Muzzle Brake?

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by mstewart44, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    I have been trying to stay off of forums but was checking out the changes Jerome made and see yet 'another' muzzle brake thread. Everything has been said really, 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.
     
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  2. Big5

    Big5 AH Fanatic

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    Kelly . . . thanks for another excellent post which cuts straight to the heart of the matter and tells it like it is. IMO a dead on bulls eye.
     

  3. RichP

    RichP AH Member

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    For me the big bores I shoot, 375, 416 Rigby, and 470NE are a much slower push and not as sharp and therefore I do not need a muzzzlebrake. My 4-3/4# Rifles Inc. 300 Ultra Magnum for sure needs the brake. It is a personal preference.
     

  4. Big5

    Big5 AH Fanatic

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    RichP . . . it is because of your post that I find myself risking beating an already dead horse for the sake of further clarifying and disputing the ‘need’ for a muzzle brake on a hunting rifle. On one hand you say that a muzzle brake is “a personal preference”. Yet on the other hand you say that there is a “for sure need” for such a device on your particular rifle.

    With all due respect I must suggest it is you that ‘for sure needs’ the muzzle brake because such a device is certainly not a ‘necessity’ for any sporting rifle. Lex Webernick of Rifles, Inc. does manufacture a fine line of rifles to be sure. Yet for whatever reason you chose to get your .300 Ultra Mag in a 4 3/4lb ultra light-weight model which you apparently do not find suitable unless equipped with a muzzle brake. Perhaps you wouldn’t have found such a ‘for sure need’ of a muzzle brake had you chosen a different Rifles Inc. model, lets say, of a heavier weight. Therefore, it must have been your 'preference' alone which caused you to choose that particular rifle/caliber combination as no ‘for sure need’ truly exists.

    Please understand that none of my comments here were meant to berate you. I just find that although it may hit it a little close to home for some readers here, little can be said to factually negate or neutralize the sometimes stinging truths contained in Kelly’s above post.
     

  5. RichP

    RichP AH Member

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    Big5 when I am hunting sheep, goats and ibex it sure is a pleasure having the ultra light weight model especially when I am hunting in high altitude especially at the 12,000-16,000 foot range. With that said, Lex recommended a brake on it when I purchased it 10 years ago and I have never bothered to take it off after taking over 30 animals with the rifle. I typically will listen to the rifle maker on their recommendations. This is the only rifle I have with a brake and I could take it off, but why I shoot it well and no one has ever complained about it while I was hunting with it. The hunts I do with this rifle typically are long shots in which I have time to put ear protection in and the guide has time to protect his ears. These are typically one shot hunts. Why carry a heavier rifle especially at high altitudes where the air is thin and I have a pack of gear I am also taking. It is not like Africa where I have trackers, drivers, etc hunting with us. I did purchase a Banser in 300UM recently that I did not put a brake on as you say it is a little heavier and Mark did not think I would need one, but it is about 40% heavier than the Rifles Inc rifle.

    I have a lot of larger caliber rifles that do not have brakes on them. It is not a matter if I can handle it or not, it is my choice and fortunately no one on this board that is against brakes has had to be around me when I have used the rifle on a hunt. Kelly does make some good points, but if I am spending my hard earned money on a $40,000-$50,000 sheep hunt or a 100k safari, I guess I am part of the ME generation and I will be a little selfish and comfortable as I have to work hard to go on these trips and no one is paying my way.

    When I hunt Africa, the rifles I use are heavy wooden classic rifles in 375H&H, 470NE, and 416 Rigby. Big bores that I shoot well and can hunt all day long with. We are also typically in the truck driving when not hunting, or if we have been on an elephant or buffalo trail for 8+ hours, I can give it to one of the trackers if need be, but I do not like to be without a gun in my hand when in the company of dangerous game. When hiking at high altitude, it is not an option and I will opt for my comfort.
     

  6. Big5

    Big5 AH Fanatic

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    RichP. . . I was not questioning the various justifications which can be made in support one's preference for the use of a muzzle brake. I was simply pointing out that the use of a muzzle brake by you, or anyone else for that matter, is in fact a 'preference'. It was solely for the purpose of clarification that I took exception to your one statement about there being a 'need' for a muzzle brake. Sporting rifles need barrels and actions. They do not ‘need’ muzzle brakes.

