for the Pardini SP1 RF.
I would like to make it understood from the outset that although I write this review as factually as possible, based on my own experience; I am not putting myself forward as an expert. This is just my own personal opinion.
So who am I? I'm a 65 year old retired engineer, an enthusiastic hunter and target shooter. Although I'm retired I do undertake house maintenance jobs and small building work and have been very busy this year and last. Getting down to the range for regular practice is proving difficult and my scores have been slipping a little. My wife is now telling me to cut back on the work and to get out there, practice and win more. So my New Year's resolution is to do what I'm told.
I am a member of two gun clubs and take part in monthly competitions in both clubs. One of the clubs is a pistol only club and all our competitions are NRA Conventional Pistol, being shot single handed either at 50 feet or 25 yards under the NRA rules. My present grade is Expert. In the other club we shoot double handed at 25 & 20 yards then single handed at 15 and 10 yards. In both clubs I would be considered one of the better shooters, a regular winner and always in the top three. In 2012 I placed 3rd in my first Irish National NRA Conventional Pistol Competition (anxiety/nerves were a factor), 1st in 2013 and 1st again in 2014 then 2nd in 2015 when I was beaten by 2 points. Lack of practice was a major factor this year as I had taken on too much heavy building work.
I bought my first pistol a Hammerli X-Esse (aka Trailside) about six years ago and upgraded to a Pardini SP1 RF in March 2014. Before I changed, I did a lot of internet research, tried out lots of other pistols, decided on the Pardini and have never looked back. Red dot scopes are allowed under the rules so I fitted an Aimpoint 2 moa red dot scope. It took me a long time to find the Pardini's favourite ammunition. I tried 16 or 17 brands from the most economical to the most expensive. All testing was done from a sitting position at a bench with my wrist rested on a soft bag. Generally speaking the cheaper ammunition cycled well but wasn't the most accurate, while the most expensive ammunition shot well but cycling could be unreliable. The clear winner was RWS R50 that consistently produced 5 shot groups of 6.5 or 7mm ctc@25yds and never failed to function. A side benefit is that it's also exceptionally clean ammunition so the gun doesn't need cleaning as often. Lapua Standard Plus came second with perfect cycling and consistent 15mm groups. R50 currently costs €114/500 ($125/500), Lapua Standard Plus probably costs about half as much.
The lack of trigger time was most noticeable in the drop of my rapid fire scores (5 shots in 10 seconds). After many hours of searching the net, last February I found the Uniquetek website and the Target Compensator, and contacted Lee love. I asked if the compensator would reduce muzzle flip and he assured me that it is exactly what it's designed to do, so I bought it. I also bought a second one for a friend of mine. They arrived without delay at the beginning of April. I examined the unit and it appeared to be very well made and exactly as described, finish was perfect with no rough edges or tooling marks. Fitting it to the gun was straightforward and only took a couple of minutes, then down to the range at the first opportunity for testing.
The first thing I did was to sit behind the bench with my wrist rested and see if there was any change in the group size or point-of-impact. I shot a 7mm group in the centre of the bull at 25 yards, absolutely perfect, no change here.
Then, shooting single handed at 25 yards on the regulation NRA targets, I shot as though I was in competition. Slow Fire 10 shots in 10 minutes, Timed Fire 5 shots in 20 seconds shot twice followed by Rapid Fire 5 shots in 10 seconds shot twice. I repeated this three times. Can I just say here that my scores in practice have always been much higher than my competition scores. In the slow fire rounds I could not see any definite improvement in my scores, there was a slight variation but no marked improvement. The timed fire showed a slight improvement but nothing major, only up by no more than 2 or 3 points. However there was a very definite and dramatic increase in my rapid fire scores. So I went on to shoot several more rapid fire rounds just to confirm my initial findings.
Before fitting the compensator my highest scores in Rapid Fire were usually around 87 or 88/100, I never had a 90. With the compensator fitted my single lowest score was 92, I also had another score of 93, several scores of 94, 95 & 96, one 98 and one 99. Alone on the range in a practice session the compensator had added approximately 7 or 8 points to my rapid fire scores and this has held true in my competition scores which are up from 85, 86, 87 to 93, 94, 95. I consider that a worthwhile improvement. My friend that I mentioned earlier also reported an increase in his rapid fire scores and we both had the same opinion on the performance of the compensator. It definitely does reduce muzzle flip and allows you to regain the target much quicker and easier, giving you more time to focus, concentrate on the next shot and trigger release. In fact the muzzle only moves very slightly off target after the shot.
So what is my final opinion, am I satisfied with it? Is it fit for purpose? Does it do as it's advertised? Is it worth the cost? Would I recommend it to a friend?
I am totally satisfied with the unit, it's a simple well designed and well-made accessory that fits the gun perfectly and easily, it does not affect the flight of the bullet in any way, it is definitely fit for purpose, it does not add any noticeable weight to the muzzle, does exactly what it is advertised to do, is worth every penny and I would have no hesitation in recommending it to a friend.