Muzzle Brake Installation on a Precision Rifle: Timing and Installing an OPS R3E2C

The brake is screwed into place. Note the outside diameter of the barrel and the brake match. This was by design. The shoulder of the tenon was located at the precise point that the diameters matched. If you plan on turning down a brake, make sure you can- in the past we attempted to turn down a similar brake and it fell apart because the cuts were too deep.

The OPS R3E2C muzzle brake has been receiving excellent reviews and we decided to install one on our 243 Winchester Remington model 700.

Installation of the OPS brake will require us to thread the barrel and time (make sure the ports are up) the brake.  While we have the barrel mounted, we will also make a custom thread protector.

Muzzle brake line up: JEC Customs (left), OPS R3E2C (center left), Surefire SOCOM brake (center right), and Surefire 762SSAL/RE (right).

Muzzle brake line up: JEC Customs (left), OPS R3E2C (center left), Surefire SOCOM brake (center right), and Surefire 762SSAL/RE (right).

 

Side view: JEC Customs (left), OPS R3E2C (center left), Surefire SOCOM brake (center right), and Surefire 762SSAL/RE (right).

Side view: JEC Customs (left), OPS R3E2C (center left), Surefire SOCOM brake (center right), and Surefire 762SSAL/RE (right).

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We ordered the following items from Brownells:

In addition to installing the OPS R3E2C muzzle brake , a thread protector for the applications when we wouldn’t want to use the brake will be fabricated.

The action barreled action is screwed back together so that the top of the barrel can be determined.  This is critical since the OPS brake, like many others needs to be timed and aligned a certain way.

The action and barrel are screwed together so that the top of the barrel can be determined. This is critical since the OPS brake, like many others, needs to be timed and aligned a certain way.

The barrel is then reversed in the head stock of the lathe.  A range rod is used to dial in the bore.

The barrel is then reversed in the head stock of the lathe. A range rod is used to dial in the bore.

The tenon is threaded for the brake.  In this case 24 threads per inch.

The tenon is threaded for the brake. In this case, 24 threads per inch.

This brake, like many other directional brakes on the market, needed to be timed.  This means there is a top and bottom. On preexisting builds this is typically accomplished with the use of shim washers.  On new construction, the preferred method is to time the brake on the barrel.

To time the brake, the brake was installed after the tenon was threaded and cut.  The orientation of the top of the brake and top of the barrel were noted.  The tenon’s shoulder was then incrementally re-cut until they aligned

To determine how much the shoulder needed to be set back, 1 was divided by the number of threads per inch.  In our case, 1/24=.042″.  This means for every .042″ the shoulder is set back, the brake will turn one revolution.  To make a half turn, divide this value in half, for a quarter turn by four and so on.  So if the brake needed to be turned one half revolution, (.042″)(.5)=.021″.  A .021″ cut allowed the brake to rotate one half a turn.

In practice, we made lighter cuts then needed to avoid taking off too much material.  If the shoulder is set back too far, the shoulder will need to be set back for nearly one full revolution.

The brake is screwed into place.  Note the outside diameter of the barrel and the brake match.  This was by design.  The shoulder of the tenon was located at the precise point that the diameters matched.  If you plan on turning down a brake, make sure you can- in the past we attempted to turn down a similar brake and it fell apart because the cuts were too deep.

The brake is screwed into place. Note that the outside diameter of the barrel and the brake match. This was by design. The shoulder of the tenon was located at the precise point that the diameters matched. If you plan on turning down a brake, make sure you can- in the past we attempted to turn down a similar brake and it fell apart because there wasn’t enough material left after we got it to the correct dimension.

to make a thread protector we start with a scrap piece of stainless steel.  This is a cut off from a barrel blank that was drilled and tapped 5/8-24.

To make a thread protector, we start with a scrap piece of stainless steel. This is a cut off from a barrel blank that was drilled and tapped 5/8-24.

Side view of the blank.

Side view of the blank.

After turning down the outside diameter of the thread protector, the area is sanded with some abrasive cloth.  Perfect match.

After turning down the outside diameter of the thread protector, the area is sanded with some abrasive cloth.  A perfect match.

A recess was cut in the threaded part of the muzzle and a slight taper cut into the thread protector.

A recess was cut in the threaded part of the muzzle and a slight taper cut into the thread protector.