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Dragon Head Muzzle break review


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#1 OFFLINE   glock10mmman

glock10mmman

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Posted May. 07 2010 - 12:09 AM

Hey guys,

I have another review to do!

I have done several reviews for Carl with Black Hole Weaponry over the last few months and he asked me to do another. This time it was on his Dragon Head Muzzle break. I am always looking for different breaks to cut down on the muzzle climb and noise produced when Prairie Dog hunting. Less noise produced or projected down range is always a plus when hunting Prairie Dogs as they often get gun shy after 3-4 guys are decimating a town. Cutting down the muzzle climb is a plus for faster follow up shots. Lets face it, what fun is there in launching a dog in air or turning one into hamburger if you cant see it right?? So when asked to do this review, I agreed mainly so I could get to try another break, possibly improving on my current break, and all the products I have tested for Carl and reviewed so far, have netted some pretty good results.

My test break arrived about 2 months ago. Break is machined to .936” to fit flush with Black Hole Weaponry’s bull barrels they produce. Break measures 2.140” from end to end adding about 1.5” of length to the barrel. Break will be larger on smaller barrels of course. This break does not require an indexing nut or crush/peel washer to align it. There is no top or bottom to this break allowing it to be tightened down flush with the barrel. This will be a plus to new shooters wanting to do a self install with not a lot of experience. Break has one hole in the end of the muzzle measured at .260”. This of course will be for the 5.56 diameter bullet. Larger diameter bullets will of course need a different break. They are available in diameters from 5.56 to 7.62. Along with the center hole there are 5 equally spaced holes surrounding the center that measure out to .150”. Holes are all recessed in from the muzzle approximately 1/16”, similar to a target crown on a target barrel. Tightening down the break is very easy. The hole for the bullet, is also a hex head nut that you use to tighten it down with. No strap wrench is needed.

See picture below to get a better feel for the dimensions of the break.
Posted Image
Posted Image

Here is the break when installed on a standard M4 profile barrel:
Posted Image
Posted Image

Here is the break when installed on a bull barrel:
Posted Image
Posted Image

Here is the break when installed on a .740” diameter barrel or more commonly called a HBAR or medium weight profile:
Posted Image



I wanted to get some rounds through this before I did my final test and review on it. I wanted to make sure it was sealed right and I could get real feel for it. 50-100 rounds is not a through enough test to accurately test a product. I had this break installed on the 5.56 barrel when I did the test and review on Carl’s Piston Kit, putting just a tad over 800 rounds through it during the piston test. The rest of the rounds fired during the piston test were using a few different breaks and flash hiders to get the different feel between them. There was a noticeable difference between the Dragon Head break’s noise and muzzle climb when compared to a standard non threaded barrel and the A2 bird cage flash hider. Not so much of a difference in climb when compared to my Miculek break. The main noticeable difference was the perceived noise from the break.

Most breaks have ports on top and the sides of the break. This pushes the muzzle climb down and cuts down on recoil. The down side to this is the amount of noise or “Crack” and shock that is felt from by the shooter and those shooting next to him. My local range is a 100 yard indoor range with 6 lanes. Since I build my Prairie Dog set up (final test rifle used for this test) I have been using the Miculek break. Main reason for this was the reduction of muzzle climb and flip generated when shooting. After about 50-100 rounds shooting indoors, the shock put off by this break, really takes its toll on me and the shooters in the adjoining lanes. I put up with this due to the fact that it works very well for my intended needs for how a break needs to perform and not get outrageous with the price.

The final test I did on the break was in the same indoor range. 100 yards in an old underground post office converted to a shooting range. Needless to say the “echo” and audible report of a 22 lr will make you glad you are using 2 sets of hearing protection. Each series of rounds were fired from the same gun at 100 yards with a standard 100 yard zeroing target. Rifle was secured using a Harris Bi-pod and leather sand filled rear bag. My off hand was griping the left bi-pod leg. Entire rifle set up weighs in at 10 pounds 1.5 ounces with optics and empty magazine. Barrel being used was an 18” medium weight. Each break/hider was tested for muzzle climb against the target using 30 rounds. Ammo was a mixture of my hand loads for dog hunting, PMC 55 grain FMJ and Winchester 55 grain FMJ. 10 rounds of each. My hand loads are on the strong side about .3 grains off max load.

