What's Wrong With A Muzzle Break?

Colorado Cowboy

Veteran member
Jun 8, 2011
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Dolores, Colorado
I don't want to start a big argument here, but Just wanting YOUR opinion on a muzzle break.

Lot's of hunters posting here they want to go to a lighter caliber because of the recoil discomfort of shooting their rifle for extended periods of time. I get it and have experienced it myself. But there is a difference between hunting and shooting at the range for practice or load development. There is a big difference between shooting a very limited amount while hunting and spending lots of time practicing.

Back in the 70's, I built a custom 7mm Mag and started shooting it working up a hunting load. It beat the hell out of me as it weighed only 6.5 pounds. I had a brake installed and the recoil became very manageable, but it was pretty noisy. I eventually traded it off for another gun. Fast forward to 2002.....I was given a .300 Wby by a friend who didn't hunt anymore. It needed a new barrel and I installed a brake on the new barrel. I am a lot older now and recoil is not a friend. The Wby shot wonderful, but still noisy. But what is different is that the brake screws on and it can be removed without effecting accuracy....I do it all the time. I use itwith the brake at the range and when I practice and remove it when I hunt. I don't use my max hearing protection for hunting and the less noise when I shoot hunting is bearable. Most of my shots are one shot kills.

I really think you are putting away your old gun for reasons that are easily solved. Tell us what your experience has been.....not just what someone has told you about brakes. I really like mine and it truly solves the recoil problem....my .300 Wby has recoil less then my 25-06.

That's my experience!
 

JimP

Veteran member
Mar 28, 2016
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Hu???? What did you say???????

I have one rifle with a removable brake on it and it is my .340 Weatherby. That rifle from a bench or even freehand will knock the stuffings out of you. I can manage around 10 shots without the brake before I have to put it away. But with the brake on it I can shoot it as long as I have ammo. However I have never hunted with the brake on it, and I have never felt the recoil of it while hunting.

When I went to Africa and we went down to the range to check our rifles I had the brake on it. My PH kind of gave me a look like, here is another one. I took one shot to check the zero off of the bench and then I removed the brake and took two more just to make sure of where it was hitting. I then told him that I never hunted with it and when at the range I would warn others around to to put on their hearing protection before shooting it with a brake. If you don't have hearing protection on your ears will hate you.

I have no problem with hunters using a brake on a rifle while hunting but they better be aware of the others that are around them when they pull the trigger or they may find themselves hunting all by themselves in the future.
 

Winchester

Veteran member
Mar 27, 2014
2,062
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Woodland Park, Colorado
As I've discussed previously, I recently had a custom .28 Nosler built with a muzzle break to tame the recoil.
I love it and I'm glad it has the muzzle break … it has very little recoil.
 

Hilltop

Veteran member
Feb 25, 2014
3,489
1,492
Eastern Nebraska
I am not a fan of them personally. For extended range sessions, I use a past pad to tame felt recoil. My main reason for not liking them is noise. Even with good ear protection, I have found I am more sensitive to the loud sound than I am actual lbs of recoil. I do believe they are a great tool for many people though.
 

mallardsx2

Veteran member
Jul 8, 2015
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My 300 WSM A-bolt SS Stalker with BOSS, with 150 grain bullets, recoils somewhere in between a .243 and my 22-250.

But it will make your ears bleed. Luckily I have only had to fire it a few times without ear plugs. But I have no doubt damage was done during said events.

I would never have a large caliber rifle without one. Mostly because I hate a hard recoiling gun.
 

Colorado Cowboy

Veteran member
Jun 8, 2011
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Dolores, Colorado
I don't want to start a big argument here, but Just wanting YOUR opinion on a muzzle break.

Lot's of hunters posting here they want to go to a lighter caliber because of the recoil discomfort of shooting their rifle for extended periods of time. I get it and have experienced it myself. But there is a difference between hunting and shooting at the range for practice or load development. There is a big difference between shooting a very limited amount while hunting and spending lots of time practicing.

