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Recoil buffers

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Machine Shop Dude, Sep 12, 2020.

  1. Machine Shop Dude

    Machine Shop Dude Member

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    So I bought a star pd and am waiting on new 16 pond recoil spring and a new recoil buffer. The buffer came from gun garage and over all I am satisfied with its quality appearance. What worries me is the hardness of this item. When compared to Wilson buffers which do have flex and are firm yet not hard if that makes sense. The star pd seem to just hard molded plastic.

    Does anyone have experience with these parts or star pd buffers.

    Should I just modify Wilson buffers to fit?
     
  2. Stophel

    Stophel Member

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    Basically, you're better off without one at all. They WILL disintegrate eventually.
     
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  3. KY DAN

    KY DAN Member

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    Ok this is quite possibly the most ignorant statement on this forum.

    Do you understand what the buffer does and more importantly the role it plays in aluminium alloy frames?

    They are ment to be changed every 500 to 1000 rounds. They do not come apart under normal prescribed maintenance.

    Without said buffer you will experience cracking of the frames in all models regardless of maker.

    The star pd is a gun plagued by ignorance and misinformation and the blame is shifted to the alloy design. It is my opinion the star pd does not suffer from poor quality alloy nor design flaws, it instead suffers from end user maintenance. I know of one man who has 20,000 rounds of gi 45acp ammo through his but he changed the buffer every 500 rounds and recoil springs every 2000 rounds.

    Change your buffers and springs, oil, and shoot standard pressure ammo and your guns will last a life time.
     
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  4. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    You're better off with the hard ones than the softer ones. Just keep and eye on them and replace them when they start to show wear.

    I wouldn't use the Wilson shock buffers as a standard of comparison as they are known to fail and jam the pistol... just as I wouldn't use their 47D magazines
     
  5. Stophel

    Stophel Member

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    I will defer to your wisdom.
     
  6. jhb

    jhb Member

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    is this pistol designed with a buffer, or are we talking about an aftermarket change? I don't know this model and don't own one so I'm here to learn. thank you.
     
  7. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    I wouldnt put a buffer in a gun that didnt come with one from the factory. If the factory thought they were necessary, and they were designed to use one, thats one thing, buying into some marketing BS is something else all together.

    Ive bought a number of used guns over the years that came with them, both handguns and long guns, and everyone was trouble with the buffer installed.
     
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  8. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    I jumped on the Star PD bandwagon back about '91 or '92 or so, when Mas Ayoob and others such as Lew Awerbuck were touting its virtues. Mas claimed you had to use the buffers, and shilled for the original Wilson Shok-Buf (or whatever it was called at the time). I, however, being obstinate, believed this:
    hence never used the buffers. Shot probably (conservatively) a few thousand rounds through the PD until I sold it for well over twice what I'd paid for it in the early 00's. It was in fine working order when I sold it, and it remains one of the handful of handguns that I truly regret selling or trading (it was a really minty specimen).
     
    Gordon likes this.
  9. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    Recoil springs and buffers are like the Ford vs Chevrolet argument. Everyone is right, and everyone is wrong.

    I used to run buffers in my Springfield 1911... never a problem. They did get beat to death, and I noticed that if they were left in the pistol they would disintegrate, so I went to 'shoot it, remove it' and never had problems thereafter. I do not use them in my 4" 1911's, but I wish I could in my alloy pistol.

    I'm also a big recoil spring replacer. Yes, I know there are those of you who have 5000000 rounds on your original spring... hooray for you. I swap mine out every 500 rounds or so (factory recommendation is 800 rounds.)

    The idea that 'if it wasn't built with it, it doesn't need it!' is a bit specious. Firearms are made all the time that are modified... what's the big deal with a buffer?
     
  10. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Buffers are like the shocks on your car or truck. You can't install them and just forget about them. They do not last forever. Inspect them and replace them BEFORE they fail and they work very well. And what actually tears buffers up are sharp corners left in the frame or the guide rod head from machining. If all those corners are lightly radiused buffers can easily last three times as long. I used buffers for many years in competition guns and I NEVER had one come apart because I checked them every time the gun got cleaned after a match. If a buff gets shredded then it's not the buff's fault - it's your fault for not changing it out. Someone complained to Bill Wilson once about his buffers not being as hard as some competitor's buff. He smiled and said "If you make it harder so it lasts longer it cannot protect your frame as well". Wilson did not invent the buff - he got the idea from Armand Swenson who used to cut buffs out of thick leather. They worked very well but did not hold up very long. Wilson just substituted a strong injection molded polymer for the leather. I have made them from leather and they make for a very soft shooting gun. Be aware that not all 1911s are made with enough room for a buff. If a buff is installed in a tight gun (like a Baer) you will instantly lose the ability to slingshot the slide (if that matters to you). The slide dust cover can be slightly modified to give just enough room for a buff if necessary. I have an old Springfield that I modified to allow enough room for 2 buffs stacked and it worked perfectly and the buffs last forever. But it will not slingshot which is something I would NEVER do anyway. Thumbing the stop down is much faster and I never shoot to slidelock anyway.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2020
  11. JDR

    JDR Member

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    I like the Wilson FWRS kit but the buffer they include with the kit didn’t work with my 9mm STI Trojan.

    IMHO, the buffer design that is built into the HK recoil spring assemblies is a better setup than a separate recoil buffer.
     
  12. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    If your gun isnt showing signs of battering, which should be pretty obvious if it is, why are you using the buffer?

    And if it is showing signs of battering, why is that happening? It shouldnt be and something else needs to be addressed. Unless of course, it was designed to be used with a buffer, which other than a few guns that Ive seen/owned that were, Id say 99.9% of guns out there, were not designed to need them.

    I bought two AK's that came with aftermarket (there are no "factory") buffers installed by the previous owners. Both guns were unreliable and had regular malfunctions (which is why I think I got them so cheap) with the buffers installed, and most of those were feeding and short stroking related. The buffer wasnt allowing the bolt carrier its full range of motion causing the problems.

    When the buffers were removed, the guns immediately were working as they should, and there was never any sign that the carrier was impacting the rear of the receiver, or anything else was being battered. Nor have I ever seen that on any of the other AK's that Ive owned.

    One other thing I noticed with the AK's that had buffers in them, was a difference in the recoil impulse. In the guns without them, it felt as if the gun had less felt recoil and the guns ran/cycled more smoothly.

    With the buffers installed, and with the carrier impacting the buffer, and transferring that impact into the gun and the impulse (as opposed to the spring absorbing it), there was a bit more of a slap to the recoil and it was noticeable. Which was kind of funny, since some of the buffer makers were claiming the buffer did just the opposite and made felt recoil softer.

    I also bought a 1911 that came with a rubber buffer installed, and it too was causing function problems, which also immediately went away when the buffer was removed.

    As far as I know, a properly built 1911 was not designed to use one. Is the reason they are being used in some guns, because the shooter had modified the gun for other reasons (lighter springs comes to mind) and because of that, they are now having battering problems where you normally wouldnt?
     
  13. KY DAN

    KY DAN Member

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    Look I am only 28 and I own 3 star pd 45 acp. Each one represents a portion of the used spectrum. All do not have frame cracks nor excessive bartering of frame related components.

    I am young and not that smart but even I know the star pd came from the factory with a buffer. Why is that you ask? Because these guns and all other aluminium frame guns will fall apart at a certain round count using various forms of ammo.

    You guys are playing bottle rocket scientist on whether to use buffers or not and that is fine but this gun is designed around a buffer.

    Sum it up use the stupid buffer or risk cracking the frame on a pistol you can't readily replace.
     
  14. JDR

    JDR Member

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    I was responding to the OP’s comment about using a modded Wilson shok-buf in a gun for which it wasn’t intended, and then I mentioned my bad experience with a Wilson shok-buf in a gun for which it was intended.
     
