Originally Posted by SFR292
I used to use Limbsaver pads but they deteriorate very badly over a short period of time, the decellerator is great pad as well. Custom fitting the pad looks much better on the decellerator's base material IMO as well.
Brakes make all the difference in the world. I really like the Holland Muzzle Brake, they work very well, not huge, and not overly loud either. That being said, there's always a trade off with brakes, the reduced recoil comes at the effect of added noise. Usually the noise isn't bad for the driver, but any passengers in the area might not like you very much. If you're out in the open (hunting in places the STW really shows itself) the noise isn't bad at all. I have a few different brakes on my guns, all work well in different ways. If you find a brake you like I'll be more than happy to share my experience with it. I do between 5-10 brakes a week in the shop. Another thing I like about Hollands are they are available in many different threads that allow them to be installed on small diameter (like most light weight hunting guns) without having to shorten the barrel down to get enough "meat" to cut the standard 5/8-24 that many popular brakes are offered in.
I've shot literally dozens of different styles of brakes over the years and all have some advantages along with disadvantages.
The "Gentry Quiet Brake" is one of the most effective brakes on the market with no increase in noise to the shooter at all.
It's fault is if you shoot it prone since it's a 360 discharge which means as you well know in our part of the world if you are shooting prone you will create a dust storm ahead of you and may if you are shooting into the wind have you ending up with a lot of debris in your face.
The Shrewd Varmint brake is a good one as well, not as much recoil reduction but still tames the tigers with no increase in noise to the shooter and even out to the sides you aren't pushing those with you. It's great for prone shooting (side discharge) but does not reduce muzzle flip as effectively as many others.
The best overall brake I've shot is this one by Snowy Mountain Rifle company.
Even on my 7mm STW if I don't have ear protection I can get off a couple of shots without punishing myself and it is fantastic at reducing both muzzle flip and recoil.
I was fortunate enough to get one on a rifle I bought last year and like it well enough I'll be putting it on at least four of my other magnums this year.
I've not noticed any problem with the Limbsaver pads breaking down on me but I've only been using them for three years including on the rifles I keep in the truck year round which means they get exposed to a lot of extremes at both ends of the thermometer. If they do break down on me, I'll just replace them. They are in my opinion the most effective I've ever tried. I like the Pachmayr as well, but the limbsaver does seem a bit more effective.