Recoil spring guide question

Discussion in 'The 1911 Forum' started by ARB, Jul 4, 2009.

  1. ARB

    ARB New Member

    Jan 23, 2009
    Mid Missouri
    The RSG on my combat commander had a rubber 'pad' on it that has come off. The guy at the gun shop said that as long as I don't fire +P ammo through it I should be fine. Is this accurate?
  2. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    Debatable. If its the type I am thinking of, a thin rubber 'grave stone' shaped disc between spring and flange, I dont think it will matter. They were meant as a buffer to reduce the shock to the frame.

    Thing is there are a lot of 1911s out there that have seen a lot of heavy use without ill effects. I think it more likely if you want to shoot +P you go for a heavier custom recoil spring from someone like Wolff or Wilson.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 4, 2009

  3. Doc1911

    Doc1911 New Member

    Jun 29, 2009
    Are you speaking about a Shok Buff? If so, just order some more from Brownells and order another spring as well.

    Last edited: Jul 4, 2009
  4. techoca

    techoca New Member

    Nov 3, 2008
    I am a strong believer in Shok Buffs. They should be replaced every 1000 rounds.
  5. ARB

    ARB New Member

    Jan 23, 2009
    Mid Missouri
    Thank you, all. I will look into these Shok Buffs.
  6. MAGNUM44

    MAGNUM44 Member

    Aug 25, 2009
    Other web sites say do not use buffers if they were good the MFG would of installed them on the gun at the factory, so I don't know what to believe any more
  7. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    Shock buffers are fine but tuning the recoil spring for using the exact ammo you always use is just as good if not a better way. Both these methods reduce the banging of the slide into the frame in recoil. They both reduce the impact the frame sees and, as with anything that is hammered many times, the frame MAY be damaged by such pounding. If you just tune the spring then it means you can only use the ammo for which it was tuned (we're talking about power level of the ammo here).

    What is meant by tuning the recoil spring? Wolfe makes many recoil springs of different force levels. They sell a kit of them. You put in the heaviest spring first and shoot one round in the gun. If the slide doesn't lock back on that "last round" you go to the next lighter spring and so on. Continue changing to lighter springs until the slide is locked back on every last shot, every time.

    With the shock buffer, since it protects the frame, the recoil spring used can be light enough for target loads (probably the original spring) and the gun's frame is still protected by the shock buffer for the heavier power level loads.

    The argument that the manufacture would have put it there if it was needed is invalid! Many times manufacturers make decisions on what is in any product based on profit, not what is best for the durability of the product. Most 1911's have heavy triggers with creep and overtravel. Whereas a good gun tinkerer can replace and modify gun parts to make the trigger excellent. How about replacing the barrel with a more accurate one? Or bedding a rifle or floating a rifle barrel....... on and on. Manufacturers make guns for profit. Not including the shock buffer is just another profit saver for them. For us, using the shock buffer prolongs the life of the gun. That kills manufacturer's profits since you will be back much later to replace your worn out shock buffered gun.

  8. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

    Jul 30, 2009
    About 2.5 million U S made military and commercial 1911 type pistols were made and used, for about 60 years, before these polymer shock buffers became popular. I have no idea how many Star, Llama, Tokarev , and other 1911 design copies were made and used in police and military service with no polymer buffers.

    It has been argued that the 1911 was just about perfect as designed by J M Browning. Some of the "A1" modifications are an advantage for some shooters and/or in some applications; others are not.

    Some of the modifications that have become popular in the last 30 years are no improvement at all. "Cool looks" and "trick features" (on a piece of competitive sports equipment) to play some unrealistic competitive games, have little, if any, advantage in a Weapon that is going to be carried daily for the express purpose of defending "ones life and limb" by stopping an assailant.

    I would not put a polymer buffer in a 1911 that I was going to stake my life on. Over 60 years of service spread over millions of pistols demonstrate that it is not necessary for the reliable function of this model pistol. A buffer may cause a malfunction if it fails and gets hung up in the mechanism.. Such buffers may reduce perceived recoil and lengthen the life of a "range" or competitive pistol. I have used them in the past, but find no significant advantage to them in most applications.
  9. muddober

    muddober Active Member

    Sep 19, 2008
    Carson City Nevada
    Thanks Hammerslagger, you saved me a lot of typing...

  10. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    I also wouldn't use a shock buffer gun for self defense either. I also would not use a 1911 but a Sig P225!

    But we all get to choose, don't we.

    I realize many of you out there use pistols for self defense and even some carry them. I don't carry but have Sig at home for that purpose. My response was for target shooters, plinkers, and fun guns, not defense guns. I agree that using a tricked out gun for self defense is probably not that ideal and my Sig is dead stock unlike virtually all my other handguns that have all been modified to one degree or another.

    Hammerslagger point is well taken!

  11. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

    Oct 24, 2007
    ND, USA
    I agree with both LD and Hammerslagger. The recoil spring buffer is a cheap-n-dirty workaround to tuning the recoil spring power to your ammo.
    If you shoot a lot of standard power loads and run just a few extra-power (+P) loads through it occasionally, then the buffer might be a workable alternative.
    If you shoot a lot of one particular load (I.E. in a competition gun), you can take the time to choose the right power recoil spring for that load.

    The biggest problem I've had with using a buffer in several of my 1911s (past and present) is that they don't seem to let the slide come back quite far enough for the slide stop to engage fully into the notch on the slide. It's close, but not quite far enough.

    In a self-defense or carry gun, for the same reliability question that LD posed, I'd prefer no buffer...just a spring that matches the load (box stock is almost always good but each gun/load combo may be different). My full-size 1911s are mainly just range-babies, truck guns, or open-carry farm guns (Too big for me to concealed carry comfortably daily).
  12. Slabsides

    Slabsides Member

    Jul 22, 2009
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)


    I have heard of such failures. I have never used them in 20 years of shooting thousands of rounds through many different makes of 1911s and have never had one break or suffer damage in that area from lack of a part that was never designed into the firearm 99 years ago to begin with.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2009
  13. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    Bindernut said:

    The biggest problem I've had with using a buffer in several of my 1911s (past and present) is that they don't seem to let the slide come back quite far enough for the slide stop to engage fully into the notch on the slide. It's close, but not quite far enough.

    My Colt Delta Elite (10mm) likes them fine but my heavily modified Rock Island has the same problem as Bindernut suggests. I never researched why but just accepted it. I never shoot anything other than standard loads in the RI so it matters little. In general, I see little use for ANY +P ammo loads and always load conservatively. I've had my days of searching for more power years ago. Bulging cases, spitting primers out of the gun in recoil, etc. NO MORE!

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