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Thread: Why a Muzzle brake?

  1. #1
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    Default Why a Muzzle brake?

    This popular accessory keeps many smiths in work and certainly reduces recoil at the expense of hearing drums, but does it have any other advantage?

    In calibers that are just brutal on the shoulder, aren't they also hard on the furniture as well. Split stocks or loose bedding is very common for heavy recoilers. Can a muzzle brake help to reduce wear and tear on a rifle or are they just beneficial to the shooter? Any thoughts on this.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  2. #2

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    Why do I think this is a loaded question?

    I'd assume, since the gas is jetted from the muzzle and there is a definite reduction in recoil, that there should be less stress on the wood. There should be less momentum built up in the action & recoil lug(s) and thus less thrust for the stock to absorb.

    I have seen some awfully skimpy stocks that seem to hold up quite well on large-caliber compensated rifles.

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    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    My Savage 30-06 came with a muzzle brake that you can turn on and off. At the range, I open it up and wear muffs/plugs. In the field, I am usually too excited to feel much and I close it. I really like it, pretty neat. On the other hand, a 30-06 doesn't kick like a mule either.

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    I own a Weatherby 340, it has an answer brake installed on it. I have heard how bad these things kick with 250 grain bullets. But I have not shot a 340 before I bought this one. I decided to load up some rounds and went with 250 grain bullets to load. I wanted to see how bad it was going to be. Well to my surprise my 340 kicks about like a 243 Winchester.

    Is there less stress on the rifle with a brake, there is defiantly a reduce in felt recoil. But I would have to say the effect on the rifle is the same as no brake. I believe most of the damage to the rifle would be done on the ignition of the cartridge. Just my .02

  5. #5

    Default Gimme a brake. please

    Well Murphy, if you consider that a muzzle brake create less, uh, rearward reaction compared to a nekkid barrel, then it seems like that would cause less stress on stocks, scopes, etc. Whether or not it makes a major difference, well...
    If a stock is made of decent quality wood, which I assume you were refering to when you commented on damage caused by recoil, I think a properly made and set up stock, well designed for heavy recoil cartridges, would hold up quite well. I'm not a big fan of brakes per se, but I have an eye condition now that won't allow me to shoot high recoil long guns anymore, so moot point.

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    For me on certain rifles they are a godsend. I used to have a lightweight 375 that had terrible muzzle lift.
    When I was in Zim shooting wart hogs I nailed one and brought the rifle back down and was just getting ready to shoot again when my PH asked me what I was doing.
    I didnt realize it but the one I shot at was dead and I was getting ready to shot another one. All this was lost due to the excessive muzzle lift.
    After this I added the brake and it cut down the lift by at least 50% and it was easier on the shoulder.
    On a lightweight big bore make mine braked every time. Your mileage and opinion may differ.
    Tennessee

  7. #7

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    my un braked 300rum christensen has destroyed its bedding in 200 rounds. I hate the extra noise and length of the brake, but I am sure it will save a stock from getting killed.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I've yet to buy a breaked gun, and my guns go up to 500 Jeffrey. With a past mag recoil shield on your shoulder, and guns of reasonable weight, a break isn't needed if your shoulder and neck are in good order. I'd rather go down in caliber than resort to a break.

    I think everyone should have a 458, just to put recoil in perspective.

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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    I've yet to buy a breaked gun, and my guns go up to 500 Jeffrey. With a past mag recoil shield on your shoulder, and guns of reasonable weight, a break isn't needed if your shoulder and neck are in good order. I'd rather go down in caliber than resort to a break.

    What no 577 tyranasaur or 600ne?

    I think everyone should have a 458, just to put recoil in perspective.
    Know anyone looking to unload one cheap? I'd love to have one and they definatly do put recoil in perspective! I'll never complain about the 375H and H agian!

    Just having a little fun with ya paul
    respectfully
    Rick P

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    My assumption is that there would be less felt recoil to the stock, considering there is less felt recoil to the shooter but I would like to see some scientific data on it, I think it would be interesting.

