October 13, 2011: U.S. SOCOM (Special Operations Command) is equipping most of its Mk13 7.62mm sniper rifle and M4 5.6mm assault rifles with new Surefire Muzzle Brake Suppressors. These 108mm (4.1 inch) long items screw onto the front of the barrel and keep the barrel more stable after each shot, as well as reducing flash. Such muzzle brake devices have become increasingly popular in the last decade, as new technology and improved designs have appeared.
The Mk13 is a customized SOCOM version of the U.S. Army M24 sniper rifle. The M4CQBR (Close Quarters Battle Receiver) is an M4 carbine with the CQBR barrel and receiver replacing the original one. The CQBR has a 262mm (10.3 inch) barrel and turns the M4 into a 2.75 kg (5.95 pound) weapon. The original M4 has a longer (by about 105mm/4 inches) barrel.
These muzzle brakes are so popular that SOCOM is considering equipping other weapons with them. Because SOCOM troops are trained to deliver very accurate single shot fire, a muzzle brake is very helpful. By reducing the movement of the barrel and recoil, it makes it easier to get the weapon aimed at the next target quickly.