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  4. Best Linear Compensators [2023]: Top Barrel Cap Options
Best Linear Compensators [2023]: Top Barrel Cap Options preview image
Dec 08 2023
13 min read

Best Linear Compensators [2023]: Top Barrel Cap Options

Ultradyne Athena Linear CompensatorBest Overall – Ultradyne Athena Linear Compensator
TacFire Kurled Linear CompensatorBest Value – TacFire Knurled Linear Compensator
KVP Linear CompensatorHonorable Mention – KVP Linear Comp
Troy Claymore Linear CompensatorBest Linear Compensator for AR Pistol – Troy Claymore Linear Compensator
V Seven Helios Linear CompBest Linear Compensator for SBR – V Seven Helios Linear Comp


For gun enthusiasts and professionals alike, reducing recoil and muzzle rise is a crucial aspect of improving accuracy and handling.

If you’re looking for a way to reduce recoil and muzzle rise for better accuracy and handling, you’re in the right place. Finding the best linear compensator is the answer!

These handy devices redirect gas and reduce recoil, so you can take faster and more accurate follow-up shots. With so many options out there, it can be hard to figure out which linear compensator to go for.

But don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. We’ve done the research and put together a list of the best linear compensators available on the market. We’ve got a variety of options to suit different preferences and needs.

From the best all-rounder to the best budget option, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re looking for a linear compensator for your AR pistol, SBR, or rifle, we’ve got it all. So read on to discover our top picks and find the perfect linear compensator to enhance your shooting experience.

Best Linear Compensators & Recommendations

Best Overall – Ultradyne Athena Linear Compensator

Ultradyne Athena Linear Compensator


Caliber.223/5.56, .308/7.62, .350 Legend (1/2×28), and .350 Legend (5/8×24) models
Material416 Stainless Steel
Weight4.7 ounces
Length1.69 inches

*Weight and length based on .223 model and vary based on caliber

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent recoil reduction and muzzle control
  • Durable construction with a corrosion-resistant finish
  • Low-profile design that looks great on any firearm
  • Easy to install and use
  • Made in the USA
  • A bit more expensive than most of our other recommendations
  • May add some weight to the front of your firearm
  • May require additional tuning to optimize performance

The Ultradyne Athena Linear Compensator is the top pick for the best overall linear compensator on the market. It’s easy to see why once you take a closer look at its features.

The Athena is made from durable steel, with a tough black nitride finish that makes it resistant to wear and tear. The design is sleek and unobtrusive, with a simple and effective design that makes it easy to install and use.

The Athena features a dual-chamber design that directs gas away from the shooter and reduces the amount of felt recoil. This means you can take more accurate and faster follow-up shots, which is especially important for competitive shooting or self-defense situations.

Another great thing about the Ultradyne Athena is its compatibility with a range of barrel threads. It fits standard 1/2×28 TPI threads, making it easy to install on a variety of different firearms. Additionally, the Athena is user-tunable, meaning you can customize its performance to your liking with adjustable tuning screws.

Best Value – TacFire Knurled Linear Compensator

TacFire Kurled Linear Compensator


Caliber5.56, .308, 9mm, and 7.62×39 models
Weight5.7 ounces
Length2.25 inches

*Weight and length based on 5.56 model and vary based on caliber

Pros & Cons

  • Affordable price point
  • Sleek and compact design
  • Knurled surface makes attaching and detaching easier
  • Available in several calibers
  • Not as effective as larger options
  • Finish can show wear over time
  • Some shooters report accuracy issues

If you’re looking for a linear compensator that works for almost any budget, the TacFire Knurled Linear Compensator is an excellent option. It’s one of the most affordable options on the market, making it a great choice for those on a budget. However, just because it’s inexpensive doesn’t mean it lacks quality or performance.

The TacFire Knurled Linear Compensator is made from high-quality aluminum, which ensures that it’s durable and able to withstand the rigors of heavy use.

One of the standout features of the TacFire Knurled Linear Compensator is its unique design. The “knurled” texture on the exterior not only lends this compensator a unique look but also provides a better grip for easier installation and removal. Additionally, the compact size of the compensator makes it a great option for those looking to keep their firearm as lightweight and streamlined as possible.

While the TacFire Knurled Linear Compensator may not have all the bells and whistles of some of the more expensive models, it’s an excellent value for the price. It’s a reliable and effective option that won’t break the bank.

Honorable Mention – KVP Linear Comp

KVP Linear Compensator


Caliber.223/5.56, 6.5mm/.30 Cal, 9mm (1/2×28), 9mm (1/2×36), .45 ACP/.40 Cal/10mm (5/8×24), .45 ACP (.578×24), .458 SOCOM,  .450 Bushmaster, and .40 S&W models
MaterialCarbon steel
Weight2.9 oz
Length2 1/16 Inches
FinishMelonite QPQ

Pros & Cons

  • Available in a variety of models for tons of calibers
  • Highly durable
  • Suitable for a variety of applications
  • Very effective at perceived sound reduction
  • Crush washer not needed for installation
  • Relatively costly compared to some other linear compensators
  • May be prone to picking up dust and debris
  • Installation can be tricky

I’ll be honest: It was a close contest for our overall top pick between the Kaw Valley Precision (KVP) Linear Compensator, and the Ultradyne Athena Linear Compensator is our honorable mention for the best linear compensator.