    The only thing I know for sure about brakes is that I hate shooting on a range when someone else is using one. Even using plugs and muffs, they hurt my head.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I was going to build a 600 Overkill, but they it needs to be 13#'s and have a muzzlebreak, and fullpatch loads of 900gr @2400 fps can get away from you Then I shot 600 gr bullets from my 10+# 500 Jeffrey, and I found my recoil limit

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    I was going to build a 600 Overkill, but they it needs to be 13#'s and have a muzzlebreak, and fullpatch loads of 900gr @2400 fps can get away from you Then I shot 600 gr bullets from my 10+# 500 Jeffrey, and I found my recoil limit
    Man you are a glutton for punishment! Suppose the 500 Jeffery has a strait stock with no recoil pad BTW European drilling?

    Rick P

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    I've yet to buy a breaked gun, and my guns go up to 500 Jeffrey. With a past mag recoil shield on your shoulder, and guns of reasonable weight, a break isn't needed if your shoulder and neck are in good order. I'd rather go down in caliber than resort to a break.

    I think everyone should have a 458, just to put recoil in perspective.
    My exact sentiments as well, "I'd rather go down in caliber than resort to a break"
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
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    THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

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    Hart barrels installed a removable one on my 300 Ultra. One of the selling points was they claimed it would improve accuracy. It does this very well at least for the loads that are worked up with the brake on, and I only work up groups for the brake installed.

    With the brake I can consistently get 100 yard groups in the .4-.6" category depending on bullet. On occasion, I have placed 2 targets side by side at 100. Using the same load I'll fire a single shot at one with the brake on, and then remove it for the next shot at the second target, repeating this 3 times, brake on and then off. Always, with the brake I am around the .5" range and without I am in the 1-1.25 range.

    The brake gives a less explosive push-off as the bullet exits the barrel causing less wobble. Carrying this farther, the bullet should stabilize quicker in flight resulting in a higher impact velocity at long range. All bullets are wobbling when they leave the barrel, the longer it takes to stabilize the quicker the velocity and trajectory fall off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed M View Post
    Hart barrels installed a removable one on my 300 Ultra. One of the selling points was they claimed it would improve accuracy. It does this very well at least for the loads that are worked up with the brake on, and I only work up groups for the brake installed.

    With the brake I can consistently get 100 yard groups in the .4-.6" category depending on bullet. On occasion, I have placed 2 targets side by side at 100. Using the same load I'll fire a single shot at one with the brake on, and then remove it for the next shot at the second target, repeating this 3 times, brake on and then off. Always, with the brake I am around the .5" range and without I am in the 1-1.25 range.

    The brake gives a less explosive push-off as the bullet exits the barrel causing less wobble. Carrying this farther, the bullet should stabilize quicker in flight resulting in a higher impact velocity at long range. All bullets are wobbling when they leave the barrel, the longer it takes to stabilize the quicker the velocity and trajectory fall off.

    Ed,

    I will agree with all this, the accuracy could very well be better because of barrel vibrations being reduced ( the theory behind the BOSS). Also I will say for most shooters the rifle is more accurate because the shooter can learn to not anticipate getting whipped at each shot. Definately beneficial there.

    I also would agree about the wobble but it is also possible that a brake can make that worse depending on how it is ported and such. I'd say the difference is small as to long range velocity affect due to this wobble but certainly fits into the list of little things that make a difference. This exit wobble being reduced would make short range accuracy the equal of long range with some bullets.

    I'm wondering about your two targets, is there a POI change with the brake on vs off?
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  16. #16

    Thumbs down

    This is from a thread I started a month ago.

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...t=muzzle+break

    To all you 300 RUM shooters, all you doing is punishing yourself! A bullet out of a 30-06 will do you just as good. The only difference is about 4 or 5 inches in trajectory at 400 yards.

    You guys using muzzle breaks should just stab yourself in the ear and just ruin your hearing once and for all because that's all muzzle break is good for. HAHA!
    Last edited by Bernie1; 04-27-2007 at 17:54.

  17. #17
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    According to the chart I have for a 180gr at 400 yards your looking at a difference of 12 inches between the two.
    And the 300rum packs allot more punch, higher energy.

  18. #18
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    No, Jim, this isn't a loaded question.

