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Thread: barrel porting vs muzzle brake

  1. #1

    Default barrel porting vs muzzle brake

    Which is better?

    1. Having the last inch or so of the barrel counterbored and then swiss cheesed (crossdrilled umpteen times), or

    2. Having the barrel threaded and an aftermarket muzzle brake installed?

    Assuming that cost, length, and noise are not important considerations
    only function (recoil reduction) and accuracy (minute-of-moose).

    the rifle is a 6.5lb 300WinMag with a 26" tube.

    Thanks, E.

  2. #2
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    Very definately have it threaded and a Vais type brake installed, if you must "brake" your rifle. This will give you the option of "going back" to a normal configuration should you want or to sell the rifle later. Well over half the shooters I know would never buy a rifle with a reamed and ported barrel except for the action & stock.

    You could have it threaded and a thread protector installed for hunting and the brake installed when shooting from a bench. With the 26" tube, you could even cut it 2" then thread it, etc. to keep the length the same as now. If you ream and port it the velocity will be the same as cutting to 24" anyway.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Default #2

    I agree with Murphy, pretty safe bet there! I view muzzle brakes as a last resort. I would look at the stock first; does it fit right? If not, fix it so it does. Synthetic vs wood, synthetic stocks are usually thought to absorb more recoil than wood. Install a good recoil pad, the Limbsaver does a good job. Add weight or a recoil damping system to the stock. If the gun kicks that much it's probably not a sheep rifle, so the extra weight may not be a detriment. Limit time spent on the bench with a heavy kicking rifle, and only shoot a few 3-4 shot groups. I also use extra bags to elevate the rifle off the bench as much as practicle. A more upright position will kick less than a more prone position. Use a lead sled, I just discovered these devices in the last couple years and there great. When I shot the large caliber guns I take along a small caliber rifle to shoot between rounds with the big guns so I don't develope any bad habits. I still use the trick I learned a long time ago of having a buddy slip in a dummy round into a big gun to see if I flinch when the pin falls on the dummy round. If I do then it's more time with the smaller rigs and less with the big boys.

    http://www.limbsaver.com/Products/Fi...ecoil_Pad.aspx

    http://www.mercuryrecoil.com/#top

    http://www.knoxx.com/products/RifleCompStock.php

    http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpag...eitemid=152664


    Woody

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    Member rlcofmn's Avatar
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    I do agree with all your range ideas for reducing the felt recoil. But my last gun came with a muzzle brake and also a cover to thread on when not using it. I loved the set up and did not see any downfalls in it other than feeling bad for anybody next to me at the range. I used it at the range and did not while I was hunting because there was no reasen to blow out my ear drums when recoil is my last concern when my crosshairs are on a moose. It shot exactly the same sub moa groups with or without it so I dont see any reason not to have a powerfull gun that is a pleasure to shoot at the range. That was a fairly light weight 300 UM and it had less recoil than my 243.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    While I simply don't like brakes for a variety of reasons, if I needed to have one installed, I would have the barrel machined for an integral brake. There are a varity of ways to achieve this, and it depends on the barrel contour as to what can be done with your barrel.

    My thinking on integral breaks is backbore 0.010" over groove dia ~1 1/2", and mill three 1/4" or 3/8" slots to make a tank style baffle break with 1/8" gaps between the slots. The bigger ports don't have the shriek of the multiple small holes, and should likely be more effective.

    Screw on breaks certainly work, but odds are they won't be perfectly concentric, and hence the chance to degrade accuracy.

  6. #6

    Default

    Thanks for the insight. I had not even considered that counterboring would
    devalue the firearm. My only concern was that the gun's owner would be able to shoot the rifle without excessive discomfort.
    The rifle's owner spoke with Stan Jackson and is planning on having the threaded brake installed.
    Thanks again, Ernie.

  7. #7

    Default Brake

    You might consider Mag-NA_PORT there system is a EDM brake actually built into the barrel. It doesn't reduce recoil as much as muzzle jump though. But the noise isn't as bad as a brake either.
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    I don't like integral brakes for several reasons:

    1. Since the section of barrel that is altered must be back-drilled a couple of inches to make it's diameter larger than the barrel's bore, the gun smith is altering the barrel's crown. It means that this new crown must be worked to a perfect condition after.

