Here is the question. I am going to purchase a 30” Shilen Savage Pre-fit Bull barrel chambered in .30-06. I will be shooting 208 -220gr bullets through it, and need some recoil reduction. This will be my long range hunting/target rifle, so I have been toying with the idea of adding a muzzle brake, or porting the barrel. Being a big “DIY” kind of guy, I will be doing all the machining work myself. I’m weighting the pro and cons of both, so please chime in. My porting work will essentially be an integrated muzzle brake (tank barrel style brake). Because I will be using it in situations where ear protection will not always be able to be used, I have come up with a simple solution I call my Sound Deflector. This device will essentially be a piece of pipe slipped over the ports, directing the sound forward. I am including a few pictures, so take a look at them and tell me what you think.
Here is the muzzle end of the barrel with the two 0.625x0.728 slots milled into the barrel
Here is a side view of the muzzle. (threads to the right of the first port are for the Sound Deflector)
Here is the Sound Deflector installed. Notice the gap between the barrel and the SD, as this allows the gases and sound to escape forward.
I will be reaming out the barrel to .328, or 0.02 over bullet diameter, in for 2". Then I will crown the new muzzle. That will give me 28" + or - 0.05. Threads will be the same as the chamber end, for approx. 1". The Sound Deflector with be 2" OD, with 1.5" ID, 3" long, with a 1" threaded section to match the threads on the barrel.
I think your sound deflector will drastrically reduce the efficiency of any brake you have, as the gases will be redirected forward.
I've had one rifle with barrel porting (Magna-port) and even though it did reduce recoil (7mm Rem Mag), it made the barrel more handload sensitive (more picky to small changes in reloads).
A screw on muzzle brake that can be removed and replaced with a thread protector when you have no ear protection would be my choice.
When I hunt with a braked rifle, I use electronic muffs so I can hear whats going on around me, but still be protected.
AJ is right. The deflector will negate the recoil reduction of the break.
I tried something similar a few years ago on a assault rifle that was terrible and could not be
shot without ear protection.
I finally ended up making a cone/funnel shaped brake that did reduce the noise to a reasonable
level, But it did not reduce the recoil very much ,(And it looks weird).
There is a break that can be opened or closed that would be good for hunting because when
at the range the ports could be opened and when hunting could be closed reducing noise.
The way you have the brake drawn you could do the same thing buy making the outer sleeve
with holes to match your break and simply rotate the sleeve to open or close the brake.But the
sleeve would have to be strong enough to take the pressure when closed.
Thank you, you two esteemed individuals, for your replies to this thread. I do want to ask further of your opinion concerning this matter. I would like to discuss the effectiveness of the sound deflector. Let me start by saying I’m not an expert in fluid dynamics, so some of my thoughts may not be complete right. With that said, I would purpose that sound deflector (SD) would, of course, reduce the braking effect of the ports. My thought is that I would see a marked and even felt decline, but not a drastic one. I’m leaving a 0.25 inch gap around the barrel for gas flow. With the SD walls being almost 90 degrees from the gas flow (gas coming from the ports), I would expect that a large portion of the force left in the gas would be used in pushing against the SD walls. Then the gas would take the path of least resistance, and flow out the muzzle end. I think the actual back thrust generated in the SD would be small.
Can you explain why you think that ports of this type would be more likely to make the barrel more “handload sensitive” than an equally designed screw on brake?
J E Custom, I definitely will consider the ports in the SD idea you presented.
I don't know 'why' ports like this would make it more sensitive. But the one experience I had with them, it did. Prior to getting my rifle ported, it would shoot nearly anything into 3/4" or less (much better for some loads). After it was ported, I had to be super careful and consistent to get under 1".
If some is good and more is better, then too much is just right.
My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought, cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives