Do More Muzzle Ports Equal Less Recoil?

We’re all familiar with muzzle brakes and their purpose on a rifle. If not here’s a quick reminder: a muzzle brake helps reduce recoil by forcing the gas from the muzzle out one or more of the ports on the sides. With so many on the market, it can be hard to choose which would be right for you. Another question is what’s the optimum number of ports on the side that would give you the best recoil reduction. The gents over at MDT, Modern Driven Technologies, tested this out and came to an answer for us all.

Muzzle ports help reduce recoil
The guys over at Modular Driven Technologies took on the test of how many muzzle ports give the best recoil reduction.

Ryan McLean, a member of Modular Driven Technologies, leads the video by saying that they are always doing testing and wanted to take on this topic. He had their designers at MDT create six different muzzle brakes, going from one port up to six ports. He mentions that a lot of people say that a muzzle brake with five ports is the most efficient, but he has his doubts.

Ryan goes out to the range with another staff member to measure the different brakes. They take a testing pendulum to measure recoil and get angle measurements with a protractor. To eliminate human error by pulling the trigger, they employ a remote trigger and used a five-shot average to get their statistical data.

MDT checks the angle of deflection
They set up the test with a protractor to show the angle of deflection with the shot and from there they compare the readings to the data without a muzzle brake to find their averages. They use a remote trigger control to help eliminate any human error when shooting.

Average Results:

  • Single Port: 41 average angle of deflection, 34.9 % recoil reduction
  • Two Ports: 38.3 average angle of deflection, 39% recoil reduction
  • Three Ports: 36.6 average angle of deflection, 41.7% recoil reduction
  • Four Ports: 34.6 average angle of deflection, 45% recoil reduction
  • Five Ports: 35.0 average angle of deflection, 44.4% recoil reduction
  • Six Ports: 34.3 average angle of deflection, 45.5% recoil reduction

There is a theory regarding brakes that the first port does all the heavy lifting as far as gas displacement. In looking at the data, Ryan notes that there isn’t much of a difference in performance between two and three ports. But he points out that there is a massive change between three ports and four ports and then the numbers drop off again.

Muzzle Port test results
The chart shows the average recoil reduction by the different port numbers. The data showed the most reduction was done between three and four muzzle ports.

But at what number of ports do you get the best recoil reduction for the rifle? The main drive is to find the optimum number of muzzle ports for the least amount of recoil. Ryan states that based on their testing, the ideal number of ports on a muzzle brake is four. If the brake has more than four it is just added weight and length. He goes on to say that if the muzzle brake has more than four ports it really starts to look weird, and you don’t get any better results.

Patti Miller is one of the most awesome females in the tactical/firearm (or any) industry. Imagine a tall, hawt, dangerous Laura Ingalls Wilder type with cool hair and a suppressed blaster and you'll be getting the idea. What's interesting is that in addition to being a willing brawler and intrepid adventuress, she's also an Ent/Ogier level gardener and a truly badass baker.

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