Accessory Review: TSD Kompressor

I was out on the range last week talking with other shooters and the subject of flash suppressors and compensators came up. I was pretty shocked to find out a fair number of the shooters didn’t know the difference between the two. Yea you guys are more familiar with this subject than the average shooter but I was pretty shocked to hear that first “what’s the difference they all work pretty well”.

Ok everyone for those that don’t know the difference let’s cover that subject before going on to the new TSD Kompressor.

Basically a flash suppressor is just what it says. It suppresses the amount of flash created by the escaping gases/flame from the muzzle of a rifle barrel. This serves the purpose of hiding the shooter from an opposing threat. These are usually mounted on military type rifles.

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Smith Vortex flash suppressor

A compensator usually doesn’t help much with flash suppression but does serve the purpose of reduction of muzzle rise when the rifle is fired. A good compensator will allow the shooter to keep the rifle on or near the original point of aim. The report is also a good deal louder than a flash suppressor.

The question is which is more important to the shooter. Do you want flash suppression or less muzzle rise and movement making follow up shots faster and on target? Most shooters it seems automatically use a flash suppressor. Believe me the compensator is well worth consideration.

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For many years I’ve used the Smith Vortex flash suppressor. Before I retired from police service I carried my AR. When working a twelve-hour night shift having flash suppression was much more of a priority than muzzle control. The shooters who are involved in competition shooting the obvious choice would be a “comp” so they can shoot as quickly and accurately as possible. I’ll also use my Tavor as my primary carbine now. All testing was done with the Tavor using 62 grn green tip penetrator.

One last consideration is the difference in report between the two types. My Tavor with the Vortex is nowhere near as loud as when mounted with a comp. I remember the first time I fired an AR with a comp on it. I thought someone detonated a stick of dynamite! It was so loud it actually hurt. Cheapo hearing protection didn’t make much difference. I could actually feel the blast on my face as well.

To sum it up the need dictates, which type is most effective for the individual user. Now lets talk about the Kompressor.

The Kompressor is a new product that was released a short time ago by TSD Combat Systems. The retail website is One Source Tactical. The cost is $129.

As with all compensators quality hearing protection is a must. There’s no getting around it they are pretty loud. I can say the Kompressor is quieter than most I’ve used. If you want to compare decibel levels between muzzle devices download a decibel meter for your smartphone. These are free downloads if any of you have a desire or need for a meter. They can be downloaded on Google Play. In the case of the Kompressor the decibel level registered 95 Db average after firing 10 rounds.That decibel level is equal to the sound of a jackhammer at 50 feet.

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As you can see from the photos the Kompressor has similar features to several other comps. I imagine it’s because it’s a proven design feature. The Kompressor uses diamond cuts rather than horizontal lines or a good number of small holes drilled throughout the comp. The bottom of the Kompressor has no diamond cuts or other openings. This feature serves two purposes. The first is with no bottom openings dust isn’t kicked up when firing. Dust being kicked up also gives away a shooters position. The other plus is there is no upward recoil pulse, which would defeat the purpose of the comp. The diamond cuts are placed on the top as well as the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock position. The front of the Kompressor has six small holes.

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Stats:

17.4 stainless steel
Rockwell hardness 42-45
Melonite surface coating
Multiple diamond vents

This video will give you an idea how effective the Kompressor is in controlling muzzle climb.

Conclusions:

I really like using the Kompressor rather than the Vortex. My concerns these days are faster follow up shots with greater accuracy. My first competition proved the Kompressor works and works well. My time was better and I was able to shoot smaller groups.

I’ve also gotten used to the increased muzzle blast to the point I pay no attention to it. The Kompressor also has less blast than most comps I’ve tried. The company claims the Kompressor also reduces muzzle flash. I agree it helps with muzzle flash. But it’s not a flash suppressor. My feeling is it does an excellent job doing what it’s designed for. Muzzle climb is very minimal making double taps much easier.

It’s really very simple the Kompressor works better than 99% of the ones I’ve tried and I’ll be leaving it on my Tavor.

