I was thinking about getting a buffer for my M1A because I use them on my .45s, but the general consensus at the time was that they weren't all that necessary for our rifle but those that had them, liked them.
I have one in my Loaded standard. The felt recoil is lessened slightly and for the protection of the metal on metal contact during recoil I can live with it. I recommend the Buffer Tech buffer for the M1A, if for nothing more than it takes the abuse of the rifles recoil.
I have one in one M14 rifle and not in the other and don't notice any difference between the two. I'll probably put one in the second rifle as I see no liability in it and it does prevent the op rod from striking the receiver.
I've used them in the M1911 but strongly caution against them in that weapon for other than range firing practice. The M1911 design has been diddled with so much that putting a buffer in there will often prevent the ejection of live cartridges in the event of a stoppage -- they shorten the recoil so much the bulltet can't clear the ejection port. And non-standard ejectors make the port even smaller. In this weapon they often disintegrate and can stop the pistol. Even if they work in your pistol on the range remove them before you leave, I've seen way too many problems with them to trust a pistol with one in it.
On my former AK74 the buffer was a literal requirement as the recoil was so violent I'd get a bruised shoulde, something the M1 or M14, or even a 12ga was never able to do.
I just built 2 LRB rifles and installed customer supplied Buffer Technology buffers in them.
I test fired both rifles and they functioned perfectly.
Felt recoil is just a bit less and they do keep the op-rod from beating the receiver.
Maybe Al could give a report after he gets to the range.
I have one in my M1A and I don't notice too much change in the felt recoil as I would have to say it's minimal to probably notice too much. But the benefit of depleting any abuse from the oprod hitting the receiver is worth it. Even though the M14 has run for years without, if it doesn't effect your action functioning then it can only help and not hurt. I'd have to say that the best example would be to see the difference in two rifles with similar years of use, one with a buffer being used and one without. It would seem logical that the one with the buffer will most likely have less wear in spots and be a bit tighter.
I can't say they reduce recoil , but they do stop the op-rod from battering the receiver , and save some shock to the scope. I haven't lost a scope since I put one in. I put a Leatherwood ARTII on mine rifle and lost a crosshair in less than a year. I've since put many thousand rounds through a Tasco and a Weaver T-10 with no problems. On firing , the distinct clack or the op-rod hitting the receiver is gone.
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