AR15 Muzzle Device Options
10. Muzzle Attachments will help the user to customize their AR15 to their shooting needs. The 3 basic options are compensators, flash hiders, or crowned muzzle. A compensator, AKA muzzle brake, is used to help control muzzle climb by venting gasses to the top and side of the barrel but does little to hide flash. Most muzzle brakes have holes or slots perpendicular to the barrel. A flash hider doesn’t help much with muzzle climb, though the A2 style bird cage flash hider does have a solid bottom. The real purpose of a flash hider is to help prevent night blindness due to flash from the muzzle, and also help mask the shooter’s location. A flash hider will have slots parallel with the barrel. A crowned muzzle means the very tip of the barrel is precision cut to perfectly exhaust gasses in all directions (360 degrees) and reduce the chance than the bullet’s trajectory will be affected by directional gas flow. Sound suppressors may also be attached to the muzzle where allowed by law and with ATF permission.
What muzzle device is right for you depends on the purpose and use of your rifle. For example most competition three gun shooters usually run compensators. Flash hiders are perfect for home defense or tactical applications since shooting will likely occur indoors and/or during low-light conditions. Many bench rest shooters and hunters alike prefer crowned muzzles. Though some hunters, especially those shooting large caliber ammunition, may opt for a compensator instead.
Also before choosing a muzzle device, it is important you know the caliber of your barrel as well as the threads of the barrel. You wouldn’t want a 22 caliber muzzle device on a 30 caliber barrels. Also a 1/2″x28 threaded device won’t fit on a 5/8″x24 threaded barrel. 1/2″ x28 and 5/8″x24 are the two most common thread sizes on the AR15 barrel, however 9/16″x24 and some other proprietary threads are also sometimes used.