The Kompressor is also available for the Sig 556, AK, Steyr AUG, AR15 and the Tavor.

One Source Tactical

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Phil White

Retired police officer with 30 years of service. Firearms instructor and SRU team member. I still instruct with local agencies. My daily carry pistol is the tried and true 1911. I’m the Associate Editor and moderator at TFB. I really enjoy answering readers questions and comments. We can all learn from each other about our favorite hobby!


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  • btmmiller

    Battlecomp 7.0

  • Ares4991

    95dB seems unrealistic for any 5.56 rifle without a suppressor, doesn’t it? If I recall correctly, that would mean it’s safe to forgo hearing protection at that sound level.

    Funny enough, most smartphone apps have an upper limit of 95dB. Coincidence? Nope, smartphones just aren’t built to be dB-meters as well. I suggest you use proper equipment next time.

    • A .308 produces about 166dB at the muzzle and about 156dB at the shooters ear, so 95dB from a 5.56 sounds completely unreasonable.

      • Ian

        Most cartridges are around 165dB, actually, if they’re supersonic. I believe I’ve seen some slower .45 rounds going a little quieter than that, but not by much.

        • Well sounds like we need to just scratch that number out. Here I thought it might work.

          • Cymond

            Yup, definitely not 95 dB. This caught my attention, too. A typical 22lr rifle meters in the 140s decibel range, with unsuppressed 5.56s typically registering 160s range.

    • That’s all I had at the time. This meter went up to 150. You may very well be correct about the phones ability to detect sounds that loud.

      • aroundlsu

        Standard consumer sound meters can’t capture the very fast sharp peak of a gunshot. You need a specialized device that can analyze sounds very quickly.

    • I have edited that part of the review. I thank the readers for passing along that information. As I said at the start of the article our readers have more knowledge than average .
      We all learn from each other don’t we?

    • Mack

      85 dB is the point where you need hearing protection if the 85dB is longer the X amount of time, (i had to do a presentation on it for OSHA but i forgot the exact time) after each 5dB increase after 85 (90,95, ect.) the time you can be around it is cut drastically by quite a bit. A 12 ga is right around the 165 mark so 95db from a unsuppressed ar shooting supersonic projectiles is bordering on little hard to believe. Pain begins around 125 but you can get hearing loss around 90-95dB sustained.

      • Aaron E

        Absolutely correct Mack. I had to include a dB portion in some training I did on distractionary devices, which covered OSHA standards.

        OSHA recommends against workers being exposed to 85 dB over an 8-hour work period. Sound grows exponentially, however, so every 3 dB of increase actually halves the time of exposure limits (e.g. – 101 dB would have an OSHA safe rating for only about 15 minutes). Permanent hearing damage can occur even at very short durations when noise reaches around 185 dB. Most high-powered firearms (and distraction devices btw) find themselves in the range of around 160-175 dB.

        The loudest “noise” or “sound wave” is around 194 dB, although recordings of atomic bomb explosions reached 210 dB but were reclassifed as “pressure” waves and not true “noise” or “sound” waves.

        • MrSatyre

          That’s very interesting. I wonder if 194 db is the peak where sound becomes pressure?

      • Gotcha–I can say it does hurt so it has to be at least 165

  • John Daniels

    “This serves the purpose of hiding the shooter from an opposing threat.”

    And possibly much more important, not blinding the shooter during low-light or no-light situations.

  • fakefrank0002

    Great product video! Seems like someone was really into action movies in the 80’s.

  • iksnilol

    I dont like compensators and muzzle brakes, hurts your ears for the same thing that a good recoil pad and suppressor do (I have sensitive ears).

    • They do increase sound no doubt about it. I tell what you operate an AR with a capped barrel and it blows a ball of fire that pretty impressive.
      The Smith Vortex is one that actually sends the loudest noise forward.

