Do muzzlebrakes impact group size?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Bigeclipse, Sep 26, 2018.

  1. Bigeclipse

    Bigeclipse Well-Known Member

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    All,
    Do muzzlebrakes impact group sizes of a particular load? I have heard they can impact POI but I am not finding much on if it impacts a loads group size. If so, do you see a tremendous impact on load size or just a little? For example, If I had a load shooting .5MOA with brake, and .6-.7 without that would not bug me too much but if I had .5MOA group go to above .8MOA then I would probably be upset. The reason I am asking is I considering buying a lighter weight magnum rifle and putting a brake on it for load work up and shooting for fun but ultimately I would remove the brake and re-sight in the rifle prior to hunting. I try to wear ear protection when hunting but once in a great while (especially treestand hunting) a deer will surprise me and there is no time to get protection on. Shooting a rifle in open woods, yes can be somewhat impactful on your ears, is nowhere near as bad as if you have a brake on it.
     
  2. Zen Archery

    Zen Archery Well-Known Member

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    Anything you add to your system (specifically your barrel) has a high probability of chaining POI. Look up barrel harmonics.
     
  3. Weatherby Fan

    Weatherby Fan Well-Known Member

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    May change your POI but not necessarily your accuracy.
     
  4. Bigeclipse

    Bigeclipse Well-Known Member

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    I understand that which is why I said POI change is likely but what about group size, regardless of where the group moves to?
     
  5. Weatherby Fan

    Weatherby Fan Well-Known Member

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    All being equal group size will stay the same or decrease with less recoil

    I had a 28 Nosler built on a Rem 700 action and at the bench the scope would brush my forehead with every shot, added a brake it’s a dream to shoot now and went from 1” groups to .35”
    due to less recoil
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
  6. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    A muzzle brake "CAN" change the group size and/or the POI but
    strangely enough for the better In most cases.

    In the beginning of my muzzle brake testing, I had problems believing that brakes could Improve accuracy. What I found was the added weight effected the barrel harmonics sometimes moving the POI some and improving the group size most of the time.

    I believed that a lot of the accuracy improvement came from the shooter not being whacked by the rifles recoil and is able to better concentrate on hold and trigger control. I still believe that it does help the shooter some, but the added weight and length on the end of the barrel does help the group size in many cases.

    So with that being said, Test your rifle both with and without the brake to see the effects it has on your rifle. Note ; In my test, the lighter the barrel, the more effect it had. None were bad enough to have to eliminate one or the other, but you need to find out for your self.

    The results may surprise you.

    J E CUSTOM
     
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  7. sable tireur

    sable tireur Well-Known Member

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    Bigeclipse,

    Adding a muzzle brake to an barrel using an existing load will often require redeveloping the load for the brake. Putting it on and taking it off is counterproductive so leave it on, take it off or get a suppressor. Once the load is developed for the brake there should be no further changes in group size unless the bore of the barrel changes physically.
     
  8. Bigeclipse

    Bigeclipse Well-Known Member

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    Suppressors are illegal in NY and I am not hunting with a brake so sounds like load development will happen without the brake on. Then, when I have time, I may work up another load for when the brake is on.
     
  9. Zen Archery

    Zen Archery Well-Known Member

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    I’m not a group shooter but accuracy generally improves do to loss of recoil.
     
  10. Canhunter35

    Canhunter35 Well-Known Member

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    Get the electronic ear plugs and leave the brake on
     
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  11. Hatrick

    Hatrick Well-Known Member

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    Not to sound stupid, but isn't the bullet out of the barrel and the muzzle break before the muzzle break has any effect on recoil?
     
  12. Pulpwood

    Pulpwood Well-Known Member

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    I’m no expert but as I understand it the gases are using the break as soon as the trigger is pulled while the bullet is traveling down the barrel effectively damping recoil and changing the effects of recoil during the shot
     
  13. Hatrick

    Hatrick Well-Known Member

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    With out the bullet there, what forces the gases to the side and through the break?
     
  14. Pulpwood

    Pulpwood Well-Known Member

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    As the bullet travels down the bore it pushing all the air inside the barrel out ahead of the bullet , the break has an effect on those gases even before the bullet leaves the barrel ( any changes on a barrel effects the harmonics of that system) one way or another