Muzzle brake, Why and Which?


Well-Known Member
Mar 23, 2008
Chatham, VA
So the 7-300WSM I have been fooling around with is nearing completion and I keep adding to the project and to the cost.

I am having the muzzle threaded and a cap made with the idea of eventually getting a suppressor to play with on this and a couple of other guns.

Given that the threading is going to be done anyway, I am thinking about adding a muzzle brake to the mix. This will not likely be used when hunting with the gun but would be helpful during load development and when wearing hearing protection is no detriment.

The question is which brake and how likely is a brake to change the load the barrel likes? I would like not to get into a situation where I need two vastly different loads for with or without the brake. A simple change in zero point is not a big deal.

The brake needs to be of the "untimed" variety because it is going on a Savage action and it just does not matter enough for me to ship the gun off to have it installed, I am just going to get it fitted when the barrel is chambered.

If the brake is "fitted" it will be timed! If you set it up with a set of $25 headspace gauges it should be right back on the money. Index marks will help.

If you take the brake off, you are going to change the barrel harmonics and load may need to be tweaked. Your barrel will tell you. You might get away with it and then you might have to do major tweaking. Odds are it is very likely you will need to tweak.

If all you want the brake for is load develoment, buy a $30 past pad for the shoulder and skip the brake.

You will normally have another set of zeros and load development when you put the can on anyway. Better get used to it.

How heavy a rig do you have? Do you think you'll really need a brake? I not much of a recoil fan but, and maybe I'm wrong but isn't the recoil similar to a 30-06 pushing 220's in a light rig?
The gun should come in under or right at 10lbs all up. The throat is going to be cut for the 180VLDs and I am hoping to get in the 2900-3000fps range. No I don't really think I need the brake it was just an idea because I was having the barrel threaded anyway, so adding a brake would not be a big additional expense. I don't mind a shift in zero with the brake on and off, but if the consensus is that the accuracy is likely to be affected to the point of needing another load then I don't really want it on this particular rifle. When I mentioned one that did not need to be timed, I was thinking of something like the Vias that has holes all the way around as opposed too those with baffles on the sides that need to be oriented a specific way. All the smith is doing is chambering the barrel and threading the muzzle, and fitting the brake if I go that route.
I'd probably go w/o the brake and see how you like it, on the otherhand if you do go with a's quite possible that even if the accuracy shifts a little it may be so slight as to not warrant additional load development. Only one way to tell for sure...make a decision and see.
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