A quality pistol compensator can make you a better shot through recoil management and getting you back on target more quickly. But is now the right time for you to add this accessory to your EDC pistol kit?
We (John Lovell and Paul Perkerson) went to the range with the War Poet MR920 and CR920 to explore how well compensators work to reduce recoil. We also tested a few others factors, such as bullet feed and nighttime/lowlight operation. By the way, the proprietary compensators created by Shadow Systems were designed specifically to fit our War Poet pistols.
What is a Compensator?
A compensator is an accessory that attaches to the muzzle of your pistol and enables you to "shoot flatter" by venting gas upward, which pushes the muzzle down, thus compensating for the muzzle flip--the "kick" caused by the discharge of gasses during firing.
Maybe it's hard to believe that a small accessory to provide such impressive results for recoil management, but the performance at the range speaks for itself.
The Range Results
On both pistols--the full size and the compact--performed remarkably better when using the compensators. This improved performance was especially noticeable for Paul when running rounds through the compact, a size pistol that will naturally produce more recoil because of size and balance.
As you can see from the side profile study in our video, both guns shot much flatter no matter the velocity of the rounds we used.
As far as low-light situations, the compensator did not noticeably increase the muzzle flash or create that blinding effect that we'd heard about from the anecdotes of others.
Compensators and Concealability
The compensators for the War Poet pistols do increase overall gun length by inches, which can be significant when you're appendix carrying--especially when you've already invested in a certain size of holster.
When it comes to upgrading and optimizing life-saving tools, though, it's worth the upgrades and support-gear replacements if it means getting on target faster and staying on target consistently in tactical situations.
Do We Recommend Compensators?
Based on our experience now of shooting many, many rounds through the Shadow Systems compensators, we can see the definite high value in adding these accessories to our EDCs. We would certainly recommend them to experienced shooters who have mastered the basic skills required of proficient fire arms operators.
So if you're experienced with your pistol and are just looking to add a little more edge to your already-proven abilities, we can commend this product to you.
The caveat we need to offer here though is this--don't let tools make you lazy. Don't add a compensator to your pistol to "compensate" for bad form and training.
Ideally, you should be able to pick up a gun--compensator or no compensator--and shoot it with precision, so it's probably wise to drill with and without no matter how experienced you are.
To sum all that up in a bit of a counterintuitive way, get a compensator if you don't need one. If you do need a compensator, don't get one. Rather, spend more time developing the fundamentals of fire arm draw, grip, presentation, etc., so that when you buy a compensator down the road, you're only refining your already-solid skill set.
And of course, whatever guns and accessories you use, you need to know your tools and know how to use them consistently.
Train Hard. Train Smart. Live Free. No Amount of Money or Gear Can Compensate for Poor Training.