How to Fix Compensator Problems on Your Glock

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The compensator in question.

So, in an effort to align content with my current activities, I’d like to talk about my recent experience with putting a compensator on my Polymer80 940C not-a-Glock build, hereon described as my Compact Fauxland Special (CFS). It was built with a Brownells slide with RMR cut, LWD frame parts kit, BCA threaded barrel, Glock slide parts kit, and a TLR-2. After a bit of lube, it was fully-functional and reliable.

I decided to get clever and add a TBRCi stubby compensator to my CFS… and that it where my problems all began.

Upon taking it to the range, I discovered it would not cycle. It had all the classic symptoms of short-cycling (failure to eject, stove-pipes, failure to reset trigger, etc.). This was not such a big surprise – I had read online that you needed to tune a gun after adding a comp.

IMG_1635 (Medium)
Top: Glock factory recoil rod and 17lb recoil spring. Bottom: 13lb recoil spring.

I went on eBay and bought a recoil rod with some various spring weights (13lb and 15lb). First try was 13lbs… the gun no longer short-cycled, but wouldn’t reset the trigger due to being unable to overcome the striker spring. I then switched to the 15lb striker spring… success! Fully cycling, no problems. For those playing at home, here is a step-by-step guide to solving compensator-related cycling problems on your 9mm Glock, in order:

  1. Try a 15lb recoil spring.
  2. Try a 13lb recoil spring and a 5lb striker spring.
  3. Try a 13lb recoil spring and a 4.5lb striker spring.
  4. Try a 13lb recoil spring, a 4lb striker spring, and a lightened striker.

I’m not going to claim this guide is comprehensive, but it really does seem like the wisdom of the Internet. If you get to the point where step 4 is not resolving your problem, you can try mixing and matching a little further, but it is likely that you have serious problems besides the springs. If at all possible, you want to solve your cycling problems WITHOUT changing your striker spring. Lightening your striker spring can cause light strike issues, especially once you go below 4.5lbs (or even to it). Lightening the striker spring does reduce your trigger pull, which is cool, but it’s not worth it if you’re going to get light strikes. Glock presumably picked the factory spring weights for maximum reliability… start messing with those, and you’re taking your chances.

Is putting a comp on your Glock worth it? Jury’s still out for me. I can tell that it makes a difference, but I still shoot better with slow heavy bullets than lighter snappier bullets. It does look sexy, though!

3 thoughts on “How to Fix Compensator Problems on Your Glock”

  1. i have a p80 build as well with a faxon threaded barrel, what weight spring should i use for a brake not a compensator but a brake?


    1. I don’t think the brake vs compensator difference is going to impact much of anything I wrote. If it’s not reliable, keep lowering your recoil spring weight until it is… or until your striker stops your gun from going into battery. 😛


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