How to Remove an AR15 Muzzle Brake

by Jeremiah Blanchard

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.

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

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

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

  4. 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.

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

  6. 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.

Items you will need

  • Padded gun vise
  • Punch
  • Hammer
  • Propane torch
  • Gloves
  • Channel-locks


  • 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.


  • 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.