The BattleComp is Bad and BattleComp Enterprises Should Feel Bad

There are many reasons to buy a product. I use Barbasol because Dodson Dennis Nedry smuggled dinosaur embryos off Isla Nublar in a modified Barbasol can. Might I get a better shave with another product? Perhaps. But every time I pick up a can of Barbasol, I smile and think about Jurassic Park.

I don’t have any happy childhood memories regarding AR15 muzzle devices, so I generally stick to practical reasons for using one product or another. If you’ve read my muzzle device comparison, you know that…well I have a good handle on what each device in that test does in terms of muzzle flash, sound/blast, and recoil control.

That’s why I have a really big problem with BattleComp Enterprises. Their device is not very good by any objective standard, and their claims regarding the performance of the device are not at all accurate. In fact, they are in some cases blatant lies. Here’s what their site says about the BattleComp:

The BattleComp offers muzzle control like some of the best brakes on the market, with none of their liabilities.

Well, that’s not true. In terms of rearward recoil reduction, the BattleComp lagged far behind the best brake in the test, and it beat out only one other product which is sold as a recoil reduction device.

gforcesfinal

It was less effective than almost every brake and compensator tested, and that’s only rearward forces. When it comes to pushing the muzzle down, the BC 1.0 is a champ. But that’s not something to be proud of. And that means another BattleComp claim is nonsensical, that

“the increase in muzzle stability allows the user the ability to see rounds hit while looking through the scope.”

The BattleComp exhibits significant downward forces on the muzzle, driving it off target, and inhibiting the shooter’s ability to keep the muzzle directly on target between shots.

downwardforces

As for

“none of their liabilities,”

let’s look at sound. The BattleComp is within 1-1.5 decibels of the loudest (and coincidentally most effective) muzzle brakes in the test.

splear

This throws into question another BattleComp claim, that the device does not have the

“crushing blast and concussion common to most muzzle brakes.”

Finally, BattleComp claims that their device offers

“flash comparable to an A2.”

brightnessclose

brightnessFAR

By every measurable standard, the BattleComp is much, much brighter and more visible in low light than the A2. This has held true in all of the testing and observations I have conducted over the last few years. I have never seen a BattleComp exhibit a flash signature in any spectrum that was comparable to the A2.

battlecompsmallwm
It does have a really pretty flash, though.
a2sm1
This is as bright as I have ever seen the muzzle flash of a 16″ AR with an A2 muzzle device.

There is not a single (quantifiable) statement made by BattleComp regarding the performance of their device that is even remotely true.

So why is the device so popular?

It’s a combination of things. The BattleComp got some hefty gun-celebrity endorsements, especially from those who are popular on gun forums. Next, enter the placebo effect. A person hears from a celebrity, or hears the parroted words of a celebrity, that the BattleComp worked really well and then shoots a rifle with one. In the absence of hard data saying otherwise, they agree that it works really well. I initially liked the BattleComp for that reason. That changed when I truly compared it to other devices.

Popularity intensifies, and then it becomes cool to have a BattleComp on your rifle. The price doesn’t hurt either – it’s pretty expensive (over $150), and you gain admission to a pretty exclusive club when you can drop $150 on a muzzle device. BattleComp Enterprises is savvy with marketing, too, and they have cultivated this exclusive image quite well over the last few years. After all, it’s not a muzzle brake, it’s a “world class tactical compensator.” None of those words actually mean anything, but they’ve sure sold a lot of widgets.

The strength of that placebo effect really… stuns me, to put it simply. People will insist that the BattleComp has significantly reduced muzzle blast compared to other devices, but I have conducted other tests and found that it is essentially impossible for a person to pick out the BattleComp in a group of (more effective) muzzle brakes when the shooter is standing next to the blindfolded test subject. And there’s the above sound data, too, which is all a logical person needs to understand that any device which reduces recoil is going to redirect sound to the sides and rear of the muzzle.

The bottom line is that the A2 does a better job of matching BattleComp’s claims than the BC 1.0 does. It has good flash reduction, it’s not as noisy or blasty as a brake, and it “offers excellent muzzle control.”