    I have also been acquainted with Lex for many years now so I have no doubt that he would have recommended a muzzle brake on your rifle. However, Lex and many other fine rifle makers recommend a muzzle for not only their ultra-light weight models but for many of their heavier rifle models as well. It’s not just a consumer comfort accessory, it’s a manufacturer’s profit accessory as well. That, of course, makes for good marketing. Your preference for that particular caliber in that particular rifle model was met to your personal satisfaction. Nuff said.

    Your preferences are your own and I respect that. I wish you good hunting!

     

  7. Big5

    Big5 AH Fanatic

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    . . . in my previous post I failed to re-state my belief that muzzle brakes are an unnecessary and ear shattering device. Again, I feel little can be said to factually negate or neutralize the sometimes 'stinging truths' contained in Kelly’s above post.
     

  8. DKRCEO

    DKRCEO New Member

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    Honest answer

    First off, Gander Mountain and many Gun shops in the USA filled their shops with muzzle brake guns believing they were the wave of the future to sell guns. I with others discovered the horrors of them on the 338 Win Mag I bought. I bought an end piece for it and ended up replacing it with a Sauer without brake. Handloading bullet grain to 180 ballistic tips produced results I wanted.
    The noise from the brake made me irritable and destroyed otherwise good hunts.
    That being said...

    Second---- No outfitter or guide should slam guys who have them. They will learn. I recommend earmuffs for all hunters at time of shot and they should gift their PH a set for the moment of shot. Regardless of Brake.

    Third--- having shot heavily my whole life, my father a rifle coach in the Korean War, Magnaport for heavy rifle. Not on my 300 or 375, but on my 458 is sweet.
     

  9. DKRCEO

    DKRCEO New Member

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    My first Beautiful Custom 458 Win Mag cracking is why my second was cared for with Magnaport. Ask Sean Grant.
    I wish their was more open discussion on recoil reduction methods with Technology here such as powder load, grains of lead, recoil reduction systems etc to make the Forum more friendly and useful.
     

  10. PaulT

    PaulT AH Elite

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    Skyline, I too agree with your sentiments, entirely.

    Having been exposed to excessive muzzle blast from the tender age of 10, now some 33 years later, I suffer more than 65% hearing loss in my left ear, closest to the muzzle, as I am a right handed shooter.

    Exposure to muzzle brakes for me means days of pain, head-aches and acute loss of hearing, therefore if I have a client hunting buffalo with a brake on his muzzle the situation of back-up/recovery is openly discussed as I am no longer able to position myslelf in the very best place for effective stopping or back-up.
    In open, or semi-open, country you usually have time and options and in most cases most hunters do not need or want my involvement.

    SOMETIMES, your guide/p.h backing up is not an elective decision (it is sometimes required regardless of personal preferences as people's saftey may be at risk), particularly in certain hunting situations and with certain animals, but regardless it's certainly a critical option that should allways be available, despite personal preferences.
    If the hunter has completed the task, fantastic, that is the preference and the goal. But if you have emptied your rifle, got a jam or get charged from a non-target animal are you going to stand there at 15 paces and insist on no back-up, and take the hit. The ultimate responsibility for the safety of the hunting party lays on the shoulders of the P.H. He should be able to manage the situation by allowing the very best line of sight to control the scenario.

    P.H's, trackers etc who may be parallel to, or adjacent with a muzzle ported firearm, and in thick country or when targeting an animal in a herd situation with unseen members of the herd in any direction, they are potentially exposed to a concussive blow (don't believe me, stand slightly behind and beside a ported .416 or 458 !) which will delay reaction and effect response time in a bad situation. To expect hunting staff to wear, or apply at the last minute, hearing protection is unrealistic and can also compromise the ability to hear aproach of non-target animals in a thick cover situation, or in a herd of animals.

    I remember years ago when respected Zim P.H Alan Lowe was killed by a cow Elephant which attacked from the side of the hunting party who had targetted the bull in the herd, and due to the thick cover had not seen, nor did they hear her aproach, the existance of a protective and aggressive cow (and he was not wearing any hearing protection).

