Question about the "muzzle brakes"

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by gi jane, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. gi jane

    gi jane BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Hi all,
    I was just wondering why the muzzle break is such a despised accessory to a rifle. I've fired plenty of high calibre weapons without one, but I don't know too much about the technicalities of such modifications. In addition, is a suppressor similar to a MB? Just wondering because my .416 and my .375 have them and now I'm thinking, was it a negative addition to the rifle? My dad gifted both rifles to me. Is there an unfair advantage when a MB is part of the equation? I know it suppresses the kick of the rifle but I worry I cheated in some way now, having read recently that a lot of people despise them. Any thoughts? Does this make me a wuss? Hope someone will educate me.
    Thanks All!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2014
  2. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Its not a matter of fairness, cheating etc. Its a matter of the increase in noise and muzzle blast, not to the shooter, but to everyone else within 50 feet of the muzzle "brake". They are extremely obnoxious to be around. Great for the guy behind it but sucks for everyone else. Most PH's are not real happy to see one come out of the case, as it means he and his trackers etc, will have to be extra careful to cover the ears when the dumb things go off. Opinions do vary of course and this has been covered before. Some actually opine that there is no increase in noise, which is preposterous. I have no experience with suppressors but some on here state that they work well and actually function as a brake to some extent.
     
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  3. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    hi Jane.

    Muzzle Breaks work to have gases exiting a rifle barrel to the sides. Some also direct gasses upward to control muzzle jump and assist the shooter with quicker target recovery.

    Your normal rifle barrel will exit gasses out the end and the muzzle blast will follow. away from the shooter.

    The Muzzle break now port this blast to the sides and the resulting noise is a bugger for those standing around the shooter.

    You see the shooter using a muzzle break is shielded from the direct report of the muzzle blast, the other around him or her are not.

    Muzzle breaks will reduce recoil up to 20% or more depending on the maker.
     
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  4. gi jane

    gi jane BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Ok, thank you so much!! Damn I love this forum.

    In my opinion one should always have hearing protection as a standard precaution anyway (I wouldn't shoot till I knew my team was ready), but I was worried I had an unfair advantage. So what I gather from your responses is that a client having a MB is more just an annoyance and a very uncomfortable experience for the PH and trackers for the most part. I can deal with that so far. Even if I didn't have the MB I would have insisted they had protection. For their ears. They used their index fingers. Very effective and efficient method.
    I just didn't want too much of a wuss.
    I must confess however, I am a hypocrite because I forgot to put plugs in a few times on my own. Just glad to know I didn't cheat.
    Again, thank you for the honest and objective answers!! I have to admit I kinda feel like a pussy now not having experienced the full-effect of my .416 but I know I could make up for it with no problem.


    Jane
     
  5. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Its "brake" as in braking effect. Not "break" as in breaking something in two.
     
  6. gi jane

    gi jane BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Got it!!! :) Thank you!!! My bad, much appreciated.. :eek: Makes perfect sense of course!!!!
     
  7. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    The only advantage of a muzzle brake is recoil reduction. The downside is far more extensive
    1) Noise is increased significantly. Ses I cant believe anyone would dispute that.
    2) Muzzle blast is increased exponentially and directed at the shooter next to you at the range or those next to you while hunting. They are despised at the range plus if you have ever shot prone in the sand, well... you will do it once and when you finally get your eyes to refocus you will re-evaluate the muzzle brake.
    3) You cannot simply tape off your barrel to prevent entry of a foreign object. You can still use balloons or rubber glove fingers, if you happen to have them on hand when you need them.
    4) They add length to the barrel. Not much but in tight cover after a dangerous animal any increase in maneuverability will be appreciated.

    Use them if you like but there are other options should you choose to remove the brakes and install a thread cap instead.

