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Radial vs. Directional Muzzle Brakes: Which Is Best?

There are two distinctly different types of muzzle brakes used on rifles – radial and directional. Ever wondered which one is best for your rifle and application?

Radial vs. Directional Muzzle Brakes: Which Is Best?

Various types of muzzle brakes offer a variety of different performance characteristics. Picking just the right one is sometimes confusing. From left: radial Kimber brake, directional 2A Armament titanium brake, radial Harrell’s brake on a Remington M700 Ultimate Muzzleloader, and a directional AllTerra Arms titanium brake.

When comparing radial and directional muzzle brakes, each one creates a somewhat different rifle response during recoil and, more importantly, a significantly different experience to the shooter.

While both types have been around for close to a century, radial brakes were the most common until rather recently. The reason is they’re much easier to install.

Let’s dive into the differences between the two types. We’ll start chronologically, with radial brakes.

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