Muzzle Brakes — A Guide
Oct 22, 2018 | Christensen Arms
Recoil is an inevitable part of the shooting experience. However, if you want to reduce the felt recoil of your firearm you should employ a muzzle brake. It’s unclear exactly when or where the first muzzle brake was invented, but the intention of the device has remained roughly the same among the countless adaptations available. A muzzle brake is generally designed to reduce recoil felt by a shooter and to control the muzzle rise of a rifle by redirecting the propellant gases created when firing a shot. Every bolt-action rifle we build includes a muzzle brake to help provide an exceptional shooting experience.
Our standard hunting muzzle device is the Radial Brake. This accessory can be found on our Ridgeline, Classic, and Summit Ti rifles. A compact version is equipped on our Mesa rifle. The Radial Brake is a 360° brake which reduces felt recoil by redirecting gases through a number of small ports distributed in all directions. As a hunting brake, this device directs the muzzle brake “blast” evenly and effectively, but it can kick up debris when used in a prone or bench shooting position. The brake is offered in both stainless steel ($150) and titanium ($195).
Tactical shooters may prefer our Side-Baffle Brake. This muzzle device is installed on our Modern Precision Rifle, ELR, BA Tactical, and TFM rifles. The Mesa Long Range employs a compact version of this brake as well. The Side-Baffle Brake features four large side ports to effectively reduce felt recoil and four threaded top ports to dial in muzzle rise. This design is more effective than the Radial Brake at reducing felt recoil, but directs a greater “blast” back towards the shooter from the angled side ports. Installation requires a crush washer to ensure proper indexing. The brake is offered in both stainless steel ($175) and titanium ($225) as well as a black nitride option ($185).
It is important to consider felt percussion when shooting a firearm equipped with a muzzle brake. Hearing protection should be worn whenever you operate a firearm, but proper protection is especially important when operating a rifle with a muzzle brake in order to compensate for the redirection of the “blast” closer to the shooter. Every Christensen Arms muzzle brake is removable, although some are easier to reinstall than others. We advise reviewing your owners manual to ensure proper use and maintenance of any muzzle device.