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Old December 18, 2001, 10:33 AM   #1
Skorzeny
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How Much Louder with a Muzzle Brake?

Since post-ban rifles cannot have multiple "evil" features like an assault stock, standard capacity magazines AND flash suppressors, many military-style rifles now ship with muzzle brakes.

Supposedly, these brakes increase the blast of the muzzle significantly.

Does anyone know, in decibel terms, just how much noisier a rifle with a muzzle brake is compared to one without one?

Let's say 5.56x45mm, 16" barrel like a shorty AR-15 clone.

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Old December 18, 2001, 11:58 AM   #2
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As far as actual decibal levels go, I cannot tell you. But in reality terms, it goes from comfortable to highly painful levels. I say this regarding the AK style Brake. I hated it! Yes, it did its job with rapid fire, but it is far from practical! I cannot shoot without hearing protection and God forbid being next to someone firing this weapon. I got rid of mine after going to the range with it one time. So do yourself a favor and stay away from the AK brake. I'm not too sure about the others though...
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Old December 18, 2001, 12:35 PM   #3
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They're loud! Painfully so. I hear all kinds of talk about how the brakes reduce the "fearsome" recoil and muzzle rise of the .223 , but the folks advocating this setup for a "combat" rifle never explain how they will deal with the deafness during combat.
BTW, I find any rifle cartridge that exceeds 3000 fps to be irritating using earplugs only.
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Old December 18, 2001, 12:51 PM   #4
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yes, specially when those M1A with muzzle brake guy shoot right next to me, it is really loud and I just go back to behind firingline to wait for "they go out of line",
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Old December 18, 2001, 03:59 PM   #5
Mal H
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A lot!

I really don't like to be next to someone at the range who has a muzzle brake on their AR and I wear plugs and muffs at the range.
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Old December 18, 2001, 05:34 PM   #6
Skorzeny
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So far, everyone hates muzzle brakes on an AR-15.

What about 7.62x39mm (an AKM)? Or 7.69mm NATO (like FN-FAL)? Are muzzle brakes pretty painful on these as well?

If so, why do so many new rifles in the AR-15, AKM, FN-FAL styles come with muzzle brakes?

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Old December 18, 2001, 07:30 PM   #7
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My buddy has an AK in 7.62x39mm with a 20" barrel and a muzzle brake. I swear, that thing barks louder than my .30-'06 Remington 7400. It's VERY loud. Personally, I don't see much use for a brake like that on a semiauto rifle firing an intermediate cartridge.
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Old December 18, 2001, 07:56 PM   #8
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Skorzeny, about all I can tell you about "Why?" is "There's no reason for it; it's just our policy." Guessing, it's probably just to make it look "fiercer", on the basis that nobody ever went broke underestimating the bad taste of almost anybody.

That's also a good answer for any "Why?" question involving Gummint or Large Corporations.

Some people say I'm a cynic.

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Old December 18, 2001, 07:59 PM   #9
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I have to agree with Art on this. He beat me to it by seconds...

It is all about the look. Since the ban of '94 made flash suppressors almost legaly obsolete, people had to go to muzzle brakes to make the rifles look evil. Heck, I wouldn't be too supprised if they tried to ban those next.

Hey, why do girls wear makeup? To make themselves look pretty, right? Well, there ya go...
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Old December 18, 2001, 08:14 PM   #10
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Darn. Art n USMCsilver said what I was thinkin as I read down.

Can't sell it ? Paint it black and call it the Ulitmate Tasticle Rifle, raise the askin price and they will sell like hot cakes.

Louder to the shooter and a LOT louder to others in the area. Plus all the crud thrown out to the side.

Those tacticle .22s are ugly enough, don't need muzzle thingys.

Sam
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Old December 18, 2001, 10:00 PM   #11
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You want LOUD ?! My hunting pal has two (custom) rifles among his many, which are his main meatsticks. One is a 7mmSTW and the other a 300 UltraMag.... both braked. I stand about 20 yds behind him, double plugged, when at the range. So dang loud it's unreal. I've never been next to him in the field when he's shot, and hope never to. Of course, the plus side is that the recoil of his 300 Ultra is about like a 30-06. Wouldn't want to shoot an unbraked one, but since I'd never own one, it's moot.
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Old December 18, 2001, 10:29 PM   #12
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Muzzle brakes on military rifles are a bad idea. Most of the post-ban Bushmaster rifles have some sort of compensator attached, and it raises the decibel levels from "loud" to "intolerable." They do well at controlling muzzle climb during rapid fire, but you'll end up with brighter muzzle flash and can kick up a dust cloud of planetary size if you fire from a prone position.

I've had the misfortune of sitting next to a guy with a braked FN-FAL, and the report was of epic proportions. Thankfully, his gas regulator was FUBAR, and he could only fire a single round at a time.

I urge new buyers of sport-utility-rifles to avoid permanent muzzle brake installations. Get something that can be easily removed. The trade-off between controllability and hearing damage isn't worth it.
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Old December 18, 2001, 11:07 PM   #13
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2 things,
1st do muzzle brakes make even .22LRs much louder? My 10/22 is so quiet it`s almost boring to shoot,making it a little louder would at least make it feel less like shooting an airgun.