  15. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    Ive owned, a lot of aluminum-framed guns over the years, and still own a number of them (SIG's, Beretta's, etc), and none came with a buffer installed, and they all got/get shot a lot, and probably more than most shoot. The only one to have any kind of frame related issue, was a Kimber Ultra Carry, and the issue there wasnt buffer related. The steel, factory mag followers, were chewing up the feed ramp.

    If the gun comes from the factory with a buffer installed, and its part of the design, and listed in their parts schematic, then yea, its probably there for a reason and belongs in the gun.

    Buying into some marketing BS, because they tell you that you need it, is something else altogether. From past personal experiences using them, those experiences were not positive.
     
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  16. Drail

    Drail Member

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    I used buffs in my race guns for years - not to "save" the frame but because they changed the recoil impulse in a way that I liked and reduced muzzle lift a small amount. FWIW, after using buffs in one 1911 for many years that frame cracked on both sides where the rails meet the dust cover so I don't really believe a buff will "save" your frame. The gun was only shot with light target loads. And yes I know why that frame cracked - it was because of sharp square inside corners machined into the frame below the rails that formed stress risers. If I had filed a slight radius in those corners when the frame was new the cracks never would have started. I just love learning this stuff the "hard way".
     
  17. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Re. - "if the factory thought they were necessary.." The factory has no idea how the gun is going to used or with what kind of loads. I have never heard of a manufacturer warranting that a gun will last for "X" number of rounds before the frame cracks. The manufacturers really don't care - but the person who buys it has an interest of the usable life of the gun.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
  18. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    Pretty simple.

    Aftermarket buffers: Use them at the range on guns where the volume of shooting might allow a buffer to provide some protection. Take them out for self-defense use to eliminate any possibility (however small) that they could cause a problem during a self-defense situation. Nobody is going to shoot enough during a lifetime of self-defense encounters to put any significant wear on a gun.

    Factory buffers: If the manufacturer feels like they need to be there, it's probably a good idea to pay attention. Also, to pay attention to maintenance/inspection/replacement recommendations by the manufacturer.
     
  19. Stophel

    Stophel Member

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    Hey, I'll admit. Here it is. Part #42.
    https://www.gunpartscorp.com/gun-manufacturer/star/pd-auto

    At least at some point, Star began putting a buffer in them. Whether they are integral to the original design, or a later addition, I don't know.

    That said, as to all aluminum frame guns needing a buffer or else they'll self destruct.... no.

    Personally, I would not be a fan of a gun that required parts to be changed out after only a few hundred rounds. That's pretty sad.
     
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  20. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    1995 S&W Sigma SW380...maybe not "warranting", but it had a designed service life of 2500 rounds

    2006 Wilson Combat ADP, a modification of a Alex Du Plessis designed compact gas delayed blowback 9mm pistol...Wilson's first foray into a polymer framed gun. It was recommended that recoil springs be changed every 500 rounds
     
  21. nofendertom

    nofendertom Member

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    Ran Wilson Shok-Buffs in my Colt Gov 1911 .45acp for over 75 thousand rds shooting in IPSC. I changed them whenever I changed recoil springs, They are a wear item.
    I never had a problem with them nor with the slide stop (did not slingshot) using the slide release.
     
  22. KY DAN

    KY DAN Member

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    I will state this again alloy is not steel, the star pd is an very early alloy frame 45 acp. That means those neat tricks of design and manufacturing were not yet refined yet for this or any other article in question.

    I will not waver in my declaration buffers, appropriate recoil springs and replacement, correct pressure ammo all help to extend the life of an alloy gun. Nor will I retract the fact that failure to maintain will cause destruction of said article's frame.

    This gun was made for a buffer so use the buffer.

    I realize I am only 28 and I am probably considered a dumbass for these post, yet my experience with this and other alloy guns leads me to these facts.

    I have a box of kel tec 9mm that were sold to me for a penance, that are living proof of what poorly maintained alloy frame pistol will become.
     
    lincen likes this.
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