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AR: is the rifle buffer the best?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Autopistola, Apr 24, 2016.

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  1. Autopistola

    Autopistola Member

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    It's the heaviest and possibly smoothest. Does an Vltor A5 or carbine buffer system really have much shootable benefit over the rifle length?

    I'm running an ACE socom (long) stock, it's already adjustable, just not as collapsible as a carbine system.
     
  2. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    The rifle buffer is louder. The spring makes a definite noise as it compresses. You don't get that with a carbine-length buffer. Now, there are things like the JP silent captured buffer spring that eliminate this, but they're a bit pricey.

    As for me, I find I don't notice the noise of the A2 stock buffer when wearing my hearing protection.I switched my CAR stock out for a fixed A2 stock shortly after buying the rifle simply because I prefer its looks and how it feels against my shoulder. While the extra noise was a surprise, it's something I can live with.
     
  3. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Member

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  4. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    As is so often pointed out, there is no "best." What works for that gun is more optimal, but across the board, "best" depends on a lot of other factors. Barrel length determines gas port location for timing, diameter determines the amount of gas. Carrier weight also factors in.

    A heavier buffer slows the cyclic rate but only helps if it keeps the bolt from returning sooner than the next cartridge in the magazine is ready to strip off and chamber. It also keeps it from bouncing off the barrel extension and unlocking just after the primer is struck, which causes out of battery kabooms.

    In the MK18 with 10.5" barrel Crane recommends up to an H3 - not rifle - but the point is that the armorer observes and checks to see if it's necessary. There is no single "best" overall buffer weight because of other factors. It's dependent on what other factors are involved.

    I read that some low recoil guns using titanium carriers are taking the weights out and running an empty buffer to tune those actions. YMMV.
     
  5. taliv

    taliv Moderator Staff Member

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    Umm it's been a long time since I tried to mismatch parts but I don't think they're interchangeable. If you put a rifle buffer in a carbine stock you probably won't be able to pull the carrier back far enough to reliably pick up the next round.
     
  6. atomd

    atomd Member

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    The vltor a5 setup is great. I've run a few of them in different configurations and never had a problem. It's a little bit pricey but hey. If you like the emod stock you can sometimes find good deals on an emod/a5 combo kit.
     
  7. Autopistola

    Autopistola Member

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    But basically, a rifle buffer will work with a wide variety of configurations.

    It's the heaviest, aiding in reliability, but rarely is it too heavy (yes/no?). It should work with a 10.5" bbl to 24", as long as it's pretty much stock (M16 carrier, proportional gas port diameter). Am I mostly correct I this assumption?

    Major benefits of the A5 system seem to be:
    It's got as much travel as the rifle buffer, only it's more compact.
     
  8. Autopistola

    Autopistola Member

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    point being, they don't offer a variety of buffer weights for rifle length RE's. None is needed.
     
  9. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    One of the unfortunate aspects of AR as "lego" is that it's too easy to get caught up in parts rather than reasons.

    The AR has some middling distinct size cohorts, and the parts want/deserve some scaling to suit.

    This probably encourages some healthy experimentation out there.

    But, it also causes some distractions. Rifle bufferes are best on rifle platforms. A rifle buffer is not likely to help an AR pistl build much.
     
  10. HKGuns

    HKGuns Member

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    The VLTOR A5 is the best R/E and buffer I've ever used. I use it in most all of my rifles now.
     
  11. bullzeye8

    bullzeye8 Member

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    More expensive option is the JP silent captured spring. That is the best buffer available and you can buy weights to make it heavier but I don't know why you would want to.
     
  12. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    Indeed. I have it on my radar for my own AR, but that $140 seems like it would be better-used on something else first.
     
  13. Autopistola

    Autopistola Member

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    Personally I have one lower (rifle buffer) and two uppers: BCM middy 16" and a rifle length 18". I don't think there's much to gain by way of buffers, but if you've got ideas I'll think it over.
     
  14. HKGuns

    HKGuns Member

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    .......and you'd be wrong. There are a lot of advantages to the A5 system over the standard stuff that gets sold on most AR15's.
     
  15. Autopistola

    Autopistola Member

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    Details?

