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Can Anyone tell me why shok-buffs jam up my gun?

1691 Views 13 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  MP5
I own a Caspian 40/10mm single stack which I have invested alot of hard earned money into. I have used shok-buffs in the past with my 45's with no problems. This Caspian is especially tight fitted with Bar-sto barrels and is super accurate in both calibers and respective barrels. The gun was choking on factory ammo especially in 40. I couldnt put 20 rounds through it without a jam. I tried different recoil springs, ammo, magazines, mag springs, followers etc. I was really getting frustrated. Finally I read in an article that Kimber recommends NOT to use shok-buffs in their match 45's(1911s) as they will cause malfunctions. I took out the shok-bufs and WOW! no more jams!
Can't believe all the money spent on all that other stuff. Can anyone explain why these shok-buff can cause jams? I think they are a great concept but in this tight fitted gun, they dont seem to work. Anyone else have trouble with shok-buffs?
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Wow, the EXACT same thing happened to me with my Kimber Polymer. I've always wondered why the shock buffs caused me to have so many jams. Hopefully someone can shed some light on this.

[This message has been edited by Nathan (edited 07-20-2001).]
The main problem with recoil buffers is that they shorten the rearward slide travel equal to their thickness. On most Gov't-sized guns it's not enough to cause problems, but short guns will often have fits. Depending on the recoil spring rating, magazine type, and ammunition it may screw up the timing on full-size guns too. There's no set formula. Either they will affect functioning or they won't. I installed a similar buffer in an AK once, and it jammed all the time with it.

D. Kamm
USGI M1911/M1911A1 Pistols Website
As DSK said, the buff is not letting the slide go back far enough. They really should not be needed, if the recoil spring is the right weight. I use one in my Colt govt size, because I can slingshot it with the buffer in place, and I can't see what it hurts.
In my carry (Kimber Compact s/s ) I see no place to install a buff, and besides, why put in another part that can fail at the worst moment???

Originally posted by jrchilds:
...why put in another part that can fail at the worst moment???


Jack, they don't just fail. They will cut/tear over time, but your regular field strips should catch it in time before there is any problem. It is not a case of the buff being perfect one round, then the very next a catastrophic failure! They are designed to wear slowly.

The key is reliable function. If they work in your gun, they will always work in your gun. If they don't - don't use them. Very simple.
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I dont like the idea of using a Shok-Buff in any 1911. If the gun is set up properly and maintained properly you do not need these things. I have seen them rip, rag, run and snag after just a few rounds.
Originally posted by shane45-1911:
The key is reliable function. If they work in your gun, they will always work in your gun. If they don't - don't use them. Very simple.
Shane45, that says it all.
It would be interesting to know just what kind of stoppages your weapon was having with the shock buff in place. I've never used one but from looking at my commander and my wifes compact model I can see how the shorter slide traval would not be a good thing. Mag cartridge feeding I'd have to guess. I'd bet you had bolt over base falures to feed and perhaps even tipped up base in mag failures to feed.

I second or third that a proper recoil spring matched to the load you are shooting should make a shock buff unnecessary.

Tony G
You don't mention if you have a full size gun or shorte? DSK is on with the small guns the back of the slide is shorter and this shortens the cycle, giving the round in the mag less time to get up the ramp.

Also some buff's are big. If your buff is, it may hold the barrel from allowing the barrel from dropping all the way and slow or stop the slide. You mention a Match barrel. They are larger than stock barrels at the chamber area and would be more susceptible to this.

Lastly have seen buff's that Bloat when reacting with certian oils. this also may hold your barrel up.
geo ><>
SHOCK-BUFFS are like asbestoes removal ,someone is making a lot of money on B.S. stuff
My Colt 1911's tended to cut shok buffs. The buffs need to be replaced when they start to show wear or they will tie up the pistol. My Springfields do not damage the buffs, and I have several that look fine after 10,000+ rounds.

The important thing is that I have never had a part break in a 1911 since using shok buffs, which I have been doing since they came out 25 or so years ago.

Before using them, I had the usual experience of an occasional slide stop or barrel link pin bushing breakage (in a Clark pin gun, this is an expensive failure). Not so with the shok buffs.

Reliability is actually improved since parts don't break with the buffs.

If your pistol likes them, count yourself fortunate and use them.
Hello MP5,

I tried a Shok Buff in my SA Champion and the pistol didn't like them at all. It FTF in a odd way. The bolt face would just barely touch the cartridge rim, and the nose of the cartridge would jam into the front of the mag.

Called up Dave W. at SA and he told me not to use Shok buffs in short slide length guns. Apparently, it screws up the timing of the short guns.

I know that with the buff in, the slide stop would just barely make it into the slide notch. And it made it hard to sling-shot the slide.

Any day above ground is a good day!!!
Tony & George I think you hit it on the head. I was having bolt over base falures to feed and I thought to myself "got to be the mags!" Six different mags later, and three Wolf mags springs and I was still pulling my hair out. I can noticeably see the bullet nose hit the feedramp "hard" with the shok-buff installed. As George stated, the barrel doesnt lower itself as well as without the buff in place. When I chamber the first round you can actually hear the difference as the round seems to be "sucked" into the chamber with a "swoosh" noise without a buff. Funny but true. Thanks for everyone's input. I wish I would have asked this question in this forum before. It would have saved me some money!
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