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Review: GoGun USA SuperComp XL-AK Edition

As you may have noticed, we’ve been hitting the AKs hard lately. Issue 26 is chock full of them–maybe it’s the vodka.

Mmmmm, vodka.

Today’s review keeps with that theme. Most standard fare Kalashnikov muzzle devices are, in a word, lackluster. The slant brake doesn’t really do much other than “look right”, and while the AK-74 style muzzle brake can be quite effective, especially with 5.45, it’s loud as hell and is best described as a “flash enhancer.”

Thankfully, here at RECOIL we’re not peasant conscripts under Commie command–so we got options. As AK popularity increases, so does the aftermarket. Dozens of muzzle devices are available, all with various levels of performance, and hundreds more if you start getting weird and into thread adapters.

GoGun USA SuperComp XL-AK Edition

Today we’re going to look at something that initially looks a bit out of place on an AK, and probably more at home on a competition or precision gun: The GoGun USA SuperComp XL, AK (yes, that’s a mouthful, and yes, that’s what she said).

Threading It

The SuperComp XL is available in common thread patterns like 1/2×28 for 5.56 guns and 5/8×24 for 7.62N blasters, but most recently they’ve added 14x1LH for the Commie carbines–this thread pattern is so new that it’s not yet available for purchase on their website. Some customers have been utilizing the 7.62N versions for .300 AAC and reporting good results. From where I sit, producing one for 7.62×39 by threading in 14x1LH seems like a natural progression.

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You’ll be able to tell immediately where the ‘XL’ comes from. The compensator by itself is just a hair under 3″ long (2.996″ to be exact–without the crush washer) and adds 2.4″ to the length of the rifle. There are 14 ports on this muzzle monster; six on each side for recoil reduction and two on the top to aid in fighting muzzle rise under recoil.

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There are generously sized wrench flats on the base that allow the use of an armorers tool or even a crescent wrench for installation or removal–bear in mind that if you have a tool solely for standard 5.56 A2 devices and their ilk it will be too small.

As you have no doubt have already ascertained, the SuperComp XL utilizes a crush washer for installation rather than achieving alignment with the plunger pin on an AK front sight block (FSB). Combined with the fact that it has to be properly timed to be effective, this adds a layer of complication during installation. Though this is far from insurmountable, it’s definitely something that you should be aware of.

Due to the inconsistency of eastern-block manufacturing, threads aren’t always cut concentric to the bore with AKs. This makes little difference with a stubby slant brake, but the longer the muzzle device is the more issues you can run into. While this is no 8″ suppressor hanging off the end of a rifle, I still recommend double checking muzzle alignment before pulling the trigger for the first time.

Going Loud With It

For my shade tree subjective testing I chose a 7.62×39 FrankenGun with a 16″ barrel. This is by far the most common caliber/barrel combination for 7.62×39 the world over so it seemed appropriate.

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The first thing I noticed was that the lack of side blast. It was nowhere near what I had anticipated it would be. You can clearly see gas expressing from the sides of the SuperComp XL but it didn’t have that “brake bite” so many suffer from. This is especially evident to those positioned laterally to the muzzle. Rearward recoil was reduced relative to a bare muzzle (about the same as a 74′ brake), which is always especially welcome when using a rifle outfitted with a wire stock.

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Although GoGun USA makes no mention of the SuperComp XL performing as a flash hider, I did not experience any visible flash with this muzzle device. This may or may not be significant: 7.62×39 from a fullsize carbine isn’t well known to be a fire breather; at least half of the equation falls to the particular ammunition used and the length of the barrel. In the future I plan on mounting one to a 7″ 7.62×39 rifle and reporting back.

What I Conclude

I would like to see a machined notch to utilize the FSB detent pin on the AK specific device for both alignment and anti-rotational purposes. Barring that, substitution of the crush washer with a shim kit would at least ensure an easier achievement of proper alignment. Though I didn’t experience any complications during installation, such modifications would cut out a lot of potential headaches. The side blast is far less than I anticipated from using seemingly similarly designed devices, and it absolutely reduces rearward recoil. I can’t help but suspect it would be an even better performer when utilized with higher pressure rounds like 5.56 and 7.62N as it was originally designed.

If I were choosing a muzzle brake from scratch, I would pick this before an AK-74 style device unless I were trying to “keep everything commie”. But as you probably can tell from how my rifle is outfitted, I’m not concerned with that.

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You can visit GoGun USA online here.
[Music in the embedded video is “Brainwavves” by the artist Strong Suit – admit it, that sounds like something you’d hear in a squalid barracks room east of the Dnieper.]

 

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