Most of us are all too familiar with Newton’s law that every action brings about an equal and opposite reaction. Rifle shooters can attest to this fact when they experience recoil (kick back) as the bullet accelerates down the barrel of their gun.
Two things have an impact on recoil. The first one would be the bullet, which no one can interfere with. Secondly is the expanding gasses that push the bullet and exit the barrel the same way the bullet does. The invention of 223 muzzle brakes led to recoil reduction as it would divert part of the gasses to the side, so they do not contribute to the rearward recoil.
When properly designed, such as the triple-port range by MadHouse Design, a 308 muzzle brake will significantly reduce recoil. Just how effective it will be depends on the cartridge of the rifle being chambered. Some claim a 50 percent reduction on their large magnum rifles. Mag-na-port claimed they experienced a recoil reduction of 45 percent for their brand. BOSS (Ballistic Optimizing Shooting System) claims a recoil reduction of close to 30 percent.
Be aware that the data was collected through using rapid and high-resolution force sensors. While there is no set standard for measuring recoil, people in the know lean towards what they would relate to as the total momentum or impulse. Others would say it is linked to the peak force. In most cases, it seems to be a combination of the two.
The results we are about to look at are an average of multiple shots fired with a different muzzle brake. The tester fined tuned the system so that only three shots were needed per muzzle brake.
Why We Tested the 308 Win Rifle?
To get accurate results for a mid-sized caliber cartridge, we thought it best to opt for the legendary 308 Win rifle. While it is not a precision gun, it is something that most are more familiar with as people relate to this standard 308 rifle.
Besides, not many had the privilege of shooting a high-end precision gun. But, almost everyone fired a gun similar to the 308 Win. Therefore, through using this particular gun, it will offer some context about the amount of recoil we are talking about. Also, it will help us understand a bit more on how the rifle weight plays a part in the recoil equation and how it too can have an effect on the muzzle brake performance and the percentage of recoil reduction.
The 308 we made use of weighed in at 6.2 pounds with no bipod or magazine, but only a bare muzzle. The weight also did not include a mount or scope. You may think that a 308 does not have much recoil. That is until you get to fire a good couple of round in one day and experience a very tender shoulder at the end of it all. As you can imagine, a lot of sacrifices were made to obtain results that can be put to good use.
Testing the 300 Norma Magnum
One of the later model rifles would be the 300 Norma Magnum, which should not be confused with the old Norma Mag. It was manufacturing during 2012, which is about the same time as the release of the 230gr Hybrid bullet.
While the 308 we spoke about all have similar case capacity, the 300 Magnum will give us better insight as to what happens to muzzle brake performance once you increase the bullet weight and powder charge.
The TBAC Ultra-9 Suppressor was included in the tests we run. While overall concussion of the blast turned out to be favorable, one will soon notice that a suppressor is not as effective as brakes when it comes to recoil reduction. It does, however, do a better job at reducing the peak of the recoil than reducing the amount of momentum that comes back to the shooter.
Without a doubt, quality muzzle brakes such as the ones that were designed and manufactured by companies like MadHouse Design significantly reduce muzzle rise and recoil. It sure is the single most effective way to reduce recoil on any rifle.