Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Storm Lake Threaded M&P Barrel and Carver Custom Compensator - A Hands on Double Whammy

I pride myself on doing the research and shopping around so I get the best bang for my buck. Firearms products are no exception, so when I started thinking about compensating my Smith and Wesson M&P9 the first thing I did was hit the internet.

This particular combination stood out to me for a number of reasons. First, its milled to compliment the natural lines of the M&P; obviously form should always follow function when it comes to firearms, but I just can't bring myself to mount a Dawson Precision lego block on the front of my otherwise attractive firearm.  Nothing against Dawson, I know they make great Glock toys, but I just can't do it.
Anyhoo, once the barrel was clean and the loctite was cured, it was time to hit the range for a real test. The results actually amazed me (not an easy thing to do these days). I tried a variety of factory and handloaded ammo, and surprisingly the one that gave me the best groups and greatest reduction in muzzle climb was <gasp> Winchester fucking Whitebox. None of my initial handloads where really geared to a compensator, so I see some serious load development happening in the very near future.
This is the video from the 20 yard line on a head-size steel plate. Given that I'm not Jerry Miculek, this was the fastest I've done this particular drill with a full caliber handgun, and in fact this time rivals some of my .22lr runs. With some load work and a little practice, I hope to cut a few more seconds off.

Good things: Very effective at reducing muzzle climb. I love the aesthetics.

Not so great things: Kinda wish there was a better way to secure the comp than with threadlocker (set screw, cotter pin, i dunno) because cleaning the thing without taking the barrel out of the slide is a royal pain in the ass. Had lots of carbon buildup in the ports as well, but I also screwed up by not oiling the comp before shooting (stupid me, I know. 20/20 hindsight...). Fortunately, i discovered a few drops of bore gel and a few q-tips (plus bunches of patience) do a good job of cleaning up the mess.

Overall: Like it. With a performance boost like this, I can live with a little headache at the cleaning table. Worse things have happened.

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