I'm used to hearing, "If John Browning or Colt wanted them; they would have placed them on it..." Personally, sounded like good advice...However, after using them for several years on my full-size 1911A1's; I'm convinced they might have some merit...They do take a pounding and since you are cleaning after each session; you can monitor them so they can be cheaply replaced before they get all tore up....
Some critics are concerned about short-cycling; but I think that is "sour-grapes" at least with a full-size barrel..
Anyway, I think it is cheap insurance.....What's your viewpoint??
__________________ "Is there no one on this planet that can challenge me"? General Zod
My Take on shock buffs is this: I view them as like insurance, I've seen more appreciable help on alloy framed guns like a commander I had years back, than the 1911A1 and BHP I now carry, however, I do feel that if changed along with the recoil spring and other critical springs, adds life to the firearm in question! Why not use them? They are really inexpensive and seem to work on some handguns? Hope they never are needed, but better to always have them in?
In extensive LE tests, they shut the pistol down when they fail and go to pieces. Prior to good recoil springs like WOLFF, they may have had some use but not in todays world. They restrict the slide to its full rearward travel during recoil cycle and may cause failures to extract and feed.
Use of a proper weight recoil spring for the ammo you are shooting is the best bet. Frame damage may only happen when your recoil spring has taken a set or is too weak. JMHO from years of experience with them.
LE testing on buffers was extensive. FBI tests showed they should NEVER be used in a duty pistol as when they fail, they go into multiple parts and render the pistol inoperative.
They also CAUSE failures to function as they restrict the full rearward travel, as designed by John Moses Browning. Typical are failure to eject, feed, causes stove piping and failure of the slide to lock open after the last round fired from the magazine. DUH ? The buffer restricts the slide from full rearward lock to allow the slide stop to engage.
Very often, when we get ANY 1911 in with "probelms" we find a shock buff in it.....and it goes into the trash can, where they belong !
For most 1911's..a 18.5 # Wolff spring is ideal. Keep a spare and compare it to the used one when cleaning your pistol. you will see when it has taken a set and is shorter. Replace every 2000 rds for a carry pistol. 4 to 5 thousands rounds if shooting 760-850 FPS hard ball loads/reloads.
You will never crack a frame IF you keep the proper recoil spring in place.
JMHO based upon 35 years of 1911 plumbing !
Last edited by Dgunsmith; 07-01-2007 at 07:48 PM.
Reason: spelling errors
IMO shok buff use should be gun dependent, ie, if the gun runs fine with it, then use 'em, if not, don't. I've been using them for 20yrs and I feel that they've saved my 1911s from pounding themselves. I'm an OCD type who keeps track of cleanliness, lube, and of course, shok buff wear. If you're one who wants to install a buff and forget about it, I'd suggest not using them since they will eventually come apart and could jam your pistol.
Even using wolf 18# springs, my Buffs will be chewed up in about 1K rounds. I usually change Buffs and springs at the same time. If you've ever tried to tear a buff with pliers you'll realize how tought they are. The fact that they can be chewed in half by a 1911 slide is testament to how hard the slide is traveling.
This topic has been argued almost as much as the Mobil 1 debate, but it's still fun.
WWJWD? (what would John Wayne do?)