When I was at the SHOT Show last year, some friends of mine had a booth next to DPM Systems, a Greek company that was marketing a recoil reduction device. Comprising a full-length steel guide rod with two captive recoil springs, and a larger, separate recoil spring, the system also came with what DPM refers to as a 'magnetomechanical device' an accessory-rail-mounted magnetic base that (in concert with the spring) is designed to delay the slide's opening, thereby dampening recoil.
The guide rod itself -which the part that most Glock owners will likely use- is a hollow stainless steel part with a plunger-type head. The smaller of the two captive recoil springs is contained entirely within the larger rod, while the other one is partially exposed, and appears to serve as a buffer of sorts between the rod and the head - a design reminiscent of the Louis Seecamp - designed double-spring system that has appeared in a series of American-built pistols.
While I have used plastic recoil spring buffers in the past, the spring-buffered system seems like the more appealing option, considering that, even before the plastic ones break, they tend to shed little pieces of debris into your gun.
Two recoil springs were included in the test sample I was given: ones silver, and the other a goldish color, which is the result of a cadmium finish that the factory literature explains is added to the springs for corrosion resistance, while both springs appeared to be of the same gauge wire, the silver spring was longer and seemed to be the stronger of the two. So far, we're on familiar ground.
The magnetic base, however, was new territory. Designed to fit the standard Glock accessory rail, the base sits slightly forward of the muzzle, covering the bottom half of the slide, and has a molded-in magnet that appears to grab hold of the flat front of the slide.
A secondary accessory rail is thoughtfully molded into the underside of the magnetic base, so that a flashlight or laser can still be mounted on the pistol, even with the base in place. While it seems strange, once you get over the initial shock, the magnet idea does make sense: it's just one more way to keep the slide closed a split-second longer until chamber pressures have dropped. This reduces the speed at which the slide comes back, and that reduced slide velocity also produces less felt recoil.
In a defensive pistol, such as the Glock, the primary virtue of reduced recoil is that it makes faster follow-up shots possible. With this in mind, I again enlisted the help of firearms trainer Rick Klopp and adjourned to the local pistol range to try some timed strings of fire. From seven yards, I shot the important failure-to-stop drill (two shots to the chest, one to the head) five times each with the pistol in three different configurations: stock recoil system, DPM guide rod and spring only, and finally, DPM guide rod and magnetic base.
Beginning with the gun down by my side,
I use stout 40 S&W Hornady jacketed hollow-points (what better for a recoil test?), and took time between shots to align the sights, thus making sure of recoil recovery. There were no misses in the 15 times I shot the drill, with all shots going into the -0 scoring areas on a standard IDPA target, and there were no malfunctions.
I averaged 2.87 seconds with the stock recoil system, 2.47 seconds with the DPM rod/spring, and 2.33 with the magnetic base - a solid half-second faster than the stock pistol. To be fair, during the test, my time on target (from the beep to the first shot) decreased from 1.43 to 1.27 seconds; assuming that can't be attributed to the different recoil systems, the full DPM setup still had a third of a second speed advantage over the stock system.
If the system was actually working to reduce recoil, you would expect to see that in the split time between the two shots on the double-tap portion of the drill, and we found it there: the splits come down from .7 seconds with the stock system to .57 with the DPM rod/spring, and .53 with the magnet.
The system works. Whether or not the magnetic base works for whatever you're doing with your Glock is up to you, but even the replacement guide rod/spring showed a substantial improvement over the stock system.