One of the persistent problems I have is that strong recoil of the rifle after firing added with a slight nudge of my barrel upwards. The motion throws me off my aim and it’s a hassle to reorient myself onto the target. I decided it was high time I got a muzzle brake. So I scouted several sites.
I narrowed the choices down to Precision Armament and Lantac. In the end, I bought both of them and made a side by side comparison. As my rifle is .223 caliber, I will be reviewing products made for it.
Compensator VS Muzzle Break
Jim Satney of Prep For That wrote an insightful post about the difference between the two. Since my dilemma is a combination of the two, I think it’s a good addition to this review to hopefully help someone else make a slightly more informed choice.
Compensators, writes Satney, like Precision Armament’s M4-72, are meant to reduce the rise for every round fired. Muzzle brakes, like Lantac’s Dragon, are meant to reduce the recoil or the way the gun hits you with every shot.
Both have their advantages. Satney however, cites one disadvantage for each of these products. Compensators may cause temporary blindness when used at night, and muzzle brakes amplify sounds.
I wish I read that before I bought two products, but there is no better teacher than experience, so let’s get on to it. I will first give a review of each of the products, compare their finishes, then finally choose which is better, at least in my opinion.
Precision Armament is a company based in Wellsville, New York, and is a member of the National Rifle Association Business Alliance.
I will be reviewing their M4-72 Severe Duty Compensator.
Specifications and Materials
The M4-72 Severe Duty Compensator weighs 2.6 oz. It is made out of HTSR 416 Stainless Steel bar and finished with a stainless steel finish available in two colors, which I will discuss in more detail below.
HTSR 416 Stainless Steel is still susceptible to corrosion, but it is a much slower pace than that of regular steel.
The downside is that this product still needs an accompanying Accu-Washer Muzzle Alignment System for proper installation. The Precision Armament website recommends the system for the best results.
Founded in 2013, the company has its home in Wellington, Nevada.
I will be reviewing the Dragon Muzzle Brake.
Specifications and Materials
The Dragon Muzzle Brake weighs 3.02 oz. It is made from Hardened Mil-spec Steel with a black nitride finish. I will discuss the latter below.
Hardened Mil-spec Steel is another term for Chrome Moly Steel, which is part of the 41xx family of steel grades provided for by the Society of Automotive Engineers. This type of steel is harder and the 4150 type is used for rifles and pistols as approved by the United States military.
Let’s talk about finishes. Precision Armament M4-72 Severe Duty Compensator has two finishes, matte black and matte stainless. Matte black is an advanced Ionbond high-temperature CrCN coating., while matte stainless is a stain grey finish made with stainless steel-in-the-white.
Ionbond, according to the Ionbond website, is applied through Chemical Vapor Decomposition. It is done by vaporizing the coating then decompressing it onto the surface. It is the process of a low-stress coating through thermally-induced chemical reactions.
As for the Lantac Dragon, it has a black nitride finish. This makes it the same as Ni-Corr treated parts, having undergone the same salt bath heat treatment known as Liquid Salt Bath Ferritic Nitrocarburizing Non-Cyanide Bath or FNC.
As discussed by Smokey Merkeley for the Idaho State Journal, this is the process that involves the heat treatment of gun parts to create two layers, first, iron nitrate, and second, nitrogen diffusion. It hardens the exposed surface without having to harden the inside of the gun part.
However, Merkeley says that since FNC is a relatively new technique, it’s still hard to say how many rounds of ammo can FNC materials withstand.
For this round, I’d have to give the point to Ionbond. The nitride muzzle brake chips off after a while.
Rise, Recoil, Flash, and Sounds
My barrel rise is reduced to almost none for both. However, the feel is better with Lantac Dragon. The only downside is that it gives out a louder sound than usual and I had to apologize to people within the vicinity of the gun range.
The M4-72 does not do much with the recoil, but it does help a ton with the rise reduction. I think I can live with a little recoil.
Lantac Dragon sells for 142.99 as of this writing, while M4-72 costs 89.99. Quite a steep difference, but we have to remember that M4-72 requires the purchase of Accu-Washers for proper installation, which costs 24.99.
Lantac Dragon already comes with the appropriate washer. With the Accu-Washer, M4-72 costs 114.98, which is still much more inexpensive than Lantac Dragon.
Precision Armament kind of coasted along the middle way for this review. Lantac had good points, but it also had a real disadvantage with the sound it makes. But in the end, I will say that Precision Armament M4-72 is better than Lantac Dragon, in specs, material, price, and experience.