    It's my understanding that the A5 has longer travel and a rifle length spring, and that makes it smoother shooting than a carbine RE. That and you can't really stuff a spikes ST-2 in there.

    So the rifle RE is a bit noisy, any other disadvantages?
     
  16. Baron_Null

    Baron_Null Member

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    One downside that I can think of off hand is that many of the commonly available new manufacture rfile receiver extensions and buffers are of unknown pedigree. No brand, no material info, nothing. Whereas most brand name carbine receiver extensions will at least list diameter, if not material and forging vs extrusion, in my experience not much more is listed about rifle tubes other than the fact that they're rifle tubes.
     
  17. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    Thanks for that. I will plan on trying one soon.

    I changed my midlength gas carbine stocked AR to a rifle tube and stock. It works fine, but it didn't "sproing" before and now it does. I'd like to remove the sproing if it doesn't affect function.
     
  18. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Member

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    Watch his videos. I know he comes off as a sales jerk (and yeah he is selling his products!) but those springs are really great and do perform as he says.

    I don't know if any of you followed my 10mm DI AR build, but I learned so much about the AR platform that I have transferred to my 5.56 and 6.8 guns, that education alone has been worth it! I say before messing with buffers and springs, make sure all parts of your BCG are deburred, polished, lubed and free moving.
     
  19. Autopistola

    Autopistola Member

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    Thanks. Video was informational.
     
  20. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Member

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    I am all about 100% function. Not really a name brand guy. Make it work and make it work very reliably!
     
  21. minutemen1776

    minutemen1776 Member

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    In a carbine, I like the Spike's ST-T2 buffer. Very smooth shooting in my midlength.
     
  22. ClickClickD'oh

    ClickClickD'oh Member

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    Wait... wait.. Buffer Spring noise is actually a thing that people are spending money to try to get rid of?

    I'm also really confused as to why there's a question here. Rifle buffers in anything that has a rifle tube on it, carbine buffers in everything else. VLTOR A5 buffer in the VLTOR A5 stock. If you use a rifle buffer in anything not a rifle tube you will shear the gas key screws or crack your lower receiver eventually.

    So, for the OP, you are using an ACE SOCOM long so use a rifle buffer. putting a smaller and lighter buffer in the rifle is not your friend.
     
  23. Kittie

    Kittie Member

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    I have a bit of experience with the A5 system and build AR-15's on the side as a hobby for friends. Maybe I can help eliminate some misconceptions and such.

    The A5 system is a system that is similar to a carbine system, but a little longer. It is 10/16" longer. It uses a A5 proprietary buffer and a standard A2 rifle length spring. 95% of builds need the standard A5H2 buffer. This is a base across the board replacement for most standard builds. If you are doing a SBR, Pistol, Suppression etc you may need another weight to compensate for this.

    The benefits to the design is the extra coils in the spring help to smoothly slow the bolt's rearward motion with less bounce and speed. Once all the way to the rear it moves forward as well since the coils are not compressed as much as a carbine or rifle system. This eliminates the bolt bouncing out of battery before seating. This will increase your reliability and accuracy.

    Here is a link to a video on their system posted by VLTOR themselves.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTMjXyUriwM

    I hope this adds some clarification.

    I do know if you have any questions on what buffer weight you need their customer service is more than happy to try to help you out. Just be ready to give them specs on your build. The better information you have for them the better information you get back.
     
  24. Kruff

    Kruff Member

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    +1 on Minutemen's response.
    I have 2 mid length carbines in 5.56 and run Spikes T-2 buffers in both.

    I run a stock buffer in my 6.8 because I haven't gotten around to getting a T-2 for it yet.
     
  25. Whiskey11

    Whiskey11 Member

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    Interesting, I have a PSA Dissipator upper (16" barrel with midlength gas) an H2 buffer and standard carbine spring and spent brass from the American Eagle XM193 eject dang near straight forward. The steel cases from Hornady 55gr Steel Match eject at the 2:30-3:00 o'clock.

    I'll be curious to see what happens when I put the 20" upper with a rifle length gas system on this lower with an H2 buffer. As much as the A5 setup is interesting, my UBR wont work with it... so no.
     
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