    1) Evaluate the quality of your stock design. A generic straight stock will have significantly more felt recoil than a well designed stock with proper cast, camber, drop and cheek piece design. Instead of straight back it will use up some energy lifting slightly up, away from your face and to the side. A heavier stock will also eat up a bit of recoil but must be balanced with useability, after all you may need to carry the thing all day for many consecutive days.
    2) Get yourself a top notch recoil pad such as a limbsaver.
    3) If #1 and #2 do not tame the rifle enough add a mercury recoil reducer.
    4) If recoil is still too much consider re-installing the cursed Muzzle brake.
    5) Failing all else buy a lighter recoiling rifle BEFORE the flinch starts.
     
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  8. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    P.S. In response to the cheating concern. As far as I am concerned anything that maked you a more accurate, effective shot on game is not cheating (short of the new computerized target acquisition rifles that have recently hit the market). Telescopic sights, bipods, shooting sticks, quality triggers, match grade barrels, etc. These are tools that help us ensure we do our part well when the time comes, far from cheating.
     
  9. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Well believe it! It was a while back we had this same discussion on here about brakes and one guy, dont remember who, insisted it was all nonsense and had all manner of data cooked up from who knows where to support the idea. I think we finally convinced him it was BS, not sure. There are those who insist there is no increased noise or blast. Mostly guys who are trying to sell a new design of brake I suspect!
     
  10. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    I certainly would believe that, anyone who has been subjected to an eardrum blowing muzzle brake needs no special equipment to form an accurate opinion of them.
     
  11. DOC-404

    DOC-404 AH Elite

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    ..it 'brakes' recoil a bit but 'breaks' ear-drums more. Not nearly as effective as a suppressor as far as recoil is concerned. Our club does not allow them at the range on club days, and requests that those who have them use them when the range is empty. When in the bush, and eyes and ears are all working overtime, it is not always possible to prepare hearing protection for snap shots. You will never see hearing protection used in thick bush when following up on wounded DG. They are seriously frowned upon by most PH's..
     
  12. AkMike

    AkMike AH Fanatic

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    We usually call them 'sissy slots'. Nasty to be around as the other have stated.
    I'd also take it with a grain (or 4 )of salt about the manufactures claims of 20% reduction of recoil.. After all they have to pump up their products in order to sell them.
     
  13. Bushwack

    Bushwack AH Fanatic

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    It doesn't make you a wuss...however not a good thing to have when hunting with your PH...that is how they become hard hearing...:cool:
     
  14. Cliffy

    Cliffy AH Elite

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    HUH? What did you say? We didn't need no stinkin ear plugs 40 years ago! Then you would have been a woos to have pink plugs in your ears! Ear muffs were something to keep your ears warm in winter!
     
  15. gi jane

    gi jane BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Thanks again fellas, I did look out for the team though, trust me on that.
     
  16. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I beg to diff, I think they reduce recoil significantly, not to argue about the subject they can easily reduce felt recoil by 50% in some cases. But at the same time they are louder than hell when they are that well built.
     
  17. uplander01

    uplander01 New Member

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    Interesting responses and opinions had by all here in regard to this subject or muzzle brakes. I'm sure many of you have more african hunting experience than myself, I have only been on 2 african safaris, one in Namibia and the other in Mozambique for dangerous game. I have however hunted extensively throughout North America and have used rifles with and without brakes. That being said I have 17 years of experience in the american firearms industry working with many different rifle manufacturers and optics companies, (both american and german). From this experience I have gained a pretty strong opinion that one good case for a muzzle brake is that heavy recoil creates an opportunity for optics to fail. If you think because you have a $2000 german piece of glass on top of your prized 375, 416, or 458 that you don't have to worry about your scopes erectors falling apart, you are wrong. I agree that muzzle brakes are "loud", but the fact is they provide a shooter some very real advantages from a equipment reliability and shot to shot recovery and accuracy standpoint. There is a reason why combat rifles across the world have some sort of "flash hider or muzzle brake" on the end of the barrel. After hunting buff in the swamps of Mozambique, I'm convinced that's as close to combat as I'll ever get. I think the use of a brake is completely individual preference, rifles are loud no matter what, especially if the wind is in your face like it should be, coupled with the fact that everyone should more or less be behind you when you're shooting. The following is just my 2 cents on the subject:

