The muzzle brake; perhaps the most primary accessory a gun owner could have. Want to improve your performance? Muzzle brake. Want to soften your gun’s recoil? Muzzle brake. Looking for firearm stabilization? You guessed it – grab a muzzle brake.
This tiny yet powerful tool is jam-packed with advantages. And, FYI: it can reduce your gun’s recoil by nearly 50 percent*.
However, proper installation is integral in order to reap all the benefits a muzzle brake has to offer.
While it may seem intimidating to DIY this, fear not! The process of installing or changing a muzzle brake can be done on your own with ease.
Provided you have a few basic tools on site, save yourself the trip (and cost!) to a professional gunsmith by taking matters into your own hands (literally) – take a look at our tips below to set you up for this simple yet crucial process.
What Tools Do You Need to Change Your Muzzle Brake?
Most of the time, there’s just a few standard tools you’ll need (that you probably already own!) in order to install or change your muzzle brake. While a professional might use more sophisticated hardware, it’s usually not necessary in this circumstance.
However, it’s important to confirm your particular muzzle brake doesn’t require any special tools in order to safely and successfully get the job done; check with the information it came with or contact the manufacturer if you think this may be the case.
Here’s a list of tools you’ll likely need for changing or installing your muzzle brake:
- Adjustable wrench
- Nut or washer
- Masking tape
How to Start Your Muzzle Brake Install
The best way to start your muzzle brake installation is to first ensure you’ve carried out all necessary safety precautions. You can find the ones we follow on this page right here.
After all safety measures are in place, you’ll then need to grab your 2 or 3-inch adjustable wrench (This will probably be your main muzzle brake installation tool). Got a torque wrench? Even better.
Ideally, your wrench will have a long handle; this will be the easiest way to ensure your device is torqued correctly.
It’s important to use a cradle, vise or rest to keep your gun steady during installation.
If your gun is able to move around, it will not only be more difficult to remove and install your muzzle brake, but you may end up damaging your gun, too. Take your time and do it right!
Additionally, you may require a peel washer, crush washer or jam nut to accurately install your muzzle brake.
In the (perhaps miraculous) event that you have your gun’s original packaging, take a look to see if any of these items were included; many companies will provide these accessories if they’re required for the muzzle brake’s installation.
Use Masking Tape for a Custom Muzzle Brake Installation
Masking tape can go a long way when it comes to protecting your gun and its barrel from being damaged during your muzzle brake’s removal or installation.
Using the tape generously, wind a few layers around the barrel, close to the muzzle (Pro tip: apply some tape to the jaws of your wrench for an extra layer of defense).
Removing a Muzzle Brake
Removing a muzzle break can be done simply and quickly – once you know how to do it.
However, make sure you have a muzzle break that can be removed; depending on the type you have, it may not be.
If it can indeed be taken out, as always, make sure to undergo proper safety protocols before doing so.
In relation to such safety rules, no matter what type of muzzle brake you have, make sure your firearm is unloaded and the bolt and magazine are removed, if applicable.
After that, in many circumstances, you can then remove the muzzle brake. However, if relevant, loosening any fastening bolts may be necessary prior to removal.
Here’s a short and easy-to-follow video which includes a muzzle brake removal demonstration.
Keep in mind, depending on the kind of muzzle brake you have, a specific technique may be required in order to remove it; when in doubt, ask for help! Which, by the way, we’re always here for.
Pro tip: removing your muzzle brake gives you a good opportunity to clean and lubricate the area as needed, especially if you plan on installing a new muzzle brake in quick succession.
The Finished Product
As this preliminary guide may suggest, maneuvering your muzzle brake at home without the need of a professional gunsmith is likely more plausible than you think.
While your initial try may require a modest time investment, it will soon be a simple, straightforward course of action for you.
Once you’ve installed your muzzle brake, don’t forget to test it out; head out to your favourite spot and take note of the (quite awesome!) differences you experience with your recoil – or, should we say, lack thereof.
As discussed earlier, there are many different kinds of muzzle brakes out there. Have you followed our prep tips here and now need the full deets on how to install yours in particular?
And hey – let us know how it’s going out there! Mention, tag or DM us whenever you feel like (safely!) showing off the perks of your handy, helpful muzzle brake. We at Grizzly Gunworks would love to take a look!