How loud are brakes, to the shooter, in a hunting situation, in the woods?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Bigeclipse, Sep 6, 2017.

  1. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    For many years I hunted without ear protection because I though "Just one shot won't hurt anything" well I can tell you it did.

    Once I started match shooting, I had to wear some form of ear protection
    To stop the ringing in my ears. So after that I started using ear plugs as a minimum and have never looked back. After many ear exams later, my hearing has remained the same since using ear protection every time I fire a pistol or rifle.

    When I started designing muzzle to find out how to make them quieter,
    I discovered that there were NO quite brakes so we started testing our brakes against Un braked rifles. Then another surprise was discovered, Brakes are not louder, They are perceived to be because the redirect the muzzle blast closer to the shooter. We place a DB meter directly beside the shooters head and the DB meter gave us some interesting results.

    Another interesting thing that we discovered while testing with a DB meter was that the DB levels on un braked rifles were often different in the same rifle with the same load and ranged from 105 to 108. But rifles fitted with tuned muzzle brakes were very consistent shot to shot.(If they shot 105 DB it remained 105 for the three shots fired, If it shot 107 DB then all three shots were 107 DB. Very consistent and maybe an explanation for the reason that they seamed to be more accurate.
    (Maybe it had an effect on harmonics) Who knows.

    DBs (Decibels) are responsible for the damage to the ear if a certain level is reached. Our highest level reached was 108 DB and it was an un braked rifle, the lowest level was 105 DB with a brake. Both levels will damage the ear. Even though the levels don't sound that far apart, Going from 105 to 106 Is a big step it is a 10x jump so going to 108 is huge. If you place the DB meter out in front of a firearm, DBs will reach as high as 160 DB.

    At 85 DB the ears can tolerate 15 minutes in a 24 hour period. At 100 DB the exposure time is 1 minute in 24 hours.

    So ear protection is needed for any firearm even for one shot. Ear protection is not a good excuse for not wearing ear protection in my opinion. and if you want to hear better while hunting, the electronic hearing protection that crops the sound to a safe level when the rifle is fires is the cats meow.

    Just my two cents

    J E CUSTOM
     
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  2. dok7mm

    dok7mm Well-Known Member

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    As a young man, I was around constant shooting and explosions, for a couple of years. Thought we would get over it, but not so! When I got back to hunting, I shot non-braked rifles without hearing protection. Didn't think they were that loud, not so! Then I started hunting with braked rifles. By then, I was sure one shot wouldn't hurt, not so!

    Now I use double hearing protection, but it's too late ------ the damage is done.
     
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  3. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    I'm also a custom metal fabricator... Trust me, I know. That hasn't helped the situation after 15+ years of hammering metal.
     
  4. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, as a non-recoil-shy person, I shot a Gen1 bolt-action Barrett without a brake once.......ONCE! It was quite the experience. Not something I would recommend, unless you're used to shouldering a .577 Tyrannosaur. LOL
     
  5. Trm82

    Trm82 Well-Known Member

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    WHAT ? I can't hear you !!!
     
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  6. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    Type louder with a bigger font!
    I generally have plugs in every pocket in the field, and hand them out to whoever is there when I shoot.
     
  7. Bravo 4

    Bravo 4 Well-Known Member

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    Or an unbraked .375 Snipetac pushing a 375 grain bullet with 155 grains of powder.:eek:
    Sorry to hijack OP, back on topic: it's really loud with a brake!:D
     

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  8. Zen Archery

    Zen Archery Well-Known Member

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    invest in electronic ear muffs if you are hunting together with or without a brake and with it without a suppresssor.
     
  9. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

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    I hunt with banded plugs around my neck whether I am using a braked rifle or not. There is almost always time to put the plugs in. Sometimes there is not and that is a choice that you have to make.

    Braked or not they all make your ears ring. If your ears are ringing it was too loud.

    Steve
     
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  10. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    My first braked rifle was a .358 AI magnum. In the NWT we stalked into a caribou, no bipod, not an easy rest, guide suggested I take a rest off his shoulder. Brakes were pretty new then, but still. I politely declined, put my plugs in, handed him one of my spares, suggested he use them and get behind me. I'm not sure without negative reinforcement the lesson stuck, but I felt better about it.
     
  11. Canhunter35

    Canhunter35 Well-Known Member

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    I know some guides, they all hate muzzle brakes for that reason. I think they're crazy to put any rifle barrel beside their head without ear protection.
    I also agree about the plugs that hang around ur neck, it's rare when you don't have time.
     
  12. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Just a little adder to my post.

    We also found that the worst place to be when firing a rifle with a brake was off to one side of the shooter, especially if you were in line with the ports. Ports that are angled back are the worst about getting the bystander/spotter.

    Even though the DB level was the same, the perceived sound was louder
    combined with the blast it makes for a very unpleasant combination.

    J E CUSTOM
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
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  13. memtb

    memtb Well-Known Member

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    Bigeclipse, I realize that I'm a bit late to the party here, but I'll put in my 2 cents worth. This comment is for a hunting rifle!!!Before I ever "brake" a rifle (again), it will have to kick "MUCH" worse than my sub 9 lb. .375 AI. Many years ago, I shot it twice in a simulated hunting situation. Two different positions, once seated with a steep hillside behind me, the other was standing in wide open prairie. The results were the same....severe pain, wanted to check to see if blood was running from my ears.

    Maybe with some of today's modern hearing protection that will "silence" the blast but allow you to hear normally, I'd consider it! The only other situations would be for a rifle/rifles dedicated for pleasure shooting (not hunting). My hunting rifle....will not carry a "weed-burner"!

    I think that brake became a $160.00 fishing weight!

    I hope that no one misunderstand my position! There is supposed to be a "smiley face here, but can't " get'r done"! memtb
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017
  14. rscottb

    rscottb New Member

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    Yup, it as if its being magnified several times. Never hope to repeat that.
     
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