R&J Firearms Crown Muzzle Brake and Keg Muzzle Brake Review

You use muzzle brakes? Wuss! Sure, some people take sadistic pleasure from shooting rifles with stout recoil. I don’t care that many of those same folks enjoy seeing me wince and […]

UniqueARs Gibbz Arms Lucid Optics Newtown Firearms Bear Creek Arsenal R&J Firearms Keg muzzle brake R&J Firearms Crown muzzle brakeYou use muzzle brakes? Wuss!
Sure, some people take sadistic pleasure from shooting rifles with stout recoil.
I don’t care that many of those same folks enjoy seeing me wince and hold my surgically repaired shoulder after shooting rifles that have considerable thump.
In business I prefer to “Work smarter, not harder”, just as I prefer to “Shoot smarter, not harder”.
So, call me a Wuss if you like, but I shoot rifles with muzzle brakes/compensators whenever possible so that I can subject my ailing shoulders to less abuse and get back on target quicker after each shot.
And if you asked me… YOU SHOULD TOO!

R&J Firearms Muzzle Brakes

R&J Firearms Keg muzzle brake R&J Firearms Crown muzzle brakeWhen R&J Firearms offered to send a few muzzle brakes for testing the timing couldn’t have been better.
We had 2 x Gibbz Arms G4 Side Charge upper based AR 15 builds in the planning stages and a couple of completed .300 Blackout AR uppers on the way. The .300 BLK uppers already had A2 brakes, but the Gibbz Arms based AR builds needed brakes. R&J Firearms sent 2 different models of brakes, the Keg and the Crown. For each model they sent two brakes: one sized for 5.56 and the other sized for 7.62. So, a total of 4 brakes. When the R&J Firearms Muzzle Brakes arrived we had started the Mosin Modernization Project and opted to use one of the 7.62 brakes on a mosin builds.

Here is how we have used them for testing:

R&J Firearms Keg muzzle brake R&J Firearms Crown muzzle brake -installedHow we tested

AR-15 builds:

The entire Gear Report team have shot the Gibbz Arms G4 Side Charging upper builds using the R&J Firearms Muzzle Brakes, most in a broad range of scenarios using various optics, ammunition types and other accessories (benches, bipods, slings, etc.). We shot standing, sitting and prone, still and moving, with magnified and unmagnified optics, with heavy and light projectiles, in warm and cool weather, rain and shine, rapid and slow – controlled fire… and even at night, specifically so we could see what kind of fireball the R&J Firearms Muzzle Brakes produced. In all cases we found the R&J Firearms Keg and Crown muzzle brakes worked as advertised to reduce the felt recoil. Of course, the AR builds are .223/5.56 AR15s that aren’t that stout shooting to begin with. The Keg and Crown make the .223 noticeably lighter on felt recoil and often make it possible to keep the optic on target through the initial and follow-up shots without losing sight picture. The ARs were shot with 55gr .223 commercial FJM and reloads, with a few 62 gr XM855 rounds thrown in to keep things interesting. Muzzle brake performance was similar for all rounds tested.

UniqueARs Gibbz Arms Lucid Optics Newtown Firearms Bear Creek Arsenal R&J Firearms Keg muzzle brake R&J Firearms Crown muzzle brake on ar15Build details:

Gibbz Arms G4 Side Charge upper, Right handed:

Gibbz Arms side charging upper JP Enterprises R&J Firearms Bear Creek ArsenalGibbz Arms G4 Side Charge upper, Left handed:

*Video* Here is a quick look at both of our Gibbz G4 based builds and some dusk shooting we did shortly after completing the builds. Gotta love the fireballs shooting out of the R&JFirearms muzzle brakes!

Ohuhu bipod on mosin nagant Brass Stacker Go Low Scout Mount M9130 - dovetail mount ATI Mosin nagant stockMosin Modernization Project build:
The Modern Mosin Hunting Rifle is chambered in the much more stout 7.62x54R and the complete list of parts for this build can be found HERE. The combination of the R&J Firearms Keg Muzzle Brake and the ATI Mosin Nagant Monte Carlo Stock have completely transformed that rifle. Before the upgrades I had a bruised and sore shoulder after shooting a handful of rounds. It didn’t help that the Russians put a steel butt plate on the Mosin 1891/30 rifle. I shot the same rifle after the barrel was shortened and the R&J Firearms Muzzle Brake was installed by our friends at Bluegrass Gun Works and was blown away not by the recoil, but by how much more tame and shootable the Modern Mosin Hunting Rifle had become. We shot both 182 grain PPU FJM rounds as well as some 203 grain polymer coated lead projectiles I loaded for testing. Muzzle brake performance felt fairly consistent with both types of ammo. Testing was a bit more tame with the Mosin… we shot only from a bench with a rest to support the front of the rifle. No moving around while firing, mixing up firing positions, etc.

.300 Blackout uppers:
With a full review queue we have not yet gotten to the .300 BLK testing. Honestly, we expect results to be between the 5.56 and 7.62 x 54r brakes… which is to say strong recoil mitigation with a moderate level of muzzle gas blowback.

Muzzle Brake Specs:

R&J Firearms Muzzle Keg brake 7.62R&J Keg Muzzle Brake 7.62 and R&J Keg Muzzle Brake 5.56

The R&J Firearms site doesn’t tell much about their muzzle brakes. There are a couple of pictures (one noting Black Oxide as the coating), a price of $39.99, and options to order in 5.56 or 7.62 sizes.  I recommend they list the dimensions, weight and thread size so that prospective buyers have a better idea what they will get.

