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AgentTikki 03-19-2012 09:50 PM

Tinkering with your AR's Timing- Simple Buffer and Springs Swaps.
I know, you just want to reduce the recoil on your 5.56 AR15 so that you can Mozambique that paper zombie in under 0.55 seconds flat right? I mean 5.56 has hardly any recoil, its all about the muzzle control for those fast follow up shots right?

Well, let me tell you the best way to reduce recoil is to buy a good muzzle brake/compensator. Tinkering with your timing will help some but its a very subtle difference. It is difficult to tell the difference between running a regular carbine buffer and a H buffer. Conversely putting on a brake to replace that old A2 flashider is about as subtle as shoe-horning a 350ci v8 with a straight pipe in a Honda Civic. Yeah, you're gonna hear it and feel it.

Special note: this is for an AR15 carbine set up. You can play with a rifle setup, the concept is the same but the parts availability, buffer tube, spring length, spring rate, buffer weights and buffer lengths are different. I don't advise you mixing carbine and rifle buffer parts when tuning. It is possible to swap entire systems over tho. For example you can use a rifle buffer setup on a carbine, or a carbine system on a rifle. Just don't mix and match individual parts between the two setups, unless you want to buy an adapter to make everything work.

Rule #1 Don't change the timing from the stock configuration before testing it out first.
Most manufacturers spend considerable time and effort developing the gas systems for their products. Keep your AR all original and keep all the parts so that you can fall back to it if things go awry.

Rule #2 If you are building a AR, get a regular carbine spring and buffer first. Buy different buffers and springs to tune your setup second.

Rule #3 Thoroughly test your end results After you're done, put 1 round in your magazine and shoot it. See if the bolt locks back. Do this at least 10 times. If you system is short stroking, it won't lock back the bolt at the end of the mag.

If your end result includes the desire to have your AR eat everything, tune it to use the weakest ammo, ie Wolf or Tula. What you are basically doing is increasing the reciprocating mass of your gas system in order to slow down and lengthen the cyclical rate. Slowing down your system, will in effect smooth it out, reducing felt recoil, by spreading the recoil over a longer period of time. Spring rates work a little differently but your goals are the same. Changing the buffer or spring is the most cost effective way to do this. An small added side benefit of increasing the mass of your system is bolt bounce reduction, but that usually is more beneficial for FA applications.

Another thing you can also do is use a FA carrier. The BCG is a more expensive part, so I don't really think its all that cost effective if you already have SA carrier. Also the difference in mass is minimal so it won't have too much of an impact on your system. A more worthwhile benefit of using FA carriers is the shroud that protects the firing pin from the hammer as the system goes out of battery.

If you tune your system for higher power, like say M193 / XM193. Your AR will work really well with M193, but probably will not feed the weaker stuff reliably. Now, I can only think of one good reason to tune your gas system to a specific type of ammo is for competition. But for competition, you would be better served going with an adjustable gas block and a light weight system (i.e. JP Enterprises LMOS). With an adjustable gas block you can tune how much gas goes into your system to ensure positive feeding and an lightweight bcg and buffer system to ensure super fast rates of fire. Speed is everything in competition, every split second counts.

A Word of Caution: Please don't start off by changing you system's timing before you even have a chance to shoot it. As I've said before, people take a lot of time testing out their systems so a lot of thought goes into gas port sizing and buffer weights before it goes to market. Putting a H2 buffer on a system right off the bat might just make your AR15 a single shot special! I mean, wouldn't it suck if you had to yank your charging handle every shot?

So don't change / tune / tinker / swap anything until you have a known, tested, good working system first. Changing your buffer or spring is just fine tuning, you don't necessarily need it for most applications nor will it make a huge impact on your shooting.

A little reference for all those out there that can't help but tinker (myself included)

Weights and prices are approximate.
Carbine buffer 3.0 oz approx $15
H buffer 3.8 oz approx $20
Spikes ST-T2 4.3 oz approx $30
H2 buffer 4.6 oz approx $30
H3 buffer 5.4 oz approx $40
RRA 9mm 5.6 oz approx $25

jasonlarue1013 03-19-2012 10:16 PM

What a great write up. Even being a noob it made a ton of sense. Been shopping buffer kits today. Glad I read this first

Now let's hear something about charging handles!

AgentTikki 03-19-2012 10:22 PM

BCM Vltor Gunfighter. The only real one needed / wanted. I prefer Mod 3 for use with big paws and gloves, also the bigger latch helps clear any optics you might have.

Now if you go suppressed you can Mod the gunfighter or go with a PRI Gas buster.

mjkeat 03-19-2012 10:32 PM

Good write-up.

As you get to know your AR small changes are easier to feel.

I've found the VLTOR A5 buffer system to be very nice. It makes a slight difference in recoil bit is more or less a reliability enhancer.

Thread on a comp like the one offered by BattleComp goes nice w/ the A5.

I would like to try Spikes T3.

There is such a thing as to heavy though.

jasonlarue1013 03-19-2012 10:42 PM

Great stuff thanks. Perfect!! I'm big boy also with big grippers. Thinking of RR winter trigger guard for same reason, otherwise the magpul or spikes guards. Being big handed do you go with larger trigger guard?

AgentTikki 03-19-2012 10:56 PM

I do agree with you on the too heavy part, tuning is all about trade offs, and using a super heavy buffer will slow things done considerably. But in the context of this tuning its I just want people to understand that too much can can adverse affects, and test before tuning. I mean I see too often people want to change their timing with no good reason why, most time they haven't even shot their AR yet.

I do think the A5 is an interesting design solution. Haven't found a need to have one yet, and kind of a pricey solution. Have you tried using it on a suppressed AR? It seems to me that its greatest asset is its versatility, so going from suppressed to non and back it should work well for either role.

canebrake 03-19-2012 11:13 PM

+1 on not tinkering with the timing. Get a comp that works!

AgentTikki 03-19-2012 11:35 PM

Hey now, that muzzle seems to be diving a bit...or is it just me......

I would agree with you MJ, the more you become intimate with anything, the more you will notice little differences. This is why people tune their systems! But honestly I have to say, in my personal experience, there's not too much difference when swapping a H and Carbine buffer. I do think that most will feel the difference between a H2 and carbine tho. But say swapping a FA and SA carrier, I don't think anyone's gonna feel that.

As for a trigger guard, I wear a xlarge glove, and the standard trigger guard works for me gloved or not. Mind you I'm not using super thick winter gloves (its hot out here in Cali), but I actually prefer the standard trigger guard and the Magpul over my KAC winter trigger guard due to the gap by rear roll pin. The edges of the gap chafe my middle finger when shooting without gloves. Small thing but annoying none the less. I do like the style of the KAC tho, and still think it looks bad ass. Sorry don't have any experience with the RRA guard. Trigger guards are just a little bling to spruce things up a bit.

jasonlarue1013 03-19-2012 11:50 PM

Now that you have me thinking...I'm going to start looking for reviews on muzzle brakes / compensators. Wanna point a fella in the right direction or put some light on the subject?

NVM just found your posted link in other thread

mjkeat 03-20-2012 12:51 AM


Originally Posted by jasonlarue1013 (Post 745520)
Now that you have me thinking...I'm going to start looking for reviews on muzzle brakes / compensators. Wanna point a fella in the right direction or put some light on the subject?

NVM just found your posted link in other thread

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