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What’s the Best Linear Compensator? Ranked & Compared

Best Linear Compensator

Short-barreled guns may be lighter and easier to maneuver but they are also notoriously wild. Aside from making lots of noise and kickback, short barrels can often lead to an unpleasant shooting experience when left unmitigated. 

After extensive research, we bring to you 10 of the best linear compensators that you can use for more comfortable shooting.

EDITOR’S CHOICE

TacFire 5.56 Linear Comp

OUR #2 RATED

Ultradyne Athena Linear Comp

OUR #3 RATED

Troy Claymore Linear Comp

1. TacFire 5.56 Linear Comp

Why we picked it:

With consistently high ratings, the TacFire is a great choice when it comes to effective yet budget-friendly linear comps. This linear compensator is constructed from USA-made durable steel with a black nitride layer finish, creating a smooth and uniform appearance. A simple fluting design makes the linear comp more lightweight and gives off a muted and clean look for your muzzle.   

The TacFire model exhibits optimal sonic performance by redirecting sound and concussion efficiently. This linear compensator stands out as a choice model that many gun enthusiasts rely on even within its price range.

EDITOR’S CHOICE

PROS

CONS

2. Ultradyne Athena Linear Comp

Why we picked it: 

Ultradyne’s Athena Linear Compensator partners high performance with sleek style. This handsome linear comp is made with solid stainless steel with an ultra-rugged, salt bath nitride finish. Many riflers have noted how it is one of the best-looking devices for muzzles that you can have for your firearms. 

More than just its style, the Athena linear compensator also brings substance to the table. Its gas dispensing mechanism is optimized for maximum control over muzzle rise. Its design also allows it to be easily upgraded to the Dynamount Sighting System. It is accompanied by a shrouded timing nut for easy and intuitive installation.

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CONS

3. Troy Claymore Linear Comp

Why we picked it: 

The Troy Claymore is designed more like a muzzle brake, but it also functions as a reliable linear compensator. This means that you can rely on it to direct the sound and the muzzle blast away from you while also lessening the drawback impact. 

Because it is much longer than the standard linear comp, the Troy Claymore is designed specifically for ultra-short barrels and creates a very low dust signature, perfect when shooting in the prone position. We also loved its ribbed design and its teeth-like grip, which makes it a handy breaching and impact device as well.

PROS

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4. HERA Arms Linear Comp

Why we picked it: 

The HERA Arms Linear Compensator is a fantastic choice if you want to add length to your pistol ARs. This linear comp is 3.5 inches long and has 12 separate expansion chambers, making it an effective device for redirecting muzzle outburst/blast. This extra length also allows you to use a long rail system, even for shorter guns. 

With an outer diameter of 1.26 inches, it lends a lot of space for extra rail clearance. Because of its high-quality build and additional length, the HERA linear comp can also double as a flash eliminator and suppress muzzle flash during low-light conditions.

PROS

CONS

5. V Seven Helios Linear Comp

Why we picked it: 

Made with Grade 5 Titanium, the V Seven Helios Linear Compensator comes in a sleek, satin finish or an all-black finish. The Helios also fits easily inside standard rail mounting systems with its slim outer diameter. 

While it is specifically designed for CQB-type weapons, it is highly compatible with any barrel length. With its high performance and solid construction, Helios’ upscale price is easily justified.

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6. SLR Synergy Linear Comp

Why we picked it: 

The SLR Synergy linear comp is nicknamed Hybrid for two reasons. First, it has a unique hybrid of a stainless steel core encased in a grey titanium sleeve. Second, it also functions as a hybrid of two devices: a muzzle brake and a linear comp.  

Its gas dispersion system is optimized to blast gas at an angle so that it redirects the muzzle outburst/blast while also leading to reduced recoil. Its straightforward yet stout design makes it fit nicely in most standard rail mounting systems.

PROS

CONS

7. Airborne Arms Warthog Linear Comp

Why we picked it: 

At only 1.8 ounces, the Warthog Linear Comp from Airborne Arms is incredibly lightweight and doesn’t weigh down your muzzle at all. It is specially constructed with Aerospace aluminum alloy with a proprietary anodized black coat. 

