Home Main Category General Firearms

How much difference can a muzzle brake really make?

Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior MemberPosts: 2,030 Senior Member
So how much difference can a muzzle brake really make? Apparently a huge difference! I have a LH Win Model 70 .300WSM featherweight. At a mere 7.5 lbs with scope her nick name is the mule, she is totally abusive when you pull the trigger. I don’t think my old .338 Lapua mag kicked like this witch! No one wants to shoot a second shot out of her. About 18 months ago I had it rebarreled by Chad Dixon at LongRifles Inc. Even Chad said that was one of the most abusive rifles he’s ever had the misfortune of firing.

Chad recommended a new McMillan stock and possibly a muzzle brake to help tame the recoil of the rifle. The featherweight stock is not an optimal design for reducing recoil. I said sure let's do it! After a long wait on the McMillan stock Chad finished her up this past Aug. Chad also installed his newly designed four port brake, though the ports he designed are based on the cathedral intake port design of the General Motors LS-1 V-8 engine. The ports aren’t like those of conventional side ports on a lot of muzzle brakes. His ports have a progressive geometry that narrows as it moves towards the center bore. Not sure if they’re better than a traditional port but his brake is amazing at taming recoil.

The wife and I purchased a new ranch the first part of Aug and have spent every weekend getting it ready. Last weekend we finished up the new rifle range complete with a new concrete shooting bench my son and I built together. I was finally able to shoot the mule after the rebuild. When I pulled the trigger on the first shot I honestly thought I grabbed the wrong gun and thought I shot my .243 win. The recoil was next to nothing. I opened the bolt and out sprang an empty .300 WSM case. I adjusted the scope, racked another round and squeezed the trigger again. The recoil was just a slight push into my shoulder. I put the .300 down and set the .243 on the bull bag and shot a round. For the next few shots I rotated between the two rifles and to be honest the .300 WSM may have had the slightest increase in recoil over the .243 but not by much. I couldn’t believe the recoil of the mule could be tamed that much! She was a total cat to shoot that afternoon.

To be honest I was never a fan of muzzle brakes but I am now!
Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

John 3: 1-21

Replies

  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 11,624 Senior Member
    I had one on a .300 WM. The recoil was about like a .243, but the muzzle blast was awful. No free lunch, as they say. A brake is a sure-fire way to piss off the rest of the firing line.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 23,518 Senior Member
    I am a fan of muzzle brakes.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,425 Senior Member
    A good brake can make a huge difference!
    I use them on the majority of barrels I have chambered for bottleneck cartridges.
    My choice to brake or not brake a gun has nothing to do with who I might meet or will meet at the gun range.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 23,518 Senior Member
    It's a shooting range. There will be noise. Be prepared.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 11,624 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    The rest of the firing line can kiss my ass.

    The spirit of cooperation I love to see.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior Member Posts: 2,030 Senior Member
    Chad did his homework and recommended the perfect stock combination and muzzle brake to help tame the recoil! We only have a single bench on the range. This rifle for the most part is strictly for hunting and not paper punching. The barrel life is not great for these calibers. The day I was shooting we had 35 mph cross winds, not the best scenario for seeing what kind of groups I could produce. Next time out I'll shoot for group and take some pics of the new rifle and concrete shooting bench we built. Having never built one or dabbled in concrete, my son and I were quite pleased with ourselves.
    Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

    John 3: 1-21
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,797 Senior Member
    Gene L wrote: »
    A brake is a sure-fire way to piss off the rest of the firing line.


    I've usually found that shooting firearms that were louder or heavier recoiling at a public range usually drew positive attention. People got curious about what I was shooting and usually struck up a conversation about it. Offering to let them shoot the gun was icing on the cake. I suspect that pissing off the people around you is a trait that follows you well beyond a shooting range.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 23,518 Senior Member
    Fisheadgib wrote: »
    "I suspect that pissing off the people around you is a trait that follows you well beyond a shooting range."

    Profound!
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,788 Senior Member
    In defense of Gene L, pissing off the other shooters can be unpleasant. As a guy who did a lot of shooting before ear protection was a given, I know that it can cause problems. Heck, I was actually told that I could not shoot my Ruger Blackhawk in .30 M1 Carbine again, at the only public range that existed in my locale, in about 1972.

