Pistol compensators are some of the most popular Glock accessories purchased by pistol owners. Every pistol shooter wants to improve accuracy and speed. This is especially true of shooters who are active in competitive shooting. Two of the factors in pistol shooting that affect the speed of target re-acquisition are muzzle rise and felt recoil. A properly installed and designed compensator can help reduce or eliminate both of these problems.
A compensator works by redirecting a portion of the expanding gases through openings in the barrel or a device attached to the barrel threads to compensate for the natural muzzle flip and recoil that occurs. Various designs are incorporated to perform this function. Glock compensators can be integrated into the pistol barrel or threaded barrels may be added to your Glock pistol for mounting a compensator.
Like any aftermarket accessory, compensators come in different styles with different designs and at different levels of quality. My goal in this article is to look at what I consider to be the best Glock compensators on the market in various styles and designs.
What I Look for in a Glock Compensator
There are several factors that I consider essential in any pistol compensator. These represent the criteria that I used when considering the Glock compensators that went into making this list. You should remember that the best Glock compensator for you is the one that fits your needs and fulfills your expectations.
I always consider cost when evaluating products. I have learned over time that cost is not always a good predictor of quality or function. In my opinion, cost should be considered only as it relates to function, reliability, and quality. You may find that the best Glock compensator for your use is not necessarily the most expensive.
Ease of Use
No matter what kind of shooting you anticipate, the addition of a compensator should not materially affect your use of your pistol. If you routinely concealed carry your Glock, the compensator you choose should not inhibit your ability to carry your firearm concealed. Competitive shooters have different needs and should anticipate finding a compensator for their Glock that performs best during competition.
It may sound redundant, but you want your Glock compensator to perform to your expectations. You must also be realistic in those expectations. No compensator will eliminate all muzzle flip nor will they completely reduce recoil. However, realistic expectations can be met with the proper compensator selection.
If you choose a compensator that attaches to the end of the barrel of your Glock, there are weight considerations to be made. Adding anything to the forward end of your Glock pistol will change the balance of the firearm and the way it handles and shoots. This can be an issue with some heavier and bulkier compensators meant for threaded barrels.
My Choices for the Best Glock Compensators
The Glock compensators that I have chosen for this list are, in my opinion, the best Glock compensators on the market in the category to which they are assigned. In some cases, I may choose a runner-up when there is so little difference between the two compensators that either one is a good choice. I hope that the information in this list helps guide you in your selection of a Glock compensator.
Best Overall Glock Compensator for Threaded Barrels – Agency Arms 417 Compensator
The 417 compensator from Agency Arms is my pick as the best overall value for a Glock compensator. Agency Arms has been in business since 2015. The owners of Agency Arms are shooters and operators who value functionality over visual appeal. Personally, I would much rather have a piece of equipment that I can count on to operate the way I need it to rather than for it to look good on my gun.
The Agency Arms 417 Glock compensator is available for many different Glock models and generations. It should be noted that this compensator will not work with some conversion barrels. Be sure to check the Agency Arms website to ensure that your selected compensator will work with your barrel. Agency Arms focuses on function but they don’t neglect features that shooters want in a compensator.
Many of the features of the Agency Arms 417 muzzle device relate to functionality to ensure that this compensator gives you the best possible performance for a competitively priced accessory. Even with a focus on function, this compensator is visually impressive.
Glock Pistol Compatibility
You can fit an Agency Arms 417 compensator to almost any model of Glock pistol with a threaded barrel. The 417 compensator is available for Gen 3, Gen 4, and Gen 5 Glocks as well as the Glock 43 line of semi-automatic pistols.
If your Glock pistol is equipped with a threaded barrel that is compatible with the 417 compensators and has a protrusion of at least 0.695 inches, the installation of the 417 compensator is straightforward. Each compensator comes with a vial of thread locker for the installation.
The 417 compensators from Agency Arms can be purchased in two styles. You can specify a model with one or two vertical ports. Each Agency Arms device also has two side venting ports. You may need to tune the recoil system on your Glock to ensure the best performance. These compensators will function well with factory loads. The best performance is usually attained with hotter loads.
Sights are often an issue with aftermarket compensators. Agency Arms addresses this issue by matching a sight slot into the compensator body. By moving the front sight to the compensator, you can gain a small additional sight radius for your Glock pistol.
