View Full Version : Loose Muzzle Brake

January 15, 2009, 16:37
I have a very nice Pacific Armaments Corp FAL (M444 Sporter) with Gear Logo receiver that has a muzzle brake which is SLIGHTLY loose. There is miniscule movement side to side, not front to back. It is apparently blind-pinned because I cannot see any obvious attachment mechanism and it won't unscrew. It has no flats for applying a wrench. Am I right in assuming that this will not affect accuracy and is not a concern? I am not going to destroy the barrel trying to find and remove the pin.



January 15, 2009, 18:32
That sounds like one of the Hesse brakes.
Very bad rep here as a recoil INTENSIFIER.:biggrin:
If it is blind pinned, then the issue is HOW it was done.
Century just drilled from the bottom of their brake in to the barrel, installed the pin and welded over it.
Somebody here must have removed one of the IAI versions like yours.
The brake is a U.S. compliance part. You'll need to replace it with a U.S. made muzzle device, or replace something else foreign on the rifle with a U.S. made compliance part.

January 15, 2009, 19:58
I am aware of the bad brake issue and checked it out. I do not believe that this brake is one of those that caused "cheek slap" as described in an online review of the M444. As you know, this rifle was not touched by anyone at Century. It is marked IAI, PAC, and Liberty Armory, Liberty, TX. The brake has no flats but has four rows of three hole each, canted forward.


January 16, 2009, 02:03
Leave the brake as is or remove it.
It is a U.S. compliance part which means another U.S. version or another compliance part is needed.
I would use a Dremel and cut the brake lengthwise on two opposite sides and then use a chisel to carefully split it. You don't want to damage the muzzle threads. The pin, or what's left of it, will come out at some point.

January 16, 2009, 10:11

The pictured brake is similar to mine but mine is more slender. Back when I bought my rifle and learned of the issue, I researched the matter and concluded that my brake was not Hesse or at least not the brake which caused problems with the first version of the M444. I cannot retrace those research steps but I never noticed any cheek slap when I fired the gun. I will probably leave the brake as is because I don't want to harm this beautifully built and finished rifle.

I have trouble posting photos on this site, but you can see my two FALs at




January 16, 2009, 10:21
Is this gun a shooter or a safe queen?

I say destroy the brake.

Install a new one via the threads as the rifle was designed.

Its a worthy project.

January 16, 2009, 10:38
The shooter versus safe queen distinction doesn't apply to my guns. I shoot all of them but I also keep all of them in soft cases safe from scratches and wear. The M444 is like new with hardly a mark. I am also a purist and hate to change firearms unless absolutely necessary to get them to work. Moreover, I have no money to have the FAL refinished and no desire to attempt it myself.

The online review of the M444 states that the bad brake had only two rows of holes, so mine is different. It is also stated that the brake is TIG welded, if that has any relevance. I am still assuming that the slight looseness of the brake has no effect on accuracy or overall funtionality. I admit that this looseness annoys me a bit but probably not enough for me to do anything about it.



January 16, 2009, 12:09
Back in the good ole' days when brakes, pinned or silversoldered on were required by law, I assembled a rifle and silver soldered the brake on.

After a few years and ~1K rounds, it became loose much as you describe. By the time I got around to doing something the law had changed. Upon reheating to remove the silver solder (remember I knew for sure that there was no hidden pin) I found that I had done a very poor silver soldering job, leaving a bunch of gaps etc.

A quick thread cleaning with the proper die, and I threaded a muzzle break on and have never looked back.

Moral: Murphy is alive and still residing in my shop.
Moral 2: Proper silver soldering requires lots of care, and clean metal.