Buffer hug up DW Patriot


June 12, 2004, 01:42 PM
I took my Patriot to the range after installing a buffer that came in a Wilson spring pack. The buffer is blue in color. After three rounds the slide stuck about half open on opening and could not be moved by hand. I dropped the mag and opened the slide by pressing very hard against the bench and dropped out the case. Again pressing ver hard against the bench I moved it forwad removed the slide stop and field stripped it. Everything looked normal and the buffer was properly aligned. I removed the buffer and continued shooting with no problem. Today I slipped the the blue buffer and another black one I had on a guide and saw that it was very slightly higher at the saddle that is contured to the barrel. I can't imagine that this slight protrusion hung up my gun, but it ticks right along without the buffer.

What is the theory behind these buffers. I installed one because it supposedly reduces the stress on the gun, but I don't understand how it could help much located where it is.

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June 12, 2004, 03:04 PM
Howdy spook. Welcome aboard.

Your problem with the buffer is probably a tolerance issue...With the
buffer and guide rod in place, lay the barrel in the frame (slide off) and
push the slidestop pin through the link. Push the barrel all the way back
against the frame and hold it down with your thumb. The guide rod/buffer assembly should slide back and forth in the dust cover. If it doesn't, the
barrel is making contact and not dropping into the saddle. When the buffer holds the barrel up away from the bed, the barrel puts the slide into a bind as it recoils...and you have a tight spot.

The tolerance issue is likely in the frame rails and the distance that the slide and barrel sits in relation to the frame...OR...the height that the barrel sits above the spring tunnel when it links down...or both. If this is the case, the shock buff isn't allowing the barrel to get out of the way of the slide, and can cause damage to the barrel and slide's locking lugs. I've said it before, and it bears repeating...Some pistols do well with shock buffs, and some don't.

As for the buffer's function...

When the slide recoils, it impacts the recoil spring guide rod head, which is sandwiched between the impact surfaces in the slide and frame. Heavy
use tends to peen the impact surfaces, and in time can change them...but keeping a fresh recoil spring of the correct rate and length in the gun will go a long way toward preventing that. The shock buffer offers a soft, flexible impact surface for the silde to hit, thus preventing damage and/or wear....but it also negates the "bounce" that is designed into the gun to
give the slide a snappier return to battery instead of trying to get there from a standing start.

The thickness of the buffer also reduces slide travel by that thickness, and
sometimes brings on other functional issues related to ejection and short-stroke feed-related problems. Again...some will run with a buffer...some won't.

I use shock buffs in my hard-use range guns that will function with them.
Otherwise, I just change recoil springs about every 2,000 rounds, and I never use a buffer in a carry gun. Too much opportunity for Murphy to
show up and crash the party. A stoppage in an emergency is bad JuJu.

Hope this helps...


June 12, 2004, 04:52 PM
Thanks Tuner. This pistol doesn't like buffers. I tried the procedure you recommended and it was binding. I'll just stock up on recoil springs. This pistol shoots under 2" at 50 yds from a Ransom Rest and I've only had the one glitch in about 500 rounds so I surely don't want to mess anything up.

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