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Old February 22, 2013, 11:17 AM   #1
zcrenna
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Considering getting muzzle brake for .308 - your thoughts?

Took my Ruger American .308 out for the first time this weekend, and as expected, it kicks pretty hard.

Not a huge deal, but after 50+ rounds my shoulder was definitely feeling it.

So I started considering buying a brake as I'm told this can help a lot with felt recoil.

What do you guys recommend?

P.s. The primary use of this rifle will be target shooting for now.
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Old February 22, 2013, 12:30 PM   #2
Inspector3711
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You love them or hate them it seems. The guy next to you at the range will love or hate it as well.

I have several rifles with brakes and I enjoy them. That said, I shoot the more powerful (louder) ones at the range less often than I would without a brake. People tend to complain, and I can't blame them.

I have a .270 WBY with a brake and it will knock things off of neighboring benches.

The advantage is much less recoil of course. I wouldn't say the rifle gets more accurate, but maybe in some cases the shooter does. Knowing it won't kick the crap out of you can relax you.

That said, there will be a learning curve. Although the rifle is no longer hammering you, there is muzzle blast in your face. With a .308, depending on the brake, you might feel your hair move and your facial skin being pushed slightly. Some people can't stand the concussion and even complain that it causes headaches.

For me, once I learned to shoot through the blast, I find that I enjoy it. Kind of like riding a bike vs. driving a car.
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Old February 22, 2013, 12:41 PM   #3
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I'd buy a lighter recoiling rifle that you can enjoy shooting 50+ rounds out of. I'm not a big fan of muzzle breaks, I'd rather run a suppressor. However suppressors aren't in the budget right now, but .204 Ruger, .223 Rem, .22 LR, and others smaller than the .308 are. The great thing about even the .22 LR the mechanics are the same and you can learn just as much putting 50 rounds down range with a .22 lr as you can 50 rounds of .308 Win.
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Old February 22, 2013, 12:48 PM   #4
Charles S
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You love them or hate them it seems. The guy next to you at the range will love or hate it as well.
I think that sums it up quite well. I personally hate muzzle brakes. Once in my life I had muzzle brakes on most everything I owned. A great brake can substantially reduce recoil, to the point that you can often watch your bullet impact. However, that is at the expense of a much greater blast. For me.. (not everyone) the trade off is not worth it. Most of my guns are used for hunting and as I often hunt without hearing protection I find the muzzle blast to be unbearable.

I still retain one braked rifle and it is a very light 300 Win Mag with a Vias muzzle break.

You might want to take a look at how the stock fits you. I am currently shooting a Kimber Montana that is quite a bit lighter than the Ruger and as I am working up loads I don't find it objectionable. It does fit me well though.

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Old February 22, 2013, 01:03 PM   #5
LittleBilly
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.308 Muzzle Brake Question

I have a .308 and love to shoot it. I slipped a shotgun recoil pad on the butt of the rifle stock that helps a lot with the snap and recoil when shooting a lot of rounds. It is just a rubber boot that slides onto the butt of the stock; no damage or marks of any kind. I just love it. Give it a try cheaper and easier than a muzzle brake.
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Old February 22, 2013, 01:05 PM   #6
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If you don't mind the weight you could do what I did with my savage Edge and fill the hollow stock in with epoxy putty. The stock is much more rigid and heavier and I can shoot all the 308 I want and barely feel a thing.
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Old February 22, 2013, 01:10 PM   #7
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I just use a slip on shotgun recoil pad on my .308 and it works just fine so one can shoot several rounds. Cheaper than a muzzle brake and probably better too.

Give it a try before you go to the extra expense.
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Old February 22, 2013, 01:32 PM   #8
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got one on my .308

My light mountain rifle in .308 has one and doesn't kick at all. The real downside is any shot fired without ear protection is unwise. You can't always protect your ears when hunting. Removing it will affect both accuracy and point of impact. I sometimes think of removing it but without the recoil I'm shooting it well and that is a tough thing to mess with.
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Old February 22, 2013, 02:02 PM   #9
kraigwy
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Get the brake, you won't regret it.

