Muzzle Brake vs Flash Hider: Understanding the Difference

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Understanding The Difference Between a Muzzle Brake and Flash Hider

Muzzle brakes and flash hiders are highly effective muzzle devices and will improve the performance of your rifle. A muzzle brake’s purpose is to reduce recoil and help keep your rifle on target, a muzzle brake will often make the firearm shoot “flatter” or have less muzzle rise. Flash hiders or “flash suppressors” as they are sometimes referred to, work to decrease the bright flash emitted from the barrel of a firearm when shooting. Flash hiders gained traction in military and law enforcement applications, but are also popular for hunting, due to having to shoot in low-light conditions. If you’re curious if you should equip your firearm with a flash suppressor vs muzzle brake check out the breakdowns of each muzzle device below.

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What is the Advantage of a Muzzle Brake?

Using a muzzle brake can make you more accurate and help you make follow-up shots. You will notice that your rifle does not recoil as hard and the muzzle stays flatter compared to shooting without a muzzle device. Many Precision Rifle Series (PRS) competitors use muzzle brakes to help improve their accuracy and to help engage targets more quickly. 

There are a few common misconceptions about muzzle brakes. Many shooters ask, do muzzle brakes make guns louder? A muzzle brake will make your gun seem louder due to the gasses being directed laterally instead of outward and away from you. While your gun is not actually creating more noise, it may seem to be louder as you shoot with a muzzle brake. We’re often asked the question; does a muzzle brake hide the flash? Most muzzle brakes will not reduce visible flash to bystanders but may reduce the flash you see as the shooter because the bulk of the flash is directed horizontally.

What is the Advantage of a Flash Hider?

Flash hiders are aptly named, as their primary role is to reduce the bright flash produced by a gunshot. Hunters have long used flash hiders for low-light hunting scenarios, such as hog or coyote hunting. These are often some of the least expensive muzzle accessories and are easy to install due to not needing to be timed. A common question our customers ask is; does a flash hider reduce recoil? Traditional pronged flash hiders will not do much to reduce recoil, but modern designs such as the Surefire Warcomp are designed with recoil reduction features in addition to flash hiding.

Muzzle Brake Use Case

A muzzle brake might be a great choice for you if you are looking to make your rifle as flat shooting as possible. If you’re debating muzzle brake vs suppressor the good news is you can have both! Muzzle brakes make very effective suppressor mounts as the brake can improve the longevity and performance of a silencer. The ports of a muzzle brake act as an additional baffle, dispersing the initial muzzle blast and redirecting the combustion gasses.

Flash Suppressor Use Case

If you intend to shoot your rifle in low-light such as dusk or dawn, or indoors, a flash suppressor could be a great fit for your loadout. Flash hiders excel when flash signature reduction is required, if you shoot under night vision or thermal devices reducing flash as much as possible will improve your image quality and protect your devices from being exposed to too much light. If you really need to reduce flash you might consider a suppressor, which traps combustion gasses and virtually eliminates muzzle flash. You can even mount suppressors to many flash hiders, such as SilencerCo’s ASR flash hider.


Whether you’re setting up a hunting rifle for predator hunting, or building a competition shooting rig determining which muzzle device is best for you will maximize your rifles effectiveness. If you find yourself hunting hogs as the sun is setting you might want to run a flash hider or silencer on our firearm. A muzzle brake is a great choice when precision and accuracy take priority. Both flash hiders and muzzle brakes can help you get the most out of your setup, and when you want to add a suppressor to your kit these muzzle devices make mounting a can easy.