New York Firearms Forum banner

1911 compensators legal?

3897 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Noodles
They do not attach to the barrel so are they legal? Muzzle is not threaded either so I would assume that they are. Is this a correct assumption?

1 - 5 of 5 Posts
All pistol compensators are legal. Even the ones that thread to the barrel, that is what most people run. The 1911 bushing style comps offer little more than looks.

I haven't been around for a while James, but this is a question worth answering. To start with, since the thread is actually about legality, yes what you are asking about (clearly a barrel bushing replacement comp) is perfectly legal; though a threaded comp (and therefore one that actually does something) would be legal as well. The pistol section of the AWB counts a threaded barrel as one regulated feature, but it takes two to make it illegal.

So.. about comps in general. Firstly, there are different types of compensators used on 1911s. You've got your barrel bushing replacement comps, your extended and threaded barrel (still using a barrel bushing) comp, and then you've got your threaded cone style comp. And as a side note a slightly different setup for bull barrels.

Now, I'm sure there are those that will say otherwise, but frankly those people are wrong. The type of comp you are referring to does a whole lot of nothing. There just isn't any significant baffle and gas redirection. The physics just aren't there. The breach of the comp has to be big enough to clear the barrel at tilt, so right there you've got a big problem with the whole point of the thing. That coupled with the fact that most bushing comps don't have multiple chambers.. makes them good at looking cool, and costing money, and that's about it. Why does anyone think they work ? Good question, the answer is generally that there is some perceived reduction in recoil because of the added forward weight. So, the heavier a bushing comp is, the more you'll think it's doing something. However, the added weight on the slide is also a liability. The more weight you add to the slide, the slower your cycling becomes and you'd need a lighter recoil spring to account for it using the same loads. It could also be argued that the added weight on the slide could batter the internals more without just the right balance of spring vs loads. Anyway, lets just put it this way , you will NEVER see a bushing comp on any real competition gun set up by a professional.

High quality threaded comps make a world of difference though. You really have to know exactly what you want them for though. Some comps will work better with certain loads, and some might require slide lightening work to be used properly with the intended load. So on and so forth.
See less See more
Oh, also I forgot to note that the typical setup you'll see used in competition or any serious comp'ed shooting is the threaded 'cone' type. Installation of this type of comp on a standard sized barrel will generally require the use of a recoil spring reverse plug system, as well as milling/fitting to a slide.
The conical comps, or even an extended and threaded barrel, are legal on a 1911 so long as it's under 50oz. If you get crazy with a square, straight cut longslide and a tactical light rail frame and an oversized mag well, the compensator may push it over weight. Just something to consider.

As far as the bushing comps go, also, keep in mind that the barrel has to fit down there when the slide recoils. That's not going to be a good enough fit to redirect a useful amount of gas in the right direction, and some barrels may bind when they're in the comp and tilted. And some of those cheap compensators might not fit the slide or barrel close enough to maintain acceptable precision, either.
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.