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Recoil Buffers

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Jaenak, Dec 5, 2007.

  1. Jaenak

    Jaenak Well-Known Member

    Are recoil buffers really nesessary or even helpful? ALOT of people shoot their pistols for thousands and thousands of rounds without seeing even a hint of the damage recoil buffers protect against. Granted a person isn't shooting very much +P ammo, are they something a person should install or simply shrug off?
  2. mister2

    mister2 Well-Known Member


    Necessary - no, Helpful - I think so.

    Personally, I do not know who these people are, I cannot confirm or deny. I do, however, have pistols where buffers showed wear proportional to their use. And that, to me, is wear I saved from the frame.

    Bottom line: To each his own.
  3. Geno

    Geno Well-Known Member

    I use them because they reduce the perceived recoil ever so slightly. But ever so slightly helps. I suspect that they extend the slide/receiver life, but I don't know it.

  4. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Well-Known Member

    I'm not a fan of recoil buffers
  5. GTSteve03

    GTSteve03 Well-Known Member

    Some firearms, like the HK USP Compact, have built-in recoil buffers. Mine seems to take a little bit out of the 9mm, but I would love to try the 40, I hear it really helps there.

    After-market buffers I don't think are quite as useful.
  6. 10X

    10X Well-Known Member

    I do not like recoil buffers. On 1911s I have had them mushroom and stop the slide from moving freely causing jams. They also can reduce the rearward movement of the slide enough to prevent the slide stop from dropping or affect proper ejection of the round. I don't notice any meaningful reduction of recoil. Wear - don't know -if you shoot so much that you worry about wearing out the frame or slide you can afford more guns. The buffers can cause more problems than they help.
  7. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    Like my friend 10-Ring, I'm not a fan of recoil buffers~! :eek: ;)
  8. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    All the concern with the frame is much ado about nothing...or at least pretty much. It's the slide that takes the beating, and it's the slide that's more likely to crack...and sometimes it cracks in places that a buffer won't prevent.
  9. Jaenak

    Jaenak Well-Known Member

    The two parts that would recieve the wear from the recoil is the frame and slide. The frame I'm not two worried about (maybe I should be however, I don't know) because I haven't heard of anyone that has had issues with their frame due to recoil. The slide I would think would be the part that would have all the problems. That seems to me to be the weakest part (of the two) and the most prone to failure. I think that maybe the recoil buffer recieves all that abuse perhaps because the slide is designed to stop where the back of the buffer is so the slide slams into the pad causing it to deform whereas if the pad wasn't there the slide would go back to the same place, stop and return to it's forward position. The slide would still contact the frame though because it is moving afterall but probably not as hard as it hits the pad because it's designed to stop where the frame starts not where the pad starts. So, the recoil buffer might help but it might be a non-issue. Keep in mind that all this is merely hypothetical. Even so, you can always buy a new slide if you have to. Does this make any sense or does it sound like I'm out to lunch. Be honest.
  10. jonnyc

    jonnyc Well-Known Member

    I have them in my most-used Hi-Power and 1911. They haven't had any effect on reliability and I believe they are extending the life of my two favorite pistols.
  11. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Wear isn't the concern. Impact stress is. The frame's impact abutment is designed to absorb it, as is the slide's. The weak link in the system are the sharp corners at the rear of the slide's recoil spring plug tunnel...and the most likely place for a crack to start. Cracks at the frame's tunnel, adjacent to the front of the rails are created by a different set of mechanics that buffers will forestall, but not prevent completely.

    They do extend the life of your pistols, and I've recently started using the buffers in my high-mileage/hard-use range beaters...but not in any of my carry pistols, and advise against the practice. There are a few reasons for that other than worn out and/or shredded buffers possibly tying up the gun.

    Bottom line...If your pistols will function well with a buffer, there's no reason not to use'em...on the range. Some guns can't tell the difference, and some few go into spastic fits. I have one like that. A full-sized pistol that's so reliable it's boring, until I stick a shock buffer in it...and nobody except the gun knows why.
  12. ATAShooter

    ATAShooter Well-Known Member

    I'm with 1911Tuner, For a while, I was running some Power Pistol powder thru my 1911. The slide / frame collision was bad and left marks. The buffer stopped it. Be reminded that these buffers are a sacrificial part and need inspection and / or replacement, one don't last forever. I also stuck one in my M1A and stopped some banging in there too.
  13. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Well-Known Member

    I read an article where Bill Wilson himself, who has made a ton of $$$ on his shok-buffs, was non-committal on it's effectiveness; but will sell them to anyone who wants them....:rolleyes:
  14. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    It's one of the oldest marketing strategies on record.

    First, convince the customer that he needs the product...and then sell it to him.

    Notice the advertisements that are worded to convince you that...without the buffers...you're doing serious damage to your gun.

    While I agree that the shock buffs will enhance the useful life of a weapon that sees hard, frequent use...I don't buy the "Serious Damage" suggestion under normal conditions.
  15. Onmilo

    Onmilo Well-Known Member

    This question has the same flavor as 'which is better, 9mm or .45?'
    My feeling is,
    If you haven't tried them, try them.
    If you don't like them, don't use them.

    WOODROW Well-Known Member

    Onmilo is a VERY wise person! I tried the Wilsons brand on my 1911 and couldn't feel or see where it made any difference until my slide started stopping in mid cycle. I don't use them anymore, but I did try them.
  17. possum

    possum Well-Known Member

    me either, not in handguns anyway. i have no issues with any of the guns that i own and none of the, need one, or will any of them have one in it in the future.
  18. KowBoY_NE

    KowBoY_NE Member

    i cant say one way or another... but when Wilson Combat thinks enough about them to put one in and send me a few spares then i will go along, hell they know more than i do.
  19. KBintheSLC

    KBintheSLC Well-Known Member

    The only buffer I use is in my 10/22. Mostly to quiet the action. As for damage control, I doubt it is necessary.
  20. DFW1911

    DFW1911 Well-Known Member

    +1...and initially a little freaked out since it was on a Wilson. My anxiety subsided quite a bit once I removed the thing and the pistol functioned as it should.

    Since then, I've steered clear - especially on CCW weapons.

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