Re: Spikes Tactical buffers

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by Squirrel_Slayer, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. Squirrel_Slayer

    Squirrel_Slayer New Member

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    Has any one out there had any experience with any of the Spikes buffers that are full of the tungsten powder as opposed to weights? I am wondering whether they are worth the cash and if they live up to the claims of less felt recoil and quieter operation.
     
  2. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Place holder - more on this later. Short answer, in theory they work. Accuracy on subsequent shots will suffer....
     

  3. Squirrel_Slayer

    Squirrel_Slayer New Member

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    Not willing to sacrifice acuracy. However, keep in mind this is a rfile that is single loaded ninety percent of the time. With the bolt constantly being locked back, while that diminish some of the effects of using this buffer?
     
  4. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper New Member

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    I installed one on my 16" M&P
    Definitely a huge improvement over the carbine buffer it came with. Most 16" carbines are way over gassed and could use a H or H2 buffer to slow the carrier down.
    The spikes has been great, got improved ejection pattern, a lot less twang sound from the tube and vibration after each shot that would carry up through the sights. Made follow up shots faster and less movement in the sights made it more accurate. Will be curious to hear JD's opinion on less accuracy since I experience the opposite effect.:confused:
    Perhaps he is from the school that likes light weight internals for faster cycling and the feel of the recoil that gives, I know a few friends that prefer that feel.
    I prefer the less violent feel the slower/heavier buffer gives and plan to swap out my AR carrier for a heavier m16 carrier and see if it improves even more.

    Very smooth impulse just a thump and the sights hardly move.
    Maybe a regular H or H2 would give similar results, but I'm extremely pleased with the ST-T2
     
  5. mjkeat

    mjkeat New Member

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    I have three of them and didnt notice a change in accuracy in any of the rifles they were in. In fact I experienced greater accuracy and faster follow-up shots due to smoother cycleing. Add a nice comp and you're in business. But then again I dont shoot from a bench.
     
  6. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Well considering I am at odds with two well known and members I personally respect on this issue, I figured I would post again to bump this up instead of updating my previous post.

    This theory isn't new technology. It's based on an idea that was popular way back when called a Mercury Vial.

    Used to be back in the day when someone had a Cape Rifle or a Big Bore Elephant gun and wanted to tame some of that recoil, they had a gunsmith drill a nice quarter size hole in the wooden stock and insert a metal tube about 8" or 10" long filled about 80% with liquid mercury.

    As you all know mercury is a heavy liquid, so when you touch that big weapon off, all that liquid sloshes forward and then immediately backward to help offset that heavy recoil. Problem was it didn't settle down in time for a follow up shop, it was still in motion, even after a semi auto ejected the round.

    Now the physics of the buffer tube is that it compresses your buffer spring to cycle the weapon & help ease recoil. The spring, in turn, forces the buffer forward again to force the BCG to strip the next round off the mag and back into battery.

    In this sense the "tungsten powder" is in motion much like in a mercury vial. Like when some settling might occur during shipment? Well, some settling is going to occur a lot of the time that buffer gets slammed backwards and forwards.

    In a rapid fire, follow up shot, your rifle has not settled down like it should have when the buffer spring locked the BCG back into battery.

    Now if you shoot, take the time to re-acquire your target and shoot again - basically from a "rest" for the motion of the rifle, you won't experience an accuracy problem. A heavier rifle SHOULD actually be more accurate.

    But I always approach any weapon platform with what MY idea of accuracy is and that is based on my experience with long guns of all types. In that regard, I want less motion versus more motion. I want the most stable platform to launch a round as possible.

    So let me ask you this just as "food for thought".

    The idea behind this Tactical Buffer is basically that it is a bit heavier, but is filled with loose material. Why?

    Why not spec out the exact weight needed for, say, a mid length 5.56mm rifle? One buffer tube for that configuration and machine it out of one piece of stock?

    What are your thoughts on why that isn't happening?
     
  7. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    I have to side with JD on this issue, and that is a very interesting explanation of how the powder filled ST-T2 could have adverse effects on accuracy. I had never considered that before but it makes sense.

