The shooter may NOT notice the difference. Everyone else does!
The shooter may NOT notice the difference. Everyone else does!
I'd say that about sums it up quite nicely!
Cabela's: Cabela's Recoil Pad - Right Hand
And I agree with you that with or without a muzzle brake, the total sound is no louder or softer. Sound is energy, that energy is released by the bullet being fired. So long as the round stays the same, the brake has no affect on the energy released. It is a totally static device adding nor subtracting any energy leaving the barrel.
It does however change the direction of some of the energy. The brake works by redirecting some (a substantial amount) of the energy to the top, bottom, left and right of the barrel through the port holes of the brake. It must do this in a balanced manner to prevent causing the barrel to jump in one direction or another. By balancing out that energy redirection the barrel is much more calm at the shot. The other important part of this is that it is redirecting energy that would have exited the barrel in the same direction as the bullet. By 'stealing' some of this energy and redirecting it, it reduces the 'equal and opposite reaction' as defined by Sir Newton and thus less recoil is felt.
BUT, this redirected energy consists in part of sound energy. When this leaves the the side of the barrel at roughly 90 degree angles, it will travel until it hits something and is partially absorbed by that surface but is also partially reflected or echoed. One way or another your ears will be in the path of that sound energy and more so than if you had no brake.
An extreme example of this is shooting in an indoor pistol range. I think you'd agree that the average pistol round contains less powder than your average high power rifle round. Yet I don't think you'd not wear hearing protection in that range. And the reason is that the sound is bouncing all over the place and it makes it back to your ears.
Now going the opposite direction, if you've ever hunted lets say geese in an open field and shooting up, you might have noticed the report of the unported 12 gauge is just a short pop that really isn't very loud at all. Why? Because the sound energy is traveling mostly up and the sky doesn't provide much reflection of the sound energy.
Now that's a simple explanation of the physics. My own empirical evidence comes from the one time I shot my 300 RUM with a brake on it and no hearing protection. The pain in my ears as well as the ringing that took like an hour to stop and the resulting headache that not even the worst bottle of tequila could produce told me all I needed to know.
I'm not trying to win an argument here however. And I'm not trying to convince you to not buy the muzzle brake, but I would suggest you make it the last alternative. And if you do end up with one, for the sake of your own hearing, wear something to protect that hearing when you shoot.
Thank you Phil for explaining so well what certainly I could not. Obviously you know of what you speak. I am an uneducated boob, but I do know what my ears tell me.
Another one to be not forgotten is the Ruger Blackhawk in .30 Carbine. Loud!!
Thanks Phoenix Phil for your explaination of how a muzzlebrake works. It was a great physics lesson.
For plains game (excluding eland), I can't imagine anything would be substantially better than a garden-variety .30-06 or .308 Win. Ammo is plentiful for both and they are proven perfomers.
For dry, dusty areas, perhaps something that makes a bigger hole might be in order, but I can't imagine more power would be needed to kill thin-skinned ungulates. Perhaps a derivative of the .30-06 like a .338-06 or .35 Whelen for more open savanna or something based off the .308 Win case like a .338 Federal or .358 Win would be nice for bushveld. With modern bullets, these rounds approximate the performance of such old African numbers as the .318 Westley Richards and 9.3x62, two cartridges with storied histories. I'd think these four would be fine for all plains game, including eland, and a guy wouldn't really have to worry about recoil all that much.
But..what do I know? I've never been (yet!) and have yet to shoot any African plains game.
There is an enormous difference between a 9.3x62 and a .30-06, not even close to the same class (9.3 is closer to .375 H&H in effect) and once you've been to Africa your opinion will likely change. I'm only heading back for the secod time so no expert, but saw enough with regards to how tough African game are to be happy I use a .375 all 'round. Many are happy with .30-06, but it's definitely going on the lighter side as Kevin Thomas points out in the beginnig of this fantastic thread here. Many hunters from the US underestimate the size, and tenacity of African game, and if you're spending all that money on the hunt of your dreams why go with a marginal gun? :)
The .338-06 and the Whelen are quite close to the 9.3 and .318 but the .308 based rounds lag behind considerably. I think all these are adequate but like Ardent says, why go cheap on the gun? Take the biggest thing you can shoot well thats appropriate for the largest game you plan to shoot. You dont really need a .375 for plains game, but there is no arguing its performance and if there is a chance of meeting any DG animals...well, way better off with the .375 than any '06 type round.
I've only got one trip under my belt so I'm not exactly any kind of authority, but I took a 300SAUM with handloaded 165gr Woodleighs and my mate took a 6.5x55 with 140gr Accubonds and both cartridges were very effective. When Ross, my mate, shot his oryx, the PH commented "I've never seen an oryx go down like that before."
FWIW, I'm in the process of putting together a 7x64 to take on my next trip.
Good shot placement and good projectiles, everything else comes second.
However, I can't imagine an animal hit with a 250gr, .330-cal cup & core bullet fired at 2400fps from a .318 Westley Richards would be dead any quicker or more effeiciently than if the same animal was shot with a 210gr, .338-cal TSX bullet fired from a .338 Federal at 2600fps. There just can't be any measurable difference between the two when it comes to performance on game. At bushveld ranges, I'd surmise both would knock the snot out of critters big and small..