    As most of you know I have a strong aversion to muzzle brakes. I don't like the blast, or the looks. I've never denied that they do reduce recoil. I agree totally with Paul's opinion of them.

    What this was about was how they affect the rifle. It would seem that the stock would take less of a beating with a brake installed. Some brakes deflect the high pressure gas sideways and others deflect it to the rear slightly. (Like the big shoe box on the big fifty rifles) If there is rear deflection in the gas, wouldn't that move the rifle forward after the exit?
    Yes it does. This produces a double shuffle of sorts and might be more harmful to guns and scope mounts that just taking the full recoil in one direction. It does seem to loosen bedding screws quickly.

    The Sako rifle has an integral tapered dovetail rail on the receiver and the Sako mounts, and others, go on this rail. The dovetail is wider to the front and recoil just jambs the scope mount tighter at the shot and makes a very firm mount. I had an occasion to test and develop loads for a Bill Weisman rifle made on a Sako action. This was a 375 JRS (wildcat) which will send 300 grains at 2700 fps. This one had a integral brake on it. I mounted a good set of mounts and scope and settled in for some testing. On the third shot the scope came off and hit me in the head. I put it back on and tightened it tighter, same result after three shots. I decided to study this situation at least until my head quit hurting. I concluded that the very effective brake (243 recoil) was moving the rifle forward and confirmed this by checking the position of the rifle on the sand bags before and after the shot. I haqd to use a seperate base with set screws to overcome this problem. (Burris base with dual dove tail rings.)

    A few years later I was talking with Dave Talley at the SHOT show about his mounts for a Sako rifle. I said it would be nice to have just a direct mounting ring to go on the Sako receiver like his excellent Ruger and CZ rings. He refuse, saying if somebody puts a brake on the rifle, there's nothing to hold the mounts on the gun. I should have check with him first.
    He does make seperate bases for his rings and these bases have set screws also.

    Also, some years back I called Leupold about a broken scope, a 3-9 VX II, I think, the voice on the other end asked if it had been on an air rifle. Ah...no ..why. Because the backwards recoil of a compressed air powered air rifle will shake loose the guts on the scope. Well they tell me now that their scopes will take recoil from any direction and not be damaged. I believe them on that.

    Back to the muzzle brake. There are many different variations of these things some are quieter than others, some are more effective and some pull the rifle forward as the bullet exits. Does this forward recoil damage scopes or stocks or bedding? I would want a rifle and scope that will take a beating from any direction and not be damaged. Maybe these brakes have brought us better scopes and in some cases better stocks and bedding techniques.

    Many beautiful walnut stocks have been split by the recoil of rifles (the Weatherby stock splits are common) Looking at several different stocks from 338 WM and up there is some obvious need to bed good wood stocks to prevent this damage. Remington M700 are prone to this with the big bores also. I don't think they have enough bedding lug fore or aft. I don't see recoil damage in stocks that have been bedded correctly, wood or synthetic but I see a lot of it in the injection moulded (plastic) flexible flyer stocks on some rifles. Some of these seem to be beat up a lot from heavy caliber guns with and without brakes. There is some evidence that the rifle was going the wrong way in the stock (forward) on rifles with brakes installed.

    I just though I'd point out some of my findings over the past few years and see what you all think.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  19. #19

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    Rick P,
    Energy is for suckers it has no real value in hunting, it's all about the wound channel you bullet makes.

    You’ve read to much trash from gun magazines.


    30-06 – 180g 2900fps
    +3 @100
    +1.5@200
    -5@300
    -18.5@400
    -38.8@500

    300 RUM
    from Remington website
    Long-Range Trajectory
    Cartridge Type Bullet 100 150 200 250 300 400 500
    Premier® Core-Lok 2.1 2.5 1.8 zero -3.1 -13.6 -30.7

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    A good thing about a muzzle brake is that it allows me to shoot a rifle that produces lots of recoil. There is no need for me to settle on a smaller cartridge just because I can't handle the recoil from a bigger one. The more I practice with the gun, the more proficient with it I become. That's all there is to it. The added noise that can damage the hearing of bystanders, and mine, is something else to consider, and there are ways to work around that.

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