The Pros and Cons of the Agency Arms 417 Glock Compensator
- Smaller than some other compensators. The Agency Arms 417 is better for concealed carry options.
- You can move your existing front sight to the compensator
- Functions well with hotter loads
- Available with one or two ports to allow you to customize your pistol
- Doesn’t work with many conversion barrels. Be sure to check the Agency Arms website for compatibility with aftermarket conversion barrels
- Depending on the ammo load you shoot, some tweaking of the recoil system may be required to ensure consistent operation
My Thoughts About the Agency Arms 417 Glock Compensator
Several factors influenced my decision to put this compensator as the best overall choice for Glock pistols. It is available to fit a wide range of Glock model pistols. It is designed to use a threaded barrel and is not a clamp-on style. There is a model that works with the Glock 43 which is my preferred concealed carry firearm.
Best Compensator for Concealed Carry – Primary Machine Stealth Comp
If your everyday concealed carry pistol is a Glock and you want to add a compensator to your pistol, the Primary Machine Stealth Comp is a great choice. Concealed carry holsters are often not too forgiving about barrel extensions or add-on aftermarket accessories. The Stealth Comp addresses these issues with its low-profile design that mimics the profile of the Glock slide.
Primary Machine is a well-thought-of manufacturer and designer of aftermarket pistol and rifle products. This single-port design compensator fits so well with the typical Glock slide profile that many people will be unaware that you have a compensator installed. Primary Machine doesn’t just stop with the aesthetics. A well-rounded set of features accompanies each of their products.
Primary Machines puts as much thought and care into the features list as they do the functionality and performance of their compensators. Each device from Primary Machine has all the features anyone could ask for in a pistol compensator.
Compatibility with your Glock pistol is not an issue with a Primary Machine compensator. Any double-stack Glock 9mm pistol with accept the Primary Machine Stealth Comp. If you need a compensator for your Glock 43, Primary Machine’s Stealth Comp M13.5x1LH compensator will work.
The Stealth Comp will work with any open-ended holster designed for your Glock pistol. Even IWB concealed carry holsters can work comfortably with this compensator.
Installation of the Stealth Comp is quick and easy if your Glock already has a standard threaded barrel with 1/2×28 threads. This compensator does require set screws to maintain the proper spacing. The set screws are on the underside of the compensator where they are out of sight.
Manufacturing and Materials
Primary Machine uses 7075 T6 billet aluminum in the manufacturing of the Stealth Comp. Each compensator is finished with Mil-Spec III hard anodized coating. In addition, you can order your Primary Machine Stealth Comp in one of nineteen different colors. This almost ensures that you will have a one-of-a-kind look to your favorite Glock pistol.
All Stealth Comp muzzle devices are finished with tapered edges to reduce the chance of snags or other hindrances to smooth holstering and re-holstering of your pistol. The tapered edges also add to the compact size of this compensator making it less intrusive when carrying your firearm concealed.
The Pros and Cons of the Primary Machine Stealth Comp
- Widest variety of color choices we have found
- Short overall length is an excellent choice for concealed carry applications
- Works well without having to tweak recoil springs to accommodate different loads
- High-quality machining
- The manufacturer recommends using thread lock material during installation which can make removing the compensator more difficult in the future
My Thoughts on the Primary Machine Stealth Comp
The slightly shorter length of this compensator and its overall profile make this a great choice for a concealed carry Glock pistol. However, if you are like me and prefer a Glock 43, you may be out of luck. If you are a fashionista, this is definitely the compensator for you. With 19 different color options, you can dress up your Glock for any occasion.
Most Unique Glock Compensator – Tyrant Designs T-Comp Compensator
Competition in the firearms accessory business is a huge generator of innovative design. Tyrant Designs has taken that whole Glock compensator concept to new levels of out-of-the-box thinking with the Tyrant Designs T-Comp. This design is a fresh concept in compensator design and manufacturing.
Most compensators depend on one or more set screws to lock the compensator in place on the pistol. The overall look of the Tyrant T-Comp device is as unique as its mounting system. This compensator will definitely give your Glock a different look along with a host of great features.
You may forget about the features when you first look at the Tyrant Designs T-Comp muzzle device. However, you shouldn’t neglect the features that come standard with the T-Comp unit.
