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sks recoil buffer worth it?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Jrob24, Sep 13, 2003.

  1. Jrob24

    Jrob24 Well-Known Member

    I was looking at sks accessories online and saw something of interest. Does anyone here use a recoil buffer and is it worth buying?
  2. Sir Galahad

    Sir Galahad member

    I have a buffer in my AK and it cuts down on noise, wear, and some recoil. I didn't buy it for recoil, I bought it to cut down on metal-to-metal contact. I am aware the AK will last forever without a buffer, but with the ban-o-matics in Washingtoons, you never know when the semi-auto you have is the LAST one you'll ever be able to legally get. So, I take every effort to take care of my AK. I got my buffer from Blackjack AK Buffers. He makes one for the SKS, too, I think. He makes the best. His don't cause jamming like some other brands do. You can find his buffers on his forum at ak47.net.
  3. OEF_VET

    OEF_VET Well-Known Member

    I've recently added buffers to both my SAR-1 and SKS. I haven't had the opportunity to fire them since addin g the buffers, but will get the chance tomorrow. After I'm done, I'll let you know how they worked out.

  4. surfinUSA

    surfinUSA Well-Known Member

    These things are a waste of money and an invitation for unreliability. All these military guns will run almost for ever with proper maintenance. Thats why they don't come with a buffer. Use that money for range fees and ammo.
  5. AK103K

    AK103K Well-Known Member

    One thing to be aware of with the buffers is, it may cause reliability issues with your rifle. I have an AK SSR-85C that came with a buffer when new. It had cycle and function problems with the buffer installed. Once removed, they all went away and I havent had any problem since. Prior to understanding why the 85C was having trouble, I put one in my AK103K. It didnt have trouble with the few rounds I put through it when it was installed but I took it out once I did understand why the 85C was having problems. I did notice right away that the charging handle would not retract as far as before it was installed. Neither rifle, or any of my AK's for that matter, show any wear on the rear of the reciever where the bolt carrier would impact if it did in fact impact it. Unless yours is showing wear, and I think it would be obvious if it was, I would save your money and skip the buffer, especially if reliability becomes an issue.
  6. Sir Galahad

    Sir Galahad member

    Never had a reliability problem with my Blackjack AK buffer. It was only $9. Geez, I spend more than that on a good steak. :rolleyes:
  7. AK103K

    AK103K Well-Known Member

    Enjoy it, might be your last meal if your counting on that buffer equipped AK. :)

    How many of these came equipped from the factory with a buffer? Seems if it was necessary, good ole Mikail would have spec'd them.
  8. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Well-Known Member

    The only possible problem with buffers is that some of them can cause reliability issues.

    I've never seen a buffer that couldn't be removed a couple of minutes--most of them can be taken out in seconds. The AK is one of the harder models to replace, but if you're smart, you can just get a second recoil spring assembly and leave it unbuffered. Then you can swap them out in seconds.

    So, for those of you who carry your rifles daily or use them constantly for self-defense, you might want to leave out your buffer before you head out to do battle.

    For those of you heading to the range, leave it in, and when it wears out, replace it. If they're wearing out then they're absorbing punishment that would have otherwise been expended in metal to metal contact.
  9. surfinUSA

    surfinUSA Well-Known Member

    Please, what rediculous nonsense. Take care of your gun and it will last a life time. These buffers are worthless crap.

    The people that push this garbage play on your insecurities.

    A good steak costs alot more than $9. So what, why make some idiot rich that has nothing of any real value to offer?
  10. makarov

    makarov Well-Known Member

    Somewhere on the net there is an .avi that shows an AK firing without the top cover on it. They are demonstrating that the bolt doesn't come near the rear contact area - ie. there is no need for a buffer. Try one if you want to. I have thought about adding one to my CZ-85, but that is to protect the slide stop. From looking at the little movie it really does seem like the bolt doesn't actually go back that far during operation.
  11. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Well-Known Member


    Not only does it come near, it hits it for 4 out of 9 shots. The rifle was also being shot from the hip and you can see that the user's hand is absorbing a lot of the recoil which further reduces the chances and force of bolt impact.

    Besides, even if it HAD showed that they never touched, that only says that PARTICULAR gun with that PARTICULAR ammo doesn't create impacts between the bolt and the receiver. Most shooters know that for any caliber there is a wide variety of ammunition available--some of which is considerably hotter than the average.

    Since the gas systems in the AK and SKS aren't adjustable, they are set up to err on the side of caution. To insure function for ALL types of ammunition, the designers must design the gas system to function with the weakest types available. Which means that for hotter ammo, the gas system is going to actuate the bolt with far more force than is required. That extra bolt energy doesn't just disappear--it's going to be spent against the back of the receiver.

