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  • Post last modified:August 18, 2023

In this short firearm guide, let's briefly talk about the difference comparing muzzle flip vs recoil.

A better understanding of this can improve your shooting skills as well as fine-turn your gun to have faster follow-up shots.

In addition, the Mantis X10 can help diagnose your shooting performance in real time and actually track your muzzle movement, and pinpoint your error and improve your skills.

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Muzzle Flip

fn 509 muzzle flip

Referenced Larry Vickers

Muzzle flip is the "rise up" motion of the barrel tip when the bullet exits the barrel. It's mostly influenced by the recoil energy, and how much it rises can vary based on:

  • Caliber
  • Power charge
  • Gun grip angle
  • Grip techniques
  • Firing rate
  • Barrel harmonics
  • Barrel length
  • Overall gun weight

Normally, for a handgun, the muzzle flips upward and to the area of least resistance.

Some firearm parts are designed to reduce muzzle flip. The most popular product for an rifle is a muzzle brake at the end of the barrel, and you can check out more here.

surefire muzzle brake in action

Reduces muzzle climb and muzzle sway


Recoil is the energy felt by the shooter. It's the rearward energy generated when a round is discharged. It varies mostly based on:

  • Firearm action
  • Buffer system
  • Bolt mass
  • Bolt travel distance
  • Bullet weight
  • Firing rate
  • Caliber load (energy)
  • Muzzle velocity

It's a result of conservation of momentum

Newton's 3rd law (Law of Action & Reaction) - A directional force will generate equal and opposite reaction

Several firearm companies have been very innovative in the last few years. They've came up with new ways to mitigate recoil on new weapon systems as well as existing designs.

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kriss vector super v recoil system

KRISS VECTOR Super V system redirects the energy down instead of straight back to the shooter's shoulder

PWS piston driven MK107 upper in action

AR15 short stroke piston design. (Referenced PWS)


Referenced Larry Vickers

AK (piston system) recoil is felt more on the front of the gun than on the stock

swampfox sentinel on hellcat 9mm pistol

How To Reduce Muzzle Flip

Recoil directly affects muzzle flip. Controlling recoil takes practice and proper training.

Please check out these tips here

For red dot sight users, managing muzzle flip and recoil is important to get accurate shots and have fast follow up shots.

glock 19 strike industries mass driver comp

Muzzle devices are now more popular on pistols, and you can check out these new compensators for  here