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Recoil Buffers for 1911? Yes? No?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by jjohnson, Jul 19, 2006.

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  1. jjohnson

    jjohnson Member

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    Hi, Gents!

    I shoot a "stock" (well, okay, MOSTLY stock) GI-issue .45 and noticed recently that the relatively warm (still within spec) reloads occasionaly slam the slide all the way back. The recoil spring is a Wolff "factory spec" new spring, and I figure is just about right because it sometimes stovepipes the light target loads, but it set me to thinking. I do have a six pack of wilson shock buffers I bought for the 45 some time ago on a whim, never used them, and was wondering if it'd be worth a go. I have mixed feelings on it since *millions* of these 45s have made it okay without beating themselves to death, but hey, I tinker a lot.... anybody got any opinions to share? Also, which end of the buffer faces the muzzle, anyway? The Wilson parts have small raised bumps on one side. Is that the muzzle side, or does it matter?

    :confused: Thanks!
     
  2. Majic

    Majic Member

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    Toss them in the trash.
     
  3. Azrael256

    Azrael256 Member

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    I agree. Toss 'em.
     
  4. Bacchus

    Bacchus Member

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    I've heard mixed opinions about them. If you've already got a few laying around, why not install one and give it a try with different types of ammo. Then let us know your experience with them.

    BTW, I decided against using them once I had read others' comments. But more real world data is always nice. :)
     
  5. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Member

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    "Wilson parts have small raised bumps on one side. Is that the muzzle side, or does it matter?" Yes, you want a flat surface resting against the recoil guide. BTW, had a similar post a year back, the consensus being that they were junk. "If John Browning wanted them he would have put them on...ad nauseum.." However, trying to use a little physics to the matter, with a 5" slide/stroke; the width of the buff makes it's inconsequential in the cycling action...I use them on my .45's and after you look at the beating they take; makes you wonder. :rolleyes:
     
  6. Canuck-IL

    Canuck-IL Member

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    Cheap insurance...some like the feel, some don't. Bumps go toward the muzzle, flat side on guide rod. When installing one, make sure it doesn't cause spring bind; if it does, clip a coil. CP buffs are tougher but the WIlson's should go for 600 - 1000 rounds.
    /Bryan
     
  7. Azrael256

    Azrael256 Member

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    The action could be a mile long and the buff could still make a difference. The action of the slide stop occurs in the last moments of slide travel, right around the time the buffer is in action. If you read any number of threads about a pistol failing to slide lock, the very first question you'll see is "are you using a buffer?"
     
  8. SAWBONES

    SAWBONES Member

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    "...the width of the buff makes it's inconsequential in the cycling action..."

    Not so AT ALL.
    All semiautomatic pistols operate reliably within a limited range of mechanical constraints, and changing the length and rate of slide movement are two of the most critical.

    Even in the O frame, the buff thickness MAY be important in limiting slide travel, and in smaller frame 1911-pattern pistols, it often does SIGNIFICANTLY interfere with reliable finction by diminishing cycle length, to the extent that the slide may not even lock back on an empty magazine.

    Sure, the buff cushions the frame and slide, but does the gun need it?
    JMB designed the 1911 without reference to a shock buffer, and the .45ACP is a low pressure round that has mild recoil, after all, so what does the buff give you?

    For best reliability, I'd say don't use 'em except on the range, or if you must, then use the thinnest ones (perhaps CP buffs) you can find, but I consider them superfluous, personally, and won't have one on a 1911 used for CCW.
     
  9. JoeHatley

    JoeHatley Member

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    I use blue Wilson Shock Buffs on all my range only 1911's. Cheap insurance for guns that get fired a lot. No functioning problems.

    Joe
     
  10. 45auto

    45auto Member

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    A buffer didn't stop my dust cover crack on one side. But, there can be many "reasons" for that other than "impact" from the slide in that area.

    You would need to test two guns/frames with the same number of rounds, one with and one without a buffer to determine if it really helps IMO.

    If they do work, there is a brand that has buffers on both sides of the recoil rod head, which seems logical to completely eliminate the metal to metal contact...if it matters!
     
  11. HSMITH

    HSMITH Member

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    I use them in competition and range beaters. I do NOT use them in SD/HD/carry guns. I recommend the same to friends and family.
     
  12. mete

    mete Member

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    They don't last forever and when deteriourated can cause malfunctions .The Star PD had them and they lasted for 500 rounds [the manual didn't tell you that !!! ] When yo clean your gun inspect the buffer, replace when needed.
     
