I’ve been reading some pretty positive comments and reviews about JEC Customs muzzle brake so I dropped them a line and they sent me one to review.
The JEC Customs recoil reduction muzzle brake for bolt guns is constructed of either 303 stainless steel or 1144 class C stress proof steel and is 1.000″ in diameter, 2.150″ long, 2.1 ounces in weight and threaded 5/8- 24. Made in Texas, by actual Texans, the JEC Customs recoil reduction muzzle brake is available in a Melonite (1144) or stainless finish (303) in .223, 6mm, 6.5mm, 7mm and .308.
According to the manufacturer, the brakes are produced on CNC machinery and then individually bored to maintain quality.
Our test sample is a 6mm model with the Melonite treatment.
The brake is fairly clean in appearance, with three side baffles on each side and three round ports at the top. The rear has a slight chamfer to allow the brake installation to blend with the barrel and the front has two flat vertical recesses to accept a wrench for removal and installation.
When comparing the JEC Customs to other popular brakes, its compact design stands out.
It was provided with the optional shim kit which allows timing on preexisting installations, however, I decided to re-cut, crown and thread the barrel.
For this review the brake will be installed on a Remington 700 AAC SD that has been completely customized into a 243 Winchester: see Remington 700 Rebuild: Transforming a Factory 700 AAC Rifle to a Custom Precision Rifle for more information about it. The Bartlein heavy varmint contour barrel was 26″ long and had a OPS R3E2C muzzle brake installed at the end. This was quite a heavy, and lengthy combination. Everyone I handed the rifle too, commented about the weight and length, something had to be done.
For this installation I will cut, crown, thread and time the brake. If your barrel is already threaded 5/8-24, or you just send it to a smith, the installation process is far simpler, as easy as screwing it on in most cases.
I decided to cut and crown the barrel to 24″ and install the JEC customs brake. The combination of shorter barrel and brake would give me a needed length reduction of close to 3″ as well as a slight decrease in weight.
To install the brake, I mounted the barrel through the headstock of my lathe and dialed it in. Below I will provide a basic outline of the steps for those of you interested in gunsmithing, for a more detailed explanation of the process, please see: Muzzle Brake Installation on a Precision Rifle: Timing and Installing an OPS R3E2C- while the article features a different brake, the installation process is the same.
I used the following tools and supplies provided by Brownells:
- 3/8″ High-speed steel turning kit (080-000-835)
- High-speed steel 35 degree profile kit (080-000-836)
- 1/2″ threader (080-000-839)
- Starrett Dial indicator (749-007-761)
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Testing and Evaluation
The installed brake blended well with the barrel. It just so happens that if you cut a Bartlein heavy varmint contour barrel at 24″ and thread it, the OD diameter of the barrel and the brake are exactly the same- talk about proper planning!
I liked the relief chamfer on the rear edge of the brake as well- it provides a clean look on the installation as well as relieving an otherwise sharp edge for installations where the OD diameter of the barrel and the brake aren’t the same.
The weather conditions for the evaluation were brutal- it was 23 F and snowing with 20 MPH full value crosswinds. I couldn’t feel my hands or face by the time I left (FYI- I’ve spent the past 17 years looking for that fine line between hard and stupid which my platoon Sergeant used to tell me about).
The rifle was shot from a Sierra 7 bipod, with a rear bag shooting a 107 grain SMK for load development.
Firing the rifle, I noticed that the report of the brake wasn’t bad. Most impressively, with a solid position, the reticle remained within an inch or two of the target dot at 100 yards during recoil! I’m hooked. Now, this is only a 243, but the brake did mitigate recoil and muzzle flip noticeably better then the OPS R3E2C I had on it with a 2″ longer barrel a few days earlier.
It is also worth noting that I was shooting the same rifle, with a short 308 barrel and Badger FTE brake in the same conditions moments before. The Badger brake kicked up snow everywhere around the rifle and the escaping gases knocked snow off of the tin roof covering the firing line!
- The brake does an excellent job reducing perceived recoil and muzzle flip. The rifle recoiled similarly to a heavy barreled 223. This was particularly impressive since the brake is shorter and has a lower profile then many competing designs.
- Overall, it may be the best brake I have tried on a bolt action rifle- and I’ve tried most. I always hesitate to make comments like that on this site- but I really think it may be. This is one of those products that really exceeds your expectations. You expect it to work, but then you hold it up next to some other designs and wonder what you gave up for a smaller profile- but then you shoot it and it works great!
I want one for a 300 Winchester Magnum build we have coming up. JEC Customs is currently in the process of developing a brake compatible with a Templar suppressor.