Guys, any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. I’m pulling my hair (what’s left of it) out over this.
I've had a 308 Tikka 595 for a while now, and although I like the stock, detachable mags, slick action and accuracy – I’ve never really liked the snappy recoil of the 308. I asked Mark/Streetfighter to fit a Holland muzzle brake, thinking it would solve the recoil issue. Now my problems have really started!
Now, Mark has done a good job of fitting the brake, and it has eliminated most of the recoil, but there is a lot of blast - It’s like a small nuclear weapon detonating 3 feet from my head each time I pull the trigger. Coming home from a days shooting, my shoulder doesn’t hurt, but I now have a headache - and if its doing this to me, whats it doing to the other shooters on the range?
Having the brake fitted was, I now realise, a mistake. I figure that I'm left with 3 options:
1/ Sell the rifle to someone who wants a braked 308, and buy myself a 223.
2/ Replace the brake with a suppressor – this would make it quiet, but what about the recoil/blast? (I’ve not shot a suppressed 308)
3/ Rebarrel the rifle (unbraked) in a more ‘recoil friendly’ calibre still using the 308 bolt and mags.
Option one will give me the greatest choice.
Option two (if it works) will probably be the cheapest.
Option three is expensive, but could give me a big improvement in ballistics. I would require performance at least on a par with a heavyweight 223 bullet out to 600yds and occasional 1000yds.
What should I do?
Steve / limey1
Trying someones moderator must be the first option.
Is the brake you have a standard thread?
Depends on what you are using the rifle for. If it's a target rifle, the moderator gets hot very quickly and the mirage spoils your sight picture. If it's a stalking rifle that's not a problem as you are not firing a long string.
If you go the rebarrel route, consider .243 Winchester, the mags and bolt should be OK. I have a 595 in .243 and it's a cracking roe rifle with a T4 moderator, although a bit muzzle heavy. It is also very good on the range, we have an annual sporting rifle competition here at Aberdeen and it does well with Hornady 80grn FMJ with 43gr VV N160. I shoot that event without the moderator, there is no change to the point of impact. The only down side may be that you will almost certainly need to reload as there are not many FMJ .243 loads available commercially, there are loads of hunting options available.
I had a Tikka M55 heavy barrel .243 with an adjustable stock that was an excellent target rifle, one of those guns you sell and then regret parting with. That rifle shot 95gr Lapua Scenars with excellent results, my 595 does not like anything above 80gr which is not a problem for stalking or the limited target use it gets, the little Hornady 80gr FMJ works well. If you need a mainly range rifle then consider a barrel with a faster twist, the 595 is probably 10", there was a Walther barrel for sale in Equipment Exchange with an 8" twist so they are available, I think that one is a Remington. The Lapua Scenar is an excellent target bullet, if you go to .243 it will be worth trying some.
I hope this helps,
How about trying a different brake ? I've got the factory SAKO break on my 7.62 TRG-22 and it doesn't direct any blast pressure back towards the shooter ?
I concede that brakes are unpleasant to be sat next to on the firing point however.
You should try being sat near my .50...
I was shooting at Sennybridge X range last year, sandwiched between two guys with .338 Lap mags.....2 hours of them going BOOM left me feeling quite concussed