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This topic, much like the FLGR or not topic, is one about which people feel very strongly. So do we use buffs or not? I had used them extensively on IPSC guns with good success, and stopped doing so when several lightened slide guns wouldn't run with the shortened recoil stroke. I had become of the opinion that a "real world working gun" should not have a frangible doodad in it. After seeing a number of cracked frames recently, I started wondering. After consulting with a number of smiths whom I respect greatly, and finding that they all used buffs in their guns, I changed my tune. The good word is that buffs do indeed work as advertised, but make sure that your gun will RUN with them in place. My primary gun will run and lock back properly with them, so my old supply of CP Buffs is back on duty. Keeping fresh recoil springs in the gun doesn't hurt either. And no, I'm not worried that a ripped buff will tie up my gun. Doom on me if I'm so negligent that I don't maintain my weapon on a regular basis.
 

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I have always used shok buffs in my guns. I should also add that all my 1911's are commander length, and I have never had a single problem relating to their use. I agree with Hilton about keeping good recoil springs in your gun. I also believe in "extra - power" recoil springs (ie, using the heaviest spring that will still allow your gun to function reliably).

Again as Hilton mentioned, the key is reliable operation. It doesn't mattter what accessory you add to your gun - if it doesn't run with the option installed, then remove it.
 

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Hilton,

I think the last sentence is the most important one. It is a maintenance item, but one that some people are amazingly cheap about. I remember Richard Heinie commenting he changed his buffs everytime he cleaned his pistol. Contrast that with a buddy of mine who insists on seeing how many rounds he can get out of them. He does the same thing with recoil spring too. Drives me absolutely nuts!

I like the way buffs make a 1911 feel. I also appreciate how much it cuts down on the frame battering. If JMB were still alive, I would wager he would be using them. Materials technology had not developed sufficiently in his day, to provide the same sort of buff we have available today. Why not take advantage of that advance? Your 1911 will thank you for it. :grin:

On some guns, like Kimbers, a shock buff will not allow for you to slingshot the slide, and this bums some folks out. Not to digress here, as that would be a good subject (to slingshot or not) for whole nother thread. BTW, Dane wrote a piece; "Shock-Buff and The Slingshot" on his web site. Go there, then click on "Tools of The Trade" to read his comments.

DD
 
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I have a few observations on the use of Shock Buffs in 1911's.
Several years ago I purchased a match set of Colt Delta Elite 10mm pistols in two tone with the matched Colt Delta H Bar rifle.
The serial#s ran in series. Please don't email me asking to sell them as it is an ugly trade story that resulted in my getting an SP89 and an HK94 and selling them for $1900.00 (who knew??, I warned you it was ugly).
Anyhow I took the pistols to the Target World indoor range down the street from whence I purchased them and promptly ran a case of Silvertips through them to assure proper function as they had been fired and I intended to altenrate between them as work guns. Into the fourth hour and approx. 1240 rds. the number 216 pistol locked up tight as a drum.
With some loaner tools and a very interested range staff we manged to get the pistol apart after some judicous use of the soft face mallet.
The previous owner had installed a Wolff spring (good) and a Wilson shock buffer onto the stock guide plug(bad).
I remain unsure of what happened first but this what I believe happened:
Somehow the buffer stretched sort of and wrapped itself over the end loop and the guide plug head seperated, the end of the spring and the guide head traded places
and the now deformed spring bound under and to the left side of the link and pin and the pistol then completely locked.
Since that incident I have made it a point to only use a shock buff with a full length guide rod in all of my Colt 10mm's and I have never seen anything like it again.
I tried rather unsuccessfully to not use a shock buffer after that in a then new all SS Delta Elite 10mm, I had to have the crack above the link pin repaired at round 7,600 and change so I sent it to Greg Woods in MD.and he built me a superb 10mm carry gun..
 

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have paraordnance lda which is not reliable with buff - 100% without and a number of 1911s/clones which are ok with them - you have to test!
 

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I've got about 200 rounds through a full size 1911 with CP buffs with very little sign of wear and no FTF.

