This is a review of the new CruxOrd .223/5.56 muzzle break.
If you’ve seen any of my previous reviews on products from Crux Ordnance (CruxOrd) you’ll quickly realize that I’m becoming a huge fan of theirs, and for good reason. Crux Ord is a U.S. based high-end modern machine shop with the best CNCs, using the best materials, and with R&D conducted by people who are striving to be the best. With this muzzle break, I believe they’ve reached it.
CruxOrds’ new muzzle break is not the normal break you’ll see at the range, or even a 3 gun competition, yet. This muzzle break stands as an example of what the most modern and skilled machining can get you. At first glance you’ll see a sleek external design but looking closer there’s intricate internal milling which drives its’ superior performance. This muzzle break covers 22 rimfire up to high pressure 5.56 loads and the performance trumps any else you’ll find. I’ve put about 800 5.56 rounds through the brake now and it has performed better than any other break I’ve ever used in the past. This includes dozens of breaks with higher-end price tags. That’s a bold statement, but keep reading and you’ll see why it’s easily made.
There are still plenty of folks out there who act surprised about putting a muzzle break on 22cal rifles since they inherently produce significantly less energy than most rifles calibers which historically used muzzle breaks. Through the last decade, we’ve seen tremendous growth of competitive shooting and continual popularity in military/non-military 5.56 duty rifles; the demand to “shoot flat” especially with 5.56 has never been higher. Regardless if you’re shooting burst, controlled pairs, or single precision shots, a good muzzle break is going to increase your performance. With the CruxOrd muzzle break, the performance is as good as it gets.
In this video you can see that the CruxOrd muzzle break shoots flawlessly flat. I’ve had at least 10 other seasoned shooters try out this break and run it against over a dozen other brakes and we all agree that the CruxOrd device comes home with a win. The reduction of felt recoil is just amazing, and it also produces minimal muzzle flash so you don’t need to worry about interrupting target visibility. While shooting indoors I could tell this brake made the 5.56 slightly louder as expected but nothing compared to what I’m accustom to. In the past I’ve just had to settle with the fact that if I’m going to use a muzzle brake, then I just need to deal with how loud it will be. In this case, it’s just not that bad.
After taking this muzzle break to the range for two full weeks in a row and having my mind-blown how flat it performed and how much recoil reduction occurred, I returned to the CruxOrd website again to read their exact description as it’s stated best:
- Active and Passive elements to reduce recoil, also cools & controls gas flow.
- CruxOrd developed the first-ever double helix baffles, redirecting fired gases axially countering recoil and muzzle climb.
- Full length bleed lanes intersect each baffle to ensure proper cooling and gas volume control.
- Crowned for muzzle protection and large flats enable multiple tool use.
- Precision machining ensures maximum gas expulsion and gun accuracy.
- Hand finish for custom feel and fit for your AR build ~CRUXORD
I’ve always known the simple basics, gas is expelled from the muzzle and you want to control it in your favor. It’s a science and I leave it to the pro’s to figure out how to most effectively get this done. It’s a process that takes legitimate R&D and it isn’t as effectively accomplished for the muzzle breaks you’ll find under the $100 mark. After the first couple times out shooting, I can easily tell that CruxOrd has invested serious time into creating this monster.
The top benefits from a muzzle break are to decrease muzzle climb and reduce felt recoil. Additional aspects I still care about but just a little less is how little muzzle flash it produces and how much louder the rifle becomes. Most muzzle breaks in the $50-$75 range will accomplish 1 or 2 of these things somewhat well but will also lack significantly in other areas. The higher-grade muzzle breaks in your $100-and-up categories will generally perform pretty well in all areas. Out of these “high-grade” devices it can be difficult to find one which performs exceptionally-well across the board and this is what your competitive shooters and people who carrying a duty rifle are looking for. I consider this CruxOrd brake to be sitting right at the top.
Installing the Muzzle Break
I wanted to include a short installation piece to encourage more shooters to take steps towards performing more of their own work, especially when it’s as simple as a muzzle break. I continually meet people who pay gunsmiths what the muzzle device is worth just to install it. There’s a selection of tools that make this process extra easy and I’ll share with you what I used while swapping out breaks like a madman for the past two weeks.
First, you need to properly stabilize the barrel in a vice, and this is not done by clamping down on your upper! I use the Geissele Reaction Rod (pictured on the left) which has integral spines that slot into your barrel extension. The full retail on these is 99 bucks and you’ll soon realize it’s worth every penny. Once the barrel is properly stabilized I’ll use an AR armorers tool such as the HammerHead Rifle Tool (pictured on the right) as a wrench to remove and install muzzle devices.
There will be variations from barrel to barrel for the quality of threading, and if the threads are even a little dirty it can make the installation very tight. On some barrels I can hand thread the device on most of the way and others I’ve got to use a little lubricant and apply a decent amount of torque just to make it down to the crush washer. Just make sure your threads are clean and take it slow. Once you begin crushing the washer, just turn the muzzle device to the next available straight alignment and call it a day.
Before I put the CruxOrd muzzle break on I had to take some photos to really display how awesome the design really is. Other than the large side-porting and 6 bleed holes, you can see it is just as detailed on the inside. The quality of machining for this muzzle break from CruxOrd has given me a new standard.
Year after year, surveys are conducted across the top shooters of 3 Gun competitive matches. Each year the Muzzle Break is listed as the most used of all available muzzle device, and for good reason. They’re the lightest muzzle device, especially compared to suppressor options, and their benefits of decrease muzzle rise and reduced felt recoil are too hard to turn down. With the level of performance like this one, the decision just got easier.
If you have a .223/5.56 platform that you think you may use as a comp gun down the road, or want the highest level of performance for a duty rifle, I would highly recommend this brake. There’s an overwhelming amount of brakes and muzzle devices on the market but the list of quality muzzle brakes is much shorter. As for me, I’m on board and anxiously waiting CruxOrds upcoming release of the 30cal series. Their 5.56 version retails at a moderate $139.95 and has redefined what I consider as a good muzzle break. If the 30cal is anything like it, they’ll be far ahead of the competition.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the CruxOrd Extended Magazine Release via Spotter Up. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.