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Muzzle Brake: Pros & Cons

This is a discussion on Muzzle Brake: Pros & Cons within the Gunsmithing forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; Hi guys, I recently picked up a Mini 14 and absolutely love it. I'm having a blast shooting it and am really enjoying the compact ...


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Old September 21st, 2012, 08:09 PM   #1
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Muzzle Brake: Pros & Cons

Hi guys,
I recently picked up a Mini 14 and absolutely love it. I'm having a blast shooting it and am really enjoying the compact size and no-nonsense approach. It's everything I wanted in a first centerfire rifle and then some. Last night at our monthly club dinner, I was talking to a fellow shooter who is an AR fan. He was rattling off specs about his gun and mentioned his muzzle brake. He then pointed out the end of the muzzle on my Mini and asked what brake I was using. I told him it was the flash hider that came on the gun and that it wasn't a brake. He suggested I get one and recommended the Primary Weapons System TTO because it's compact and well-made and wouldn't lengthen my Mini. When I asked him what the benefits were, he just said that it would significantly reduce muzzle flip and help me stay on target. I asked him about muzzle brakes being loud (I've heard that they are quite a bit louder than normal) and he said that he didn't notice a difference.

So... I ask you guys... What are the pros and cons to muzzle brakes? Does one need a muzzle brake? Why would you use one or why wouldn't you use one?

Also, does anyone have any experience first hand with the PWS TTO?

I'm not really considering buying one yet, but being that I'm new to centerfire rifles, I'm curious as to the general consensus with these...

Thoughts?

Fire away people!



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Old September 21st, 2012, 10:03 PM   #2
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heymatthew, Do you need a muzzle brake on a 223? No, not at all. Are they louder? Yes, quite a bit for the shooter or anyone standing in an adjacent shooting lane.

What a muzzle brake does is to take advantage of the jet blast from the muzzle. Instead of projecting the muzzle blast straight forward, it diverts the pressure slightly to the rear. This counteracts muzzle flip and pushes the gun slightly forward, also reducing felt recoil.

About the only advantage with a muzzle brake on a 223 semi-auto is when you rapid fire. It keeps muzzle rise to a minimum so it's easier to line up the sights for the next shot. I guess if you are into rapid fire shooting, it might be worth the $$$ but for slow fire there's no real advantage. I can see installing a muzzle brake on a heavy hitter rifle because it does reduce recoil but with a 223 recoil is not much of an issue.
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Old September 21st, 2012, 10:31 PM   #3
 
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I have installed muzzle brakes on about 5 rifles for customers in the past. As for me, I will never use one as they do cause hearing damage everytime you fire one without ear protection. So if in the field while hunting you better wear hearing protection or in time you will have hearing lost at a faster pace then you would if no muzzle brake was used.
And if anyone tells you different, have him show you proof to back up his claim. Studies have been done and the sharp blast to the shooter has been proven to be above the sound level where hearing damage is done.

RELH
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Old September 22nd, 2012, 04:49 AM   #4
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Thanks guys! I'm new to centerfire rifles and didn't know if it was something I really needed or not. I guess a lot of people use them to dress up their guns because I see a lot of ARs with them (even those chambered in 223). The recoil on the Mini is negligible and it's very comfortable to shoot.

I won't be adding a muzzle brake. But now I have some ammunition as to why it's not for me. Thanks for the input!
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Old September 22nd, 2012, 05:32 AM   #5
 
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Hey Matthew,

I have a PWS FSC556, on my carbine, and I love it. But, my rifle is lightweight. Maybe a heavier Mini 14 wouldn't benefit as much. Do you need a brake? That's for you to decide. Do you notice a delay in making quick follow-up shots? Would you like them to be faster? Would you sacrifice the flash hider for faster follow-ups?

The Flash Suppressing Compensator makes my 5.56 way louder on the sides, but not behind the trigger. I always wear hearing protection when firing guns...
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Old September 22nd, 2012, 10:23 AM   #6
 
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I have the unfortunate past of being forward of the firing line setting up targets, when an idiot let loose with a mini 14. I can tell you for a fact that I do not know how any of our soldier's get back home with any of the hearing left! I physically hurt at the time and now I'm paying the benefits of hearing loss.

Now for your muzzle brake (and your buddy's). Imagine that blast wave now going sideways. I have personal experience with that one as well. Trust me it does and it does hurt. So now your shooting will affect bystanders as well. And like posted before, do you need one for a .223, absolutely not. Porting and brakes are best served for short barreled or large caliber handguns. There you really notice the "muzzle flip" difference. And of course very large caliber long arms like a .458 or better.