Back in the 70's, I built a custom 7mm Mag and started shooting it working up a hunting load. It beat the hell out of me as it weighed only 6.5 pounds. I had a brake installed and the recoil became very manageable, but it was pretty noisy. I eventually traded it off for another gun. Fast forward to 2002.....I was given a .300 Wby by a friend who didn't hunt anymore. It needed a new barrel and I installed a brake on the new barrel. I am a lot older now and recoil is not a friend. The Wby shot wonderful, but still noisy. But what is different is that the brake screws on and it can be removed without effecting accuracy....I do it all the time. I use itwith the brake at the range and when I practice and remove it when I hunt. I don't use my max hearing protection for hunting and the less noise when I shoot hunting is bearable. Most of my shots are one shot kills.

I really think you are putting away your old gun for reasons that are easily solved. Tell us what your experience has been.....not just what someone has told you about brakes. I really like mine and it truly solves the recoil problem....my .300 Wby has recoil less then my 25-06.

That's my experience!
Agree 100% my friend.
 

Colorado Cowboy

Veteran member
Jun 8, 2011
7,329
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Dolores, Colorado
I am not a fan of them personally. For extended range sessions, I use a past pad to tame felt recoil. My main reason for not liking them is noise. Even with good ear protection, I have found I am more sensitive to the loud sound than I am actual lbs of recoil. I do believe they are a great tool for many people though.
Dave,
My brake will be off when I hunt with you....:LOL:
 
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AKaviator

Veteran member
Jul 26, 2012
1,819
1,077
I've been considering adding a brake to my .300 Weatherby and maybe even to my .375. Not too sure which one though, lots of them on the market these days.
 

archeranthony

Active Member
Dec 10, 2018
448
301
Texas
l have no issues with using a muzzle break. I have a break on my 338 Win mag. I made the mistake ONE time of having my break open while hunting from a box blind. My step dad was using the gun to shoot some hogs. My ears ringing was bad enough not to mention all the texas dust that flew up from the muzzle blast back in our window. We both looked at eachother and said. Shut that damn muzzle break :ROFLMAO:
 
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dan maule

Very Active Member
Jan 3, 2015
786
860
Upper Michigan
For years I would just deal with the recoil, I never wanted a break because of the noise. Now that I am getting a little older I am definitely looking to put muzzle breaks on several of my rifles. I still don't mind my 300 wbys but the 340 and 30-378 are not very much fun for me these days. My 30-378 is in a Sako TRGS and it's pretty light, it's been a few years since I've shot it and the only way I can justify keeping it at this point is to put a break on it.
I totally agree with the initial statement, I would much rather put a muzzle break on them than step backwards on caliber.
 

memtb

Active Member
I don't want to start a big argument here, but Just wanting YOUR opinion on a muzzle break.

Lot's of hunters posting here they want to go to a lighter caliber because of the recoil discomfort of shooting their rifle for extended periods of time. I get it and have experienced it myself. But there is a difference between hunting and shooting at the range for practice or load development. There is a big difference between shooting a very limited amount while hunting and spending lots of time practicing.

Back in the 70's, I built a custom 7mm Mag and started shooting it working up a hunting load. It beat the hell out of me as it weighed only 6.5 pounds. I had a brake installed and the recoil became very manageable, but it was pretty noisy. I eventually traded it off for another gun. Fast forward to 2002.....I was given a .300 Wby by a friend who didn't hunt anymore. It needed a new barrel and I installed a brake on the new barrel. I am a lot older now and recoil is not a friend. The Wby shot wonderful, but still noisy. But what is different is that the brake screws on and it can be removed without effecting accuracy....I do it all the time. I use itwith the brake at the range and when I practice and remove it when I hunt. I don't use my max hearing protection for hunting and the less noise when I shoot hunting is bearable. Most of my shots are one shot kills.

I really think you are putting away your old gun for reasons that are easily solved. Tell us what your experience has been.....not just what someone has told you about brakes. I really like mine and it truly solves the recoil problem....my .300 Wby has recoil less then my 25-06.

That's my experience!
I’m not a fan of “brakes” on hunting rifles!

When I had my rifle built in ‘89.....it included a brake. I used the brake to develope loads, then took the rifle out to set-up bear baits! Returning back to the truck, I decided to take a poke at a rock on a distant hillside. With the shot, I experienced sever ear pain....imagine someone “cuffing” your ears very sharply. I had a headache and ear ringing for 2 days. In my “infinite wisdom”, I concluded that it was because I was seated, with my back to a steep hillside....in effect bouncing the blast back onto me. A few weeks later, I tried again in a far different environment. Standing on flat ground, the only thing inside of 1000 or so yards was some knee high sagebrush. The results were virtually identical to my first experience.

