Best Self-timing Muzzle Brake out there?

kthomas

Sergeant
Jun 17, 2009
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Okay wasn't sure if you had a way of precisely measuring the actual recoil of them other than just the felt recoil. How does that brake mount to the rifle? Any special adaptor like the Hellfire?
No special adapter. It threads on and it's self timing, designed for the end user to install themselves. Order it in whatever threads your barrel is threaded for, and you are good to go.
 
Feb 7, 2013
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I've tested the Sidewinder and Hellfire back to back on a Dasher. Just threw it on a barricade and fired a few shots for a seat of the pants impression, swapped back and forth between the brakes a few times. Sidewinder did have a touch less recoil and jump, not a drastic difference thouch. Also had more back pressure and felt louder.

I shot one match with the Sidewinder and didn't do great, I got kinda jumpy and slapped the trigger a lot. Went back to the Hellfire and did much better the next two matches. Might have been the brake, maybe just my mental state. I can be a touch sensitive to blast/noise and I have to work to maintain a true zero movement trigger pull with no anticipation or flinch, so that's why I'm exploring different brake options. I've not given up on the Sidewinder yet either, will probably give it another try when I compare Hellfire and Heathen brakes.
I also don't really like muzzle blast etc.. I've swithed between my 419, APA and Heathen several times on the same rifle trying to figre out what I like the best.

• I like the looks and small size the best of the Heathen especially on my hunting rifle
• The reticle - free-recoiling to test stays on target a bit better with the Hellfire than both
* Hard to go wrong with the APA -- Had some weird groups with the 419 not sure what that was about
 
Likes: Sheldon N
Feb 14, 2017
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I've also experienced some weird groups with the Hellfire. Bare barrel and Heathen were spot on MOA with just a slight impact shift. I really like the 419's can adapter but the brake is starting me to wonder. It seemed to be causing unexplained flyers and I don't use it anymore.
 

aard3

Private
Mar 23, 2011
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I've also experienced some weird groups with the Hellfire. Bare barrel and Heathen were spot on MOA with just a slight impact shift. I really like the 419's can adapter but the brake is starting me to wonder. It seemed to be causing unexplained flyers and I don't use it anymore.
I found you really have to crank-down and tighten the brake... otherwise if it loosens it opened by groups up.
 
Aug 15, 2013
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Had the Heathen loosen up on a me a few times even at 2-Day matches. Strap wrench took care of that problem right away. Rock solid at a Team Match where I put 300 rounds that weekend and ann ELR Match where I put another 250 rounds of 7mmRM during that match as well. Insite Arms brought up using a strap wrench to help that issue out.

See it too many times with self-timing brake that doesn't use a nut to tighten it up, tend to get loose overtime. Strap wrench helped on the Heathen as well as couple buddies Area419's.....
 
Likes: Diver160651

SonicBurlap

Sergeant of the Hide
Aug 14, 2018
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Had the Heathen loosen up on a me a few times even at 2-Day matches. Strap wrench took care of that problem right away. Rock solid at a Team Match where I put 300 rounds that weekend and ann ELR Match where I put another 250 rounds of 7mmRM during that match as well. Insite Arms brought up using a strap wrench to help that issue out.

See it too many times with self-timing brake that doesn't use a nut to tighten it up, tend to get loose overtime. Strap wrench helped on the Heathen as well as couple buddies Area419's.....
Thanks, good to know. I'll stick with the PVA 'Jet Blast', never loosened up on me and it's always been reliable.
 
Feb 7, 2013
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Had the Heathen loosen up on a me a few times even at 2-Day matches. Strap wrench took care of that problem right away. Rock solid at a Team Match where I put 300 rounds that weekend and ann ELR Match where I put another 250 rounds of 7mmRM during that match as well. Insite Arms brought up using a strap wrench to help that issue out.

See it too many times with self-timing brake that doesn't use a nut to tighten it up, tend to get loose overtime. Strap wrench helped on the Heathen as well as couple buddies Area419's.....
None of my brakes have come loose. I used thread locker in the base adaper of the 419... but, dispite it being very effective, I am not 100% sure that the 419 is not a bit disruptive on some bullets..

Btw are you producing the Ti actions? If so what is the difference between a deviant SS and the Ti?
 
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Sheldon N

Blind Squirrel Finds a Nut
Sep 24, 2014
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Did some more shooting recently to compare the Heathen (6.5), Area 419 Hellfire (6mm) and Area 419 Sidewinder (6.5mm). Was shooting light recoiling 6BRA loads on a pretty heavy gun, so any differences are subtle. I spent about an hour shooting all three brakes off a barricade and from seated offhand positions. Would send 5 rounds, swap brake, send 5 rounds, swap brake, etc. Shot 85 rounds across all three so got a pretty good sense of them.

Definitely less back pressure with the Heathen, but also had a touch sharper recoil impulse and moved the gun off target a tiny bit more. However, I seemed a bit less likely to blink so it was pretty easy to watch impact despite slightly more gun movement.

Hellfire had less recoil and less muzzle jump, more back pressure, and felt louder from the shooters perspective.

Sidewinder was very slightly less recoil than Hellfire, also louder still. Recoil between Sidewinder and Hellfire are much closer than recoil between Heathen and Hellfire, not much extra benefit from a 4 port on such a small cartridge like the BRA. It was perceptible, but not a large difference.

Was less of a fan of the mounting system of the Heathen, I can see how people might use a strap wrench to lock it on. Not sure I can run it, since I need to take the brake off to fit in the Pelican case for air travel and it's not secure when just hand tight. Don't want to travel with a strap wrench either and not sure how repeatable the zero is with brake going on/off. My 419 Hellfire has been super solid for holding zero.

