Best .308 Muzzle Brakes: Taming the Recoil

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Sep 2023

If you own or are in the process of outfitting a .308 rifle, pretty soon you’ll realize that the .308 is a more than capable round in terms of delivering consistent performance at long range.

One consequence of this is that when a .308 bullet leaves the barrel, it does so in a real hurry with a lot of noise, flash, and recoil – at nearly 3,000 fps (feet per second) in some cases.

In order to mitigate that recoil better than the basic flash hiders that come stock with most rifles, you’ll want to outfit your rifle with a high-quality muzzle brake. A muzzle device will keep your shots on target, and save both your shoulders and ears from additional and unnecessary punishment.

This article is part of our ongoing Guide to Everything AR.

.308 Muzzle Brake Comparison

Below is my list of the quality .308 muzzle brakes. I list the best choices in terms of value, performance, design, and cost.

Click on the name to head to the product page, read reviews and check prices or skip ahead to the list of muzzle brakes.

.308 Muzzle Brake Reviews

1. Best Overall: Surefire

Surefire 7.62 Procomp Muzzle Brake

Other Sellers:

primary arms
palmetto state armory

The Surefire Procomp 762 comes to use from one of the most well-known manufacturers in the firearms world. This compensator is our top pick because it is a serious piece of precision machining.

The muzzle device itself is ported vertically, which enables it to reduce the violent up and down recoil that can make follow-up shots difficult for the .308 cartridge.

This means it’s ideal for both competition and long-range setups, as the speed and accuracy of follow-up shots matter the most in those environments.

In terms of installation, it needs to be pinned and welded. This is aided by the pre-drilled blind pilot holes. That said, less experienced folks might want to seek the help of a gunsmith to make sure that the pinning and welding process goes well.

One oversight with this otherwise fantastic brake is the inability to mount one of Surefire’s excellent suppressors.

While we think that the overall quality, ease of installation/pinning & welding, and significant recoil management more than offset this shortcoming, it would have been nice to have that option.

This is a go-to brake for anyone who plans on running an unsuppressed .308 rifle and wants to minimize muzzle movement.


  • Extremely secure once installed properly.
  • Mitigates recoil very well with vertical porting.
  • Has pilot holes for installing on the barrel.
  • Very durable finish that will last.


  • Has to be pinned and welded to the barrel, which some will not like.
  • Is not a suppressor adapter, so if you need that look elsewhere.

2. Best for Suppressor Use: SilencerCo

Silencerco 30 Caliber ASR Brake

Other Sellers:

primary arms
palmetto state armory

These days, suppressors are all the rage, especially among long-range shooters who use them to save their ears and improve recoil reduction. In the suppressor market, very few come close to the quality of Silencerco.

It’s all in the name, really.

With that in mind, if you want to mount your Silencerco suppressor in the most stable way that you can, we recommend the ASR series of brakes that come from the same manufacturer as those high-end suppressors. This hybrid muzzle device is a must if you’re designing a suppressor-based build for your 30 caliber rifle.

The big appeal of this brake is that it is compatible with Silencerco’s quick-detach suppressor system. That means fast transitions, secure fit, and maximum stability for your can.

It also functions well as a standalone brake if you’re thinking about running a suppressor down the line or as your gun budget allows.

The open design will get the gas out of the way and keep the muzzle down, but that open design comes at the cost of increased muzzle flash when compared to other options.

Overall, it’s a more than solid choice that will be at home in a suppressor host build.


  • Three port design effectively dissipates gas, which reduces muzzle climb.
  • Threads directly onto the Omega and Specwar suppressors, making this an excellent choice for those systems.
  • Pinned and welded design for stability.


  • The very open design will not likely suppress much flash.
  • Designed to be a suppressor mount first and a muzzle brake second

3. Budget Option: Midwest Industries

Midwest Industries .308 Muzzle Brake

Other Sellers:

primary arms
palmetto state armory

Midwest Industries makes the kind of stuff that we gun folks drool over. This brake is no exception and would be right at home on a rugged 30 caliber AR-10 or SCAR build.

