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Best AK-47 Brakes & Compensators [Tested]: Tame The Recoil

Looking to tame the oomph of your AK? We cover a few of the most popular brakes out there across all budgets so you can find the best for your needs.

The AK-47, or technically the AKM, is a legendary rifle.

Better writers than I have opined on the gun and its history. Its popularity around the world has spread to the United States and we have a pretty full menu of AK clones here in the United States.

3 Upgraded AK-47s
3 Upgraded AK-47s

As with any popular gun, an aftermarket has sprung up — this includes furniture, magazines, as well as muzzle devices. That is why we are today, to talk about AK muzzle devices...specifically, muzzle brakes.

So follow along as we tell you why you might want a brace and lay out our favorite models.

Summary of Our Top Picks

  1. Best All-in-One

    VG6 Epsilon AK Muzzle Brake

    Acts as a brake, compensator, and muzzle flash reducer

  2. Best Recoil Reduction

    Manticore Arms NightBrake

    Expertly reduces recoil, quality build

  3. Most Expensive

    LANTAC Drakon Muzzle Brake

    Pricey, but competent

  4. Compact Option

    Primary Weapons - AK-47 FSC47 7.62x39 Muzzle Brake

    Short and lightweight, compensator & flash suppressor

  5. Most Affordable

    PSA AK Tank Brake

    Budget-friendly, lots of muzzle flash

  6. Biggest Brake

    JMac Customs RRD-4C 14

    Large, but gets the job done.

Table of Contents

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Why Brakes?

Muzzle devices come in four different flavors, flash suppressors, compensators, brakes, and suppressors. Each offers its own pros and cons. Brakes are, generally speaking, designed to reduce recoil.

They sit at the end of the barrel and vent gas out the sides and top of the device. Lots of geometry is involved, but basically, we’re using gas to work for us instead of against us.

The gas venting out the sides isn’t where the recoil reduction comes from.

The gasses smash into the sides of the muzzle device and this pushes the gun slightly forward. This counteracts rearward recoil.

Many devices these days are combination devices that blend two or more devices into one.

What Makes An AK Muzzle Brake?

One thing you should know is that most AKs feature a weird thread pitch, at least weird to us. AK barrels are threaded with a 14×1 LH thread pitch, so any old 30 caliber muzzle device isn’t going to fit an AK.

Also, NPAP AKs are their own thing with an even odder thread pitch.

Confused? You mostly don’t need to worry too much about the details, as long as the brake says it is for an AK-47 then you’re good. But if you want some nitty-gritty, you can read more about thread pitch.

PSA AK-47
PSA AK-47

There are thread pitch adapters, but they do add length and weight, so you better really want that particular muzzle device.

AKs in the proper 7.62×39 aren’t particularly harsh guns. Their recoil is quite controllable, but the addition of a brake makes it easy to control the gun especially when we start shooting rapid fire. A brake will help you keep the gun on target and maintain accuracy once lead starts flying.

Best AK Muzzle Brakes

1. VG6 Epsilon Muzzle Brake

The VG6 Epsilon Muzzle Brake isn’t just a muzzle brake, it’s an all-in-one muzzle device that acts as a brake to reduce recoil, a compensator to reduce muzzle rise, and a flash suppressor to uhm, well reduce flash duh.

This 3-in-1 system is a bit long but has proven to be quite effective.

Best All-in-One
94
at Aero Precision

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

If you look at the muzzle device it’s more holes than material, but they are placed there for a reason. The prongs at the end are your flash hider, the slots on the side act as your brake, and small holes in the top act as your compensator.

The VG6 Epsilon Muzzle Brake is a crazy combination of features that works somehow or another.

It does add some ounces to your barrel, but this is for an AK right comrade? Weight is not an issue.

At the end of the day, this device is going to make it incredibly comfortable to shoot your AK.

Recoil will be reduced, muzzle rise will be minimized, and of course, the flash will be suppressed. This is another great system for small AKs, like Draco pistols. It really helps tame that fireball creating monsters.

The device is priced moderately and sits at about mid-tier pricing.

2. Manticore Arms NightBrake

I’m a big fan of Manticore Arms and the products they produce have consistently proven to be high quality and innovative.

Manticore makes a variety of products for the AK series and the NightBrake is one of many, but one of their few muzzle devices.

Best Recoil Reduction
62
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

The NightBrake is a combination muzzle brake and compensator that is quite effective at both reducing recoil and muzzle rise.

It does this through 18 ports that pockmark the muzzle brake. These encapsulate the upper 270 degrees of the device, except none are facing directly upwards.

Let’s ask the audience: why would avoid ports at the top of the gun?

If you said to keep flash from blinding you while you are shooting then you are very correct.

Obviously, in the act of diverting gas from the miniature explosion inside the gun you want to try to avoid directing some at the exact point you are looking down the sights.

It does a helluva job keeping upward muzzle rise low and this allows you to stay on target shot after shot. If you want to find out if you have a flinch this brake will show you very quickly as you feel the gun dive downwards from compensation combined with any flinch.