    Besides the added longevity from the energy absorption, the buffers generally make the gun more pleasant to shoot by softening the bolt impact. I have a couple in various firearms, and it isn't hard to tell the difference between shooting with and without the buffer.

    If you don't like them, don't use them. To claim that they serve no purpose is silly.
  12. AK103K

    AK103K Well-Known Member

    I would think that if there was NO impact, buffer or not, there would be less stress on the gun. The spring absorbs the rearward motion and stress of the bolt as it was designed to. The fact that it NOW hits something that forcefully stops the bolt carrier and transfers that to the gun, it is now impacting the gun. If this was a problem, wouldnt it have been addressed at the factory by the engineers? I never noticed a reduction or softening of impact with the buffer in there. I tend to agree that these things are a solution to a non existant problem(for the most part). If your gun shows wear inside the reciever from contact with the bolt carrier, and it will over time if it does, then you may want to check into it. If it doesnt, why bother? If it serves no purpose whats the point? I agree, if you dont like them dont use them, but if its not really necessary, then it does seem kind of silly to me to put it in there, especially if it can lead to function problems.
  13. OEF_VET

    OEF_VET Well-Known Member

    I just came back from the range, having fired both my SAR and SKS with the new buffers in them. I had no reliability problems with either of them that were attributible to the buffers. The only reliability problems I experienced were due the plastic 30 round mag for the SKS. I need to replace it as soon as possible. I can't say as I noticed much of a reduction in the felt recoil from the SAR, but I don't feel as it has much felt recoil anyways.

    Yeah, they may be 'a solution to a non-existant problem', but they didn't create any problems for me either. Seems to me I've heard the same thing being said about double-action pistols, attributed to COL Cooper. That doesn't mean D/A pistols are bad, just that COL Cooper didn't see the need for them. To each their own, I say.

  14. cool45auto

    cool45auto Well-Known Member

    I am ashamed to admit I added a reciever cover mounted scope on my SKS at one time. It came with a recoil buffer and I installed it. Well after realizing the scope mount was a piece of crap and going back to the stock cover I put the buffer in it just because I had it. It seems to help with the recoil and I don't hear the "clang" of the bolt hitting the reciever so that's got to be a good thing.
  15. DMK

    DMK Well-Known Member

    I use Blackjack's H style buffers on my SKSes. Mainly I do it just to reduce the noice ringing through my hearing protection when it contacts the stock.

    I haven't had any reliability problems at all and I shoot my SKSes a lot. For range use, it wouldn't be the end of the world if the buffer fell apart, but if I was to use one for a defensive arm, I'd probably take it out just to make sure it can't jam anything up.
  16. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Well-Known Member

    If you know of a system that will reliably insure that the bolt doesn't hit the receiver with a wide variety of ammunition and over the normal life of a recoil spring, without being unduly expensive, large, heavy or complex , and without copromising the reliability of the firearm, the patent office is waiting. Keep in mind that the gun must also operate reliably with a reasonably amount of fouling, over a large temperature range and under all climate conditions.

    The point is that you don't get to choose whether there is an impact or not. Since the gun must function in the worst case, you HAVE to design the action to apply significantly more force to the bolt than will generally be required. That means there is GOING to be bolt/receiver impact in most cases. Your only choice is whether it's going to be a metal to metal impact or not.
  17. Sleeping Dog

    Sleeping Dog Well-Known Member

    If you have a scope, the buffer should help keep the reticle from being shaken apart from the shock of metal-to-metal contact. This should be true for cover-mounted scopes as well as receiver-mounted scopes.

    If you don't have a scope, the thing probably doesn't do anything for you.

  18. Badger Arms

    Badger Arms Well-Known Member

    Some of you are WAY off on this one. Look at the design of the AK action. There is a great deal of overtravel where the bolt goes much further than it actually needs to in order to strip the next cartridge. This is done for a simple reason... when the bolt carrier assembly strikes the rear of the receiver, it rebounds with significant force. This speeds up the cyclic rate (irrelevant on a semi-auto) thus increases wear. Yes, AK's do wear, it's just that they're so loose to begin with you won't notice. That extra space allows the bun to function because it gives the gun time to recoil and the magazine time to lift the next round into the path of the bolt carrier.

    Now try this. Take a metal hammer and strike it against a solid metal surface like an anvil. You will hear a distinctive 'ping' and the hammer will bounce into the air with nearly as much force as you swung it. If the handle of the hammer is not padded, it might even HURT your hand. The energy that the hammer imparts to the anvil is transfered nearly instantaneously. If the anvil were lighter, say as light as an AK-47, that would create a recoil spike at that instant. Now, if you put a thin sheet of rubber between the hammer and anvil, you'll notice that the ping is gone and the hammer rebounds with as much force, but amazingly, there is no recoil spike.

