Is It Safe to Attach Aftermarket Muzzle Brakes to Your Rifle?

On firing off a Mosin Nagant 308 bolt action rifle that had an aftermarket 308 muzzle brake attached, the shooter experienced a big kaboom. What he learned from this experience is that you need to check your specs before adding an aftermarket accessory. You may also want to look into silencers.

What led to this experience? The culprit turned out to be an aftermarket clamp on muzzle brake. It may not fit like a high-quality clamp on brake, which can bite you in the back as it did for the guy who mounted an inferior quality brake to his Mosin Nagant barrel. Luckily, he was not injured.

A word of warning is to be careful with aftermarket parts as the life you will save turns out to be your own.

Why Do Some Shooters Prefer Clamp-on 308 Muzzle Brakes?

It is the type of brake that is made to reduce felt recoil and eliminate muzzle rise. Clamp on brakes is engineered to fit any rifle without bothering about threaded barrels at the muzzle. These are made with precise tolerances to ease the clamp on process that is fastened using quad locks. In turn, the quad bolts ensure a secure and tight clamping to the barrel.

Top clamp on muzzle brakes ensures substantial improvements over any other aftermarket model. Also, they reduce the felt recoil by more than 45 percent. The primary benefit of using a muzzle brake, though, is that it reduces the muzzle rise. Design efficiencies such as the Triple-Port Muzzle Brake by MadHouse Design allow users a faster target acquisition where muzzle rise gets virtually eliminated. Field tests revealed that vertical dispersion is massively reduced compared to aftermarket brakes that use the same load.

How to Install Muzzle Brakes as a First Time User

Should you have a flash hider that is pinned, then you must refrain from following the steps we are about to give you. Rather enlist the services of gunsmith for that.

To follow the steps and advice given by top muzzle brake designers like MadHouse Design, you’ll need at least a 5 to 6-inch of exposed barrel between the end of the muzzle and the gas block.

Here are the steps you will take:

  • Clear the rifle and ensure it is safe. For the sake of being thorough, you should also dump the mag and rack the charging handle a couple of time before giving the chamber a manual and visual inspection to confirm there is no round present.
  • Separate the lower from the upper and set the lower aside
  • Remove the charging handle
  • Place the barrel vise jaws into the bench vise and ensure the vise is wide enough to allow you to slip the barrel right inside the jaws.
  • Now, sandwich the barrel between two pieces of cardboard to protect its finish.
  • Place the cardboard assembly and the barrel into the vise jaws before you tighten the vise. All the while, you need to ensure everything is aligned properly and the cardboard is preventing direct contact between the barrel and the vise jaws.
  • With the barrel secured, verify that the existing flash hider is not welded or pinned.
  • Make sure you are removing the flash hider using a socket assembly.
  • Examine the threading of the barrel to see if any Loctite or Rocksett got used. Rub some alcohol and use a brass bristled brush to clean the threads.
  • At this point, you are ready to install a brand new flash hider. However, before you do this, take the opportunity to clean the flash hider from the inside out by using paper toweling and alcohol.
  • Slide a crush washer onto the barrel’s threads and ensure the concave end faced outwards toward the new muzzle brake while the convex end should point back towards the upper.
  • Carefully thread on the new muzzle brake using your fingers and be sure you do not cross thread it. The moment you feel any resistance, stop, and visually inspect the threads on both the barrel and muzzle brake to check for any deformations, thread lock chemicals, or burrs.
  • Using your hand, thread on the muzzle brake until it requires effort to keep on turning it. That would be when it contacted the crush washer. Pay close attention to where the 12 o’clock index is situated on the brake as you’ll need it to line up perfectly at the top end once you have crushed the washer.

There you have it. For more information on the new triple-port muzzle brake designs visit the site above.