development Lightweight Low-Profile Titanium Gas Block||Non-Adjustable||$89.95|
|Odin Works .750 Low Profile Gas Block||Non-Adjustable||$27.55|
|Master of Arms Titanium Adjustable Gas Block||Adjustable||$145.50|
|Odin Works Adjustable Low Profile Gas Block||Adjustable||$84.55|
|Seekins Precision .750 Adjustable Low-Profile Gas Block||Adjustable||$57.95|
|Faxon Firearms Ultra Low-Profile Gas Block||Non-Adjustable||$28.49|
|JP Enterprises .750 Adjustable Gas Block||Adjustable||$75.95|
|2A Armament Ultra-Lite Titanium Gas Block||Non-Adjustable||$71.00|
|Vltor Low-Profile Gas Block||Non-Adjustable||$53.06|
Best AR-15 Gas Blocks
Below we compiled more details and everything you need to know about of these best-rated AR-15 gas blocks on the market in 2018. Also for the sake of this product review we have divided the top-rated gas blocks into two categories; adjustable and non-adjustable.
Best-Rated AR-15 Adjustable Gas Blocks
Superlative Arms Adjustable Gas Block
The AR-15 is a weapon that is as versatile as it is sleek. That means those of you with a creative bent will doubtlessly begin fine-tuning it to your liking — which means you'll be needing an adjustable gas block to go on the ride with you.
Superlative Arms has gotten innovative with their Adjustable Gas Block. This innovative bleed-off gas block not only allow you to adjust the amount of gas cycle back into the gun, it also allows you to bleed-off excessive gas out from the front of the gas block. What is the benefit of this? When using the regular adjustable gas setting, you can reduce or amplify gas flow while still creating a desired pressure in the gas impingement system. That means lower temperatures and less oxidation. When using the bleed-off setting, it will reduce blowback when shooting with a suppressor.
Enjoy the ability to adjust gas flow without having the screw corrode. This product is made of 416 stainless steel, is available in black or matte stainless steel finishes and comes in .625" or .750" diameters.
Master of Arms Titanium Adjustable Gas Block
If lightweight, tactical efficiency is your goal, then the Master of Arms Titanium Adjustable Gas Block is a dream come true. Possibly the most lightweight adjustable gas block currently available, Master of Arms has constructed this component from aerospace-grade titanium. It is machined to precise tolerances and has a slender profile.
It is also one of the most endlessly adjustable gas blocks on the market. The management valve will allow you to tune it to any firearm you choose. The two locking screws hold it in place no matter how much you use it, and you will appreciate the fact that it needs no thread lock to stay in place. It is simple to install, is virtually fail-proof and fits under most handguards and rails.
This adjustable gas block comes in .750" and .625" sizes and a choice of black or raw titanium finish.
Odin Works Adjustable Low Profile Gas Block
Building on the unobtrusive height of their gas blocks, Odin Works released their Adjustable Low Profile Gas Block. This piece of equipment is instantly configurable with suppressed and unsuppressed setups, as well as with other variations in rifle componentry.
This gas block will work wonders on your AR-15. You can use it to dial the cycling of your rifle to perfection by allowing more or less gas into the gas key. Finding the sweet spot will reduce carbon build-up, make the bolt engage perfectly and lower the wear on the rifle's critical parts. And with 20 adjustment points, Odin Works' Adjustable Low Profile Gas Block is endlessly tunable.
This gas block is made of carbon steel with a black nitride finish, includes set screws and a roll pin and comes with the necessary wrenches. It is available in .750".
JP Enterprises .750 Adjustable Gas Block
JP Enterprises has introduced a true beast to the market with their .750 Adjustable Gas Block. Used by professionals all over, this adjustable gas block is useful in every application from competitions to hunting to law enforcement. It is made of 416 stainless steel and is securely held in place by four screws.
This gas block seamlessly routes hot gas from the bullet down the gas tube and into the gas key. A brass set screw anchors the adjustment screw in place even through jarring recoil and frequent use. This adjustable gas block is also extremely effective for reducing recoil in firing.
Available in .750" size, JP's adjustable gas block is slim and fits easily under a large number of AR-15 handguards. It comes in two colors: QPQ and stainless steel finish.
Seekins Precision .750 Adjustable Low-Profile Gas Block
Seekins Precision has created one of the highest-quality gas blocks on the market with their .750” Adjustable Low-Profile Gas Block. This steel component features a melonite finish and an adjustment screw for setting the perfect level of gas flow. Two setting screws keep it in place, while its low profile makes it ideal for anyone with a slimmer rail system.
