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Muzzle Brakes


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IHateDells #1 Posted Mar 14 2012 - 16:17

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They used to all the rage for tanks, but when I look at M1A1's, T90's, and other modern tanks, I see none. Any reason why modern tanks stopped using muzzle brakes? They seemed to be pretty useful in lowering the flash and directing the excess gasses out to the sides instead of all over the place.

SchrodingersPanda #2 Posted Mar 14 2012 - 16:24

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Most tanks today use APDSFS rounds, so a muzzle break would decrease the pressure at the end of the barrel,reducing muzzle velocity. At least i think that's the reason, if i'm wrong please correct me.

P.S.: Artillery guns still use muzzle break.

azntrigboi #3 Posted Mar 14 2012 - 16:26

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If I recall correctly, one issue with muzzle brakes during WWII is that the gases from the gun would be redirected backwards as well which if powerful enough, could disorient the gunner after firing.  This was especially true of large caliber guns.  There may be other reason as well but that just comes to mind.

Krazny13 #4 Posted Mar 14 2012 - 16:52

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Main reason is that APDFS rounds have a sleeve which falls away from the projectile after it leaves the bore.  These can strike a brake, and the results are. . . spectacularly bad.  

It'll launch that brake downrange if you're lucky.  If you're not?  Well, its essentially plugged the barrel. . . .

Ironmonger69 #5 Posted Mar 14 2012 - 17:01

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View PostSchrodingersPanda, on Mar 14 2012 - 16:24, said:

Most tanks today use APDSFS rounds, so a muzzle break would decrease the pressure at the end of the barrel,reducing muzzle velocity. At least i think that's the reason, if i'm wrong please correct me.

P.S.: Artillery guns still use muzzle break.

Think you're pretty much right.  APFSDS is critically dependant on high velocity; you'd want to remove any impediment to that.  Artillery peices, on the other had, would still use explosive shells, and a brake could be more benficial than detrimental.

EDIT: Oops, missed Krazny's response...

The_Chieftain #6 Posted Mar 14 2012 - 17:26

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Simple answer is that the tank doesn't need it. It's heavy enough and the recoil system is well enough designed that there's no need for it. If you put a muzzle brake on, usually the end result is an even bigger signature than would be the case without it.

It is possible to design a barrel with a muzzle brake which fires sabot rounds, the Bradley is evidence enough of that in current service, as would be some of the more experimental tanks such as CCVL.

sholvr #7 Posted Mar 14 2012 - 17:32

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They are their soley to re-direct gases to counter the barrel recoil and gun gun barrel climb.
Even pistols, rifles and shotguns use them with the given name of compensators.
They help reduce wear on recoil set-ups or fatigue on the shooter.
The only real disadvantage is noise, (it now directs the sound waves), bulk (some add weight/length to the end of the barrel), and it now can kick up more dust or debris, so it can give you away or obstruct your own view.)

IHateDells #8 Posted Mar 14 2012 - 21:36

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Awesome replies guys! I never really though that the type of ammo that modern tanks fire could be impacted by just a muzzle brake, but it does make sense.

blurr91 #9 Posted Mar 15 2012 - 00:15

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMX_10_RC

http://en.wikipedia....i/ERC_90_Sagaie

Muzzle break with APFSDS ammunition

Quote

For a while, GIAT engineers, were vexed with finding a suitable muzzle brake for the Sagaie which would not interferer with the firing of APFS-DS rounds, but finally found a suitable solution with the fitting of a muzzle brake design from the older AMX-13 light tank.[2]

Muzzle breaks do create problems with APFSDS munition.  However, someone has solved the problem.

