[Video+Review] SureFire SOCOM Brake & Warden Comp

If you’ve been shooting for any length of time, you’re probably familiar with the difference your choice muzzle device has on your gun’s performance.

In most cases, muzzle devices work wonders to reduce felt recoil while shooting. This, in turn, helps you make more accurate follow-up shots.

SureFire SOCOM Shooting
SureFire SFMB SOCOM Muzzle Brake

The downside to these nifty devices is that all that pent-up gun gas has to go somewhere, and often that place is onto the person shooting next to you.

So, what’s a compassionate shooter to do?

Well, we might have found a solution that lets you enjoy the fun of a muzzle brake without making others at the range hate you.

Today, we’re looking at SureFire’s SOCOM SFMB Muzzle Brake and Warden Blast Diffuser to see if this proves to be a winning combo.

SureFire Warden
SureFire Warden Blast Diffuser

While we’re at it, we’ll also give you the lowdown on muzzle blast, why it’s problematic, and how SureFires wares make for a better overall range day.

If you prefer to see this brake and comp in action, hit play on the video below.

Also, check out our full array of gun content on the Pew Pew Tactical YouTube channel.

Table of Contents


What is Muzzle Blast?

Before we dive into the SureFire SOCOM and Warden, let’s give you a refresher on muzzle blast and how that’s impacted by muzzle devices.

The loud crack of a gun firing is a familiar sound if you’ve ever spent time on the range. But what causes this loud bang?

That sound you hear when a gun is fired is due to the fact that the bullet accelerates past the speed of sound.

What you’re actually hearing and feeling on the range are shockwaves caused by a sudden spike in pressure followed by a sudden drop in pressure.

It’s the same way aircraft create a supersonic boom when they begin traveling faster than sound.

Sonic Boom

In the case of guns, though, the ignition of the cartridge’s gunpowder causes gases to travel from an enclosed space with incredibly high pressure to the normalized atmosphere pressure as they exit the barrel.

That resulting explosion as the gasses push the air outside the barrel out of the way generates spherical shock waves.

And thus, we experience muzzle blast.

Bullet Sound Barrier
Slow-mo makes everything look cooler

Comps & Brakes to the Rescue

So what does a muzzle device, like a compensator or muzzle brake, do for you?

In a very general sense, a muzzle device redirects the amount of burning gasses exiting the barrel.

But why might this be necessary?

Burning gasses exiting the barrel can be detrimental to the vision of the shooter in lowlight conditions since they kick up dirt and debris which diffuses light from lasers and weapon-mounted lights.

SureFire Night Shooting
Shooting at night can get tricky.

Linear compensators, usually cylindrical in shape, give the gasses an area with larger volume to expand into while still directing them forward.

A bonus to this, it reduces overall recoil better than just letting gasses spill out willy nilly.

Linear Comp
Linear Comp

Muzzle brakes use that same principle but vent gasses laterally.

The result?

A pretty drastic reduction in recoil pretty.

The downside to these nifty tools?

Muzzle brakes absolutely suck to stand next to.

Speaking very generally here, this is because lateral ports in the muzzle brake vent gases right onto the person next to you.

at Optics Planet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

If you’re standing next to someone with an aggressive brake or you’re a brave videographer, you’re subjected to the shockwaves firearms produce when fired.

So, where am I going with all this?

SureFire SOCOM
Lateral ports vent gases to the side.

Well, Surefire makes a pretty interesting pair of devices that works to reduce this effect and save people standing next to you. And, in short, that combo solves pretty much most of the issues mentioned above.

Let’s get to know the SOCOM and Warden a little better…

SureFire SOCOM SFMB Muzzle Brake

SureFire’s SOCOM SFMB Muzzle Brake Suppressor Adapter…geez, that a mouthful…is a muzzle brake that pulls double duty as an adapter for suppressors.

This brake comes in a few varieties to accommodate calibers like .223, .260, .277, .308, .338, .408, and .50-cal.

SureFire SOCOM
SureFire SOCOM

You also have your choice of thread pitches with SureFire providing plenty of options: 1/2×28, 5/8×24, 3/4x-24, M18x1, M18x1.5, TAC50, HTI, M107, and M22x1.5.

Specs-wise, you can expect to see a 2.6-inch length and 3.9-ounce weight. The brake uses heat-treated stainless steel topped with a DLC coating.

at Optics Planet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

The muzzle brake adopts SureFire’s Impulse Diffusion technology. This is a fancy way of saying that it reduces side blast and rear-directed concussion.

