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Thread: muzzle brakes on hunting rifles. yay or nay?

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    Default muzzle brakes on hunting rifles. yay or nay?

    whats the general opinion on muzzle brakes on hunting rifles? i know they increase the loudness of the gun. major concern or no?

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Not being a smart alec but- "How important is your hearing?"

    I've fired a few rifles equipped with brakes and they do reduce recoil- how much is subjective. But every rifle I've fired with one was ridiculously loud and that bothered me more than the recoil would have. For a target rifle that will be shot on a range or something used with hearing protection whatever floats your boat, but my vote on a general hunting rifle that might be fired without muffs or next to your buddy without muffs is they're not worth it.

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    Member moses42ak's Avatar
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    Nay! Obnoxiously loud, animal in the sights or not. Worse for those standing around you. On top of the noise you'll hope you're not prone with a bit of dust available. You'll be using all available water flushing the debris out of your eyes.

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    It's fine as long as you always wear ear plugs or muffs. A set of electronic ear muffs makes it very convenient for hunting if your rifle has a muzzle brake. Also, I would advise not to fire your rifle next to your hunting partner unless he (or she) wears ear plugs, too. Other than that, even a .22-caliber pistol or rifle damages your hearing if you don't wear plugs or muffs. I shot a moose a few days ago using a braked rifle, and was wearing ear muffs. But I forgot to wear them when shooting my .454 Casull revolver to finish the moose a close range. I could hear ringing in my ears two hours later

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    I agree with hodgeman on this one, if you want to use one, make sure you use the best ear protection you can find. If I am shooting a rifle with a muzzle brake I usually shoot with both earplugs and muffs.

    Contrary to the general views posted on this board, I think muzzle brakes are fine for use with adequate hearing protection. Be forwarned, I am sure some will chime in, tell you do push ups, be a man, etc. I think they may just have Small Rifle Syndrome.

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    Pay the $200 and get a suppressor, quiets and reduces recoil

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    while i would love to, they are a no go in michigan.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Shoot a smaller gun if a break is needed.JMHO

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I'll tell a story here- a buddy of mine had his .338WM barrel lopped off at 20" and a "KDF type" muzzle brake installed. He got assigned out in the wild blue so I thought I'd be a nice guy and sight it in for him.
    Loudest gun I've ever fired. Period.
    Kicked less than my .308 but the shockwave shook the dirt out of the rafters on the range and we had been shooting my .375 for most of the afternoon. I thought the muzzle flash might cause a fire- wish I had pictures, it was impressive.
    No way I'd hunt with him using it though. A quick shot without muffs and you'd likely lose some hearing permanently.
    Personally the trade off between recoil and muzzle blast- I'll take recoil every time!

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    Muzzle brakes don't make a rifle louder, they just direct the muzzle blast, and noise, sideways, as opposed to away from the shooter. I've shot hundreds of braked rifles in just about every caliber you can name, and for the ladies and kids they are an ideal way to equip them with a more effective caliber without inducing unnecessary flinch and fear of recoil. The few times I've used or been around one hunting in the field, they weren't a problem any more than some clueless individual firing a non braked rifle nearby. Just some real world observations.

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    Oh, and by the way, they are brakes, not breaks, unless they're broken. Like the brakes on your car.

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    Default nay

    if hunting with partner, who is spotting for you, sitting next to you, no good......way to much kick up of debree, dirt, leaves, which takes the point of having one in the first place, to get off an accurate second shot.

    and as for bear protection with handgun, in camp, its dark, you shoot, now your blinded as well as everyone else in your camp,

    so im a big nay sayer,,,,,

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    Default nope

    Even as I'm getting ready to have surgery to fix the many problems in my neck and upper T-spine..... I have no use for them.

    Should this not go well and I can't deal with the recoil of my 338wm, I'll send it off and have it re-barreled into something less punishing. Leaning towards the 280 Ackley. Quite a step down, but still a very capable caliber that doesn't have near the recoil of it's slightly bigger brother. (7mag) More likely, I'll put my 308 to good use again.

    Won't sit next to them at the range, and won't hunt beside one either.

