Go for the Gold with the TandemKross Steam Demon Compensator

This Steam Demon Compensator from TandemKross has become a pretty popular accessory. Not just because it’s a nice .22LR compensator that’s also easy to clean. It’s one of the few rimfire muzzle devices available with a gold finish. While I typically equate gold on firearms with nefarious dictators and gucci builds, the gold Steam Demon has its own niche. So far, I have seen at least three red and gold pistols built by Captain Marvel fans. Of course, if you are just looking for a new rimfire compensator, the Steam Demon in plain black is a great choice too.

Steam Demon design and construction

Unlike some of their other compensators, TandemKross machines the Steam Demon from steel. It’s got a bit of heft at 2.4 ounces (68 grams), making it a nice counterweight on the end of a light rimfire pistol. And its open design directs gas upwards while making it easy to clean as well. Threading is 1/2″ x 28, and it’s designed specifically for the 0.400″ threading on rimfire barrels. TandemKross notes that it’s compatible with .22LR, .22WMR, .17HMR, 5.7×28, and even .223/5.56 barrels.¬†Installation requires no tools, and TandemKross includes both a rubber O-ring and a flat washer to make it easy. As expected, it’s made in the USA and carries a lifetime guarantee.

TandemKross Steam Demon Compensator in gold, on a Taurus TX22.
TandemKross Steam Demon Compensator in gold, on a Taurus TX22.

Benefits of a rimfire compensator

Rimfire isn’t known for having much recoil, causing some to question why they might need a compensator. Enhanced accuracy is the main purpose. Where muzzle rise reduction is typically accomplished via ports directing the expanding gas upwards, that’s only part of the equation. Lightweight rimfire pistols don’t always stay on target easily between shots. So that extra weight can improve follow-up shots. Shorter split times and improved accuracy are the key benefits. For timed events, they can also provide a little extra volume for shot timers to pick up.

TandemKross Steam Demon Compensator in black.
TandemKross Steam Demon Compensator in black.

Installation of the Steam Demon

With its unique (easy to grip) shape, flat washer, and O-ring, installation is quick, and no tools are necessary. Simply thread it on and it should reach peak tightness at the correct timing. Not needing tools is a big deal for me, since I’ll frequently swap my compensator for a suppressor when shooting for fun. And I don’t want to go looking for a wrench. If you can remember “righty tighty, lefty loosey, you can install this.

TandemKross Steam Demon Compensator in gold, on custom TandemKross Manticore X build.
TandemKross Steam Demon Compensator in gold, on custom TandemKross Manticore X build.

Range time

Going into this, I had a pretty good idea of which of my firearms would benefit from the Steam Demon. That didn’t stop me from installing it on a few different firearms for photo ops first though. But I chose the lightest, my Taurus TX22, as the permanent home for this durable compensator. With a polymer frame and aluminum slide, it’s quite light. Staying on target for a string of shots is much easier with a little extra weight at the end of my barrel. Shooting some faster supersonic rounds, I still don’t think recoil is an issue, but there is certainly less muzzle rise. This was a nice pistol before, now it’s great.

TandemKross Steam Demon Compensator in black.
TandemKross Steam Demon Compensator in black.

Cleaning the Steam Demon

Here’s where the Steam Demon really shines. Rimfire is dirty. Cheap rimfire is dirty. Shooting high volumes of bulk ammo really fouls up a compensator. The easy-clean finish on my gold Steam Demon makes external cleaning as simple as a quick wipe with some Flitz or similar polish. Its open design, rather than holes or slots, makes internal cleaning easy too. A brass or copper brush run across the cut gets most of the fouling out. A standard .22LR brush through it cleans the bullet path. And an overnight dip in my suppressor cleaner got the rest out. Steel construction also means it can be used with cleaners that might otherwise damage an aluminum compensator.

TandemKross Steam Demon Compensator in gold, on a partial Marvel build.
TandemKross Steam Demon Compensator in gold, on a partial Marvel build.

Wrapping it up

After shopping for centerfire compensators, the MSRP of $69.99 seems quite reasonable. Adding $15 to that for the gold version may not yield any performance benefit, but it’s worth it if you like the aesthetic. The more I look at how fouled up some of my other compensators have gotten, the more I appreciate the Steam Demon. And while I’m not necessarily a Captain Marvel fan, I can see the appeal of red and gold.

As always, I’d like to thank TandemKross for providing their gold Steam Demon compensator for my testing and evaluation. If you want your own, or just want to check out the huge variety of performance accessories for rimfire that TandemKross offers, head over to the TandemKross website.

Have any of our readers tried the Steam Demon? If not, would you go with black or gold?  Better you, who has a Captain Marvel build? Feel free to share below.

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