    2. This procedure reduces barrel length around two inches (takes out about 2" of rifling from the barrel).

    3. Should you want to sell the rifle and the buyer does not want a brake, then you must cut the barrel and re-crown.
    -----
    I agree with Murphy on this one. The best brake is one where the end of the barrel is threaded. This way the crown is not altered, the brake can be removed and a thread protector installed at will, and if the barrel even has to be shortened and re-crowned, only around an inch of barrel is lost. It's the same with a handgun that has been threaded to accept a compensator or a silencer. Built-in silencers are a permanent alteration, while threaded ones can be removed at will. Just look at the barrel of a Walther P22 Pistol. It has a thread protector installed.

    Finally, a friend of mine has a ported .30-06 rifle. That's the way it was made by BSA years ago. Perhaps it's not as loud as a muzzle brake, but I can tell you that I don't want to shoot that little rifle without wearing muffs. It's extremely loud.

  9. #9
    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    ...have it threaded and a Vais type brake installed...
    Quick question, what exactly is a Vais type brake? Also, I've got a Savage 30-06 with a brake fom the factory on it. You can either open or close it depending on the shooting situation. Is there any disadvantage to having this type of brake (from what I've read it seems like any type of brake could affect accuracy...)?

  10. #10
    Member Matt's Avatar
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    Neither . . .

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    You may want to consider a selectable Brockman brake.

    http://www.brockmansrifles.com/mbrake.asp

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    Ive had a KDF brake for probably 15 years or more ,and I love it...........I believe it was Reds gunsmithing that did the work,think he's in Chickaloon now.

  13. #13

    Default Threaded muzzle brake.

    Years ago I decided I wanted a muzzle brake on my .458 for shooting off the bench. I sent it to Mag-Na-Port and they did the job without having to remount the front sight. For a small charge they also included a threaded sleeve to protect the threads when the brake is off. It shoots very accurately, I didn't lose any velocity, and I dont have to have that extra 2" of barrel length in the woods. I don't use it for varmint hunting and don't notice the recoil much from field positions when hunting. Someone mentioned using upright shooting positions to reduce recoil. That works. On some of my hard-kicking rifles I wear a PAST recoil shoulder pad. I set up my shooting bench with the rifle high, using stacks of sandbags, so I'm not leaning forward. The combination of those two factors do a great job. By the way, with the muzzle brake installed, the .458 is a *****cat.
    Jack.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Morgan View Post
    Years ago I decided I wanted a muzzle brake on my .458 for shooting off the bench. I sent it to Mag-Na-Port and they did the job without having to remount the front sight. For a small charge they also included a threaded sleeve to protect the threads when the brake is off. It shoots very accurately, I didn't lose any velocity, and I dont have to have that extra 2" of barrel length in the woods. I don't use it for varmint hunting and don't notice the recoil much from field positions when hunting. Someone mentioned using upright shooting positions to reduce recoil. That works. On some of my hard-kicking rifles I wear a PAST recoil shoulder pad. I set up my shooting bench with the rifle high, using stacks of sandbags, so I'm not leaning forward. The combination of those two factors do a great job. By the way, with the muzzle brake installed, the .458 is a *****cat.
    Jack.

    Do you have the "magnabrake" as they call it? I have been contemplating this option for my .338 RUM. I assume by your post you are satisfied with the product.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hunt_ak View Post
    Quick question, what exactly is a Vais type brake? Also, I've got a Savage 30-06 with a brake fom the factory on it. You can either open or close it depending on the shooting situation. Is there any disadvantage to having this type of brake (from what I've read it seems like any type of brake could affect accuracy...)?

    A Vais brake is a type of brake that is much quieter than most, and it is generally screwed on the the muzzle of the barrel. George Vais, the inventor of the device sold his company to Ron Bartlett and moved back to his home country of Greece. The Vais Arms company, I think is the official name. Ron makes them just like the original.

