The Elite Iron OP Comp Muzzle Brake

By Todd Burgreen

A simple, yet overlooked performance enhancement for .223/5.56 AR rifles, are the different types of muzzle devices that can be affixed to their barrels. The birdcage flash hider has assumed the stature of standard equipment. Much of this stems from the practice of mimicking military practice and gear. Economic factors cannot be ignored either as birdcage flash hiders are inexpensive for manufactures to procure. Minimizing flash signature is a real need in combat to prevent revealing location; the civilian is better served by a different sort of muzzle device that aids in better manipulation of the rifle.

A .223/5.56MM AR is by no means harsh in recoil or muzzle climb. However, if greater efficiency can be obtained by screwing something onto already present threads why not do it? Competition shooters would not be using muzzle brakes if they were not effective in taming recoil and allowing for the rifle to get back on target faster.

In simple terms, a muzzle brake harnesses escaping gasses to benefit the shooter by redirecting in a way to counter recoil, weapon torque and muzzle flip. Ports that direct gasses up keep the muzzle down. Along these same lines, baffles serve their purpose by having gasses impact against them, pushing the rifle forward countering felt recoil. Muzzle brakes combine these features in various ways to give shooters better control of their rifle; especially in rapid fire scenarios; i.e., multiple rounds on target or full auto bursts. A .223/5.56MM AR equipped with a well designed muzzle brake assists a properly trained shooter in keeping the rifle on target even when firing multiple rounds. Another benefit of a steady muzzle is being able to call your own shots and be in position for rapid follow-up with another round if needed.

Admittedly, there are a wide variety of muzzle brakes available. Elite Iron’s OP Comp is gaining a reputation for one of the most efficient muzzle brakes on the market. Each OP Comp is made from a 4140 chrome moly billet. The Elite Iron OP Comp was threaded on a SIG516 Patrol for testing. A similar profiled AR with birdcage flashhider was used for comparison purposes. A method learned from professional shooter Tommy Thacker was utilized for evaluation. Tommy advises arranging multiple sheets of oversized white paper in a large square 40 yards away and aiming at the center via a magnified optic. The magnification allows a better snapshot of how the rifle tracks during recoil. The goal is to observe recoil pattern when firing multiple rapid shots (five minimum) against the white background; i.e., up and left or right, etc., and to what degree. It only took a couple sessions to provide convincing evidence how much more efficient the Elite Iron OP Comp muzzle brake was in taming muzzle climb and rifle torque compared to a standard birdcage muzzle device. Surprisingly, muzzle flash was not nearly as harsh as anticipated with the Elite Iron OP Comp muzzle brake. In fact, numerous high speed photos were taken during strings of fire with only minimal flash evident.

The Elite Iron OP Comp muzzle brake is worthy of consideration for anyone contemplating breaking out from the norm typified by a birdcage flash hider. It is a true performance enhancement. www.eliteiron.com

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V21N5 (June 2017)
and was posted online on April 21, 2017


Comments have not been generated for this article.