In that you are likely correct, however if you step up to the 9.3 and run that same 250 gr up to over 2500 fps, it will hit harder, no question. True most cartridges in this realm perform about the same on game within reasonable ranges say around 200 yards. But if we say the .375 H&H is better than all the aforementioned rounds, then incrementally each bigger, more powerful round is better than the smaller one before it at least in small amounts. And using a modern bullet to compare to an old C&C bullet as you did is grossly unfair to the older round. Use a TSX in both and see what happens. Yes I know they dont make one for the .318 but they sure do for the 9.3. I am taking that caliber and bullet to Zim in June.
416 REMINGTON. I SHOOT 350 GRAIN SWIFT A-FRAME BULLETS LOADED FOR ME BY DOUBLE TAP AT 2700 FEET PER SECOND THROUGH THE 24 INCH BARREL THROUGH MY WINCHESTER MODEL 70 SAFARI RIFLE. I HAVE BEEN IN NEAR 100 DEGREE WEATHER HUNTING THE MANY HOGS I LOVE TO HUNT. NO PROBLEMS EVER WITH JAMMING. SURE IT IS OVER KILL FOR A HOG BUT I WANT A ONE GUN RIFLE FOR AFRICA. CRAIG BODDINGTON ONCE SAID TO ME AT A SAFARI CLUB MEETING THAT ANY OF THE 416'S WOULD BE A GOOD CHOICE FOR A ONE GUN SAFARI ESPECIALLY IF THE BIG FIVE WERE INCLUDED ON THE LIST ALSO. SO I TOOK IT TO HEART AND HAVE BEEN WORKING OUT WITH THE RIFLE. A DREAM RIFLE AND NEVER ANY PROBLEMS WITH JAMMING IN THE HEAT. OF COURSE NEVER SHOT A CAPE OR EVER BEEN TO AFRICA. SURE THERE ARE SO MANY OTHER RIFLES OUT THERE LIKE THE 375 H&H WHICH I ALSO HAVE AND DEARLY LOVE AND IT IS ALSO A DREAM TO SHOOT. AND I AM NOT SAYING THIS 416 IS THE GREATEST GUN. BUT I HAVE BEEN GIVING THE 416 REMMY A WORK OUT AND IT IS SO MUCH FUN TO SHOOT. AND THE PRICE OF THE WINCHESTER 416 REMMY DIDNT CLEAN OUT MY POCKET BOOK. ANY WAY GUNS ARE FUN AND I AM HAVING FUN WITH THIS ONE NOW. I WILL HAVE FUN WITH MY 460 WEATHERBY AS SOON AS ART ALPHIN FINISHES MINE FROM A-SQUARE WITH HIS COIL REDUCING STOCK. I WILL SEE IF IT STOMPS MY REAR OR NOT. BUT I AM SURE IT WILL BE FUN GIVING THAT A WORK OUT TOO. BUT I MUST SAY THIS 416 REMINGTON SURE IS A LOT OF FUN TO SHOOT. I AM NOT 100% WHICH RIFLE I WILL END UP TAKING TO AFRICA TO SHOOT MY FIRST BUFFALO BUT THIS 416 REMMY WILL BE HIGH ON MY LIST.
Hey Win, Should we wear ear plugs when we read your posts?
I realize the 9.3 is close to the perfect all-around Africa plains-game cartridge. I wouldn't mind having one myself. However, the .35 Whelen is essentially its equal any way you slice it. It launches 180 - 310gr bullets with basically equal velocity. Of course, the .338-06 is the equal of the .318 WR with the exception that the .338-cal enjoys a huge advantage when it comes to premium bullets.
Africa has her traditions and they include many of what we all consider to be the classic cartridges. There are many more that would have made the grade had they been used extensively, and modern technology has changed the game so that a few which may not have passed muster 50 years ago can now do all that's required with aplomb. This technology also allows the hunter to shoot a rifle with considerably less recoil....something that is always better for accuracy and shot placement. We now have a host of fine medium-bore cartridges with which to challenge Africa's game...even if they don't fit the old definition of a "classic" Africa cartridge...and that's a good thing.
I think you will absolutely love the 9.3x62 in Zim. I can't imagine a finer choice. Are you planning on hunting buff?
No buff this trip, done that before. I used this same 9.3 in Namibia in 2007 so I already know its capabilities. It hits pretty hard. I used on that trip the 250 Nos Accubond, this time the TSX. Next time I go for buff I have this lovely CZ .404 Jeffery to try out. And I agree there is really no practical difference between the Whelen and the 9.3 at least from a game getting perspective.
I'd be very interested to hear your take on the 250gr Accubond vs. TSX regarding performance on game. What's on the menu?
After the trip I will be able to compare the two bullets but as of yet I have not used the TSX except on paper. The Accubond did quite well I thought on oryx, kudu, and hartebeest in Namibia. Recovered one out of my kudu, everything else was thru and thru. The one recovered bullet retained if memory serves about 75 percent of its weight. It also shot very well, perhaps a little better than the TSX however I spent quite a bit more time developing loads with it than the TSX. As to the menu, the biggest thing on my list is eland which are big so thats one reason for the larger caliber. But remember also that Zim has established minimum caliber and power ratings for game and eland requires a minimum energy level of about 3150 ft/lbs for eland. I had originally planned to take my 7x64 Ruger but it wont quite make the cut power wise.