Pricing depends on what you choose, but (if you can find it in stock) prepare to see price tags between $149 and $299.

For this review, I took a look at the 5.56 version.

SureFire SOCOM and Warden
SureFire SOCOM and Warden

On the range, the 5.56 muzzle brake is a decent enough muzzle device on its own – although, with two ports, I noticed a slight increase in muzzle climb as compared to my Faxon 3-port brake.

That said, I’m shooting an AR. So, the overall climb is still pretty minimal.

The coolest thing about this brake is that it includes Surefire’s quick-detach suppressor attachment system at the base of the device itself.

A SOCOM + suppressor combo comes in handy if you’re worried about either punishing your homies or kicking up loose Earth. The suppressor naturally forces gasses forward and away from innocent bystanders.

SureFire SOCOM On Ground Shooting
Ya know, just chilling as you do…on the range…in the middle of the desert.

But, I don’t personally own a suppressor. That said, I still found the SOCOM useful in other ways.

It’s a reasonably modular system that allows me to run just the brake or toss on a linear compensator…which brings me to SureFire’s Warden.

SureFire Warden Blast Diffuser

While the Blast Diffuser title sounds impressive, in truth, the Warden is a linear comp.

It easily attaches to the SOCOM 5.56 or 7.62 muzzle device using the same QD system. The Warden measures 3.5-inches of length.

SureFire SOCOM
SureFire SOCOM

As the “quick detach” might imply, the entire setup’s a breeze to don or doff to your heart’s content.

It requires that you seat it properly and ensure it’s slipped all the way down onto the brake. After that, give it a quick turn, and you’ll feel the ratchet lock on.

SureFire SOCOM and Warden
SureFire SOCOM and Warden

As I’m based in California, I also appreciate that it meets California’s current “featureless” rifle build regulations. That’s a big win for those of us stuck here.

The Warden does a great job of forcing gases forward and away from the shooter or whoever is hanging out nearby.

I found this especially useful when in the prone position.

SureFire SOCOM and Warden Side by Side
SureFire SOCOM, top, and SOCOM + Warden, bottom in the prone position.

While shooting prone, the SOCOM alone would kick up dirt, making it incredibly difficult to visualize my target.

This was even worse at night when shooting with IR-enabled night vision optics.

SureFire SOCOM and Warden Side by Side
SureFire SOCOM, top, and SOCOM + Warden, bottom. Note the amount of dirt flying without the Warden.

Losing visibility on your target is kind of a bummer, not to mention violates that whole “know your target and what’s beyond” rule.

The Warden clears this all up by pushing gases forward, meaning there’s less dust to contend with while hanging out on the ground.

MSRP on the Warden comes in around $160.

at Optics Planet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Tried the Warden? What did you think? Rate it below!

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The Cons…Because There’s Always a Downside.

Now, the downside.

For whatever reason, absolutely no retailer currently carries this particular Surefire brake.

While there is a less expensive version available, it does not possess the QD suppressor attachment threads. So, if you’re interested in snagging one, you’ve pretty much only got the used market to scour through.

And…given the lack of these floating around, I watched plenty of bidding wars ramp up with the winner paying close to $350 for a muzzle device.

SureFire SOCOM and Warden
SureFire SOCOM and Warden

All I can say is Godspeed, my friends. You’re probably going to need it.

There’s also the ever-present internet rumor mill to contend with.

Deep dive into the internet, and you’ll find a handful of posts claiming they suffered a significant POI shift between the standalone Surefire brake and the Warden addition.

Lohan Rumors
Us too, Lindsay, us too.

This didn’t appear to be something we experienced ourselves, but I also don’t have a ton of time on this setup – so insert standard cautionary “your mileage may vary” disclaimer here.

If, however, any of the cool features of the SOCOM/Warden pairing have grabbed your attention, I’d recommend seeing if you can track the setup down.


Knowing that I can shoot with friends without gelatinizing them or avoid summoning a vortex of desert dust when shooting prone are perks to the Surefire SOCOM and Warden combo.

SureFire SOCOM Shooting
SureFire SOCOM Shooting

The two together make for a more enjoyable shooting experience all around.

Again, watch the video below to watch me wallow in the desert sand to put these two devices through their paces.

What do you think of SureFire’s Warden and SOCOM? Worth it? Let us know in the comments below. For more on muzzle devices, check out our guide on the Best AR-15 Muzzle Brakes & Compensators.

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1 Leave a Reply

  • Jordan Burks

    What sling bag are you running in this video? the camo one?

    3 weeks ago
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