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newb question on muzzle brakes

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So I see all sorts of brakes, flash hiders and door breach. besides those cool looking spikes that I am sure one day i would gouge my leg with it i don't see much difference. I understand the point of the ports being pointed in a certain direction. but besides the port direction i guess i don't understand the difference between them


I guess if i ran out of shells and i could gouge you to death with my cool spike muzzle break :)

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Muzzle brakes= use the gas to reduce recoil.'for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction'. The recoil is due to gas pushing the gun back in reaction to the bullet being forced forward. A brake is just a baffle or series of baffles that catch some of the gas after the bullet passes them to push the gun forward against the recoil.


Breachers =have teeth to grip a door and ports to relieve gas pressure when blowing doors open or busting locks.


Supressors =slow down the gas leaving the barrel to eliminate the sonic booom (crack) that the gasses make leaving the barrel.


Muzzle devices fall into one  (or more) of the above catagories.

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Flash hiders attempt to reduce visible gas emissions from the barrel. This hopefully reduces the reduction of effect on the shooter's vision.


Boosters were left off the list I believe... They attempt to boost the gas pressure to assist recoil forces acting on cycling components.


Compensators are the same as brakes.

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Difference between compensator and brake:



Compensator: uses thrust to counteract muzzle flip.


Brake: uses thrust vectoring or even a constricted strike plate to reduce recoil inline with the bore.


Most are combinations of thrust forward and downward, so are combo muzzle brake compensators. However there are plenty of examples of both. If you look at the integral brakes on many magnum caliber hunting rifles, they are a rotationally symmetrical arrangement of simple drilled holes or slots. That is a pure brake. If you look at the so called "slant brake" common on AKs, it is not a brake at all, and is merely a comp.


Most devices which sell well are a combination muzzle brake, compensator, flash hider (& maybe suppressor mount.) The degree to which a device emphasizes one of those traits over another varies.

Edited by GunFun
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I prefer linear compensators myself, because they don't blow back into your face. Still get reduced muzzle flip and dust signature, plus it's slightly quieter due to all the gas going straight forward

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