48 thoughts on “The BattleComp is Bad and BattleComp Enterprises Should Feel Bad”

    1. Which, of course, is in no way the same confirmation bias that BattleComp owners are accused of having. Way to buck the trend, Matt.

      1. Which of course is in no way the same confirmation bias that Battlecomp owners are accused of having, because their bias is based on a placebo effect not hard data whereas Matt’s is based on hard data and reasonable conclusions from the same, as presented in this article. At least in the most likely scenario that “smokes” is meant as enthusiastic hyperbole rather than a literal argument that the A2 is wildly superior to the Battlecomp. Way to combine dead-pan sarcasm with poor and overly critical reasoning Trevor.

  1. If I remain happy with my A2 birdcage, does that mean I suffer from confirmation bias as well? I was actually sorta kinda in the market to replace my boring ol’ A2 until this series of posts came out. The actual measured data helped me decide to save my money and stick with what I have.

  2. The problem is there are few places to really do the research and examine the “claims.” You did a great job, but let’s be real, your series are the first actually in depth and factual based reviews I have ever seen on muzzle devices. But let’s move on to other areas, there is so many personal reviews and a lack of any kind of resemblance to the scientific method in the industry in general that were stuck with what we get word of mouth/personal reviews. Keep up the good work, and what will you test next?

  3. Great to see truthful info on a popular upgrade. Even better for those of us forced to pin and/or weld our comps. Would it be possible to put your graphs in a .PDF for easier reading?

  4. This brings into a greater question of what are the consumers’ reasons for buying this brake or any brake for that matter.

    Are they buying it for performance or appearance of performance? Do they actually appreciate the performance characteristics and have the requisite skill to take advantage of these characteristics? Perhaps they don’t have a clue and rely on expert opinion.

    I can’t help but draw a similar analogy to the consumer home entertainment market. One may spend a few thousand dollars on a large HDTV and a 5.1 surround sound but not actually have any of it calibrated correctly such as watching HD content in a standard definition resolution or listening to a movie in stereo vs dolby digital. This too is the placebo effect in the works because they don’t have a basis to make a comparison.

    Barbasol Jurassic Park reference, nice.

    1. my personal answer to your question is people that go out and buy new new muzzle devices tend to do on a mix of desire for better or different performance and how cool it will look on their gun. you can just look at the fact that Noveske does good business with their Flaming pig Muzzle device on the civilian market even though it is meant for a niche clientele. It seems that what can be marketed as the “COOL GUY” tool gets the most attention right now, regardless of any merit or intended use.

  5. Great series of tests that must have taken quite a bit of time and effort. But there is one area of muzzle devices that I do not believe has been determined, and that is their effect on accuracy as compared to a bare muzzle. Given your attention to detail and consistency of proceedure, it would be interesting to see what results you could come up with.

  6. Actually, it was Dennis Nedry who smuggled the embryos out in the Barbasol can. Dodson supplied the can.

    Great review on the muzzle devices. I’ll stick to my YHM Phantom comps on my two heavier ARs and my YHM muzzle brake on my ultralight.

  7. I wish I had such objective data on my Bcm gunfighter comp!

    This test makes me think I’ll want ported brakes and pronged flash hiders.
    And a linear brake like the std when deer hunting.

  8. Sounds an aweful lot like most modern day marketing wizardry. You would think, however, with the friendship pool with firearms being relatively small you wouldn’t want to piss in it. Blogs like this are an invaluable tool to separate the shit from shineola.

  9. I didnt “test” muzzle devices. But after shooting my rifle a bunch (it came with a RRA “Tacticool Muzzle Break” on a 16″ middy ) and then piecing together an AR for my girlfriend which was done using a 20″ barrel, rifle length gas system and A2 flash hider, I realized that the gas system and A2 did more for muzzle climb than the horribly annoying muzzle break that I had did. I know it’s not an apples to apples comparison, more like apples to pears, but for an all around muzzle device, I have to agree with Andrew. Pretty hard to beat an A2. And since I’m not clearing rooms, jumping out of moving cars with finger on the trigger or doing security work, why not add a longer barrel with a softer cycling gas system?

