I review a lot of guns. Sometimes I am pulling the trigger. More often than not, when I’m out on the range, I shoot some and then get behind the camera. Yesterday, when shooting for a different review, I had the misfortune of standing almost directly beside an AR with a typical M4 flash hider. It reminded me that I really needed to finish this review of the Kineti-Tech muzzle brake. It is my considered opinion that every AR should have on of these.
If you’ve never stood five feet off to the side of an AR, I don’t suggest you try it. It is ridiculously loud. The typical flash hider may hide the flash, but it doesn’t do much for hiding the sound. The concussion is intense. I had on ear plugs, and ear protection that was rated to 30 db, but the sound hit hard enough to rattle my fillings. It is stupid loud.
Kineti-Tech has been looking for a way around that. Let’s back up–of course there’s a way around it. Silencers should be both legal and hassle free. They are obviously legal, but can be a pain in the ass to procure. So what’s the next best option? Why not send the sound down range with the lead? Seems like a novel solution.
And that’s exactly what this simple shroud does. It begins with a muzzle brake. The brake threads onto the barrel. It is an incredibly easy installation, assuming you have a vice that isn’t going to mar your gun. Clamping is recommended, as you will need to tighten the brake on the barrel, and then muscle the brake into proper alignment, a process called “timing.” That way, the gasses escape in the appropriate direction (typically on the east/west axis).
This escaping gas is what mitigates muzzle rise. A good brake physically holds the gun down, complementing your form and grip, and allowing for faster follow up shots. I’ve seen half a million brake patterns, and some seem more about visual aesthetics than performance. But they work. And Kineti-Tech’s works well.
What I find noteworthy is the addition of the steel tube that directs sound out, away from the shooter (and away form the camera man standing beside the gun). The sleeve itself attaches to the brake on 13/16 x 16 threads. The brake is available in two thread patterns: 1/2 x 28 or 5/8 x 24. The whole sleeve is only 2.35 inches long and comes in four textures.
Impressions from use
The first time I pulled the trigger on this AR, I popped open the upper and checked for a squib. That’s how different it sounded. I’ve never had a squib on an AR, so I’m guessing here, but it didn’t sound right. The sharp crack I associate with the .223 was gone. I was shooting at a target that was shot to hell, so I couldn’t see the bullet’s impact, and it just seemed odd.
So I put it back together and pulled the trigger again. Same strange sound. It is not so quiet that I’d take off my ear protection. This isn’t a silencer. That said, it would be much safer to shoot an AR with one of these sleeves and no ear protection. And it is much easier to stand beside the gun. If I were shooting with anyone else–fighting, competing, whatever–I’d want one.
We shot several magazines through this AR and could see no change in accuracy. The muzzle brake functions well, and helps hold down recoil, and the addition of the sleeve doesn’t change that. In fact, I’d say it actually helps. There’s another benefit that comes from Kineti-Tech’s combination, and that is the protection of your support hand.
Tall shooters like me often have to get cramped up on an AR in a very uncomfortable posture. I want a carbine length (or shorter) AR, but I hold thumb-over-bore. I’m also 6’4″. This means my I often end up holding thumb-over-muzzle, which hasn’t really caught on yet as a shooting stance. My long-ass monkey arms are more suited to a 20 inch AR barrel, but I still have to go in and out of vehicles and doors, just like everyone else.
The solution to me seems logical. I need a long forend and I need some way to keep gasses off my hand. I’d been relying on gloves, but steel is much better. With this Parallax Tactical forend (review to follow shortly) and this Kineti-Tech brake/sleeve combo, I can hold much farther down on the gun and pull the rifle in to my shoulder so tightly that I don’t even have to grip the pistol grip at all.
For me, the sound redirection is the extra. I’ll have one of these on this AR until the day it dies, I suspect. And it would be equally (maybe even more) valuable on an SBR. The device offers a unique visual aesthetic, an increase in operational safety, and a more secure protection for your support hand. For $48.95.