Sunday, April 8, 2012

Compensators: Range Toy or Legitimate Tool?

A well-used BattleComp 2.0

Back in August 2011, I was introduced to the guys over at BattleComp while at a shooting course. The thing that immediately stood out about them is that they are shooters. Not only do they have many decades of law enforcement experience, but they love to shoot and train. And they are good at it. I couldn't (and didn't) pass up the opportunity to try a couple of their products.

Now before I go any further, I have always been skeptical about using compensators for anything other than gun games or range toys. I have tried half a dozen different types and shot next to many more compensators and all have shaken my fillings loose to one degree or another. Recently, I was zeroing an optic next to a shooter with a rifle equipped with a SureFire MB556K and it was like being punched in the face every time he pulled the trigger. 

Compensators reduce muzzle climb to varying degrees, but experience has told me that they also act as flash, noise and concussion enhancers. So despite really liking the BattleComp guys, I didn't have high expectations; my bad experience with all other compensators for the AR/M4 platform had left me underwhelmed at best. I expected the BattleComp to tame muzzle rise a bit, but also enhance the flash and produce unacceptable concussion to the sides. In a single man competition, this may be annoying to bystanders. In a tactical entry or team environment, the enhanced blast could render your partner unable to fight.

So it was with more than a little skepticism that I attached a BattleComp 2.0 to my rifle. After several trips to a couple different ranges, both indoors and out, I am impressed. As a compensator, the BatteComp does its job in spades. The muzzle does not climb at all. It simply needs to be shot to be believed. I put a BattleComp equipped rifle in my buddy Dean Caputo's hands. I captured his spontaneous reaction on the video below. 

As for measurable increase in performance, if the shooter has reasonable control of the rifle through stance and grip (and good trigger control) the BattleComp will allow the average trained shooter to keep rounds on an 8-inch target at 7 yards as fast as he can manipulate the trigger. 

This performance does come at some cost. Flash is slightly more than an A2, but not objectionably so. Concussion is also somewhat increased, but it is not terrible. At Pat McNamara's recent class here in Southern California, Centurion Arms' Monty LeClair stood right next to my BattleComp and asked me to light off a few rounds. In the name of science, I was more than happy to do so. He reported it was definitely an increase over an A2, but it wasn't bad at all.

If you get the chance, absolutely try one out and see if the reduced muzzle climb is worth the mild increase in flash and concussion. If you're anything like me, I think you'll be making a phone call to the boys over at BattleComp.

Here are a couple videos to illustrate the point. Have you tried a BattleComp? Let us know in the comments!


  1. I bought a Battlecomp 1.0 based on reviews I read and recomendations from a coworker. My buddy and I, who have near identical LWRC rifles, save the Battlecomp on mine and A2 on his, shot them both back to back and both agreed that there is a noticable difference in muzzle rise with negligible drawbacks. Shortly thereafter, I took a 1 day, 1300 round tactical rifle class and came away thoroughly sold on it. Could not be happier with my purchase! Have been recommending them to everyone since I first fired it!

    1. Awesome! My only concern is I will get spoiled by it and not want to go back to shooting a regular flash hider.

  2. I love my BC 1.0 and my BC 1.5...I believe my only concern is muzzle flash in lowlight, which we saw a bit of in a recent class. It's not much worse in an A2 though, so it's not really that bad.

    The concussion seems to all go upward....away from your teammates and fellows, though I did feel it hit my flashlight arm when firing from a locked hip position with flashlight in the other extended hand. Not a huge concern, still think they do a great job of balance like you said.