There are tons of rifle barrel attachments that can theoretically improve your accuracy and make your shooting experience more enjoyable all around. Today, let’s break down muzzle brakes – some of the most common rifle attachments on the market – so what exactly what does a muzzle brake do?
What Does A Muzzle Brake Do and More
What Is a Muzzle Brake?
Simply put, a muzzle brake is a type of weapon attachment added to most types of rifles. You can screw or otherwise install muzzle brakes to the barrel of your favorite weapon and benefit from its effects.
Muzzle brakes are tubular attachments that feature small holes or cutouts along its length in a specific pattern. The holes will appear to light up when you pull the trigger on your weapon.
Muzzle brakes look pretty close to flash suppressors, although they perform very different functions.
How Does a Muzzle Brake Help?
In a nutshell, a muzzle brake is supposed to help you control recoil by mitigating how much your barrel rises or moves from side to side.
Different muzzle brakes are better for different types of recoil control and, therefore, different types of firearms.
Let’s break it down.
When you fire a rifle, the burning powder creates pressure that expels the bullet out from the chamber and out of the barrel.
If your rifle has a muzzle brake installed, all the pressure from the burning powder escapes through the muzzle brake's holes. This is where physics comes into play.
For instance, your rifle might have a natural tendency to kick up when you pull the trigger.
However, if you have a muzzle brake installed and there are holes on the top of the attachment, then gas will escape from the top of the brake.
The resulting force will push your rifle barrel back down, effectively counteracting the natural recoil it would otherwise experience.
Muzzle brakes with side to side holes perform similar effects for side to side recoil. Some muzzle brakes that feature holes all the way around to effectively even out recoil from top to bottom, and can help you control an otherwise wild weapon more easily.
As you can imagine, this does wonders for improving user accuracy and is an excellent attachment if you’re a beginner to using rifles or especially full auto weapons.
Are There Disadvantages?
While muzzle brakes can be a great addition to any rifle build (especially customizable builds like AR 15 platforms), they do come with a few disadvantages.
For starters, muzzle brakes always add up to an inch or two to your overall barrel length. This, in turn, may make your weapon a little more unwieldy or difficult to store if you can’t uninstall the muzzle brake whenever you’re done using it.
Furthermore, muzzle brakes tend to increase the sound of your weapon, making every shot louder than it otherwise would be.
If you’re on a crowded range, this can make your time at the shooting line a bit unpleasant for you and anyone else nearby.
In essence, muzzle brakes are not ideal for every build but do provide a few serious benefits you might consider for special occasions or needs.
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A muzzle brake is one of the most well-used but least-understood rifle attachments you can find on the market. These attachments can let you control your rifle’s recoil and help you be more accurate with a hard kicking weapon.
At the same time, they increase your weapon’s noise and may make your barrel longer than you like. All in all, consider whether a muzzle brake will be a good fit for your rifle carefully before making a purchase.
Have you ever tried using a muzzle brake? How was your experience? Let us know in the comments section!