With so many options out there, finding the right muzzle device for your AR-pattern rifle can quickly become an overwhelming task. There’s literally a sea of muzzle devices available with choices ranging from flash suppression, recoil management, quick-detach suppressor mounting options, hybrid flash suppressors/muzzle brakes and forward concussion-direction management devices, or blast shields.

My mission is to help you navigate through this sea, and give you the information to make the best decision depending upon the role in which your individual rifle will be utilized. The easiest and most logical way to make sense of all this information is to break it down by category.

Flash Suppressors (Photos 1-14)

By definition, flash suppressors are a particular group of muzzle devices that are designed to better eliminate or reduce the flash signature emitted from the end of the barrel when a round is discharged.

Muzzle Brakes (Photos 15-26)

These muzzle devices are designed to help mitigate muzzle rise or climb when the weapon is fired. They help to keep you on target and allow for faster follow-up shots. If you’ve ever had to take secondary or tertiary follow-up shots while looking through a magnified optic, a muzzle brake can help keep you on target. Muzzle brakes are my first choice when running a suppressor. The ports inherent to their design help reduce wear on the suppressor itself by acting as an additional set of sacrificial baffles, helping to prolong the life of your suppressor.

Muzzle Brakes/Flash Hiders (Photos 27-30)

These hybrid designs offer both flash suppression and recoil management. These devices may be the answer if you run your weapon suppressed only part of the time. When a sound suppressor is attached, the brake portion acts as a sacrificial baffle and when your suppressor isn’t attached, you benefit from the flash suppression qualities.

Blast Shields (Photos 31-37)

These devices direct the concussion from muzzle blast in a forward direction. If you’ve ever been on either side of a shooter running a short-barreled AR and a muzzle brake, I don’t have to explain how deafening and distracting that concussive blast can be. These devices help direct that shockwave in a forward direction, reducing the shock felt by fellow shooters in close proximity. These devices also help to minimize the effects of dust being kicked up while firing from prone. Blast shields can thread directly onto the end of your barrel, or they work in conjunction with specific muzzle devices already attached to your weapon.

For more information on the muzzle devices featured in the gallery above, please visit the following sites.


B.E. Meyers

Daniel Defense


Griffin Armament


Rainier Arms

Wilson Combat

Smith Enterprise



VG6 Precision

Yankee Hill Machine

Bravo Company Manufacturing

Primary Weapons Systems


This article was originally published in ‘Tactical Weapons’ February/March 2017. For information on how to subscribe, visit

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