Ultimately I think any of these are just on a sliding scale of recoil vs noise vs back pressure. More ports and more angle reduces recoil at the expense of the others.

I think I'm going to run the Hellfire at the PRS finale, seems to be the sweet spot for me and has been what I've gotten used to.
 
Feb 7, 2013
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I run a few smith installed barkes and agree with jeffmedlin on the Termiators for the bigger guns like the 338.. very very effective. I'm with Sheldon N on the ability of the 419 to stay on target - of course you almost have to free-recoil a 6.5 on a medium weight gun to see the difference.

For mid calibers like a 6.5ish, here is my take on a couple of the popular self-timers as a pro-cons list they are all good.

Front to back:
419 Hellfire
Heathen
APA Little Bastard
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1542390339642.png
* Used on a couple hunting guns running CF Proof Barrels - lower weight not much practical purpose for matches.. It is good looking and as a nice leveling flat
** Need to use a wrench to install inner centering mount, can come loose as the brake installs with reverse threads to the adapter, if you don't use a bit of locker on the inner threads or don't over tighten the outer knurled nut. But that adapter can double as a thread protector or Can mount. Also has a leveling water-line in the front.
*** Uses a tool but always seem to stay tight without much effort
 
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Likes: Sheldon N

18Echo

Sergeant
Jun 12, 2007
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I just purchased Scott Wiechal's brake from Live Oak Accuracy. He bores out the brake for your specific caliber when you contact him, or at least he did for me, a 7mm. Great guy to deal with.
 
Likes: bjay

W54/XM-388

Online Training Member
Oct 1, 2005
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Get the PVA shockwave. Best I've ever tried and I had them all.
How does that compare in recoil reduction to the Precision Armament M4-72 Severe-Duty Compensator ?
Or also the Cadex Defense MX-1

I'm kind of between the PVA stuff and either of those other two above, so I'd be interested if you have tried them.
 
Nov 23, 2010
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M4-72 was a no go for me as the large expansion port is not supposed to be the last port. No go design for me.

The Cadex is efficient just as the shockwave but I find the shockwave more balanced and neutral with less concussions felt.

After that I always found the Cadex ugly as hell.
 
Jul 13, 2012
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I just purchased Scott Wiechal's brake from Live Oak Accuracy. He bores out the brake for your specific caliber when you contact him, or at least he did for me, a 7mm. Great guy to deal with.
Just ordered one at the end of last week! I recommend calling him if you want to order for the easiest and quickest response.
 

W54/XM-388

Online Training Member
Oct 1, 2005
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Dallas, TX
I was mainly looking at the M4-72 as in a lot of tests online it seems to most often come out as the most effective one.
Did anyone test to see if the PVA one is just as effective?
 

bgavin

Sergeant of the Hide
Mar 19, 2018
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How does the masterpiece arms brake compare to the pva jetblast or area 419 hellfire?

I need one for a tikka 6.5 I just picked up. I have a mpa brake on my mpa built rifle but have no experience with other brakes.
 
Jul 13, 2012
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Baton Rouge, LA
I just purchased Scott Wiechal's brake from Live Oak Accuracy. He bores out the brake for your specific caliber when you contact him, or at least he did for me, a 7mm. Great guy to deal with.
@18Echo have you gotten your brake yet or did Scott mention to you how long it would take to receive? No word yet on mine and I know he's busy so I don't want to call if I don't have to.
 

tydex21

New Hide Member
May 21, 2018
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I like VG6 brakes

Gamma if you don't mind using a crush washer or separate jam nut, Lambda if you want tool less.
Any pics or thoughts of a gamma on larger than 5.56? I have the epsilon on an AR and love it. Do you think the gamma decreases muzzle rise on a larger cal as well as their 5.56 line? Thanks so much!
 

308pirate

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 25, 2017
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Any pics or thoughts of a gamma on larger than 5.56? I have the epsilon on an AR and love it. Do you think the gamma decreases muzzle rise on a larger cal as well as their 5.56 line? Thanks so much!
I don't have much to compare it to, but the Gamma 7.62 significantly reduced both recoil and muzzle jump on this 308 rifle
1543372159318.png
 
Likes: tydex21
Jun 4, 2011
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I just installed an APA GEN2 Fat Bastard on my Savage 110BA Stealth in .338 and I cant believe the difference it made! So much easier to shoot and it cut well over 60% of the recoil out!
 

Sutherlandsd

Blind Squirrel
Apr 24, 2013
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NE TN
I"m currently using the Lambda brake its pretty decent, honestly the Khantrol brake is still probably the best brake I have used especially when you factor in cost vs performance.
 

spaniel

Sergeant
Mar 26, 2006
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I shoot a Heathen brake on my 338 Edge. I did a ton of research, and selected the Heathen based on balancing recoil reduction with protecting the shooter (and a close-in spotter) from blast and concussion. I've been around and shot a lot of 338s, and mine is the friendliest of them all. Yes, I give up a little in recoil reduction. But mine is on the light end for a 338 (14lbs) and within the confines of typical usage it's pretty pleasant.
 

Kawi

New Hide Member
Nov 11, 2018
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Looking for the most effective muzzle brake at reducing recoil.
Had an Area 419 and loved it. Probably going to go that route again, but also really like the PVA Jet Blast and may consider giving it a try.

Are these the top two self timing brakes or are there better options out there? Let me know.
Apa little bastard will get my vote, easy to install. Excellent recoil reduction.