Muzzle brakes are a wonderful thing. They were created first to reduce the kickback of anti-tank weapons. Slowly from there, it was adapted in a smaller format and made for rifles, SMG, shotguns, and pistols.
While plenty of rifles come with some sort of muzzle attachment, most people will ditch that for a muzzle brake. Like many other modifications, this one requires a bit of skill and patience as well.
But changing the muzzle brake is one of the easiest mods you are about to do. Unless you plan to pin and weld a muzzle brake, then you won’t have to take this to a gunsmith at all.
Without further ado, let me help you with the muzzle brake installation.
What are the benefits of a muzzle brake?
“Why would I want to install a muzzle brake? My gun has a flash hider already”. This question is asked more often than you can imagine. After all, a lot of rifles come with flash hiders.
The point of a muzzle brake is to mitigate the muzzle rise of your gun and reduce the recoil of your weapon. By releasing the high-propellant gas before it reaches the end of the barrel, it reduces the muzzle rise by a lot.
Making your aim more accurate and easier to transfer target while shooting. So, the moral is, the muzzle brake reduces recoil and it makes it easier to aim with the gun. That’s why you should buy a muzzle brake and pair it with any weapon you are using. Of course, you need to buy the brakes that work with your weapon for it to work.
Do I need tools to install a muzzle brake?
You do need some tools to install the brake. But those are so basic, that any hunters/shooters should already have them in their garage. They are quite often used in other DIY crafts and daily necessities.
Let’s install the muzzle brake now
Now that we know about the required tools and why you should install a muzzle brake, let’s learn how to install it on a weapon.
Unload the gun and vise it
Make sure to unload all the bullets from the gun before you start the process. It’s super important as we don’t want any accidents to happen. Then safely place it on the vise and tightly lock it in place. Don’t over-tighten the vise as you risk bending or at worse, breaking some portion of the weapon.
Use masking tape
A couple of layers of masking tape on the barrel and the wrench itself will prevent any accidental scratches. Don’t worry, masking tapes aren’t slippery. They won’t make you mistakenly slip from the barrel or the nut.
Take out the old device
Chances are, your weapon might have some sort of previous muzzle attachments. If that’s true, then you need to unscrew the previous barrel attachment first. If it didn’t have any attachments, then you will need to unscrew the thread protector. The thread protector safe keeps the threading of the barrel.
Clean the threads and the barrel itself
Make sure to clean the barrel threads completely. Don’t leave a single speck of dirt or grease on the barrel. As they will interfere with the installation of the new muzzle brake. Use IPA if needed. But make sure to keep it 100% clean.
Attach the muzzle brake
Now that you cleaned the barrel threads completely there is no residue or oil left. Place the muzzle brake on the barrel thread and slowly tighten it with your fingers. Once you feel like you cannot tighten it more with your fingers, time to pull out the big guns.
Use the masked wrench to slowly tighten the muzzle brake to the point where you see some resistance. Make sure to not overdo the tightening. If you over-tighten it, you risk breaking some of the threads in the barrel. If you end up doing that, gunsmithing is required. At worst, you might need to replace the entire barrel and that will cost you a ton of money.
Try out the new mods
After installing the muzzle brake, it’s time for you to take the gun for a test drive. Shoot a couple of mags and get a feel of the new recoil and muzzle rise height. As they will be lower than before, it will take some time for you to get used to it. But once you do, it’s over for your competition.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to install a muzzle brake with a jam nut?
Some shooters prefer to use a jam nut over a crush washer to install their muzzle brake. In this process, you need to place the jam nut on the thread before you put in the muzzle brake. Then follow the process mentioned above.
Can you install a muzzle brake yourself?
Absolutely! Installing a muzzle brake doesn’t require gunsmithing. Unless you need to install it on a barrel that has no threading and you need to pin it, then you will require a gunsmith. Because everyone doesn’t have welding machines at their disposal. But everyone can manage a wrench! So, yes, you can install a muzzle brake by yourself.
Do I need to use Loctite when installing a muzzle brake?
No, you don’t need to. Loctite isn’t necessary or recommended. If your muzzle brake isn’t installed naturally, then you have a problem on the barrel or the brake itself. So, make sure to identify the problem before installing it with Loctite. You might need to break the barrel if you ever want to change the attachment.
Does installing a muzzle brake cause problems?
No, it won’t cause any kind of problems. It won’t make you fire or miss targets. Muzzle brakes don’t affect accuracy or velocity either. Make sure to install a muzzle brake on your weapon if you ever thought of competing or hunting regularly.
And there you have it. A guide that someone never used a weapon can follow along as well. I’m well aware there are countless other guides like this available, but I wanted to do it a bit differently. While educating you about the brake itself and helping you get better at DIY weapon modding.
Skills like this will come in handy if you want to stay in the game for a long time. After all, we cannot bother to spend tons of money every so often on gunsmithing when we can do it ourselves. But if you are still not confident enough to install a muzzle brake by yourself, then I suggest you visit your local gunsmith. It doesn’t cost much to get it installed on your weapon.
With that said, that’s all for now. I hope you learned something new today and use it wisely. Till we meet again. Take care and stay out of trouble.