The Midwest .308 brake is designed from the ground up to reduce muzzle flip, which is the primary issue with the fast firing of .308 rounds. Installation couldn’t be easier, all you have to do is torque it down to spec with the included crush washer.

Normally, weight is something we try to reduce in guns, but when it comes to reducing muzzle climb and felt recoil, the additional weight of a quality brake can increase rifle balance.

Of course, redirecting spent gas in a way that counters the mass and velocity of a bullet leaving the barrel always helps with control.

The more weight you add to the end of the muzzle, the more the recoil has to overcome. Think back to school, where we learned about our friend Mr. Newton.

In this case, we want the muzzle to stay put, so the four ounces of steel on the end of the barrel will help keep it down when recoil wants to move it up.

Our only slight concern is the tool steel finish. However, as long as you don’t expose it to prolonged moisture, it should last for many years.

Overall, this brake is one we’d be happy to try out on any of our AR-10 builds.


  • Designed primarily to reduce muzzle rise.
  • Heavy construction aids in muzzle rise and recoil reduction.
  • Comes with a crush washer for easy installation.
  • Excellent company with a reputation for product success.


  • Crush washers have a slight tendency to walk over time.
  • If you manage to wear through the finish, the steel is not stainless.

4. Best for M1A Shooters: Smith Enterprises

Smith Enterprise Springfield M14 Muzzle Brake

Other Sellers:

primary arms
palmetto state armory

The iconic M1A rifle is one of the best known and most recognizable .308 rifles of all time. Aside from nostalgia and historical value, the rifles are great shooting and are still more than capable at a match, in a defensive situation, or for hunting.

The aftermarket for them is a fraction of what you will find for other rifles, so we wanted to show some love for one of our favorite rifles.

The M14, if you happen to have one in select-fire, can be a real challenge to control in a rapid-fire scenario.

This brake from Smith Industries will reduce that recoil substantially, making the rifle much easier to control. Also, this is a great replacement if you’ve lost or damaged your M1A flash hider, or if you want to maximize felt recoil reduction and flash beyond what would have been period-correct in the 1960s.

This comes machined with threads and dovetails to match the original barrel, so installing it will be a breeze and we recommend this brake to any M14/M1a owners out there.


  • Fits Springfield M1A rifles exactly.
  • Replacement part for original M14 or M1a flash hiders.
  • Enhanced design from original in terms of felt recoil reduction.
  • Easy installation onto factory M1A/M14 barrels.


  • Not an exact replica as issued on M14, you’ll need a surplus one for that.
  • Only for M14/M1A rifles, so others will need to look elsewhere.

5. Best for Pistol Builds: Brownells Shorty

Brownells Short .308 Muzzle Brake

Other Sellers:

primary arms
palmetto state armory

For our final pick, we’re doing things a little bit differently. For a muzzle brake compensator to work really well, the more weight and length it has to dissipate gasses and recoil, the better for pure recoil reduction.

But sometimes that’s not the only goal.

If you’re building a short-barreled rifle, you might prefer limiting weight and length over blast and flash suppression. If that’s the case, then this small .308 muzzle brake from Brownells might be just the one for you.

At just over an inch long, this brake probably won’t give you the same performance as the longer brakes on this list, use which side vent ports for recoil reduction.

With that said the evenly spaced ports in the brake will still substantially reduce flash and recoil. Plus it looks like it walked off the set of an action movie.

In many cases, folks pin and weld muzzle brakes to increase the overall length of their rifle to meet legal requirements. This one won’t help in that regard, but it can still offer good performance in a compact package, especially if you’re building a short-barreled rifle and prioritize compactness.

This high-quality brake is something of a wild card pick for those in that particular circumstance.


  • Just over an inch long, making it perfect for an SBR setup.
  • Has ports evenly along the body, smoothing out recoil impulse.
  • Comes in two finishes, black and stainless.


  • It is quite small, so do not expect the world from it in terms of flash and recoil suppression.
  • Does not come with a crush washer, we recommend putting one on so it doesn’t walk off.

Why bother with a muzzle brake?