    1. Lightweight "magnum rifles" with thin pipes shoot a lot better with a brake on the end of the barrel, whether it be because it allows the shooter to "handle the recoil", or just not flinch and follow through correctly....both are important
    2. The above mentioned rifles without a break will make you develop a flinch a lot faster than a 11lb 416.
    3. My 10.5 lb scoped 458 Lott has a brake on there and I'm thankful for it. It was built by one of the most well known custom firearms manufacturers in the US for his own personal use, I assume he new what he was doing. I can shoot it really well, (scoped or unscoped), operate it quickly to get back on target for a second shot a lot faster with the brake. For that reason I use this 458 with the brake on it when on safari.
    4. Repeated heavy recoil will break any optics erectors over time, quicker on some than others.
    5. Where there is a big bore and a giant powder hungry rifle cartridge, there will be a guy claiming he can shoot it effectively, but fact is most guys can't in a repeatable fashion.


    I have spent a lot of time training retail salespeople in the US how to handle and shoot firearms, I'm sure that the guys on this site have a lot more experience afield than most of them. But honestly, many of you fellas that are using words like "sissy" and "wuss" are probably not handling that recoil as well as you think, sorry to damage your ego. When I reached the age of 40, I wasn't willing to stand there and take that punishment like I was when I was 25, whether it be the aging shoulder injuries from a decade of football, or just the wisdom that you don't have to endure that sort of thing to get the objective accomplished....which is a clean precise one shot kill.

    While I respect any PH's opinion that a "muzzle brake" is not classic or traditional, (and I agree), I personally show up knowing my equipment and why it's set up the way it is, and that I know how to use it....which will translate to a much better hunt for everyone in the long run, especially if any of the big uglies are on the menu. For those of you that think putting a couple of boxes of shells through your big bore rifle prepares you for the opportunity of a lifetime on a trophy animal or even worse renting a rifle you are not familiar with, I disagree. Let me know how your shoulder and brain feel after putting 300-400 rounds through that big bore without a brake.

    My commentary is not intended to be argumentative, I would hope that all of this communities members opinions are accepted gracefully as just that "opinions". And to the less experienced hunters looking for information, to some degree valuable.
     
  18. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I think you make a lot of great points uplander01, if it were not the noise, everyone would want one. It does make shooting A LOT easier compared to not having one. I'm sure that is why the military has them.
     
  19. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    uplander forget the wuss and sissy stuff or the non classic/traditional(never heard a ph come out with that) the reason is that they are very nasty when you are standing anywhere to the side and a ways back as well. as has been said when hunting and a fast shot has to be taken and the ph is trying to get the client onto the correct target, or most probably getting him to see it in the first place, there is no concious thought to stick your fingers in your ears for when the shot goes off, all concentration is on the animal, and the ph and maybe a tracker will be standing at your shoulders and when that rifle goes off then its very very unpleasant. its not too great even with a finger stuck in your ear......fine if you want to use them at the range to practice with but i dont think you will be the most popular person there. nobody is going to put 3 to 400rds through a big bore at one time anyway ,its going to be 15 or whatever they are happy with at a time, and if the person doesnt like/cant handle that calibre then move down to something they can. and i find your comments on high end scopes failing because they are on big bores a bit strange, as i would presume the manufacturers test them to some extent on that type of rifle, especially the lower powered eg 1-4x24 scopes as an example that are presumably designed for use on the bigger calibres in the first place? and even if the wind is in your face i promise you the noise aint anywhere as bad as as muzzlebrake. p.s. i am not being argumentative. ;)
     
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  20. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Leupold says they test the crap out of their scopes on 375 H&H and they hold up. I'm sure they do last longer on a muzzlebrake rifle, the recoil is less.

    spike.t is correct, not knowing where people are when you shoot, can be a big problem with muzzlebrakes, even if they have their ears plugged. The PH is trying to concentrate on the shot, to see where it went...is the animal down, where did it run too...etc.
     
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