Question about the "muzzle brakes"

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

  1. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    All good points in favor of brakes. At least you acknowledge the noise increase. Regardless the good points however, you wont see me in hunting camp with one.
     
  2. gi jane

    gi jane BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Let me just say how much I appreciate all of the input regarding my original thread. One thing that is really bothering me however is that I spelled "(Breaks) Brakes" wrong. Sorry for that fellow AH members. It makes me cringe every time I read the heading to my post. In retrospect, I was militant regarding my PH and trackers hearing protection, regardless of the situation. I refused to take the shot unless they all were prepared for it.
     
  3. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Can't think of you cringing. :)

    The staff's ears thank you.
     
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  4. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    So I had a brake put on my .375 H&H. The reason I did this is so that I can shoot it as much as I want too. Heck, my .30/06 is worse for felt recoil than the H&H with the brake. It ups the amount of shooting I do without any pain considerably. I DO NOT want to develop a flinch. I've done it before and struggled getting out of the habit.

    All that said, the brake I had put on also has a thread cover if I don't want the brake on. Heavy day at range = brake. Hunting or a box of shells while practicing off of sticks = no brake.

    It so the best of both worlds, IMO.
     
  5. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    :nope: jane i just thought you were spelling in american, as opposed to expressing yourself in the Queens english......;)
     
  6. uplander01

    uplander01 New Member

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    In regard to the scopes comment, I am sure manufacturers do extensive testing, however you can see the evolution in them trying to solidify the erector system. I have had best luck with Schmidt and Bender, they just seem to hold up. I have never used a Swaro but the current rep tells me that the new dual coil spring system they are using in the Z6 is supposedly rock solid. So to clarify, all of these companies are working toward a more solid erector platform....it's like the dirty little secret none of them talk about, but I can assure you I have been in sales meetings and heard commentary from upper level folks from a well known german optics company that would make you want to go re-check your zero.

    And for sure fellas, know one is going to shoot 3-400 rounds out of a big bore at a time, but one surely should in the 6 months or so leading up to safari. I agree with the comments on noise, there is no doubt brakes create a lot more noise in the whole general area. However, for me, that disadvantage does not out weigh the advantages.

    Cheers guys-
     
  7. bluey

    bluey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    l have brakes on my 30.06, 300 wm, 300 rum . my wife is thinking of getting one on her 7 mm.
    l love em . I don't let anyone stand right beside me or foreward of the firarm while im shooting . and l seen a mate crack his wind screen shooting the 300 across the bonnet of his ute.
    l rekon the recoil is cut by 30 to 40% on each of my guns .
    as for louder , bloody oath ses its gotta be that 30 or 40% louder .
    if im shooting with some one that carrys on to much about it l just unscrew it and cap it .
    if im hunting with some one that don't like em l tell them to stalk the opposite direction .
    im comfortable with the noise from behind the gun , and reduced recoil boost my confidence taking a longer shot of the shoulder at a departing samba .as atleast half the shots ,when stalking samba are off the shoulder .or the freezer wouldnot look so healthy .
    for what its worth l email the out fitter me and little lady are hunting with in july and asked him what his opinion is of the brakes , I will let youse know when he replies .
    but l don't think your cheating, using them one little bit janey ,,its like using binos ,mate .,
     
  8. DOC-404

    DOC-404 AH Elite

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    BIG bores are for dangerous game. It is very rare to see scopes on true 40+ caliber big bores, but as the eyes become older, a scope or reflex sight is sometimes a necessity and I would recommend one of these, which I believe is the very best DG scope on the market today.

    1-4X24 NXS Compact Riflescope | Nightforce Optics, Inc.

    Again, hunting DG in thick bush can become a highly dangerous situation in an instant and hearing is key to survival. I have the t-shirt, cap and scars to prove it. There will never be a muzzle-braked big bore in any DG hunt that I am involved in.
     
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  9. Big5

    Big5 AH Enthusiast

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    I agree with all of the above. I cannot tolerate the eardrum shattering noise generated by a muzzle brake. They can also create a problem in many real life hunting situations . . . just my two cents.
     
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  10. bluey

    bluey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    this is a part of the reply I got from roy wormald from wormaldhunting adventures

    Muzzel brakes are great on magnums they deffinatley cut back on recoil and fellows tend to shoot better , I like them for this reason , however they are hell on hearing so make sure you are always behind the muzzel. I have two rifles with muzzel breaks and use them consistantley.
     
  11. Big5

    Big5 AH Enthusiast

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    Sport hunters, outfitters, hunting guides and PH's will all have an opinion on muzzle brakes and those opinions will vary. But as they say; opinions are like anal orifices in that everyone seems to have one. I'm therefore certain that for every hunting guide or PH that can be found who supports the use of a muzzle brake you will surely find one or more who will oppose them. It's easy to find people on both sides of the muzzle brake fence.

    Personally, I don't like muzzle brakes and I would not consider using one. I've also never been on a hunt where I encountered a hunting guide or PH who used a muzzle brake on his own rifle, or one who supported their use in the field. That's just my own opinion and my personal experience. Opinions and experiences will always vary. To each his own.

