44% Recoil Reduction?! Enter The Radian AFTERBURNER + RAMJET

Announced in late 2021, Radian Weapons teased the release of their all-new micro compensator. While seen at a few events since their debut, these just started shipping to the public on July 20th. As the first product developed for pistols, Radian came out of the gate swinging.

Radian coined their micro compensator as the AFTERBURNER, and their barrel the RAMJET. This will only be available as a combo due to the unique locking mechanism. Utilizing a tapered locking pin that interfaces with an angled machined V-groove on the underside of the barrel, the compensator is perfectly timed, and sits flush with the end of a Glock slide. Due to this design and not needing a threaded barrel, Radian boasts that the AFTERBURNER + RAMJET combo is currently legal in all 50 states. Due to the taper-lock screw, no shims or Loctite are needed to hold this system together.

Currently, the barrel and compensators are only available for Gen 3, 4, and 5 Glock 19’s. The addition of the AFTERBURNER micro-compensator only adds 0.47″ to the frame. Radian states that this turns the length of a Glock 19 into the same as a Glock 17 allowing for G17 holster compatibility. Also, holsters made for current Glock 19s with weapon lights may be compatible but there is no guarantee on that. I will say that this combo still fits in my appendix holster since my concealed carry pistol has a weapon light and the holster is already elongated to mostly make contact with the weapon light.

The AFTERBURNER supposedly reduces the recoil of 115gr 9mm ammunition by up to 44%. While I am not able to actually measure this, I can say after shooting hundreds of rounds that the felt recoil is significantly less. This micro-compensators performance exceeds most full-sized compensators while adding only minimal bulk to a pistol. Featuring sleek chamfers, the compensator looks clean and gets rid of any hard sharp edges. Minimalist. Efficient. Sexy.

Made from hardened 17-4 stainless steel, this compensator should hold up to some serious use and abuse. I will say that I can see some wear and tear after a few thousand rounds, but these look to be mainly superficial.

RAMJET + AFTERBURNER combo that was being demoed at GunCon, unsure of total round count on this one

My biggest criticism about this combo is that it only works with their RAMJET barrel. While I would have loved to see a version that works with threaded barrels, I understand why they choose to use the taper-lock method. This opens up their customer base and allows for more people to run compensators on their pistols. The good news is that their barrel is also impressive.

Radian’s match-grade RAMJET barrel is made from 416R hardened stainless steel and features a fluted barrel. For those with a milled slide port, these flutes will provide a nice accent and we all know looking cool is half of the battle. This barrel utilizes a gas sealing chamber while maintaining the standard loaded chamber indicator.

Fluted barrel visible through lightening port in the slide

I was curious to see how much a barrel switch would change my zero, so I shot a group that was about 1.5 inches high and 1.5 inches right at 10 yards from that of my old barrel. While no big deal to re-zero, don’t assume a new pistol barrel will throw bullets in the exact same spot as your previous one.

Shooting a variety of ammo, I consistently got around 1″ groups from 10 yards shooting standing up and unsupported. Shown below are my groups. While I didn’t have the box for the top left group, it was shot with 124gr Blazer ammunition, while the bottom left was shot with 147gr Blazer FMJ, the top right was with 115gr Norma FMJ, and the bottom right was with 158gr Fiocchi FMJ. This RAMJET barrel is plenty accurate for me.

The one real complaint I have comes from receiving multiple jams when using my stock recoil guide rod and spring. Speaking with Radian at GunCon, they were saying that their barrel/compensator should work with stock setups and that a new guide rod spring wouldn’t be necessary. As with every situation, when you swap components go test your gear to see how it performs. Throughout testing, I had repeated cycling issues, but I am attributing this to my Brownells aftermarket slide. Confused and unable to isolate the issue, I got another Brownells slide and another Radian AFTERBURNER/RAMJET combo to try out and I continued to have the same issues. Talking to over 10 people, I have been the only one to have any of these issues but am also the only one using this specific aftermarket slide. I personally have had zero issues when using an OEM slide along with everyone I have spoken with. I have also seen other aftermarket slides running flawlessly with this barrel/comp setup, but it appears not all slides will. The only issue I have seen when using an OEM slide was when a young girl tried to shoot the pistol and limp-wristed it causing cycling issues. Otherwise, it ran flawlessly for hundreds to thousands of rounds.

