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May 30, 2024

How to Pin and Weld a Muzzle Device to the Barrel

A muzzle device is the very last thing you can put on an AR (besides swapping out the barrel and gas system), which makes it very important to get it right. One way to do this is to have a gunsmith pin and weld the device to the barrel. This is done by drilling a hole into the muzzle device and just barely into the barrel, then adding a pin which will be welded over with a TIG welder. This will make the muzzle device impossible to remove and is considered a permanent modification.

Muzzle devices are designed to redirect and control the burst of combustion gases that occur after a bullet leaves the barrel. Most muzzle brakes will incorporate a series of ports, vents, baffles, and other features to do this. Compressing the gases at the exit of the barrel greatly reduces felt recoil and allows for faster follow-up shots. This is why many shooters prefer muzzle brakes, rather than compensators, for their large caliber rifles.

Some gunsmiths will even offer to permanently attach a muzzle device to the barrel for their customers. While this can be a very convenient option, it can also be dangerous if the gunsmith isn’t careful. A poor quality pin and weld can cause the device to be prone to malfunctions. The pin might be inserted too far into the barrel, which can damage the threads. Moreover, the weld might be uneven, which will affect the performance of the firearm.

Moreover, the gunsmith might not be properly prepping the barrel before pinning and welding the muzzle device. This is crucial because the barrel must be free of contamination at TIG temperatures. Additionally, the pin needs to be placed in a way that will not interfere with the chambering of the gun.

Another issue is that the muzzle brake might not be properly timed to the barrel. This is a common problem with both muzzle brakes and compensators. This is because the timing of the ports depends on how much the muzzle brake is compressed, which in turn can be affected by the size of the muzzle device and the barrel threads. Hence, some shooters have to use different sized shims to correctly time the brake to the barrel.

Finally, if the gunsmith doesn’t use a proper method to pin and weld the muzzle device, it might be very difficult to remove the brake later on. In some cases, the pin might be inserted into the wrong part of the muzzle device and it would have to be removed by drilling or milling out the pin but not into the barrel threads. This can be a real pain and might require a lot of extra labor on the part of the gunsmith. Thankfully, there are companies out there that can do this work safely and effectively for a very affordable price.