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1911 recoil buffers do they actually work??

lock stock and barrellock stock and barrel Member Posts: 88 ✭✭
edited January 2015 in Ask the Experts
1911 recoil buffers do they actually work??

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    charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 6,579 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Sometimes. I think the A1 as designed was good. Better sights are useful if you can shoot a pistol.
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    perry shooterperry shooter Member Posts: 17,390
    edited November -1
    RECOIL BUFFERS are a poor attempt to fix a Problem That never exsised in the first place,and causes an even worst problem. The main cause of failure to chamber a round in a semi auto 1911 Is the slide not fully cycling. The buffer causes the slide to stop before it gets to the fully open position. This causes the round in the magazine to have not as much time to move upward. This upward movement is to allow the slide to push the new round straight into the barrel chamber It also can keep the Slide stop pin from fully riseing after the last round is fired and it will deform the bottom of the slide stop notch in the slide. On top of that
    a buffer will come apart in time and can jam the function of the slide at the very worst time. A 1911 Should with factory ammo just KISS the slide to the frame under recoil If you want to shoot +P loads get a Heavier recoil spring and if you want to shoot lighter loads than factory then get a lighter recoil spring If you match the Load to the pistol the 1911 will not break parts and will function 100% I have a 1911A1 Target pistol that has over 350,000 rounds shot from it and never broke but one part Extractor. shooting steel case ammo, DON"T mess with John Brownings design with installing PLASTIC?RUBBER PARTS
    " PRAISE THE HARD-BALL GUN "
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    machine gun moranmachine gun moran Member Posts: 5,198
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by perry shooter
    RECOIL BUFFERS are a poor attempt to fix a Problem That never exsised in the first place,and causes an even worst problem. The main cause of failure to chamber a round in a semi auto 1911 Is the slide not fully cycling. The buffer causes the slide to stop before it gets to the fully open position. This causes the round in the magazine to have not as much time to move upward. This upward movement is to allow the slide to push the new round straight into the barrel chamber It also can keep the Slide stop pin from fully riseing after the last round is fired and it will deform the bottom of the slide stop notch in the slide. On top of that
    a buffer will come apart in time and can jam the function of the slide at the very worst time. A 1911 Should with factory ammo just KISS the slide to the frame under recoil If you want to shoot +P loads get a Heavier recoil spring and if you want to shoot lighter loads than factory then get a lighter recoil spring If you match the Load to the pistol the 1911 will not break parts and will function 100% I have a 1911A1 Target pistol that has over 350,000 rounds shot from it and never broke but one part Extractor. shooting steel case ammo, DON"T mess with John Brownings design with installing PLASTIC?RUBBER PARTS
    " PRAISE THE HARD-BALL GUN "



    + 1,000 to about the tenth power.

    The 1911 was designed to operate steel-against-steel. This is not a weenie-gun. Some commercial makers have never heard of heat-treat on their knock-offs, much less the double heat-treats that were across-the-board on Colts and consequently in the specs that the government provided to all military contractors.

    The Army never handed us anything that needed to be babied.
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    RustyBonesRustyBones Member Posts: 4,956
    edited November -1
    quote:On top of that
    a buffer will come apart in time and can jam the function of the slide at the very worst time.

    This. When I got my first target 1911 I bought some buffers. The first 2 came apart and ended up jamming the action. I never installed the third. Use at your own risk for a range gun, and don't even think about it for a self defense gun. The proper spring for your loads is the way to go.
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    M1A762M1A762 Member Posts: 3,426
    edited November -1
    Maybe on the cheapos that peen the frame from recoil. Not on a quality 1911 though.
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    beantownshootahbeantownshootah Member Posts: 12,776 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by lock stock and barrel
    1911 recoil buffers do they actually work??


    Yes. . .but.

    "Yes" buffers do cushion metal-to-metal slide/frame contact during recoil. This can (very) slightly reduce perceived felt recoil by softening the metal-metal slide/frame impact during the recoil cycle. In THEORY it can also reduce wear to the gun.

    In practice. . .meh. . .a good 1911 will last for many tens of thousands of rounds of ordinary shooting with no buffer. VERY few individuals ever wear out a 1911 from actually shooting it, and by the time you do, the cost of ammo involved WAY exceeds the cost of replacing the gun. IE if you're really putting thousands of rounds downrange every year, you're probably a serious competitor and gun wear is basically just a tiny added cost of doing business!

    The main thing is just to make sure you have the appropriate spring for your gun. You want to use the minimum maximum [-edit] recoil spring weight that reliably cycles your gun with the loads you're using.* All by itself that will reduce slide/frame battering, perceived recoil, and reduce wear on your gun. More simply, if you use the right spring, you'll effectively accomplish the same thing as the buffer, without actually needing one.

    Downsides of buffers? Covered above.

    By reducing slide travel distance, they can slightly reduce gun reliability, though in reality, I don't think this is a big issue with normal loads and full sized guns. IE, buffer is only 1/10 of an inch thick, it deforms slightly in use (making it thinner) and guns with buffers do still run fine.

    Bigger issue is that the buffers normally disintegrate with use. If you forget to change yours on a regular basis, or maybe if you're just unlucky and get a bad one, it could fall apart inside your gun, locking up the gun.

    Maybe not a big deal for casual/recreational shooting, but I'd hate for that to happen during a competition, let alone during a life-or-death defensive use of the gun. Every pro instructor I've ever seen advises NOT to use these in defensive guns, and I think that's wise. Personally, I have no use for a 1911 buffer.

    The fact is, 1911s were designed to run without buffers, and empirically, they do so just fine without them.


    *Edit: Thanks to Perry Shooter for privately pointing out the stupid error I made above. That "should" teach me to make posts at 1am (but won't). [;)]

    You want to use the heaviest possible recoil spring that reliably cycles your gun, to reduce rearwards slide velocity and reduce frame/slide battering. Using the *lightest* possible spring would be the way to ensure MAXIMUM slide velocity and create maximum wear and tear on your gun!

    How to tune the spring to your load is well covered elsewhere, but you'll want to start with a spring kit with a range of spring weights.
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    oldWinchesterfanoldWinchesterfan Member Posts: 1,052 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    What they said above.

    Most function problems I ever had on quality 1911s were fixed by removing and tossing the buffers. Some came with the guns, some I put in myself not knowing better. I still have a few somewhere. If you want to try em out, send a pm and if I can find em, I'll send them all to you. I tried them on several guns including some they came with, and won't use them again.
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    He DogHe Dog Member Posts: 51,055 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The Cammer Hammer maybe be more effective in reducing felt recoil. May be.
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