How to Remove an AR15 Muzzle Brake

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A muzzle brake is useful when a shooter desires less recoil from a rifle; possible instances might include target shooting or zeroing a weapon. The brake disperses the expanding powder-gasses away from the rifle at the muzzle's sides, rather than at its front. An AR-15 has relatively little recoil, and almost no recoil when a muzzle brake is used.

Items you will need

  • Padded gun vise

  • Punch

  • Hammer

  • Propane torch

  • Gloves

  • Channel-locks

Unload the weapon completely. Remove the magazine and visually inspect the chamber to ensure no ammo is present.

Place the weapon into a padded gun-vise with the sights facing up. Lock down the vise.

Locate any roll pins on the brake near the sight. Some AR-15 muzzle brakes have pins.

Heat the brake with a propane torch for 30 seconds. This will expand the metal and make the pins easier to remove. It will also loosen any bolt adhesives that might have been used.

Place a punch onto the roll pin. Tap out the pin with a hammer.

Turn the brake counterclockwise to unscrew it from the rifle. Use gloves while twisting by hand. If you cannot twist it off by hand, pad the brake with a cloth and use channel-locks to remove it.


  • Never attempt maintenance on a loaded weapon.
  • Never point an AR-15 at anything that you do not intend to shoot or kill.
  • Use adequate ear protection when firing an AR-15 with a muzzle brake. The brake dramatically increases the decibel output of the rifle when fired.


  • Consider installing an adjustable muzzle brake. You can use the brake in the open position when you want less recoil. You can close it for reducing noise while hunting.
  • If your AR15 Muzzle brake doesn't have roll pins, it will twist off after heating and applying firm pressure.
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