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Recoil Buffers-Use Them?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Prion, Sep 15, 2010.

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  1. Prion

    Prion Member

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    Wilson makes them for 1911s and Buffer Technologies makes them for a few different autoloaders. I'm particularly interested in using them in my P220/226s.

    Anyone use them? Any tangible benefits?:scrutiny:
     
  2. moxie

    moxie Member

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    I see no use for them in steel framed guns. They might be useful in alloy framed guns if shooting a lot of stout/+P loads. But, I've seen no hard data on buffers actually lengthening frame life or preventing failures. And I haven't see anything much on frame failures at all. In either case, I wouldn't use them in a carry/SD gun, unless it was specifically designed for use with a buffer. There are some, such as the Star PD. Interestingly, the USMC MEU SOC pistol was built with a shock buffer.
     
  3. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Member

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    I use them on my full-size 1911's. I don't see the harm. The cost is negligible. The trick is to change them out after any extended range session, since they could get a little mangled up; a frequent criticism voiced on these forums. I never had the problem. Slide travel isn't affected on full-size autos, another criticism voiced for smaller autos.
    I once read that Bill Wilson didn't care for them personally, but would sell them to those that wanted them....Nice profit for him....:)
     
  4. rduckwor

    rduckwor Member

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    Not on my 1911's. I have a Wilson 1911 recoil buffer in my Mini 14. It helps.

    Why not try them if you're curious.

    They are cheap and easily removed.

    RMD
     
  5. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Member

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    Reducing slide travel and adding potential foriegn material sounds like a lousy plan to me for a serious gun.

    Do what you like with a range toy, but I think you're rolling the dice every shot for the sake of a small reduction in recoil impulse ... not something I'm going to do in any firearm that might be used in a defensive setting.
     
  6. gwnorth

    gwnorth Member

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    I don't see the point of wasting money on them. Most pistols will outlast their owners lifetime, so what exactly does the buffer do for you? If you are trying to reduce the felt recoil, I still don't see the point, as the effect (in my limited experience shooting a few guns with buffers) seems minimal at best.
     
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    They restrict slide travel about 1/8" in a 1911.

    That means the slide won't come back far enough to disengage the slide stop automatically when you try to do a sling-shot reload.

    In general, on a 1911, they cause more problems then they cure.

    rc
     
  8. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    I would highly recommend against using them in a handgun you would consider for defensive uses. Their failure would tie up the action of the gun and their presence interferes with general feeding. If your gun is just a range toy, have at it, but please remove them from a defensive handgun.

    I have put thousands of round through the Sig 220 and 226. You don't need the recoil buffer or any kind of recoil reduction spring system in them. What you need to do to prolong the life of your Sig is:
    1. good grease (not oil) on the rails
    2. follow the spring replacement schedule
    3. only use the factory twisted recoil springs
     
  9. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    Aftermarket buffers are designed for one purpose - separating fools from their money.

    At this, they excel.

    Most of the firearms we use today were designed when buffers were known about. If their designers didn't put a buffer in, what makes you think you're smarter than they are?

    On another note, the use of aftermarket buffers has caused receiver cracks in some firearms.

    If it ain't broke - don't fix it (and a buffer is not a fix for anything)
     
  10. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    No. In fact they can cause malfunctions by restricting full slide travel. If the gun makers thought they needed them, they would have put them in. ;)
     
  11. Prion

    Prion Member

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    Thanks for the info, definitely a pass!

    Not to mention Buffer Tech is charging $25 for the Sig buffer:what:
     
  12. Jed Carter

    Jed Carter Member

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    Has anyone actually shot a 1911 pistol before and after installing a shock buffer? Or do you all just have opinions and no experience. I have used the Wilson Combat on my Colt series 70 9mm and IMO they do not cause any problems with slide lock or sling shot reloads, no problems with extraction or ejection no FTF. They do not reduce muzzle rise but the make the recoil smoother or softer feeling. Are they worth it probably not, maybe get a .1 of a second on a stage in USPSA, for me a tenth is not going to help. They do need to be changed out around 500 to 600 rounds because they do deform.
     