    Proper gun fit, comfortable kick pads, adequate gun-weight and lots of practice (I believe you do not know your big bore until you have fired at least 200 rounds down that tube)are far more credible tools to use in familiarising yourself with recoil, and if after you have done all of this and are not comfortable, get something smaller.

    I am only 5'8" and about 160lbs and regularily bench my 458 Lott, sitting behind it at the range for 40 or more full power loads. I am in the tenth year of owning rifles in this cartridge and have fired (between the range and in the field) maybe 2000 rounds through two different rifles. I am far from super-man ! It just a case of different people have different tolerances. I have seen hunters twice my size struggle with .375's. Technique has some to do with it and the rest is the previous factors mentioned.

    I should also mention that a good freind of mine in the U.S is currently putting together a new firearm for me which will be used on my guided buffalo hunts.
    It is a wild-cat cartridge .500 cal, based on the .375 rum case. Driving a 550gn bullet at 2250 fps from a 21"barrel, and weighing a total of about 8.25lbs, loaded. The rifle is built for maximum stopping power in all situations and from all angles and is portable and handles like a lever gun. Yes, it will kick ! I have allready fired the cartridge and a similar rifle and yes you know it has gone off !! I will spend some months shooting it at the range and send a couple of hundred down the tube before I begin using it on my hunts.
    In the field, I doubt I'll even hear it go off.
    A muzzle break is simply not an option for me.

    I'm sorry for the long winded reply, but I'm convinced that some people believe they don't need the time in familiarisation with a gun if it is ported because the brake eliminates the recoil issue for them, hence they spend little time shooting and getting to know them. Some will argue that due to the comfort factor they actually spend more time with their ported rifles but this theory is not backed up on my sighting in bench in my buffalo camp.

    Muzzle brakes provide a very real threat to your hearing if not used with protection and Im not confortable in accepting a big game hunting scenario involving hearing protection.

    Just my perspective, I'm sure there are many with an opposing view.

    PaulT.
     
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  11. Big5

    Big5 AH Fanatic

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    . . . PaulT, I did not find your post at all long winded. I whole heartedly agree with your post and think you supported your position quite well. Muzzle brakes are an unnecessary device. Period.
     

  12. monish

    monish AH Elite

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    Paul,

    Agree with you 1000% as these innovative technicalities certainly damage hearing , I just cant guess how did FC Selous, John Hewitt & KN Knowles and lots of hunting greats never thought of such fancy gadgets when using 4 & 8 bore cannons off their shoulders .
    I have experienced the deafening sound blazers when ever I stood next to my brothers .416 Weatherby in action its sounds like a bazooka renting through your ear drums.
    Muzzle brakes never my cup of tea............

    Monish
     

  13. Jaco Zeeman

    Jaco Zeeman AH Member

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    As a member of BASA (Big Bore Association of Southern Africa), I stand by our motto: " Addicted to Recoil". On another note; a muzzle brake is just that: It brakes the rearward movement of the muzzle (rifle) and restricts the barrel jump after a shot. It therefor reduces the felt recoil and make it easier to shoot a "kicking" (sic) rifle. All the reasoning hereunder is true because its personal choise. However, you don't want to shoot at a thing with "long teeth or heavy horns" at a short distance in the bush, while your PH is is trying to clear is eyes, nose and mind after been showered with debris and dust and blown backwards by your blast! If that thing needs a follow up shot, you might run into serious trouble!

    The solution: Don't hunt with a calibre you are unable to handle. If you,ve got the big one, keep on shooting until you're use to it and can shoot it without a flinch. Happy hunting.
     

  14. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I'm Stubborn...born stubborn

    I don't believe in Ph's being back ups on shooting situations...to me....they are there to watch the shot...to see where the shot lands or where the animal ends up. The shooter is the one doing the shooting....and his job is to make a excellent shot.

    I hear you about other animals being in the area of danger.....I don't see how shooting a muzzlebrake changes anything. Other people may be afraid to post on the topic...by I'm not.

