How Much Does a Muzzle Brake Reduce Recoil?
A high-quality muzzle brake can reduce felt recoil by up to 50%, even if you are shooting a large gun. How does a muzzle brake reduce recoil, and how do you install one on your firearm? We’ll answer these questions and more in this guide, but first, let’s clarify what a muzzle brake is.
What Is a Muzzle Brake and What Does It Do?
A muzzle brake is a device you attach to your gun’s muzzle to reduce recoil and muzzle rise. Recoil comes from ignited propellant generating gases that expand and explode out of the muzzle behind a bullet. The force with which the expanding gases explode out of the muzzle causes the gun to jerk backward, which is what you experience as recoil.
A muzzle brake attached to your muzzle has vents on its sides that reduce felt recoil by diverting escaping propellant gases. Some of the escaping propellant gases leave the barrel through the muzzle brake’s vents, while the rest exits through the muzzle’s front. Reducing the amount of gases that escape from the muzzle’s front leads to less kickback and muzzle rise.
Types of Muzzle Brakes
Various types of muzzle brakes are available, but they all operate on the same principle – diverting escaping propellant gases through side vents. You can find muzzle brakes made from steel, titanium, or aluminum. Detachable and inbuilt options are also available.
Since various muzzle brakes are available, the correct answer to how much does a muzzle brake reduce recoil will depend on your specific muzzle brake. Below are some of the most popular muzzle brake types and how they work.
- Radial Muzzle Brake: These muzzle brakes have ports or vents evenly distributed across the device. The ports vent escaping propellant gases outward and in all directions to reduce recoil and prevent a shift in aim.
- Directional Muzzle Brake: Unlike radial muzzle brakes with vents all over the attachment, the typical directional brake only has vents on the left and right sides. These side ports vent most of the exploding propellant gases to each side to minimize recoil.
- Baffle Muzzle Brake: A baffle muzzle brake has internal baffles or plates that redirect propellant gases as they escape the muzzle. Such brakes are typically more effective than radial brakes because the baffles slow down escaping propellant gases before venting them out the sides.
- Hybrid Muzzle Brake: A hybrid muzzle brake combines radial and baffle brake features to create a more effective brake. Besides reducing recoil, the baffles in the brake help reduce gunfire noise and blast.
If you have a threaded barrel, you can get direct thread variants of the above muzzle brakes, which you can screw onto your muzzle. Other options for attaching muzzle brakes are quick-detach and clamp-on.
Installing a Muzzle Brake
As we’ve mentioned, several options are available for attaching muzzle brakes. However, direct threading is the most secure and convenient.
Do you have an unthreaded barrel? If so, send it to Silencer Central to thread it for you. After completing the job, we’ll deliver your freshly threaded barrel to your doorstep. Once you have your threaded barrel, select a muzzle brake that matches the barrel’s threading. Other items you will need to install a muzzle brake are:
- Vise or rest
- Basic wrench set
- Washer or nut
After equipping yourself, follow these steps to attach your direct thread muzzle brake:
- Unload your rifle.
- Place the firearm in your vise and tighten the clasp to prevent movement.
- Take the thread protector or any other attached muzzle device off your muzzle.
- Clean the barrel threads to ensure the muzzle brake screws on smoothly and tightly.
- Use the nuts or washers before screwing on the muzzle brake.
- Tighten the muzzle brake with your wrench.
- Remove the gun from your vise and go enjoy shooting with less recoil.
Other Ways to Reduce Recoil
You have several reasons to reduce recoil, but the most important ones are:
- Improving Accuracy: Excessive recoil causes muzzle rise and throws off your aim. It also causes flinching when you pull the trigger, spoiling shooting accuracy. Reducing recoil will minimize these issues, helping you reduce the likelihood of missing your shot.
- Faster Follow-Up Shots: Reducing recoil allows you to take follow-up shots faster because the initial shot won’t throw off your aim.
- Increased Comfort: Excessive recoil can hit you hard enough to leave you sore. Continuous exposure to such heavy-hitting recoil may eventually cause injuries. Minimizing recoil will make shooting less painful and more enjoyable.
Fortunately, besides muzzle brakes, several other options are available for reducing recoil. Below are some of the best ones.
Use a Suppressor
A suppressor or silencer is a device you attach to the muzzle to reduce recoil and gunfire noise. The attachment accomplishes this by slowing the explosive force with which expanding propellant gases exit the muzzle.
While you can use a suppressor or muzzle brake to minimize recoil, you can reduce recoil even more by combining a suppressor and muzzle brake. Simply attach the muzzle brake first, then screw the silencer into the muzzle brake. However, this will only work if your suppressor and muzzle brake are compatible.
Also, suppressors are illegal in some states. So, before buying a suppressor, confirm that your state permits its use.
Use Lower Recoil Ammo
Is your gun for self-defense or hunting small to medium-sized prey? If so, you don’t need heavy cartridges like the .500 S&W Magnum. Lower recoil options with impressive stopping power that you can opt for include 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, .308 Winchester, and .300 AAC Blackout.
Improve Your Stance
Your posture while shooting affects felt recoil. For example, standing rod-straight and holding your gun with your arms tensed and straight out will lead to experiencing recoil more intensely. The ideal shooting stance for rifle shooters requires standing on the balls of your feet.
Your feet should be apart with your left foot’s heel (if you’re right-handed) parallel to your right foot’s toes. The stance will help distribute your weight evenly.
Also, bend your knees slightly and lean a bit forward from the hips. About 60% of your weight should be on your front foot and your toes pointing toward the target. Lastly, keep your shoulders relaxed so they roll with the recoil instead of fighting it.
Take Silencer Central on Your Next Hunting Adventure – Buy a Suppressor Today!
Are you ready for your next shooting outing? Don’t let excessive recoil ruin the experience. With the right muzzle brake, you can reduce your firearm’s recoil by up to 50%. However, muzzle brakes can amplify gunfire noise. If you don’t want that, minimize recoil with a suppressor or attach a brake and suppressor to your barrel.
Where can you find a high-quality suppressor for your pistol, shotgun, or rifle? Head over to Silencer Central. We are the go-to store for sophisticated and reliable suppressors that offers doorstep delivery. Alternatively, contact us to speak with an expert who can help you find the best solution for reducing felt recoil.