The .308 Packs a Punch

The .308 is no joke. Under rapid rates of fire, your first round will likely be on target, while the second is on the horizon and the third is a liability to low-flying aircraft.

Any quality muzzle brake for .308 rifles will be designed to maximize recoil reduction and reduce muzzle blast by redirecting the gas that exits before and after a bullet leaves the muzzle of your gun and by adding weight & length to the front of a rifle.

In doing so, they improve accuracy by controlling muzzle rise which can make shooting more pleasant when compared to flash hiders or a bare muzzle. Basically, you’ll want one of these on a rifle if accuracy, control, and follow-up shots matter to you.

With that said, an effective muzzle brake can help reduce recoil and muzzle movement quite a bit, especially with the more aggressive, modern designs.

This is the big reason that a lot of folks go with a .308 muzzle brake, or at the very least try to get an upgrade over the often lackluster ones that come with rifles and (especially) shorter 308 pistols from the factor.

Easy Suppressor Mounting

Secondly, it’s getting more common for folks to want to attach a suppressor to their .308 rifle. In order to do so, you’re going to need some means to attach it to the firearm.

Most suppressor manufacturers make muzzle brakes that come with their suppressors, and you can usually buy them as a kit, though you’ll have to wait for the fine folks at the ATF to approve your suppressor.

Even without the suppressor, muzzle brakes that are meant to help you attach a suppressor are often reasonable good brakes in their own right.

Buyers Guide

When looking for a muzzle brake for 308 rifles, it’s important to consider what the brake was engineered to do so you can make the best choice for your goals.

1. Purpose

Regardless of whether you’re a first-time gun owner or a seasoned vet — depending on the brake you choose, you can get drastically different results.

Muzzle devices vary significantly, so think about what you want from your compensator.
Muzzle devices vary significantly, so think about what you want from your compensator.

Though they all are meant to reduce muzzle flash and recoil, the porting that directs gas differs wildly and creates different performance characteristics.

2. Secondary mounting

Some are meant to help you secure suppressors, while others mitigate flash or recoil better. Others are meant to fit on a specific rifle, and other designs are focused on keeping the overall rifle short and light.

Aligning your rifle’s intention with the performance characteristics of the brake you choose will give you the best results – anything else is cosmetic at best, and counter-productive at worst.

3. Thread Fit

Make sure when buying a .308 muzzle brake that it fits the threading on your barrel.

Most of the time, these follow one of a few standards, but it’s still important to check to make sure that your brake will fit your muzzle.

This will mainly be an issue for people buying imported firearms from the former Soviet Union, as sometimes they’ll use non-standard threading, including left-handed threads for things like brakes and suppressors. This is the first thing you should check when looking for a muzzle brake.

The most effective muzzle brake is one that you can actually mount.

4. Aesthetics

Lastly, consider aesthetics. While it’s probably possible, for example, to fit an M14 muzzle brake on some variations of the AR-10 and soften muzzle jump, doing so would be a visual tragedy and also not work any better than solutions that look a lot better.

While it may seem impractical to think about the aesthetics of firearms instead of just their performance, I think we have to recognize that a big part of the reason most of us are into this part of the hobby and read things like this, is because we enjoy making firearms look cooler to us and to each other.

Types of .308 Muzzle Brakes

Here, I’m going to brake down (not even sorry about that pun) the types of muzzle brakes you’re likely to see for .308 firearms these days by size, although there are some notable exceptions that fall outside of our framework.

Shorter Breaks

Some .308 muzzle brakes are fairly small in their format: we’re thinking of the Surefire Procomp 7.62 here.

Diamondback DB10 308 and its brake.
Diamondback DB10 308 and its brake.

While the performance, especially in recoil reduction, can still be impressive, these smaller brakes are often fairly light and small, which can leave you with some reticle movement once mounted.

Especially for folks who might move a lot while carrying their rifle or plan to shoot from a standing position, having less weight on the end of the barrel is beneficial.

Longer, More Aggressive Breaks

On the much larger end of the size scale, for example, the Midwest Industries .308 Muzzle Brake, you’ll get excellent performance for two reasons.