As I “will not” wear ear plugs when hunting, I removed the brake.....which has long since vanished! My rifle produces 59 to 60 ft/lbs. recoil ( greater recoil than most hunting rifles produce) I learned to deal with the recoil. With a PAST recoil shield I’m good for about 20 + rounds in a session from the bench.....though I shouldn’t shoot groups for the next few days (tender shoulder).

I said all of that to say all of this, unless someone has health related issue pertaining to recoil, or is shooting a lot of rounds at a single sitting, most any of us can handle stiff recoil in a “hunting” rifle.....if we want to! If shooting lots of rounds at paper or steel..... a different scenario! memtb
 

Joseph

Active Member
Jan 25, 2014
221
109
Creston BC Canada
I've shot a couple of larger caliber rifles with a brake and it really tames them, recoil-wise. But personally when I'm shooting at the range when someone else shows up with a brake on I leave. I can not shoot under the same roof(ours is tin) as someone with a muzzle brake. That said I've been known to leave when anyone shows up, our range is pretty quiet early on the weekend so I'm kind of used to having the range to myself. I hate shooting if it is busy. I just go home and head back another day.
 

Mr Drysdale

Active Member
Mar 24, 2013
296
132
I purchased my first rifle with a brake last year. It is a Browning Hell’s Canyon Speed in 300WM. The brake is removable so I practice with it on and hunt with it off. Even though I am recoil tolerant I like the reduced recoil while practicing.
 

mallardsx2

Veteran member
Jul 8, 2015
2,969
1,822
I've shot a couple of larger caliber rifles with a brake and it really tames them, recoil-wise. But personally when I'm shooting at the range when someone else shows up with a brake on I leave. I can not shoot under the same roof(ours is tin) as someone with a muzzle brake. That said I've been known to leave when anyone shows up, our range is pretty quiet early on the weekend so I'm kind of used to having the range to myself. I hate shooting if it is busy. I just go home and head back another day.

I have used my BOSS to help social distance people from me at my gun clubs range more than one time. lol
 

HuskyMusky

Veteran member
Nov 29, 2011
1,251
123
IL
Loud...

if shooting prone they can blast dirt dust etc... into the air....

supposedly they put more pressure on your scope.... which really concerns me...

make your rifle longer....

less kick, lightweight rifle etc... all sounds good, although I'm not looking to have a 300 rum in a 4 lbs rifle...with a brake...

I use to think I'd want a brake on every rifle all the time, but now I'm to the point that I don't want at all, unless perhaps a specific situation comes up...

I have read that target or varmint guys can use them to see the bullet hit its target and just less kick, more accuracy....

my .340wby no brake, it kicks, but it's not that bad, big comfy pad, synthetic stock,
 
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JimP

Veteran member
Mar 28, 2016
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Gypsum, Co
Husky you would love it on your .340. I know that one mine when working up loads it is a joy to shoot. Without it I am usually done shooting the rifle after 10 rounds.

As for length it adds 2 1/2-3" on my Mark V. Now if you put a suppressor onto it you will really see the length increase.

Also as I said in my first post, I don't use the brake for hunting. But if I am target shooting or working up a load I am sure glad that it is on the barrel.

My Mark V also has the fiberglass stock.
 

nv-hunter

Veteran member
Feb 28, 2011
1,429
1,003
Reno
Have one on my Cooper .300 win mag, I like it and hunted last year with it. Spot and stalk type hunt for elk part of the process for shot set up is slipping on the ear protection. We tend to have muffs for the shooter and ear plugs for the spotter. Only time it was an issue is on my elk a couple years ago with a .300 rum and the bull soaked up all 3 rounds I had in the rifle and I couldn't remember where my extras were ( I had 3 rounds in my pocket ) and couldn't hear my son=in=law telling me where they were.
 

88man

Active Member
Feb 20, 2014
237
25
Pa
I have a brake on almost every big game rifle I own. I even have one on my 22-250. Its just so neat to keep the crosshairs on the target after you pull the trigger
 
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