To start with I left the barrel free from a break/hider to simulate a non threaded target crown barrel. Recoil with all 10 of my hand loads made the rifle jump making me loose sight picture all 10 times. Factory FMJ ammo did the same. Regaining my target using my 20 power scope, took to long and double taps were not going to happen. Noise produced was normal, but the shock produced was noticeable, a bit uncomfortable, but nothing that would end a range session after 100 rounds or so.

Next I installed an A2 Birdcage flash hider. The shock was cut way down, but recoil was not. My 10 hand loads all made me loose sight picture, but regaining my target was a bit faster than with the target crown. Double taps, were around 12-13 inch groups. Better than the target crown, but not good enough for minute of prairie dog.

Next I installed a YHM Phantom flash hider. I could copy and paste the data from the A2 flash hider for this one honestly. I couldn’t tell much difference in the two.

Next I installed my Miculek break. Recoil from my hand loads made the crosshairs jump about 4 inches high and 4-5 inches to the right. The break has 6 ports, 3 on each side and I made sure they were level. Double taps produced 3-4 inch groups which is good enough for minute of dog. This is where this break shines. Makes a 5.56 very very soft shooting. Now here is where the problem lies with this break. The report was close to twice as loud as the A2 or Phantom, and with 2 sets of hearing protection (muffs over peltor skull screws) it was very loud and very uncomfortable. I was alone shooting at this time so I didn’t get any complaints, but I have in the past. The shock produced by this break is like a slap in the face. 50-100 round range sessions usually end up with a small headache. Shooting it outdoors is not near as bad as indoors, but still kind of annoying in my opinion. I have put up with this due to being able to make double tap shots on dogs and being able to rapidly reek havoc on a town.

Now finally onto the test subject the Dragon Head Break. Recoil from my hand loads was a bit different that with the Miculek break. Where as the Miculek jumped up and to the right side, the Dragon Head, jumped about an inch high and 3-4 inches to the left. The Dragon Head vents all the gas down range. So instead of having the barrel climb it actually pushed the rifle to the rear. Stoners design was to keep the cycling of the weapon inline with the bore, there by lowering muzzle climb. The Dragon Head aides in this. Gases are vented inline with the bore, action and recoil system. That’s the reason the rifle recoiled to the left. I am right handed and my inside is my weak side. The rifle will take the path of least resistance, hence my weak side. It will be different on a south paw shooter. Double taps will be no problem on dogs and they produced 3-4 inch groups like the Miculek break did. Follow up shots were directed back to the target very quickly. Not really a huge noticeable difference or improvement over the Miculek break was found. So far not a noticeable improvement over the Miculek break, but remember the shock the Miculek break produced? Now here is where the Dragon Head break shined. Back when I was testing the piston kit, I noticed that the sound and shock produced by the Dragon head was pretty mild compared to the A2, but it there was a huge difference compared to the Miculek break. The shock is almost gone from the shooters position. I wanted to get an opinion of having a shooter next to me, but I was alone. I had the range officer sit in the booth next to me to simulate a shooter to the side. He was very comfortable with double hearing protection sitting next to me. I switched back to the Miculek break and he said he could hear, and feel the difference between the two!

To wrap up this review, I am pleased with the results. Shooting indoors was more enjoyable after using the break. Shooting indoors with a rifle is very different than an outdoor range. You have to think about the shooter next to you sometimes. If your trying to concentrate on shooting a tight group and he is shooting something like a 7mm magnum with no break or something extremely loud, it will tend to throw off your concentration. I don’t see that happening with the Dragon Break. Recoil is what the shooter perceives. I comfortably shoot magnum calibers with no problem. People with large frames like myself, tend to not notice recoil as much as say a 120 pound 5 foot tall person. What a shooter decides to screw onto their barrel, depends on their needs. For dog hunting I need a gun that will not jump off target and allow me fast follow up shots at long distances. I will, at times, shoot at past 800 yards when dog hunting so less or no muzzle climb is what I need. For a person shooting indoors, they need something that will direct the shock and noise away from them and the shooter they are next to. I believe if you fall into either category, this break should fit your bill.

I realize that there are other breaks on the market that may do the same thing, maybe even better, who knows? I wish I had the opportunity to test them along with the Dragon Head, but I can’t stomach spending 80 plus dollars on one. Maybe later on as this review will be on going. I am going to do the same testing outdoors and would like to see about some different styles of testing in the future. This break runs in the 40 dollar range, which is more to my liking and price range. Thanks a lot folks!

For more info on this break or to purchased one, contact Carl with Black Hole at www.blackholeweaponry.com 1-509-793-5374.


