A muzzle brake is a device attached to the barrel of a firearm to help reduce felt recoil and compensate for muzzle climb when the shooter fires multiple rounds. This extension of the barrel has vents opening in various directions to divert gases left in the wake of a bullet.

Depending on the shooter's needs, he may have different sorts of muzzle brakes. Some will direct gases in an X-shape so that the sometimes brilliant flare of a muzzle flash affects the shooter less in darker environments. Some high caliber sniper rifles, like the Barrett M82A1, use a two-chamber muzzle brake that directs gases to either side and slightly to the rear of the muzzle. This helps keep the incredible recoil of a .50 caliber cartridge to a reasonable level, and the horizontal V-shaped redirection of gases minimizes the plume of dust and debris that may result.

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