    There is another reason to avoid the ST-T2 that I have read about too. Standard AR buffers have individual weights that are designed to "hammer" the carrier forward at the precise instant that it wants to bounce back as a new round is chambered with authority. There are high speed videos illustrating carrier bounce and the ST-T2 and 9mm buffers don't do nearly as good a job dampening carrier bounce as a good H or H2 buffer. I'll look for that video and try to get it posted tonight.

    Carrier bounce is much more important in full auto fire but even in SA that's running dry, dirty or has too much friction the bolt could end up a hair OOB requriing a push of the forward assist.

    ETA:
    http://vuurwapenblog.com/2010/07/28/ar15function/
    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=575Q0O41u5s[/ame]
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  8. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper New Member

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    Regular AR buffers have weighted discs in them that move just like the mercury or powder filled versions(just shake one). The powder seems to stop dead, much softer than the rattle and vibration of the discs in a regular buffer.

    Doing some quick research on why AR buffers were designed to have movable weights. I guess thats for the softening effect you(JD) described and maybe when the buffer stops and the weights continue it helps eliminate bolt bounce when returning to battery(at least thats one thing I read:rolleyes:).

    I'm sure in my case I gained more advantage on an over-gassed carbine by simply increasing the weight of the buffer than from the actual fill material, May have to pick up a H2 or H3 to compare if the fill itself is actually helping as well unless someone else has already.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  9. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper New Member

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    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=575Q0O41u5s]YouTube - AR-15 Buffer Test - High Speed Video - 1000 Frames Per Second[/ame]

    To me, the bounce of the spikes looks close to the H in this video, The carbine was noticeably worse and the 9mm looked really bad(they don't have moving weights IIRC)
    5.2 Rifle looked the best, at least in this video. maybe its all about the weight (except for the solid 9mm)???
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  10. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    I agree the 9mm and carbine weight buffers seemed to be the worst. I think you're right that the 9mm doesn't have individual weights or slugs. Very interesting video anyway, wish there was more...
     
  11. mach1337

    mach1337 New Member

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    humm i noticed all of them have some bounce. the least seemed to be the rifle buffer the bcm h and st-t2 now the question is which one for my 16" mid length.
     
  12. mjkeat

    mjkeat New Member

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    Deffinately good things to think about.

    I pulled out a ST-T2 and gave it a shake. I can hear the powder but it doesnt sound like theres that much movement. More like its just shy of being topped off.

    Im always looking for something better though. My ears are always open to new ideas.

    I have always felt heavier is better. Well the heaviest that will still allow your rifle to cycle.
     
  13. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    You are very correct in that all normal buffers have weights. The difference is that the weights themselves are CONSTANT. You have two or three or four discs that bounce the same almost every time.

    It's much closer to a consistent you can plan on.

    I want you guys to know that I respect the hell out of you. Gate, mjkeat, Quentin - you guys have ALL brought a ton of help to the AR section that was basically just slowrdy45 and myself for the longest time. *much respect*

    Reading your posts, I have learned stuff that I hadn't thought about before, so please know that I am offering this opinion based on shop experience with buffers and NOT with this product specifically.

    So, please take the post with a healthy dose of respect as it was intended.

    If you look into the history of the M16 A2 you will find that someone came up with a solid block that slid right into the cleaning hole in the A2 stock that was supposed to help with accuracy by adding a solid base to the platform.

    Wasn't a big seller.

    Why? Opinions vary, but one of them is that it added a ton of weight to the BACK of the weapon and made rapid follow up shots difficult, but the theory was sound. For the 60's/70's.

    The reason there isn't a solid one-piece-stock CNC buffer, of pre-engineered weight, as far as we can tell from PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.

    Without "some" movement within the buffer itself, you get a rolling block/teeter totter at the back of the weapon instead of the "smoother" recoil of a buffer tube with limited movement.

    That's right guys, we tried to invent a solid block of a buffer, of exact weight, for an angle on the market. It shot great for one shot. Then it took about 6 to 8 times as long to line up your next shot.

    Some movement of the buffer is needed to offset the rock/roll of the action. A lot of movement is not desirable to me, personally, but if you guys are getting great results - that is good to hear.

    Respectfully,

    JD
     
  14. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    9mm Buffers are commonly used by guys that shoot reduced power loads, or loads on the low end of the power spectrum, perhaps because they are reloading for light weight/grain bullets for more of a varmint application.


