Question: Thank you so much for your help. . I’m trying to gradually get the parts I need to assemble my 6.5 Grendel upper as the funds come available. I don’t know if I explained before, or if you remember my mentioning this, but I’m partially blind, and am lost as a round ball in high weeds sometimes when it comes to what’s best and what’s needed when BUILDING an AR. I know the ins and outs on furniture and most of the lower, but figuring out what the differences are in muzzle devices is way over my head. Do you have any advice on muzzle devices, or is it pretty much like furniture where it’s pretty much up to your preferences?
Answer: I’ll apologize in advance for the long email, but there’s a lot of information to cover in the email you sent over and I want to make sure and cover it all.
Muzzle devices are one of the most underrated parts of the gun in terms of recoil reduction, the ability (or lack thereof) to stay on target, and the reduction (again, or lack thereof) of muzzle flash. A lot of people just chalk it up to aesthetics. But it’s so much more than that!
There are really 3 main things you want to look for in a muzzle device:
1. Flash reduction
2. Muzzle rise reduction
3. Recoil reduction
When looking for a brake, keep your goal in mind. For your Grendel, the goal of that particular caliber and chambering is to stay on target at long distances. So you’ll want a brake that will reduce muzzle rise. The easiest way to find those is to look for a flat underside on the brake. Our FSD K9-1, for example is triangular in shape with a flat side facing towards the ground and venturas on either side. The flat side uses the gases to force the barrel downward and counteracts against the muzzle rise when the gun is fired, helping the barrel to stay on target with little deviation.
But the Grendel at long distances is also used for hunting. The LAST thing you want to do is let your prey know you’ve fired the gun, especially given the potentially long distances that the Grendel is capable of (1,000 – 1,300 yards is well within the realm of possibilities). So you’ll want to keep in mind that recoil reduction will also help you stay closer to your target – especially at long distances where millimeters off target on the muzzle can mean literally FEET off target on the animal. Even a bigger deal to get off a second shot in case you do miss or don’t account for windage, etc.
Flash reduction for this particular caliber is also going to be important to consider. Because if you use a brake like Strike Industries’ Cookie Cutter, it’s AWESOME for recoil reduction, but it’s loud as the dickens (not good for hunting) and the flash it puts off would make it hard to get back on target because of the amount of light it puts off.
When we designed the K9-1, it was done with all 3 of these elements in mind. The flash is pushed in a cylindrical shape straight out in front of the shooter to reduce blinding the guy behind the trigger. The venturas on either side actually suck air in as the bullet passes through it, thus reducing recoil. The flat side on the bottom of the brake reduces muzzle rise.
You can see how a good brake will be imperative for this particular caliber. I mean, it’s important for the animal you’re hunting to be able to put it down quickly and not allow it to suffer, but also because it can mean the difference between getting your tag or not shooting anything at all.