Smith & Wesson Clamp On Compensator

While I was at Keith’s machine shop, he showed me this clamp on compensator for a S&W K38 revolver. The do not seem to be that common although i have found some mention of it online.

The design is very basic looking. You just have one giant blast chamber that redirects some of the gasses upwards.

I am not sure how effective it is compared to a ported barrel design and I am not sure how well a simple slip on and clamped compensator would last.

Here is the compensator positioned at the end of my Heritage Rough rider just for illustrative purposes

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at


  • TheNotoriousIUD
    • Brick

      Nailed it

  • Some guy

    I would not be surprised if that was designed to be used for Bullseye competition shooting.

    • That was exactly the designer’s intent. It was also available for the S&W Model 25. I’ll have to go back and see when it was introduced, but it may have predated S&W’s use of model numbers.

      I seem to remember Jim Clark, Sr. making a knock-off for Ruger Mk1 revolvers.

      • Curmudgeon

        Something about the lines, finish, and markings makes me suspect this was contemporary with the introduction and production of the .22 LR Model 41. But I am not sure if the Model 41 compensator was available for the 5.5 inch barrel as well as the 7-inch unit I have seen and used.

  • jerry young

    Kind of eliminates the front sight I guess you have to use a scope or some aftermarket sights

    • JT303

      It looks like it was designed to clamp onto the barrel and leave the front sight relatively unobscured, given the split and threaded front portion. Bear in mind that its position in the last photo is for illustrative purposes.

  • Wow!

    Criminals have built silencers using pin on or twist on muzzle devices for the barrel attachment, and those things are still being recovered today. It seems to work well for them. I have no doubt that this device will stay solid on the gun.

  • ft

    Isn’t a compensator on a revolver kinda like a screen door on a submarine?

  • Curmudgeon

    Looks like the front sight on that Heritage Rough Rider is on backwards. Sharp side of the Patridge sight faces rearward for crisp sight picture.