What Are Compensators? Why Do They Help? What Handgun Models Can Be Fitted With Them?
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Thread: What Are Compensators? Why Do They Help? What Handgun Models Can Be Fitted With Them?

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    Question What Are Compensators? Why Do They Help? What Handgun Models Can Be Fitted With Them?

    I saw in a movie where the hero's father re-tooled his 1911's (Not sure which manufacturer) with "Compensators" and Special Sights and New Custom Grips W/ Extensions.
    Now I am assuming these were 45 ACP 1911's They were definitely the 5" Tactical Ones and looked slimmer than a 1911 should..
    (This was a movie though and not always based in reality)

    So back to the questions at hand.

    1) I assume that one of these would some how effect recoil and barrel lift when firing and also cut down the muzzle flash?

    2) In the movie he said it made an already accurate gun into a "Nail Driver", So I am again assuming it would improve accuracy?

    3) The example in the movie was a 1911, But what other kinds of handguns can be outfitted with one of these?

    4) What would I have to "Do" to my "Girl" to install one, and would it be a "Permanent" Surgical Procedure?

    5) Would I be wrong if I assumed there were several different kinds?

    6) Also would the extra weight and barrel length change the "Use" of the gun in some way?

    Obviously I wouldn't wanna screw up a perfectly good firearm by adding a bunch of stuff that isn't necessary or in some way an improvement.
    I mean obviously it would make it harder to conceal right? and as a EDC that would be a pain in the A$$ (I Think)

    Ok not all of that was in the form of an actual question, I added some thoughts I had into the questions while I was writing this post and I tried to break it up like Harry said for better readability...
    Last edited by kaiged1; 02-24-2012 at 03:10 AM.
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    A compensator is a device that redirects some of the expanding gasses (that push the bullet out of the barrel) out of "vents" on top of the barrel. This venting pushes the barrel down (following newtons 3rd law), and helps reduce muzzle rise and some of the recoil/ kick.

    They do help, all of the ones I am aware of are permanent. Maybe someone makes a screw-on model for threaded barrels. Ussually it is just holes drilled into a barrel, or a custom end on a barrel. Autos require modification of the slide over the vents in the barrel.

    Check out this site. Mag-na-port International--The Mag-na-port Process: Handgun Porting
    Last edited by GunsandNoses; 02-24-2012 at 08:07 AM.

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    The 1911 is probably the easiest semi-auto to put a compensator on, they have them available as direct replacements for the front bushing. The coolest looking ones IMO seem to be the full profile compensators that make a normal 1911 look like a monster of a weapon in full length. Here's a picture of a Colt i like with one on it just as an example.

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    kaiged1 if you go to the 1911 section the enhancement page page 31 post 303 you will see VTB_Gunner's beauty. It has a barrel bushing comp with other enhancments.
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    They work better with large charges of slower burning powders vs light charges of fast burning powders. You need the extra gas to make it work well.

    Folks make comps that simply replace the bushing on the 1911. I assume they work OK. Many are machined as part of the barrel and are permanent, like this one on my SA .38 Super, and some that look just like it are semi-permanent/permanent (depending on the strength of the Lock-Tite) because they thread on the barrel.

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    I've never used a compensator but from reading posts on other forums I've learned something about muzzle flash.
    A good part of the flash will be directed upward, right behind your front sight. Could possibly affect your vision in a nighttime shooting.
    Obviously, how much flash depends on the caliber and the type of powder being used. The cautions I've read seem to center mostly on .357 magnum (which usually puts out a big fireball anyway.)
    Just another thing to factor into your thinking.
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    I agree with GN. Also, the Magnaport process is something else. It's a little more expensive than a bushing compensator. But it keeps the original lines of the firearm and works very well indeed. It can be used on rifles, shotguns, pistols, and revolvers. In fact, S&W has a couple of UL .38 snubbies available that come from the factory with the Magnaport porting.

