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Old November 10, 2012, 08:49 PM   #1
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does a muzzle brake reduce free recoil or felt recoil?

If we ignore the weight of a muzzle brake (which would factor in to free recoil) and consider only it's function, is it reducing free/actual recoil, or it is reducing felt/perceived recoil?
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Old November 11, 2012, 09:25 AM   #2
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does a muzzle brake reduce free recoil or felt recoil?
You bet it does.

In my old age I'm getting wimpy when it comes to recoil. I have a 300 WM Model 70 that I built for High Power Long Range (1000 yards) about 30 years ago. Its a good target rifle, I've shot some dern good score with it in my younger days but haven't shot it lately.

They closed a gravel pit on BLM land about two miles from the house where you can get to 2000 yards or more. Berger came out with a pretty high BC 230 grn 30 cal bullets I want to try............but again, the recoil.

So I bought a Badger Ordnance FTE Muzzle brake and had Chad Dixon (LongRifles Inc, Sturgis SD) put it on.

I knew it would reduce the recoil, but I had no idea how much. My 300 WM seems to have the felt recoil of my wifes 243 Win now. It's a pleasure to shoot.

First thing I did was shoot up all my loaded rounds so I could start over.

I wish you were here, I'd let you shoot the rifle with and without the muzzle brake so you can see for your self. Bet you'll put on on your hard kickers.

I'm old, I don't shoot because I have to any more, I shoot because I want to, I shoot for fun. The Badger FTE makes shooting my 300 WM fun again.

A side note: I do most of my gun work myself. But I was in a hurry, and I had to be in Sturgis a couple days anyway so I dropped it off with LongRifles thinking he just might work it in. Turns out he whipped it out in about an hour.

The rifle has a weird front sight set up that I didn't think I would be able to use with the brake, Chad fixed that up no problem. Also whipped out a thread protector for when I have to use the rifle without a brake (Muzzle Brakes are illegal in NRA Matches).

He does excellent work, extremely reasonable prices and the time it took to do the job was unbelievable.

I'd recommend Chad Dixon, LongRifle's Inc. to any one wanting high quality target rifle work.

If you want to ENJOY your hard kicker, go with a muzzle brake. Rifle shooting should be fun, it shouldn't hurt.

I'm impressed with Bardger's FTE, but there are other good ones out there.
Kraig Stuart
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
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Old November 11, 2012, 10:11 AM   #3
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It reduces free recoil.

The gasses that push the bullet out of the barrel weigh just as much as the gunpowder that generated those gasses. In high velocity magnum rounds, those gasses can weigh half as much as the bullet. In some of the more extreme high velocity varmint rounds, the gasses can actually approach the weight of the bullet.

A muzzle brake redirects a large portion of those gasses rearwards so that they cancel some of the recoil instead of adding to it. Think of it as a semi-recoil-less rifle.

The downside is that instead of bruising your shoulder, the rifle deafens your ears. You'll need ear plugs AND ear muffs at the range. The people shooting from a bench next to you will hate you.

Muzzle brakes are less effective on low velocity heavy bullet guns like .45-70 and shotguns because the powder weighs so little and the bullet weighs so much.

Some states are coming to their senses and are starting to allow hunting with silencers, which are essentially muffled muzzle brakes. Saves your shoulder and your ears.
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Old November 11, 2012, 11:56 AM   #4
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The muzzle brake on my daughters 7mm-08 completely removed recoil. She loves it.
You can't fix stupid....however ignorance can be cured through education!
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Old November 11, 2012, 05:54 PM   #5
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I got a kick out of the replies on this.
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Old November 11, 2012, 07:57 PM   #6
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My AAC muzzle brake on my SBR reduces the recoil that I feel. But talk to the people on either side of me and find out what they think. You can feel your organs jiggle.
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Old November 11, 2012, 08:16 PM   #7
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For an extreme example, try it with a .50 BMG M82A1. With the brake, it's manageable recoil prone or standing. Without the brake, first make sure you have good insurance, and try to be near an orthopedic hospital prior to discharge
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Old November 11, 2012, 08:59 PM   #8
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I want to put a brake on my .308. Call me a wimp but shooting it with a brake on it would feel like a .223 and that'd be awesome for volume shooting.
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Old November 23, 2012, 07:50 PM   #9
Bart B.
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Fellas, muzzle brakes do nothing to recoil until after the bullet leaves the barrel. All rifles move back while bullets go down their barrel. The gas escaping behind the bullet pushes the muzzle break forward pulling the barrel with it. As long as that gas doesn't deflect off the brake onto the bullet, good accuracy happens. Note that gas is moving 3 to 4 times as fast as the bullet. It's that ejecting gas that causes most of the felt recoil; only the first 5% of it happens before the bullet's left the muzzle. Muzzle brakes make life comfortable only after the bullet's on its way.
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Old November 23, 2012, 08:26 PM   #10
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The amount that an 8 pound rifle shooting a 150 grain bullet moves back when the bullet reaches the end of a 24 inch barrel is about 1/16 of an inch.
The rest of the recoil, and most of the recoil the shooter feels is the force needed to arrest the momentum of the gun after that short 1/16 of an inch of rearward acceleration.
A muzzle brake allows the powder gasses to arrest that rearward momentum so your shoulder doesn't have to.
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