    In any event, you like muzzle brakes and you'll be hunting with a PH who also likes them. I guess that's a good thing.

    Good hunting to you!
     
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  12. buffybr

    buffybr AH Veteran

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    Muzzle brakes. Here we go again. It seems folks either love them or hate them. Yes they do significantly reduce felt recoil -- the military has known this for many years, and yes a braked gun is louder than an un-braked gun.

    As was mentioned earlier, brakes (or porting) work because they divert some of the expanding gasses out through holes near the muzzle of the gun, which create a mini "rocket effect" out of each hole, and they reduce the amount of gasses exiting from the muzzle of the gun. The shape, size, number, and position of these holes will vary depending on the desired effect of the holes. Some holes are small, some are large. Some holes are round, some are slotted. They all do the same thing: they divert some of the gasses out the sides of the barrel. The military discovered long ago that the tremendous recoil generated in their cannons could be reduced by putting a "brake", a collar with large holes in the sides, near the muzzles of these guns. They later called these muzzle brakes "flash suppressors" and put them on their small arms such as the M-14s and M-16s. The gasses don't care what we call the holes, they just do through the holes which reduces the total amount of gas exiting the muzzle which, among other things, reduces recoil.

    Sound waves are circular waves of pressure emitting from their source. Much like the waves in still water when something disturbs the surface of the water. As the sound waves travel farther from their source, their volume decreases. With an unbraked gun, the circular sound wave leaves the end of the muzzle and the majority of the sound is projected directly away from the gun. By the time the circular sound wave bends back to the shooter, it has lost much of it's energy and volume. It is just like standing behind someone who is talking vs. standing directly in front of them.

    With a gun with a muzzle brake, the sound wave emits from the holes on the sides of the barrel, which is pointed directly at someone standing to the side of the gun. The noise is also louder for the shooter because the sound waves are stronger on the side of the circle than they are at the back of the circle that is moving directly away from the shooter.

    Someone posted earlier that "the shooter using a muzzle break is shielded from the direct report of the muzzle blast." I can't visualize where this shield is, unless he was referring to what I described in the paragraph above.

    With or without a brake, large capacity cartridges are louder than smaller ones, because they burn more powder. With the same bullets and fired in the same gun, my .357 magnum cartridges are louder than my .38 special cartridges. My .300 Weatherby burns roughly twice as much powder than a .308 Win. Shooting any firearm or being near someone who is shooting is damaging to hearing and all should be using some kind of ear protection. There are several types of hearing protectors on the market today that will actually enhance low volume sounds and at the same time block the dangerous high volume sounds, so the argument that a PH can't wear hearing protection because he must be able to hear the slightest sounds in the brush when hunting dangerous game doesn't hold a lot of water.
     
  13. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I have never heard anyone equate a flash suppressor to a muzzle brake in any way. I have 2 AR15's. One has a std mil type flash suppressor, the other has what Armalite calls a 'muzzle check'. its a brake. The difference in increased noise and lessened recoil is dramatic in the 'checked' Armalite. I dont think we can mix the two and say they are the same thing. Now some have said and I have no reason to not believe them, that a noise suppressor as used on some rifles, actually reduces felt recoil as well, but thats a different animal than a brake or a flash suppressor. I dont think anybody doubts the efficacy of a good brake, just that many if not most find the increased blast and noise objectionable. I sure do. BTW, my Armalite was bought during the Clinton ban so I had no choice in buying it. I could have it removed now, but the dang thing shoots so well with it on, I hate to mess with it, less I change the dynamics and screw it up. My one and only 'braked' rifle.
     
  14. DOC-404

    DOC-404 AH Elite

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    ..well, I guess that settles that. But, then there's me, who, having been in the bush since the early sixties, long before all these fancy gadgets were even thought of, prefers not to risk his life on something that can fail, go flat, break, get wet, fall off, fall out, get dust in or get lost while searching for, or running from, a wounded lion, leopard or buffalo. I guess the water stays with whoever is prepared to carry the bucket..
     
  15. bluey

    bluey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    ha ha ha , you really don't like them noisy bloody things do ya :fishing::giveusahug:
     
  16. Upton O. Good

    Upton O. Good AH Veteran

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    I had a bit of "recoil anxiety" when I was preparing for my first trip to Africa. I was primarily a bird hunter who shot a 20 ga because of my flinching with 12 ga loads. So, in prepping for my trip, I went to the rifle range with a 30.06 and set up in my assign position. I had never been around a large rifle caliber with a muzzle brake and it didn't occur to me to check the guy's rifle in the shooting lane to my left. When he let loose on his braked .300 min mag the first time, the muzzle blast wave was like getting slapped on the side of the face and the noise was incredibly loud even though I was wearing ear muff type protection.

    I decided that I would never expose anyone in my hunting group (Ph and tracker) to anything like a muzzle brake. We're a team and it isn't just about me, their well being depends on my shooting well and them having functional hearing at the end of the day. I shot poorly on my first trip to SA, very well on my second trip to SA and good enough on my trip to Zimbabwe when I had moved up to a .375 which I had practiced with for three months prior to the hunt.
     