2nd, I was helping a friend sight in the new scope on his braked FAL a few years ago. It was ,as mentioned above quite loud. After a few shots at 25yds. (to get the scope rough sighted) it suddenly got somewhat quieter...the muzzle brake ejected itself from the muzzle and was embedded in the dirt backstop! Marcus
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Old December 19, 2001, 08:26 AM   #14
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Yes, brakes on .22's are louder. I have a 20something hole brake on my .22 and it is louder but very, very comfortable still. The only reason I have it is because I enjoy my mods that allow me to discharge 50 rounds in under 8 seconds. Believe it or not, the brake actually makes some difference even on a .22.
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Old December 19, 2001, 08:50 AM   #15
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My personal policy is to never own a firearm with a muzzle brake / recoil compensator.

From seeing friends at the range who had them and from how loud they were while I was wearing earplugs and muffs, that made the decision for me immediately. *POW* "Yikes" "Note to self...muzzle brakes are Bad".

Can't see any real need for 'em anyway. They are intended to solve a minor (IMO) problem of a firearm (the recoil) at the expense of overly magnifying the muzzle blast and report.

Now a sound suppressor, *that's* the way to go.

K
edited to fix "break" vs "brake". I knew better but hadn't had my coffee yet this a.m. I'm picky about "clip" vs "magazine" myself...

Last edited by FXR; December 19, 2001 at 01:10 PM.
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Old December 19, 2001, 09:33 AM   #16
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I wear earplugs- so the break on my Ak doesn't bother me.
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Old December 19, 2001, 11:33 AM   #17
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Same difference, Absolom.
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Old December 19, 2001, 12:49 PM   #18
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No, its not. You don't apply the breaks in your car, do you? Thats why it's called a brake- it reduces (brakes) the recoil of the firearm.

Now, word-snobbery aside, what is the difference between a flash-hider and a muzzle brake, besides the fact that one reduces muzzle flash and the other one doesn't? Does the flash-hider have any impact on recoil (pun intended), and does it also have the problem some poster mentioned of causing a dust-plume when firing from the prone?

Mike
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Old December 19, 2001, 01:37 PM   #19
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Got a built in one on a short barrel 30-06

It's called a BESA Recoil Reducer, and it was a factory addon from Birmingham Small Arms on their long action featherweight model Monarch Majestic hunting weapons. The thingy does the job in recoil reduction department, about a 50% reduction in felt recoil, but with the sideblast and roar, you'll shoot _alone_ on the line
The effect is enhanced by the fact that the brake section is counterbored back about 6" from the muzzel and the front of the bore is big enough to drop a 357 bullet into - which gets behind the line comments like "Rigby???" or "Elephant Gun??

Definately a rifle to be behind rather than beside of
A good reminder to wear eye and ear protection.

Final note...next to a 50BMG bolt gun of any configuration, it's not loud at all.
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Old December 19, 2001, 01:52 PM   #20
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Guys, they have their place...

On varmint rifles, or heavy recoiling rifles. A semi-auto AR-15 doesn't really need one, unless you've got a heavy barrel on it and you're going after gophers... Or if you're into full-auto and need the additional control...

Frankly, I like the darn things, but like anything else, you gotta use 'em in the right applications.
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Old December 19, 2001, 02:44 PM   #21
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One of break's definitions is halt. Halt also means stop, does a muzzle break not stop the muzzle from rising?
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Old December 19, 2001, 04:39 PM   #22
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The brake doesn't raise the noise at all, it just makes everyone on the line think you are shooting at them I've seen some that don't have any side or bottom vents. I hear these (one is the tapco brake for the CETME I think) help with follow-up shots but don't do much for recoil. I don't sweat them much. Shooting guns is loud business, if you don't have proper ear protection them get off the line. That said, some of the larger caliber brakes send out a pressure wave that can be quite distracting and sets off car alarms If more companies made sleeved slip-on mock flash suppressors that are just ornamental then I suspect the number of muzzle brakes sold would go down. LAter.
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Old December 19, 2001, 06:02 PM   #23
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I'm pretty sure it isn't really louder, just redistributed from the front to the sides.
I think I will leave that theory untested as I don't really want to be in front of any caliber rifle when it is fired.
I would guess that in the case of magnums they are worth it, but they would be the ones that could make you REAL unpopular with the guys on either side.
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Old December 19, 2001, 10:46 PM   #24
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I'm pretty sure it isn't really louder, just redistributed from the front to the side

Quote:
I'm pretty sure it isn't really louder, just redistributed from the front to the sides.
Agreed. And back towards the shooter as well.

It can be miserable shooting next to someone with a muscle braiycke. I think when you see them on the average postban AR, it's mainly for looks. And they don't really look all that great to me.
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Old December 20, 2001, 12:21 PM   #25
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Hmmmm...

I have a Bushmaster Shorty AK, not because I wanted the muzzle brake, but I got a good deal on it. I have yet to hear anyone comment on the sound of my rifle and I don't notice ANY difference between mine and anybody else's AR out there. Even when I'm in the lane next to my buddy when he's shooting my rifle, I don't notice any difference. Strange indeed.
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