I have been fortunate enough to shoot a fair share of comped pistols, everything from full-on USPSA race guns to Glocks of all shapes and sizes, and a handful of other ‘duty pistols’ with comps from KKM, Lone Wolf, Carver, and more. Although I am by no means the definitive expert, I do have a fair amount of exposure to the idea, and have for several years. This article will cover the use of a TBRC comp on a Glock 43 specifically, but I want to share a few of my impressions generally at first to give you an idea of where I am coming from.
One of the primary factors I consider when it comes to purchasing or using gear, going to classes, etc. is opportunity cost. Like pretty much everyone else, I have a very finite amount of time and money available for shooting. So, any expense of time and/or money means that time/money is no longer available for other things. For example, one reason the comped Glock 19 is popular is the overall length is essentially identical to a stock 34. This makes the eternal holster search just a bit easier. However, here is the opportunity cost; you are spending a significant amount of money on a new threaded barrel and comp to bring the gun to the length of a 34. When comparing performance, I would compare a 34 to a comped 19. In my experience, I still don’t shoot to a level that I notice a large difference between the two (and I owned a KKM comped Glock 19 for some time). On the other hand, I will admit that a comp on a pistol does help reduce muzzle rise. Anyone who says otherwise is ignoring basic laws of physics, which is silly. USPSA open guns shooting 9mm major loads are extremely flat shooting. The fact that almost every single competitive shooter in open uses a comped gun is very telling as to how much well they work. So there we have it, I know they help, but until now putting up the money for another threaded barrel and comp just wasn’t a priority for me. Then I tried one on the Glock 43, which is the topic of this article.
The primary purpose of adding a comp should be to improve your performance compared to the stock gun. If your times/accuracy/etc. are no better, looks like your money could be better spent elsewhere. So, let’s get right into the numbers. Me and Alex, a friend of mine, both shot several repetitions of a variety of drills with and without the comp.
Link with the raw data.
I’ll put the TL;DR here at the front for anyone who wants a basics. I am liking the comp on the 43…a lot! Granted this was only a single short range trip with a minimal number of drills/reps/shooters, but I will be doing more of this in the future, and hope to get even more data. It feels like the gun is coming back down on target much faster, and the timer is generally showing that. I have heard of some people needing to use lighter weight recoil springs to get the comp to work, especially with standard FMJ practice stuff, but I have not had the experience. The gun has run 100% with and without the comp. After trying it out, Alex ended up buying a new barrel and a comp for his 43 as well, with the same reliability result.
The front sight will need to be cleaned off occasionally. I have the Talo edition 43 with the serrated steel rear sight and the knock-off HD front with the hi-viz doughnut surrounding a tritium vial. The color is harder to see after about 50 rounds, and is almost totally obscured after 100+. They still work fine as far as lining them up to aim with, but don’t count on the front sight jumping out to your eye as much as your range session progresses. I personally will clean it off after shooting, just so it’s ready to go should the need arise.
Carrying appendix the comp gets a little hot! I currently am using a Phlster holster (which is working great by the way!), but the comp is completely exposed out the bottom. I solved that by adding a foam wedge which shields my leg from the heat fairly well. Not as much of a concern when talking about carrying it, but for range sessions you will want some method for keeping that heat away from bare skin.
A stock 43 is a great carry gun. I can shoot them fairly well, and would not feel bad if I had to shoot/carry without the comp. However, given the option of the TBRC comp is available for the single stack 9, I plan on continuing to use it, and continuing to practice with it.