The device does an excellent job cutting recoil down and you can feel the immediate difference this brake makes.

NightBrake is 2 ounces, and it’s a stubby little guy. It’s also made from steel and has a strong black nitride finish.

3. Lantac Drakon

What do the words Short Energy Pulse mean to you? To me, they don’t mean much, but apparently, that’s the magic behind the Lantac Drakon.

The Lantac Dragon comes in 5.56 but they were kind enough to introduce it to a man’s rifle, the Kalashnikov. They also changed the name from Dragon to Drakon for the AK. Kool, right?

Most Expensive
128
at Primary Arms

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

The Lantac Drakon is also the most expensive muzzle brake on this list but is one of the most competent.

It does a fantastic job of reducing recoil and you can see a significant difference in the shot-to-shot performance. The Drakon is so named because holy hell the noise and muzzle flash is intense.

Luckily, the blast is diverted out of the sides of the devices mostly. There are four holes in the top of the device that also acts as a compensator and reduces muzzle rise. These ports are positioned well out of your sightline.

The Lantac Drakon might just be the most effective muzzle brake out there. It takes the AK and makes it almost feel like you are shooting a rimfire rifle. If you’ve ever fired a very lightweight .22 Magnum this is close to that.

An absolute beast and the cost of being such an effective tool is size and weight. The AK model is 2.66 inches long, so you’ll add some length to your rifle. The thing weighs 2.8 ounces as well.

It’s made from hardened mil-spec steel, which is about as nondescript as you can get.

However, the steel must be tough, because these are full auto-rated devices. This device is not considered a flash hider either, so you poor souls in California can purchase and equip to your neutered rifles.

The Lantac Drakon is an expensive tool, but it does work, and you get what you pay for.

4. Primary Weapons FSC47 Mod 2

Good ole Primary Weapons produces some good gear and excellent weapon accessories.

The FSC47 Mod 2 is designed as both a brake and a compensator. It looks like someone took a birdcage flash suppressor and stretched it out to add a whole lot of new effects.

Compact Option
85
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

The FSC47 Mod 2 has ports along the front to allow for increased muzzle control, as well as some flash suppression.

It’s effective as both a flash suppressor and compensator. The ports on the side of the brake help with recoil and vent gasses to both the side and slightly upwards and downwards. This is where most of your recoil control is going to come from.

This odd-looking muzzle device is also a little pricey but is one of the shorter and lighter combination devices. The device is 2 inches long and weighs only 2 ounces. I’ll take that.

One of the most distinct advantages of this system is that the design doesn’t add a massive amount of blast to each shot.

Brakes and compensators are typically a great way to make guys and gals at the range hate you, and the FSC47 tried to prevent that.

It’s still louder than a gun with just a slant brake or a flash suppressor but compared to other competitors it does a decent job of reducing that massive jaw-rattling blast a lot of these devices have.

PWS AK Muzzle Brake, Old Version
PWS AK Muzzle Brake is an upgrade we believe in, take a look at in the Best AK Upgrades!

As a brake and a compensator, it’s pretty freakin’ effective. It reduces recoil and muzzle rise and makes a valiant attempt at reducing flash as well as the boom from shot to shot.

The device is moderately priced and is effective at its job.

What’s your take on the PWS?

Readers' Ratings

4.99/5 (730)

Your Rating?

5. Midwest Compensator

We’ve had great results with Midwest’s AK gear, from their optics rail to their handguards and of course, their AK Compensator.

Very easy to time, massive recoil reduction, and an instant improvement in split times – plus, it’s only about $40 direct from Midwest Industries.

41
at OpticsPlanet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Coming in at just over 2 ounces in weight, made from tool steel and a phosphate finish, it’s built to last just like an AK part should be.

Midwest AK Muzzle Compensator
Midwest AK Muzzle Compensator

Two massive ports on either side provide the felt recoil reduction while smaller gas venting ports fight muzzle rise making this a brake/compensator.

The features it delivers at the price you can find it make it a real top contender.

6. Meridian Defense BD2-AK

Meridian Defense Corporation makes the world’s best AKs or pretty dang close to it. This custom shop knows AKs, and their MDC BD2-AK provides you with a very capable recoil and muzzle rise-reducing brake for your AK series of rifles.

The 7.62 brake fits your standard 14×1 LH AK barrels and adds 1.750 inches in length and 2.09 ounces in weight.

65
at Meridian Defense

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

This isn’t a small chunk of steel, but boy, oh boy, does it work. Sometimes great things come in small packages, but that ain’t the BD2-AK.

The brake has four total ports. There are two lateral ports and two top ports. Lateral ports help reduce recoil, and the top ports drive down muzzle rise.

If you’ve ever wanted your 7.62 AK to feel like a 5.45 AK, then this is the route to take.

Popular 7.62x39 Ammo
Popular 7.62×39 Ammo

This aggressive beast of a muzzle device does a fantastic job of cutting recoil and muzzle rise. It’s loud, but you’ll have greater control over your rifle and be able to keep its target with rapid-fire shots.