Just my advice from a guy that's had personal hearing experience. Smithy.
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Old September 22nd, 2012, 11:26 AM   #7
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Hi guys,
Thank you again for the great responses. I always wear hearing protection when I shoot. Usually in the form of in-ear plugs. But if someone pulls out a "big gun" I'll double-up with some Howard Leight Electronic Muffs on top of my in-ears (excellent muffs for the money, by the way).

For me, a louder gun wouldn't be an issue because I have adequate hearing protection. But I shoot at the family farm and at a small, local outdoor range that I'm a member of. I want to be courteous to those around me when shooting and direct as much noise as possible AWAY from other shooters. That alone would be reason enough for me not to have one on my gun.

The Mini 14 shoots like a dream. It doesn't recoil to the point that I feel uncomfortable at all. I don't shoot rapidly (can't afford to! ) so follow-up shots isn't an issue. And I don't find it difficult to end up back on target after each shot.

I'm very new to centerfire rifle shooting. The Mini is my first CF rifle and I love it. I'm learning some great handling techniques from some of the other shooters around me. But, I'm also getting lots of opinions on things I "need" for my gun. Mostly from AR guys at the range that just LOVE to slap stuff on all their rails (I gotta say that if I had an AR, I'd load that bad boy up! ). I bought the Mini because it is a lightweight, fast-handling, no-nonsense approach to centerfire rifle shooting. I didn't get it to add lights and lasers and scopes and rails and muzzle devices to it. If I wanted that, I would have gotten an AR.

I was just mostly curious as to why someone wouldn't want a muzzle brake and you've given me more than enough reason to not want one. I appreciate all of your feedback. Now I have some ammunition when this guy asks me where my PWS Muzzle Brake is.
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Old September 22nd, 2012, 11:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithy View Post
I have the unfortunate past of being forward of the firing line setting up targets, when an idiot let loose with a mini 14.
Smithy... First, I'm glad that idiot didn't kill you. Second, I'm sorry for your loss of hearing. I suffered chronic ear infections from birth until I turned about 12 years old. My right ear has ruptured multiple times and I had, at last check, about a 10-12% hearing loss in that ear and the doctors expect it to progress, although they don't know how rapidly. They had to remove tissue from my earlobe to patch my ear drum the last time it ruptured because it was so severe. The scar tissue on my ear drum now reverberates when I hear either very loud noises (concerts, etc.) or several different frequencies at once (shopping malls, subway stations, large gatherings of people with lost of different sounds, high and low). So I understand exactly what you're experiencing.

Be safe out there and watch your back. Idiots are out there and they're breeding!
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Old September 22nd, 2012, 11:40 AM   #9
 
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I have muzzle brakes on a couple rifles, but not for the standard reason. I live in Oregon, & our huntin rigs are often less than clean. Our floor boards get dirt, mud & rocks. I often put the muzzle of my rifle on the floor board. A muzzle brake keeps all that hazardous material away from my crown. Cheep insurance.
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Old September 22nd, 2012, 07:49 PM   #10
 
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I was dropping a rifle off at a gunsmith's the other day and we got on the topic of muzzle breaks. He reached up on a shelf and took down a box with a couple of good sized handfuls of muzzle breaks he'd taken off of various rifles for customers. He said most of those customers ended up with hearing damage.
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Old September 22nd, 2012, 08:00 PM   #11
 
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Great information. My own curiosity about this subject has been resolved. Thanks.
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Old September 22nd, 2012, 08:48 PM   #12
 
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Noveske kx3 batf approved suppressor reduces sideby side loudness and conical design of kx3 sends sound down range. This is a SBR suppressor but packaging specifically says for use one all barrel lengths. I have also talked to Noveske personally and they said same. I love it and if u want one that does spare u and range buddies significant db levels this is the shit. 100-150$.
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Old September 23rd, 2012, 11:08 AM   #13
 
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Plus if you fire prone with one you get sprayed with dirt.
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Old September 23rd, 2012, 11:38 AM   #14
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Plus if you fire prone with one you get sprayed with dirt.
I thought every thing was blown upward
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Old September 23rd, 2012, 11:44 AM   #15
 
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Mine goes up and to the sides. Not down. But, it is a compensator.
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