View Full Version : AR ballistics,muzzlebrake or not?

June 5, 2007, 03:45 PM
I am new to ARs,but I am catching up.
I wanted to know if there is a significant difference in accurecy in using a muzzle brake or just a varmit/target barrel.

I only target shoot and at the max is 100 yards.
The AR has more kick then my 22's,so its hard to watch the bullet hit the paper.
And I have to reaquire the target after each shot.

What I have been contemplating is getting a 20" flattop upper.

my question:

a.Bull target barrel
b.standard barrel with muzzle brake
c. something I havent considered

Magnum Wheel Man
June 5, 2007, 05:20 PM
I'm certainly not an "AR" snob... in fact don't really like them much... but I do have a flat top match barrel, 20X scope equiped AR with a custom compensator, & it stays put enough that I can see impact, wheather on paper or doggie...;)

June 5, 2007, 06:30 PM
I only target shoot

That's the key. You don't really need or want a muzzle brake.
even though in all likelihood, it would NOT affect accuracy at all. But since it's wholly unnecessary for target shooting one round at a time, taking you time between shots, why risk it? Go for the bull barrel, no M.B.

June 5, 2007, 06:40 PM
well,one for,one against

I guess I'm just used to the low recoil of my 22's.

June 5, 2007, 08:18 PM
Good technique will help with the recoil. For accuracy use a standard buttstock and place the side of your chin against the stock the slide your face down until your cheekbone stops the movement. You should have a prominent roll of skin poking over the top of the stock and you should rest the whole weight off your head on the stock. This will help keep recoil consistant and make it more manageable.

My vote is heavy barrel. You can always add a muzzle brake later if you want.


Double Naught Spy
June 5, 2007, 08:55 PM
The AR has more kick then my 22's,so its hard to watch the bullet hit the paper.

If you are trying to watch the bullet hit the paper, then quite likely you are not using your sights to their fullest advantage as you are potentially paying more attention to the target than the sights. You don't need to see the bullet hit the paper. The hole will be there whether you see it impact or not.

June 5, 2007, 10:11 PM
18 IN. Med. barrel with this brake is an excellent choice. The light bolt carriers have less impulse . http://www.jprifles.com/1.4.3.php I would compare a 16 in. to a 20 on a varmint heavy with no brake. --as to handling . There is a big difference in this in ability to shoot 5 shots rapid under an inch at 100 vs. one shot every so often with no brake. Both ways have the accuracy , but this brake lets you do it fast. Watch the JP video and you can see what these will do with the recoil impulse gone.

June 5, 2007, 10:27 PM
Line: thats exactly what i was looking for!!!

June 6, 2007, 09:32 AM
Good. That guy JP knows his stuff . Alot of companies, talk the talk, but at the range they just dont do it. What he says in those videos is correct and does just as he implies with quality engineering. ----5 fast shots, under an inch, at 100 yds, using match ammo and a 4 power ACOG . Oh yea, thats the good stuff that is correct to its advertising.

June 7, 2007, 10:07 AM
Do be aware that a brake will make the gun considerably louder, especially to the sides (just something to keep in mind).

john in jax
June 7, 2007, 10:46 AM
I'm a big believer in fat, heavy, bull bbls. I had an Olympic Arms K8 upper (20" bull bbl) that sounds exactly what you are looking for. It weighed a ton, but felt recoil was more like a .22 than a high-powered rifle. There are a lot of choices/options in +/-24" bull bbls for your AR that will be heavy enough to all but eliminate felt recoil.

But, if you already have an AR, installing one of those cool JP muzzle brakes is certainly cheaper than buying a bbl or complete upper.

June 7, 2007, 11:21 AM
How deep do you want to dig into the realm of precision shooting with the AR?

Here are some things to consider...

1. Barrel

For the pure target shooter, thick is good. This tends to dampen the vibrations of the barrel upon firing, which improves harmonics. The benchrest shooting crowd--at least the small caliber shooters--tend to gravitate toward 18 to 20 inch super thick (1.5-2.0 inch) barrels, cut with either a step crown or a 40 degree crown.

You will want a non-chromed barrel for best accuracy, too. This means NO MORE RAPID FIRING, AT LEAST NOT WITH THAT BARREL!!! Get a complete chrome lined barreled upper for those times when you feel the need for speed.


2. Cleaning

Is cleaning really that important? It sure is--but cleaning PROPERLY is even MORE important!!!

Do NOT, EVER, put an uncoated steel rod through a match barrel.
Do NOT, EVER, use a cleaning rod without a bore guide in a match barrel.
Do NOT, EVER, use a stainless steel bore brush in a match barrel--or ANY barrel, for that matter!!

There are numerous cleaners out there, and most if not all do an excellent job. It is mostly a matter of personal preference.

I use good old Hoppe's #9 as my regular cleaner. After every 100 rounds, I will treat the barrel with Sweet's, out at the range while the barrel is still warm. Here's a tip--to neutralize the Sweet's after I finish with it, I will run a patch with oil and JB Bore Bright down the barrel a few times. Then, I patch once with Hoppe's, and then a patch with Kroil down the bore. Three foulers, and the rifle goes back into the case.

3. Bullets

All bullets are not created equal. It has been proven that the heavier .223 bullets tend to be the most accurate. Thus, to shoot the heavies (69 and 77 grain) you will want a fast twist, such as a 1:7. Also, unless you swage your own, be prepared to give up some cash for good bullets, like the Berger, Sierra, Lapua, Norma, etc.

You'll also want some good additional reloading equipment, too.

Here's a good resource: www.sinclairinternational.com

For your precision shooting needs. Good luck!

June 7, 2007, 12:11 PM
There is a lot of good info here.

I shoot Service Rifle match with a RRA NM A4. My rifle has a compensator to look like a service rifle, but it is really not necessary, and the people shooting on either side of you will appreciate it if you don't have one. For match shooting, I would recommend discussing what style of match you want to shoot with someone at your local club.

Although the bull barrel is stiffer and dampens vibration, it is heavier than the other contours, so it will be steadier but harder to hold for very long. If you choose to shoot Service Rifle class, the rifle needs to look like a service rifle, (service type handguard, service type sights, service type trigger) so full-float tube handguards, globe sights, or full-blown match ARs (bull barrels, modified sights) are not allowed. If you want an all-around target rifle for club shoots or target rifle match, either a varmint contour or bull barrel would work.

Whatever you opt for, buy a good quality rifle and enjoy.