This unique construction makes the Warthog lightweight while allowing it to withstand thousands of rounds of use. It also comes through with its performance, efficiently funneling the sound and muzzle blast forward.

PROS

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8. Dark Hour Defense Linear Comp

Why we picked it: 

The Dark Hour Defense Linear Comp is a well-respected choice because of its quality construction and performance.

The best gun deals often include this linear comp in the mix because of its claims to do it all. It functions superbly to redirect the muzzle blast while also moderately reducing flash and drawback, just like the Levang Linear Compensator.

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CONS

9. TacFire Knurled Linear Comp

Why we picked it: 

Another budget-friendly option without compromising performance is the TacFire Knurled Linear Compensator. The second offering from TacFire, this device sports a stylish knurled fluting design that lightens this otherwise heavyweight linear comp. 

It’s even been described as a working-class version of the more expensive Kaw Valley Precision Linear Compensator. However, Kaw Valley Precision provides reliable performance but comes with a hefty price tag. TacFire is compatible with several models, particularly for AR builds and short-barreled rifles.  

The TacFire surely is a great alternative for Kaw Valley linear compensator!

PROS

CONS

10. Manticore Arms Afterburner Linear Comp

Why we picked it: 

Manticore’s Afterburner Linear Compensator is one of the slimmest linear comps on the market, but still, it packs a punch. Made with high-grade stainless steel with a black oxide finish, this stylish comp is made to last. 

This compensator is unique because it features internal threading fit for two installable tips that maximize its functionality. It comes with a compensating tip that is highly effective in reducing muzzle rise even after a few rounds of shooting. You can also install the three-prong flash guard tip for flash suppression.

PROS

CONS

What is a Linear Compensator?

What is a Linear Compensator?

A linear compensator is a muzzle device primarily designed to redirect the muzzle blast forward, away from the shooter. While similar in appearance and mechanism to other muzzle devices, a linear compensator has a particular purpose and advantage different from other muzzle accessories. 

If a flash hider reduces muzzle flash and a muzzle brake reduces recoil, a linear compensator reduces muzzle rise. This phenomenon, also called muzzle flip or muzzle climb, happens when your firearm’s muzzle rises after firing due to drawbacks. 

By rerouting the expelled gases forward, linear compensators minimize the recoiling energy that the muzzle is exposed to, thus minimizing muzzle rise. As a result, the muzzle remains firm and steady, which helps you maintain the accuracy of your aim.

Your Ultimate Buying Guide

buying guide

Design 

The design is one of the foremost factors that dictate your linear compensator’s quality and performance. Thus, choose a linear comp specifically designed for short-barreled guns.

If you also care about the appearance of your firearms, choose a linear compensator that adds style and meshes well with the rest of your AR pistol or rifle. You don’t want a clunky linear comp that doesn’t fit your firearm’s overall design.   

Ease of Installation & Removal 

Ideally, installing linear comps must be simple enough for anyone to manage, regardless of skill level, and without the need for a gunsmith or a crush washer. The locking must be secure but still easily removed or adjusted if needed.   

Market Availability  

While very functional and useful during shooting drills, linear comps are not as widely available as other muzzle devices like flash hiders or muzzle brakes [1]. Look towards trusted brands of firearms accessories to find a variety of linear comps that will fit your needs. 

Material 

Always opt for linear comps that are made with high-quality and sturdy materials. Most linear comps sold are made with industry-grade stainless steel, while some are made with anodized aluminum. Also, consider your preferred finish, with the most common being nitride, oxide, or phosphate. 

Durability 

The durability of your linear comp comes hand in hand with its material construction. Remember that linear comps undergo extreme conditions at the end of the muzzle. Choose a linear comp that is well-constructed and sturdy so that they can withstand the heat and the strong force coming from the expelled gases after high-powered rounds.

Length & Weight 

The dimensions of your chosen linear compensator directly impact its performance out in the field. The best linear compensator gives extra length to your firearms, which is much needed for guns with shorter barrels like AR pistols. 

