What is A Muzzle Brake – Is It Worth Having?

If you are looking for a device to improve your shooting performance, you’ve probably heard about Muzzle Brake. However, it is also an unfamiliar term for beginners who have not heard of it yet. 

No matter who you are, read through the end of our article to explore What is A Muzzle Brake and some advantages and disadvantages of this device before deciding to use them. Jump into it right now!

What is a Muzzle Brake?

The arrowhead-shaped muzzle brake on the Barrett M82 anti-materiel/sniper rifle (image by Chief Master Sgt. Gary Emery)

A muzzle brake, also referred to as a recoil compensator, is a firearm accessory attached at the end of the rifle barrel that redirects the gas propelled and reduces the weapon’s kickback.

In terms of designation, radial and chambered are two popular types of this device. The radial brake comes with a bunch of tiny holes that are drilled along the entire body. These small ports work in tandem and redirect the gas upward or sideways. 

On the other hand, there is a slight change in holes position toward chambered brake models. It has a series of vents on the sides and top that helps the bullet come through and reduces the recoil felt

How about the working process of the muzzle brake device? All muzzle brake models work by the same principle even though they come with different designs. In detail, having holes located around the tops and the barrel’s sides let the gas redirect and escape when the bullet is fired. As a result, the muzzle jump is reduced at the time gas blows upward.

Conversely, if you let the gas to the side, backward recoil is decreased accordingly. Therefore, the pressure on your shoulders and hands is reduced and the firearm stays centered after firing as well.

What Are The Benefits of Using Muzzle Brakes?

There are numerous advantages you could have when shooting with a muzzle brake. As mentioned earlier, recoil felt reduction is the highlighted benefit of adding this device to your firearm. 

In most muzzle brakes, the amount of recoil felt is cut drastically by around 50 percent. If you find it difficult to hold onto the weapon, this feature is a great help for shooters with shoulder injuries.

Reduction of muzzle rise is another plus of putting a muzzle brake on your gun. When a firearm is burnt, there is a backward pressure created to push the gun back and there is an upward pressure appearing at the same time as well.

Firearm muzzle rise (image by Georgewilliamherbert)

That is the reason why a muzzle brake reduces the portion that a gun will rise when fired. This feature lets shooters readjust a weapon’s visibility quickly and your shot will be accurate

Indeed, competition shooters are the major group that benefits from a good break because they need their guns to focus on the target precisely. 

What Are The Disadvantages of Using Muzzle Brakes?

Although a muzzle brake brings plenty of valuable benefits, it is critical to be aware of several downsides before installing them into your guns. 

Pricing must be the top-concerned issue. Unfortunately, it is an expensive device to own, at around $ 300 each. Therefore, some shooters try to use another replacement device instead of a muzzle brake, such as a flash hider.

Noise occurring at the barrel of the gun is also the biggest downside. This is because the muzzle blast goes toward you instead of traveling far away from you. Consequently, your ear will be damaged without ear protections(earmuffs).

Another drawback of the muzzle brake is that your rifle becomes difficult to handle. The manufacturer changed the length of the barrel to more than 3 inches long so that the gun transformed from handy to bulky ones. 

Dust and debris left while shooting with a muzzle brake gun are minor disadvantages you could face. Powder gas comes outwards and sides so the cloud of dust could drop in your face and lead to the limitation of seeing the target. 

Besides, you will need some extra time to clean the tiny hole rifle every time you use brakes. If not cleaned properly, you may have to spend more money to purchase a new one.  

When Should You Consider Adding a Muzzle Brake?

Installing a muzzle brake into your gun brings both benefits and drawbacks, which you may wonder if I should get a muzzle brake for my rifle firearm. The muzzle brake becomes the right device for use when you have experienced one or more following situations. 

First, it should be the best choice for you if you have sore hands and shoulders and are looking at high-caliber bullets. Second, if you are either a competitor or a personal shooter who is looking for a fast follow-up shot weapon, a muzzle brake is a great help.

Last but not least, the heavier the gun, the more recoil it absorbs. A muzzle brake could be the best accessory if you want to fire a large bullet from a light gun. 


After reading our post, you now know clearly about what is a muzzle brake. Indeed, a Muzzle brake is a neat accessory to add to your weapon and works best for different purposes. If you are looking for a precise shooting gun and decrease the amount of force when firing, the muzzle brake should be worth having.

Thank you for your reading, and see you in our next article!

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