The Stag 10 AR-10 has a serious muzzle brake.
The Stag 10 AR-10 has a serious muzzle brake.

Firstly, the addition of more cuts in the muzzle device to direct the recoil, thanks to having more material, to begin with, can more effectively manage recoil and reduce muzzle flip.

Thanks to Newton’s laws, we know that a heavier gun results in less felt recoil. Of course, it’s also more weight for you to carry around, but that compromise can be worth it be it a bolt action or semi-auto mount.

Suppressor Hosts

Third up are those muzzle brakes that are meant to aid in the attachment of a suppressor: we have the Silencerco offering here to demonstrate the broader category.

Since suppressors have different attachment methods, we recommend choosing the suppressor first and then determining which muzzle brake is compatible with it. In this case, the Silencervo brake is lightweight and performs relatively well even without a suppressor.

These shine, though, when they’re used with a can as the additional weight will provide great recoil reduction and soften reticle movement — especially when used with a .308 pistol, which can be decidedly rowdy.

The really clever folks will get a single can and then get muzzle brakes for a variety of firearms that they can use suppressed with ease.

Historical Reproductions

Finally, there are muzzle brakes that people use to recreate a historical rifle. In this context, you’ll likely seek reproduction M14 brakes for your M1A rifle, aiming to match the specific look and feel of the rifle.

These will perform similarly, or in some cases worse, than the factory ones. However, a significant advantage is that the USGI-style reproductions can mount an M6 bayonet or, if you have special ATF permissions, rifle grenades.

In short, if you have an M1A you’ll want one of these.

Pricing of .308 Muzzle Brakes

Under $50

Muzzle brakes under $50 come in various price points. Around the $30 mark, you can find some of the most affordable and easy-to-install brakes that offer good performance.

One caveat here is that these will likely be aimed at people who want to avoid a gunsmith, so expect a crush washer that might walk off over time if you don’t occasionally tighten the brake.


At around $70, you’ll have more or less your choice of muzzle brakes, including the ones that are meant to mount with pins and welds, as well as those that come with suppressors to allow you to shoot suppressed.

This is where you’ll find the majority of quality brakes.

$100 and Above

If you’re looking at the $150 or more mark, you’re likely talking about muzzle brakes that are meant for one specific style of rifle or might be new old stock of military surplus breaks for things like imports and parts kits.

Really, the thing to keep in mind here is the intent of the rifle and what you want to do with it: for a reasonable price you can almost certainly find a brake that will work for you and suit your purposes well.

How do I install a muzzle brake?

On the upside, installing a muzzle brake is one of the simpler gun modifications, provided you have some time and patience.

Most muzzle brakes are made of stainless or heat-treated steel, ensuring durability and preventing cracks or breaks.

From there, assuming you have a threaded muzzle, all you’ll need to do is pop on a crush washer and tighten it to the manufacturer’s specifications with an armorer’s wrench.

A vice and AR multi-tool will help you install your new muzzle brake without incident.
A vice and AR multi-tool will help you install your new muzzle brake without incident.

For some other applications – like legal pinning and welding might make sense, but we’ll walk you through that when we get to those cases.

We’ve got a full AR build guide if you have more questions.


In this article, we’ve recommended five .308 muzzle brakes suitable for various builds, making it challenging to select just one as our top choice.

Even with that in mind, we’re still going with the Surefire 7.62 Procomp. Overall, it is the best on this list at what a brake is supposed to do as a standalone product: it reduces recoil, muzzle climb, blast, and flash.

The Procomp makes no compromises and works for a wide variety of builds. Of course, if you want to build an SBR, attach a suppressor, or upgrade a specific rifle that’s hard to find parts for, the other entries on the list present a lot of value as well.

We hope you learned something from this that will help you make an educated decision in the purchasing of a .308 muzzle brake.

Further Reading

  1. Idaho State Journal, The Pros and Cons of Muzzle Brakes, Sep 26, 2017
  2., .308 Ballistics, July 10, 2012


March 15, 2023 — Following a comprehensive reassessment of this guide our current .308 muzzle brake recommendations stand. We’ve updated images and links where appropriate.

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