The expertise of Meridian shows with the BD2-AK.

7. PSA AK Tank Brake

Since we don’t seem to be too afraid of big brakes, let’s greet the Palmetto State Armory Tank Brake. This beast is a little shorter than the BD2-AK but weighs a little more at the same time. Oh, and boy, is this a thick one.

The PSA Tank Brake gives you four lateral slots and two top ports.

Most Affordable
15
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

It’s a great combination that takes a lot of heft out of an AK’s recoil impulse. It’ll raise the volume and give you a healthy dose of muzzle flash, but the performance is worth the sacrifice.

The PSA AK Tank Brake performs quite well, and as long as it’s installed correctly, you’ll feel a better degree of control with your AK series rifle. Recoil and muzzle rise will be cut and trimmed away.

You’ll see your split times decrease and see less of an accuracy penalty as the Tank Brake takes some sting out of your gun. Oh, and it’s a super cheap device at only around $15 at PSA’s website.

8. ALG Defense Akula Muzzle Brake

There is something about the ALG Defense Akula muzzle brake that just looks like it belongs on the end of an AK. It looks like something created by a guy named Dragunov or Sergei.

It’s rough and brutal looking and fits in perfectly with the AK series of rifles.

45
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

This might be because ALG Defense built the Akula from the ground up for the AK series. It’s not an AR design adapted to an AK series rifle. It’s a muzzle brake designed specifically to counter the muzzle rise and recoil impulse of the AK series rifles.

JMAC Custom AK-47 Mags and Mag Holders
Look AKs are fun but you gotta control them somehow, right?

The slant cut muzzle design as the tip replicates the classic AK slant cut brake, but on top of that, we get four lateral ports, two at each side for recoil reduction. To ensure the slant cut works, the Akula has adjustable timing.

Specifically, three different positions allow it to be timed to the right or left-hand shooters, as well as a center position. It’s a healthy mix of AK technology mixed with modern techniques to produce a highly efficient brake.

9. JMac Customs RRD-4C 14

Do you want a beast of a compensator? Well, the JMac Customs RRD-4C 14 will surely do it. The name is just as beastly as the brake, and it all stands for something.

Specifically, RRD-4C 14 stands for Recoil Reduction Device 4 Ports Compensator 14 mm LH threads. It’s a mouthful but apt.

Biggest Brake
76
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

This box-type muzzle brake isn’t afraid to be big and will surely be loud. Four lateral ports on the side mean gas won’t stand a chance, and recoil will cut as much as 20%. The AK is already a relatively light recoiling rifle, so a 20% recoil reduction is significant.

Sure, it’s wide and not the lightest device, but it offers some serious recoil reduction. It’s a pure muzzle brake and delivers a great experience.

Plus, it’s not super expensive either.

Bridesmaids Poor

The hefty brake looks a lot like the Barrett 50 caliber brake but with way more ports. The design’s sound, and if you aren’t afraid of a big brake, the RRD-4C 14 will satisfy your needs.

Final Thoughts

Muzzle Brakes are awesome little devices that allow you to maintain rigid control over your gun at all times.

Though the AK series may be an old gun design, there is no reason why you can’t help it enter the modern market with a new muzzle device.

PAP M92 and WASR 10
PAP M92 and WASR 10

These are just a few of our favorites, what are yours? Let us know in the comments below. Need to modernize your AK some more, then take a look at the Best AK-47 Upgrades!

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6 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar
    Ur mom

    Mate, you’ve got a VSKA in the very first picture. It’s a shitty AK with cast trunnions (aka, a hand grenade waiting to happen) that image alone invalidates your guide, sorry.

    February 2, 2022 7:21 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Andrei

      Hopefully they bring you on board to be an editor so they can get your permission before sharing their opinions.

      April 7, 2022 10:56 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Max

    Why didn't you mention the AK-74 style brake? Thats one Brake/Compensator (in fact in Russian nomenclature it's a DTK which literally translates as Muzzle brake-compensator) that is effective and affordable.

    June 16, 2020 5:53 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Cameron

      He said the Krink brake is hard to find

      August 1, 2020 4:56 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Cameron

      “Sadly, my personal favorites seem to be hard to find these days, the Bell-Shaped Muzzle brake, or the Krink brake are both awesome – but really hard to find right now for a 7.62×39 AK.”

      August 1, 2020 4:57 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Bull o' the Woods

    Would like to see review and comparison of the Meridian Defense Corporation BD2-AK and BD3-AK muzzle brakes with the others listed in this article. Robski over at AK Operators Union thinks these are the bomb. I have some trigger time with both (BD2-AK on an AKM from Rifle Dynamics with Wolf 122 gr. FMJ and BD3-AK on a PSL from RD with Russian 152 gr. 7N1 light ball). Both seem to do the job, but I have no other AK brakes and thus no basis of comparison.

    October 20, 2019 11:03 am
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