Anybody know the benefits of a barrel shroud and wot it actually does?
The only way to silence the sound is by fitting baffles in the shroud,normally about three , for the silencing effect. The benefit of a shroud is more for cosmetic appearances such as giving the rifle a real macho bull barrel look. Another benefit to putting in baffles ahead of the barrel inside the shroud is to fit another silencer at the end of the shroud or better still a muzzle brake. Shrouds were introduced mainly for the American market as silencers threre are banned in most states hence a shroud with baffles in it.
I allways thought that the shroud was conceived in order to allow one to have a free floating barrel, without the risk of a knock to the barrel affecting the accuracy.
I once read a book about silencer design. The author argued that more than one baffle (excluding the one at the end) is a waste, as it does not decrease the sound more than a single baffle. The most important factor, according to him, was that the exit hole be as small as possible without affecting the bullet.
In respect of air rifles the barrel shroud has generally two functions.
First with the 10 metre derived rifles the shroud allows a long sight radius while retaining a shorter barrel e.g RN10/CA100, Anschutz, Steyr.
Second are those shrouds designed to offer sound reduction, e.g AA S400 Xtra, Theoben MFR.
Enterprising individuals such as Guido have converted their barrel shrouds to act as a silencer (Steyr. My Pro-Target's carbon fibre shroud has an integral muzzle brake.
Some shrouds perform no function e.g Dominator, other than to add unwanted weight, hence why the likes of Errol are replacing them with more aesthetically pleasing lightweight alternatives.