A lot of people treat muzzle devices as if they’re magic and for the amount that some brakes cost, they should be magic. For most AR-15’s, Vuurwapenblog found that a brake with 3 or 4 large ports like the Specwar offers excellent recoil mitigation while still staying pretty compact in line with the barrel. The drawbacks are increased muzzle blast back to the shooter and to the sides, and sometimes increased flash. You wouldn’t want to use a brake like this for hunting, but they’re great for competition. Surprisingly, some brakes that cost hundreds of dollars perform worse than brakes that cost $50, but they do look cool.
While I previously had the Miculek 223 brake on my 3 gun AR, and there was certainly nothing wrong with its performance, I noticed that the new Canadian-produced Spectre Ballistics Hex Brake appeared to be slightly more compact as well as being made from better materials. The Miculek brake uses a jam nut, which takes up more space than a crush washer setup. The Hex Brake is an extremely reasonable $45 Canadian so I bought one.
Hex Brake Specs
- Stainless 316
- Black Nitride finish
- 3 port with 3 smaller ports on top
- 1/2×28 (standard AR15 thread), also comes in M14x1 for 223 VZ58 and M14x1 for 7.62 VZs and CZ858
My previous recommendation for those starting out in 3 gun was the Miculek brake, but due to a big increase in the exchange rate between USD and CAD, the Miculek brake has gone from about $50 to to $89. While it’s an effective brake, the finish is just so-so. The Hex Brake uses excellent grade materials, is slightly lighter, shaves off a half inch at the muzzle, and is half the cost of the very reasonably-priced Miculek brake. I don’t have the right equipment to scientifically show whether it recoils more or less, and I won’t guess. Feels about the same, recoil-wise.
As an AR-15 brake, the Hex Brake is my new recommendation for Canadian 3 gun shooters just starting out. If you like the look of it, they’ve also got the same brake for 7.62×39 and .223 VZ58’s.
Lots more reading on muzzle devices: