Muzzle Brake

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Skyline, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

    Dec 27, 2008
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    Muzzle Brake?


    Everything has been said really about muzzle brake, but I can't help but add that IMO muzzle brakes are yet another device that have been added to the list of gadgets sportsmen use to allow them to shoot rifles they do not take the time to learn how to handle and shoot properly. Another quick fix adapted to small arms for hunters so they can shoot rifles and cartridges they probably should not be shooting.

    Muzzle brakes have a purpose in allowing the military to make large caliber/long distance armament more portable and so that they can be handled and shot by personnel in the field without later having to pack them off to the field hospital for treatment. Over time they have found their way into the civilian market and adapted to small arms for hunters.

    They are obnoxious and they cause damage to the hearing of other individuals around the shooter. I am sorry but the bottom line to me is that they are another ME device, where the shooters place their perceived shooting comfort over the possible negative consequences for everyone else around them. Barring medical problems, there is no excuse for using these things unless you insist on pushing the envelope on what a mortal man is capable of handling from the shoulder.

    If you can't handle a .300 mag. in a properly fitting rifle without a brake on it then you probably should be shooting a .30-06 or a .270. If you are going brown bear hunting or after a cape buffalo and can't handle a .375 or a .416 without a muzzle brake then you probably have not spent enough time shooting that rifle, and are not familiar enough with it to be out chasing dangerous game with it in the first place.

    It is not reasonable, nor logical, to expect everyone else in the bush that comes into contact with you to wear hearing protection so that you can use a muzzle brake for your own personal comfort because you can't be bothered to invest the time and effort into learning how to shoot a big bore properly in the first place. The use of muzzle brakes when hunting in a group, with a guide/PH, or in situations such as Calhoun described, shows a complete lack of consideration for others.............which is oh so common with the ME generation.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 1, 2016

  2. duckman90

    duckman90 AH Senior Member

    Apr 20, 2010
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    Tanzania, USA, South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique
    I have a muzzle break on my .300 Remington Ultra Mag, I didn't do it because there was to much recoild for me to handle. I did it becaue it allows me to practice more. Without my muzzle break I could only shoot maybe 10-15 times before I started to get flinchy. Now I can shoot the thing all day long with no neglagable effects to me or my shooting abbility. The only good news about my particular muzzle break is that I can take it off when it comes time to hunt and shoot just as well as I do with it on. I never had the intention of being rude to anybody.:confused: I thought it was just a device to help people practice more with large caliber rifles. I know that i can shoot very well with deer slugs and large caliber muzzle loaders. I just don't want to shoot those guns all day. I don't think that it is a matter of being recoil shy, as much as it is about people wanting to be able to practice more with the guns that they are going to be taking very important shots with.

  3. buffybr

    buffybr AH Enthusiast

    Sep 26, 2009
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    USA(CO,MT,WY,AK,TX), Canada(NWT,Saskatchewan,Quebec), Zimbabwe(Matetsi), RSA(Limpopo,KZN,Free State,Eastern Cape), New Zealand, Mozambique, Azerbaijan
    I agree with duckman90. Muzzle brakes work. They are not a gimmick and their value is not limited to military applications. They reduce the felt recoil of firearms. So do recoil pads (some being better than others) and so do mechanical and mercury "in stock" recoil reducers. And to some extent, so does simply adding weight to the firearm.

    I shot competitive Trap and Skeet for over 20 years. Shotguns with ported barrels are very common there. The porting is holes or slots cut in the sides of the muzzle, behind the choke, reduces the recoil and the muzzle jump which allows for quicker second shots, and less shooter fatigue for several hundred target events.

    I still shoot 100+ 12 ga shells at Skeet and Trap every week, just because I like to shoot. Both of my shotguns are ported, as are the shotguns of many of my friends that I shoot with. The only time we notice loud shotgun reports is in the fall when guys come out to shoot a box or two of field loads through their non-ported field guns.

    I had muzzle brakes installed on two of my hunting rifles. The first one was a .375 RUM that I bought for a Cape Buffalo hunt. It came from the factory without porting or a muzzle brake, and the first time I shot it, it's recoil was worse than uncomfortable AND it was loud. A shooter several benches away asked me what kind of cannon I was shooting. I only shot 8 shells through it that day. It was NOT fun to shoot.

    Before I shot that .375 RUM again, I re-stocked it with a shock that fits me, and I had a KDF muzzle brake installed on it. It is not uncomfortable to shoot now. It doesn't hurt, so I practice with it more. I've taken it to Africa twice, and shot a variety of animals from Steenbok to Eland and Buffalo with it. I even shot several animals from a prone position without any recoil discomfort.

    The other rifle that I had a KDF muzzle brake installed on is a .300 Weatherby that I built a couple of years ago. This rifle is also a pleasure to shoot, and the felt recoil is about the same as a .308 Win.

    Both of these rifles have stocks that fit me, and they also have a mechanical or mercury reducer in their stocks, and they both have 1" Limbsaver recoil pads on them.

    The noise from all firearms can cause hearing damage. When I go to the range, I put in hearing protection when I get out of my car. When I'm hunting, I put earplugs in before I shoot, and if I'm hunting with a guide, like in Africa, I tell the PH before I shoot so he and his staff can cover their ears.

    .30-06 Class cartridges burn about 60 or less grains of powder. Large capacity cases that burn 80 to 100+ grains of powder increase the velocity of the bullet, AND increase the felt recoil and muzzle blast. A muzzle brake is an effective tool to reduce the felt recoil, and hearing protection, which you should be wearing anyway, will reduce the muzzle noise that you hear.


    TERMINATOR AH Enthusiast

    May 6, 2011
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    Muzzle breaks work. No doubt about it.

    They also can cause hearing loss to people around the doubt about it.

    If you need one for the range, at least make it a removable one so you don't cause your PH/Guide to go deaf in the field where you never notice recoil anyway.

    I DO like the Mag-Na-Port slits. They are not as loud as a muzzle break and direct a lot of the gas UP which keeps the rifle from coming UP so much and just make the recoil be more of a straight push against the shoulder. I put it on my .270 and .7mm-08 because with it I can shoot it the lack of "up" motion means I can watch the animals in the scope after I shoot. I have stood near people shooting guns with the Mag-Na-Port slits and they are not near as loud as guns with Muzzle Breaks

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