AR15.Com Archives
 AK-47 Recoil Buffers?
Tactical_T  [Team Member]
6/20/2007 7:07:58 PM EST
Just curious if most of you are using recoil buffers in you AK's? If so, what brands: Buffer Tech, Black Jack, etc. Did you notice any difference after installing it?

I know that most Kalishnokov's are build like tanks and probably don't need them, but I swear by them and have a Buffer Tech in every AK, despite having nothing but milled and 1mm stamped receivers. At $10 - $15, why not?

Buffer Tech

Black Jack

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pmbiker  [Member]
6/20/2007 7:41:39 PM EST
To put it plainly, no I don't use one. AKs don't need one.

This is purely conjecture and theory but here it goes. My feeling is that buffers may do more harm than good. Yes there is a little metal to metal contact during bolt travel, but the rifle was designed for it. Here's the theory part. By using a buffer, the bolt is sent back into battery with more force and velocity than by the spring alone. This may cause accelerated wear on the bolt locking lugs and/or reciever/trunnion. Yes, I realize I may be full of hot air but I may be right. Kinda hard to test without a torture test to failure of two rifles. One with a buffer and one without.

The only positive results I've noticed are a quieter action and no impact mark on the bolt or rear trunnion/reciever. No felt recoil reduction, no reduced wear and tear.

As always, YMMV.
DRich  [Team Member]
6/20/2007 8:20:09 PM EST

Originally Posted By pmbiker:
To put it plainly, no I don't use one. AKs don't need one.


+1

20yrs and many thousands of rounds later, I've yet to see any need to put a buffer in any of my AK's. I've also never seen an AK show any increased wear/tear due to lack of a buffer.
Tactical_T  [Team Member]
6/20/2007 9:15:10 PM EST

Originally Posted By pmbiker:
To put it plainly, no I don't use one. AKs don't need one.

This is purely conjecture and theory but here it goes. My feeling is that buffers may do more harm than good. Yes there is a little metal to metal contact during bolt travel, but the rifle was designed for it. Here's the theory part. By using a buffer, the bolt is sent back into battery with more force and velocity than by the spring alone. This may cause accelerated wear on the bolt locking lugs and/or reciever/trunnion. Yes, I realize I may be full of hot air but I may be right. Kinda hard to test without a torture test to failure of two rifles. One with a buffer and one without.

The only positive results I've noticed are a quieter action and no impact mark on the bolt or rear trunnion/reciever. No felt recoil reduction, no reduced wear and tear.

As always, YMMV.


I'll have to agree on the "no noticeable difference" othe than a quieter action, as recoil felt the same to me the 1st time I tried one a few years back. I also agree that only a serious multi-thousand round torture test on two similar AK's would prove them to be useful or worthless and see if there was any increased degenerateive wear on the bolt locking lugs and/or receiver/trunion.

I don't use them on the smaller caliber rifles (.223 and 5.45), but do on the 30 caliber semi-autos like the AK's and HK91. It's probably psychological, but using them makes me feel better about the long-term wear and tear. I guess I'll keep using them until I see some sort of proof that the cons out weigh the pros. But thanks for the opinion!
RWB64  [Member]
6/21/2007 3:47:08 AM EST

Originally Posted By pmbiker:
To put it plainly, no I don't use one. AKs don't need one.

This is purely conjecture and theory but here it goes. My feeling is that buffers may do more harm than good. Yes there is a little metal to metal contact during bolt travel, but the rifle was designed for it.

You have to admit its pretty violent contact. And I have heard people say they can see a mark in the back of the receiver after a rifle has been used heavily.

Here's the theory part. By using a buffer, the bolt is sent back into battery with more force and velocity than by the spring alone. This may cause accelerated wear on the bolt locking lugs and/or reciever/trunnion.

