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Old April 5, 1999, 10:25 AM   #1
Jeff Thomas
Senior Member
Join Date: December 9, 1998
Location: Texas
Posts: 4,753
I've done a search on this in TFL, and I have found various discussion, all apparently positive, but not exactly answering my question. I have a brochure I picked up at a gun show from Buffer Technologies, indicating they have these buffers for AK/Valmet/Galil's, M1A/M14's, Ruger 10/22's, FN/FAL-L1A1's, SKS's, Ruger Mini 14/30's and 1911's.

Cost seems fairly reasonable if they truly protect fine firearms. However, my questions are:
1. If these buffers are such a great idea, why don't the manufacturers install them in the first place?
2. Considering their engineering purpose, I assume they wear out from time to time, and must be replaced on a regular basis? If so, does that answer my question #1 to some extent, and how often do they need to be replaced?
3. Is it practical to install most of these yourself, or is a gunsmith a better way to go? (I realize this may vary depending upon the firearm involved.)
4. Are there any other brands I should consider besides Buffer Technologies?

Thanks for any help you can provide. Have a good week. Regards from AZ.
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Old April 5, 1999, 01:44 PM   #2
James K
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 24,159
I don't recall seeing that exact brand, but there are all kinds of buffers. Some are designed to reduce wear or impact on parts of the gun, some are designed to reduce felt recoil by spreading the recoil force over time.

The main problem is that they may interfere with the functioning of the gun, especially under marginal conditions, which is why manufacturers usually don't put them on.

Good factory guns have a built-in "overkill" for functioning under adverse conditions - cold, dirt, extreme heat, etc., and a buffer (and a lot of other custom gun work) may reduce that capability, something the owner may not really want to do.

Most buffers can be installed easily; problem is if they don't work, then they are used and some companies won't take them back or refund money.
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Old April 6, 1999, 07:16 AM   #3
Ken Cook
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Join Date: March 4, 1999
Location: Hot Springs AR. USA
Posts: 265
My advise, avoid these things like the plague! They WILL often interfere with proper function of the firearm. Especially in the 1911. If you install one of these, you will notice that you will (probably) have difficulty getting the slide to rack from the locked position. (Pulling the slide back from locked position and letting it cycle home, i.e. slingshot method.)
I have ARs and 1911a1s that have tens of thousands of rounds through them with no appreciable wear to the parts that these buffers are supposed to protect.
Most of these guns have buffers built into them!
The buffer assembly in the AR15/M16 rifles is intended to be replaced from time to time.
Same thing with the 1911 recoil spring guide. That's why it's a soft steel. it deforms so that the frame won't!
When you see the recoil spring guide starting to deform or flatten out, buy a new one and forget about it for the next couple of thousand rounds. Also, replace your springs every so often. They do wear out with time and use.
Buffers won't stop this from happening. Just another one of those "bells and whistles" that some guy dreams up and makes money off of.


Your mind is your primary weapon.
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Old April 6, 1999, 06:12 PM   #4
James K
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 24,159
Ken Cook's HO is right on! I didn't want to take a lot of space in the last posting, but I once put one of those in a very reliable .45 M1911A1. Result was a very nice repeating pistol. Fire. Rack slide. Fire. Rack slide. Threw d--n thing as far as it would go (the buffer, that is; I still have the gun).

One small note on the recoil spring guide. The front end should be rounded off to look a little like a 9mm Hollowpoint, not like the end of a barrel. And the spring should grip the guide only at the back (last coil) or not at all. Some aftermarket ones interfere with spring compression and cause jams.
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Old April 9, 1999, 02:48 PM   #5
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Join Date: April 8, 1999
Location: Berea Ohio USA
Posts: 5
A word on 1911 recoil spring guides: Remove the spring and clean them when you do your pistol. Then when reassembling, put a small amount of grease on the outside of the guide. (TW25 works well) Since the spring must collapse on itself outside the guide this is critical to reliability. Also, check that the collapsed length of the spring is short enough to allow the pistol to fully cycle! If there are too many coils, it will drive you crazy trying to figure out what is causing ejection problems!
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