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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, I have a question for you heavy 1911 shooters. I took my Les Bear out to shoot the other day and I had an issue. Now before I get into it, I want to say I never had an issue with this pistol before. I was shooting it and every other round or after a few rounds of me firing it, I had a problem of the shell clearing the ejection port as if the slide wasn't going back far enough. I know it's not the gun since I had fired it before many times. Now, the only thing I did to this pistol was add a Wilson rubber buffer onto the spring plug. Like I said, it never did it before just started doing it after I placed this in. Since this I removed it and I will see if it returns to full function in a few days when I take it back out to shoot. Has anyone on this forum who is a shooter ever experienced this with your 1911's? The gun shoots great groups and tight. I know for a fact that this is the issue. Comments?
 
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The buffer added on the spring guide changes two things. 1) It minimally shortens the recoil operation of your gun and 2) It slightly increases the recoil spring tension. Every 1911 is different. Yours might be sensitive to these changes.

Take it out and try it again. Although they might be OK at the range, I personally would never use these in a carry gun. These "buffers" can come apart and gum up the mechanism IMHO.
 

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Yes, I have experienced the same type of functional reliability issues with more than one pistol, just by adding a Wilson, or similar, shock buff. I like the idea of shock buffers, but rarely use them nowadays due to reliability concerns........ymmv
 

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KMK,

Yes, I've experienced the same problem with Buffs. As others have stated, the Buff shortens the amount the slide can open.
But I found that if you allow the gun to climb thru recoil it can cause the slide to bite the brass and not have a clean ejection. I also think if the gun CAN bite the Brass with a Buff in place, it will NOT act the same if you remove the Buff.

Buffs can be a benefit to some pistols, but not ALL pistols..................

Do I use them? ....................Yes, in some guns, when they demonstrate reliability and run 100%

Tom
 

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I have to echo what the others have said. It's a case by case thing...some 1911s will have no problems and some will with the Shok Buffs in place...even if the buffs don't degrade with use. I've seen some pistols that will, with a Shok Buff in place, not fully go into battery and the thumb safety cannot be activated...some will work ok. Install a heavier recoil spring and it will go into battery with the Shok Buff. Then you start upsetting the balance of spring pressure and proper operation between moving parts...and on and on. Increasing the spring weight to make a particular gun work with a Shok Buff is pretty much destroying the rationale for the buff...to relieve the effect of parts slamming together.

I use Shok Buffs in a few pistols but only in those that work properly and as designed with the standard springs. If the pistol has to be modified with different springs to work with the Shok Buffs then you shouldn't use them. Installing heavier springs to make the pistol work with a Shok Buff is making it work against itself plus ensuring the Shok Buff will wear out sooner.

It doesn't really matter whether it's a Colt 1911 or a clone...each is different in how it reacts to a buffer.
 

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Get rid of the shock buffer thing, for all the reasons mentioned so far. The agency I worked for did not allow them on any 1911 carried for official purposes, on duty or off duty. Too many problems with them screwing up a perfectly functioning 1911. Proper recoil spring weight, an appropriate main spring, and/or a flat base firing pin stop will manage any reasonable slide recoil energy.
 

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The buff is not needed in your gun. Best advice is to toss it. The only time I'll use one is in an older pre-70 series Gold Cup National Match with their lightened slide.
 

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The buff is of questionable value in a full size gun. In most cases it does no harm as long as they are changed out frequently. In a commander length gun they are a monumental pain in the behind. Failure to eject and all manner of problems caused by the reduced travel of the slide. Another one of those things I tried long ago that proved to me John Browning pretty much got it right to begin with.
 

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I've never had any problem with shock buffers, but I only use them in full-size guns (5" barrel), and I replace them every 500 rounds, no exceptions.

However, as others have mentioned, some guns have issues with them. If your gun worked great before, then eliminate the shock buffer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you for all who have responded. I as stated earlier have used the buffer in a full size 5" Colts and I still have one in my Delta Elite which works fine with it installed. The les Bear is a Commander size gun and it seems it doesn't work well with the buffer. I did remove it and it works 100% once again. I fired it this morning and without any issues as prior to installation. I don't think I will be using the buffers once they wear out and I rotate them out of my Delta. The 10mm does hit hard and the buffer helps a bit with it. I'm not concerned about recoil since I enjoy that aspect of shooting I just don't want it slamming into the frame. I know what everyone is going to say but It's a personal thing. I just want to thank all of you for your opinions and experiences that you shared on this. Even when someone is a well experienced shooter as my self it is beneficial To hear of these things to gather more knowledge to process better judgement. The theory of 2 heads (or more) are better than one.
 

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I gave up on shock buffers the 2nd time it caused a jam during a match in my 1911 comp gun. (Yeah, it also takes me while to look at a hot horseshoe)

I still have a few in the original Wilson plastic bag if anyone wants them...and I can find them.
 

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The agency I worked for did not allow them on any 1911 carried for official purposes, on duty or off duty.
Yours was not the only agency that banned them. During the Colt 1911 armorer course, Ken Elmore recommended against them and we ultimately eliminated them under the unauthorized modification rule.
 

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Since yours is the Commander length I am curious if you can slingshot the slide or if the slide release has to be used? I had one and the only way was to use the slide release.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
A few things I noticed when putting in a buffer in a commander model 1911.
1. Slide didn't lock back all the time on the last round.
2. slide didn't fully eject the round at times and this would cause the slide to bite the empty casing.
3. The only time it ejected on every round you had to have locked your elbow out and lean into the firearm. Yes, I know that is the way you are supposed to shoot a combat gun but
if you didn't follow this every time you had a function blunder.
4. It was hard to implement the slide release since it had extra pressure due to the space it was taken up by the buffer.
5. It also it does take up some space to where as stated above to sling shot the slide forward.
The final solution to this is leave the gun as is for reliability and function. If you carry this for self defense by all means shoot it to see if it is working right. I am not saying don't use the buffers, heck I have one in my Delta Elite and it functions right.
 
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