bolt on muzzle brake

Discussion in 'General Firearms Discussion' started by USMC_VET, May 29, 2014.


    USMC_VET Supporting Member

    I've got a Witt Machine muzzle brake that blew off my Savage Axis .308 last week so I did some checking of barrel measurements to see what's going on . Originally when I ordered it I had to give (2) measurements with one at the muzzle and the other 1-1/2 inches up the barrel . Now those measurements were .583 @ the muzzle and .601 @ 1-1/2 back

    Now according to mounting instructions you coat the barrel with blue loctite to allow the muzzle brake to slide on and to protect the barrel . Then secure it using the (3) Allen bolt set screws to tighten it down

    Now using another dial caliper since mine is at a friend's house I checked measurements again and both showed 0.002 smaller . Now if I get another brake cut to these new measurements do you think 0.002 is going to make a difference in being tighter or ??

    Witt machine will give me a new brake to these new measurements . Now my friend who has the same rifle and same brake with .601 and .583 measurements and has about 60rounds down range his has not blown off or show any signs of being loose
  2. talon

    talon the banned wagon

    did you also install loc-tite on the threads of the setscrews when you installed them? coating the barrel with loc-tite doesnt really make much sense as, its not a bonding agent for non pourous flat surfaces (round surfaces in this case), it is designed to harden between the threads to make a tighter, and more secure fit, thus preventing them from backing out. its not glue.

    a .002 difference is not really going to be noticeable as, your calipers probably arent consistancly accurate to that amount anyways.

    i would personally reattach the device, first, cleaning out the threads with a good degreaser, both on the device and by using new set screws, then, generously applying blue loc-tite on the set screws themselves prior to installing them.

    the recoil of that gun would EASILY allow for the threads to quickly back out, especially when you add in the heat produced if they were not properly thread locked.
    if it ''blew off'' without the threads backing free, there would be very noticeable marks on the barrel where the setscrews were dragging. if the barrel isnt marred, then the setscrews backed out, which would definitely allow the muzzle device to come off.

    FWIW...i have a set screw attached muzzle device on my carbine (no, not the same recoil im aware), but, it has over 800 rounds on it since the device has been attached, with properly cleaned and loc-tite'd set screws, and its never so much as twisted on the barrel, never the less come loose.


    USMC_VET Supporting Member

    i used blue loctite on ea of the (3) allen head screws plus coating the barrel as per instuctions . When the brake blew off there was no sign of scarring on the barrel ,there was also no sign of a bullet strike at any of the 4 chambers the bullet passes thru and the rear measurement of the brake that i was told to double check by Witt Machine which was .601 and is in fact .601 . i myself believe it flew off from Muzzle blast as i was using Winchester 180 grain Super X when it blew off

    here's the mounting instructions for the Muzzle Brake ...

    STEP 1
    Be sure the rifle is unloaded. It is amazing how many unloaded guns have
    killed people.

    STEP 2
    Clean the end of your rifle barrel to remove any oil or grease. Brake
    Cleaner works really well, just do not use anything with oil in it.

    STEP 3
    Look through the muzzle brake to make sure there is nothing in there that
    should not be. If your brake has been coated with Cerakote please avoid
    using any solvents on it for a few days. The Cerakote requires 5 days to
    fully cure..

    STEP 4
    Put 8-10 drops of Blue Locktite on the rifle barrel where the brake will
    fit. Spread the locktite around the barrel to get an even coat. The loctite
    is used as a lubricant for installation that will dry completely. After
    complete installation let this dry for at least 30 minutes before firing. If
    you decide to remove the brake in the future any cleaning solvent will
    remove the locktite residue.

    STEP 5
    Place the muzzle brake over the barrel on your rifle. Depending on how well
    our measurements line up with yours the brake may be a bit tight. If this
    is the case loosen the top and bottom screw in the brake until there are
    just a few threads engaged. Then take the middle screw and start threading
    it in from the opposite side. Place a dime or other flat object in the slot
    the screws pass through for the middle screw to push against. This will
    force the brake open just slightly so that in may be slid all the way onto
    the rifle barrel. To verify that it is all the way down look into the slot
    that the screws go through. These brakes are supposed to be very tight once
    mounted. Once the brake is seated remove the dime and middle screw and
    re-install the middle screw correctly.