    What you want to get rid of is the noise (clank in the AK) and the recoil spike. The recoil spike spike causes a little impreceptable shock to the gun and your shoulder. It may cause fatigue after 2000 rounds or so. That's not the real problem. The real problem is that the muzzle and rest of the gun jump when the bolt contacts the rear. I find the AK to be much more comfortable to shoot in terms of gun noise and recoil and my 5 Blackjack Buffers have been 100% reliable.

    AK-103, you are wrong. It's your opinion, but I suggest that you may be grinding an axe here and not really taking a look at the situation with open eyes. You state that because the factory engineers didn't design it that way, then it doesn't need to be that way now. True, but they compensated for the lack of a buffer (present on the HK-G3 and AR-15 to name a few FACTORY guns) by making the AK unusually heavy and robust. In fact, the first AK-47 was made with a stamped steel receiver. The Russians had so much trouble with that gun SHOOTING ITSELF APART that they redesigned the gun to use a milled receiver until their engineers could figure out how to make a proper stamped gun like the Germans and Americans had been doing for years. The Stamped AKM is a third generation gun. It took them that long to figure out how to compensate for the POUNDING their design was giving to the receiver.
    It serves two purposes that I mentioned above. These things it Does and does well. If you can live without these two improvements, do it.
    That's like buying a USA magazine for the Mini-14 and saying, "Wow, aftermarket magazines make the Mini-14 unreliable." IIRC, the buffer that came with your gun is a Buffer Technologies piece of crap. Try a Blackjack buffer in the same gun and report back. I had the same experience. I don't think anybody on this board recommends the other brand. Buffertech is the kind of company that finds what they think is a good thing and copies the crap out of it without really testing it or caring about customer complaints. Yankee trader. Beware. Black Jack is a responsive small business that sprung from the need for REAL buffers that the other company was not making. Just because you were burned by another company, don't completely disregard a whole class of firearms accessory.


    Buffertech Crap
  19. AK103K

    AK103K Well-Known Member

    I hear what your saying, and I'm not saying some dont impact the rear of the reciever. All I'm saying is, mine dont seem to be doing it. Since I read your post, I just pulled the covers off three of my AK's, the SSR-85C, my Krebs AK103K, and a WASR-10. All of them have been fired a good bit, the Krebs has close to 4000 rounds through it, and the 85C is over 2000, and not one of them show any wear or beating on the bolt carrier, the rear of the reciever or trunnion. The Krebs has a scrape or two in the paint(most likely from removing the carrier for cleaning, but nothing that looks like repetitive impact wear on any of them. Now if they were taking a beating as bad as you say they do, dont you think it would be showing? Theres also no evidence of the carrier contacting the spring guide/cover plunger on any of them either. As for the 85C's buffer, your right, it was a Buffer Tech buffer, as was the one I put in the Krebs gun. It was the cause of the trouble as it has been fine without it ever since its been removed. After seeing that it wasnt even an issue,(for me anyways) I wasnt concerned about replacing it. I understand your hammer and anvil thing, but if the hammer never strikes the anvil, what then? All I was saying was that if the back of your gun is not beat up, why bother? Especially if it could cause issues with reliability. My point with the engineering issue was, if they dont spec it, then they must not be to concerned about it. Are all new manufactured and issued AK's supplied with a buffer today? I dont know, I'm asking. None of the commerical guns (other than maybe the Global guns) come or came with one, at least none that I've seen. Hey, I dont care if you put one in your gun or dont, its your gun, do what you want. If I get one thats getting beat up, I'll give the blackjack buffer a try. Until then, I'm leaving them out of mine. And your right, its only my opinion, YMMV.
  20. Badger Arms

    Badger Arms Well-Known Member


    True, the AK isn't going to show much wear to the rear contact points because both the bolt carrier and rear trunion are super-hardened. Where the original AK-47 suffered was in the receiver metal and rivets becoming distorted and failing. As I said earlier, the modern AKM (from which EVERY US AK I know of is based ecept for perhaps the milled Polish guns) solved any lingering problems with weight and durability.

    This still leaves my points intact that the buffer will reduce felt recoil, muzzle rise, and action noise. I'm sensative to those kind of things and it detracts from the weapon in my opinion. The TWANG that is given off when some AR-15's fire bothers me to no end. As does the CLANK that is a large portion of the AK report. With the buffer, I don't have that distraction and can concentrate on my shooting.

    As for the original post, the SKS with a receiver-cover mount will benefit from the Blackjack buffer. This should diminish the recoil forces to a scope. Scope reticles and internals are especially sensative to peak forces and those forces are adequately addressed with the "H" shaped buffer from Blackjack.

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