Speaking with a gunsmith, I was informed that Brownells uses a tighter tolerance than OEM slides, and due to tolerance stack-ups, can cause issues with aftermarket parts. I found that the bullets were hanging up slightly before the slide went into battery, and this came from what Radian called a pressure seal inside the chamber. In the image below, you can see a lip before the end of the chamber, and this was catching the brass as the rounds fed into the barrel. I had never seen this in other OEM or aftermarket barrels so I was uncertain it was intentional until verifying with Radian. Surprisingly, there seemed to be no chamfer or fillet to round off this step up where the chamber was necked down and this was the source of my issues with an aftermarket slide. I decided I wanted to make what I had work, so I took a Dremel to smooth out this transition, and then I stopped having cycling issues.

Closest ridge is where the chamber is slightly necked down

Radian also just released their COMPRESSOR quick-tune guide rod. This one system works with Gen 1-5 Glock 19’s as well as the G19X and G45. It has a bushing to fit the Gen 4-5 Glocks, and a washer to work the Gen 3’s. Including 13, 15, and 18lb springs, this guide rod will allow for fine-tuning to your firearm and ammunition. Redefining traditional adjustable guide rods, Radian utilizes a dovetail interface which is captured by the spring to create a simple and secure lock up. While other adjustable guide rods used a cap screw to capture the spring, these screws could work loose and if they were locked down with Loctite, it was hard to adjust to a different spring weight. The COMPRESSOR is easy to disassemble and swap springs as needed. Another neat feature is the flutes along the hardened 17-4 stainless steel guide rod which while looking cool, also reduce the friction on the spring creating smoother cycling.

When the spring is installed, the dovetail cap is captured and retained. Washer for use with Gen 3 Glocks resting under the guide rod
18, 15, and 13 pound springs

The Radian AFTERBURNER + RAMJET combo has a listed MSRP of $389.95 and is available and shipping now. They also have their COMPRESSOR Quick-Tune guide rod listed at $79.95 which comes with three spring weights. For the performance and size, I think it is quite impressive. Just be cautious of using with aftermarket slides as things may not work as smoothly as intended.

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About the author: Mitchell Graf is passionate about hunting and competition shooting. During college he was the shooting instructor for Oklahoma State’s Practical Shooting Team, and these days he spends as much time as he can chasing after pigs and coyotes with night vision and thermals. You can follow Mitchell’s adventures over at his Instagram @That_Gun_Guy_

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  • survivor50 November 4, 2022, 8:24 am

    I’m turned off by the ” BEST HAND GUN EVER MADE ” … having to have the Grip reshaped and textured, the Trigger and ALL connected parts replace, hammer spring , and recoil assembly too, and the SIGHTS … don’t forget those…
    Now the barrel and a Compensator …

    DAMMIT !!! I just replace the whole gun !!!

  • Jack007 November 1, 2022, 2:35 am

    No option for a threaded bbl.? No interest from me.

  • Stephen Graham October 31, 2022, 10:37 am

    For a $400 system (excluding their guide rod), it certainly seems there are far too many “what if’s“ relating to reliability. it certainly seems there are a number of factors that Radian can and should easily add immediately address. Also, their decision to require their proprietary barrel absolutely seems strange. Producing an afterburner to screw onto a threaded barrel is easy to “time”; the total cost would be decreased dramatically, also. The general concept that they present is excellent, but it requires a bit more thought, testing, and tuning. Especially for approximately $400!

  • Stephen Graham October 31, 2022, 10:30 am

    For $400 system (excluding their guide rod), it seems they are far, far too many “what ifs”Related to reliability.

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