    There are a lot of goofballs who hang around public ranges, and quite often, the people who run them are knuckleheads, too, and tend to favor their running buddies in any sort of conflict. Nowadays, it's up to the shooters to have proper ear protection, but folks still complain when somebody touches off a magnum when they thought it was safe to unplug their ears, and nobody wants to get unfairly branded as unsafe or inconsiderate. I try to give everybody a heads-up if they seem not to be paying attention, but it doesn't always work out.
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 11,624 Senior Member
    The blast can affect your hearing even if you're wearing hearing protection.

    No point at all in pissing off other shooters that I can see. What goes around comes around.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,797 Senior Member
    If someone happens to be in a bay right next to me and I'm shooting something that barks a bit, I always warn them. They usually respond with "no problem, thanks".
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,127 Senior Member
    Fisheadgib wrote: »
    If someone happens to be in a bay right next to me and I'm shooting something that barks a bit, I always warn them. They usually respond with "no problem, thanks".
    That has been my experience as well. Typically, I try to sit down at the end of the range away from everyone else since I don't care to get pelted with the AK brass from the person on my left anyway.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • ilove22silove22s Senior Member Posts: 1,354 Senior Member
    i didnt pay that much attention to them when i got into guns many years ago, but after reading about how they worked, i made note of it. Since i was only into 22LR i didnt see any need for them. They may look cool, but for real life on a 22LR, its only fluff.

    But what i realized how well they worked was on an article i read many years ago when this guy made a shoulder fired 50 BMG rifle. This was way before the 50 cal rifle fad too.

    those that know, know. those that dont, will kick themselves for not knowing sooner.
    The ears never lie.

    - Don Burt
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 16,756 Senior Member
    Jeff in TX wrote: »
    So how much difference can a muzzle brake really make?

    With the brake/stock combination I installed on my .300 Win. Mag. I can watch bullets impact downrange and range sessions are only limited by the amount of ammo I take, not because I can no longer take the beating.

    If someone shows up at the range while I am shooting, I simply let them know I'm shooting a braked rifle and that it might be a little noisy - which has lead to a lot of fun conversations. Never had any complaints from other shooters.
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 23,518 Senior Member
    Fisheadgib wrote: »
    If someone happens to be in a bay right next to me and I'm shooting something that barks a bit, I always warn them. They usually respond with "no problem, thanks".

    I tend to holler out, "Fire in the hole!" Before I start a series of of shots. Regardless what I'm shooting.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • twatwa Senior Member Posts: 2,236 Senior Member
    I have a savage 116C in 7MM mag and it is like shooting a .243, they definitely do their job. I just bought a Remington 700 in .308 that has a threaded barrel that I bought a brake for until I save enough for a suppressor. Actually going to go by the Smith's on Monday to have him tighten / time as I don't have the tools to do it, .308 is nothing on recoil now, it will be interesting to see what it does after the break.
    As far as your .300 WSM, those things do kick like a mule, I have an Browning A-bolt that I have been hunting with this year. Took it to the range a few weeks ago since I topped it off with some good glass and my arm was bruised pretty good by the time I finished up. I shot a doe with it opening weekend and didn't notice the recoil at all, I just didn't notice it when I wasn't thinking about it I guess.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,288 Senior Member
    The few times I've gone to a range to shoot the .50 BMG I've never had any problem with someone wanting to sit on either side of me and shoot. The muzzle blast from the brake is a bit disconcerting, and the noise is distracting. I set up as far away as possible from anyone else on the line. If they want to contend with the dragon breath and noise, more power to them.

    Is the brake effective? Absolutely! I wouldn't even consider shooting it without a brake!
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,490 Senior Member
    Fisheadgib wrote: »
    If someone happens to be in a bay right next to me and I'm shooting something that barks a bit, I always warn them. They usually respond with "no problem, thanks".
    I've done that, myself.

