Having compensators on pistols is not exactly new. Competitors have been porting pistols for a very long time. Go look at any open division pistol in USPSA or IPSC. However, since the Roland Special came out, we have seen an increasing trend in compensators for Glocks. This has led to companies like Archon Mfg to make compensators. As a fan of compensated pistols, I got the opportunity to check out their Glock compensator.
Compensating For Something
For those who have not had the pleasure of shooting a compensated pistol, You are missing out. With a good comp design, the gasses help mitigate muzzle climb and recoil.
Archon Mfg’s take on their compensator is actually different than their competitors. While many other comps do screw onto a threaded barrel, Archon’s comp does not require thread locker or set screws against the threaded barrel. Instead, they split the female threads and have two screws on either side. So all you need to do is screw the comp onto the barrel, then time it to the right position and tighten the two screws so the comp clamps onto the barrel.
One added benefit to a comp on a Glock is that now your weapon lights don’t get coated in muzzle blast residue. Most of the gasses are going out the sides and top. Very little of it is blowing down to the light.
One minor issue is what threaded barrel you use. I am using a Lone Wolf Gen5 Glock 19 threaded barrel. Some threaded barrels have different lengths.
The gap between the Glock Comp and your slide will vary due to variations in barrel length on aftermarket barrels.
This is as close as I could get the Archon comp onto the G19X with the LW barrel. Notice there is a gap and the rounded corners of the Gen 5 disrupt the look. If I used a Gen4 or lower Gen Glock, the aesthetics where the slide meets the comp would look better.
Archon Comp, It’s Not Just For Glocks
While their compensator was designed for the Glock pistol, it is not limited to just the Glocks. You can mount this compensator onto any pistol with a threaded barrel.
Beretta 92A1 with Archon Mfg Comp
Sig Sauer P938 with Archon Mfg Comp
Does It Actually Do Anything?
So I am a bit spoiled as my benchmark for compensated pistols is my STI Steel Master race gun. It is the flattest and softest shooting 9mm handgun I own or have ever shot. So how does the Archon Mfg compensator compare? It is not in the same league. Is the disparity just from the compensator design? I don’t think so. The STI Steel Master is a purpose-built race gun. It was designed to run compensated. Adding a compensator to a pistol does not mean it is a race gun now. Just like adding a spoiler to a car does not make it a race car. So does the Archon comp work? Yes. There is an appreciable difference with the comp than without.
Take a look at the video below. It is a side by side comparison of the Glock 19X with and without the compensator. The left side has the Archon comp and the right side does not. Both shots you can see there is still muzzle climb. However, pay close attention to the position of the 19X after the recoil. The gun is physically higher and I have to bring the gun back down on target. With the compensator, the 19X does not jump as high and is quicker to bring back on target for the next shot.
The difference is very noticeable on smaller guns like my Sig P938. I think it is because the barrel is so much shorter and there are more gasses to make the comp work better. Just like a spoiler, you need more air/gas for them to be effective. In open division pistols, shooters typically load hotter rounds just so there is more gas to act on their compensators.
No, it is not. But it is pretty good. The best part is their split design. It was very easy to swap between guns and since there is no set screw, the threaded barrels are not messed up. The overall length of the Archon compensator is a bit long.
Precision machined from 7075 Billet Aluminum
Type III Hardcoat AnAnodizedlack
Weight: 0.9 oz.
Dimensions: W: 1.000″ L: 1.375″ H: .800″
Mounting it onto a Glock 19 gives the overall length similar to a Glock 34. I would have preferred a Glock 17 profile as holsters would be easier to find. Luckily I have my holster for my Glock 35 and this fits perfectly.
One idea I had would be to alter their design so that the compensator does not need a threaded barrel. They could get a batch of long barrels and mill a slot on either side. Similar to the KAC Hush Puppy Beretta barrel. Reposition the set screws to line up with those slots and now you have a compensator/barrel set up for states that ban threaded barrels on handguns.
The Glock 19X has received a lot of hate from the concealed carry community who wanted a Glock 17 slide on a Glock 19 frame.
My guess is that they may have their wish later on, but for now, the 19X is a problem solver for a different customer.
Daniel Shaw of GunMag Warehouse discuss with Jeremy Strafford of Guns & Ammo Magazine about this hate. The focus of the conversation is really about who this gun was design for.
For starters there isn’t any problem with the 19X according to Jeremy. (who is also an LE officer) Even though this gun is open to the public market. This gun actually caters to those that carry a pistol on a daily basis as part of a job description like police or military.
The hate coming from the internet are people that don’t fully understand its purpose. This 19X was not design to be a concealed carry but for open carry.
There is a reason why this modular platform (19X) was built with a full size hand grip and a shortened barrel/slide.
They needed the 17 round extra capacity.
The shorten barrel is due to the environment that are used in confine spaces. Where you need to pull it out from your armor.
Having a full size barrel on it can be bulky.
(From personal experience while back in the post 9-11 days, I had to pull air marshall duty. They didn’t have the smaller Sig for me so they gave me a Beretta 92FS. Thats right with the full barrel in the middle of my back. If I had to pull it out quickly, no way, not in record time.)
Sorry back to the story, the 19X is well suited if you’re in an armored vehicle, patrol car, amphibious assault v and helicopter.
With the shortened barrel, you’re not losing much velocity.
Another complaint on the internet is that there isn’t an external safety. There isn’t much to say, most experienced shooters in the real-world of LE and military will attest their finger is the safety, especially for a striker-fire pistol.
Anyways, this is a very opinionated subject, what do you all think? Let us know below.
Sources: Daniel Shaw of GunMag.com, Jeremy Strafford of Guns&Ammo