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Some things that come across my desk are just downright nifty and appeal to my inner nerd. Things like the NSN stockless thingy, but without the possible issues. This one definitely falls into that category, and it’s definitely nifty. This, friends, is the Effin A compensator — a TUNEABLE compensator. How cool is that? . . .

Let me back up a second. When a gun goes off, especially one like an AR-15, the tendency is for the muzzle to rise a bit with each round. There’s also a significant amount of recoil coming straight back into your shoulder. That’s where a compensator comes in — its a device that fits on the end of your barrel and uses the escaping gasses to counteract the undesired effects of recoil. They come in all shapes and sizes, and usually you pick one that looks about right and keep trying until you get one that works just the way you want it. If only there were a way to tune your compensator to get it working the exact way you want, right?

The Effin A comes in a delightful case — a prescription bottle. It even has instructions written on the side:

Take for management of recoil symptoms. If symptoms exist, adjust as necessary. For severe cases, RE-EVALUATE technique!

That’s pretty damn funny right there, I don’t care who you are.

Inside the bottle they give you the comp, some set screws, and an instruction pamphlet. The idea is that you thread the comp onto your gun, and screw the set screws into the holes until the only ones uncovered are those in the direction that you want the gasses to vent. In other words, opposite the direction you want the muzzle to go.

You can create any crazy design you want, trying to get the right balance between recoil compensation and muzzle rise, and keep trying until you get it right. The designers say that once you have them set correctly to fire a couple mags through the gun and the residue should be enough to lock those suckers in there good and tight, no loctite required.

Does it work? All too well. I had the same experience that these YouTube reviewers did, but they did a better job showing it off. I eventually decided on a U-shaped hole pattern, starting with the side ports open and ending with the top ports as you move forward. Your mileage may vary, and thankfully you can fiddle until you get it just right.

I really liked this product. They gave me the brand new 7.62 version to try, but it also comes in 5.56 for your AR-15 enjoyment. It profoundly appeals to my inner nerd, wanting to fiddle with things and fine tune them until you get it just right.

Specifications: Effin A Compensator

MSRP: $100

Ratings (out of five)

Feel & Function * * * * *
This really feels like a finely machined product. There are no rough edges — everything is smooth and perfect. Just like it should be.

Performance * * * * *
If anything, this compensator OVER performs.

Overall Rating * * * * *
Not only does this compensator do the job, it does it well. The average shooter now has the ability to personalize their compensator to exactly match their gun’s specific recoil, and make it perform exactly how they want. Its downright perfect. AND, it meets the specs for 3-gun competitions!

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    • That would be a “yes”. They’re not of the “loud” compensator variety. I’ve had a 5.56 version for almost a year now and it can be tuned to almost entirely negate any muzzle rise. It would neat if NL had put some more detail in the review, but in the instructions they even warn that running two or more if these in series (the front is threaded for a cap) could be considered a sound suppressor and you probably don’t want to do it for legal purposes.

      • Am I the only one intrigued by the idea of stacking a couple of these compensators, in general? Just seems like a neat concept, legal issues aside.

  1. What’s a copmpensator? I knew that there was a bias against cops on TTAG, but doing that to cops might be illegal…

  2. Have new savage model 10 premier tactical in 308 winchester. Shoots great. Want only to keep muzzle from from rising so i can see hit target and better follow up. Recoil no problem. Do not want increase in noise. Any idea?

  3. Aresarmor is an absolutely horrible company. They have no customer service. Period. They charge me for my order as soon as I placed it, even though they did not ship it for 4 weeks. When I tried to get in contact with them to figure out the status of my order, they ignored two of my e-mails and a phone message spread over three of those weeks. When half of my order showed up, there was no recognition that the other half of the order was not present. Again, they did not respond to my e-mail or phone call asking them if they realized it was absent. Now It’s been a month and a half and I have to try to figure out how to get my money back from them.

    • Thanks for the information. Was looking at these, too bad the company is not trustworthy. Sorry for the issue they caused you but thanks for the heads up as I won’t be wasting my money with a company like that.

  4. Fill all the holes and one could screw on a suppressor. In CA, threaded barrels are illegal, but a threaded compensator is not.

    The key to tuning this in is to get it right on your first range visit as the vacant holes will foul with carbon.

    I have not had any issue with the screws loosening up. Must be due to the carbon that accumulates within the comp and the fact that I torqued them pretty firmly.

    putting three of these end to end with holes filled would suppress it to some degree but I am have no experience with this.

    • Threaded barrels on an AR-15 or any Long gun (over 16″) with a fixed magazine are legal in CA. You run into problems when the barrel is less than 16″ and there is a detachable magazine, that includes pistols.


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