So we did a another test of the practical recoil of a series of muzzle devices. When we say practical recoil we measure the time from the shot until the shooter is back on the target. This time we focused on muzzle brakes and we got the chance to test a couple of interesting new ones.
The test measures the time from shot fired until the shooter is back on the target in a controlled manner using a Triggercam 2.1 that records the shot through the scope. The target is 15cm (6″) at 300m (330yds), so not too much wiggle room. We shot 6-8 shots per device (the slowmotion clips were a bit tricky to get so some got a few extra shots). The T.S.G Ymir muzzle brake is used as a reference so that you can relate to this and our previous tests. The shooter was the same for all shots made and an effort was made to keep the same position behind the rifle for all shots. The shooting position was standing behind a skillstage on the top level to simulate a common PRS shooting position.
In the first session we used a 6mm creedmoor with a 115gr DTAC projectile, in the second test and today we used a 6.5 creedmoor shooting 143gr projectiles. The rifle weighs approximately 9kg.
We filmed all shots and counted the frames from shot fired until the shooter was back at the target in a controlled way. The recording was 24 frames per second so the measure is pretty exact.
Please read the previous test to get a background to this test: Practical recoil with different muzzle devices Part 1
The following devices were tested:
-A.P.A Fat Bastard gen 3
-Botnia Solutions Mini
-Botnia Solutions Midi
-Botnia Solutions Maxi
Performing the test
At the time of writing we have just got some snow, but luckily it insulated the sand and kept it from freezing so we could still shoot. The snow also gave us better lighting conditions, the Triggercam unfortunately steals some of the light. To get a sense of how the different brakes are percieved by a R.O. I stood about 2m to the side of the shooter to be in the way of the blast (the things you do for science, right?). We also added slow motion clips of each brake to the movie (enjoy those because I’m not going to try to film muzzle brakes from the side anymore 🙂 ).
The result in numbers
|Avg. time (s)
|St. dev. (s)
|APA Fat Bastard gen 3
|Botnia Solutions Mini
|Botnia Solutions Midi
|Botnia Solutions Maxi
Summary and findings
The impression of the blast
Muzzle brakes are loud, we know that, it’s not a pleasant feeling to shoot or stand next to someone shooting one. However, there apparently are differences. Our joint impression is that Ymir gives you quite a blast and the APA, with its backwards angled ports, is even worse to stand next to. The Botnia Solution brakes however were significantly nicer for both shooter and spectator/RO, you don’t get the same pressure wave hitting you as with the other brakes.
Again, 6-8 shots are not super many so you need to remember that the numbers we found are indicative. We measured using the same setup and ofcourse results can be tweaked by altering the weight/balance of the rifle or handing the rifle to a person with perfect recoil management. But then the results wouldn’t be comparable in the same way.
TSG Ymir: The results of the Ymir was consistent with the findings from previous tests. It does a good job for the price but the time and StDev is higher than the other options, perhaps partly due to it only weighing 17 gram.
APA Fat Bastard: Backwards angled ports lowers your recoil but is nasty to both shooter and audience. It is heavy which probably helps with muzzle control. I believe that you also can adjust the muzzle rise by opening ports on the top, but we didn’t do that for this test.
Botnia Solutions: The brakes from Botnia Solutions are of the same design but with different sizes, from big to really big. They are flat with the bottom edge of the ports being angled upwards. Common between them is the way they behave when you shoot, the standard deviation is very low meaning you get a consistently manageable recoil. They were the preferred option from the overall user experience.
After studying the videos of the shots I realized that you can clearly see when the shooter overcomes the recoil and starts pushing the crosshairs back to the target. Maybe timing that would be a better measurement of how good a device is, since moving towards the target means you see the target. For the better brakes this means that you’re back from the flinch already after maybe 0.2-0.4s, enough to see the target before the impact at 300m. Unfortunately it is hard to measure that time in a objective way.
There is also a correlation between the weight of the brake and the time to target. TSG Ymir at 17g, APA Fat Bastard 204g, Botnia Solutions Mini at 233g, Midi at 316g and the Maxi at a massive 423g.
The main finding is that the Botnia Solutions brakes are winners here, both from the user experience and the hard numbers. We are looking at tenths of seconds (1/10) difference between the different brakes, even seconds comparing with a suppressor or bare barrel. With a return to target time of around a second or below the difference between the brakes tested won’t cost you much time at a stage, but it will definitely impact your ability to see impacts, misses and trace. The only thing you have to consider is: How much are those tenths of seconds worth to you, because they come at a cost.
Thanks to Tobias Lindgren, the designer of the Botnia Solutions muzzle brakes who lent us the brakes for this test. You can read more about them at botniasolutions.com
Thanks also to Victor for lending us the APA Fat Bastard.
Please give us a follow on Instagram @kikarskytt.se for more empirical tests as we aim (no pun intended) for the 2024 PRS World Championships in Colorado!