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    Member fnsakdel's Avatar
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    Default Brakes

    http://www.bp-tec.com/index.html

    I have 2 of them on 2 of my 7mm mags 35% recoil reduction
    the guns have no muzzle flip and can not tell one bit of difference
    in noise or pressure to the shooter Del

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunbugs View Post
    Muzzle brakes don't make a rifle louder, they just direct the muzzle blast, and noise, sideways, as opposed to away from the shooter. I've shot hundreds of braked rifles in just about every caliber you can name, and for the ladies and kids they are an ideal way to equip them with a more effective caliber without inducing unnecessary flinch and fear of recoil. The few times I've used or been around one hunting in the field, they weren't a problem any more than some clueless individual firing a non braked rifle nearby. Just some real world observations.

    I can't believe you said that.


    Ideal for ladies and kids????


    WITHOUT inducing unnecessary flinch????


    Real world observations????


    I guess Ear Damage is all in your head.


    Smitty of the North
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post


    I guess Ear Damage is all in your head.


    Smitty of the North
    Technically speaking, ear damage IS all in your head.

    I am sorry, I just couldn't pass this attempt at humor up.

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    Member The Kid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seant View Post
    Technically speaking, ear damage IS all in your head.

    I am sorry, I just couldn't pass this attempt at humor up.

    DA DAT CHHH

    (Thats the drums from a comedy show).

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    I have a pair of Ruger m77 in 300 win mag. 1 with a muzzle break and one without. I had the brake installed when getting it cut down and fitted for my small ex-wife. I can say first hand that the kick is drastically reduced as I have shot that gun for 20 years before hand without the brake. Even more amazing is virtually ZERO lift! The scope doesn't lift of target. I have dropped several animals with that gun prior to the brake where you shoot, the gun lifts and comes back down, and never see the animal until I walk up and finding it all the while hoping that I didn't miss and it ran off and didn't see it. As to the noise. I will admit that it is slightly louder than it was before or my other one that is still stock. It is by no means loud enough to make me regret installing the brake. Truth be told, I want to put one on my other 300 as well. I'm not one to sit at a bench and shoot box after box through them either. 3 shots each at a range to make sure they are still zero'd, then a kill shot or two til next season. If I want to burn a bunch of ammo, I'll shoot the 22's.

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    Thumbs down used to be pro, now I'm con

    Ultra, I know where you're coming from on every last point you made - and I agree with it all, or at least used to.

    Which led me to buy a Browning BAR 30.06 with a wide aperture scope, brake, and dial-weight adjuster on the brake too. And it did as you say, didn't rise and it didn't kick. Solid as a rock if you keep track of the bullet drop. I could hit the approximately moose-sized target at 500 yards 10/10 times most attempts and if not then 9 - like adjusting for windage after the first shot. Never shot game that far but its nice to know you can put a bullet wherever you need to.

    But now I can definitely hear better in my left ear than in my right. From owning that brake (until 4 years ago when I sold it)?? Don't know. But I know I wouldn't put brake on a rifle of mine now.

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    Premium Member MarineHawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    I can't believe you said that.


    Ideal for ladies and kids????


    WITHOUT inducing unnecessary flinch????


    Real world observations????


    I guess Ear Damage is all in your head.


    Smitty of the North
    +1!


    It's simple:


    Hearing protection will not dampen sound by more than about 30 decibels.


    A fully braked magnum rifle generally exceeds 130 decibels at the head of the shooter (it's true' it's science; tests prove it).


    More than 100 decibels will damage your hearing.


    Even with double hearing protection, you will damage your hearing firing a braked magnum rifle.


    With no hearing protection, you will really damage your hearing really really bad firing a braked magnum rifle...


    I personally flinch less (not at all really) from the impact of my unbraked 340 Wby than from the shocking explosive noise coming my friend's braked 300 Wby.


    It's just my $0.02.


    Of course, it's also science too: http://www.chuckhawks.com/muzzle_brakes.htm ("For a hunter in the field, shooting without ear protection, the muzzle blast from a muzzle brake is immediately deafening. Nearly complete temporary deafness usually lasts from about a minute to several minutes after firing a powerful magnum rifle equipped with a muzzle brake. Later almost all of the shooter's hearing returns, but a certain amount is permanently lost, and the losses are cumulative. This is why hunting rifles equipped with muzzle brakes are illegal in some African jurisdictions. They have proven damaging to the unprotected hearing of the scouts and guides accompanying the hunter. In North America an increasing number of big game guides now refuse to let a sport use a rifle equipped with a muzzle brake for the same reason.")

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