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The Best Muzzle Crown for Accuracy | What You Need to Know

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An 11-degree muzzle crown is the most accurate option for range shooters. The angle provides just enough room for a bullet to leave the barrel with an even amount of force. However, you need to be extra careful, as it requires more care than other types of crowns.

This article explores the top three muzzle crowns to help you decide what’s best for your needs. I’ll also touch on the benefits and drawbacks of each option.

What Is a Muzzle Crown and Why Is It Important for Accuracy?

A muzzle crown is the very end of the barrel where the bullet exits. It makes sure the round leaves the barrel with even pressure. The slightest unevenness in force can cause the shot to veer off course.

Here’s the thing: All muzzle crowns are not created equal. Some are more accurate than others. Yet that doesn’t mean the most precise muzzle crown will work for your situation.

For example, a precision shooter may want something different from what a soldier would prefer. Most people aren’t as careful in battle and might not take the time to clean their weapons as often. For this reason, a soldier might want a recessed muzzle crown to help protect it from damage if the user bashes it on a hard surface.

Is a recessed muzzle the most accurate crown out there? No. But it’s more durable, and that’s what counts in a war or training situation.

Rifle barrel muzzle on a white background

The Three Most Common Types of Muzzle Crowns

There are three types of muzzle crowns: target, recessed, and hybrid. All options have benefits, drawbacks, and use cases. The best choice for you depends on you’re intended use of the firearm.

Let’s take a closer look:

Target Crowns

A target crown is the most common type of muzzle crown because it provides a stable platform for the bullet to leave the barrel. The result is consistent accuracy.

The 11-degree muzzle crown is the best option in the target crown family. It’s proven to be the most accurate by competitive shooters, but you can also find other variations available.

The downside to a target crown is that it’s delicate. The slightest damage can cause inaccuracy, which is why it’s not used in battle. It’s for range shooters who can take the time to be careful with their weapons.

You might also see target crowns with rounded edges. However, this doesn’t necessarily improve accuracy – it’s more for looks.

11 degree target crown on service rifle match barrel
11 degree target crown on service rifle match barrel

Recessed Crowns

A recessed crown isn’t as accurate as a target crown. But, it’s more durable. That’s because the edges of the muzzle are set back from the edge of the barrel. This helps protect the crown from damage when cleaning the bore.

I have seen recessed crowns with different angles. The most common are 45-degree and 90-degree. However, I haven’t seen objective evidence that one is more accurate than the other. Still, you get a damage-proof crown with either option.

In case you’re wondering, a recessed crown won’t hurt the resale value of your gun and has never been an issue. Anybody with the right tools can easily convert a recessed crown to an 11-degree crown.

Hybrid Crowns

A hybrid crown is a combination of a target and a recessed crown. The accuracy isn’t as good as a pure 11-degree crown, but it’s more durable than a standard target crown.

The most common hybrid crown has an 11-degree angle with a small recess at the edge. This gives you some added protection without sacrificing too much accuracy.

Which Muzzle Crown Is Best for You?

An accurate 11-degree target muzzle crown is best for range shooters. In contrast, a recessed crown is likely a better option for milliary and law enforcement because, while not as accurate, it’s more durable. Ultimately, the best muzzle for you depends on your needs. 

You can also get a hybrid muzzle crown if you want the best of both worlds. These have an 11-degree angle with a small recess at the edge. This gives you some added protection without sacrificing too much accuracy. It’s excellent for self-defense shooters.

I use my target crown for range work, and I have a recessed crown on my Glock for concealed carry. This combination gives me the accuracy and durability that I need. I’ve also seen people with hybrid crowns on their competition guns. So, it’s really up to you and what you need from your firearm.

How To Take Care of Your Muzzle Crown

Taking care of your muzzle crown starts with proper cleaning. You also want to be careful when handling your firearm because the crown is the most delicate part of the barrel. Luckily, re-crowning isn’t that difficult, yet it’s an avoidable added expense by taking care of your gun.

When cleaning your firearm, be careful not to damage the crown. I like to use a bore guide to prevent the rod from touching the crown when cleaning my barrels. A toothbrush also works well to get into the small crevices of the hybrid crown.

You also want to use quality cleaning solutions to help remove all the grime and carbon buildup without harming the metal. I like using copper solvent and bore cleaner on my muzzle crowns, but many quality cleaners are on the market.

Taking care of your muzzle crown is crucial for accuracy. However, it’s also vital for the resale value of your firearm. Cutting your barrel decreases the resale value of your gun, so it’s essential to take care of your crown.

How To Tell if a Muzzle Crown Is Damaged?

The easiest way to tell if a muzzle crown is damaged is to look closely at it. If you see any nicks or dents, the crown is damaged. You also want to check for cracks. These can be hard to see with the naked eye but will show up under magnification.

I like to use a 10x magnifying glass to inspect my muzzle crowns. It exposes any nicks or dents that I might have missed. If you don’t have a magnifying glass, use the camera on your phone.

You also want to check the inside of the barrel. If the crown is damaged, you’ll see rifling marks on the inside of the barrel. These are also hard to see unless magnified.

If you see any damage to the muzzle crown, you need to fix it, be it by a gunsmith or yourself (if you have the tools and experience). Replacing the crown isn’t that difficult, but it’s an added expense that you can avoid by taking care of your firearm.

Is It Safe to Recrown at Home?

It is safe to recrown a barrel at home, yet it’s not a task for most people. While DIY friendly, recrowning at home requires special tools and equipment to do it right. You risk damaging your gun if you get this wrong.

I have seen people damage expensive firearms by putting the muzzle at a slight angle and having trouble lining it up, while others messed up the grinding part. For these reasons, I recommend taking your firearm to a gunsmith.

Gunsmith holding a barrel
Some work needs to be done by a pro

Final Thoughts

The muzzle crown ensures accuracy and thus is an essential part of the barrel. It’s important to take care of it, including proper cleaning and inspection, and be careful when handling your firearm.

I also recommend taking your firearm to a gunsmith if you think the muzzle crown is damaged because trying to fix it yourself can result in further damage.

For more, check out Bullet Grain Chart By Caliber.

11 degree target crown photo courtesy of mr.smashy on flickr.com

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