  10. Thanks for putting this together for us. Very informative. I love real data. Keep up the excellent work. Keeping the uninformed informed. Thanks.

  11. With respect to the Battle Comp and in reference to all the writing in your blog, Amen!! Thanks for the service and thanks to you for your writing. It’s a pleasure to read something accurate and factual as opposed to the ignorant – “gee it sure looks like a high quality item – and so it must be” – nonsense spread around a lot of the sites one sees on the internet.

  12. You are fools to believe this shit. You think its a coincidence that absolutely no data or evidence is provided to validate the authors claims? Oh wait he has bar graphs. My 2nd grader makes those as well.

    1. Well, there are videos and photos which corroborate the data, and the processes are explained in the first link in the post.

      You can lead a horse to water…

    2. Wow, foot in mouth. I have been a part of a lot of the gathering of this info. The data that has been gathered for this is more comprehensive that any other I have seen. Phantom video at SilencerCo, accelerometer was used in some cases, night shoots at Sniper Country with various cameras, and on and on.

      I like the Battlecomp, I think it is decent comp/break and is not overly bulky or eccentric (looking like I am running a 3-gun baffled out costa rifle). Comps/breaks work, and anyone that says they don’t care how their rifles look….please throw it down the sidewalk and rattle can in tan, i promise you it will still work fine.

  13. A bit harsh to rub it in like this but if the evidence is there, I’ve got no qualms with it. Up to BattleComp to fund “independent” research to refute your claims. Good job, and thanks for for the unsalted opinion & (seemingly) unbiased research.

    I would really love if you could take a look at linear compensators btw.

  14. Where’s the data. Want kind of research study doesn’t provide the quantifiable data to support their claims. The most important part of a study like this is the measurements of each exercise. How is anyone suppose to validate the claims without exact figures. While it appears “scientific” it is not. I will be contacting BE Meyers and Silencerco to determine if they support his findings. Sorry for calling you fools, but the author can too easily manipulate this study to get any result he wants, aside from maybe muzzle flash.

    1. First link in the article has more info. Yes, anything can be manipulated. I could show you data from one device and claim it is from another. There’s no way to verify that unless you’re standing over my shoulder as I record the data. At a certain point, you have to look at this piece of work and my past work (for example, the 40,000 round steel vs brass test) and decide if it’s trustworthy. There would be no point to putting out fake data on this blog. I do not have anything to gain – I don’t even make advertising revenue from the blog.

      At Silencerco, contact Mike Aland. At B.E. Meyers, talk to Matt Meyers. And don’t forget AAC, they sent the sound meter. Your point of contact there will be Rob Silvers.

      1. I would trust Tuoy with my life…..I don’t always agree but one thing I know is this guy will not lie, he has 100% integrity. If he says this or that about firearms I believe him. If he says I feel this or that it is his opinion. I would never doubt it when he gives facts. I would never doubt him or his word in any way. There are few people in the world that I can say that about. I do not know him personally, I really don’t want to but I know people, all too well.

  15. I think it is weird that you come out completely hating on this specific product. Wouldnt someone just test a bunch of devices and publish the results without the obvious bashing? I personally dont have any experience with comparing the devices side by side in the same session, but have seen someone compare them through a number of different classes. They ended up going with the battle comp… Im not saying your wrong, im just suspicious because of the way you went about writing this up!

    1. I published the results in an objective manner. I made this a separate post due to it being rather subjective. I singled out BCE because their marketing claims are blatant lies. If their marketing was honest but the device was still the same, this post would not exist.

