A muzzle brake or recoil compensator is a device connected to the muzzle of a firearm or cannon that redirects propellant gases to counter recoil and unwanted rising of the barrel. The concept was first introduced for artillery and was a common feature on many anti-tank guns, especially those mounted on tanks, in order to reduce the area needed to take up the strokes of recoil and kickback.
They have been used in various forms for rifles and pistols to help control recoil and the rising of the barrel that normally occurs after firing. They are used on pistols for practical pistol competitions, and are usually called compensators in this context.
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