We’ve covered muzzle devices as a whole, and touched on a few of the reasons muzzle brakes (yes, muzzle brake - not muzzle break!) might be your rifle’s bread and butter. Now we’re ready to go deeper on your muzzle device of choice: specifically, a muzzle brake.
If you’ve asked yourself what is a muzzle brake, or you’re wondering how they differ from other muzzle devices, you’ve made it to the right spot. We’ll also be covering the pros and cons of muzzle brakes and in what situations they’re ideal. Buckle up!
What is a muzzle brake?
A muzzle brake is a device that threads onto the muzzle end of your firearm. While construction varies, a muzzle brake generally has ports that help “brake” the gases inline linear force and divert it horizontally (left and right) in order to reduce felt recoil.
What does a muzzle brake do?
Muzzle brakes are designed to reduce the recoil that you feel because those gases are ported into very specific directions. They can have different constructions, but usually the muzzle brake vents will port left or right, or could direct the gases upward as well. There is one constant with muzzle brakes, and that is that the bottom of the brake is solid.
Not to get too technical here, but Newton's Third Law of Motion states that for every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction. Because of the specific vents the muzzle brake has, and the flow of those gases not just exiting straight out of the gun, there's less of a felt recoil. Reduced recoil means that you are able to stay on target easier, leading to potentially better accuracy.
Suppressors and Muzzle Brakes
What happens if you do decide to use a muzzle brake with a suppressor? It doesn't impact the usefulness of the brake, but it does make the brake act as a sacrificial baffle. Depending on your use case, this might be something to consider for when you do decide to shoot suppressed because it's just one more added layer of protection for your suppressor and the heat it will take on.
The Pros and Cons of Muzzle Brakes
You might be weighing your options right now on which muzzle device will be best for your set up. Here are some pros and cons of muzzle brakes that you should consider before you pull the trigger.
There are some major pluses to muzzle brakes... that's probably why they're so popular!
Can we say it again? Muzzle brakes reduce recoil. We might be sounding redundant at this point, but it’s such a plus that it warrants noting it again.
Muzzle brakes improve accuracy. Less recoil means faster rate of fire because it takes less time to get on target.
Muzzle brakes act as a sacrificial baffle when used with a silencer. This can provide another layer of protection for your silencer as you enjoy your suppressed range days.
There are two primary cons to muzzle brakes, but we’ll let you decide how important they are to you:
Muzzle brakes require timing. Because of their construction, it takes time to time a muzzle brake correctly. Timing is a one-time deal, so once you’ve done it, you can set it and forget it. Usually when you buy a muzzle brake, it will come with various-sized shims that will help you time your brake correctly.
Muzzle brakes can be louder to the people to your left and right. If you’re at a range in a bay, this could be an issue.
Muzzle Brake Popular Calibers
You may be saying, "okay, cool... I've learned all I need to know about muzzle brakes, now what are some real world examples?!" Well, we never try to leave you hanging, so let's dive in to muzzle brakes by caliber.
9mm Muzzle Brake
If your head tilted a little bit thinking about a 9mm muzzle brake, we understand. As you may already know, muzzle brakes don't need to be used on handguns because they just need a threaded barrel. That being said, one mounting option for your pistol caliber carbines is a muzzle brake. Something like the Griffin Armament EZ Brake is a great option to use if you're in the 9mm muzzle brake market.
AR 15 Muzzle Brake
The AR 15 muzzle brake is the most popular out of the calibers we're going to be discussing. You know, because America. But to further that, we should note that there are a lot of great options out there for your AR 15 rifle platform. One example of a good AR 15 muzzle brake would be the SilencerCo ASR.
308 Muzzle Brake
Oh, the good ol' 308 muzzle brake. Now, there are a good amount of options for this caliber as well, since 308 is a popular caliber. One 308 muzzle brake we highly recommend is the Lantac Dragon silencer mount brake. The great thing about Lantac is that you've got a few choices depending on the suppressor you have (or the suppressor you're planning on getting). You'll be able to choose between the Bi-Lock, SiCo ASR Mount, and Dead Air Key Mo mounting options so you can use it with or without the suppressor of your choice.
6.5 Creedmoor Muzzle Brake
And now we're going to be rounding it out with the big boy, the 6.5 Creedmoor muzzle brake. If you're a long range shooter, then you've probably been on the hunt for a good 6.5 creedmoor muzzle brake. A great example is the SureFire SOCOM .260 (or 6.5) Muzzle Brake. It's highly durable and definitely gets the job done, but moreover, it fits your SureFire SOCOM 6.5 as well.
Muzzle brakes are a great addition to your firearm. What's even more important to that is the fact that some allow for you to quickly mount or dismount your suppressor too! Understanding the intricacies of muzzle breaks will help you determine whether or not this is the muzzle device you've been looking for. We've answered: what is a muzzle break, what does a muzzle brake do, and even given you real world examples of popular calibers. If you have questions about whether the muzzle brake you have your eyes on will fit your suppressor, drop us a line in the chat!