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How to Reduce Muzzle Climb in the AR-15

One of the most common questions we get about shooting the AR-15 is: How do I reduce the muzzle climb when I shoot?

Muzzle climb refers to the rise of the muzzle due to the combined recoil when multiple shots have been fired.

This is a hot topic among new or inexperienced shooters with the AR, and up front, we want to say the answer is NOT to install some sort of recoil reducing muzzle devise or compensator. 

The attached video was shot using a stock Daniel Defense rifle with a milspec A2 style flash hider. The best and most sure way to reduce and control the recoil of your rifle is body position and grip.

  • Shoulder – buttstock is placed in the middle pocket of your shoulder. The more contact your shoulder has with the stock, the more surface area to disperse the backward force of recoil.
  • Dominant hand – Firm but controllable on the pistol grip, making sure not to apply any lateral pressure to the rifle.
  • Support hand – Firm grip on the for-end of the rifle. Hand placed comfortably as far out on the rifle as your setup will allow. This allows for more control of the weight of the rifle and less muscle tension when firing.


With slight backwards pressure from your support hand, using that maximized contact of the buttstock with your shoulder, your body will disperse the recoil force into the body and reduce the amount of muzzle climb.


To get more hands-on training on the AR platform, learn more about the America's Rifle Challenge training program, and register for a ARC near you.

NOTE: Always follow the NRA Rules for Gun Safety and be sure to abide by your range’s rules.

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