New to the world of gun ownership and looking to upgrade with some gun tech? Learn what is a muzzle brake and get a breakdown of AR-15 muzzle devices here.


When building your own AR-15 from one of these AR-15 build kits, or if you are customizing one, you’re going to want to pay attention to all of the device’s fine details. Most people assume that those details are specific to the many parts of the lower and upper receivers. They may focus solely on options like an ambidextrous selector lever, a lightweight bolt carrier group, or some other similar upgrade.

However, there's so much more that you can do with your AR-15. And depending on how you intend to use the firearm, you may want to consider adding a muzzle brake. But what is a muzzle brake?  

Continue reading and we'll delve further into what a muzzle brake is and how selecting the right muzzle brake device could reduce muzzle flash or stabilize your rifle's barrel. Thus, leading to a more enjoyable and accurate shooting experience. 

What Is a Muzzle Brake?

A muzzle brake is also known as a recoil compensator. Basically, it's a device that you connect to the muzzle of your rifle in order to reduce the backward moment of the gun when it's fired, the recoil. It's able to do this by redirecting propellant gases in order to mitigate the rising of the barrel during firing and the backward momentum. You can improve your rapid firing and shooting accuracy with something like the VG6 Precision GAMMA 556 Muzzle Brake. This muzzle brake is ideal for police and military situations as well as competition shooting. You can get the black nitride coating or the stainless steel bead-blasted version. Furthermore, by investing in a speed loader like the ones on this website, you can reload your gun quickly, assisting with the muzzling feature. 

The muzzle brake was originally used for artillery purposes. At one point, you could find it on most anti-tank guns because it reduced the recoil stroke area. Today, many rifle shooters use muzzle brakes for competition shooting.

The Different Muzzle Devices

Nowadays, you can find a variety of firearms that come with threaded muzzles. You can attach all sorts of attachments to these muzzles. The most common of these attachments are suppressors, compensators, and muzzle brakes. 

Some alternative labels for these devices include ‘flash suppressor’, ‘silencer’, and  ‘rise eliminator’.


The term ‘silencer', when used for a suppressor, is actually a misnomer. It won't actually make your gun silent but rather just helps to prevent the shooter from undergoing severe hearing damage. 

There is no gun that's as silent as the ones in movies and TV. In fact, most guns that come with suppressors are still extremely loud. They're just not as loud as they could be. 

A flash suppressor, also known as a flash hider, basically redirects the fireball that comes out of the muzzle of the gun to a more productive direction. The military A2 is a common flash suppressor. It has a solid bottom that prevents dust and dirt from kicking up when shooting. 

Some flash suppressors have small ports or slits while others are multi-pronged. These flash suppressors won't reduce any of the gun's recoil but are mainly useful when shooting in areas with low light. Many people also just like to have flash suppressors because they think it makes the gun look cool.

It's worth pointing out that even if you use ammunition that utilizes low-flash powder, there's still going to be some flash. 

Muzzle Brakes

Thanks to the buffer and spring assembly in the AR-15, reducing the recoil into your torso and shoulder is usually not a major concern. However, reducing the recoil with an AR-15 muzzle brake will help you to keep the gun's barrel steady. By redirecting the gases that follow the bullet our of the gun, a muzzle brake can reduce the amount of recoil.

The gas will both push forward on the brake and also vent out of the sides. This will help reduce the upward climb of the muzzle as well as the recoil or rearward pull. 

Rather than venting up and down, the majority of muzzle brakes vent to the sides. This way, the gases won't interfere with the shooter's ability to see during rapid fire. The gas that pushes forward helps to prevent the muzzle lift as well as the backward motion of the gun's recoil.

Muzzle brakes are helpful for people who engage in competition shooting and need to utilize rapid fire. 

Popular Types of Muzzle Brakes

You can significantly reduce horizontal and muzzle climb with LANTAC’s 5.56 Dragon Advance Muzzle Brake. In fact, it can even assist with stabilizing a fully automatic firearm. The design of this muzzle brake is meant to vent gases quickly in order to reduce muzzle flash.  

You can reduce both the concussion wave from the vented gases as well as recoil with Custom Muzzle Brakes’ Tactical Low Concussion .223/5.56 Muzzle. Because the only port is forward, this is a great option for people who are firing in tight spaces and don't want the gases to interfere with the shooters next to them. 

You can improve your rapid firing and shooting accuracy with something like the VG6 Precision GAMMA 556 Muzzle Brake. This muzzle brake is ideal for police and military situations as well as competition shooting. You can get the black nitride coating or the stainless steel bead-blasted version.

Those looking for a muzzle brake that has a lower profile but still significantly reduces your recoil should consider Custom Muzzle Brakes’ AR-15 S-Type Muzzle Brake. It has a solid bottom and gas ports that go vertically so that it can better reduce muzzle climb. The solid bottom will help to stop dirt from kicking up when you're shooting from the ground. 


A compensator is basically a kind of muzzle brake that is not only to stop the rearward recoil impulse but also the muzzle jump. The compensator works by pushing the gun's gases through ports on top. This helps to force the gun down when it fires, thus compensating for its natural upward motion.

It also helps with preventing dirt from kicking up if your shooting in the prone position.

Who Should Use a Muzzle Brake?

Many people who can't handle the power of their rifles will install a muzzle brake. This way, they can significantly reduce the amount of recoil and make it more manageable to shoot. Muzzle devices aren't just for rifles with a lot of recoil, though. 

Pretty much all competition shooters put muzzle brakes on their guns so that they can make their guns, even the ones with low recoil, easier to shoot. Many competition shooters will attach muzzle brakes to their AR-15s that pretty much make it seem like there's no recoil at all. And long-range shooters like to use muzzle brakes because they make it easier for the shooter to see through the scope and make quick adjustments. 

Like competition shooters, hunters also like to use muzzle brakes on their high-recoil rifles. Hunters also tend to find themselves in uncomfortable and awkward shooting positions. A muzzle brake helps the hunter shoot successive rounds faster and prevents dirt and dust from kicking up.

Police officers, defense contractors, and military operators often use compensators and muzzle brakes. They may also want flash suppression so that they don't give their position away as easily.

The Downsides of Muzzle Brakes

It's worth mentioning that there are some downsides to using a muzzle brake. First off, you have to consider the noise. While a muzzle brake can greatly reduce the amount of recoil, it can also increase how loud the gun is. The blast and noise are both going to feel a lot more powerful with a muzzle brake than with a flash hider.

You should always wear protective hearing when shooting recreationally. Especially when using a muzzle brake. Exposure to any sound that's greater than 140dB can lead to permanent hearing damage.

And a small-caliber rifle usually produces around 140dB while a more powerful gun can reach 175dB or higher. Some shooters even complain that their sinuses ache, their eyes hurt, or they have headaches after using powerful guns with muzzle brake attachments. 

Do You Need a Muzzle Brake?

If you're someone who worries about using their gun because of the amount of recoil, then you should definitely consider attaching a muzzle brake. And if you have multiple rifles, you may want to attach different muzzle devices to your various guns. This can help you establish a unique purpose for each of your firearms and expands the possibilities of what you can do. 

The Importance of Knowing About Muzzle Brakes

By knowing what is a muzzle brake, you can make more informed decisions when it comes to your guns and shooting experiences overall. Add muzzle devices can help give people who normally wouldn't be comfortable shooting powerful rifles the ability to use them effectively and comfortably. 

Are you interested in reading other helpful gun articles like this one? Check out the rest of our blog today for more!


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