  13. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Member

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    Let me put it another way, many pistoleros do more harm when after picking up a 1911 or clone start changing out the internal parts thinking they are building a performance pistol, minus paying charges to a "pro" or gunsmith when some of those parts are not correctly mated to their pistol.
    Plenty of competition shooters have paid big bucks to have Bill Wilson customize their pistols and his name carries some weight. Is it cheap insurance using the buffs? The jury says "it probably doesn't do any harm, but not really needed." The biggest problem with shok buffs is that where some think one is doing such a good job; they place 2 buffs and now we have a problem.:eek:
     
  14. longeyes

    longeyes member

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    Had them on a Kimber and Sistema. Got rid of them. In my view they contributed to jams by changing the slide dynamics. Things are going fine now.
     
  15. jman74

    jman74 Member

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    I use them on all of my 1911s and I'll put one on my 5th when I pick it up tommorrow. I have never had any negative effects by using them. After seeing the pounding my shooting buddy's Kimber CDP is taking after 5-6K rounds, I'll keep using them (yes I know the CDP is an alloy frame, but it still takes some force to batter it). I also use 18-1/2 pound springs that some people will say you don't need either. The two put togeter have certainly toned down the recoil a little and my guns are reliable set up this way. My reloads are full power hardball loads if that matters.
     
  16. Black Majik

    Black Majik Member

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    They come on the Baers, first mod to those 1911s is a recoil buffer in the trash.

    Toss em'...
     
  17. jjohnson

    jjohnson Member

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    Will Try 'Em!

    Okay, guys, I see I piqued your interest and got more than one opposing opinion. That's a GOOD thing! I had a couple thoughts reading through your ideas. Not in any particular order: (1) I'd NEVER put something like that in a CCW gun - this is something to experiment with on a target range, period.
    (2) With all entirely well deserved respect to John M. Browning, he didn't have modern plastics to play with. If he'd wanted a recoil buffer, it would been made of gum rubber or leather, neither of which would work. He'd probably used Teflon to coat something if he'd had it. (3) Since you guys are nice enough to take the time to share your ideas, I'll install one of the things for fun and write an update.

    My 45 does get its share of work at the range or I'd not have bought these things to start with. I know the design is just about perfect for what it was designed to do. Some of my firearms actually get enough wear that I can 'shoot loose' or break things that the designers never would count on:D , just owing to a calculated service life.... like my P38's extractor last month.
     
  18. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    if my "el cheapo" RIA 5" can run 100% with an 18# recoil spring and a recoil buffer, surely the big money guns can also........
     
  19. stevelyn

    stevelyn Member

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    I have the Buffer Tech version on my Glock and BHP. After going through a firearms class and a case of ammo, my recoil buffer was chewed up enough to need replacing. I would imagine that the damage to the buffer would have occurred to the gun had I not had it installed.

    I haven't really noticed a difference in felt recoil, but I haven't tried looking for it either.

    As one poster put it, "cheap insurance". I work hard and pay enough for my toys. If there is something I can do make them last longer over the course of normal use, I'll do it.
     
  20. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Member

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    Don't know about the .45's yet, I'll try it with and without the next chance I get.

    I did notice in the HP that it reduced the trigger slap that I was experiencing, so that was worth the $ for me in that case. Has not impacted reliability yet on the HP. Did prevent the safety from locking into the front slot at first, but that worked out after one range session.
     
  21. 10X

    10X Member

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    Don't use them. A standard 45 doesn't need them for durability. There have been various test showing 45s last well beyond 5,000 rounds without harm without buffers. I don't think they help felt recoil. If a buffer starts to mushroom or tear from use you can have failures to cycle . There are reasons to not use them and few or no reasons they are needed.
     
  22. cyanide

    cyanide Member

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    Never use them

    they are like an accident looking for a time and place to happen.

    Mr. Browning did not think they were needed and he knew what the heck he was doing.
     
  23. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    sounds like advise regarding the post-locked S&W revolvers.....;) ;)
     
  24. Car Knocker

    Car Knocker Member

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    I should hope a 1911 would last beyond 5,000 rounds. ANY half-way decent pistol should! Some people shoot that much in a month!
     
  25. Car Knocker

    Car Knocker Member

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    Mr. Browning didn't give a passing thought to whether he should install polymer shock buffers, since the technology had not yet been invented. Mr. Browning used the current technology of the day. If he were alive and designing today, it seems logical that he would be using today's technology to design today's firearms. Whether that would encompass the use of shock buffers is anyone's guess.
     
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