Both are highly effective, and I like that the KVP is available in so many different models, but ultimately the Ultradyne won out because of its lower price and shorter length.

One key feature of the KVP Linear Comp is its lightweight construction; while the Athena is shorter, the KVP is significantly lighter, by almost 2 ounces.

This makes it easy to install and use. It’s also highly durable, with a high-strength steel construction and black nitride finish that can withstand heavy use and abuse without showing signs of wear and tear. This makes it an ideal choice for competition shooters and anyone who puts their firearms through rigorous use.

It’s also designed to minimize the amount of dust and debris kicked up by the muzzle blast, which can be especially useful for shooters who need to maintain a clear line of sight while firing.

Best Linear Compensator for AR Pistol – Troy Claymore Linear Compensator

Troy Claymore Linear Compensator


Caliber5.56, 7.62, 9mm
MaterialStainless steel
Weight2.5 ounces
Length3.25 inches
FinishBlack oxide

*Weight and length based on 5.56 model and vary based on caliber

Pros & Cons

  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Easy to install
  • Distinctive appearance may appeal to some shooters
  • Comes with a limited lifetime warranty
  • Made in the USA
  • Limited caliber options
  • Quite large in both length and weight
  • Can create significant muzzle blast and a large dust signature
  • Not as effective a recoil reduction as some of our other recommendations

If you’re in the market for a linear compensator for your AR pistol, the Troy Claymore Linear Compensator is a great option to consider. This compensator features a unique design that directs the gases forward, reducing recoil and muzzle rise.

It is also specifically designed for use with short-barreled rifles and AR pistols, making it a great choice if you’re looking to enhance the performance of your AR pistol.

Additionally, the Troy Claymore Linear Compensator is made from stainless steel and features a durable black nitride finish, ensuring it will hold up well over time, even with frequent use.

However, it is quite large in both length and weight relative to other compensators, which is why it’s best reserved for AR pistols. With a shorter barrel, there’s more room for adding to the overall length of the firearm, and Troy Claymore Linear Compensator won’t impact the balance of a shorter gun as much either. On the other hand, the larger size allows this linear compensator to be even more effective.

Best Linear Compensator for SBR – V Seven Helios Linear Comp

V Seven Helios Linear Comp


Caliber5.56, 9mm, universal up to .338” (5/8×24), and .458 SOCOM models
MaterialGrade 5 titanium
Weight2.8 ounces
Length2.75 inches
FinishRaw or DLC black

Pros & Cons

  • Made from high-quality Grade 5 titanium to balance durability and weight
  • Highly effective for noise, blast, and flash reduction
  • Very little play on most barrels
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Made in the USA
  • Fairly costly compared to other linear compensators
  • Raw titanium finish can show wear over time
  • Some shooters report an increase in back pressure

The V Seven Helios Linear Comp is an excellent option if you’re looking for a linear compensator for your short-barrel rifle. While it can be used with any length barrel, this compensator is designed specifically with CQB weapons in mind, and that shows in every aspect of its design.

At 2.75 inches long, the Helios isn’t the longest compensator on our list, but it is on the longer side, which helps with sound suppression. It’s also not too wide, with a 1.25 diameter that puts it well within the width of most rails, so it shouldn’t interfere with your sights or other railed accessories.

Furthermore, thanks to the high-quality titanium construction, the Helios is also extremely durable yet still incredibly lightweight, so it won’t interfere with the balance of your SBR. It’s available in a raw titanium finish, but you can also get it with a DLC black finish for even more durability. It even comes with a lifetime warranty.

How We Chose Our Top Picks

There are a whole lot of linear compensators out there, so to narrow them all down to the best of the best, we looked at several different factors, including durability, weight, length, compatibility, and, of course, effectiveness.

We also took into consideration not just our own first-hand experiences with these and other linear compensators but also reviews from other professionals. We also read through hundreds of customer reviews so we could take into account the opinions of as many real gun enthusiasts who have purchased and used these products as possible.

Now let’s talk about how to make sure that you choose the right linear compensator for your individual needs.

Buyer’s Guide

When shopping for a linear compensator, there are several factors to consider to ensure that you are making the best choice for your firearm and your shooting needs. Here are some key factors to consider when choosing a linear compensator:


linear compensator

The primary reason for adding a linear compensator to your firearm is to reduce recoil and muzzle rise, allowing for faster follow-up shots and improved accuracy. If your linear compensator doesn’t do that, it’s just added weight for looks.

