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jim boyd's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 07/06/2010
Posts: 889
Muzzle Brakes


We are a reasonably small community on BGH and most of you know that I dislike recoil.

I have been researching muzzle brakes and am perplexed by the amount of varying information that is available - some of it contradictory...

Some claims state that recoil reductions of 50% or more are available, based on caliber...

Also, many authors state the the resultant elevated noise levels of brakes can damage your hearing, even with ear muff style hearing protectors.

Some sites even go as far as stating that guides will not allow a muzzle braked rifle to be taken on a guided hunt.

I see that some muzzle brakes can be removed for hunting....

I am a huge fan of Savage rifles and not also that their brake can be turned on and off by rotating the outer sleeve of the brake - this seems to be the best of both worlds...

I have a Savage with the brake on it... it is in a smaller caliber - 7mm-08 - and I do not notice that the noise is awkward or overpowering...

I also do not notice that the recoil reduction is THAT great when the brake is open vs closed - if asked I would probably have stated a 15 - 20 % reduction in recoil.

Would the reduction be greater for the larger magnum type rifles - say in 300 Win Mag or 300 RUM?

Are brakes worth the additional costs?

What are the REAL WORLD benefits of the brake - from a hunter who has a known issue with flinching?

Thanks in advance to all of the knowledgeable shooters and hunters on this forum!


Don Fischer's picture
Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3213
I believe that brakes were

I believe that brakes were designed to tame the savage beast. I doubt much if anyone would really need a brake on a 7-08. But jack the recoil up to magnum level and the reduction would probably be sizeable. I've only shot two rifles with a brake on them, a 7mm Rem Mag and some kind of 300 short mag. I could not tell you what reciol was like, muzzle blast damn near cleaned out my head! My brain was damn near blown out my nose! Noise level will definatelly go up but might not be that noticable in the smaller standard cartridges. But light up 80 grains of some slow burning powder and the game changes. I have a bad hearing loss and I'll never shoot any kind of rifle with a brake on it again.


Critter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4413
Muzzle breaks have their

Muzzle breaks have their place and it isn't while you are out hunting with someone else.  If you can't notice the difference between when the brake is on and when it is off then you quite possibly already have a hearing problem.  I have a .340 Weatherby with a removable brake on it.  It is a great asset to use while shooting from the bench where your body can't absorb some of the energy that is called recoil.  Every time that I shoot it with the brake on I make sure that there is no one off to the side or even close to me that isn't wearing ear muffs and I don't mean ear plugs but full coverage headsets.  As for me I couldn't tell you what it sounds like without the muffs on since I have never pulled the trigger on it with the brake on and the muffs off.  As far as the felt recoil it does help a lot with the larger magnums but I doubt that if you would really notice that much of a difference on the 7mm-08 since the recoil on that round is retaliative light to begin with.

As for hunting I will take it off since usually when you see an animal and take a shot you are thinking about something other than what the recoil is going to feel like.  I can also understand a guides point of view of not allowing someone to shoot a rifle with one installed when they are in a hunting situation.  The guide is usually just off to the side and to the rear of the hunter and doesn't want to have his ears ringing for the next couple of hours after the hunter takes the shot. 

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