View Full Version : Muzzle Brakes on rifles: Worth the tradeoff?

Futo Inu
August 11, 1999, 03:20 PM
I was just reading in my first issue of Gun Tests (great periodical) that after testing three different 30-06 hunting rifles, Gun Tests could recommend the Browning A-Bolt II composite stalker as a good value, but their reservation was that the BOSS system muzzle brake/vibration tuner combo, was extremely, unpleasantly LOUD even with hearing protection, and that they thought for this reason the BOSS component would not be worth the little extra accuracy and reduced recoil (though they admitted they did not thoroughly test the BOSS system, so they couldn't say for sure just how MUCH it might help accuracy). My questions are as follows:

1. Do YOU wear ear protection when hunting with a big boom rifle, muzzele brake or not?

2. Vibration reducer system aside, considering a muzzle brake for reduced recoil ONLY, Is the reduced recoil worth the extra-lound blast (and accompanying increase in the possibility of ear damage) in a typical hunting rifle?

3. Would your answer change if the muzzle brake was also a accuracy-enhancing vibration reducer? In other words, would the extra accuracy be needed/justified for a hunting rifle to you, as a trade-off for the extreme noise?

Seems to me, almost nothing is worth risking hearing loss. Though the BOSS thing looks tempting, I don't think you would need the extra accuracy in most hunting situations. As far as the recoil reduction, you won't feel this at all when you spot "the big one" in the field. But for zeroing/testing, you would feel the recoil from big cartridge rifles that day and the next perhaps. Opinions?

August 11, 1999, 03:46 PM
IMO - no muzzle breaks or porting on nay gun. If you don't like the recoil then simply get a smaller caliber.

You said "hunting", remember the point when you squeeze the trigger and fire that shot at some game? You not only don't feel the recoil but you don't really even "hear" the shot being fired.

Keep your hunting rifle clean and simple.


Daniel Watters
August 11, 1999, 06:25 PM
With the BOSS system, Browning and Winchester offer a replacement unported insert in cases where the noise is too much or the porting is not necessary.

August 11, 1999, 10:17 PM
I had a brake installed on my .338 after I had heart surgery, 'cuz I was afraid I'd crack open. It did reduce the recoil to about .270 levels, but the blast was not tolerable, I developed a flinch from it. Just had it removed, flinch went away after much practice with my Deuce, and the .338 shoots into an inch again!
Answer to tradeoff: Not for me! I'd druther deal with recoil than blast!

The Bill of Rights, and the Golden Rule are enough for civilized behavior. The rest is window dressing. Shoot carefully, swifter...

Long Path
August 12, 1999, 09:11 PM
Every review I've read of the BOSS from 5 different magazines report that this is the real deal-- impressive improvements in accuracy.

I, however, have no need for a muzzle brake on anything under 50 BMG.

So, I'm pretty happy to see that the BOSS is offered in the "NR" configuration, which is an accuracy accessory only, with no recoil reduction. The Winchester Classic with a 22" bbl and one of these is supposed to be the cat's pajamas... :)