The M1A is a compact, reliable, battle-tested weapon widely used for hunting and sports. The M1A has a punchy recoil when compared to other weapons in its class. This is where a muzzle brake comes in. Apart from that, it has several other advantages related to the accuracy and performance of the rifle.
Here, we’ll learn about the importance of mounting a muzzle brake on a rifle, and the advantages and disadvantages of mounting it specifically on an M1A rifle. We will also review the best muzzle brakes on the market for the M1A rifle, all of which have been carefully picked by us, based upon quality, performance, and customer feedback.
At a Glance: Our Top Picks for M1a Muzzle Brake
Comparison of the Best M1A Muzzle Brakes
Our Top Pick
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Purpose of a Muzzle Brake
The first and most important task of a muzzle brake is to reduce the felt recoil of your weapon, by directing gases sideways and upwards as they escape the muzzle. The M1A has a recoil of 14.9-foot-pounds when shooting a cartridge of 156gr. For your reference, the recoil of an AK-47 is 5.3-foot-pounds.
The muzzle brake reduces the recoil of a weapon by almost 50%. Which is a substantial amount of reduction, especially when you are hunting or trying to get tight groups in a competition.This reduction in recoil also reduces fatigue when you shoot consistently with your weapon while ensuring that your scope also doesn't hit back.
Since the muzzle brake is an add-on accessory, your barrel doesn’t have to be ported with gas holes to direct the gasses in a different direction. Using a muzzle brake also reduces the muzzle jump when you shoot. This helps you shoot in better groups, as you don't have to make major adjustments to sight the target after every consecutive shot.
The M1A is a high capacity rifle, which is quite useful at taking consecutive shots. Adding a muzzle brake not only helps improve its accuracy, but also its handling.However, on the downside, muzzle brakes tend to be costly and create a lot of noise when you shoot. Plus, muzzle brakes are also a bit impractical when used for tactical uses, as they tend to reveal the position of the shooter by forming a cloud of dirt and debris in front of the rifle.
Qualities to Look for in a Muzzle Brake
There are certain qualities you want to look for when buying a muzzle brake. A balanced combination of these factors composes an ideal muzzle brake for the M1A. Let’s understand them one by one.
Material and Finish
The very first aspect to consider is the quality of a muzzle brake. Good brakes are generally designed from heat-treated stainless steel, with the help of precision cutting CNC machines. Always check the durability of the material used for manufacturing the muzzle brake. Apart from that, a good finish over the metal is also necessary.
Coatings such as manganese phosphate and black nitride are considered ideal, as they offer resistance against moisture, grime, pressure, heat, and other wear and tear. A muzzle brake of good quality will last longer and will improve the accuracy and performance of your rifle.
Properly Aligned Vents
Another aspect to consider is the pattern and direction of the vents. Muzzle brakes are generally cut with vents perpendicular to the barrel. Some brakes have them angled towards the rifle to further reduce the recoil. Vents on the top of the barrel also help with reducing the muzzle jump resulting in a quick, easy realignment of consecutive shots.
Easy to Install and Align
A good muzzle brake should be easy to install. It must not require you to visit a gunsmith and spend extra money getting it threaded and aligned. Muzzle brakes which are already threaded and include washer nuts/shims are a good choice both logically and economically.
Muzzle brakes are made from pure metal and can increase the overall weight of your rifle by a few ounces. Too much additional weight can result in shifting of the center of mass of the rifle, which can cause problems. A good brake must be light and shouldn’t let you feel its weight.
This one is a decisive factor for most people. Good muzzle brakes can cost you upwards of $250, not to mention the extra gunsmithing fee if it requires installation. A good muzzle brake doesn’t have to cost a fortune. To help you out with this, we have included the most affordable muzzle brakes on the market in this review, without compromising on quality.
Review of the Best M1A Muzzle Brakes
Keeping the above-mentioned qualities in mind, we scoured the internet to come up with the best M1A muzzle brakes on the market. All the brakes reviewed here are widely used and renowned for their quality and performance.
1. Vais - Muzzle Brake 30 Caliber
This 30 caliber (.308) muzzle brake from Vais features a simple design with a unique vent pattern. The muzzle brake has been manufactured from stress-proof 416 stainless steel and is available in a matte finish.
The brake is loaded with gas dispersing holes to reduce the recoil impact as much as possible. The multiple venturi expansion chambers limit the blast effect and offer exceptional recoil control.
