The AKM, or the AK-47 as it’s more commonly known, is an absolutely legendary rifle. It has a storied history in combat around the world, and its popularity has since spread to the US, cooking us up just a banquet of AK options and clones. While this might not sound the best, it means the market is ripe with competition for the best attachments and devices.
Just like with most other gun types and shooting platforms, there sprang up a vibrant aftermarket with countless options centered around the AK platform. Mags, furniture, scopes, and of course, muzzle devices like compensators. They are what we’re going to be digging into here, are the many great options for compensators or brake/comp combos that can help you mitigate some recoil as well as redirect that report away from you.
The Best Linear Compensators for AK’s
- Lantac Dragon
- Tapco Slant
- Manticore Arms NightBrake
- VG6 Epsilon
- Midwest Compensator
- Primary Weapons FSC47 Mod 2
The Lantac Drakon is one of the best compensators you can find for an AK. The device diverts the blast out of the sides and the top. If you are looking to add some length to your rifle, this would be a great choice, as it is 2.66 inches long.
- Only weighs 2.8 ounces
- Pricey, but worth the investment
This high-quality compensator from Tapco is an old school classic, the AK-47 slant muzzle compensator. It is simple, yet effective. It has both left and right side plunger holes so anyone can use it.
- Just an inch long
- Weighs less than an ounce
Manticore Arms NightBrake
The NightBrake is one of the best compensators around. It pockmarks the muzzle with the 18 ports. These ports redirect the report and flash. It reduces recoil and keeps the flash from blinding you.
- Does not have ports on the bottom of the device, which helps reduce dust
- Only weighs 2 ounces
This is a pretty highly vented compensator, and it also has cutouts for muzzle braking as well. This is a great model for the two-point-something ounce weight it adds doesn’t even make your AK flinch. It has an indexing pin so you don’t have to deal with a crush washer as well, which is something a lot of shooters prefer.
- Available in black or stainless finish to match your build
- Comes with a crush washer in the event your AK is pinless
This simple compensator can help tame even the rowdiest recoil, and at a price tag that will get you out the door for less than fifty bucks, you can’t go wrong. It’s a little over 2 ounces of steel, and it’s got a beautiful phosphate finish.
- Adds an incredible amount of control to your muzzle
- Allows for very quick target reacquisition and rapid firing
Primary Weapons FSC47 Mod 2
This bad boy looks like an old-school birdcage flash hider that someone doctored up to add some new tweaks. The front ports help with muzzle control as well as gas venting, helping to stabilize the muzzle. The price on this one might cause a double-take, but it’s worth it. At 2 ounces & 2 inches, it beats a lot of other comps.
- Short and light
- Multidirectional venting and muzzle stabilization
What Is A Linear Compensator?
Linear compensators are part of a group of gun attachments called muzzle devices. They are so named, because they are devices, and they attach to the end of the muzzle! Imagine that! Other similar devices in the group you may have heard of are flash hiders, suppressors, and muzzle brakes.
When a linear compensator works, it redirects the acoustics of the report to the front of the shooter and vents the expanding gases in such a way that it helps to combat muzzle climb. They can take the most brutal, loud AK and help make it more enjoyable to shoot.
When Is A Linear Compensator Used?
You don’t put a linear compensator on just any gun, since you want to maximize their benefits. They perform most effectively when they are leveraged for guns with short barrels and bullet calibers that do not produce prodigious recoil. If you have a short-barreled AK and shoot a modest caliber, gearing up with a linear compensator can most likely have you shooting more comfortably, and often as a result, more accurately. Once you equip one, however, it will change the dynamics of your shooting, so be sure to test it out extensively to get used to it.
Are Linear Compensators, Suppressors, And Flash Hiders The Same?
They are all muzzle devices, but they operate rather differently. More importantly, they are all different in the eyes of Johnny Law. Suppressors are designed to muffle or suppress the sound of a rifle or pistol report, by baffling the gasses and slowing down the bullet. Flash hiders mitigate the flash seen as a round is fired. Compensators do not do any of these things, they only redirect the sound, and vent some gasses upwards to fight muzzle climb.
Factors To Consider In A Linear Compensator
If you are looking for a compensator, you should be aware of how it will behave as your point of aim, as well as its physical dimensions and weight.
Point Of Aim
Your compensator will often be your new point of aim when aiming down the sights, so this means it needs to be installed flawlessly. Additionally, each time you remove the compensator and reattach it, such as for cleaning, it will need to be reindexed. Be sure that everything is lined up, the ports are aligned and any shimming is done. Check the ease of attachment before you make any final decisions.
Size & Weight
This won’t be a huge factor, but it will come into play to some degree. Linear compensators come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and weights. Each of these will perform differently and may have a different “gimmick” to its operation. Most compensators will be relatively light, at around 2 ounces, but this weight will still affect your shots. Most lengths will be between 1.9 and 4.2 inches long. Keep an eye on the diameter as well, since AKs often have a comparatively skinny barrel.
Will A Linear Compensator Affect My Accuracy & Recoil?
A linear compensator will absolutely have an effect on your accuracy and perceived recoil. When you use a good linear compensator, it will effectively redirect much of the report acoustics, and help you keep your rifle on target more easily. Since the gases are vented in a way that helps push the muzzle down, compensators make the recoil on an AK incredibly easy to handle. With a more comfortable shot, that is less noisy to the shooter, shooting often becomes far more accurate and enjoyable overall.
Are Linear Compensators Legal?
In many major metro areas, and those adjacent, you will have a difficult time owning a flash hider or suppressor, since they are often restricted to non-civilian use. Compensators, however, do not suppress the report, they only redirect it, and they do not hide the flash, so in the vast majority of locations it is perfectly legal to own a compensator.