And don’t forget to consider where you’ll be using the linear compensator, as this impacts how effective you need your compensator to be at different things. Shooting indoors or in confined spaces may require a compensator with a higher level of sound reduction, while shooting outdoors may require a compensator with a stronger blast control to handle wind and other environmental factors.


One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a linear compensator is compatibility. Make sure that the compensator you choose is compatible with your rifle and barrel. Generally, compensators attach by muzzle threads, so you need to ensure that your gun’s barrel is threaded.

If it’s not, you’ll need to get a gunsmith to add the proper threads to the existing barrel, or you’ll need to swap out the barrel for a threaded one.

Some compensators are designed specifically for certain types of rifles or barrel lengths, so make sure to check the manufacturer’s specifications before making a purchase.

Ease of Installation

Look for a compensator that is easy to install and does not require any specialized tools or knowledge.

Ideally, you should be able to install it yourself without any difficulty or need for professional assistance. Fortunately, most compensators just screw onto threaded muzzles, so it’s not complicated.

Weight & Size

Consider the weight of the compensator and how it will affect the balance and handling of your firearm. A heavy compensator may be more effective at reducing recoil but could make your rifle more difficult to handle. Conversely, a lightweight compensator may be easier to handle but may not be as effective at reducing recoil.

On a related note, linear compensators come in different lengths, which correspond to different needs. A longer compensator will offer greater reduction of felt recoil and muzzle rise, but it may also increase the weight and overall length of your rifle. On the other hand, a shorter compensator will be more compact and lightweight but may not be as effective at reducing recoil.


Most compensators are made from steel or aluminum, but some are made from more lightweight materials like titanium. Steel and aluminum are the most common materials used in compensator construction. Steel is typically heavier and more durable, while aluminum is lighter and easier to work with. Titanium is a more lightweight and expensive option that is also highly durable and effective.


Linear compensators can range in price from budget-friendly to high-end. Some cost as little as around $30, while others can cost hundreds of dollars.

Consider your budget and how much you are willing to spend on a compensator. More expensive compensators generally are made from higher-quality materials and have more advanced features.

However, a higher price does not necessarily guarantee better performance, so don’t assume that just because a compensator is expensive, it’s a good choice. Do your research and choose the best option within your budget.


While not the most important factor, the look of the compensator may be important to some shooters. Consider the design and finish of the compensator and how it will look on your firearm.


There’s a huger variety of types of linear compensators available, including vented, ported, and non-ported designs. Vented and ported compensators use small holes or vents to redirect gases and reduce recoil, while non-ported compensators use a series of baffles to redirect gases. Some compensators are designed to direct gases forward, while others are designed to reduce recoil or muzzle rise.

Each design has its own advantages and disadvantages, so consider which one will work best for your shooting needs.


Like any other rifle accessory, linear compensators require proper maintenance to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Regular cleaning and inspection will help keep your compensator in good working condition.

Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and maintenance to avoid damaging the compensator.


Do compensators make guns louder?

Linear compensators can actually reduce the sound level of your firearm. This is because they redirect muzzle blast, reducing the noise that reaches the shooter’s ears. Don’t skip out on ear protection, though. While compensators reduce noise, they don’t reduce it to save levels for bare ears.

Is a muzzle brake the same as a linear compensator?

While both muzzle brakes and linear compensators are designed to reduce recoil and muzzle rise, they work in different ways. Muzzle brakes redirect the gases that escape from the muzzle of the firearm, while linear compensators direct the gases forward in a straight line to reduce recoil and muzzle rise.

Do linear comps reduce recoil?

Yes, linear compensators are designed to reduce recoil and muzzle rise. By directing the gases forward in a straight line, they help counteract the upward movement of the firearm that occurs when a round is fired. This can make shooting more comfortable and improve accuracy.


A linear compensator can be an excellent investment for those looking to improve the performance of their firearm. Our top picks for the best linear compensators offer excellent recoil reduction and muzzle control, along with durable construction and easy installation.

Whether you’re looking for the best overall performance, the best value for money, or a specialized model for your AR pistol or SBR, there is a linear compensator on this list that will fit your needs. Remember to consider compatibility, material and construction, recoil reduction and muzzle control, ease of installation, and price when choosing the best linear compensator for your firearm.

Now we want to hear from you! Let us know what you think and share your own favorite linear compensators in the comments below!

Written by Megan Kriss
Megan Kriss photo Megan has been an avid recreational shooter since she was a young child and she's thrilled to have the opportunity to combine this love with her passion for writing. Megan Kriss is a seasoned writer and firearms enthusiast with contributions to a variety of publications, including Pew Pew Tactical, American Firearms, A Well-Armed Woman, Recoil, and Faxon Firearms. In addition to firearms, Megan also enjoys writing about pets, outdoor recreation, and other lifestyle topics. When she's not busy writing, Megan enjoys tabletop games, reading, and being outdoors. She shares her Georgia home with her partner, dog, and two cats.


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