A dumb question about suppressors and muzzle brakes


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SpeedAKL
June 19, 2010, 03:32 PM
First off, a disclosure: I have never fired a rifle with a suppressor.

Having gotten that out of the way, a question: I see suppressors mounted on powerful rifles with compensators and muzzle brakes, such as .338LMs, short-barreled .308s, etc. AAC even makes a suppressor for .50 BMG now. As I understand it, a supressor works by using baffles inside the tube to control the flow of hot gases coming out of the barrel. Adding a muzzle brake or compensator into the equation re-directs the gases that would normally come out straight ahead and sends them off to the side in order to reduce recoil or muzzle jump. Would the suppressor have to be designed in a manner to work with the muzzle brake, or is the brake simply removed before mounting the suppressor?

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taliv
June 19, 2010, 04:59 PM
either way, but most of the ones you're talking about are the former, because unscrewing muzzle brakes is a PITA

most suppressors (that you're talking about) use a proprietary "quick attach" method that is mated to a flash hider or muzzle brake. so you just slide the suppressor over the brake.

look at surefire's brake/suppressor for a good example
or gemtech and the FSC556 comp/fs
or smith enterprises' M4DC and vortex FS
or AAC's M4 suppressor and their blackout FS

in all of these, the suppressor complete surrounds the portion of the brake that redirects gasses sideways.

Jim Watson
June 19, 2010, 05:24 PM
A suppressor is a pretty effective muzzle brake itself.
Unless you demand a lot of versatility, like using one supressor on more than one gun; or move between jurisdictions where a supressor is and is not allowed, just as well put the can on to stay and go about your business.

JTH
June 19, 2010, 05:41 PM
Yeah an AK47 can shoot some fire out the barrel, even with a supressor.
JT

Maverick223
June 19, 2010, 08:34 PM
IIRC the average suppressor works better than a brake for rifles chambered for cartridges .338LM and larger. That said, my experience is very limited. I am sure that someone more knowledgeable, like Zak, will come along and remedy my mistakes if i'm incorrect.

:)

Medusa
June 20, 2010, 12:44 AM
Well, for 50 cal (Hecate II) the brake means quite loud experience (especially for those by your side, the mentioned rifle made a coat move some 30 feet away), the recoil being actually softer than for light .338LM rifle (well, the rifle weights a lot too), but still a sharp short kick.

The suppressor was not as effective as the brake, making the recoil a little sharper or "stronger" but the change into a more longer push associated with it didn't make the felt recoil any more uncomfortable. So it pushed harder, but also longer. Also it made the life much more easier for everybody behind and especially at the side the shooter.

Zak Smith
June 22, 2010, 12:58 AM
Maverick223 actually paraphrased it backwards.

Here's the deal: brakes and suppressors both reduce recoil by transferring some of the momentum of the high-pressure gas that exits the muzzle to the rifle, effectively pulling it forward to counteract its rearward momentum due to bullet+gas impulse.

The most effective rifle muzzle brakes have a series of flat plates (ie a surface "normal" to the bullet path) approx 1" plus or minus a little bit in front of the muzzle. The has impacts these plates and pulls the rifle forward. After impacting these plates the gas is directed to the sides and out.

Suppressors have a series of baffles (a lot more than the brake and more sparsely spaced) that are designed to catch gas and turn sound/pressure into heat. They do this by delaying the gas release. In a bolt-action rifle (ie with a closed breach), the gas that was captured by the baffles is delayed in the suppressor but is ultimately pushed out the front. This is why suppressors produce a recoil impulse that is spread out over time, but is technically a little more than what the best brake would have.

I have extensive experience firing rifles from .223 up to .50 BMG suppressed and with a brake. As sort of a general impression, from .300WM and down, the suppressor feels like it has about the same or less recoil than a brake. Larger cartridges, such as .338LM as a particular example, have more recoil with a suppressor than the most effective brakes, but the recoil is more of a push than a hit, and the reduction in overpressure and transformation of the recoil impulse itself is "worth it."

Suppressors that have a brake "inside" -- that is, screw over or attach over a muzzle brake, perform substantially the same recoil-wise as a suppressor. This mounting system usually involves some compromises in terms of suppressor design in trade for recoil performance when the suppressor is absent. Since there is no place for the gas to go other than hitting the inner suppressor walls (after hitting the brake plates/ports), it is pretty much a suppressor for the purposes of my third paragraph, as opposed to a brake in which gas can actually ultimately exit some direction other than forward.

jmorris
June 22, 2010, 10:24 AM
Unless you demand a lot of versatility, like using one supressor on more than one gun; or move between jurisdictions where a supressor is and is not allowed, just as well put the can on to stay and go about your business.

I have some integral suppressors that allow a short OAL without having to SBR the rifle saving $200.

In TX you can hunt non-game animals with the suppressor but not game animals so a QD can is a bonus if you might get either while out hunting.

Maverick223
June 22, 2010, 01:20 PM
Maverick223 actually paraphrased it backwards.No doubt, my experience is very limited on the subject (don't know many folks with suppressors, and I hate brakes), besides that's why you get paid the big bucks. :p

bigalexe
June 22, 2010, 09:32 PM
So I was just reading this thread and as I understand it:

Suppressors Reduce Recoil?

That is quite possibly the most wonderful fact I have learned in a long time!

1leighton1
June 22, 2010, 10:46 PM
The suppressor I just bought screws on, and over my muzzle brake. the muzzle brake is threaded for the suppressor. Check out Sure fire suppressors and AAC suppressors.

Zak Smith
June 22, 2010, 11:03 PM
Suppressors Reduce Recoil?
Compared to a bare muzzle: absolutely.

Compared to a good muzzle brake on up to .300WM: feels like it to most people

Compared to a good muzzle brake on a ,338LM and bigger: barely not as good

bigalexe
June 23, 2010, 02:24 PM
Well I have no intention of ever shooting a .338 or larger bore unless it comes mounted on something.

This fact has just caused the cost of my dream rifle to increase by a ton: 20" DPMS LR-308 with Leupold Quality Scope and Suppressor... well this is gonna be over $2K easy.

Bubbles
June 24, 2010, 12:46 PM
This fact has just caused the cost of my dream rifle to increase by a ton: 20" DPMS LR-308 with Leupold Quality Scope and Suppressor... well this is gonna be over $2K easy.

Never mind the rifle, a good suppressor + NFA tax + SOT transfer fee (if you buy the suppressor out of state) + good glass could easily break $2k.

Zak Smith
June 24, 2010, 12:47 PM
I was going to say "good glass could easily break $2k". ;)

Bubbles
June 24, 2010, 01:12 PM
He did say Leupold, and SWFA has a nice selection for under $2k. But yeah, for a really fine optic you could easily spend that much or more...

Maverick223
June 24, 2010, 01:23 PM
IMO good glass (for a LRPR) = NF or better (PRH being outstanding at little more expense). So needless to say, optics can be quite a costly accessory, but an important one.

:)

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