In the beginning, comps were large and loud. JP and Benny Cooley produced tank-like compensators that could double as julienne slicers. Standing next to them was akin to being hit by a flash-bang – at least, the training strength units. While they were (and still are) highly effective at reducing both muzzle rise and felt recoil, these units are firmly planted in the competition arena, never to be seen in duty or defensive use. But time and innovation have marched steadily onward. Compensators are becoming more and more pervasive across the shooting marketplace, to include demographics that traditionally scorned these types of muzzle units. A number of innovative designs have emerged in the last decade and the quest is now on for the somewhat mythical “gunfighter’s comp” – a muzzle device that will reduce both rise and recoil without an over-abundance of flash or concussion. A number of companies have attempted to fill this role. One is Suarez International. Their answer to the problem is the Kompressor. SI is known for small-shop innovation, sometimes being several years ahead of larger market trends. They also make products specifically designed to go into harm’s way, decidedly turning away from “gamer gear”.
The first thing we noticed when handling the Kompressor is that it’s built like a tank. Construction is from 4140 ordnance steel, with a black oxide finish. The device is heavier than its size belies, and it’s definitely not meant to go on your boutique ultra-light build. Rockwell hardness is listed at 42-45, if that’s an important consideration for you when choosing a muzzle device. Either way, the finish isn’t particularly frail. The dimensions seem thicker than a lot of other compensators we’ve handled and the whole device gives a general impression of being well over-built. It’s also highly affordable, with a $49.95 price tag direct from SI’s commerce site, www.onesourcetactical.com. If you’re shopping around for devices, without being dead set on a particular brand, the Kompressor’s price point makes it a great option for those on a budget, or looking to give compensators in general a “trial run”.
The whole device is longitudinally fluted, and the porting design is definitely somewhat novel. There is a diamond-shaped cluster of 9 porting holes at the 12 o’clock, at the base of the device. At the tip, there are 6-hole triangular clusters at 11 and 1, as well as similar clusters at 3:30 and 8:30. There are also six small holes around the front rim of the device, to direct a portion of the blast forward. The bottom is left completely closed. The website states that this is to reduce “positional dust signature” – the billowing cloud of dust that you create when shooting an open-bottom muzzle device from the prone. The use of bunches of small holes or slits is gaining traction as a (supposedly) more blast-conscious method of venting muzzle gasses, versus the large side ports of some other designs. The OAL is 2.35 inches, making it viable to pin & weld on your next 14.5” build.
Our test gun for the Kompressor is a SIONICS Weapon Systems Patrol III XL. If you’re not familiar with SIONICS, give them a look. They hold law enforcement contracts literally from coast-to-coast, their customer service rep is also their CEO and I personally swear by their rifles for even the most aggressive mission sets. This particular model was fitted with a 16” mid-length barrel chrome-lined barrel made from 4150 CMV. It’s a medium contour barrel of SIONICS’ own design.
I had a chance to run this comp on a full range with a number of shooters who possessed a wide range of skill levels. Long story short, the Kompressor received universally high praise. Everyone just kept saying the same thing over and over again: “This gun just shoots so flat!”
It should be noted that a quality muzzle device is only part of the puzzle for a smooth, soft-shooting carbine. Everything from gas tube length to gas port diameter to buffer weight and action spring weight all play a role. This carbine is fitted with a Sprinco +10% buffer spring and a Spikes ST-T2 heavy buffer (~4oz).
Having said that, the Kompressor does an outstanding job of dissipating recoil into the shoulder and also substantially reduces muzzle rise. Earlier in the story I talked about blast and flash – the two biggest trade-offs to recoil-reducing muzzles. In the case of the Kompressor, I don’t think the concussion is all that bad. I have shot several muzzle devices with louder, sharper blast than the Kompressor. But if you’re used to an A2 or other flash hider, it’ll take some getting used to.
Specific to flash, I was a little surprised at just how much there was. Perhaps the single notable drawback to this unit, the muzzle flash was plainly visible in broad daylight – even in the middle of summer in the Southwest desert. The Kompressor did not flash with every single shot, and the issue seemed most prominent during rapid fire, but when it did flash it flashed fairly aggressively. For my purposes, it’s an easy trade off. I don’t do a ton of night shooting and this carbine is not a dedicated “night fighter” or low signature setup. If this is a priority concern for you, I would recommend avoiding brakes and comps altogether.
If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a highly affordable comp for a soft-shooting all purpose carbine the Kompressor is an excellent choice. They are well-designed, durable and available through One Source Tactical at the link below. If you’re in the market for an AR muzzle, the Kompressor is a tough bargain to beat.