# Help With Understanding Thrust Calculations (rifle muzzle brake)

• Ozen
In summary: Therefore, the shorter barrel will produce more thrust on the baffle due to the higher pressure. In summary, the two equations used to calculate force on a baffle of a muzzle brake, Equation 1 and Equation 2, yield different results for the same inputs. Equation 1 gives significantly higher results than Equation 2. It is recommended to use Equation 2 since it seems more realistic. However, it is important to consider the material's fatigue life and potential for breaking when testing a design. Additionally, shorter barrel systems produce more thrust on the baffle than longer barrel systems due to the higher pressure at the point where the bullet leaves the muzzle.
Ozen
TL;DR Summary
I have two equations for thrust on a muzzle brake, however they each yield different results, which is correct?
Let me start off by saying I decided to post this in the aerospace engineering thread because it directly deals with thrust, even though it is not for a plane or similar.

I have two equations that I can use to calculate the force on a baffle of a muzzle brake, Equation 1, from The Engineering Design Handbook Series, and Equation 2, from Armament Engineering, a computer aided approach. But both yield different results with the same inputs (even when converted to there correct counterpart. Equation 1 yields significantly higher results than equation 2. Below is a run-down on solving them both for the same given system, note that they don't use the same variables always.

Givens:

Ae = .000029 m^2 (bore area)
mc = .00169 kg (charge mass)
mp = .00402 kg (projectile mass)
Vt = 9.2E-06 m^3 (16in barrel volume); 3.5E-06 m^3 (7in barrel volume)
vo = 892 m/s (muzzle velocity); 650 m/s
pe = 5.52E+07 PA; 1.17E+08 PA (chamber pressure)
lambda = 1.64 (factor)
Ct = 2.21 (correction factor)
RT0 = 700119 m^2/s^2 (gas constant * average temperature of gas at shot ejection)
pmz = pe * (1 - (mc / (2 * mp +mc)) (pressure at muzzle exit)

Equation 1:

Fb = 0.26 * lambda * Ct * (mc / Vt) * Ae * RT0 * (1 + (mc / 6 * mp))
***Units must be in imperial, all were converted to their correct correspondent before computing

Solved:

16in barrel: Fb = 9385 N
7in barrel: Fb = 29389 N

Doesn't this seem rather odd? Almost triple the force for a system that has lower velocity, lower volume, and higher pressure.

Equation 2:

Fb = pmz * Ae * lambda * Ct
***Units must be metric, same as above

Solved:

16in barrel: Fb = 4794 N
7in barrel: Fb = 10162 N

My Question:
Which equation should I use? I lean towards Equation 2 since that seem more realistic, but if that is wrong, the material may yield and break when I would test a design. Or worse, the design could work for testing but have a bad fatigue life and end up breaking not long after.

***Supplemental question: Why do shorter barrel systems produce more thrust on the baffle than the longer barrel systems?

Ozen said:
Why do shorter barrel systems produce more thrust on the baffle than the longer barrel systems?
Both short and long barrels will have the same peak combustion pressure, but the longer barrel puts more of that energy into bullet velocity. The pressure is lower at the point where the bullet leaves the muzzle with the longer barrel.

Klystron

As a fellow forum user, I can offer some insights and suggestions:

1. It is great that you have provided all the necessary information and calculations for both equations. This will help others to better understand the issue and provide more accurate responses.

2. Have you tried checking your calculations to see if there are any errors? It could be a simple mistake that is causing the discrepancy between the two equations.

3. It is always a good idea to double-check your sources and make sure that the equations you are using are applicable to your specific situation. Is there any information in the sources that might explain the difference in results?

4. Have you considered reaching out to the authors of the sources or other experts in the field for their opinion on which equation to use? They might have some valuable insights or suggestions.

5. It is also important to consider the limitations of each equation and how they might affect the results. For example, one equation might be more accurate for certain types of systems or conditions.

6. It might also be helpful to gather more data and test the equations with different input values to see if the results are consistent. This could help to verify which equation is more accurate.

Overall, it is difficult to say which equation is more accurate without further investigation. It might be worth considering all the points mentioned above and also seeking input from other forum users who have experience with similar calculations. Good luck!

## 1. What is a muzzle brake and how does it work?

A muzzle brake is a device attached to the end of a rifle barrel that helps to reduce the recoil and muzzle rise of the gun. It works by redirecting the gases produced by the fired bullet in a direction that counters the recoil force, thus reducing the overall recoil felt by the shooter.

## 2. How does a muzzle brake affect the accuracy of a rifle?

A muzzle brake can have both positive and negative effects on the accuracy of a rifle. On one hand, it can reduce the recoil and muzzle rise, making it easier for the shooter to stay on target and improving accuracy. However, it can also increase the amount of gas and noise produced, potentially affecting the shooter's concentration and causing them to flinch, which can negatively impact accuracy.

## 3. How do I calculate the amount of thrust produced by a muzzle brake?

The amount of thrust produced by a muzzle brake can be calculated using the formula: Thrust = (Pressure x Area) - (Pressure x Area x Cosine of angle of gas exit). The pressure can be estimated based on the type of ammunition used, and the area can be calculated by measuring the diameter of the muzzle brake and using the formula for the area of a circle.

## 4. Are there any safety concerns when using a muzzle brake?

Yes, there are a few safety concerns to keep in mind when using a muzzle brake. The increased gas and noise produced by the muzzle brake can potentially be harmful to the shooter's hearing if proper ear protection is not worn. Additionally, the gases exiting the muzzle brake can create a blast zone that may be dangerous to anyone standing near the shooter.

## 5. How do I choose the right muzzle brake for my rifle?

Choosing the right muzzle brake for your rifle depends on several factors, including the type of rifle, the intended use, and personal preferences. It is important to do thorough research and read reviews to find a muzzle brake that has been proven to work well with your specific rifle and ammunition. Additionally, it is recommended to seek advice from experienced shooters or consult with a gunsmith for personalized recommendations.

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