This post is about the suppressors and muzzle brakes the best precision rifle shooters are using. It is based on what the top 50 long-range shooters nationwide brought with them to the Precision Rifle Series (PRS) Finale a couple weeks ago. For more info on who these guys are, and why you should care what they think scroll to the bottom of this article.
Suppressor or Muzzle Brake?
The chart below shows whether the shooters at the finale ran with a suppressor, muzzle brake, neither, or both. “Both” essentially means they’ve been known to run a suppressor or a muzzle break, and likely make the decision based on the format of the match they’re competing in.
55% of the precision rifle competitors shoot with a muzzle brake exclusively, which is over twice as many as those running suppressors. That come as a surprise to some, but a muzzle brake is at least as effective as a suppressor at reducing recoil and muzzle rise, and comes in at a fraction of the weight. For example, the most popular muzzle brake used weighs just 2 ounces, where the most popular suppressor weighs 8 times that at 16 oz.
23% of shooters ran suppressed. 12% of shooters may opt to use a muzzle brake or a suppressor depending on the match. Only 9% said they don’t use a muzzle brake or suppressor.
If you just look at the shooters who ended up in the top twenty, the distribution stays very similar. The majority of them use muzzle brakes, a few run suppressed, and a couple guys either run both (depending on the situation) or neither.
Best Muzzle Brake
Here are the muzzle brakes the top precision shooters were using at this year’s finale. The numbers represented at last year’s finale are also provided in the semi-transparent gray color.
The JEC muzzle brake not only held its ground as the most popular muzzle brake in the PRS, it actually gained some additional market share. Of those using muzzle brakes, 1 in 3 were using the JEC muzzle brake. JEC had 70% more muzzle brakes represented among these precision rifle shooters than their nearest competitor.
Badger also had a significant jump in popularity among the shooters who qualified for this year’s finale over last year. 21% of shooters using muzzle brakes chose either the Badger FTE or the Badger Thruster, with most of them landing on the FTE.
The American Precision Arms (APA) muzzle brake, the Muscle muzzle brake by Center Shot Rifles (CSR), and AWC’s PSR muzzle brake were each used by several shooters again this year.
Following those guys were a long list of other great muzzle brakes that were used by one of the shooters, including JP Enterprises, Score High Gunsmithing, Thunder Beast (TBAC), Schuler, Suppressed Armament Systems (SAS), Primary Weapons Systems (PWS), and Mack Brothers.
Here are the suppressors that this year’s top long-range rifle shooters were using, along with the number that each company had represented at last year’s finale as well.
Thunder Beast Arms Corp (TBAC) was the most popular precision rifle suppressor this year, with 30% of the guys running suppressed opting for a TBAC suppressor.
Silencer Tech also had a significant number of shooters using their suppressors this year, and had a jump in popularity over last year’s finale. Of those using a can, 1 in 5 used a Silencer Tech suppressor.
Jet and Silencer Co both had 10% of the shooters who ran suppressed using their suppressers.
Following those companies, there was a mix of other suppressors that a single shooter from this group was using, including: Surefire, AWC, AAC, Templar Tactical Firearms, Yankee Hill, and Mack Brothers.
A noteworthy trend was the steep decline in the number of AAC suppressors represented. At last year’s finale, there were as many AAC suppressors as any other brand, but this year there was only one competitor using an AAC suppressor.
Another significant surprise was the absence of any Shark suppressors from the group, considering there were a few shooters using those last year.
Here is a table that provides a side-by-side comparison of important specs related to suppressors. Some of these companies make several types of suppressors, but I limited the data to only those that these guys might have been using (i.e. 30 caliber rifle suppressor).
|Brand||Material||Length (in)||Weight (oz)||Price*|
|TBAC (Thunder Beast) Suppressor||Titanium||9||16||$1,095|
|Silencer Tech Suppressor||Chrome Moly||7||18||$650|
|Silencer Co Suppressor||Stainless||7½-9||11.3-24||$750-1,300|
|AAC Suppressor||Stainless or Titanium||7½-9½||14-22||$750-1,795|
|AWC Suppressor||Stainless or Titanium||8-10¼||16-30||$995-1,695|
|Mack Bros Suppressor||Titanium||8½-9¾||17-20||$950-995|
|Templar Tactical Suppressor||Stainless or Titanium||6-9¼||10½-15||$949-1,099|
|Yankee Hill Suppressor||Stainless or Titanium||7¾-8½||13-28||$705-1,177|
Prices were as of January 2014, and are intended for reference only. Specs and prices are subject to change without notice.
Meet The Pros
The Precision Rifle Series (PRS) is a championship style point series race based on the best precision rifle matches nationwide. PRS matches are recognized as the major league of sniper-style rifle matches. At the end of each year, the scores from 15 different matches are evaluated and the top 50 shooters nationwide are invited to compete head to head in the PRS Finale Match. The info below is based on the equipment those pros brought with them to the most recent finale. This is a great set of data, because 50 shooters is a significant sample size, and this particular group are also considered experts among experts. Thanks to Rich Emmons for allowing me to share this info. To find out more about the PRS, check out What Is The Precision Rifle Series?
Other “What The Pros Use” Articles
This post was one of a series of posts that look at the equipment the top 50 shooters in the country use. Check out these other posts:
- Best Rifle Calibers & Cartridges
- Best Long-Range Scopes
- Best Gunsmiths
- Best Actions
- Best Barrels
- Best Stocks
- Best Precision Bullets & Powders
- Best Precision Suppressor & Muzzle Brake
- Best Shooting Rest Bags