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  17. uplander01

    uplander01 New Member

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    Well stated explanantion of the sound wave portion of a muzzle blast.

    There are plenty of hearing protection options out there that don't block low sounds like conversation or ambient noise, some like you mention amplify ambient noise and completely block out the loud noise like gun blast. I actually sell a line called Pro Ears, they pioneered this technology, they make electronics in three forms, behind the ear (PRO HEAR model $300-$500), inner ear with custom fitted plugs (PRO FIT model, starts at $700) and over the ear muffs, (P300 @ $230). The downside to all 3of these is that they are not cheap as you can see by my noted prices. I have used all of them and the muffs are nothing less than perfect for range use, indoor or outdoor. I'm not a big fan of the behind the ear model, but the Pro Fits if fitted correctly are an item you will own for a long time and love them. All that being said I'm guilty of not having even plugs in my shirt pocket most of the time on a hunt. It's interesting that you post this about hearing protection though, after last weeks threads on this subject I wanted to use myself for a trial with another type of plug that is cheap and lets in ambient noise but blocks loud gun blasts, the Surefire Sonic Defenders.

    I proceeded to the range and put these things in my ears...(I use them all the time during shotgun training on the trap, skeet, and sporting clays fields). I was interested to see how they worked with something like a 458 lott with a muzzle brake on the end of the barrel. They were completely adequate. I then handed the gun over to my step son and I stood behind and over to the side, again work like advertised. The db rating is 24 so I'm sure that if a sound is super loud it might not take it down to completely safe levels...for example if a sound starts at 160 db and is reduced via hearing protection by 24db, you are still close to a level that is not good for you which I think is at 140db....I'm sure there is someone out there that knows this exact info...might even by somewhere in this thread or another one on muzzle brakes in this forum.

    All this being said, you can hear pretty normal with them in your ear, however, you do lose a little ability to hear really low sounds..they kind of lesson the sharpeness with which we hear regular noises. They would be great for most hunting applications (they are not recommended for indoor use), however, I wouldn't wear them following up in the thick stuff after dangerous game where hearing becomes as crucial as sight......any of the electronics on the other hand actually give you supernatural hearing with absolute silencing of loud noises that is hard to explain until you experience it.

    But as I stated earlier, I'm guilty of not always having this type of gear on my person when I'm out on the hunt. For those of you out there that weren't aware of these hearing protection options perhaps this is useful info.

    There will never be a definitive answer to the muzzle brake in the field debate, it's about personal preference and configuring your equipment the way you need to in order to get the job done. For myself when recoil reaches above 50 ft lbs or so, I prefer using a brake irregardless of the noise, and of course it's common courtesy to make sure everyone in your crew is aware of it ahead of time. Upon my return to africa for another buffalo or two, as much as I love my classic mauser 98 375 HH that I used to take my first buff, I will be throwing 500 grains at 2250fps from my 458 lott with a brake on the end of the barrel. After a team of us hunted buff in Mozambique for 8 days, I'm convinced that you can't use too big of a rifle on those critters........maybe we can start a thread on that topic, it would be a fun one.
     
  18. buffybr

    buffybr AH Veteran

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    Why not? They are both essentially a cylinder with holes cut in it's sides that is attached to the muzzle end of a barrel. The holes allow some of the expanding gasses to exit out the sides of the barrel milliseconds before the remainder of the gasses exit from the muzzle of the barrel. The area of the holes determine how much gas exits. I can see where the size or shape of the holes would effect the tone of the noise (a trumpet produces higher pitched sound than a tuba). My point was that both suppressors and brakes increase the noise of the report to the sides and rear of the muzzle, and that both suppressors and brakes reduce the felt recoil of the gun.

    For the past two years, I've helped out in "public sight in days" at our local range. This is a program that we do every year just before big game rifle season where we allow non members of our club to sight in their rifles, and we provide a range officer at each bench to help the public shooting there. Many times I have heard a loud report from a rifle a few benches from mine, and I'll look across a bench or two of standard bolt action .30-06s or .270s and see that the loud reports are coming from an AR with a flash suppressor.

    The loudest reports, and the one that I remember most from last year's sight in day was from a TC Contender pistol with a .30-30 barrel.
     
  19. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Well no doubt all AR's can be noisy for sure. One of the most obnoxious rifles to be around is a short barreled Mosin Nagant 7.62x54R with factory full power ball ammo, huge ball of flame and very loud report! No brake. As to your earlier points I find it hard to not agree to some extent however remember that a typical flash suppressor, as on an AR has a huge hole up front thus does not restrict gases from going forward and less gases are funneled outwards thru the various slits, holes or whatever, whereas a brake seems to be more likely to have a just larger than caliber hole for the bullet to exit from, forcing more gases out the side. I think that is where I would say they are not the same. I get your point though.
     
  20. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    yup but its a very distinctive sound and looks good when it goes off. :D
     

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