      • iksnilol

        I dont mind the ones who send the sound forward since I understand suppressors are not easy to get in the US (though you have quieter suppressors than us). But I absolutely despise the ones who make the gun louder. I you have ever heard one of those Africa (.375 H&H) guns with a muzzle brake you will know what I am talking about.

  • Zapp Brannigan

    I think ‘flash suppressor’ is a misnomer for what that thing at the end of a rifle barrel is. I thought it was there to protect the rifling at the end of the barrel from military conscripts who aren’t thoughtful enough to keep it from becoming damaged as damaging the last bit of rifling in a barrel will degrade accuracy.

  • JasonM

    Phil- fine overview except for everything written about sound levels. Phones, radio shack sound meters, etc can’t come anywhere close to measuring the impulse sound of a gunshot. and any mention of 95dB and a rifle just comes off as foolish. Stand 50 feet away from your jackhammer with no ear pro. Let us know how loud that seems. Then shoot your rifle with comp also without ear pro and let us know which seems louder.

    For comparison, an AR with a top-quality suppressor will meter (with a proper meter) 130-135 dB (depends on barrel length, ammo, weather, etc).

    One of the quietest suppressed AR platforms (suppressed 300BLK) with SUBSONIC ammo will still meter around 125+ dB. This is perceived by our ears as over 5 times louder than your jackhammer.

    You also say that “the Kompressor works better than 99% of the ones you’ve tried”… what others have you tried? this looks like a knockoff Battlecomp. How is this different than that, the spikes, the griffin, or even the KAC triple tap?

  • it matters

    Hate to be the English nanny, but yea isn’t yeah. It’s yay!

  • MattCFII

    The reason for the 95 db readings, which others have pointed out are way too low, is that most smartphone mics don’t measure above 90-100 db. I too looked at getting one of those apps to measure my new suppressor but when I read more closely I saw that due to the hardware, my phone and most others don’t measure high decibels.

    • I have to agree based on the previous comments as well as yours. That’s good to know so I won’t use it again for that purpose.

  • Mazryonh

    How about a linear compensator, which dampens recoil while throwing all the sound and flash forward without kicking up dust or throwing more of the sound in your face? Would that suit your needs better?

    • Possibly I’d have to try it to know for certain.

    • Cymond

      I just can’t figure out how focusing all of the gas forward is supposed to reduce the rearward movement of the rifle. It may help keep the muzzle down, but it seems like they’d increase recoil.

      • Mazryonh

        Remember how suppressors reduce recoil. Linear compensators, as far as I can tell, act as a single-chamber suppressor, so the front surface is pushed by the gases propelling the round out of the gun and the gases are also slowed upon exiting the linear compensator’s muzzle, reducing felt recoil.

        • saki302

          Linear ‘comps’ don’t reduce recoil at ALL. Unlike a suppressor, there is no plate for the gas to strike and stop.
          What they will do is reduce flash to an extent (depending on model), and throw all the sound and blast forwards.
          To me, their downfall has always been their weight.

  • Lance

    Like the compensator all the advantages of a nice compensator but all in the size of a A2 flash hider nice.

  • IXLR8

    I noticed that you were using a Tavor. I replaced my factory muzzle device with a PWS-556. I really like the PWS brakes, but the Tavor presented a problem not seen on my other installations. After shooting a mag of ammo I noticed the top of the sandbags were scorched. Normally my rifles are longer, and I do not experience the same burning…
    I really like the reverse locking nut on the Tavor for alignment. In the end I put the factory device back on. The Kompressor does look like an interesting solution.

    • it is fairly small. In fact a good deal shorter than the Vortex flash suppressor. I think you would like it. As I said I’m going to continue using it on my Tavor.

  • veeramani

    can it work with suppressors that fit over the nato standard a2 muzzle brake ?

    • I’m not sure about those that fit over the standard A2. The Kompressor does accomodate two brands.

      These aren’t listed on the website yet but a press statement they released had two popular brands that fit. I’ll have to see if I still have that release.

  • RJB

    I agree with the masses that 95dB is not possible. I read somewhere that an iphone’s mic sensitivity range only goes up to around 110dB on newer models and as low as 50dB on older models (may not be reliable info) so I’m sure the app is just capping out.

