You have the optic, custom grip, upgraded trigger, and stock on your favorite rifle. Your rifle is ready to go, right? Or is it… Don’t forget about the muzzle attachment! The Apex Barrel Stabilizer attachment is a game-changer for making quick and accurate follow-up shots on your AR style rifle. Designed for threaded barrels chambered in .223 or 5.56, the Apex ESA (enhanced barrel stabilizer attachment) can curb that barrel rise and reduce the recoil for the shooter.
What is a muzzle break, and what is a compensator?
Muzzle breaks are typically used to reduce the recoil of the rifle. They redirect the gas from the muzzle of the gun, allowing it to escape from the barrel in multiple directions instead of going directly out the end of the barrel. Muzzle breaks were designed for large caliber firearms that generate a lot of energy when fired. When the muzzle rise is reduced, the shooter can fire faster and more accurately.
Compensators are mostly designed to reduce muzzle climb as it directs the gasses leaving the barrel in specific directions to stabilize the muzzle end of the gun. The Cutts Compensator, found on the Thompson Submachine gun, was one of the first compensators used. It helped reduce muzzle rise on the iconic automatic .45 ACP gun. The Apex aids in both rise and felt recoil, giving you the best of both worlds.
Apex Enhanced Stabilization Attachment
The Apex ESA attaches to the threads of your rifle in a matter of minutes and comes with the needed crush washer. The stabilizer attachment will work on most AR-15 barrels that use 1/2-28 TPI threads. According to the company, the Apex ESA will:
- Neutralized muzzle rise created by the inline gas port on top and muzzle baffles
- Adjusted baffles reduce high pressure gas turbulence in the flight path of the bullet resulting in improved accuracy
- Eliminates negative recoil impulse
- Reduce felt recoil for the shooter
The barrel stabilizer attachment is 2.6” in length and .750 in diameter, making it about the same diameter as the barrel. It is finished in a Salt Bath Nitride (QPQ) for a long lasting deep black color and gives your rifle that finished touch that a custom shooting machine should have.
When firing at a small target, regaining your sight picture is paramount for follow-up shots. But those follow-up shots can only be as fast as your ability to regain sight alignment. When you have a barrel that pushes up as you fire, this task can be somewhat challenging. The added gas jet on the top of the compensator gives it that kick back down as you fire, keeping your barrel closer to its original position. At least, this is what the company claims. I live in the “show-me-state” so the best way to find out is, well… to take it to the range.
At the range, I ran it through some drills to get a fill for the enhanced stabilizer device. I also took along a second rifle with a standard muzzle break for comparison. There was a noticeable difference in muzzle rise from the standard muzzle break and the Apex Barrel Stabilizer. Sight realignment was much better, and the laser sight stayed on the 8” metal plate at 100 yards during rapid follow-up shots.
There was a slight increase in sound with the Apex barrel attachment, but this is common with this type of compensator. We also did some shooting at night to test the muzzle flash and were delighted to see the Apex did not disturb the sight picture when looking through optics. I have had some issues with other compensators allowing too much flash on the top side of the muzzle. This causes a momentary washout and slows down your follow-up shots.
Serving my community as their Sheriff, my job is to find equipment that can help protect my guys and allow them to be as proficient as possible while working with a limited budget. I can say the Apex Enhanced Stabilizer Attachment is a piece of equipment that can help increase the accuracy and proficiency of a weapon. For under $100, it is also a great price when compared to other products on the market. Everyone has their own needs for their specific weapon, and there are a lot of great options out there. But if you are looking to upgrade the muzzle break on your rifle, check out what Apex has to offer.
For more information on Apex Tactical and their other products, check their website here.
For more on other AR muzzle breaks, see Pew Pew Tactical’s comprehensive list.