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  #1  
Old 03-11-2012, 08:12 AM
mikeyg2 mikeyg2 is offline
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Recoil Buffer




Hey I have several 1911 style pistols, Colt Gold Cup, Kimber Compact Custom, and a Springfield Micro-Compact.

My question is about recoil buffers, they look like cheap pieces of plastic but do they really make a difference? Do they affect the handling of the gun? I use mine for duty use and don't want to risk the spot on performance of my weapons.

I haven't heard much about these things but I see them all the time. It is one of those things that sounds good but are they too good to be true?
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  #2  
Old 03-11-2012, 08:54 AM
txtard txtard is offline
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They might work in the gold cup. No way they will in the compacts. I never use them.
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  #3  
Old 03-13-2012, 05:14 AM
harbourdeep harbourdeep is offline
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for a duty gun that you may have to rely on to protect life i would never use a buffer. they cause the slide to short stroke and some guns cope with it, some dont.
for a gaming gun that has thousands of rounds a year through it, maybe.
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  #4  
Old 03-13-2012, 05:56 AM
Combat_Vet Combat_Vet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harbourdeep View Post
for a duty gun that you may have to rely on to protect life i would never use a buffer. they cause the slide to short stroke and some guns cope with it, some dont.
for a gaming gun that has thousands of rounds a year through it, maybe.
In my personal experience, I have seen the shock-buffs fail rending the gun useless until disassembly and discovered peices of it all over inside the gun.

Just another way for Wilson and other manufacturers to separate you from your cash.
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  #5  
Old 03-13-2012, 10:35 PM
salo salo is offline
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Here is my take on it, since they do get chewed up, it is absorbing something.
For a competition shooter, any small edge that will help, why not.

I do not know the average round count, but if you clean and inspect after every range trip, and replace you should be fine.

Only use it on the longer barrel one.
Really is pointless on the micro, it already has a dual spring set-up.

But for sure, leave them off when it's a duty weapon.
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  #6  
Old 03-14-2012, 12:35 PM
guysmith guysmith is offline
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I'm old school on this one. If you think you need a shock buff then it might be time to change the recoil spring for a new one. Replacing the recoil spring doesn't cause the slide to short cycle, like buffs do. I agree it just another way to get our money. Besides good recoil springs are almost as cheap as buffs.
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  #7  
Old 03-14-2012, 08:56 PM
Alland Alland is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guysmith View Post
Besides good recoil springs are almost as cheap as buffs.
And recoil springs last a LOT longer.
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  #8  
Old 04-15-2012, 01:30 AM
12-string 12-string is offline
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HOW do they absorb the shock of the slide going back into battery?

I'm having trouble visualizing what impact the blue plastic will absorb, other than that between the spring's end and the back of plate on the guide rod.

Thanks.
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  #9  
Old 04-15-2012, 04:47 AM
Tonimus Tonimus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12-string View Post
HOW do they absorb the shock of the slide going back into battery?

I'm having trouble visualizing what impact the blue plastic will absorb, other than that between the spring's end and the back of plate on the guide rod.

Thanks.
It's the interface where the slide meets the frame via the guide rod. When the slide comes back, the back end of the guide rod is sandwiched between the frame and slide. A shock buffer is supposed to help with that. Not advocating their use, just helping. I only use one in my .45 Super.
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  #10  
Old 04-15-2012, 02:33 PM
drail drail is offline
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Clamp a hefty chunk of steel into a vise and whack it with a ball peen hammer. Feel that clank? Now put a piece of rubber over the steel and whack it again. Notice any difference? Shock buffs are fine if there is room in the slide/frame for it and you inspect it every time you tear down the gun. They wear out. You have to replace them when they get chewed a little. If a buff short strokes the gun a then small amount of metal can be faced off from the rear of the dustcover and full slide travel is restored. Some guns have plenty of room and some guns got no room to spare. IPSC guys have been modifying guns to allow room for 2 shock buffs since the late 80s. Some people like the difference in recoil impulse and some people swear there is no difference. Whether or not they will save your frame is open to debate but for what it's worth I have a Springfield Mil spec from around '88 and it has developed cracks on both sides of the frame right where the guide rod head hits the frame. And this gun has been used with Shock buffs since Shock buffs were a new thing. All the ammo was 180 power factor 200 gr. SWC handloads. Pretty mild shooting load for most people. I think the precise fit of the guide rod head to the frame does have an effect on frame wear and tear. The SA that cracked had very square corners in the radius cut where the frames dust cover starts. A lot of people have told me that's the reason those cracks started. They seem to have stopped growing as they reached the thicker metal lower down on the frame's dust cover. I still use Shock buffs in most of guns.

Last edited by drail; 04-15-2012 at 02:41 PM.
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  #11  
Old 04-15-2012, 06:03 PM
SRJim SRJim is offline
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  #12  
Old 04-17-2012, 09:36 PM
GSR Hand Since 5 GSR Hand Since 5 is offline
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Well, the first time I ever used one was when I got my Wilson CQB new. I'd never used one before but followed the directions not to take it apart for the first 500 rounds. When I field-stripped it, the buffer went in the garbage. I've never used another since. Maybe it helped the frame during break in, maybe it didn't. I just don't trust them and have heard too many bad stories about them to use one.
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  #13  
Old 04-18-2012, 12:34 PM
chrysanthemum chrysanthemum is offline
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Shok-Buffs (one of their names) are similar to many other details of a 1911 ... you can take 'em or leave 'em.

Just don't use them on a compact or commander size gun that you're carrying (or otherwise using) for self-defense. This is the one rule of thumb on which there seems to be universal agreement.

Personally, I use them on the range in any 1911 that costs more than $3,000, even a compact (as long as it functions with one installed). For that specific purpose, I just don't see it being such a hardship to inspect the condition of the Shok-Buff at frequent intervals. Basically, this is just a matter of preserving the gun for my lifetime and likely the next owner's lifetime as well. Probably wouldn't go to this bother for an $800 1911.
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  #14  
Old 04-19-2012, 07:53 PM
tracker1 tracker1 is offline
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I have used the Wilson buffer since they came out on the market many years ago in my combat commander. I thought it was a good idea for target shooting and never had an issue with them. the Wilsons will take a whole lot of rounds before they start to wear out. I think the actual thickness when compressed while recoiling would be very minimal, but for SD carry I leave them out.
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  #15  
Old 04-19-2012, 11:39 PM
buck-boost buck-boost is offline
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My WC 1911 runs just fine with it in, where as my SA TRP doesn't like 'em with my SWC loads that I tested it with.

Check out this thread:
http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=361291
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