Do muzzle breaks decrease the amount of recoil? Generally if you have the tip of your barrel heavier, it will not move around as much as you are firing is this true?
Yes, muzzle brakes will reduce "felt" recoil. They redirect gasses back or out the side to either A- pull the gun forward or B- prevent the gasses from pushing the muzzle back. The main drawback is they tend to increase the noise the shooter hears.
The OP discussed weights and muzzle breaks,
A muzzle break usually is very light, and not heavy enough to help your ballistics, just ported in the correct direction to reduce recoil or muzzle climb.
The 'Noise' is overpressure of the air around your head when the break directs the muzzle blast backwards instead of up.
Heavy calibers will genuinely benefit from a rear directing muzzle break to reduce felt recoil,
You also risk things like increased hearing damage, and in some magnum calibers, detached retinas and sinus & brain hemorrhages from the extreme over pressure around your head.
A .223 Rem. really doesn't need a muzzle break. The recoil or muzzle rise isn't sufficient to seriously affect aim.
Some places won't allow rear directing muzzle breaks because of the overpressure and flash directed at other shooters.
Some competition .223 shooters use muzzle breaks specifically ported to direct the muzzle blast at his competitors.
This is really low in my book, but some guys get away with it...
A muzzle WEIGHT, is not a muzzle break.
A weight may do two things for you *IF* it's the correct weigh and place correctly on the barrel.
A barrel will move in an elliptical (egg shape) motion at the muzzle as the bullet moves down the barrel...
A .223 bullet is moving at roughly 3,000 fps, the barrel is doing it's eliptical cycling about 6.5 to 14.5 times each time the rifle is fired.
(Steel vibrates at 18,000 to 22,000 fps depending on the type of steel/thickness of the barrel, bullet travels at 3,000 fps, barrel from 16" to 24" long)
A weight will help dampen the size of the elliptical circles the muzzle makes in the time it takes the bullet to travel down the barrel.
Semi-automatic rifles will also benefit from reduced muzzle flip or climb with the added weight right at the muzzle.
The thicker the barrel (Heavy or Bull Barrels) the less effective a barrel weight will be, since the barrel is inherently very rigid.
Beware of some clamp on weights or muzzle breaks!
When tightened, especially on thin barrels, the set screws will distort the barrel tube, actually deforming the bullet before it exits the muzzle!
Barrel weights and muzzle breaks have to be properly designed and installed to work at all!
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