    STEP 6
    Place a drop of blue locktite on each screw, insert them and begin to
    tighten. Run them all down until you begin to feel that they are clamping.
    At this point take care to tighten the screws as evenly as possible. We
    recommend a half turn or less each before moving on the next one. Repeat
    this process until the screws are tight. Should you happen to break or strip
    a screw they are 6-32 socket head cap screws half inch long. These should be
    available at any hardware store, or give me a call and I can mail you some

    STEP 7
    Grab that muzzle brake with your hand and try to twist it, it should not
    move. Edit: If you won the local strong man competition do not bend the


    This is the Muzzle Brake i'm using and you can see the mounting bolts & flange



    this is a view from inside the brake which slides onto the barrel and you can see raised ribs that clamp onto the barrel for added grip strength

  4. There are two types of set screws you can use. One is flat on the bottom, the other has a point. The flat ones are more for location. The point ones are better for securing. We order ours from an industrial supply company but you might be able to find them at tractor supply or HDepot. Just a thought.

    after seeing the picture in the video, I see those are not set screws. They are screws used to clamp the device to the barrel.
    Last edited: May 29, 2014

    USMC_VET Supporting Member

    what get's me is my friend has the exact same rifle same brake and same measurements of .583 and .601 but his brake was also cerakote flat black . He has about 60 plus rounds thru his rifle but using 150 grain bullets and his brake hasn't blown off or shown any signs of it loosening
  6. talon

    talon the banned wagon

    You may also want to try a fresh, commercially purchased bottle of name-brand thread locker, it does get old, and if some was suppliedit might be generic enough that it broke down. You can also find high heat application thread lock. Only other thing I can think is that the bore is not concentric to the bore of the muzzle device and the bullet grazed the device on its way out, but there should be some sign of contact if that happened. No odd marks inside the muzzle device?

    USMC_VET Supporting Member

    the blue thread locker i was using is not that old and from Loctite and is there paste not the liquid .I've got the Brake next to me right now and i'm looking down all the (6) chambers/walls the bullet will pass thru and no signs of a bullet strike that i can see . Witt machine sent me this email when i contacted them about it blowing off

    i just did a round count and it only took 23 rds of 180 grain Super X before the brake blew off , like i mentioned my friend has the exact same rifle and brake with same measurements and has 60 rds thru his and no problems with the brake so i dunno what the heck is going on !!!

    i'm going to call Witt Machine again tomorrow morning and talk with them again to see what is going on . They did say they apologize for the problem i'm having and will make me another brake and the person i talked to today for almost a half hour said once these brakes are on the rifle mounted as per instructions it should not blow off . The tech at Witt also told me the only weak point is the 1/2" long 6x32 allen head screws as the allen head socket will round out after repeated loosening/tightening and i've already stripped one

    i'm bummed out because without this Muzzle Brake the rifle is just wall art as i can not shoot it without hurting my shoulder and all the money i've put into it and only have 23 rds thru it

    USMC_VET Supporting Member

  9. Bull

    Bull Just a Man Supporting Member

    Sounds like he's found the problem..... Looks to me there's no way you're going to get a evenly tightened brake the way that it is made... Dangit!
    I'm assuming yours has the same lack of channel at the aforementioned screws?
  10. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

    NE Utah
    You guys do realize the this isn't how this brake attaches, right?

    They aren't set screws, they are machine screws that draw the sides of the brake together and thus clamp the collar of the unit around the barrel.

    As long as the two sides of the thing aren't touching when fully clamped, the size is OK.