You want ugly stories how about selling a Steyr AUG (few years back) for $950 :sad:
 

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On 2001-04-01 11:49, Desert Dog wrote:
I remember Richard Heinie commenting he changed his buffs everytime he cleaned his pistol.
Damn, either he shoots a whole lot of rounds between cleanings, or has an endless supply of buffs. :cool: I mean, I went to the range Saturday, shot 116 rounds, came home and cleaned. Never occurred to me to change the buff after that.
 

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What has been unsaid here is that the dimensional tolerances will vary from gun to gun. Often, a slight bit of "tuning" on the gun will allow it to function with a buff. Not for the novice, but a good smith should be able to detect a minor out of spec condition. I've run across frame abuttments that were too far forward per the frame dimensional drawings that I have. They would run fine without a buff, but when one was installed, there just wasn't enough room to lock back. The buff usuall fails in short order when this condition is present. Replacement guide rods, short or long, sometimes have thicker heads than stock. No chamfer on the frame abuttment, thick head, spring tunnel a bit long or sharp on the back edge, thick buffs, no wonder they malfunction.
 
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On 2001-04-05 09:39, BBBBill wrote:
What has been unsaid here is that the dimensional tolerances will vary from gun to gun. Often, a slight bit of "tuning" on the gun will allow it to function with a buff. Not for the novice, but a good smith should be able to detect a minor out of spec condition. I've run across frame abuttments that were too far forward per the frame dimensional drawings that I have. They would run fine without a buff, but when one was installed, there just wasn't enough room to lock back. The buff usuall fails in short order when this condition is present. Replacement guide rods, short or long, sometimes have thicker heads than stock. No chamfer on the frame abuttment, thick head, spring tunnel a bit long or sharp on the back edge, thick buffs, no wonder they malfunction.
Bill,
Are there specific pistols (factory makes or runs) that you have noticed this on?
What is the ideal length or measurement?
Do you measure overall thickness?
 

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I have tried buffs in my Kimbers (both CC) and a Colt Combat Commander and never had 100% reliability- so I took them out and don't use them anymore.

Denny
 

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The man who came up with them (the late Armand Swenson), meant them to be used only during "practice" and to be removed while on duty or carrying etc...

This bit of knowledge was passed down through John Jardine, Armand Swensons nephew.
 

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Point of argument logic. I see this used a lot when people say that something was intended for use doing X, not for Y. Designer's intent may be the guiding reason a product is developed, but certainly that does not determine the sole number of potential uses. Shok-Buffs may have been created or intended for practice guns, but if people find they work 100% in their guns, then there is no problem.

One of the things I have noticed in postings and shooter's comments at the range is that how they define a malfunction or reliability are really weird. Somebody posted on 1911Forum about guys who have never had a gun malfunction, but got some bad ammo, or had a bad recoil spring, or a bad magazine, but the 'gun' never malfunctioned.

I have a Wilson CQB and it has had a few hiccups with the shok-buff, but this has only happened when I haven't used the ammo suggested by Wilson and even then happend, it was at a rate far less than with other 1911s I have owned. I don't know if the shok-buff was an issue or not, but it may be that some guns function best with certain ammos, but when you changes the parameters of the guns such as by adding a buff, then you need to go back and check what ammo will or will not function reliably with that change. The same issue comes up if you change recoi spring weights - you change the parameters and the gun may not work right with the ammo it worked with using a spring of a different weight.
 

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To Buff or Not to Buff?

I've got a new Kimber Royal on the way. It's my first 1911 and I've been following the Shok-Buff thread pretty closely, wondering if I should install them.

I'd planned on changing out the recoil spring for an 18-1/2# Wolff (16# just sound pretty dinky to me after using a 22# on my BHP.40), but I'm undecided on the subject of Shok Buffs.

I like the idea of decreased slide/frame battering, but I am concerned about the deterioration of the Buff and having chunks of rubber floating around in the pistol. I'm pretty religious about cleaning my guns. They get fully field stripped and cleaned after every trip to the range, so Buff blockage shouldn't be a problem. But still gives me pause.

What do y'all think?

