View Full Version : muzzle breaks and noise

August 25, 2006, 08:32 PM
I have a short barrel'd FN-FAL.I was going to swap it for a longer barrel (standard) with a flash suppressor but some folks got me thinking.It has nothing on the muzzle now and is extremly loud.It seems to be louder than even an old german 8mm rifle, so much that I haven't shot it much.

would a muzzle brake help any?I like the gun alot,its accurate and fed great the one time I took it out.My problem is the noise and blast.I dont care to get a sound suppressor,though perhaps I am considering it in the future.its not cost effective right now.

so my question to anyone that knows anything about muzzle brakes and flash suppressors is this.What are my options in solving this noise and flash dilema?What typically would it cost?

How do muzzle brakes work?how do flash suppressors work?


August 25, 2006, 09:18 PM
I have a question for you, are you wearing ear plugs are ear muffs?

Muzzle breaks do nothing except raise the noise level of a gun because of the way the gas escaspes, it will not lower it at all. The flash suppressor will not help with the noise either, it only hides the flash of the shot. The reason for the louder noise is you have a short barrel hence to change the noise level, I would use a longer barrel if it is going to be a problem while shooting it without ear protection, then again, I never shoot without the protection if I can avoid it.

To have either put on, the barrel needs to be threaded to accept them.

James K
August 25, 2006, 11:24 PM
Some flash suppressors lower the noise level behind the muzzle, but muzzle BRAKES increase it by directing gas to the side or rear.

I don't know what a muzzle BREAK does, since none of my rifles has a broken muzzle.


August 26, 2006, 01:29 AM
I seem to do that all the time Jim.

August 26, 2006, 01:34 AM
Muzzle brake = a heck of a lot more noise. I have one that I had mounted on one of my 700PSS and it made the gun uncomfaortable to shoot (hearing wise) even when wearing ear plugs and muffs. Thankgod it was a screw on type so I was able to unscrew it and put on thread protectors, otherwise I would have had to lop off a few inches of the barrel. If you do get a brake/flash hider make sure to get the barrel threaded and get a thread on brake, that way you can remove it if you don't like (and you can get a suppresor later:D )

August 26, 2006, 09:36 AM
I use those throw away ,roll up foam plugs.If I go to an indoor range, I'll get those bulky ear muffs that cover the whole thing.

I guess a muzzle brake isn't the solution then, the flash suppressor might direct the blast some but still have that noise.How about adding a long flash suppressor,like the original?would that reduce it ?

August 26, 2006, 11:50 AM
If you do get a brake/flash hider make sure to get the barrel threaded and get a thread on brake

Unless it's a semiauto rifle and you live in kalifornia.

I wanted to thread a brake on my mini 30 but was informed that would constitute an "assault rifle."

Like somebody can't "assault" with anything else, as in, an "assault" brick, an "assault" baseball bat, etc.

August 26, 2006, 01:28 PM
The style of Muzzle brake we use imcrease sound by 1.4 decibels.

Howver, becasue of the redeirection of gas, it will seem louder to the sides.


August 26, 2006, 04:36 PM
Technical question: does the brake actually increase noise levels, or just relocate the noise from the front of the muzzle to the sides?

August 26, 2006, 04:48 PM


Harry Bonar
August 26, 2006, 05:26 PM
Dear Sir:
First - you must protect your ears or you will be like most of the smiths here due to not wearing ear protection - which is: WE DON"T HEAR WELL. (Of course those of us that are married it can be a definate blessing "selective hearing.")
Muzzle brakes are like light triggers - they serve little purpose. The A-Aquare Shooters Manual the best there is is against them - these men shoot all of the "big Boys" and they recomment felt ear-plugs and ear muffs together to lower the decible to a non injuring level!
This is just my opinion (like a belly-button - we all have one) but super-lite triggers and muzzle brakes are for children just learning the game -(and life).
Rule 1. Use enough gun.
Rule2. Use as powerful a gun AS YOU CAN HANDLE!

The old 30-06 can kill anything on the planet with a skilled shooter and the proper bullet, - Brown Bear, Moose, Elk, and if you find any Dinosaurs them also.
Our fathers and fore-fathers killed everything with a 44-40 Mod 73 Winchester. Most African heavies push a 400 gr bullet at around 2400 fps!
They Work! I'm glad you're smart enough to give up the idea!

Harry B.:)

James K
August 27, 2006, 07:38 PM
Huh? What did you say?


September 2, 2006, 01:03 PM
I have selective hearing but blame it on my shooting hobby.My inlaws have fallen for it:D

Thanks for all the advise.

T. O'Heir
September 5, 2006, 11:43 PM
A short barrel on any 7.62/.308 will be loud and produce a huge flash no matter what you have on the muzzle. The .308/7.62 was designed for a 22" barrel. Putting a proper barrel on an FAL is strictly a smithy, who knows how, job.
A muzzle brake, like Jim says, sends the blast sideways and back. The idea is to reduce the felt recoil. Not that an FN has much. A flash suppressor spreads the muzzle flash. It won't reduce the blast from short barrel.
Selective hearing is a bull human 'honey do' defense thing. I suspect it has become a Y chromosome genetic trait as young bull humans have it too. Try and tell the average male teenager anything.

September 6, 2006, 01:33 PM
The short barrel is the problem, as T. O'Heir said. When I took the basic rifle class at Gunsite, they did a nighttime demo, firing an 18" Scout predicessor and a 22" rifle with the same .308 ammo. The short gun's huge white fireball was quite a contrast to the longer one's smaller more orange flash. They also fired one rifle with a Vortex flash supressor; an amazingly effective device. Just the smallest flash around the slots was apparent with that same ammo.

What you can do, if you like this short gun, is reload with a somewhat faster powder and heavier bullets. You will lose about 10% of muzzle energy and of course the velocity with a heavy will be down for the same chamber pressure, but more of the powder will have burned in the barrel and the pressure remaining when the bullet arrives at the muzzle will be lower, and that's what causes the loud noise. For example, a 147 grain FMJ BT loaded to 50,000 PSI at the chamber with 748 will run around 10,600 PSI remaining pressure at the muzzle of an 18" barrel, and produce about 2300 ft-lbs of muzzle energy. A 180 grain FMJ BT fired over N133 loaded to 50,000 PSI at the chamber will produce about 8075 PSI at the muzzle, and about 2100 ft-lbs of muzzle energy. That will be a little less loud.


September 8, 2006, 09:50 PM
Muzzle brakes are like light triggers - they serve little purpose.

Except, theoretically, for the mini 14/30. The brake supposedly stabilizes the barrel harmonics (?) thus allowing for more consistent shot placement.

I haven't tried it, personally.

September 9, 2006, 12:07 PM
If I see someone has one when arriving at the range I'll pick a bench as far from him as possible.
They may only raise the decibel level slightly as stated above, but seem to direct the sound sideways 50% more.

September 9, 2006, 02:17 PM
the barrel length is 17 inches.the blast is huge as well as the noise.Thats why I thought adding a long flash suppressor and closing off all the but the last inch of slots,to get a longer barrel and still retain a lowered boom and flash.Guess cant have it both ways,lol.looks like a trip to a smith or a trade is still in order.