A lightweight linear comp will not weigh down your firearm so you can maintain a wider range of motion. Others prefer a heavier linear comp to move the gun’s balance forward and add more stability to the muzzle. Ultimately, choose a compensator that fits your shooting needs and style.    

Price 

When buying, it’s cheaper to invest in something high-cost yet high-quality than to settle with something low-cost and low-quality. However, some linear compensator models in the market exhibit great performance while being affordably priced, like the Noveske Flaming Pig flash suppressor.

Point of Aim 

Linear compensators must fulfill their primary purpose of reducing muzzle rise [2]. Reliable linear compensators help keep your muzzle and your aim steady, even after firing multiple shots in succession. 

Accuracy

Aside from a more comfortable shooting experience, improved accuracy should be an end goal when purchasing a muzzle device. Because it minimizes muzzle rise, a dependable linear comp helps you maintain your aim, thus improving accuracy overall.  

Noise Mitigation 

The best linear compensators blast the noise of your gun forward so that the noise you hear is lessened. Compensators with eight weight-reducing flutes give a firearm the ability to redirect the noise forward. Your ears and the ears of other shooters around you will surely be thankful when you purchase an effective linear comp.

Our Team's Selection Process

Overall Performance 

All things considered, the best linear compensators must deliver on their promise of minimized muzzle rise and mitigated noise. The design, material, durability, and all other factors must come together to determine the linear compensator’s performance. We selected linear comps that can fulfill their intended purposes and whose price can provide great value for their quality. 

Weapon Compatibility 

A linear comp, and any other worthy muzzle device, must be compatible with different models of firearms. Hence, we’ve selected linear compensators compatible with different types of guns, especially short-barreled rifles and rifle-cartridge pistols.  

Product Quality 

We depended on our personal experiences and on customer feedback in deciding the best linear comps. We value what the community thinks just as much as our own opinions to help us find high-quality linear compensators that many enthusiasts patronize. We looked into the product’s quality and studied how well they can serve their purpose.

Benefits of Using Linear Compensators

Greatly reduces muzzle rise. This is the main purpose of a linear compensator as a muzzle device. By preventing muzzle movement, linear compensators increase the accuracy of your aim, even after firing multiple shots in succession.  

Redirects the noise away from the shooter. By redirecting the muzzle outburst, linear compensators also divert the noise away from the shooter as a result. This means that the decibels you perceive – and the resulting concussion – are minimized. 

Note that linear compensators only reduce the noise you hear and do not suppress sound, which is what silencers are for.   

Can potentially mitigate felt recoil. While not specifically intended to reduce drawbacks, some linear compensators have also been noted to lessen drawbacks to some extent.

FAQs

No. A linear compensator does not reduce the actual noise of a gun. Instead, it reduces the perceived noise by directing it forward and away from the shooter, which decreases concussion levels. On the other hand, a silencer would be able to reduce the actual noise output when a gun is discharged.

Not really. Linear compensators and flash hiders are both muzzle devices, but they work in different ways and have completely different purposes [3]. A linear compensator is primarily for reducing muzzle rise.

Yes. Linear compensators are legal to own and use in most US states. Some states have varying regulations on a muzzle device, particularly flash suppression, but linear comps are not considered flash suppressors and are perfectly fine to sport on your pistol ARs.

Not really. Linear compensators are not intended primarily for reducing recoil and kickback. Some of the best linear compensators also claim to be drawback-reducing. Still, generally, the standard compensator is not designed to reduce perceived recoil greatly. Muzzle brakes (also aptly named recoil suppressors) are more suitable to counter drawbacks.

Yes. Linear compensators positively affect accuracy. They are devices that serve their purpose of reducing muzzle rise and perceived decibels. That said, using a linear compensator can potentially improve your accuracy by minimizing the muzzle rise.

What’s Our Choice For The Best Linear Compensator?

Through our team’s careful and thorough selection of the best linear compensators, we chose the TacFire 5.56 Linear Comp as the best choice you can get your hands on for your muzzle’s needs. For its price, the TacFire Linear Comp brings a lot of value with its superb performance and sturdy yet lightweight steel construction.

EDITOR’S CHOICE

Our #1 Recommendation

TacFire 5.56 Linear Comp

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