The unique array of gas holes has vents that are both horizontal and perpendicular to the centerline of the bore, which results in an attenuating effect for pressure and noise. The brake is already threaded to 1/2-32 TPI, so you only have to screw and tighten it to the muzzle end of your barrel. This model is manufactured in the USA and backed by a company warranty. Considering its price in comparison to its quality, this brake is a complete win-win for you.
The Vais Muzzle brake is an exceptional addition to your M1A. It will reduce the recoil of your rifle by almost 50% and is available at a decent price, so you don’t have to shed a ton of money for a quality product.
2. Smith Enterprise - Springfield M14 Muzzle Brake 30 Caliber
This 30 caliber muzzle brake from Smith Enterprise is a durable addition for your M1A rifle. The brake measures three inches in length and features vents on the sides and on the top.
The vents are angled forward, to deliver a huge reduction in the recoil of your rifle. The brake has been made from standard steel and features a manganese phosphate finish on it. This muzzle brake has two sets of vents.
One set on the rear end, and the others on the forend. The brake threads on to the barrel and rarely requires a gunsmith to fit. This brake virtually takes away the recoil of your rifle and makes it smooth to operate. It is a match-grade trigger and is good for competition use, as well as hunting. It has a smooth finish and is aesthetically pleasing.
This muzzle brake from Smith Enterprise features a two-stage venting system, which is actually quite good for recoil reduction and accuracy. The brake is decently priced and is useful for competitions.
3. .308 Muzzle Brake For M14x1lh Tpi Black Steel Muzzle Device With Jam Nut (Ebay)
This brake for the M1A has been precision-machined from stainless steel and features an aesthetically pleasing, modern look. The brake has a QPQ coating which offers protection against dirt, moisture, grime, pressure, and heat. Plus, it also makes it easy to clean the muzzle brake.
It has three wide elliptical vents on both sides and several smaller vents on the top. The side vents are sized in descending order from rear to front and are angled forward. This helps in the systematic distribution of the gasses as they leave the muzzle, which, in turn, lessens the recoil substantially.
The brake comes with a jam nut, which you can use for a snug fit with the barrel of your M1A. It is hard to believe the price, considering its quality and finish.
This is a well-made muzzle brake, which serves its purpose really well. It is neither too big nor too small and offers excellent quality for the money.
4. Smith Enterprise - Springfield M14 National Match Muzzle Brake 30 Caliber
Another muzzle brake on our list from Smith Enterprise, but for a different purpose. This one is explicitly designed to be used in competitions. It is a two-piece brake, where each piece has been machined from a different type of steel. It features a slimmer profile compared to conventional brakes and is nitride-coated to resist corrosion and wear.
The brake is legal for use in most CMP matches. The brake has a good IronPort pattern and significantly reduces the recoil of your M1A, allowing you take consecutive shots without much realignment.
The adapter on the rear has a dovetail on the top and the internal splines and castle nut hole have been wire EDM cut. The muzzle brake is durable and has a black finish to match most M1A barrels.
This two-stage muzzle brake has been explicitly designed for matches. It greatly reduces the recoil of the rifle and lets you take consecutive shots with ease. Overall, it is a good product at a decent price.
5. M14x1 Lh Pitch Muzzle Brake .308 7.62 Steel With Crush Washer Lock Nut (Ebay)
This is a threaded muzzle brake for your M1A rifle. The brake features a heavy design with extra-wide vents for better dispersion of gases. It has been precision-machined from heat treated stainless steel and is black nitride coated. The brake is resistant to rust and wear, plus, its finish and design make it look exceptional.
The wide vents to the top of the brake reduce the muzzle jump significantly. The package also includes a crush washer and a jam nut so you’ll not face any problems with installation or alignment. The brake features a low profile and also doesn’t add much length to your rifle.
This is a complete muzzle brake package, which can be used for everything you want to do with your M1A, including self-defense, hunting, practice, and competitions.
A muzzle brake helps reduce the recoil of a rifle and improves realignment of shots, which in turn improves the overall accuracy and performance. The M1A fires the bulky .308 rounds and requires a muzzle brake for enhancing its performance, especially in competitions.
A good muzzle brake must be durable, lightweight, easy to install, and affordable. However, on the contrary, a brake may be noisy and increases the overall length of the rifle. Once you have chosen to get a muzzle brake for your M1A, we hope this list helps in your decision-making process.