OK I am not Mr. Physics (and please if someone IS Mr. Physics jump in here) You have X amount of energy from the gasses of the projectile slamming the bolt backwards. The spring is compressed and that uses energy. In its compressed state the spring has energy to send the bolt forward again but not as much energy as it took to compress it. You think the buffer is somehow going to give it MORE energy on the return trip? X+B(buffer energy)? The buffer isn't like a spring that is all coiled up and has potential energy to release. Without a buffer the bolt slams to the back of the rifle and loses energy by compressing the spring and deforming what it hits. If anything I might worry that it would cause some sort of timing issue making the bolt move forward too slowly or with not enough force.

Yes, I realize I may be full of hot air but I may be right. Kinda hard to test without a torture test to failure of two rifles. One with a buffer and one without.

The only positive results I've noticed are a quieter action and no impact mark on the bolt or rear trunnion/reciever. No felt recoil reduction, no reduced wear and tear.

For the record I have not used any buffers but they are on my list especially for my Saiga 12. I only HOPE it helps in recoil reduction. As far as an AK in 7.62x39 IMO the recoil is negligable. Really not much different than a .22 rimfire. I'm not joking I just don't feel it. Might be different when I install my Romy sidefolder and get my Polish underfolder.

As for positive results, quieter action is a good thing. But you ARE seeing reduced wear and tear if you don't see the impact mark on the bolt or rear trunion/receiver. The energy that deforms them is going SOMEWHERE. Since the buffer stands between them and has a wear time of 5000 rounds (for green) and 10,000 rounds (for black) if I recall correctly (for BlackJack brand) I would guess it is the buffer that is absorbing that energy. But again I sucked at physics so please someone jump in and correct me.

As far as my weapons go I want to use them but hopefully pass them onto the next generation. I also would like to add to their accuracy and ease of cleaning. I have one process I already use for this and another process I am considering that I will not even mention here because I am sure it will be ridiculed as so much snake oil and laughed at. Unless I hear otherwise though I think I will install buffers.

Cheers,
RWB64



As always, YMMV.
pmbiker  [Member]
6/21/2007 4:14:36 AM EST
I'm not Mr. Physics either, but think about it. These buffers are not high-tech impact absorbing gel filled or pneumatic buffers, they are rubber. Rubber has the ability to soften an impact, but not the ability to absorb and diffuse impact. Newtons third law of motion is the action-reaction law. The energy of the bolt hitting the rubber buffer would be transferred back into the bolt. If you take a rubber super ball and throw it to the ground, what happens. It bounces. The same thing is happening to your bolt everytime it hits that rubber buffer.

Again I'll admit I may be full of it. Until someone with a more solid argument comes along and talks me out of it I'm sticking to my theory.
Green_Canoe  [Member]
6/21/2007 4:21:34 AM EST
Rubber is just another form of spring. In this case just a short stiff one.
RWB64  [Member]
6/21/2007 5:05:52 AM EST
Just so you know I didn't use "Mr. Physics" as a dig or in a derogatory manner towards you but rather to point out my OWN shortcomings. I mean I can't pull Newton's Third Law out of my head. So please don't be offended by it.

I don't know what the composition of the buffers available are. Plain rubber or something else.


Rubber has the ability to soften an impact, but not the ability to absorb and diffuse impact.


By softening the impact they HAVE to be absorbing some energy. That energy wears them out instead of the bolt and rear trunion and receiever.


The energy of the bolt hitting the rubber buffer would be transferred back into the bolt
.

But less energy than there was before. Energy is consumed by the buffer. Its why they wear out. They are being destroyed by the energy they consume. They are not going to give any extra energy to the process. And the energy consumed is not going to be going to metal on metal contact but rather the buffer.


If you take a rubber super ball and throw it to the ground, what happens. It bounces
.

First off, I thought the composition of superballs were different than plain rubber. But no matter. Try this. Hold your hand at a specific height. Drop the superball. It will NOT bounce back high enough to reach your hand. This means energy is being lost doesn't it?


The same thing is happening to your bolt everytime it hits that rubber buffer.


But it is absorbing energy not adding anything to it. The spring also absorbs energy by being compressed. Some energy is lost in this action but once compressed the spring has potential energy that it releases to drive the bolt back into battery. Not as much as it caused to compress it though. Which is why I said I would be more worried that a buffer could possibly bleed off too much energy slowing it down or putting the timing off.