    2. This part of the gun business has had a lot of cult-celebrity types who endorse product A and bash product B, and get unquestioning respect from a large segment of the non celebrities – to a degree that is creepy. In several instances the praise or bashing has been rather blatantly self-interested, by public or discernible private endorsement deals and kickbacks. Not saying that has specifically happened with Battlecomp, but it happens with a lot of products. Andrew’s test is the best, most methodical and objective test of muzzle devices I’ve seen, and the only one one to include flash suppressors and hybrid devices (I’ve seen two prior methodical tests that were limited to 3-gun style brakes). Basically the first objective and useful analysis for many of these devices. If you are familiar with Battlecomp’s marketing and their price relative to other options, you might feel strongly after seeing how their famous device performs.

  16. Interesting data but I found myself looking for items that weren’t in the test set like: KAC Triple Tap, Surefire MB556K, BCM Gunfighter, SJC Titon & Miculek BL-MIC.

  17. I thought about buying a battlecomp awhile ago but at 150 bucks I felt like I was buying magic beans so I decided to stick with my A2. Glad I did.

  18. great post. and for the doubters, andrew is hardly the first to note that the BC pushes the muzzle down. i’ve shot next to one in class – far more annoying than the A2 on the other side of me. and what more could you ask for than superimposed video with ref lines, for cryin out loud?

    if an A2 can be sold, aftermarket, for $8, why is a BC $150? seems like the going price for a premium comp/brake is right around $100 or less. seriously can’t see that BC is 50% better than a fsc, gunfighter, jp, etc. (or that the premium’s are 10x better than the A2!).

    this test doesn’t mean andrew’s right, it just means he’s laid down a plainly stated, and supported, counter claim to BCE hype.
    BCE can ignore, but if they have engineers, they already have comparative videos – let them show it!

  19. From my non-scientific experience, I would agree the Battlecomp is not quieter than other common comps and brakes. This includes the BCM comp, PWS FSC556, A2, A1, Rainier XTC, Rainier RMC and Spikes Dynacomp. We did not notice any big differences in sound except that the Rainier RMC was louder and the A2 and A1 were quieter. The Battlecomp was simply awful for dust signature. It was just slightly better than the Spike’s which was almost unusable in prone on dusty ground. The Battlecomp is however quite light (1.8 oz, personally weighed) for a comp and changed the recoil impulse of the SCAR 16 nicely. The biggest issue to me with it is the price. Other than weight I don’t think it has any advantage against the PWS FSC in most guns. There are some piston guns like the SCAR that the Battlecomps peculiar recoil impulse seems to work well on. This is definitely a subjective but also non sponsored opinion.

  20. Hey Andy,

    first I would like to thank you for your flash hider/comp reviews – both for attempting an objective approach and for making me personally rather happy (I only run an A2 and a Phantom). Having said that: The first thing I did when you posted your results was to look at the “tactical” comps and I admit, I could not help but snicker at the discrepancy between the advertised qualities and what your tests showed.

    But I do find it somewhere between courageous and crazy to make a post singling out one specific product. Hell, they annoy me, too. In addition to that, I am easily offended by a high price (no B.E. Meyers for me). But as an author, I am not sure whether specifically targeting a company is a viable strategy. It creates the impression of a bias for further product reviews, and that is usually not helpful. Companies usually get offended by comparisons already, but being singled out means you piss off the company and their fans (and I guess in the US, you have a lot of people with 14.5″ rifles and pinned and welded Battlecomps, so switching is not easy for them). While to polarise via antagonising is useful for a page (works for TTAG), for a page attempting to be objective it might be a disadvantage.

    Side note: The push down effect (also identified by the guys at MSW – http://modernserviceweapons.com/?p=1047) might show on a DI AR-15. I wonder how it works on piston system which recoils a bit more extreme. Poster LeftThumb above says he like it on a SCAR 16, that seems to fit this theory.

  21. So disregarding the idiots who think the blog has fake data *****cough***kevin*** My question remains, what muzzle break is the best (which will always be opinion), and how much is a reasonable amount to spend on “upgrading” from an A2? $100 seems like an awful lot to throw at a device that every company is trying to cash in on when there still remains to be seen more test results, like the ones posted, that help buyers choose reliable products. Fact of the matter is these things don’t have much track record (please correct me if i’m missing something).

