Muzzle breaks in general cause as much (if not more) debate as Ford vs Chevy, some may denounce breaks with impunity as the single greatest sin of the 20th century while others may claim deception of the faithful
As with any deliberation, there are pros & cons to be weighed as well as compromises to consider.
Are you willing to wear ear protection before EVERY shot?
If not, are you willing to accept the possibility of permanent hearing damage?
Are you willing to accept the extra bbl length? (Not a very big difference)
Are you ok with the possibility of angering the shooters at the range on the firing line next to you? (you can always have a threaded cap made for range time)
On the other hand:
You WILL be more capable of spotting hits or misses.
You WILL be able to become more efficient with the large magnums as you can withstand more rounds fired per range session.
You WILL have the ability to improve your skill set without the punishment of sometimes extreme recoil.
More focus on your improved skill set, less focus on recoil while making important shots.
Is it worth is to me?? Absolutely, I have breaks on rifles as small as my 6mmAI that weighs nearly 10#, why? Because I have decided that comfort & the ability to call my own shots outweighs all other factors. I have never (to this point)in the game fields NOT had enough time to put my ear plugs in before I take my shot; albeit this has much to do with the terrain I hunt in here in WY, most areas allow you to spot your prey long before you are in shooting range (please remember to warn your new hunting buddies before you fire!) As a landowner i'm not real worried about people next to me on the firing line because if there is actually someone there they are my buddies shooting a similarly designed rifle (with break) and we know how to handle it (read controlled environment
). As to blowing dust/debris all over the place; it can and does happen with breaks ported on the bottom (which makes no sense to me in any way shape or form). My first 2 rigs have ports on the bottom & will absolutely cover you in dirt after a day on the range, so I stopped acquiring that style. The last 2 I had built do not have holes on bottom (2 different styles) & I really don't mind them; do they stir dust? A little, but so does the wind.... I've also started using a shooting mat more & more which completely eliminates dust with any break I have. Make sure you research all of the wonderful breaks on the market before you decide on which one to utilize (if you decide on one at all).
These are my opinion & findings only, meant to provide perspective & facts to ease your decision. The major deliberation is in your hands as only YOU can decide what fits YOUR needs.
Hope I answered more question than I created with this post, I would like to hear what your decision turns out to be, keep us posted...