There is energy lost or consumed by these actions. Otherwise the superball I bounced in a parking lot in 1969 would still be going 38 years later! I mean take the spring out of the rifle and put one or a few buffers in its place. I'm pretty sure your action won't cycle.


Again I'll admit I may be full of it. Until someone with a more solid argument comes along and talks me out of it I'm sticking to my theory.


I don't think you are "full of it". I just think you are mistaken. I know I am using the wrong terms here to express myself and really riding the edge on my understanding of physics. Can someone explain it better?

Cheers,
RWB64
RS39  [Site Staff]
6/21/2007 5:34:32 AM EST
The guns serve for decades in war zones with out them.

Unless you run lots of hot loads in a S12 or PSL (not exactly oem AK designs but stretched platforms), there is no need.

PS- AGNTSA
pmbiker  [Member]
6/21/2007 5:38:19 AM EST
I didn't take the Mr Physics thing as a dig, no sweat. I did take a basic physics class 10yrs ago in college but I am far from an expert

Rubber softens impact forces by temporarily storing the energy. The rubber composition of buffers is hard enough that yes, some of the energy may be absorbed but most is released back into the forward motion of the bolt. I never said they give extra energy to the bolt, only that they give a high percentage of the energy back to the bolt.

Without a buffer the energy of the bolt hitting the rear of your rifle is transferred directly to your shoulder and is absorbed throughout your body. You are in effect a really big soft and effective recoil buffer.

You and I are not experts, just gun nuts expressing opinions. We could go back and forth like this for days and get nowhere. Unless someone steps in that obviously has expertise in the physics of rubber and firearms lets just agree to disagree.
Kyarguy  [Member]
6/21/2007 7:00:36 AM EST
It's really simple...

If it would have needed a buffer, Mr. Kalishnikov would have
built it with one. There are FA AK's out there still in use that are
older than i am(44 years), that never had buffers
You will never shoot a semi gun to the same extent of wear
that a FA gun would experience.

Save your money to buy more ammo,
you don't need them.

KyAKGuy



Tactical_T  [Team Member]
6/21/2007 7:18:12 AM EST
Wow.....what a good debate PMBIKER and RWB64. You are both making good points in your arguements. Unfortunately, my degrees are in Social Sciene and Law, so I can't spit any scientific knowledge on the subject. Maybe we'll get lucky and have someone with a Ph.D in Physics read this thread and lay down the law.

Until then, I'll stick with my orginal arguement that Milled and 1mm+ stamped AK receivers probably don't need buffers, as they are built like tanks, but unless a negative reaction to using them shows up, I see more pros than cons to using them.

-Cheers
hubboy  [Team Member]
6/21/2007 8:14:07 AM EST
guys, its simple. try the god%^$& thing. between between 10-20 bucks, takes 5-15 minutes to install. No altering of weapon or parts in any way. After shooting you will either like the difference or say screw it and throw it in the garbage. maybe you can pass it along to another who wants to try it.

I have one in a yugo sks, all my tapco flat G-romy builds. I personally like it because it DOES make the rifle more quiet, which makes it more a joy to shoot. If it helps to combat wear, so be it. Good luck either way.

BTW I use buffer tech brands buffer. seen mentioned in past posts that it can cause possible malfunctioning of rifle. If rifle runs 100% before install, IT will run 100% after install, NO bs.
drobs  [Team Member]
6/21/2007 8:23:28 AM EST
I hear they are useful if you mount your rear trunion too far back and your bolt it jumping the rails in the rear. Otherwise I have no interest in them.
pmbiker  [Member]
6/21/2007 9:01:42 AM EST
Thanks for the suggestion hubboy. As a matter of fact I have tried them. I purchased one from the first lot made available to the public from Blackjack several years ago and have tried a couple more since then. I've used them on 7.62x39, 5.56x45 and 7.62x51 guns but I don't use one anymore.
Oneiros  [Member]
6/25/2007 3:19:05 AM EST
Aks do not need them, though they do make them easier to shoot. I wouldn't keep one in my SHTF gun. Maybe safe guns or range guns. Not the one I keep under the bed.