Best-Rated AR-15 Non-Adjustable Gas Blocks
Battle Arms Development Lightweight Low-Profile Titanium Gas Block
Battle Arms Development's newest lightweight member is the Low-Profile Titanium Gas Block. It is available in either a black PVD finish or a more classic, brushed titanium look. Because it weighs less than half an ounce, it will add a negligible amount of weight to your AR-15. Its sleek look is not flashy in the slightest but stands out with a sort of sophisticated simplicity.
It manages to look good while also being exceptionally functional. Because of its light weight and strength, you can depend on it doing its job while keeping your barrel easy to maneuver. This means you can set your sights on the target more quickly and spend less energy doing so. You'll also be able to hold the gun in position for longer without wearing your muscles out.
If you are searching for a leg up in competitive shooting or target practice, this snappy little gas block could be the answer. It's made in the USA and comes in .625" and .750".
2A Armament Ultra-Lite Titanium Gas Block
Another beast made of titanium, 2A Armament’s Ultra-Lite Titanium Gas Blockis both strong and lightweight. In fact, it is about 60% of the weight of similar steel gas blocks. This makes a big difference when those minutes turn into hours in competitive shooting or hunting.
The low-profile design of 2A Armament's titanium gas block allows it to live comfortably under the AR-15's handguard. With the two screws locking it in place, you also have the power to keep it secure. One great trick is to use blue locking compound to fix the screws. This way, you'll never have to worry about it moving around. A dimpled barrel is another excellent way to keep it secure.
This lightweight, sturdy gas block is available in both .750" and .625" diameters.
Faxon Firearms Ultra Low-Profile Gas Block
Gas impingement systems rely on delicate yet sturdy components doing their jobs with split-second timing. A gas block is the principal component of the whole operation. The complication arises in that it has to fit underneath a handguard, a part of your gun that needs to be slender and comfortable without compromise.
Here to solve the problem is Faxon Firearms’ Ultra Low-Profile Gas Block. This item is made from high-quality steel with a beautiful black finish. Three tightening screws hold it in place. Despite its tough steel makeup, it is also gloriously lightweight, allowing you to keep your strength up for long periods of time. Its efficient design allows it to fit under the most ergonomically-designed handguards on the market.
These Ultra Low-Profile Gas Blocks are available for both .625" and .750" barrels. At just over one inch tall, they will fit underneath most rails as well.
Odin Works .750 Low Profile Gas Block
Odin Works has surmounted a significant problem in the field of gas blocks with the .750 Low Profile Gas Block — they have made it low-height. With its small profile, this gas block allows users to install whatever free-floated handguard they prefer. It will not get in the way of rail systems and will perform beautifully with heavy use.
Made of carbon steel and coated with nitride, this component will stay put when the percussion of gunfire might shake others loose. If you are looking for more flexibility on the forend of your rifle, check out this low-profile gas block. It is also reasonably priced.
This gas block is available for .750"-diameter rifle barrels.
Vltor Low-Profile Gas Block
Last but certainly not least is Vltor’s Low-Profile Gas Block, a popular and reliable component available in two different finishes and two different methods of attachment. A screw-on option offers the conventional set screws, while the clamp-on option does without them while weighing just 0.2 oz. more. Made of 17-4 PH Stainless Steel, these gas blocks come in either black or silver to complement the style of your weapon.
This sleek gas block comes in 0.625" or 0.750" and is sure to fit under most any rail or handguard.
Other Gas System Upgrades for Your AR-15
While you’re at it, there are two other upgrades you should consider when installing a new gas block. Both will make your gun run more smoothly, more reliably and with less long-term wear and tear.
- Gas tubes: If you are using a direct impingement system, these are an essential part of its operation. When hot gases pass through the gas block, they inevitably must then travel through the gas tube to the receiver. They are subjected to extreme pressure, high temperature and lots of dirty carbon. Therefore, it's crucial that they be able to handle all three with grace. Upgrading to a higher-quality gas tube will resist corrosion and gunk and make your rifle easier to clean.
- Piston Kit: Another sleek upgrade to your AR-15 is the piston kit, an alternative to the direct impingement system that works with less heat and fewer corrosive elements. It's a worthwhile investment if you're looking to make your operation a bit cleaner.
Come to Wing Tactical to Give Yourself an Edge
At Wing Tactical, we have a vast selection of rifles, components and supplies for you to choose from. Whether you are military, law enforcement, a hobbyist or a competitive shooter, we are your source for weapons and tactical gear. Check out our extensive selection of gas blocks, as well as upgrade kits and other products. Everything we sell is new and backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
So come to Wing Tactical and put yourself ahead of the rest. We've got the gear to take you there.