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

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

Better writers that 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 around the gun. This includes furniture, magazines, as well as muzzle devices. That is why we are today, to top talk AK Muzzle devices.

Specifically, let’s look at muzzle brakes.

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.

Tested Muzzle Brakes
AR-15 Tested Muzzle Brakes

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 2 or more devices into one. We’ll toss in a few different combination devices, as well as stand-alone devices.

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.


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 isn’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.

So, without further ado, let’s look a few of the Top Muzzle Brakes on the market.

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 three in one system is a bit long but have proven to be quite effective.

Best Value AK Muzzle Brake
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Best Value AK Muzzle Brake

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 acts as your brake, and the 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 2 and some change ounces to your barrel, but this is for an AK right comrade? Weight is not an issue.

It even has the barrel indexing pin to avoid the need for a crush washer, but one comes with it in case your AK doesn’t have that pin. You can get the VG6 Epsilon in either black nitride or bead blasted stainless.

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 it sits at about mid-tier pricing. There are certain devices out there that cost a helluva lot more. It’s not a cheap device, but it’s also an incredibly well-crafted device. It’s hard to imagine that you can innovate a piece of metal that sits on the end of the barrel, but VG6 found a way.

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 their many products, but one of their few muzzle devices.

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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

There are also no ports at the bottom of the muzzle device and this prevents dust from creating a cloud around you after every shot. It’s a smart design, one by guys who like to shoot.

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 two 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 Effective AK Muzzle Brake
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Most Effective AK Muzzle Brake

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 the device that also acts as a compensator and reduces muzzle rise. These ports are positioned well out of your sight line.

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. Tapco Slant Brake

A lot of good SKS rifles have been ruined by Tapco and this has garnered them a little hate across the internet, but they do a few things right. Of course, it’s hard to screw up a classic Slant Brake.

The G2 trigger is fantastic, and they replicate original Russian parts in the US. This is great for that pesky 922R and if you want to keep the gun close to Russian original.

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

This specific brake is the old school AK-47 slant muzzle brake. There is a lot of debate whether this is a brake or a compensator, but it’s almost always referred to as a brake. Either way, it does its job.

The slant brake is a weird design in the fact that it is so simple but so effective. Compared to a modern option they are blown out of the water, but for the 10-dollar price tag it’s hard to beat. It does a great job of directing muzzle gas upward to drive the muzzle downwards.

Traditionally this only works for right-handed shooters because I assume everyone in Soviet Russia was right-handed. With lefties, you are getting a gun that’s more difficult to control than a barrel without any muzzle device. However, Tapco has you covered with left and right-side plunger holes.

The Tapco Slant Brake doesn’t do much in terms of recoil, you’ll feel a small difference from a blank barrel. It does do its job while being very small, at about an inch long and weighing less than an ounce. The AK worked at the time it was made and works now so keeping it original isn’t a bad choice.

Slant AK Brake
Slant AK Brake

It’s certainly more of a compensator than a brake, but I couldn’t leave this little fella out. He’s served the Russians and their satellite nations for decades, so he deserves his place.

5. Tapco RAZR

Since I already spent the time to justify Tapco I’ll add on more of their brakes.

Now way back when in 2006 I was gifted my first Modern Sporting Rifle, a WASR-10 AK rifle with a slant brake.

Being the enterprising twerp, I was I replaced the slant brake with the Razr.

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Why? Because it looked cool. I barely knew anything about guns, or performance, and certainly nothing about muzzle brakes. The Razr was also cheap and I was a kid…so it got me by.

The Razr has 4 prongs that extended quite a bit from the break. Between the prongs is where the gas escapes and we see the muzzle rise and recoil get cut. These prongs act as ports and are effective enough.

You must position the device right on your AK, and this means the prong is aligned with the front sight. The prong should be at the top, if not the gasses may cause a nice flash that blinds you. There are also ports on the sides that allow for a little more brake.

The Razr is an effective tool that provides a substantial level of recoil mitigation, as well as compensation. It does not provide much flash deterrence. It resembles the early 3 prong flash hider designed for the early M16s.

These were originally dismissed because crap got in the prongs in the jungle, but this isn’t a problem I ever had. Tapco does essentially advertise this as a glass breaking device, but again this isn’t a problem I’ve ever had either.

As a brake and compensator its good stuff, still affordable and effective. Its devilish looks are also part of the cool factor, but maybe that’s just me.

6. 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.

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 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 (471)

Your Rating?

7. 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.

Midwest AK Muzzle Compensator
Midwest AK Muzzle 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.

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

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 a real top contender.

Put On The Brakes

Muzzle Brakes are awesome little devices that allow you to maintain rigid control over your gun at all times. The AK is a potent gun chambered in a powerful little cartridge that hits hard but features low recoil overall.

The addition of a brake makes it even easier to control your weapon, especially once you start pulling that trigger fast. The AK series may be an old gun design, but there is no reason why you can’t help it enter the modern market with a new muzzle device.

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.

These are just a few of our favorites, what are yours? I’m not an AK expert so I like to learn as well! Need to modernize your AK some more, then take a look at the Best AK-47 Upgrades!

PAP M92 and WASR 10
PAP M92 and WASR 10

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4 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar

    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

      He said the Krink brake is hard to find

      August 1, 2020 4:56 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      “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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