Chad

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Chad Ward on 2001-05-06 11:54 ]</font>
 

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I use the CP Super Tuff RB`s ( $5 per pack ) because it has a much better profile then the Blue Wilsons( no trimming ) and seems less brittle.

I use either an aftermarket full length guide rod or the stock guide rod, and as per their recommendations change them every 1000 rounds.

So far so good.
 

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The man who came up with them (the late Armand Swenson), meant them to be used only during "practice" and to be removed while on duty or carrying etc...
Which means absolutely nothing 30 years later when the buff material has changed as dramaticly as it has. The original buffs would be lucky to make it through a 500 round practice session that is so common today. Swenson's were hand made. The difference even between a current Wilson (who promoted the buffs early on with Swenson's consent) and a current CP or Heit shows the variation of buff quality. Wilson's current buff I don't find usable and his original ones were even softer...which should tell the quality of Swenson's home made buffs and why Swenson didn't suggest they be used for carry.

Some of these old legends need to be put into context and then filed away as useles information.

A good buff in a correctly set up 5" or Commander is no more or less reliable than a correctly set up 1911 without one. I do not suggest them for the smaller 1911 base guns.

_________________
http://www.burnscustom.com



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Dane Burns on 2001-05-06 12:15 ]</font>
 

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Good point Dane, and well noted.... HOWEVER :grin:

isnt there a possiblity, ever so remote, that even the newer, tougher, buffs come apart? I understand that it is highly unlikely, but what advantage in a carry gun do shock buffs provide? Why would anyone want ANOTHER part in there carry gun (ever so simple and durable as it may be)?

I still wont/dont use buffs in a carry gun, just dont see the need or advantage they offer, at the same time there is that remote chance that they "frag" at the wrong time....
 

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On 2001-05-06 23:03, RMLamey wrote:
I still wont/dont use buffs in a carry gun, just dont see the need or advantage they offer, at the same time there is that remote chance that they "frag" at the wrong time....
Shok buffs are designed to wear slowly. They will not be perfectly fine one round, then "frag" on the next. As long as you inspect them regularily, you should have no probs. You should be able to notice when they are starting to wear or cut.
 

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isnt there a possiblity, ever so remote, that even the newer, tougher, buffs come apart? I understand that it is highly unlikely....
Got me there RM :grin: There is always a possibility..a knife could be heat treated incorrectly, there could be a flaw in the steel. If it is a tool or a machine it WILL fail at some point. A knife can break, will get dull and has to be taken care of.

A 1911 is a little more complicated. Leave a buff, ANY buff in long enough and I suspect it will cause you problems. I have seen that happen, back 1983 OR SO.

The advantages of a buff? I think it protects my investment of an expensive pistol. I will assume that Swenson, Wilson, Heinie, and others assume the same since they also use them. It is only a quess though. I like the "feel" of the gun when it has a buff. It shoots "softer" for me. That is subjective of course.

I don't care one way or another if you use a buff or not. I send them out in every gun with the other four in the pack. That costs me $5. My customers are welcome to do with them as they like.

The thing I will not do is use something in my gun for practice and something else for carry. THAT I would consider foolish. Practice time is telling a person just how reliable their PDW is. Shooting it in one condition and then changing something in the gun to "use" it on the street is asking for trouble IMO. I shoot matches, carry for self defense and teach with a buff in my gun. Same gun that sets on my night stand or rides on my hip in the shop late at night. I use one gun at a time and don't rotate to something else. I want to KNOW exactly what THIS gun will do.

I KNOW my personal gun is reliable because I have shot 1000s of rounds through it in rain and shine, day and night, all sorts of ammo and ALWAYS with a buff. Every 1911 I have ever owned has ran a buff. That is a lot of rounds in the last 20 years, and while it is in fact possible that my gun might choke on a buff.....I am guessing it is a sure bet it won't.

I'll knock on wood here because ANYTHING is possible.
 

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I agree Dane, we should practice with the gun set up exactly how we carry. I also agree with the difference in feel, so maybe i will buy some of the better buffs and change my outlook..

***NOTE*** This may be the first time in my memory that i have faultered or compromised on my original position:D
 
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