The powerful ejection of gases from a ported barrel or a muzzle brake must be taken into consideration for the safety of nearby personnel and unobserved use in a tactical situation.
Newton’s third law of motion—with every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction—is validated every time a shooter pulls a trigger on a live cartridge. Following the tripping of the sear, impact of the firing pin and ignition of the primer, every firearm recoils, bucks, rises or twists to some degree. The bigger the bullet, the lighter the firearm or the heavier the load, the greater the reaction and sight displacement.
To counter that definitive and ever-present physical fact, shooters, gunsmiths and engineers have spent over a hundred years trying to minimize the effect of that one law of motion. As a result, we now have a variety of devices to either counter, redirect or soften the perceived recoil to help shooters stay comfortable, and more importantly, keep their muzzles on target. The most common include shock-absorbing devices that simply try to cushion or diffuse the impulse with hydraulics or springs, while the higher-tech muzzle brakes are engineered to redirect supersonic gases produced by each shot.
Stocks, Buffers & Brakes
Recoil-absorbing stocks from BlackHawk or Enidine buffers effectively use impulse-reducing springs or hydraulics to lessen felt recoil. I’ve used Enidine buffers as replacements for the standard buffers on AR-style rifles in both 5.56mm and 7.62mm, as well as shouldering the BlackHawk Axiom V/S rifle stock on a 7.62mm Remington 700. These devices all really turn the long guns into pussycats, reducing rifle fatigue and pre-shot “flinching” to almost nothing.
The powerful ejection of gases from a ported barrel or a muzzle brake must…
by Rob Garrett / Apr 1, 2012