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#2 OFFLINE   WSMBUCK

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Posted Nov. 07 2010 - 03:51 PM

Hey guys,

I have another review to do!

I have done several reviews for Carl with Black Hole Weaponry over the last few months and he asked me to do another. This time it was on his Dragon Head Muzzle break. I am always looking for different breaks to cut down on the muzzle climb and noise produced when Prairie Dog hunting. Less noise produced or projected down range is always a plus when hunting Prairie Dogs as they often get gun shy after 3-4 guys are decimating a town. Cutting down the muzzle climb is a plus for faster follow up shots. Lets face it, what fun is there in launching a dog in air or turning one into hamburger if you cant see it right?? So when asked to do this review, I agreed mainly so I could get to try another break, possibly improving on my current break, and all the products I have tested for Carl and reviewed so far, have netted some pretty good results.

My test break arrived about 2 months ago. Break is machined to .936” to fit flush with Black Hole Weaponry’s bull barrels they produce. Break measures 2.140” from end to end adding about 1.5” of length to the barrel. Break will be larger on smaller barrels of course. This break does not require an indexing nut or crush/peel washer to align it. There is no top or bottom to this break allowing it to be tightened down flush with the barrel. This will be a plus to new shooters wanting to do a self install with not a lot of experience. Break has one hole in the end of the muzzle measured at .260”. This of course will be for the 5.56 diameter bullet. Larger diameter bullets will of course need a different break. They are available in diameters from 5.56 to 7.62. Along with the center hole there are 5 equally spaced holes surrounding the center that measure out to .150”. Holes are all recessed in from the muzzle approximately 1/16”, similar to a target crown on a target barrel. Tightening down the break is very easy. The hole for the bullet, is also a hex head nut that you use to tighten it down with. No strap wrench is needed.

See picture below to get a better feel for the dimensions of the break.
Posted Image
Posted Image

Here is the break when installed on a standard M4 profile barrel:
Posted Image
Posted Image

Here is the break when installed on a bull barrel:
Posted Image
Posted Image

Here is the break when installed on a .740” diameter barrel or more commonly called a HBAR or medium weight profile:
Posted Image



I wanted to get some rounds through this before I did my final test and review on it. I wanted to make sure it was sealed right and I could get real feel for it. 50-100 rounds is not a through enough test to accurately test a product. I had this break installed on the 5.56 barrel when I did the test and review on Carl’s Piston Kit, putting just a tad over 800 rounds through it during the piston test. The rest of the rounds fired during the piston test were using a few different breaks and flash hiders to get the different feel between them. There was a noticeable difference between the Dragon Head break’s noise and muzzle climb when compared to a standard non threaded barrel and the A2 bird cage flash hider. Not so much of a difference in climb when compared to my Miculek break. The main noticeable difference was the perceived noise from the break.

Most breaks have ports on top and the sides of the break. This pushes the muzzle climb down and cuts down on recoil. The down side to this is the amount of noise or “Crack” and shock that is felt from by the shooter and those shooting next to him. My local range is a 100 yard indoor range with 6 lanes. Since I build my Prairie Dog set up (final test rifle used for this test) I have been using the Miculek break. Main reason for this was the reduction of muzzle climb and flip generated when shooting. After about 50-100 rounds shooting indoors, the shock put off by this break, really takes its toll on me and the shooters in the adjoining lanes. I put up with this due to the fact that it works very well for my intended needs for how a break needs to perform and not get outrageous with the price.

The final test I did on the break was in the same indoor range. 100 yards in an old underground post office converted to a shooting range. Needless to say the “echo” and audible report of a 22 lr will make you glad you are using 2 sets of hearing protection. Each series of rounds were fired from the same gun at 100 yards with a standard 100 yard zeroing target. Rifle was secured using a Harris Bi-pod and leather sand filled rear bag. My off hand was griping the left bi-pod leg. Entire rifle set up weighs in at 10 pounds 1.5 ounces with optics and empty magazine. Barrel being used was an 18” medium weight. Each break/hider was tested for muzzle climb against the target using 30 rounds. Ammo was a mixture of my hand loads for dog hunting, PMC 55 grain FMJ and Winchester 55 grain FMJ. 10 rounds of each. My hand loads are on the strong side about .3 grains off max load.

To start with I left the barrel free from a break/hider to simulate a non threaded target crown barrel. Recoil with all 10 of my hand loads made the rifle jump making me loose sight picture all 10 times. Factory FMJ ammo did the same. Regaining my target using my 20 power scope, took to long and double taps were not going to happen. Noise produced was normal, but the shock produced was noticeable, a bit uncomfortable, but nothing that would end a range session after 100 rounds or so.