    I don't personally recommend something like a light weight buffer tube unless you are specifically shooting light loads as stated in a different thread.

    JD
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2011
  15. MrMilspecer

    MrMilspecer New Member

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    Cool video Quentin. The rifle buffer looked to have very little bounce.Middy had a little. I was also suprised the carbine didnt bounce even more. Very neat.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  16. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper New Member

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    9mm buffers are very heavy(about twice the weight of a carbine buffer)
    The added weight is needed since 9mm AR's are blowback instead of gas operated.
    No wonder those guys are having problems running a 9mm buffer with reduceds power loads. :rolleyes:

    If they are using a heavy 9mm buffer with light loads I'm sure they'd run into all kinds of short stroking problems, unless their guns are WAY over-gassed:eek:
     
  17. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    JD, that's very interesting about the solid block buffer you worked on and the conclusions you came to. Thank you, I always learn something from your posts!

    As far as buffers, there's a lot going on and this is an area I need to put more thought to.
     
  18. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    EDIT From Above - I effed up my explanation above. Apologies all around. The string stretching is an unrelated issue in this discussion and I am a moron. Got my "problems/fixes" confused. :eek:

    Gate - That is true, but the 9mm is a pistol cartridge and the buffer it is replacing is a rifle cartridge (IE - more pressure).

    When you have a very short barreled AR, like a 10.5" entry gun, there is significantly more pressure that is hitting the gas tube/BCG/Buffer & Spring than in a 16" or longer model. Having a heavier buffer helps to handle that change in pressure, but the problem develops when you go to a lighter load with less burn because of a highly flammable or flash-over possibility like a Meth Lab.

    A lot of the AR's that we work on come into the shop in SBR configurations where PD and other folks have been tinkering with various swap and play components for their personal needs. Than they are exposed to a change in situation due to training and suddenly there is a "problem" with the weapon.

    I don't know, I am certainly no expert. I can only go by what I have seen and I am certainly not qualified to write a paper on the stuff. :eek:

    YMMV
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2011
  19. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    It was something that came up in conversation when we ran into an SBR that we couldn't get to fire subsonic stuff with any sort of reliability. Now this was an older gun, probably 8 years or so of constant service and the owner (SWAT Instructor ) is a pretty good guy when it comes to maintenance, but this one rifle would just all of a sudden pick a point where it would stop cycling with subsonic stuff.

    We tried everything. Different gas tubes, different BCG, different gas block, and we also tried monkeying with the weights that were in the buffer. We mixed and matched and got to a point where we color coded like 8 different weights and sent him to the range with an allen head and an understanding of how to swap them out for testing.

    Some would work for 200 rounds into full auto fire, some would work to 500, some would cycle half a mag and hang up. It was like Murphy himself was hiding in the weapon. :mad:

    It got to where we were spit balling ideas of "what if" and the discussion came to pressure, weight of the BCG, weight of the buffer, force required to compress the spring and we kind of got to a point of "eliminating" possibilities".

    A rock solid buffer, made to weight based on the mathematics seemed like a good idea. We don't have any CNC equipment, but Brett is pretty talented with the lathe and the end mill, so he banged one out of a solid block of aluminum and we gave it a try.

    *shrug* Should've, Could've, but didn't work like we (very little me, mostly the other two guys in the shop) had planned. Fire off a round and that weapon "rolled" back over the handle area way high on target like a pivot point, almost like a chassis of a car unloading, and then came back down heavy and well below the target for follow up shots. The faster you fired, the worse the grouping got... LOL

    Maybe we needed a lot more math and a lot more components, but eventually Brett got the AR in question running like a champ and the idea kind of died out.
     
  20. Squirrel_Slayer

    Squirrel_Slayer New Member

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    My rifle operates perfectly fine. I know I should not mess with anything as it isn't broken. I was just contemplating ways to reduce recoil even further so I can stay perfectly bucked in and watch little critters explode through my optic. .223 doesn't have much oomph at all, but unless I have the rifle bucked in tight against my shoulder it's just enough to push my eye away from the scope. I suppse I could always pay a smith to port the barrel for me or have the barrel threaded for a muzzle break. Right now, as it sits, the rifle weighs a tad over 13 pounds.