To Muzzle Brake or not to Muzzle Brake

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by 300magman, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. 300magman

    300magman Well-Known Member

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    I'm curious about the trend toward muzzle breaks on many hunting rifles. I can see the point if its a big 338 with substantial recoil, but why are muzzle brakes so popular on smaller rifles of 30 cal or 7mm as well?

    Is it simply that most people feel these rifles beat them up in longer shooting seasons or is it the other benefits of the brake.

    Myself, I think a brake could end up being a very bad thing on a hunting rifle where any quick shooting might take place and hearing protection might be forgotten in the rush (or skipped for sake of speed)
    But on a target rifle (where and if allowed) I think they would be great.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2010
  2. ScottB

    ScottB Well-Known Member

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    Muzzle brakes have a place with the heavy recoiling stuff in my safes. Although the wife does like a brake on her varmint caliber rifle(22.250AI), this allows her to see the 'hit' through the optic.



    Then there's the whole "accuracy-is-effected-by-a-muzzlebrake-so-I-don't-use-them" crowd.





    Scott
     

  3. GNERGY

    GNERGY Guest

    I have a Muscle brake on my 338 Ultra mag which made shooting it more enjoyable and made me a more accurate shooter by not worrying about getting pounded.
    I made a similar brake for my Rem. 7400 semi auto in 308 hoping I would be able to get off a faster second shot for coyote hunting. It made it kick a lot less, more like a 223. It also made it shoot better, maybe because of the extra weight on the 7400's thin barrel. It would shoot groups around 1 1/4 inch for 3 shots at 100yds no matter how I loaded them. Now with the brake I can keep 3 shots at 3/4 of an inch with the same loads with 125 gr. and 150 gr bullets.
    Go figure ? must have something to do with barrel harmonics.
    Tarey
     
  4. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    On this site it is popular cause of larger cals for long range, the desire to spot your shots and time the way a lot of us LR hunt we have time to use ear protection. I hate recoil, I can take a lot but why, especially when I shoot so many rounds out of my hunting rifle by the time hunting season rolls around a guy could develop a bad flinch.

    Ear protection has come a long ways, I've gotten used to wearing my low profile electronic ear muffs all the time so the noise is controlled I might as well brake it so the shooting experience is bettergun)
     
  5. dirtball

    dirtball Well-Known Member

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    I find that I shoot more accurately if I do not have to subconsciously worry about getting hit in forehead by my scope. When I shoot prone, which is most of the time, I only put enough shoulder into the rifle to lightly preload the bipod or feel the forend against the rest stop, almost free recoil.
    With a quality brake you do not have to hold onto the rifle like you were getting ready to wrestle with it.
    I have brakes on all the rifles I shoot except the match rifles (NRA won't let me).
    I have shot them all (well except one) with brake on and brake off, no difference in accuracy. Yes with some the POI is a little different, but they are usually shot brake on.

    Dave
     
  6. ken snyder

    ken snyder Well-Known Member

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    There are muzzle brakes and there are pices of junk called a muzzle brake. Good ones are not significantly louder than the same rifle without one. Adjustable ones will make a good load fantastic. I haven't seen the length, balance or weight to be of any consequence compared to the benefits. If your buddies poke joke at you for useing them on smaller cartridges, the joke is on them. If someone asks why they arent allowed or used in most competitions, I would have to say, gosh I don't have a clue, but it could be that the cheap ones can blow your hat further than the bullet will fly.
     
  7. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

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    I'm not really bothered by recoil very much. But ...... I am concerned about having a scope coming into contact with my face on the heavy recoiling rifles. Brakes do increase noise and blast to the shooter but are necessary on some rifles for safety reasons. At least IMO.

    Given the choice I'd opt to go brake-less. However, sometimes there really isn't much choice.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  8. moombaskier

    moombaskier Well-Known Member

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    My 7mag weighs 11lbs. and when I had the Holland Quick Discharge brake installed it was the best decision I made. I love seeing my shots hit at all ranges. I haven't shot it without ear plugs yet, but my buddy who shoots a 300RUM with the same brake has and it aint pretty! He does quite a dance! +1 what dirtball said.
     
  9. 300magman

    300magman Well-Known Member

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    If I could find a brake that didn't significantly increase sound blast, but was still an effective brake, then perhaps some of my rifles would wear one too.

    Does anyone else have this oppinion of certain brakes? Ken Snyder, I'd be interesting in knowing which brakes you found that were quiet (in relative terms)...I'm slightly skeptical, but Highly interested.
     
  10. BigSkyGP

    BigSkyGP Well-Known Member

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    Only some of my ARs have the birdcage, just for pissing off liberals.

    Even with earplugs/muffs I don't care for the concusion, from brakes. Then my biggest rifle is 300WM and it is fine to shoot without one.
     
  11. Gene

    Gene Well-Known Member

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    Brakes are not allowed in BR competition because they blow the ears of shooter at the next bench. Kinda distracting.

    I don't own a brake. I even shoot my 8mm Mag without one. I have heard that one should not buy a brake that is permanently installed on the barrel, because accuracy will suffer. Only buy the screw off type. Is this true?
     
  12. dirtball

    dirtball Well-Known Member

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    Trying to find a brake that is effective and quiet is like trying to find a 6 passenger car that will do 0 to 60 in 2.1 seconds AND get you 50 mpg, AIN'T going to happen. What makes a brake effective is how much of the muzzle blast can be deflected in some direction other than forward, sideways is GOOD, angled slightly to the rear is BETTER for recoil reduction, BUT the more effective the brake is, the LOUDER it is.
    As for screw on brakes, they are the ONLY type I would use, I can not imagine trying to clean a barrel with a brake on it,, what a mess that would be. When mine start to look dirty and cruddy I put them in the Ultrasonic cleaner for a few cycles and wala the are new and shiny.

    Dave
     
  13. James H

    James H Well-Known Member

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    Brakes are not allowed in short range BR competition.
    Brakes are allowed at Williamsport, PA, Missoula, MT, NBRSA 600yd and 1000yd matches and IBS Light guns at 600 and 1000 yard matches. Most likely after the winter meeting they will also be allowed on Heavy Guns at IBS 600 and 1000 yard matches.
    I never have had a permanently installed one, the only reason I can see for a permanently installed one is if the barrel is shorter than 16" and the brake makes it a legal rifle in the US.

    James
     
  14. ken snyder

    ken snyder Well-Known Member

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    Brakes are a good love hate story. in good debate probably second only to fluteing. In the right light, the scars on my forehead look like a starfish. Each of those scars were acquired from steep uphill shots, my latest is a symbolic trophy of an improper shooting position --- embarrisingly enough, even with a brake.