Maximum Ordinate Precision MK1 Review
By: Echo Foxtrot
Photo Credits: TracerX Photography
The market is full of Muzzle Brakes, Compensators, Flash Suppressors and even Hybrids. It seems like every time you turn around there is another hitting the market, the new “must buy” item of the week. How do you sort it out? How do you choose? How often do you need to change? On and on it can go with no end in sight. I’m here to help. Thanks to the guys at Black Sheep Warrior I recently had the opportunity to test out the Maximum Ordinate MK1 muzzle brake. Before we get into the specifics of that product lets clarify the differences between muzzle accessories:
Muzzle Brake – A muzzle brake directs gases to drive the weapon forward (or at least not back) to help counteract the recoil back into the shooter. The unfortunate side effects of most muzzle breaks are increased sound levels and concussion forces generated during firing.
Compensator – A compensator vents some of the escaping gases upward, reducing muzzle climb. This allows the shooter to easily and quickly reacquire the target and send follow-up shots down range.
Flash Suppressor – Also referred to as a Flash Hider or even Flash Guard the device is used to reduce (not hide) the muzzle flash. It splits the large flame exiting the end of the rifle into several smaller dimmer flashes diminishing the blinding effects of night firing.
Hybrid – Is a device that offers reductions in flash signature, recoil and muzzle rise. Hybrid can also be used to describe a device that meets two of the three listed.
While the MK1 is referred to as a Brake you can see by the photos that it is designed with three ports on top allowing it to act as a compensator and four slits on each side acting as the brake portion. You will find that many devices on the market use this two-part hybrid style.
Nick and Mike started Maximum Ordinate Precision after leaving the United States Army where they both were infantry NCOs. Both worked on the retail side of the firearms industry and noticed what people had to spend to get decent quality parts. They also however saw some of those parts getting returned for factory service. The two decided to go into business and so it started. In the beginning the two acted as dealers for various parts, optics, accessories and gunsmiths on M1As and precision bolt guns. About a year ago they made the jump from retail to manufacturing.
When I asked Nick why people should be seeking out Maximum Ordinate he told me “quality.” No surprise there right? Then he told me something that gets to the heart of standing out among so many others. “We machine our products to incredibly tight tolerances, closer in fact than most precision rifle manufacturers. We will never stop at simply good enough, our products are in a constant state of evolution and we aren’t afraid to make changes as new technology emerges. Another important facet of doing business with us is that I personally answer 100% of our phone calls, I take all of our orders and I inspect every product before it ships with a 15-point inspection. I stand behind every product I sell, and I won’t sell anything that I won’t put on the rifle that is there to protect my wife and child.” Nick added that the biggest goal at Maximum Ordinate is for no one to ever have to use the warranty; they want to make the highest quality parts and make it easy for people to get them.
Nestled in cozy Northeastern Washington state, Maximum Ordinate uses only local American made products and services. Starting with steel from Spokane County, everything is machined in house and sent back to Spokane for Cerakote or Duracoat by Renegade Resistance.
Made of 416R Stainless steel measuring in at 2 ½” long x 1 ¼” wide and weighing 6.55oz. The 5.56 version sells for $119 in matte stainless. Cerakoted in black, tan, burnt bronze or grey they are $129. The .30 caliber brakes are $129 for matte stainless. Cerakoted in black, tan, burnt bronze or grey they are $139. Available at http://www.maximumordinate.com.
Ok, ok, let’s get it out of the way, it’s bigger than most. At 6.55 oz, that’s a difference of approximately 4 oz more than some other brakes. To put that into perspective that’s ten .223 rounds. However, even given its size , as it sat in my house the simple but almost artistic lines of the brake struck me. My fear was that when I mounted it to my gun it would look overbearing and those beautiful lines would be lost. I was wrong; the brake blended well with my rifle and made a solid statement.
This is where the MK1 showed its true worth. The rifle I mounted the brake to has a BCM 16” cold hammered forged barrel with a 12” Centurion Arms C4 handguard. As you can see I don’t have this rifle set up to be super lightweight. Before mounting the MK1 I shot with two others just minutes prior to get a true feel for the MK1. The first thing I noticed was the lack of noticing. Whaaat? I couldn’t feel the brake on the end at all. You all may not know this but photographers are notorious for making you pose for long periods of time so, trust me I can say with authority, I didn’t notice a difference from the lighter versions.
When shooting the brake the three ports on top worked wonderfully at venting the gases up and counterbalancing the natural muzzle rise without pushing down so much that the barrel dips every time creating an equal but opposite problem as rise. The elimination of muzzle climb was perfect even in a rapid-fire mode. The reduction in felt recoil was equally as impressive. The weapon stayed pointed where I wanted it and my body stayed in the position I wanted it in. The extra weight of the brake, virtually unnoticeable once mounted, only helped keep the muzzle in place and level. *
A concern with many brakes is the concussion forces they tend to produce. Or to put it another way, being that guy on the line no one wants to stand beside. The MK1 performed superbly in this category. The bystander concussion was lower to middle of the pack for like devices leaving the door open for making more friends than enemies at the range. *
Speaking of friends, it’s a brake, it’s loud and it’s going to be loud. Having said that it was not as loud as I thought it would be. I have heard many other devices that top the MK1 in noise production. *
Flash from the MK1 was divided up well and to the sides creating a decently low flash signature.
* See the videos from
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I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t mention the size of the MK1 here. It is large and weighs more then double most breaks. It’s a lot of stainless; it’s going weigh more. I believe that it’s not so much that the MK1 needs to be made smaller cause I liked it on my gun but maybe a smaller alternative, giving us options.
Another area of concern would be price. At $119 to $129 for the 5.56 models and $129 to $139 for the .30 caliber models it sits high on the list of muzzle break prices. Up with the top names in the business, coincidence? Nope. Deserving? I think so. It may be a critique of mine but that is from the common, everyday user perspective. Having a product on the market with tight tolerances, great manufacturing standards and amazing owners is rare air and is applauded. Again I go back to the proposed alternative brake; maybe it will be smaller and a little less expensive.
***Spoiler alert*** Maximum Ordinate is working on a non-reciprocating side charging AR upper that will allow the use of a completely unmodified BCG. In addition to the upper keep your eye out later this year for the RONIN series lower. Looks like it will have QD sling sockets, upper tensioning screw, ambidextrous bolt and magazine release, flared magazine well, integral trigger guard, a full auto cut out, screws instead of pins (except the trigger) and all that at a reasonable price. Guess who has dibs on that review? This guy.
The MK1 is a solid, handsome product that puts its money where its mouth is by giving the user exactly what it promises: a smooth balanced shot with the shooter ready to put more down range in no time. Amazing craftsmanship with great manufacturing and people to mach. If you’re hung up on just the size of the MK1 give it a try, you wont be disappointed. Will everyone be able to afford this model, no. For those who can or want to spend a little extra and get what you pay for and then some, this maybe what you’re looking for. The MK1 may be the start of the manufacturing endeavor for Maximum Ordinate but it wont be their last. Someone came to play awhile.
Please visit Maximum Ordinate Precision:
Online at http://www.maximumordinate.com
Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/maxordprecision