Gear Review: Ultradyne Apollo Max Muzzle Brake

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Ultradyne is a sleek company that makes some excellent products. They make some of the best AR-15 sights ever designed. I love their sights and have been tooling around with their muzzle devices. Specifically, the Apollo Max in 5.56 and .30 caliber. I have both, but as ammo prices go, I’ve been shooting the 5.56 variant a fair bit more. Like most Ultradyne products, this isn’t a cheap item, and at $129 dollars, it’s a relatively pricey muzzle device.

The Apollo Max in 5.56 is also rated for calibers like .22-250, 224 Valkyrie, .204 Ruger, .218 Bee, and many, many more. Ultradyne produces the device for .308 and 6.5 caliber guns. It’s a fairly big device at 2.94 inches long with an overall diameter of .975 ounces. It’s big, mean, and ready to reduce recoil. The Apollo Max has four ports on either side for recoil reduction and two ports facing upward to reduce muzzle rise.

Four Ports equals a lot of gas redirection (Travis Pike for TTAG)

Ultradyne sent me one via a friend in the industry who was amazed I had never tried one. His recommendation meant a lot, so I was fairly excited to give it a try.

Installing the Apollo Max

I’m embarrassingly bad at properly indexing muzzle devices. I have the tools, the crush washers, and I have patience. For some reason, I still suck at it. Ultradyne’s install method is really easy. It comes with a shrouded timing nut, a collar, and a muzzle device. There is no need for crush washers. You thread the timing nut onto the barrel all the way down, then attach the collar to the muzzle device.

It’s certainly not a small muzzle device (Travis Pike for TTAG)

Thread the muzzle device all the way on and look at where it stops. Then back it off till it’s properly positioned. Indue to timing nut until it’s tight against the Apollo Max. Grab two wrenches and hold the muzzle device in place while you tighten the timing nut down. It’s quick and easy, and Ultradyne has a video to walk you through it if need be.

The Apollo Max isn’t small, but its easy to install (Travis Pike for TTAG)

I choose to install the device on my CZ 600 Trail. It’s a .223 Remington bolt action rifle. Why? Well, your typical AR-15 doesn’t have much recoil, to begin with, and I wanted to really feel what the Apollo Max could do. The CZ 600 Trail doesn’t exactly have a ton of recoil, but it has a little kick to it. The 600’s recoil is certainly more noticeable than an AR or other semi-auto platform.

It seemed like the perfect weapon to test out the Apollo Max, plus a bare threaded barrel needs something attached to it.

At the Range With The Apollo Max

With a box of ammo, a P-MAG, and a head full of dreams, I hit the range with the 600 Trail and Apollo Max. I started in a standing position and let it go! At first shot, there was a significant difference in recoil. I had shot the 600 quite a bit with a bare barrel and was used to the feeling of the little gun when it bucked.

It’s quite loud…as you’d imagine (Travis Pike for TTAG)

With the Apollo Max, the recoil almost completely disappeared. The four ports on each side give a lot of brake to the gun. Ultradyne has a very fancy way of talking about gas redirection, and it seems like it’s a bit more than fancy talk. The dang thing works and works fantastically.

Recoil, schmecoil (Travis Pike for TTAG)

Much like their sights, this is an impressive entry into a crowded market. I kept an eye out for additional muzzle flash, but I never noticed any. In fact, it cut down on muzzle flash when compared to the bare barrel of the CZ 600 Trail. On top of recoil reduction, there was a healthy dip in muzzle rise from the two top-mounted ports.

The two ports at the top help with muzzle rise (Travis Pike for TTAG)

While there was no noticeable muzzle flash, there was a significant increase in noise. It does what brake does and make the thing a good bit louder. There is no effect on accuracy at all, and as a bolt gun, it didn’t exactly affect reliability either.

Blasting Away

Sure, when in the prone, it kicks dirt out to the sides. I imagine if I were a super sniper being sneaky, this would be an issue, but I’m not, and it’s not an issue. The Apollo Max does exactly as advertised and kicks recoil down the road.

Specifications: Apollo Max Muzzle Brake

Length: 2.94 inches
Overall Diameter: .975 Inches
Weight: 5.2 ounces
MSRP: $129.00

Ratings (out of five stars):

Ease Of Use * * * * *
Installation is much simpler than your standard muzzle device. The timing nut is a very nice touch and makes installation and indexing a breeze.

Recoil Reduction * * * * * 
It takes the recoil from a .223 Remington and reduces it to something more like a .22 Magnum or maybe even a rimfire. It’s louder than any rimfire but feels fantastic in action.

Overall * * * * *
The Apollo Max isn’t a cheap muzzle device, but it’s crazy effective and does exactly as promised. It’s not the smallest muzzle device either, so your CQB rifle might get a little longer.

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