    Having said that, a bushing compensator is a good thing as well. They generally can be had for less than $100, and they work pretty well. They are also easy to install or take off. I used to have one on a Safari Arms 1911 I used to own, and it worked quite well. I think I picked it up from DPMS for $50 when they were still working with 1911s. Here a few current reasonable ones from reputable companies....

    1911 Government Style Bushing Replacement Compensators

    Multi-Comp Bushing Compensator | Full-Size | Blue-Wilson Combat

    1911 Full Size Bushing Compensator Blue New Replace Bushing Colt, Kimber, Clones | eBay
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    As Lance said, there is no reduction in muzzle flash, but with a bushing compensator on a 1911, the flash is in front of the sight. I don't notice it during the day, haven't shot mine at night...I don't think there would be that much difference.
    To answer your questions:
    1) Recoil & muzzle flip - I also have a recoil reducing guide rod, buy I can say the combination of comp & rod makes my .45 shoot like a 9mm.
    2) A compensator will do nothing to improve accuracy(unless you consider follow up shots)...and a PT1911 is already a tack driver.
    3) You can find compensators for MANY different weapons, handguns and rifles as well.
    4) My bushing comp takes a few seconds to switch back to my original bushing. No changes are required to the gun itself - would be different with other types of handguns.
    5) There's a bunch of them available - Google it.
    6) I can't see carrying a 1911 with a comp unless it's a commander, my govt model is pretty long with the comp on(but you can always switch to standard bushing to carry).
    Pics of mine here:https://www.taurusarmed.net/forums/ta...s-here-31.html

    Edit: Just checked RevolverFan's links - mine is the EFK Fire Dragon in his first link. (VERY happy with it)
    Last edited by VTB_Gunner; 02-24-2012 at 04:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VTB_Gunner View Post
    As Lance said, there is no reduction in muzzle flash, but with a bushing compensator on a 1911, the flash is in front of the sight. I don't notice it during the day, haven't shot mine at night...I don't think there would be that much difference.
    To answer your questions:
    1) Recoil & muzzle flip - I also have a recoil reducing guide rod, buy I can say the combination of comp & rod makes my .45 shoot like a 9mm.
    2) A compensator will do nothing to improve accuracy(unless you consider follow up shots)...and a PT1911 is already a tack driver.
    3) You can find compensators for MANY different weapons, handguns and rifles as well.
    4) My bushing comp takes a few seconds to switch back to my original bushing. No changes are required to the gun itself - would be different with other types of handguns.
    5) There's a bunch of them available - Google it.
    6) I can't see carrying a 1911 with a comp unless it's a commander, my govt model is pretty long with the comp on(but you can always switch to standard bushing to carry).
    Pics of mine here:https://www.taurusarmed.net/forums/ta...s-here-31.html

    Edit: Just checked RevolverFan's links - mine is the EFK Fire Dragon in his first link. (VERY happy with it)

    Wow I really like yours man its better than the one I saw in the movie, by a long shot...

    Now would those enhancements work on an Officers Model with a 3.5" barrel like the Springfield Micro 1911 Officers model I been swooning over?Name:  Springfield 1911 Micro Compact Duo-Tone.jpg
Views: 24236
Size:  222.0 KB < Note I have been looking at the Stainless Matte "Grey" finish but this Duo Tone one looks even better IMO.. I would wanna put the finger grooves and extend the hammer and a few other things but not sure if a "Compensator" would be a good addition or not since it will be a carry weapon... and I guess the upwards muzzle flash from the comp would make a difference at night or inside if I had to fire it in those scenarios..

    Could I just "Port" the barrel instead of using a compensator?
    "Risk-taking is the critical element for improving our standard of living." Steve Forbes

    "A single conversation across a table with a wise man is worth a month's study of books." Chinese Proverb


    "The wheel may be spinning but the hamster is dead.." Saying about the government

    "Everything should wear stars and bars" "It's my right to wave whatever flag I want" quote by Unknown







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    Porting the barrel would be the same effect as a compensator - just shorter.
    Another thing to be aware of: those little porting vents will collect the same crud as your barrel and will have to be cleaned just as diligently.
    Always expect stupidity. You'll rarely be disappointed.

 

 
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