They're handy for suppression, or so I hear.
eric10mm  [Team Member]
6/25/2007 6:52:01 AM EST
I run buffers in my AKs for one reason only. It keeps the BC from coming back so far that it can raise up out of the rails and jam.

I have one home-built Romy that this occurs on and since installation of the buffer it doesn't do it any longer and cycles much smoother. The kit was in good shape, the receiver was in-spec and the build was good. Sometimes mechanical things just act wonky.
legonas  [Team Member]
6/25/2007 6:35:39 PM EST

Originally Posted By drobs:
I hear they are useful if you mount your rear trunion too far back and your bolt it jumping the rails in the rear. Otherwise I have no interest in them.


+1

ive seen slow videos of the AK action during firing and the bolt never even gets far enough back to hit the rear trunion/buffer.
Mak  [Team Member]
6/25/2007 6:54:26 PM EST

Originally Posted By legonas:

Originally Posted By drobs:
I hear they are useful if you mount your rear trunion too far back and your bolt it jumping the rails in the rear. Otherwise I have no interest in them.


+1

ive seen slow videos of the AK action during firing and the bolt never even gets far enough back to hit the rear trunion/buffer.


What he said is that a homebuilt rifle that has the bolt carrier jumping out of the rails may need one. It can happen.
legonas  [Team Member]
6/25/2007 6:59:47 PM EST

Originally Posted By Mak:

Originally Posted By legonas:

Originally Posted By drobs:
I hear they are useful if you mount your rear trunion too far back and your bolt it jumping the rails in the rear. Otherwise I have no interest in them.


+1

ive seen slow videos of the AK action during firing and the bolt never even gets far enough back to hit the rear trunion/buffer.


What he said is that a homebuilt rifle that has the bolt carrier jumping out of the rails may need one. It can happen.


i know and i was agreeing with him. i had my amd65 build do it. but only when i pulled it back manually. not when i fired it. but it can happen when firing as well!

my point was that from what i have seen the bolt carrier will not usually even make it back far enough to HIT the buffer most of the time in the first place.

a buffer to keep the bolt carrier on the rails is a good idea, one in a perfectly working rifle to "soften" recoil is a waste of money.
Davehal9000  [Member]
6/25/2007 7:51:53 PM EST
I've yet to talk to a third-world soldier who complained about how fast his AK wore out. If it needed one, Mr. Kalashnikov would have made them a standard fitting during one of his constant design improvements.
NightWatchman  [Team Member]
6/25/2007 9:14:17 PM EST

Originally Posted By legonas:

Originally Posted By drobs:
I hear they are useful if you mount your rear trunion too far back and your bolt it jumping the rails in the rear. Otherwise I have no interest in them.


+1

ive seen slow videos of the AK action during firing and the bolt never even gets far enough back to hit the rear trunion/buffer.


www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sNDTdKQNVU&mode=related&search=

This AK seems to do it only sometimes. Notice the carrier jump up with the first shot! Kind of scary.

RWB64  [Member]
6/26/2007 6:41:27 AM EST

Originally Posted By Davehal9000:
I've yet to talk to a third-world soldier who complained about how fast his AK wore out.


Have you spoken to many of them seriously? ( I don't know where you are or what you do) It seems that an AK in say Africa is a lot easier to get than one here. I mean if I could get my AKs for say $50.00 they would almost become a disposable commodity. But since we pay a LOT more for ours and the availability is a lot more constrained I think its just natural that we are searching for ways to make them last longer and work better. Personally I hope to be able to pass mine along to family after I am gone.



If it needed one, Mr. Kalashnikov would have made them a standard fitting during one of his constant design improvements.


