How Does a Muzzle Brake Work? Full Guide

How Does A Muzzle Brake Work
Alfred Mendoza

A muzzle brake helps you significantly improve the accuracy of your shots. As you attach a muzzle brake to the tip of your firearms, it reduces the rearward motion of the weapons by redirecting the gas. Let’s take a look at how a muzzle brake works and how it can help you.

The muzzle brake is a recoil compensator that is connected at the tip of a rifle barrel. When you pull the trigger, the firing pin compresses, and the primer on the ammunition will ignite the gunpowder. As it explodes, the expanding air will look for a way to exit, which results in drawbacks from the weapon. 

Most muzzle brakes and compensators are interchangeable because of their similarities in dealing with gasses. However, brakes are created to redirect the released gas and dampen recoil and not the noise on your gun. On the contrary, most compensators are used to deal with both rifle drawback, noise or sound, and barrel movement.

muzzle brake

How Does It Work?

Design & Construction

Radial Design 

Radial brake is a standard hunting muzzle device that reduces felt recoil with its multiple small holes. The small holes of the 360-degree brakes will reduce the felt recoil as it redirects the blast evenly. 

The brakes are made from stainless steel or titanium and feature different light and sturdy threads. On the other hand, the worst-case scenario with these brakes is that they can kick debris when in a prone shooting position and spotting the target. 

Reverse Gill Design

Reverse Gill is effective when reducing rear impulse drawback. It directs the blast back to the shooter from its angled side ports. The brakes reduce drawbacks effectively compared to Radial. However, the increased blast towards the operator can affect the shooter’s accuracy. 

The rearwards can be tricky, and the gasses will be exhausted in the right and left side heading back, which can also be dangerous for the shooters. 

Linear Dynamics Design

The linear dynamics muzzle brakes control the pressured air and redirect it to a forward path. It directs the blast forward to decrease the effect on the shooter and does not affect the accuracy of the rifle. 

In addition, linear dynamics create turbulence that will affect the projectile motion of the bullet as it passes through the bore barrel that cannot be found on compensators.

Venting Direction

Most muzzle brakes have a venting that redirects the pressured gas upward, forward, backward or side blast. If the gas of the brake directs upward and sideways, it tends to help reduce the tendency of muzzle rise. 

Notice that there is no venting projectile at the bottom part of the bore barrel. Based on Newton’s Third Law of Motion, the gas force exerted downward can cause reciprocal force upward and may increase recoil [1].

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The brake is more effective if it has sufficient propellant gas and high pressure from the barrel length to achieve a high reduction percentage.

It can also reduce recoil by around 50% compared to flash suppressors and compensators. 

It would also help prevent shoulder injuries and improve the rifle’s point of impact and accuracy.

However, when it comes to sound, the brake can be loud compared to a compressor.


Pressure Ports & Jet Effect

When a high volume of gas is captured in a pressured area, the air wants to exit as fast as it can. If the rifles have no muzzle brake, chances are it will all exit through the tip of the barrel and may create a muzzle blast. 

However, with brakes, the air will be redirected through the small ports. It works like a jet effect that will help the gun move in the opposite direction of the air. In addition, the brake’s pressure port is located at the tip of the barrel to capture the highest pressure that didn’t pass through the small ports.


Yes, muzzle brakes work better than other muzzle devices. It will help with the drawback, accuracy, and follow-up shots on the same target. In addition, it is capable of redirecting gas and muzzle flash while other devices like a muzzle compensator and flash suppressors.

The Reverse Gill is the most effective muzzle brake design. It is easy to install with the use of different threads. The design is different from the typical brake, but the blast energy coming back to the shooter will push against the recoil and effectively reduce the muzzle jump and drawback.

You should use a muzzle brake if you want to manage the drawback of your gun, protect your shoulders and improve the velocity and accuracy of your shots. The impact of the counteract recoil can be manageable with the use of muzzle brakes.

You should use a muzzle brake on your rifle because it will tame the drawback, increase the speed of your follow-up shots and improve the accuracy of your shots. In addition, it can be a flash suppressor since it redirects the gases towards the venting and will not produce a muzzle flash after the bullet is fired.

So, How Do Muzzle Brakes Work?

Muzzle brakes redirect the gases to control firearm recoil up to 50% and reduce muzzle rise but not the sound of the shot. In addition, they ideally return the sight picture to zero as quickly as possible. They are more than just their cool looks because they significantly contribute to the performance of the rifle. 

Most brakes are indispensable for shooters working alone, firing at long range, or who want to minimize the gun recoil. Muzzle brakes can also be used in regular firearms, large caliber weapons, and larger guns like artillery, tank guns, and rifles with high calibers.



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