LoooSeR78V #10 Posted Mar 17 2012 - 08:50

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Spoiler                     
Object 187 with 2A66 cannon. Note muzzle breake  :)

ket101 #11 Posted Mar 17 2012 - 10:00

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A muzzle brake can be considered, from an engineering point of view, as being a fix for inadequate design of the recoil mechanism.  And, as the Chieftain pointed out, the vehicles are also large enough and strong enough to absorb the forces that get by the recoil system.  If everything else is up to the task, then a muzzle brake isn't necessary.  Artillery (at least in recent times) tends to be powerful enough to overwhelm their recoil mechanisms and the usually lighter chassis they're placed in, which often isn't necessarily designed for the larger gun, or compromises have been made (which is also a reason why some use rear spades, which can put its own stresses on the vehicle).  You could see in the Chieftain's pictures from the Kubinka museum a light, airborne SPG that was used by the USSR as a fire support weapon that had an incredibly long muzzle brake (as long or longer than the gun's barrel), as it was obviously decided that the recoil forces from the gun were somewhat too much for the vehicle.

Smedlee #12 Posted Jul 01 2012 - 16:37

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They still use muzzle brakes on arty, which do not use APDS.

charlie9797 #13 Posted Jul 01 2012 - 21:30

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Muzzle breaks were suppose to direct gas from going back into the turret after firing. Modern tanks have this big lump in the middle of the cannon (look at the abrams or leopard) which does the job without reducing penetration

Killertomato #14 Posted Jul 01 2012 - 21:36

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View PostLoooSeR78V, on Mar 17 2012 - 08:50, said:


Object 187 with 2A66 cannon. Note muzzle breake  :Smile_Default:

That thing's for keeping the missile guidance system's line of sight clear, though- or so wiki says.

ket101 #15 Posted Jul 02 2012 - 05:08

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Charlie9797, you've got the wrong idea.  Muzzle brakes are meant to reduce recoil forces.  They have no affect in and of themselves on muzzle velocity.  However, they can allow the gun to use a more powerful charge, which will increase the muzzle velocity.  The "lump" you're referring to is actually the fume extractor.  That is the device that actually stops the fumes going back into the turret.

lpmaster #16 Posted Jul 04 2012 - 20:58

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Muzzle brakes where used to lower recoil, since the recoil system is much more efficient these days, there's no need, and APFDS need as much velocity as possible. SPGs like the M109 Paladin still use muzzle brakes as they need as little recoil as possible.

lpmaster #17 Posted Jul 04 2012 - 21:01

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View Postket101, on Jul 02 2012 - 05:08, said:

Charlie9797, you've got the wrong idea.  Muzzle brakes are meant to reduce recoil forces.  They have no affect in and of themselves on muzzle velocity.  However, they can allow the gun to use a more powerful charge, which will increase the muzzle velocity.  The "lump" you're referring to is actually the fume extractor.  That is the device that actually stops the fumes going back into the turret.

You're actually wrong, in a smooth bore cannon, the gases are not redirected therefore they jet straight out while pushing the round further, muzzle brakes redirect said gases and the resulting effect can be compared to premature loss of pressure behind the round. Because instead of evacuating forwards, the gases are redirected sideways and backwards as much as possible. however the evacuation chamber or "lump" does what you said it does.

ket101 #18 Posted Jul 05 2012 - 03:55

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Sorry Ipmaster, I'm not really sold on that idea.  There's quite a number of low pressure smoothbore guns out there, and they often have muzzle brakes as well.  And a low pressure gun is going to want to have as much muzzle velocity as it can muster.  Certainly there are sometimes blast deflectors that look like muzzle brakes, but the idea there is to minimise the amount of smoke and debris in your field of view.

Let's take another example: the English 25 pounder field gun.  At the beginning of the war, 25 pounders did not have muzzle brakes.  Their recoil system was perfectly adequate to deal with the recoil generated by the bagged charges it used (an A bag and B bag if I remember correctly.  I may not).  Later, as tank armour (basically German tank armour) got heavier, they added another bagged charged to the kit, the "supercharge" as it was dubbed.  This enabled it to retain its anti-tank ability.  However, the additional recoil produced was too much for the recoil system.  So they added a muzzle brake, and everything was hunky dory.  Adding the muzzle brake did not degrade the 25 pounder's performance with the normal charge of propellant.

And there's still the hole the projectile goes through, which propellant gases can also use.  I don't see the muzzle brake as being a source of reduction in muzzle velocity

lpmaster #19 Posted Jul 05 2012 - 18:02

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*nods*