    In the mean time I’ll continue to read articles and consider opinions of those who have used these products……………so long as they don’t come from people crawling in the manufactures sphincter hole or from those who are still crying over or trying to self justify why they spent $150 on a hype item *****COUGH***kevin***

    1. The devices which immediately come to mind if you want to spend not a whole lot while still getting a sizable return on your investment are the Blackout and the XTC. Especially when Rainier has blem versions of the XTC for just over 50 bucks. But for most purposes, the A2 is great.

      1. Let me pick your brain for a moment then. Best muzzle brake while suppressing flash in your opinion? Say money is not an issue.

        1. If money is not an issue, combine an efficient comp with a silencer. AAC Blackout 51T and AAC MINI4 would be my choice.

          Otherwise you’ll probably have to define your requirement more precise and find an acceptable cut-offs for compensation and noise level while looking at the stats.

          Note: No, I am now Andrew Tuohy nor have I played one on TV.

  22. Midwest Industries makes a decent brake that has better flash hiding than the A2 for under $30. Griffin Flashcomp is great if you don’t mind a little bit of flash.

  23. I’ve got two Battlecomps, the 1.0 and the BABC. I really hate muzzle brakes. I’d much rather deal with the recoil than the obnoxious concussion of the brakes I’ve tried in the past. Because of the reports I’d been reading about the Battlecomp and the videos posted, I decided to give it a try, although I remained very skeptical.

    The recoil of the BC felt softer but under recoil using the traditonal bladed stance I’ve shot all my life (not claiming it’s the best stance, just being clear) it pushed the muzzle to the right. I double checked, it was clocked correctly. Others reported the same problem. I eliminated the right push by getting behind the rifle more. Guys with real aggressive stances found the BC pushed the muzzle down. Some were able to adjust their stance to resolve the issue, others got rid of the BC. The BC was also more effective on the 16″ barrel than the 20″. I let others shoot my rifle and stood next to them at both indoor and outdoor ranges. The sideblast was more than the A2 but much less than pure muzzle brakes. The concussion also felt softer. I also asked others, both shooters I knew and complete strangers. Some felt the sideblast was obnoxious, others didn’t feel it was any worse than ARs with the A2 mounted. We made it a point to shoot 16″ carbines with A2s alongside the BC. We also shot one 16″ Keltec carbine with a bare muzzle. We decided the BC & A2 were both better than a bare muzzle! Flash was a little bit more than the A2 but inconsistent. It’d be barely noticeable for a few shots, then there’d be a shot where it was significantly more, like there was some kind of build up that needed to be burned off.

    The BABC was mounted on an 18″ Para FAL and was compared to the FAL with the Belgian combo device and with a bare muzzle. Recoil with the BABC was softer than with the Belgian combo device and the recoil with the Belgian device softer than with a bare muzzle. Muzzle rise was less with BABC than the Belgian and less with the Belgian than the bare muzzle. Side blast was softest with the BABC. Shooting the FAL indoors always got attention. Recoil of Para FALs are soft for a 308 battlerifle to begin with.

    As for BC’s claims, I figure all advertising needs to be taken with a grain of salt. At the moment, I can’t think of any other muzzle device I’d use in it’s stead. All the others I’ve personally seen are either too obnoxious, produce more flash or are heavier. If my 1.0 blew up today and I needed a replacement, I’d either get another or go back to the A2. But I like my carbine better with the BC than the A2. If my BABC blew up today, I’d definitely replace it with another although I’d grumble about the price.

    I don’t think the Battlecomp is the final word in muzzle devices. I don’t think any of them are. Everyone has their own needs and preferences. The BC fits mine. If I were a face shooting, door kicker, (I’ve never been either one) I’d go back to the A2 at the first complaint from any of my comrades

  24. What about a linear comp when working around other shooters? I have not shot my SCAR17 with any muzzle device but the AAC Blackout ,the prior owner having removed the PWS . I have considered a Griffin Armament Flash Comp after watching videos of it against the BC.

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