    I hate to be knit picky but your statement describing a flash suppressor is part of what we are fighting on the anti-gun press. Obviously there are more uses for a suppressor than hiding your whereabouts from a threat. You said it yourself it saves on your own ear drums. Also you don’t want a 10′ flame coming off the end of your muzzle in dry brush or you could have problems. Ultimately I think we all have a responsibility to put as accurate of info as possible out their or anti-gun types will say “look see… even the gun sites say it’s to be sneaky”.

    Sorry I’ll get off my soap box. Good article all around, but we could use some other points of view on competitive products.

  • Aaron E

    Great pics and article Phil! I’m jealous about the Tavor. I might have to drive over to your side of the State for a little target practice – heck, I’ll even bring the ammo!

  • Tim U

    I’ve found a lot of decibel meters on smartphones reach an upper limit and give up. The hardware was never designed originally to measure very loud sounds, and as a result doesn’t pick them up at full intensity.

    This has been my observation, having played with my iphone and a free dB measuring app. YMMV, but it sounds like 95ish dB was right around the “limit” of your phone.

  • dan

    Sold by the guy who was going to murder his coworkers – before Jesus spoke to him

  • MrSatyre

    Wow! It’s like watching Mackey from “The Shield” going bananas on the range!

  • J

    I was looking at swapping out the muzzle device on my M4-pattern carbine. However, I have been near muzzle brakes recently and their noise is a deal killer for me. I cannot imagine subjecting others to this blast, especially at indoor ranges. If any manufacturers are reading this, how about a compensator that is less obnoxious? Like a Cutts Compensator perhaps?

    • Cymond

      Because of the way muzzle brakes work, you can’t really make a quiet brake, but there are some compensators designed to throw the sound & shock forward while controlling muzzle rise. They’re generally called ‘linear’ comps. I haven’t tried any of these yet, but you should be able to find some user reviews online. (I’m excluding the big heavy ones like the KX3)

      Levang Linear Muzzle Brake
      Troy Industries Claymore Muzzle Brake
      Kaw Valley Precision 22cal Linear Comp
      KIES Blast Master Linear Compensator
      Simple Threaded Device

  • Cymond

    First, the TSD is very similar to the BattleComp, which is known for actually causing muzzles to flip downwards a little bit. I like what Andrew Tuohy wrote, that the direction of muzzle flip is irrelevant, the muzzle still must be brought back on target. Does the TSD have the same problem?

    Also, it seems like there’s a lot of ‘hybrid’ compensators/flash hiders on the market. How about we put a list together? Here’s all I could find, if any one you can think of others, post in the comments below.

    PWS FSC556
    Battle Comp
    Spikes Dynacomp
    Bravo Co Gunfighter
    Rainier XTC
    Lantac Dragon
    AAC Brakeout
    Strike Industries J-Comp
    TSD Kompressor
    BWA X-Comp
    Proto Tac X-Comp
    Simple Threaded Device
    VG6 Gamma

    • J

      Battlecomp, Dynacomp and the likes are not really brakes.

      • Cymond

        Then what are they?

        And FWIW, I never said anything about brakes, I said ” ‘hybrid’ compensators/flash hiders” which is how they’re marketed. They promise muzzle control and reduced flash.

        From the BattleComp website: “The BattleComp gives the end user excellent muzzle control WITHOUT the excessive concussion and crushing blast produced by most compensators on the market — with flash comparable to an A2 — and all in an A2-sized package.”

        • J

          BC and the likes are really pure compensators. Great stabilization, but not really good at recoil reduction. Flash is definitely not comparable to an A2, neither is concussion. In fact, a brake like Gamma is better at both..
          Despite all this the BC is a great product, and a pathfinder to the muzzle device industry.

    • sak302

      I’ve tried quite a few of the above units.
      My current favorite is the AFAB mini, which seems to actually work as advertised

  • anointedsword

    No thanks…