    But to me...too many possible points of failure. Sounds like Witt is being really good about it, I'm impressed with that. But I don't like the entire idea of clamp on units.
  11. talon

    talon the banned wagon

    i was aware of the way it clamps,yes. not exactly sure why i said 'set screw' last night, i blame it on just being late after work. it still doesnt make loc-tite a ''glue'', so thier use of it still bothers me, as it serves zero real purpose in the application they ask you to do with it. it simply will not add any kind of ''strength'' to the device.

    seeing the video, and the tapered channel, makes it even more clear that the companies incorrect application of the loc-tite is even more evident. curious, is there room to affix a nut if you used longer bolts? yes, it would lose some visual appeal, but, if it will keep the dang thing affixed, it may be worth it. you'll be able to get a much tighter clamping force that way as well, without worrying about stripping out the device itself.
  12. USMC_VET

    USMC_VET Supporting Member

    the use of loctite and spread around the barrel in the 1-1/2 inch are acts as a lubricant to help slide the brake on if measurements are extremely tight and plus once the loctite dries and is heat cycled it acts like a protective barrier between the brake and barrel to prevent galling and scuffing of the barrel surface

    in that video the person used no loctite !!!

    i will be calling Witt Machine later on this morning and talking with them about the new measurements of 0.002 smaller and see what they say . also to ask them again why my friends brake hasn't loosened up and his has the same measurements as mine only thing different between mine and his is his brake has a Cerakote finish
  13. talon

    talon the banned wagon

    im aware he didnt use any in the video, still, he should have been able to get several rounds before it loosened and came off, just as you should have gotten many more even using it.

    a 'protective barrier', slightly, but, not much of one really, but yeah, better than bare barrel i guess. still, not what loc-tite is designed for.

    the cerakote on the other hand, will give a better grip as it will have a slightly textured surface area, but again, neither should come off after only a few rounds.

    hopefully they can work it out for you, but i seriously doubt .002 will make much of a difference at all.
  14. FlashBang

    FlashBang I Stand With Talon Lifetime Supporter

    You are placing a device on the end of a firearm muzzle that will be taking the full brunt of the high pressure gasses created by the detonation of a concentrated explosive material and hurling a projectile at over 2000fps, and you want to put said device on the firearm using the lowest cost and easiest solution you can find???? :confused:

    There are reasons barrels are threaded and this is one of them. When it comes to your, and those around you, safety...... don't go cheap or half a$$ed.

    That's my thoughts on the matter.

  15. I still dont get the clamp on brake, How much money is spent to float a barrel or bed a barrel so we dont mess up barrel harmonics. Then we bolt a hunk of steel to the end?
  16. USMC_VET

    USMC_VET Supporting Member

    this brake was highly recommended on a few bolt action websites i'm on and this brake was by any means cheap either it was just under $120 for this Muzzle Brake .plus their warranty is very hard to beat and they also make Brakes for rifles barrels over 1" dia

    The reason bolt on brakes are popular is some ranges don't allow them plus when hunting they're not allowed so just by loosening a few screws you can be legal in a matter of a few minutes . Also some well known rifle mfgs like Barrett have bolt on brakes so what does that tell you
  17. USMC_VET

    USMC_VET Supporting Member

    just talked with the tech at Witt Machine and i'm supposed to send this brake back to them with the new measurements and all other info like that it blew off the muzzle .I will get a new Brake made with the .002 smaller measurements my Credit card will credited back plus because of inconvenience to me i will have it Cerakoted black for free . I was also told that once they receive my brake the new one will be cut and shipped to me within a day or so

    That is what i call awesome customer service on their part !!!!:D
  18. Bull

    Bull Just a Man Supporting Member

    Definitely! Keep us up to date.
  19. USMC_VET

    USMC_VET Supporting Member

    Brake was mailed back to Witt Machine today and should arrive on Monday of next week so hopefully by next Wednesday I should know what's going on
  20. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

    NE Utah
    You can do the same thing with a screw on brake, the threads are then protected by a screw on ring. And doing that doesn't threaten to strip screws out.;)

    That is great CS, for sure. Again, I am impressed with this company.