Next I installed an A2 Birdcage flash hider. The shock was cut way down, but recoil was not. My 10 hand loads all made me loose sight picture, but regaining my target was a bit faster than with the target crown. Double taps, were around 12-13 inch groups. Better than the target crown, but not good enough for minute of prairie dog.

Next I installed a YHM Phantom flash hider. I could copy and paste the data from the A2 flash hider for this one honestly. I couldn’t tell much difference in the two.

Next I installed my Miculek break. Recoil from my hand loads made the crosshairs jump about 4 inches high and 4-5 inches to the right. The break has 6 ports, 3 on each side and I made sure they were level. Double taps produced 3-4 inch groups which is good enough for minute of dog. This is where this break shines. Makes a 5.56 very very soft shooting. Now here is where the problem lies with this break. The report was close to twice as loud as the A2 or Phantom, and with 2 sets of hearing protection (muffs over peltor skull screws) it was very loud and very uncomfortable. I was alone shooting at this time so I didn’t get any complaints, but I have in the past. The shock produced by this break is like a slap in the face. 50-100 round range sessions usually end up with a small headache. Shooting it outdoors is not near as bad as indoors, but still kind of annoying in my opinion. I have put up with this due to being able to make double tap shots on dogs and being able to rapidly reek havoc on a town.

Now finally onto the test subject the Dragon Head Break. Recoil from my hand loads was a bit different that with the Miculek break. Where as the Miculek jumped up and to the right side, the Dragon Head, jumped about an inch high and 3-4 inches to the left. The Dragon Head vents all the gas down range. So instead of having the barrel climb it actually pushed the rifle to the rear. Stoners design was to keep the cycling of the weapon inline with the bore, there by lowering muzzle climb. The Dragon Head aides in this. Gases are vented inline with the bore, action and recoil system. That’s the reason the rifle recoiled to the left. I am right handed and my inside is my weak side. The rifle will take the path of least resistance, hence my weak side. It will be different on a south paw shooter. Double taps will be no problem on dogs and they produced 3-4 inch groups like the Miculek break did. Follow up shots were directed back to the target very quickly. Not really a huge noticeable difference or improvement over the Miculek break was found. So far not a noticeable improvement over the Miculek break, but remember the shock the Miculek break produced? Now here is where the Dragon Head break shined. Back when I was testing the piston kit, I noticed that the sound and shock produced by the Dragon head was pretty mild compared to the A2, but it there was a huge difference compared to the Miculek break. The shock is almost gone from the shooters position. I wanted to get an opinion of having a shooter next to me, but I was alone. I had the range officer sit in the booth next to me to simulate a shooter to the side. He was very comfortable with double hearing protection sitting next to me. I switched back to the Miculek break and he said he could hear, and feel the difference between the two!

To wrap up this review, I am pleased with the results. Shooting indoors was more enjoyable after using the break. Shooting indoors with a rifle is very different than an outdoor range. You have to think about the shooter next to you sometimes. If your trying to concentrate on shooting a tight group and he is shooting something like a 7mm magnum with no break or something extremely loud, it will tend to throw off your concentration. I don’t see that happening with the Dragon Break. Recoil is what the shooter perceives. I comfortably shoot magnum calibers with no problem. People with large frames like myself, tend to not notice recoil as much as say a 120 pound 5 foot tall person. What a shooter decides to screw onto their barrel, depends on their needs. For dog hunting I need a gun that will not jump off target and allow me fast follow up shots at long distances. I will, at times, shoot at past 800 yards when dog hunting so less or no muzzle climb is what I need. For a person shooting indoors, they need something that will direct the shock and noise away from them and the shooter they are next to. I believe if you fall into either category, this break should fit your bill.

I realize that there are other breaks on the market that may do the same thing, maybe even better, who knows? I wish I had the opportunity to test them along with the Dragon Head, but I can’t stomach spending 80 plus dollars on one. Maybe later on as this review will be on going. I am going to do the same testing outdoors and would like to see about some different styles of testing in the future. This break runs in the 40 dollar range, which is more to my liking and price range. Thanks a lot folks!

For more info on this break or to purchased one, contact Carl with Black Hole at www.blackholeweaponry.com 1-509-793-5374.




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Billy

Posted Image

wsmbuck@blackholeweaponry.com

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