Muzzle Breaks

PWS FSC556 Compensator

PWS3When I decided to dive into the AR-15 world, I needed to choose and a muzzle device. Since I was going to be using a 14.5inch barrel, I needed a long enough muzzle device to reach the 16 inch overall barrel length, so I wouldn’t have to SBR the rifle. I was looking for a device that was not only a flash hider but also a compensator.  This limited my selection, however, the choice was easy once I came across the PWS FSC556 Compensator. Once I installed it on my rifle, I was reaffirmed in my selection. Not only was it good at hiding the flash, but the compensation was fabulous. Shooting the rifle with the FSC556 was comparable to shooting a 22 long rifle. The compensation keeps the rifle shooting nice and flat, which aided in getting back on target quicker and moving from target to target. I have shot other compensators that seem to drive the barrel down more than necessary. And the FSC556 stayed nice and level. This muzzle device is definitely not the quietest out there, however, it is also not the loudest I have heard. Along with the increased noise (which I really didn’t notice but was told by my friends shooting with me) was the increased muzzle blast to that is directed to the sides. My friends shooting next to me kindly (or not so kindly) let me know about this. All I had to say though was “look at my groups” and they wanted to shoot it.


Since purchasing the FSC556 I have also put the FSC30 on my AR-10 and it does just as good of a job on the heavy hitting 308.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:  A flash hiding compensator for putting a high volume of rounds on target.

Target Market: For those looking for a flash hider and compensator in one.

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Flash Hider
  • Compensator
  • Improved recoil management for follow up shoots
  • It is Gemtech Halo compatible
  • Standard muzzle device on FNH rifles

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?:  Black

There are also a  couple of different models depending on your needs.

  • FSC556 - Standard 5.56/.223 model
  • FSC30 - Standard 30 cal model
  • FSC91 - HK compatible model
  • KAC556 - basically the same as the FSC556 but is compatible with the Knights Armament suppressors

What others are saying?: "BravoCompanyUSA: I've got 20yrs behind most AR type weapons and regardless of "blow back" and "noise" from this comp, it's insane.  Anyone who has ever been downrange in the soup knows that "noise" is nothing.  Couldn't hear in the audible distress if you tried, but the drop in group at a high rate of fire is insane!  Feels like dumping a BB gun load with punch!  Thanks to Mr. Grant for nailing this beauty!"

 Price point:

I need it now! Availability: You can purchase the PWS FSC556 from Brownells.

Our Rating:


  • Flat shooting
  • reduced muzzle flash


  • Price
  • Increased noise and muzzle blast
  • Not compatible with most suppressors

Score: 8.5 Great85


Griffin Armament M4SDII Tactical Compensator


When investing in upgrades for your rifle, 90% of the time the highest priced option is the most effective.  Any research into muzzle brakes will support that claim.  The highest price points carry the research and quality of materials to back up the value. The highest user reviews and praise will naturally go to the most effective component, whether or not we can all afford that specific example is a whole other matter.  

In looking for an upgrade to the A2 "birdcage" flash hider on my AR-15 rifle, I looked at all the different brakes and comps on the marketplace.  There are ALOT to choose from.  First of all you need to determine whether you want Flash Suppression (reduced fireball at muzzle) or Recoil Compensation through either a compensator or whats more commonly called a muzzle brake.  I wanted reduced recoil impulses for faster shooting. The top contender I found was the BattleComp, which goes between $150-$200 depending on caliber desired.  I for one wasn't planning on investing that much into a 5.56mm rifle as the recoil is negligible to begin with when firing from a rested position.  The particular build I was working on was for competitive shooting, thus moving and maneuvering.  I wanted a muzzle device that wouldn't add too much bulk or length to the rifle.  So I found the nearest alternative to the BattleComp in form and in function, at nearly half the price.

Enter the Griffin Armament M4SDII Tactical Compensator.  It's a pretty simple brake, with small circular ports that encircle nearly the entire circumference except for the 6'oclock position, which prevents gases from kicking up dirt, dust, or blowing whatever you had laying on the bench.  The ports divert gasses upward and outward and that translates to a reduction in shift for your point of aim.  Sounds pretty minor, but when trying to put 2-3 rounds in a tight pattern while you are moving with your rifle, it becomes pretty important. Griffin has a couple videos showing different brakes being used in single, burst, and full auto fire as well as night time flash signature tests.  If you check other reviews, you'll find most users found that for under $100 the M4SDII is hard to beat, keeping pace with its higher priced competitors.

The M4SDII is also compatible with several suppressor models that will attach right over the top of it.  This is great for those who want to swap between unsuppressed and suppressed quicker, and the device will also serve as a blast baffle and increase the service life of your "can." I probably won't get to appreciate this feature but it may benefit others reading this review.  If you are still running an A2 flash hider or similar device and are interested in a better performing part, I challenge you to try this or one of Griffin's other models and see the difference.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Delivers premium low concussion muzzle control and extreme durability for a fraction of the cost of the competition

Target Market:  Police, Military, Private security and civilian  AR-15 operators.

FNBs:  (Features and Benefits of this product)

  • .863″ Diameter, 1.75” OAL, & 2.4 ounces with a 1/2×28 Thread
  • Minimal dust signature
  • FEA (Finite Element Analysis) optimized, CNC machined, heat treated, 17-4PH Stainless Steel
  • Interfaces with 7 sound suppressor models from 6 manufacturers
  • National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA) approved
  • Only muzzle device Griffin offers that is compatible with first generation M4-SD sound suppressors

 What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?:  Black Oxide

What others are saying?: "This is by far the best compensator on the market. I have used the standard A2 flash hider, BCM, and Battlecomp compensators. None of the others help with staying on target like this. It is EXTREMELY loud though, just want to make that clear. I would say it's 2 or 3 times louder than a standard A2 flash hider. I wear ear buds under my muffs for extra protection." SKD Customer Review

Price Point:

I need it now! Availability: Online Dealers or Direct thru Griffin.

Our Rating:

+ Shorter profile than most brakes / compensators keeps a barrel from getting too long. + Very good at mitigating recoil, especially with rapid shots. + Easily indexed with shims/peel washers (included). + Includes a Griffin patch, wear it proudly.

- Loudens report much more than an A2 birdcage (that means its working)

Score: 8.0 Great80



JP Enterprises - Recoil Eliminator

JP Recoil Eliminators

In my opinion, this muzzle break is extremely effective.  Its weight compared to a lot of other breaks on the market is average, but this  muzzle break itself is a lot bulkier.  On the other hand, I believe that the effectiveness of the muzzle break does make up for the size.  More so if the break is being mounted to a  target rifle where weight and size isn't a big deal.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:  Reduces recoil of a rifle.

Target Market:  Anyone looking to reduce felt recoil of their rifle.

FNB's:  (Features & Benefits of the product)

  • Comes in several different sizes to fit most rifles.
  • According to website it reduces 70% of felt recoil.
  • Easy to install on any threaded barrel.

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?:  Available in stainless or black oxide carbon steel.

What others are saying?:  "Complete recoil reduction".    Midway USA 

Price point: 

I need it now! Availability:  Midway USA, Brownells and the JP Enterprises website has them readily available.

Our Rating:

+ It does everything it says it does + Finish looks good and doesn't rust or chip easily + Has its own unique style.

-  The bulkiness of the break itself.

 Score:  8.0 Great