What makes different guns sounds different? (In same caliber)

Discussion in 'Large-Bore/Small-Bore Rifle/Shotgun' started by Albtraum, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. Albtraum

    Albtraum Well-Known Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    So, the last time I was at the range, I noticed the AR15s had a deep, percussive 'thump' or 'boom', while a nearby Mini 14 had more of a sharp 'crack' like a "ppkew" sound. How would these sound different if they're using the same round? There were also bolt actions (big and small bore)which also had a high pitched "pkew"

    Is it the action of the AR15s? The short barrel? The muzzle brake? Or was it just because I was far away and I perceived the sound differently? I never noticed this before.
  2. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2009
    SW Fort Worth
    The brake is the biggest impact on the sound; barrel length 2nd. The velocity of the bullet is a factor too. The brake diverts gases at angles, so the direction that you would "normally" hear them is changing drastically.

    Probably not a great example, but it is somewhat similar; think of the muzzle brake kinda like a reverse thruster on a jet engine.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2011

  3. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    Yep you were hearing the muzzle blast being redirected by the brake on the ARs.

    The minis and the boltguns most likely werent wearing brakes and you were actually hearing the sonic crack of the bullet before you were hearing the echo of the muzzleblast, which is what gave it the drawn out 'overlapping cracks' effect instead of the KABOOM (ouch my brain is wiggling) effect.

    BTW, the brain wiggling comment is originated with my 8 yr old daughter being closeby when i used to shoot my .30-06 w/ muzzle brake. Shed say it was making her brain wiggle thru her earmuffs. :)

    Arent kids great. They have the best way of explaining things.
  4. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    And let's not forget that the AR is gas operated, while some guns, like the bolt actions are not.
  5. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2008
    Harriman, Tn
    That was going to be my answer too but I'm sure the brake makes a difference as well.
  6. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    The gas system on an AR doesnt make that much extra noise. If youve ever heard a supressed AR at work you know what i mean. It makes a bit of a poof and you hear the bolt slam and the empty brass hit the floor. The sonic crack of the super sonic bullet is far louder.
  7. Albtraum

    Albtraum Well-Known Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Ok, that's what I thought. The Mini might have had a brake, probably just not an aggressive shaped one, and it's also gas operated like the AR, but it sounded more like the bolt rifles with no brake at all. Interesting, those AR15s sure sound awesome. At the time, I was thinking they were AR10s, or shooting 6.5 or 6.8, but those seem to be very rare. I wonder if a piston-operated AR would have a noticeably different sound

    Can a muzzle brake be put on a rifle that didn't come with one?
  8. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    The mini 14 is piston operated. It most likely didnt have a brake if it sounded like a bolt action. Probably the large front sight sleve just looked like a brake.

    The .223 is a very loud round. Most high pressure smallbores are. especially from a short barrel.

    Yes, most any barrel on any gun can be fitted with a brake/comp
  9. 218bee

    218bee Member

    Jul 30, 2011
    I also depends what powder is used. Load a .44 mag cartridge with Unique and another with W296. They will both sound very different when fired............ Don in SC
  10. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    yep. Ill concur with that one as well.
  11. Brisk44

    Brisk44 New Member

    Mar 6, 2011
    Not to mention the flame factor is much much different.:cool:
  12. Regular Joe

    Regular Joe New Member

    Sep 28, 2010
    Admiring the sound of your muzzle blast will encourage you to waste a LOT of ammo. I hear this all the time when I'm out in my favored haunts. I once had a 16" barrel on a TC Contender, chambered in .30-30. Using 36 gr. of BLC-2 behind a 135 gr. Sierra single shot pistol bullet, that thing had an amazing bass timber sound. It caused sawdust to come down from the roof of the Lee-Kay center, in Utah. It also killed a 2 pt. Buck, with ammo that was NOT wasted!
  13. bluesea112

    bluesea112 Active Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    West, TX
    I have never quite understood the justification behind brakes on AR15's. A .223 rifle barely kicks without a brake. It's funny because my AR15 came with a brake and didn't need it. However, my AR10 did not come with a brake and could use one. I think muzzle brakes on AR15's are more of a sales gimmick to catch the attention of the Rambo wanna be's. They definately make them sound louder at the range, which is a real irritant to the guys on the bench next to you.
  14. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    Its mainly there charles because the full auto military counterparts do indeed benefit from the brake when shooting full auto, and most civilains want that military look..

    But you are right, people like us are past the tacticool, and just want what works. Im with ya 100% on the .223 not needing a brake and the .308 definitely benefiting from one.
  15. Brisk44

    Brisk44 New Member

    Mar 6, 2011
    They say the mini 14 benefits from compensator/flash hider.
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