You bet it does.
does a muzzle brake reduce free recoil or felt recoil?
In my old age I'm getting wimpy when it comes to recoil. I have a 300 WM Model 70 that I built for High Power Long Range (1000 yards) about 30 years ago. Its a good target rifle, I've shot some dern good score with it in my younger days but haven't shot it lately.
They closed a gravel pit on BLM land about two miles from the house where you can get to 2000 yards or more. Berger came out with a pretty high BC 230 grn 30 cal bullets I want to try............but again, the recoil.
So I bought a Badger Ordnance FTE Muzzle brake and had Chad Dixon (LongRifles Inc, Sturgis SD) put it on.
I knew it would reduce the recoil, but I had no idea how much. My 300 WM seems to have the felt recoil of my wifes 243 Win now. It's a pleasure to shoot.
First thing I did was shoot up all my loaded rounds so I could start over.
I wish you were here, I'd let you shoot the rifle with and without the muzzle brake so you can see for your self. Bet you'll put on on your hard kickers.
I'm old, I don't shoot because I have to any more, I shoot because I want to, I shoot for fun. The Badger FTE makes shooting my 300 WM fun again.
A side note: I do most of my gun work myself. But I was in a hurry, and I had to be in Sturgis a couple days anyway so I dropped it off with LongRifles thinking he just might work it in. Turns out he whipped it out in about an hour.
The rifle has a weird front sight set up that I didn't think I would be able to use with the brake, Chad fixed that up no problem. Also whipped out a thread protector for when I have to use the rifle without a brake (Muzzle Brakes are illegal in NRA Matches).
He does excellent work, extremely reasonable prices and the time it took to do the job was unbelievable.
I'd recommend Chad Dixon, LongRifle's Inc. to any one wanting high quality target rifle work.
If you want to ENJOY your hard kicker, go with a muzzle brake. Rifle shooting should be fun, it shouldn't hurt.
I'm impressed with Bardger's FTE, but there are other good ones out there.