I put one on my 300 win and my 375 h&h, they work.

I'm going add them to a few more rifles too.

Shooting is suppose to be fun, brakes make kicking guns fun.
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Old February 22, 2013, 04:47 PM   #10
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Get yourself a Past Recoil Shield for 40 bucks. Use it for extended range sessions. Leave it home while your using your gun for hunting.
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Old February 22, 2013, 05:02 PM   #11
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Had a brake put on my Rem 700 LTR 308 and I love it. Keeps the rifle from bouncing when shooting with a Bi Pod. Sound like your shooting a 338 lapua.
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Old February 22, 2013, 05:34 PM   #12
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JohnO +1

I also have an American 308. I just use the Past pads.

Would also consider:

Changing butt pad to a Decelerator or Limbsaver

A slip on pad

A recoil reducer in the butt (although I'm not sure that is an option in the synthetic American)

I have a brake on my 300WSM and it does cut back the recoil. However, it would also blow out the ears of anyone beside me. I'm careful of my shooting buddies.
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Old February 22, 2013, 10:04 PM   #13
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I bought a 308 Ruger American last year right after they came out . You are correct sir , they do have quite a bit of recoil . I was shooting 50 to 80 rounds each range trip and at the end of the day I could feel it .

I was shooting out to 300yds and the American could shoot sub MOA at that range . I really liked shooting the 308 round and wanted to start shooting longer distances But I did not think the American would be the best thing for that purpose . The barrel heats up pretty fast and accuracy starts to drop off .

I bought A new gun for shooting longer ranges and I chose the 308 Savage FCP-K


As you can see it comes with a muzzle brake I'm hoping it will reduce felt recoil and I can't wait to take the new girl out . It weights about 3lbs more then the Ruger and has the brake so it should be a real nice to shoot . I'm taking her out for the first time on Monday and I will write a review on the gun and I'll update you on the brake .
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Old February 22, 2013, 10:41 PM   #14
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Considering getting muzzle brake for .308 - your thoughts?

3 whole lbs and a muzzle brake? It will probably jump forward when shooting it. Should be a pussycat.
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Old February 23, 2013, 12:29 PM   #15
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The directed concussion of a muzzle brake can cause shooters to develop a twitch, ending up with worse accuracy than before. Anyone adjacent will be shooting daggers out their eyes at you as well. Muffs + plugs isn't enough for me to tolerate being next door to a braked .223, let alone a 308.

308 initially left me with a mildly sore shoulder, but I've found it does not reoccur if I shoot even occaisionally. I think recoil combined with just holding the rifle up tweaks secondary shoulder muscles/ligaments that aren't used much by new shooters. Unless the gun has a steel buttplate, you shouldn't be experiencing any undue pain until you get up to 30-06 levels, but the American is a particularly light gun. I'd reccommend a butt pad for your shoulder, and a cheek rest to help improve your fit with the gun, before adding a brake (unless you really want one anyway--in which case do all three )

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Old February 24, 2013, 11:48 AM   #16
zcrenna
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Thanks everyone.

Ya, I think I'll be doing a few other upgrades before getting a brake.

Seems like I'd have to drop around $160+ or so to get the barrel threaded and a brake.

Cheekpad on the way. Looking for butt plates
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Old February 24, 2013, 01:05 PM   #17
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My thoughts on Braking a .308 Win. . Not nessesary , they don't kick !
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Old February 24, 2013, 02:26 PM   #18
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I probably would never use a brake on a bolt action unless it was some sort of super magnum. .308win(7.62 NATO) is not a heavy recoiling round, It is used in fully automatic shoulder fired rifles lighter than most hunting rifles.

Also this is just me, but I'd NEVER use a brake because the rifle was "making my shoulder sore after 50 rounds" I'd buy a brake if the recoil is practically knocking me off my feet.

