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Shok Buffs - do they really help?

4935 Views 38 Replies 27 Participants Last post by  rimfire,22
They're sold at almost every gun store. A gun smith tells me they cause more problems than they are worth. Is the shok buff's primary function to prevent slide fractures? What are the benefits in using them? Are they helpful in all 1911 style weapons?
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I use them in my 1911s ,i have never had any problems associated to shok buffs in my guns.Depending on which ones you use they might have to be changed more frequently.In my opinion they do work but its not gonna be super noticeable.I didnt start using them for recoil ,i use them for protection of battering parts.And if you ask ten smiths the same question youll get ten different answers.My smith uses them in all his 1911s.Ive heard of them braking apart in guns and causing malfunctions.Ive never had that issue with about 3000 rounds through my 1911s.I use wilsons and i change them out when i see theyre getting beat up bad.Hope i could help!
They are primarily used in full size 1911's, and could be beneficial to the longevity of your pistol if you shoot a lot of rounds or hot loads. However, they can lead to problems if not properly maintained (i.e. fragmenting and possibly causing a malfunction). If you do use them, inspect and change them frequently and you shouldn't experience any problems.
This is not intended as a flame question. If they are so great, why don't the manufacturers install them? Not a flame, just a question.
Some of the high end manufacturers already do, or offer them for sale (i.e. Wilson Combat, Ed Brown). I personally use them in my full size pistols (5" Slide), never had any issues using them. However, you "may" encounter cycling issues if they are used in a Commander or especially a Compact.
re: Shock Buffs

Feel free to use them for the range. In real life, I would avoid them. I found out the hard way, that even new ones can break unexpectedly and the pistol turns into a single shot i.e. bang, clear double-feed, bang, clear double-feed, etc. It was not really the hard way, it was during department qualifications, but I was carrying that gun for real life use.

Never again.

Thats scary !Might think on that!EH .I havent heard from a person on here about anything like that really happening.I may consider removing the buff from my defense gun.I do keep up on mine though and never had that problem.How often did you change out your buffs MUSHINTO?Or was it farely new.Was it a wilson?
It was a Wilson-Rogers and almost brand new.

When I had the range malfunction, I could not figure out what the problem was. I took the gun apart and oiled it and I tried at least five different magazines – Still double-fed. I was so frustrated, I almost considered getting a Glock!!!

I took the pistol (Commander) to a local gun plumber, and he polished the already throated ramp -- it didn't help. I left the pistol with him, and he called me the next day. At first he also couldn't figure out what was wrong. He removed the buff and it looked fine. He reassembled the gun without it and it worked perfectly.

He looked at the buff again through a magnifying glass and there was a hairline crack running down the middle. When the buff was compressed, it expanded enough to slow down the slide and cause the FTF.

Whenever I am planning to do a great deal of shooting, like in a 1000 round school, I will slip in a shok buff. Otherwise, not.

I use them in my competition guns...and my carry guns. And if you can believe the latest American Handgunner...the MEUSOC guns have shok-buffs installed in them....so I guess they believe in them (about as real world as you can get). Regarding failure of shok-buffs....yeah, I suppose if you put 50K miles on your car and never check the oil...you might be surprised when the engine siezes up...but if you inspect the shok-buffs when you clean your guns (you do clean them after shooting them....right???) and discard them when they are beyond their service life, you shouldn't exerience any problems.

Oh...final note. Trash the Wilson buffs and go with the CP buffs...they last much longer...and finally make sure your gun works with one installed before you decide to put the gun on your hip (or nightstand) before testing it.
Baer puts'em in most everything but a TRS. Seems Clint doesn't like to worry about that aspect of maintenence.

I use them and I like them!
DITTO - Mushinto

A Steadfast "No" to shok buffs - for your personal carry, self defense, or duty pistol. For any pistol for any other use then go for it. This is just my opinion...some folks use them & LOVE them. That's cool beans with me & more power to them.
I have had two almost critical failures with buffers...but honestly they were early softer polymer type buffs.
I have also had recent minor (but frustrating) malfunction trouble with one shok buff & that would be "Wilson"...& I love Wilson Stuff but not the Wilson Buff.
(Hey...I'm a poet & don't even know it)
And...as much as I also don't like guide rod type thingies either (just my personal preference)
IF you feel that you MUST prevent frame "battering" then buy a Sprinco

And Yes, I've heard the argument that they change the "feel" of the recoil impulse but I've shot with a Sprinco (not my gun) & it sure felt really great to me.
At least no malfunctions for me anyway. Very mild & cushy.
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My Commander short cycles with buffs and doesn't feed right. My P-14 worked well with buffs and I thought they were great. BUT THEN I OILED IT AND PUT IT AWAY FOR ABOUT 6 MONTHS--JAM CITY WHEN I TRIED TO USE IT. THE BUFF SWELLED UP AND BOUND UP THE SLIDE. Sorry to say it but these were Wilson buffs.

I have used buffs and in a range gun they are just fine. I have used Wilson's and they just do not hold up well. CP Bullets makes a nice buffer that will hold up to at least 1000 rounds. I do think they are beneficial in 1911's chambered in 10mm, guns being fired with hot loads, and guns using really light springs such as some IPSC and IDPA guns. Are they necessary in a 1911 firing standard loads in 9mm, 38 Super or 45 ACP? Probably not.
If I started a new thread entitled, "How many people have shot their 1911s to destruction (or even a cracked frame) because they were not using a shoc-buff"?

How many yes's do you think I'd get?

Why not do a poll??? :scratch: It might prove interesting.

Mushinto said:
If I started a new thread entitled, "How many people have shot their 1911s to destruction (or even a cracked frame) because they were not using a shoc-buff"?

How many yes's do you think I'd get?

From me you'd get two yes's.

I had two aluminum Commanders who's frames eventually cracked on me. Late '70's/early '80's, each gun had around 10-15,000 rounds of hot ammo through them.

I've been using shok buffs since the late 80's. I started with Wilsons and they'd easily last 1000 rds. Starting about three years ago Wilson changed their buffs and made them softer. Now they don't last more than a couple of hundred rounds at best, so I switched to CP buffs. I've been using them on all my 1911's for three years now. I change 'em at 1000 rds and all have held up very well so far.
Web Address For CP Bullets

anyone here have the web address for cp bullets for their shok-buffs. TIA
Rick from Kali said:
anyone here have the web address for cp bullets for their shok-buffs. TIA
I buy them from Brownells.
Thanks for the link yuccapote but went to it to order some but they seem to be out of stock at this time. anyone else know where i can order some of these. TIA
Mushinto said:
If I started a new thread entitled, "How many people have shot their 1911s to destruction (or even a cracked frame) because they were not using a shoc-buff"?

How many yes's do you think I'd get?

Shok-buffs aren't just about frame battering....they change the way felt recoil is perceived....has to do with "impulse force" (force / time ). The longer you can spread out the deceleration of the slide, the less the perceived "jab" the shooter gets.
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