No Set Screws and No Thread Lock Material
Several other compensators omit the need for set screws, but very few omit the need for a thread locker to secure the compensator to the barrel threads. The Tyrant Designs T-Comp eliminates both with its unique mounting system. In effect, the two-piece design locks the body of the compensator to the slide.
Dual Expansion Chambers
The dual chambers of the T-Comp redirect expanding gases upward to reduce and offset muzzle rise. As the gas expands and cools leaving the compensator, it also reduces recoil. If you reduce muzzle rise and lessen sensed recoil.
Multiple Color Options
The Tyrant Designs T-Comp compensator comes in multiple color options. You can specify black/black, black/gold, black/nickel, or gold/black. The first color in each combination is the color of the outer portion of the compensator.
Reliability and Compatibility
The operation of the T-Comp with almost any ammo type is very good. Under most circumstances, no adjustments to the recoil spring are required for consistent operations. Unfortunately, the T-Comp is compatible with only Gen 3 through Gen 5 Glock models.
The Pros and Cons of the Tyrant Designs T-Comp Compensator
- Installation is accomplished without set screws or thread locking materials
- Operates with most factory ammo loads with no other tweaking or adjustments
- Unique design and color options provide user customization
- Lighter weight than most other compensators
- Available for Gen3, Gen4, and Gen5 Glock Models
My Thoughts on the Tyrant Designs T-Comp Muzzle Device
First things first. This is a great-looking compensator. Added to a customized Glock pistol and you can build an eye-catching piece of equipment. I know. I am not supposed to be putting visual appeal over functionality. But, when functionality is of no question then you can afford to put visual appeal on the list. This is hands down a great compensator.
The Ultimate Glock Compensator System – Radian Afterburner Glock Compensators
If you want the ultimate in compensator systems for your Glock pistol, the Radian Afterburner system gives you a smaller size, lighter muzzle weight, and less bulk added to your Glock pistol. This system is a complete kit that can transform your Glock and give you better muzzle control and less felt recoil.
This kit from Radian offers a new dimension in Glock pistol add-ons to reduce recoil and control muzzle rise. Your Glock usually remains compatible with all holster systems with the Afterburner muzzle system installed.
Radian produces some of the finest barrels and accessories for pistols and rifles you can buy. The features they include with their products are as impressive as the functionality they provide.
Recoil and Muzzle Rise Reduction
Felt recoil is often reduced by as much as 44 percent when a Radian Afterburner system is installed on your Glock pistol when using 115-grain ammo. Muzzle climb is reduced a comparable amount making target re-acquisition quicker and more accurate.
The Afterburner compensation system is only .47 inches long. This very small footprint reduces overall weight making less of an impact on balance. In addition, the shorter length keeps your pistol compatible with most holsters.
INTRA-LOK Mounting System
Radian has designed a mounting system using taper blocks, a tapered locking pin, and an angled V-groove on the barrel to create a system that provides secure and accurate mounting.
The Radian RAMJET Barrel
Each Radian compensator kit includes a Radian RAMJET barrel. These are match-grade barrels that, in many cases, are an upgrade to your Glock factory barrel. Each barrel is fluted and features a gas sealing chamber and a loaded chamber indicator.
The Pros and Cons of the Radian Afterburner Micro Compensator System
- The unique micro design eliminates bulk and weight on the muzzle of your pistol
- The INTRA-LOK mounting system eliminates threading, set screws and thread lock materials
- Highly efficient design for reducing recoil up to 44 percent when firing 115-grain ammo
- Sleek design and micro size keep your Glock pistol compatible with almost all holster systems
- More expensive than other compensator options
- Requires using the Radian RAMJET barrel
My Thoughts on the Radian Afterburner Compensator System
If your Glock doesn’t already have a threaded barrel that is required by most other compensator systems, you must buy a barrel anyway. In that sense, purchasing the entire kit from Radian makes sense. The micro design is another huge plus and makes the Radian Afterburner kit the ultimate choice in my book.
Getting Control of your Glock Pistol – Choose the Right Compensator
If you are a serious shooter that wants to get the most from your Glock pistol and improve your own shooting skills, at some point a compensator is going to be on your radar. There are many variants on the market. The choices on my list are just a few but represent what I consider to be the best of the best. I hope this information helps you make your decision.