Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Review: Manticore Arms Nightbrake for AK style rifles

This is a review of the MantiCore Arms Nightbrake for AK (Kalashnikov) style rifles.  The one I got uses the 24mm threading which is commonly used with AK-74 pattern rifles, but they also make one with the traditional 14mm threads.
I have an Arsenal SGL-21, which shoots 7.62x39, but has the AK-74 style(which usually shoot 5.45x39) 24mm threads. So there are not very many options for muzzle devices.  The Nightbrake is nice because it will work on both 5.45 and 7.62 rifles.  The SGL-21 comes with a AK-74 style brake which works very well for muzzle rise control, but gives off a somewhat loud blast and when you shoot from prone it kicks up a LOT of dust, especially from urban/rollover prone.  I wanted to try a device which would lower the amount of muzzle blast but still give a reasonable amount of control of muzzle rise.

I ran the Nightbrake through two carbine courses. I found that with the Nightbrake, recoil drove the muzzle slightly up and to the right, which took some small amount of time to get back on target. The blast was somewhat less than the 74 brake.  When I shoot the 74 brake, it's relatively easy to keep the sights on target when shooting at a pace of 2 rounds per second.  With the Nightbrake, I found I had to really focus on a strong stance and pulling the gun into my shoulder firmly when shooting even moderately fast, or the sights would start wandering up and right.  I think the Nightbrake does accomplish its goal of trading off blast for muzzle control, but I have put the 74 brake back on.  To me, the tradeoff was not worth it, especially since I don't do any team tactics stuff with a carbine indoors, where reducing muzzle blast would be more important.

Using the 74 brake, the muzzle control is very good, and the blast isn't really objectionable when shooting outdoors. I will stick with it for now.
The AK BattleComp sounds promising, but as of this writing it is not available with 24mm threads, and even when it is, I'm not sure if it will work with a 7.62 rifle with 24mm threads.  Also, it's 200 bucks which is pretty steep.

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