    As far as all the comments of the website about unnecessary technology. I have this much to say, things change...I have been out of college for 15 years now...everything has changed in the world. To me....you can't trust anybody anymore....all you have is today. It use to be people stood for the greater good, honor and justice....sorry I don't see that in the work place anymore, you always got a knife in the back. People go home and don't pay there bills and keep on spending on the credit card they never intend to pay. Why do I bring this up....it has lead to me working more hours for less pay, with less time to do what I really want to do in life...and I'm probably not alone on this. I have enough stress in my life. To worry about a muzzlebrake...Please get real...they are a lot bigger problems!
     
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  15. Big5

    Big5 AH Fanatic

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    enysse . . . considering the above excerpt it appears you may have greater issues at hand and are perhaps needlesly 'worrying' about muzzle brakes. There will always be those, such as you, who will justify their use and others, such as me, who think they are an ear shattering device that is not necessary on a hunting rifle. I certainly don't think there are many here on this site who are 'worrying' about the topic or viewing it as a vein blowing matter.

    I do wish you happy hunting.
     

  16. Jaco Zeeman

    Jaco Zeeman AH Member

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    Hi Enysse. Perhaps you missed the point I made. My comment was was not made in an offensive way. Please read it again. I agreed that each comment was a personal choice and did not "shoot anyone down" (by way of speaking) in any way. I just gave my oppinion as everyone else did. Have you ever hunted cape buffalo at 15 or 20 yards in the thicket, or african elephant at 5-15 yards in thick bush or a male lion, where all the availible "lead" in the air is needed to stop a charge or an escape, especially when the animal is wounded?! Probably not? That is the point; sometimes you can not do the job on your own! Enjoy your muzzle brake and your shooting and hunting.
     

  17. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Jaco, I don't think muzzlebrakes are made for short range shooting for the most part, I thought you brought up a lot of good points....at least that's how I view them. Sure they will take the recoil out of any gun but if you are hunting under a 100 yards all the time...I wouldn't need any recoil taming device either...I can hit a pie plate...in just about any position at that range. And I would have to agree, the extra noise will just make it harder to figure out what's going on after the shot. And a double rifle would probably be a better tool.

    I do think at long range, muzzlebrakes are a help. And some muzzlebrakes are very noicy...some of them have military design....I don't care for them either. I actually like the Magnaport stuff.

    I think it's easier to shoot...more accurate and faster, some of us don't have all day to practice every weekend. I have seen shooters that can't shot a lick...start hitting the bulleye every time with recoil reducing devices.

    PaulT talks about a proper fitting stock...it definitely helps. I know it's cheaper to put a brake on...and I don't have too much money....but $500 will get you a nice stock.

    Frankly I hardly see a reason to ever shot anything bigger than a 7mm...and I can shoot that all day. But we live in a bigger is better society.

    I see in the latest "Sports Afield"..Big Bore himself.. Kevin Robertson actually mentioned a 270 win is a good leopard gun....a 375 H&H to him was pretty much overkill.
     
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  18. Big5

    Big5 AH Fanatic

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    enysse, I agree with Robertson that the .270win is potent medicine for a leopord. While hunting Zim with me over the years my daughter has dropped two leopards straight away with her .270win. But I think you are sorely mistaken in your belief that there is hardly a reason to ever use anything greater than a 7mm. It's not simply a matter of living in a 'bigger is better society' as you state.

    Many situations one not so uncommonly might encounter while hunting 'bite you back' and 'stomp you flat' animals requires something more potent. Things do go wrong at times. And, although the 7mm may have the capacity to kill it, I can assure you that it ain't gonna stop it.
     
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  19. richardnmarais

    richardnmarais New Member

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    Hi Calhoun

    Responding to your message I think you might be interested in this product called the CMG Recoil Reaper. It is the best of both worlds, combining and effective silencer with the recoil-reduction of a muzzle brake.

    If you are interested go to their website: http://www.cmgrecoilreaper.co.za also they have a you tube channel with videos comparing two shots, one with and one without the CMG Recoil Reaper and one can't believe the difference.

    The one video is a 416 Weatherby Magnum in slow motion, a must see!!

    Kind Regards
     

  20. shuter

    shuter AH Enthusiast

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    These are sound suppressors, and therefore NFA devices here in the states. No problem to own where I live (after going through the requisite, ridiculous paperwork and waiting period), except for the fact that they can't be hunted with in many states (which is an insane regulation, as so many are). Are they legal to hunt with in African countries?
     

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