Insite Arms Heathen Muzzle Brake
There are a host of new, user timed muzzle brakes on the market, and while we plan on looking at several of them, the Insite Arms Heathen Muzzle Brake is one we have been using for quite some time now.
We see a lot of new products today, everything from Rifles to muzzle brakes, that allow the user to modify their rifle system without the need of a gunsmith. More barrels are available threaded, which helps us add things like Suppressors and yes, muzzle brakes. Don't get me wrong, I am all about supporting the great crop of gunsmiths we have out there, but not having to tie a rifle up with their current backlog of work is a good thing for the end user.
The Insite Arms guys were at the 2016 Sniper's Hide Cup in Colville, Washington and I had a chance to meet with them face to face. I had been using their Heathen brake for while and explained to them the ease and effectiveness of the product. It also gave me chance to talk about the Tikka T3x upgrade series I was doing. Coming from Canada they were well versed in the Tikka platform. They also showed me their lighter weight brake which was very cool.
Using the Heathen Muzzle Brake
This Tikka is turning out to be one of the better projects we have undertaken. The Tikka T3x in 260 is a great platform, not just for the price, but also based on the accuracy. With Factory Prime Ammo, it's a hammer. Because it comes with a shorter 260REM barrel, the rifle needs a muzzle device. I could either suppress it, or add a muzzle brake. The Heathen brake being user timed was the perfect solution. It's a good looking 3 chamber brake, it's recoil management is top notch, and it works great with the Tikka Barrel contour.
User timed brakes are super easy to use. You spin them on until you have the chambers timed and then you simply tighten the collet on the back to lock it in place. The Heathen has aggressive knurling so you can hand tighten the brake, which also allows you to remove it without tools. I found no issues across 3 rifles and countless rounds with brake loosening up.
There are a couple of problems one could run into with just about any muzzle brake out there. Let's face it, they are not all created equal. First, does it maintain the rifle's accuracy ? The second problem, how bad does it shift from on to off. Now of course we are gonna zero it with the brake on, but we want to register the changes from off to on. We are after all talking a precision rifle. Because we are talking precision rifles, accuracy is our priority.
Here you can see my latest results, with the top group being without a brake and the bottom group being with the Heathen Brake.
Full Disclosure, that flier was all me. I set everything up, ready to shoot, realized I didn't have a camera down at 100 yards, ran down to 100 with my Go Pro, set it up and ran right back to the rifle and started to shoot. I should have given myself 2 minutes to settle in, but didn't. I totally tanked that first shot.
Regardless, you can see the accuracy of the rifle, and that group in the Shoot N C is 5 shots, so is the group above. This not only demonstrates the accuracy of the rifle, but also shows the Heathen Brake does not adversely affect the accuracy. The Shift from off to on is also very manageable. You have to expect a certain amount of movement, you are after all changing the barrel harmonics by adding a brake, so going straight down at 6 O Clock is an easy one to account for. It's a bit over 1" away, no problems at all.
The brakes are marked for caliber on the underside in the flat. This is the "26" model and on my AE, I have the "30" version. Being designed for the specific calibers helps a lot.
Ruger RPR with LRI Barrel
Now the Tikka has a pretty light contour on the barrel, so testing it with a heavier barrel is in order. Originally we had the Heathen on the Ruger RPR with LRI 6.5CM barrel and did the same test. Brake Off and Brake On to observe the shift and changes.
Here were our earlier results with a heavier contoured barrel:
With the brake attached
Increased Accuracy do to less movement in the system. In short we are more consistent because the rifle is not moving around.
This is one of the reasons a review takes me so long, I want to use it in as many ways as possible. Anyone can take something out on a single weekend, try it once and draw a conclusion, what makes Sniper's Hide different is we use it, and by use it, I mean put a lot of rounds under it just like you would. If after 200 rounds it falls apart I would think you'd want to know that. In this case, there were no such worries. The Heathen is tops.
I have to say, I am big fan of the Insite Arms Heathen Brake as well as the company as a whole. These guys are first class people to deal with, their products work as advertised and I could not be happier with the results. They have full service custom shop up there in Canada and are happy to ship across the border.
To order a Heathen Muzzle Brake or find out more, go to:
Insite Arms Website
Phone: 587 217-2957