    My experience, for what it's worth: a Mosin, especially in a Mosin Carbine, has a louder bark than a muzzle braked rifle. That's how it seems to me.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,490 Senior Member
    tennmike wrote: »
    The few times I've gone to a range to shoot the .50 BMG I've never had any problem with someone wanting to sit on either side of me and shoot. The muzzle blast from the brake is a bit disconcerting, and the noise is distracting. I set up as far away as possible from anyone else on the line. If they want to contend with the dragon breath and noise, more power to them.

    Is the brake effective? Absolutely! I wouldn't even consider shooting it without a brake!
    I'll add that I know Tennmike's muzzle brake works, as Orchidman and I have fired that rifle standing up. Hardest thing was just holding that long, heavy thing up to fire it!
    Overkill is underrated.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,288 Senior Member
    I'll add that I know Tennmike's muzzle brake works, as Orchidman and I have fired that rifle standing up. Hardest thing was just holding that long, heavy thing up to fire it!

    :spittingcoffee: 28 pounds, with most of that in front of the trigger guard!
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 24,634 Senior Member
    They should be using plugs and muffs
    wa wa
    Shut up-----KAREN; OK Cynthia
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,387 Senior Member
    Jeff in TX wrote: »
    So how much difference can a muzzle brake really make? Apparently a huge difference! I have a LH Win Model 70 .300WSM featherweight. At a mere 7.5 lbs with scope her nick name is the mule, she is totally abusive when you pull the trigger. I don’t think my old .338 Lapua mag kicked like this witch! No one wants to shoot a second shot out of her. About 18 months ago I had it rebarreled by Chad Dixon at LongRifles Inc. Even Chad said that was one of the most abusive rifles he’s ever had the misfortune of firing.

    Chad recommended a new McMillan stock and possibly a muzzle brake to help tame the recoil of the rifle. The featherweight stock is not an optimal design for reducing recoil. I said sure let's do it! After a long wait on the McMillan stock Chad finished her up this past Aug. Chad also installed his newly designed four port brake, though the ports he designed are based on the cathedral intake port design of the General Motors LS-1 V-8 engine. The ports aren’t like those of conventional side ports on a lot of muzzle brakes. His ports have a progressive geometry that narrows as it moves towards the center bore. Not sure if they’re better than a traditional port but his brake is amazing at taming recoil.

    The wife and I purchased a new ranch the first part of Aug and have spent every weekend getting it ready. Last weekend we finished up the new rifle range complete with a new concrete shooting bench my son and I built together. I was finally able to shoot the mule after the rebuild. When I pulled the trigger on the first shot I honestly thought I grabbed the wrong gun and thought I shot my .243 win. The recoil was next to nothing. I opened the bolt and out sprang an empty .300 WSM case. I adjusted the scope, racked another round and squeezed the trigger again. The recoil was just a slight push into my shoulder. I put the .300 down and set the .243 on the bull bag and shot a round. For the next few shots I rotated between the two rifles and to be honest the .300 WSM may have had the slightest increase in recoil over the .243 but not by much. I couldn’t believe the recoil of the mule could be tamed that much! She was a total cat to shoot that afternoon.

    To be honest I was never a fan of muzzle brakes but I am now!

    Yes brakes work and work well. I have one brake, the one that came on my 300 WBY Mag. And it kicks about like my old .308 Win. in an older Ruger Model 77. Also, I really believe it gives it a shade of an increase in accuracy.

    most felt recoil is caused by the thrust effect when the bullet clears the barrel and the gas pressure hits against the atmosphere and pushes the gun back at you. When you vent some of this gas off out to the side it lessens this jet thrust effect.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • NomadacNomadac Senior Member Posts: 902 Senior Member
    I have one on my .300 WBY Mag and when I went to sight it in I also had my Winchester Mdl. 88 in .243 Win. It's recoil felt the same as my .243 and was very pleasant to shoot, but you did need ear protection for the blast and noise. Also you would not want to lie on the ground that was sandy or dusty or fire over a car hood or the paint would be gone from the gases escaping.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 16,756 Senior Member
    Nomadac wrote: »
    Also you would not want to lie on the ground that was sandy or dusty or fire over a car hood or the paint would be gone from the gases escaping.

    Hence the use of a closed bottom brake...my FTE brake directs blast to the side. I also lay down a sheet of heavy canvas under the muzzle at the range when I'm shooting prone....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Guns & Ammo stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Advertisement