Night test report: Muzzle brake, scope - Shooting Sports Forum


Ruger Mini-14 and Mini-30 Ruger Mini-14 and Mini-30 family of rifles

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Old 06-27-2007, 10:28   #1
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Night test report: Muzzle brake, scope

Last night I shot a pair of 580- stainless Mini's. They have identical Ruger plastic stocks, and each has a Leupold VariX III 1.5 x 5 scope with the Heavy Duplex reticle. Notes:

Ruger supplies high scope rings with these rifles, and they are needed. Anything lower would require memoving the rear sight. Problem is, the comb on the stock is WAAAY too low for those rings. As a temporary measure I got some black foam slip-on pipe insulation at the hardware store, slit a piece and slipped over the comb. secured with beautiful matching black duct tape.


I use this scope because I also have one on my hunting rifle and I'm familiar with it. For most shooting with the Mini, I leave it on 1.5 power, for longer distances or smaller targets, go to 5 power. As it was getting dark last night, objects were much easier to see through the scope than with the naked eye. The experts tell me that no scope can actually "gather" light, but things certainly look brighter through the Leupold than with the naked eye. When it got too dark to see the Heavy Duplex reticle, it was also too dark to distinguish things to shoot at. It seemed better for low light use than the Eotech that I had tried on an AR-15, but in daylight the Eotech seems slightly faster (for me) at distances under 50 yards.

The only difference between the two Mini's is that one has the "muzzle brake" from
www.johnmasen.com
If you live in California, maybe you need to call it a muzzle brake; but I'm hard pressed to notice any reduction in recoil or muzzle rise. For the rest of us, it's mostly a flash hider.

I don't like the muzzle brake. Mine fits properly and is well made, but it looks Rambo-ish to my eye, and adds a full 2" to the length of the barrel. My casual testing did not show any change in accuracy but installing it did shift the groups about 6" left and 10" down at 100 yds.

The purpose of my testing was to see if the Masen unit made any difference in muzzle flash as seen through the scope, by the shooter. I brought two kinds of ammo: Winchester 55 gr fmj Q3131, and Winchester 64 gr Power Point. Both types were several years old but have been stored under ideal conditions and have preformed normally in my other testing, the 64 gr loads cut my group sizes in half but are pretty tough on my wallet. The shooting was done about 45 minutes after sunset, with a thin overcast. This was not full drakness, I could still see enough to walk on the gravel path; but could only see objects as dim shapes or silhouettes The light level was about equal to what you would find in a suburban area at midnight. The target was a white paper 8" x 10", on a black dirt berm 20 yards away.

Results:
With the flash hider, both types of ammo give a short tongue of flame that is visible in the bottom of the field of view through the scope. After the first shot, it is not distracting and does not seem to hurt my night vision at all.

Without the flash hider, it's different. The 64 gr ammo gave a flash that momentarily blanked the scope into a white disc, but disappeared in less than a second and did not seem to harm my night vision. The 55 gr fmj had a similar effect but brighter and longer, it took about 3 seconds before I could see enough to shoot again. The effect was so regular that it was as if someone had dropped a white disc into my scope for 2 seconds, then it disolved over the next second or two.

Obviously, a good flash hider can be effective. More importantly, the ammo you use can make a huge difference if you don't have a flash hider.

Hope this helps...

Last edited by Gearhead Jim; 06-27-2007 at 10:32.
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Old 06-27-2007, 11:10   #2
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Thumbs up Muzzle break

Hey thanks for the report,
Is that the one that Masen calls the Black Warrior muzzle break[with front sight] or the other one?
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Old 06-27-2007, 13:07   #3
 
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Good report...get one of these.

http://www.blackhawk.com/product1.asp?P=90CP
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Old 06-27-2007, 14:58   #4
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Originally Posted by mouthpiece View Post
Hey thanks for the report,
Is that the one that Masen calls the Black Warrior muzzle break[with front sight] or the other one?
Mine must be "the other one", it slips around the front sight base on a 580 series Mini and is retained by an extra-length roll pin. The original 580 series sight stays in place.
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Old 06-27-2007, 19:19   #5
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Good post, I have a M-30 and share your preference for a low-power scope. I have a Barska 1.5-4.5 on mine and like it over the 3-9 Redfield I replaced. For me accuracy improved a bit with the HK style break I installed and the front sight is easier to pick up also. So beneficial for me.
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Old 06-28-2007, 14:32   #6
 
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That was an interesting test. Thanks Gearhead Jim.



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Old 06-28-2007, 16:58   #7
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Good report. I would love to see pix. If you can. Next time have a buddy stand behind your left shoulder with a camera. Have him hold the button 1/2 way down and when the gun goes off tell him to hit the button. I have done this in the past during the day and it works well after a few trys. It would be kool to see the flash, with and with out the breaks. Plus, it gives you another reason to go out and shoot. You can tell every one its for the good of the group. Thanx again. CM out
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Old 06-30-2007, 09:02   #8
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Jim, are you sure it was all flash, when I shot my 10-22 at night I found I was getting smoke covering the front lens. The red was flash but the solid white was smoke.
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Old 06-30-2007, 09:40   #9
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Originally Posted by p35bhp55 View Post
Jim, are you sure it was all flash, when I shot my 10-22 at night I found I was getting smoke covering the front lens. The red was flash but the solid white was smoke.
Wel,, I'm pretty sure. The same ammo fired through the gun with a flash hider/ muzzle brake, didn't give me that effect. Since the flash hider/ muzzle brake directs more of the gasses upward, that should make a smoke problem worse. Instead, the visibility was much better.

With the Mini-14, I've never noticed significant smoke from the ammo I use. 22's seem to have more smoke, probably because of the wax/grease lube that they use.

Please post if you do some more experiments.
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Old 07-01-2007, 15:21   #10
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http://www.perfectunion.com/vb/showthread.php?t=57320

This was what I messed with so far, mine will be with 10-22s for now, waiting to send my gun off to get a threaded bbl for my new mini brake.
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