In 2007, APS started development on a new muzzle brake design.  Every current muzzle brake that was in current production had been used on APS rifles previous to this point and while many worked well and some very well, they all had some features that were not ideal for the big game hunter.  So Kirby set out and developed his version of what he believed to be the very best muzzle brake for use on a precision big game hunting rifle.  There were many unique features to the muzzle brakes that set them apart from the rest and that have also been copied by many after the release of the Painkiller muzzle brake design.

    The basic Painkiller muzzle brake design is based on a "Slab" style which means the brake is significantly wider then it is tall.  For example, with the small 3 port Painkiller muzzle brake is 1.000" wide but only 0.750" tall.  This allows a larger amount of surface area on the brakes partition walls for the escaping muzzle gas to push against to slow the rearward movement of the rifle yet keeps the appearance of the muzzle brake very compact.   Another unique feature to the Painkiller muzzle brake is the 30 degree back rake angle on the ports.   This produces maximum dwell time of the muzzle gas against the partition walls producing much more aggressive felt recoil control then a traditional 90 degree partition wall design.  

    A back rake on the ports of a muzzle brake often dramatically increases muzzle blast intensity to the shooter.  To counter this, the Painkiller muzzle brake was designed with large, oversized ports.  This reduces the velocity of the escaping muzzle gases to reduce the intensity of the muzzle blast to the shooter.   The longer port length of the Slab style muzzle brake also helps to focus the escaping gas which protects the shooter much better then a conventional partition style muzzle brake or radial port brake design.
    Yet another advantage of the "Slab" design is that it offers the shooter the most protection when shooting the rifles from a prone shooting position.  All partition style muzzle brakes do a decent job at this, especially compared to a radial port muzzle brake design but the wider solid bottom of the Painkiller give the ultimate protection to the shooter resulting in the absolute minimum ground debris disturbance when shooting in a prone position in the field.  They also work equally well at protecting hard finished surfaces such as shooting benches.

    One issue to long range hunting that is very important is for the shooter to be able to spot their own shot impacts.  To do so, muzzle jump has to be addresses to some degree or another.  The Painkiller muzzle brakes are very good at controlling muzzle jump by using three small round ports in the top of the muzzle brake.  These small ports allow a specific amount of escaping muzzle gas to be directed straight upward which controls any upward movement of the muzzle.  From a solid shooting position, that being front bipod and rear bag, the shooter can usually spot their own shots at any range outside 200 yards on light rifles and with heavier rifles its possible to see bullet impacts at ranges as close as 100 yards, even with very large, high intensity magnum chamberings.

    There are three Painkiller muzzle brake sizes, all made out of top quality 416 stainless steel; Small 3 port, Medium 3 port and Large 5 port.   

Small 3 port Painkiller Muzzle Brake
    The small Painkiller has a 9/16"x28 TPI thread and will work on muzzle diameters ranging from 0.585" up to 0.750" in diameter and will work with calibers from .224" up .375" calibers.  This muzzle brake is designed for sporter weight rifles and specifically designed for chamberings with powder capacities in the 65 to 110 grain size which makes it suitable for most modern magnum class chamberings.   While its designed for these larger case capacities, it works extremely well with any case based on even smaller case capacities.  When the Raptor Stalker rifle was released by APS, the Small 3 port Painkiller muzzle brake because THE standard option muzzle brake for that rifle platform.

    The Small Painkiller muzzle brake is a very compact, slam style muzzle brake coming in with only a 2 ounce total weight and adds only one inch to the over all length of the barrel.  Considering the amount of felt recoil reduction this brake produces, its an extremely effective design for such a small package.

Medium 3 port Painkiller Muzzle Brake
        The Medium 3 port Painkiller muzzle brake actually comes in two different versions, Standard and Slim.  Both have 5/8"x28 TPI threads and fit on muzzle diameters from 0.660" up to 0.910" in diameter.  They also work with calibers from 6mm up to .458".  The standard Medium PK is roughly 1.500" wide across the slab and 0.950" thick.   The Slim version is only 1.050" wide across the slab and same height so MUCH more compact so its better designed for such uses as carrying the rifle in a scabbard or just if the owner wants a more compact looking muzzle brake.  The Medium PK is specifically designed to be used with chamberings that have 80 to 130 grain powder capacity but also work extremely well in smaller capacity chamberings.

Left to Right: Defensive Edge .875" diameter muzzle brake, Medium 3 port Painkiller muzzle brake. 
Both muzzle brakes are basically the same thickness but the medium PK brake is nearly twice as
wide which dramatically increases the baring surface area of the muzzle brake.  There is no comparison
between the two as far as recoil reduction, muzzle jump control and protecting the shooter from ground
debris while shooting prone.

The Medium Painkiller Muzzle Brake is the standard muzzle brake for the APS Raptor LRSS rifle and is nearly ideal for use on the Remington Sendero contour barrels.  Recoil reduction is extreme with this muzzle brake and as an added bonus, down range muzzle blast signature is nearly 100% eliminated so down range big game targets are seldom if ever notified of shooters location until its far to late, even in the event of a first shot miss.

The Medium Painkiller weights roughly 4 ounces and adds 1.700" to the length of your barrel so they are still relatively light weight and compact.

Large 5 Port Painkiller Muzzle Brake
The large 5 Port Painkiller muzzle brake is the largest of the APS painkiller muzzle brakes design.  While the 5 Port PK has been used on conventional chambered rifles, its designed specifically to be used with the 408 Cheyenne Tactical based wildcat chamberings such as the 338 Allen Magnum and 375 Allen Magnum.  Those being chamberings with powder capacities in the 150 to 170 grain size.   This muzzle brake has a 3/4"x28 TPI thread and works on calibers from 0.308" to 0.510" and muzzle diameters from 0.800" up to 1.100" in diameter.

The 5 port PK is the only brake in the Painkiller family that does not have small top ports to control muzzle jump.  The reasoning behind this is because the 5 port PK is desinged to be used on the relatively heavy Xtreme Heavy Sporter rifle platform made by APS.  These rifles tip the scales from 16 to 22 pounds.  As such, muzzle jump is controled by rifle weight.  Only felt recoil reduction is needed with this class of rifle chambered in some of the most extreme chamberings made to date.  For this application, the large 5 port PK is IDEAL for this purpose.  The original 5 port PK design was redesigned in 2010 which slightly reduced its max width and made it slightly taller.  This made a more compact design that performed exactly the same as the original design and allowed it to be used on larger diameter muzzles.  The large 5 port Painkiller is THE muzzle brake for the Allen Precision X. H. S. rifle systems.

Painkiller Muzzle Brakes

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