  13. gwnorth

    gwnorth Member

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    Yes, I've shot .45acp in 1911's with buffers. Not in any way worth the money, IMO.
     
  14. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    I have used a 1911 with Wilson's Shok-Buff and formed my opinion from that experience.

    In his book, The Combat .45 Auto, Bill even writes that buffers should only be used during practice and never in competition or for defense. Wilson has made a lot of money selling items customers want but don't need
     
  15. Waywatcher

    Waywatcher Member

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    A gimmick to make money is all it is.

    When guns wear out, it's not because of the slide hitting the frame. And if you wear out a gun through legitimate use you are shooting A LOT and can afford another gun easily by using some of your ammo money.
     
  16. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Yes I have.

    Yes, they cause problems with sling shot reloads in every 1911 I have put them in.
    And taken them back out of.

    It is a common gunsmith complaint that is easily fixed by throwing the shok-buff in the trash.

    rc
     
  17. MrIzhevsk

    MrIzhevsk Member

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    This is pretty interesting as my father just had his 1911 worked on by a gunsmith in our area who apparently has a very good reputation. He tuned the extractor and also ADDED a wilson shok-buffer. I wonder if this is because the recoil spring is somewhat softer than what a standard one may be. At any rate, the gun is so far 100% reliable and I have no troubles slingshotting the slide.
     
  18. A and O

    A and O Member

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    I have bought them, but never used them for my mini's and 1911's. Cheap enough, but still costly for what they are.
     
  19. waterhouse

    waterhouse Member

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    I've had several used guns that came with shock buffers, and one even came with new spares. I installed them, noticed zero difference in recoil, and took them off.
     
  20. Ben86

    Ben86 Member

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    I tried one in a Glock 22. I noticed no difference in felt recoil, it interfered with the re-insertion of the recoil assembly, and started falling apart after about 100 rounds. They are utterly useless pieces of junk for the most part. The only ones that are not junk are the ones designed as part of the gun, like the buffer on an AR-15.
     
  21. KingMedicine

    KingMedicine Member

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    I have only used them in my 10/22 (which i actually really enjoy) and my Sig P226 (which i thought helped a little bit... nothing amazing)


    I wont add them to my 1911 tho. That just seems wrong...
     
  22. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    Did you replace the factory buffer, or drop in a whole 'nother piece?

    Replacing the factory buffer (it's steel) can make for a more enjoyable rifle.
     
  23. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Why, yes! Yes I have! Off and on over the course of about 30 years, after I saw my first one.

    Here's what I've found.

    They do soften slide to frame impact. If that's really a concern, then use'em if you wish. I don't advise having one in a serious purpose pistol, however.

    Some guns will run just fine with a buffer in place, and some won't. Some will allow a slingshot from slidelock reload...and some won't. All my 5-inch guns will. The ones that don't like buffs give no clue as to why. They just go into spastic fits when one is installed...and return to perfect behavior when they're removed. Most of my 5-inch guns do fine with buffs installed. Sometimes I run'em with buffs...but most of the time, I don't.

    There's way too much concern over the frames. The real destructive stresses occur in the slide. The slide and barrel assembly is the gun. The frame is really no more than a gun mount. When the US Army adopted the 1911, orders were placed for a couple dozen slides, along with other repair/replacement parts, for every complete gun delivered. That was repeated for the WW2 contracts. There was a reason for it. That being that the frame will outlast the slide about 10:1 or better.

    Are shock buffs necessary? No. Do they "save" the frame, as advertised? Not really.
    Do they make people feel better? Yep...and that's probably their greatest advantage. They lead people to believe that they're sparing their gun an early death.

    The age-old question begs to be asked:

    "What's it for?"

    Too often, the answer is:

    "Why...to sell, of course!"
     
  24. ScratchnDent

    ScratchnDent Member

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    I reckon if they were necessary, those highly paid engineers that designed the guns would have specified them. No buffs in my guns.
     
  25. Ben86

    Ben86 Member

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    It is naive to think that engineers didn't include something just because they didn't think it was right or necessary. There are many other reasons why they might not include something that would otherwise be useful, not the least of which is budget.

    That said, there are a ton of useless and sometimes harmful aftermarket parts. You just have to use careful discretion.
     
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