What Does A Muzzle Brake Do? All You Need To Know About Recoil

Guns are a standard weapon for some people. And why do you think that is? For self-defense, naturally. And some people use them for other purposes. But it doesn’t matter what the purpose of your gun is, firing it is not an easy task.

In fact, it’s even more difficult for beginners. After firing a gun, you experience something known as recoil. This is nothing but the gun’s backward momentum response to the bullet leaving the gun. And many of us are unable to handle that recoil. And this is the part where a muzzle brake can do wonders. So what does a muzzle brake do? Let’s find out!

Muzzle brake: What is it?


Also known as a recoil compensator, a muzzle brake is a simple device joined to the gun’s muzzle that helps in reducing the impact of recoil. Recoil is the backward momentum of the gun when a bullet is fired. It causes the release of propellant gases and raises the gun’s barrel when the shot is fired.

A barrel muzzle brake was invented to minimize the recoil stroke area on anti-tank guns and for other artillery purposes. It is a device that is quite popularly used on pistols and rifles for various practical competitions.

Flash Hider VS Muzzle Brake​

What does a muzzle brake do?

Lowers recoil

Rifles and pistols generate recoil, right? To mitigate and get rid of this recoil, you need a muzzle brake. So if you want to know a muzzle brake do on a gun, you’re in the right place. When you fire a shot, the barrel muzzle brake redirects the gunpowder gases and other particles. It harnesses them to alter the acceleration and movement of the firearm.

So what does a muzzle brake do to redirect these gases? You should know that the barrel muzzle brake is built with baffles that form an expansion chamber. And this expansion chamber has holes drilled into it that contribute to bleeding the gas off. And it does so at various angles to the barrel’s axis.

The gases generate maximum force before, after, and during the process of the shot being fired. And this inevitably results in adequate muzzle redirection.


Credit: precisionrifleblog.com

When you take a closer look at the barrel muzzle brake’s internal guts and interface, you’ll notice that just as soon as the bullet leaves the rifled area and crown, it gets in the slightly large tunnel directly through the muzzle brake. And this oversized shaft gives the weapon enough room in the passage to exit freely.

It also helps in preventing the shot from touching the inner part because if it does, then your shot becomes inaccurate and is completely thrown off.

​Recoil Muzzle Brake 270 do They Work ?

So if you want to know a muzzle brake do from the very beginning till the shot is fired, then you should be aware of this. Just as soon as the gun is triggered, all the gases tend to boil into the brake immediately when the base of the bullet leaves the barrel.

What happens in such a scenario is that it expands pretty forcefully and travels at a great speed. This speed is several times the projectile’s speed itself. It powerfully moves ahead around the bullet’s sides, growing in the expansion chambers. Following which, it redirects out from the sides of the barrel muzzle brake.

Jet Holes


When it comes to jet holes in a muzzle brake, you should know that they play a huge role in influencing the restraint, recoil, and the movement of the muzzle. Piercing at a 90-degree angle hole on the brake’s surface tends to apply the exiting gas’s force differently than the holes drilled at a slightly forward angle.

And when you drill holes around the muzzle brake with equal spacing, the force applied will only lower recoil and will not help in eliminating the movement of the muzzle.

Muzzle Jump

What is muzzle jump? It is the movement of the muzzle. To reduce muzzle jump, the barrel muzzle brake is equipped with drilled holes at the sides as well as the top. And to neutralize the impact of the muzzle jump’s spin direction, the holes should back one side or another. This direction of the rifle influences the direction of the recoil.

To increase the effectiveness of your barrel muzzle brake, you will need to make use of a crescent wrench. This will help in slightly turning the muzzle brake until you achieve the right mark. The barrels used today are supplied with a rifling twist of the right hand. This way, it falls slightly at the right side of the top center.

Advantages of Muzzle Brake

The barrel muzzle brake has the ability to reduce recoil by at least 50 percent. And cutting the recoil by half helps in making your gun more accurate and much stable. Many rifles produce powerful recoil. And maximum recoil tends to alter the accuracy of the weapon. A gun renders unshootable without the barrel muzzle brake.

Muzzle brakes are highly beneficial for varmint shooters. Since varmint shooters use heavy firearms with low recoil, they need a barrel muzzle brake. It helps them in quickly locating the splash of the bullet.

And a muzzle brake makes it possible for them to do so if the gun recoils greatly. In fact, using a barrel muzzle brake on guns with a light barrel can help you achieve more accurate shots.

​What are the Benefits of a Muzzle Brake?… Do You Really Need the Upgrade?

Disadvantages of Muzzle Brake

There are two main disadvantages of using muzzle brakes:

The Length of the Muzzle Brake

You should know that a barrel muzzle brake adds some additional length to the barrel of the rifle. And some shooters don’t like this particular characteristic as it causes lots of discomforts.


The Noise of the Muzzle Brake

The job of a barrel muzzle brake is to redirect the effect of the blast towards your direction instead of the opposite direction. So this answers your question, why are muzzle brakes loud? The sound of a muzzle brake is a tad too unbearable and unpleasant.

It is so high that it can make you deaf pretty quickly. So the best way to deal with this is to cover your ears with some hearing protection.

The final note

So now you know what is the point of a muzzle brake, right? A barrel muzzle brake is ideal for pistols and rifles. It contributes to improving weapon stability, accuracy, and recoil reduction when the shot is fired. Since you finally know what does a muzzle brake do, it’s time to test it out, don’t you think?

I hope you enjoyed reading the article. Have you ever used a muzzle brake? And what do you use it for? Please let me know in the comments section below.

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