Is this true? I am not challenging you merely looking for the truth. Is Doctor General Kalashnikov really still constantly updating his design? I mean he was in his, what 30s when he designed the AK-47. He's really up there now agewise and many people get a bit set in their ways as they age. Plus its HIS baby like it or not. He may be reluctant to change designs particularly that someone else came up with. Look at how difficult it seemed for them to add the bolt hold open option to the Saiga 12. Everything I have read extolls the virtues of the plates that replace the shepard's hooks. If they are better have they been incorporated into the AKs design?

I was reading history about the AK and models through the years. In the early years it seems like the Soviet Union was coming out with one or two new experimental prototypes based on feedback from troops. Ok time passed you got the AKM and the AK-74. But there isn't a Soviet Union anymore. You have Russia and I thought they were finally switching over to a different model rifle. While it may be the firearm of choice for the great unwashed masses actively involved in civil wars and what not, here in the US its mostly a nostalgia piece. I mean is there anywhere you can hunt with an AK? If not its for the range, home defense, and in case we wind up in a SHTF or TEOTWAWKI situation.

So I don't know how eager Doctor General Kalashnikov or those that have taken his place are to tinker or improve the AK-47 over all. Just some thoughts. You may have knowledge and experience that gives you better information to draw a conclusion.

Cheers,
RWB64
Tactical_T  [Team Member]
6/26/2007 7:08:36 AM EST
+1

I just want my investments to last as long as possible, as I may wish to pass mine down to the little chick-a-deez some day. Even if a recoil buffer will only give them another 5k rounds of service life, then the $10-$15 buffers have still easily paid for themselves. Plus the weapons were actually more enjoyable (quieter) to shoot during their life.
Richard257  [Team Member]
6/26/2007 8:32:52 AM EST



Arsenal milled receiver.
Bolt and firing pin impression after approximately 100 rounds.
Now I run it with recoil buffer.
el_feroz  [Member]
8/22/2007 3:28:31 PM EST

Originally Posted By Richard257:
i103.photobucket.com/albums/m123/Bulldog257/DSCF0002C.jpg


Arsenal milled receiver.
Bolt and firing pin impression after approximately 100 rounds.
Now I run it with recoil buffer.


Dizammm, thats fucked up.
shadowcop  [Member]
8/23/2007 3:00:41 PM EST
I don't need car insurance either. But I sure feel better having it.
Chris_1522  [Team Member]
8/23/2007 3:11:13 PM EST

Originally Posted By el_feroz:

Originally Posted By Richard257:
i103.photobucket.com/albums/m123/Bulldog257/DSCF0002C.jpg


Arsenal milled receiver.
Bolt and firing pin impression after approximately 100 rounds.
Now I run it with recoil buffer.


Dizammm, thats fucked up.


Just looks like some missing paint to me....

Bro2Wolf  [Team Member]
8/27/2007 4:27:00 PM EST
They may not need it but I use it on all my Ak's. A couple of bucks... why not.
MoonDancer  [Member]
8/27/2007 4:49:01 PM EST
Vector Underfolder with a couple thousand rounds through it (by me... I have no idea how many the previous owner fired although it was supposedly not very many).


It doesn't seem to be getting any worse.
coyotesilencer  [Member]
8/27/2007 5:03:37 PM EST
I know that the SKS and AK are different animals, but after what happened with my SKS I now use recoil buffers. With a scope mounted on my SKS receiver, and not running a buffer, the force from the bolt Carrier slamming into the receiver after maybe 200rds made the crosshair/reticle in my scope separate from the scope body, and now is useless. After installing a buffer, I have not had any more problems, and I now run one in all my SKS and AK's.
Jimmy-Deuce  [Member]
8/27/2007 5:18:41 PM EST
Can anyone point me to how to install a buffer tech buffer on my Romy G . It will not slide down the spring am I missing a step does it need to be fitiied?
MisterPX  [Team Member]
8/27/2007 8:56:54 PM EST
Remove the spring from teh guide, install buffer, reinstall spring.

And I run one, but I'm also not that confident in my rivet job either.
King_of_All_Tyrants  [Team Member]
8/28/2007 5:06:11 PM EST
The only reason I have one is because Ohio Ordinance put one in on my build. I wouldn't have bought it otherwise.
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