I'd try some pads if my shoulder was bothering me.
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Old February 24, 2013, 03:20 PM   #19
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These days, you may find, some ranges are not allowing braked rifles on the line at the same time as regular shooters, but have braked rifles only sessions. So folks can go reset their car alarms. I've heard that some guides won't guide for folks using braked rifles.

I shoot and reload for some rifles with heavy recoil,300WBY, and340WBY. I'm a manly man and all, but after 12 rounds with either of those I'm groaning out loud. I want sometimes to chrono several loads so I tried a trick I read about years ago. You take two new heavy tube socks, half fill one of them with#8 lead shot. Sew this sock very well with heavy thread. Put this sock inside the other and sew it really well.

With this lead sock between the butt of the rifle and my shoulder, I have to adjust cheekweld because this does change LOP. This works, from the bench, 'cause it has to add ten or more pounds to the weight of the rifle.

I received as a Valentine a rather heavy varmint type rifle, a Cooper MDL 22, 6.5-284, 26". 1/8", AA Claro, nice . I chose this chambering because at 60YOA I wanted something easier to play with. It has recoil about the same as 308Win. Because of it's weight is very easy to shoot.

I can't really see any reason to brake a 308. I would try a pad, or some weight, before I would go to the expense of altering a rifle with nominal recoil already, and possibly restricting my opportunities to shoot.
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Old February 25, 2013, 12:08 AM   #20
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You love them or hate them it seems. The guy next to you at the range will love or hate it as well.
I've never seen a shooter positioned adjacent to someone shooting a braked rifle that loved the experience. Assuming your fellow shooters might appreciate being slammed with the pressure wave from your rifle is ridiculous at the very least.

IMO, a .308 Win doesn't warrant a brake. There are numerous options available to reduce the already fairly light recoil that won't generate so bloody much noise.
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Old February 25, 2013, 08:42 AM   #21
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Brakes are a wonderful thing...
Great for spotting your own hits at long range.

But another way of reducing felt recoil is to change the stock. A heavier stock, meant for bench/target shooting, also reduces it.
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Old February 25, 2013, 09:12 AM   #22
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Look up Black River Tactical. They sell what is known as a lineage compensator. I have one on my DPMS lr308. The exhaust port holes are positioned facing forward. This directs the muzzle blast away from the shooter as well as others on the line. Additionally I feel this pushes the weapon directly back, reducing muzzle rise and felt recoil.

It may not be for everyone but my thoughts are it softens the blow thus allowing for a better sight picture and resembles an a2 flash hider. The guy I dealt with there several years ago was Clint,$60 plus dollars at that time.

Hope this helps,
Leonard
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Old February 25, 2013, 09:54 PM   #23
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Just got back from the range and I can say a muzzle brake is awesome . I put 100 rounds through my new Savage FCP-k today and my shoulder feels great . With scope and all the other goody's I put on it , it weighs about 10lbs . being that heavy and having a brake it had about half the felt recoil as my American . Very nice to shoot .
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Last edited by Metal god; February 25, 2013 at 10:36 PM.
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Old February 25, 2013, 09:59 PM   #24
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Considering getting muzzle brake for .308 - your thoughts?

That's good to hear Metal. I'm probably going to be buying one of the Roedale clamp-ons in the next couple o days.
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Old February 25, 2013, 11:37 PM   #25
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I've never seen a shooter positioned adjacent to someone shooting a braked rifle that loved the experience. Assuming your fellow shooters might appreciate being slammed with the pressure wave from your rifle is ridiculous at the very least.
I don't think we should always make this 100% assumption that every shooter goes to a public range and shoots on benches next to other shooters. I'm trying to remember.... I think I was still living in Norman the last time I belonged to a public range or fired a rifle on one. And we left Norman in 1993.

There are good arguments for brakes. And some against. But since I NEVER shoot anywhere near another shooter... that one doesn't apply.

Gregg
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