Your AR-15 is a versatile firearm with many opportunities for upgrades and customization. Taking advantage of this potential by adding a muzzle device is a great way to get the best possible performance from your AR-15. A muzzle device connects to the end of your firearm's barrel and redirects the propellant gases to accomplish goals such as reducing muzzle rise and recoil.
In this guide, we break down the different types of muzzle devices and their uses to help you decide which one's best for your needs.
Types of AR-15 Muzzle Devices
You can add a host of muzzle devices to your AR-15, most of which fall into one of three categories:
- Muzzle brake: A muzzle brake deflects high-pressure, high-velocity gases to the sides of the gun or slightly rearward when you fire. Redirecting these gases reduces recoil, giving you greater control over the gun.
- Flash suppressor: A flash suppressor — also known as a flash hider — reduces or eliminates muzzle flash by cooling the gases as they leave the end of the barrel. Reducing muzzle flash helps with visibility and concealing your position.
- Compensator: A compensator redirects gases from the muzzle upward, reducing muzzle climb. Less muzzle climb gives you more control over your firearm and makes it easier to fire successive shots.
Most AR-15s can also accept a suppressor to greatly lower the noise generated by shooting, but there are some legal restrictions on these devices. Check the federal regulations and those of your state on suppressor ownership to learn more.
What Muzzle Device to Use
There's no one best type of muzzle device, as each one has its pros and cons. The right muzzle device for your AR-15 depends on how you intend to use your firearm. Below are our recommendations for the best muzzle device in several common situations.
Best Muzzle Device for Home Defense: Compensator or Flash Hider
When it comes to home defense, a compensator is a viable option. A compensator helps you take more accurate shots and stay on target, which is essential in a home defense situation where you need to be deliberate and precise with your shooting.
However, a compensator doesn't hide muzzle flash, and it makes a loud noise when you use it — the flash and sound might contribute to scaring off an intruder in a home defense scenario, but some shooters prefer to preserve their night vision instead and use a flash hider on firearms intended for home defense.
Best Muzzle Device for Competition Shooting: Muzzle Brake or Compensator
Muzzle brakes or comps are the best choice for competition shooting, as the reduction of recoil and management of muzzle rise allow you to take faster, more accurate follow-up shots. Increased shooting speed and accuracy are vital in competition situations where repeatable precision is a must.
However, muzzle brakes will make a firearm's report substantially louder — to the point of quickly causing hearing damage if you have no noise mitigation measures — so you'll need to wear some form of ear protection for every shot.
Best Muzzle Device for Hunting: Flash Hider or Muzzle Brake
If you're hunting in a dark environment, a flash hider is the perfect addition to your rifle. Besides keeping you well-hidden, this device also helps you shoot more accurately in the dark, as you won't be blinded by a flash when you fire your shots. Eliminating the flash also allows you to fire successive shots more quickly because you won't need to refocus between rounds.
For daytime hunting, a muzzle brake may be the better choice. While a flash suppressor offers unique benefits in dark environments, it doesn't soften recoil as well as a muzzle brake. With a brake in place, you can shoot comfortably, consistently and accurately, even at longer ranges, which is particularly valuable if you're hunting larger game that demands a hard-hitting round.
If you decide to use a muzzle brake for your hunting expeditions, make sure you give your hunting partners a heads-up. You'll all need to wear hearing protection for every shot.
Why Purchase Your Muzzle Device From Wing Tactical?
At Wing Tactical, we're firearm enthusiasts, and we have an incredible selection of products for the AR-15. We can help you find the best muzzle device for your intended use to give you an edge on the competition. We don't sell anything we wouldn't put on our own firearms, so you can trust the quality of our products.
When you shop our online inventory, you'll find some of the best AR-15 muzzle devices on the market. We carry designs from top manufacturers like Strike Industries and Precision Armament at competitive prices to give you the best value for your purchase.
We also pride ourselves on providing outstanding customer service that you won't get elsewhere. We give you perks like next-day shipping on all orders so you can get out on the range sooner. We also offer 30-day, hassle-free returns with a full refund so you can rest assured you'll end up with the right gear to improve your shooting experience.