Here you go:

  • Length: 2.5″
  • Width: 1″ OD
  • Weight: Sorry, I didn’t think to weigh them before installation 🙁 Will update at next opportunity.
  • Thread size:
    • R&J Firearms Muzzle Keg brake 5.56 R&J Firearms Muzzle Crown brake 5.56 5.56 = 1/2″ – 28
    • 7.62 = 5/8″ – 24

The name is rather descriptive, as the “Keg” muzzle brake is shaped like, well, a keg. it has a consistent 1″ OD with 3 vertical cuts on side which are angled aft to direct the gasses that escape behind the bullet backwards and push the muzzle brake (and the rifle attached to it) forward… thus cancelling out some of the recoil impulse and reducing felt recoil. There are also 2 holes in the top of the brake which allow gasses to escape upwards to counter muzzle rise.
Finished in Black Oxide, we have had no issues with corrosion, erosion or abnormal finish wear.

R&J Crown Muzzle Brake 7.62 and R&J Crown Muzzle Brake 5.56

  • Length: 2.85″ to the tips of the crown
  • Width: 1″ OD
  • Weight: Sorry, I didn’t think to weigh them before installation 🙁
  • Thread size:
    • R&J Firearms Crown Muzzle brake 5.56 = 1/2″ – 28
    • 7.62 = 5/8″ – 24

The difference between the Keg and the Crown muzzle brake is that the crown starts out longer and has material removed around the forward edge such that it has the appearance of a crown when the muzzle is pointed straight up. While it is pretty cool looking, I suspect that anyone poked with the crown would wish they had not been, making the shape of potential tactical benefit and not just aesthetic. Otherwise, the gas deflecting cuts and holes are the same as on the Keg muzzle brake, finish is the same, etc.

How did the R&J Firearms Muzzle Brakes perform?

Without scientific testing equipment we were left to our gut feel… or shoulder feel, in this case… to determine the effectiveness of the R&J Firearms Muzzle Brakes. As far as I could tell, and supported by reports from all other testers, the Keg and Crown muzzle brakes performed identically. I noticed two major things:

  1. Felt recoil is significantly tamed by the R&J Firearms Muzzle Brakes, especially on the more powerful 7.62x54r rounds.
  2. You have to be careful what is directly below and aft of the muzzle, as the blast from the R&J Firearms Muzzle Brakes throws anything that isn’t bolted down back at the Ohuhu bipod on mosin nagant Brass Stacker Go Low Scout Mount M9130 - dovetail mount ATI Mosin nagant stock NCStar LER scopeshooter. Most of the time this was a non-issue, as we shot from clean benches or elevated positions. However, one time I deployed the bipod over a dirt/pea gravel road to take some prone shots with the Modern Mosin Hunting Rifle. That turned into “shot” instead of “shots”, as I ended up with red clay teeth (that’s the color of our dirt here in NC). Definitely don’t forget your eye protection when shooting any brake, but especially these brakes. These brakes direct more of the muzzle blast straight back at the shooter than any other brake I have shot.

Anything we don’t like?

Only one thing… the angle of the muzzle blast cuts in the sides of the R&J Firearms Muzzle Brakes directs hot gasses back at the shooter. It would be nice if the angle of the cuts was changed a bit so that the blast went a bit wider to miss the shooter. With a bit of pre-planning this can be mitigated via shooting site selection and/or preparation.

R&J Firearms Crown Muzzle brake with Unique-ARs.com Jax 2015 handguard over Bear Creek Arsenal SS barrel

R&J Firearms Crown Muzzle brake with Unique-ARs.com Jax 2015 handguard over Bear Creek Arsenal SS barrel

Aesthetics

Looks are always an after thought for me. I am much more concerned with performance. In the case of the R&J Firearms Muzzle Brakes there are two distinctly different looks to choose from. The Keg muzzle brake offers a clean look, while the Crown spices things up a bit. I really like how the Crown compliments the Unique ARs Jax pattern handguard on our right handed Gibbz Arms G4 Side Charge upper AR15 build. The Keg is a great look for our more traditional Modern Mosin Hunting Rifle.

Overall

The R&J Firearms Keg and Crown Muzzle Brakes have been solid performers on all of our test guns. We think they offer a great combination of durable and effective performance with rather unique and striking looks. At the $39.99 price point the R&J Firearms Muzzle Brakes are well more affordable than most of the muzzle brakes I have seen on the market. As is, I really like these brakes and am comfortable recommending them for applications that require strong recoil mitigation and durability, especially for those who would like a unique look without compromising performance.

Gear Score
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If R&J firearms can modify the brakes slightly to spread the path of the redirected muzzle gases a bit wider, so the shooter isn't hit by them, then the R&J Firearms Muzzle Brakes may actually claim the spot at the top of my personal muzzle brake rankings. As is, they are a both a great value and very effective.

Gallery of R&J Firearms Muzzle Brakes images:

Originally posted 2015-10-26 08:44:09. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

About Jeff

Jeff is the Editor in Chief of Gear Report and a National Shooting Sports Foundation Media member. He reports on the outdoor industry, reviews gear for camping, hiking, shooting, hunting, paddling, backpacking and other active pursuits. A USAF veteran, Jeff earned a MBA in Marketing and Health Services. He specializes in consultative selling and internet marketing. As the VP of BD & Marketing, Jeff provides sales and marketing leadership to MGECOM, Inc. and helps http://MGECOM.com acquire new clients in need of solutions for online merchants in need of Affiliate Marketing program management. Jeff founded and manages Cress Sales & Marketing LLC, offering online sales and marketing consulting and services to online merchants and service providers.