In order to participate in the GunBroker Member forums, you must be logged in with your account. Click the sign-in button at the top right of the forums page to get connected.

Pros & Cons of the Winchester BOSS?

Fairlane66Fairlane66 Member Posts: 330 ✭✭
edited May 2009 in Ask the Experts
I'm shopping for a Winchester Model 70 Classic Stainless in 338 Win Mag and have a choice between two guns, one with a BOSS and one without. Both are in equally nice condition but, while I don't like the way the BOSS looks on the gun, I'm leaning in that direction due to the BOSS's reputation for taming the 338's recoil. Can anyone tell me how much the BOSS reduces actual or felt 338 Win recoil? Does it do a better job than an aftermarket muzzle brake? Any other thoughts, pro or con, on buying a BOSS-equipped gun or the one with the regular barrel? I know there's a noise penalty with the BOSS, but I already wear a GameEar device to prevent hearing loss. I'd sure appreciate your thoughts before plunking down my hard-earned money. Thanks.


  • nononsensenononsense Member Posts: 10,934 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1

    This is one of those topics that usually degrades into the love/hate relationship to the specifics of muzzle brakes.

    I happen to think that while the aesthetics of the B.O.S.S. may not be the greatest, it's the performance that you buy instead. I have an older Laredo that was originally chambered for the .300 Win. Mag. which I chambered into a .300 RUM. It is amazingly easy to shoot from the bench due to the B.O.S.S.

    I don't know of any drawbacks except that some of the models used a shortened barrel for the B.O.S.S. when compared to a model that didn't use the B.O.S.S. This curtails some of the velocity that otherwise would be available from a longer barrel. It may not be much but it could be construed as a fault.

  • blacarrowblacarrow Member Posts: 424 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Now retired, I was the Chief Firearms test Engineer at Browning Arms R&D Division where the BOSS system for Browning and Winchester was developed.

    I performed virtually all the developmental testing for the BOSS system (over 32,000 rounds)I actually named the system (Ballistic optimizing shooting system.

    I can't recall the exact recoil reduction for the .338, but in general terms the reduction was between 25-30% in all calibers with the BOSS installed. All available muzzle brakes were tested at the time the system was developed, and the BOSS was as good or better than all tested.

    As regards nononsense' comment, the barrel length was NOT reduced in any model to accomodate the BOSS system. No loss of velocity was noted during testing. I chronographed every round I fired.

    Hope this will be of some help.
  • nononsensenononsense Member Posts: 10,934 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1


    I'm not trying to be difficult or disagreeable at all but an explanation should be in order. [:D]

    Please explain the barrel length measurements as noted and advertised by Winchester then and Browning now with regard to the inclusion of the B.O.S.S.

    Thank you!




    That's all well and good but there is a distinctive difference in the barrels. So protracted or not, here is what is currently being advertised on the Browning website and what I measured on my Laredo:

    The standard barrel length (on some models) without the B.O.S.S. is listed as being 26". This is drawn from a product list on the Browning website listing both with and without.

    With the B.O.S.S. included, the barrel length is still listed as being 26".

    By simple measurements, without getting extremely precise or including thread dimensions, my barrel is 26" including the B.O.S.S. The B.O.S.S. measures approximately 4". Doing some simple subtraction, this leaves me with a 22" barrel instead of the advertised 26" per their website and literature.

    Now, advertising folks have been know to manipulate words to their client's advantage before and this is one of those situations which requires some clarification. A 22" barrel is not a 26" barrel no matter which muzzle brake you stick on the front end. This has even been covered in the gun rags which are notoriously devoted to assisting their advertisers.

    My original point then still stands. The only drawback that I would point out is simply the loss of barrel length. No harsh criticism or product bashing at all.

  • blacarrowblacarrow Member Posts: 424 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I don't think it appropriate to get into a protracted discussion. As I indicated, the barrel length was unaltered by the inclusion of the BOSS system, period.
  • Fairlane66Fairlane66 Member Posts: 330 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks for all the feedback, gentlemen. Obviously, this is a subject that generates a great deal of passion. FYI, I'm going with the BOSS-equipped Model 70.
  • RCrosbyRCrosby Member Posts: 3,786 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    For what it's worth, and hopefully in a direction headed away from the controversy, I would only add that when looking at the BOSS system compared to other comparable brakes, a factory original BOSS would be less likely to affect resale value, especially if the rifle someday entered "collector" status, than a similar rifle with an aftermarket brake, no matter how good.
  • I.ShuteI.Shute Member Posts: 658 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    If you don't like the looks or the added total length with the B.O.S.S. attached when hunting, just take it off and screw on the adapter to protect the threads.

    When you shoot off the bench, just screw the thing back on.
    I have a BAR .338 Mag with one, take it off when hunting because it hung up on a tree limb while crawling up a pile of rocks because of that extra 4" of length.
  • JustCJustC Member Posts: 16,055 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    They reduce recoil well,...but IMHO are ignorant loud. I have pards with the boss and I have several high end breaks myself. To my ears, the BOSS is louder than my VAIS, and KDF as well as a design by Bill Truitt.

    A break is a break,..period. Now the adjustment offered by the boss is nothing more than a highbred harmonic dampener. We stopped wasting all the time trying to find the exact setting on the BOSS, and simply took the book suggested setting,..locked it down, and worked a handload until it shot the way we wanted. One load ladder and we were in business.

    They do reduce recoil well....

    I even removed one from a junk bucket at the gunsmith, and had him thread just the break portion onto a remington 700 7mmRUM, and just the break portion worked great at reducing the recoil.
  • perry shooterperry shooter Member Posts: 17,390
    edited November -1
    Hello I think barrel length is looked upon differently by different people THE BATFE considers barrel length from the front of the bolt face to the muzzle you could in theory have a 2 inch barrel and a 24inch muzzle brake and BATFE would call it a 26 inch barrel . Others and I am one of those consider the barrel length from the bolt face to the end of the rifling because past that point the seal is broken for the Gasses produced buy the burning powder to push on the base of the bullet. VELOCITY is a function of pressure and time applied.
Sign In or Register to comment.