    I hate all of them (muzzle brakes, not Greeks) and see no use for them whatsoever. I have a couple of guns that I bought used, mainly for the actions, and they are as of now still in tact with the detachable brakes. This is mainly because I wanted to explore how the brake affects the accuracy and velocity with it on then off. It has been one of my more interesting projects and a real myth buster. Yes they do affect velocity and accuracy.
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  16. #16
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    Murphy. Maybe on your guns but that does not mean all guns. My christionson shot the exact same with or without it besides the difference in recoil and noise. I would say its alot more the type of brake and the installation of it than anything. I doubt I will put one on my new gun but I would gladly have a rifle with another removable muzzlebrake. by the way if anybody ever comes across a christionson 300 rum with the brake missing its probably stolen and its probably mine because thats the only thing i have left to the gun.

  17. #17
    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    This is mainly because I wanted to explore how the brake affects the accuracy and velocity with it on then off. It has been one of my more interesting projects and a real myth buster. Yes they do affect velocity and accuracy.
    I'd be interested in this science project of yours. Maybe you could start a new thread on the subject (bet it would be a popular one). Thats one vote if you're up for all the effort of putting the info on here.

  18. #18

    Default Mag-Na-Port

    Kenairmk, I am very satisfied with the muzzle-brake. I do not recall what they called it, but I discussed it with them and told them I wanted maximum recoil reduction for shooting off a bench. They recommended this particular brake and that is what I had them install. It is about 2" long, and tapers out slightly from barrel diameter, and after about 3/4", the sides of the brake run parallel to each other. It has a large number of small holes drilled in it in rows that slant diagonally, slightly, all around it. The rows of holes are all the way around the brake. The rows are more or less linear with the barrel, except for the aforementioned slant, as though they were lined up with the lands or grooves in the barrel. It is much more esthetically pleasing than the brakes I have on a couple of other rifles. It cost more than others, but they did a great job, and I more than got my money's worth.
    Jack.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by rlcofmn View Post
    Murphy. Maybe on your guns but that does not mean all guns. My christionson shot the exact same with or without it besides the difference in recoil and noise. I would say its alot more the type of brake and the installation of it than anything. I doubt I will put one on my new gun but I would gladly have a rifle with another removable muzzlebrake. by the way if anybody ever comes across a christionson 300 rum with the brake missing its probably stolen and its probably mine because thats the only thing i have left to the gun.

    Sorry to hear about your Christenson Arms rifle. Maybe I could borrow the brake. Most of those are of the same thread size, I wonder how different brakes affect when shot from the same barrel. Every brake design would be different to some degree.

    Well, yeah, I mean my guns actually just these two, I've never done this before and I've never seen any results from it. I always wondered about the POI when going from brake to no brake. If it holds the barrel down, like magna-port, it seems logical that it would affect POI. Maybe I'll get a project going this spring.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    I posted this before but I think it was quite a while back. I have a Rem 700 LSS in 300 Ultra with a Hart removable brake. I did some experimenting in preparation for a high arctic hunt with expected temps around the -40 range.

    I put my gun in the freezer at around -10 with a round in the chamber and magazine full. I also had a box of bullets with it in the freezer. My shooting range is off my back porch, probably 8 feet from the freezer. It was wintertime so I did not have to worry about humidity, condensation, or ambient temperature affecting repeatibility. It was probably all over in less than 2 minutes each day. Each day I would take the gun out of the freezer, fire 1 shot, reload it from the frozen box, and put it back in the freezer. The difference being from day to day is one day I would remove the brake after firing the shot, and the next day put the brake back on after firing the shot. I fired three shots with the brake on and three shots with it off.

    Overall I think I did a good job with controlling variables. Barrel, stock, action, primer, case, and powder were all probably within a couple degrees for every shot.

    This is a very small sampling but this is what I found. All six shots were fired into the same target. There was no velocity variation in shots whether the brake was on or off. Coincidentally both sets averaged out to exactly 3487 fps, probably couldn't reproduce it so exactly if I tried. The group with the brake was much tighter. As is typical for me regardless of the variables. I have tested this a few times previously under more normal range conditions. A brake should allow the bullet to stabilize faster than one without. Hart told me to expect the groups to improve with the brake. POI was changed a little, it moved about 1" to the left without the brake.

    Each grid on the target is .5".





    Murphy,

    I think to get a complete and accurate brake vs. no brake test that you need to measure velocity out around 300 yards. I believe a brake stabilizes the bullet quicker which is going to result in greater downrange velocity and energy, even though they may start out at the same velocity.

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