Manticore Arms Nightbrake Review

The Manticore Arms Nightbrake for the AR-15 pattern rifle is an interesting little break. Designed by Sven Jonsson, this break comes with a crush washer and the break in the box. Going from an A2 birdcage style flash hider to this seems, at first, like going from driving a go kart to driving a muscle car. The Nightbrake threads on easily to any 1/2" x 28 threaded barrel and is relatively easy to tune. The myriad of ports allow for greater recoil reduction, while the absence of any ports at the 12 o'clock position allow for a complete sight picture that is free of any gasses or fireballs directly in your line of sight. There is a notable absence of ports on the lower half of the break to help erase any dust signature that may happen when firing prone or in any type of dusty environment such as a desert or abandoned building. The Nightbrake itself is 1.875" long, and weighs in at a mere 2oz. You'll notice that the length would not be suitable for someone looking to buy a 14.5" barrel and pin this on to make legal length. Now, having covered the basics, lets delve in to the fun part!

After attaching the break to my rifle and making sure that it was tuned correctly, off to the range I went. I had only one other break on this particular AR build, so It was quite a difference when I shot my first magazine at my local indoor range. Shooting some basic Freedom Munitions .223 I was surprised at the fireball that came from the first few rounds. There is quite a noticeable drop in recoil and muzzle rise when using the Nightbreak. The reduced felt recoil helped me to get back on target quicker for more follow up shots. The reduced muzzle rise was substantial compared to the A2, and some of the other breaks out on the market. All this does come at a cost, depending on how you look at it. Being a compensator and not a flash hider, the Nightbreak does nothing really to reduce sound and flash. The concussion emanating from the Nightbreak is extremely loud and somewhat obnoxious for those in the stalls next to you. Not something I was too concerned with, but something to consider depending on your environment. The flash was brilliant! I had a friend capture it on video and the fireball reminds me of watching an 18th century cannon go off and the flash at the muzzle. After an afternoon at the range putting it through it's paces I was sold.

Overall, the benefits far outweigh any of the cons mentioned above. The Nightbreak turned out to be the exact compensator I was looking for in this particular build. The sound, fireball, and looks make this a great addition to any AR pattern rifle. The reduced recoil and muzzle rise add to this already fun break making it a must have for anyone looking to replace their birdcage or find a new break to breath new life in an old rifle. At $58 on, the price is just right and worth every penny in my book.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Superb compensator for the AR-15 pattern rifle

Target Market: Target shooters and competitive shooters looking for an upgraded compensator at a reasonable price point

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Weight 2oz

  • No ports on the underside to prevent dust signature

  • Will clear any bullet up to .30 caliber with thread pattern of 1/2” x 28

  • Mitigates muzzle rise from the ports around the top 270 degree arc

  • Black oxide finish to prevent corrosion

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: None. Black oxide finish is the only option at this time.

What others are saying?:

“An excellent brake for the money”
“ Manticore’s NightBrake is designed primarily to keep the muzzle nice and steady without increasing flash or concussion, and it seems to do a solid job at this — well, except for bare muzzle-like fireballs out the front — in a compact, lighweight, and aesthetically-pleasing package. The two “strips” of ports on the bottom are solid to keep you dust-free when shooting prone and to allow the open ports on top to compensate for muzzle rise. Machining and finish are both fine, but not exemplary. It looks like QD mounts that work on an A2 birdcage would work on the NightBrake.” The Truth About Guns

Link to other reviews: Mr Guns N Gear video review

Price point:

MSRP = $57.95 

Retail = $57.95 

I need it now! Availability: The Manticore Nightbrake is available from Primary Arms, or directly from Manticore Arms.

Our Rating:


  • Also available for other calibers

  • Very effective at mitigating recoil

  • Price point low enough for anyone to afford

  • Extremely well made with proven finish

  • Lightweight for those looking to finish off those lightweight builds

  • Counts as 922r compliant part


  • Length prevents use on barrels shorter that 16” without a stamp

  • Only available in black oxide

  • Flash could hinder sight picture in low light conditions

  • Concussion could annoy fellow shooters at the range

Score: 8.0


Alex's Preferred FFL: Atlanta Range and Ordnance