The buffer system on an AR-15 can be noisy. Which is kind of expected, since it’s a giant spring that sproings back and forth right next to your ear every time the gun goes bang. In normal guns this isn’t a problem, but when you’re running something whisper quiet (like a 300 AAC Blackout rifle) it becomes very noticeable. Thankfully, John Paul at JP Enterprises has a solution for that very problem: the silent captured buffer spring . . .
First, let’s outline the problem a little more clearly. This video was shot immediately after I got the stamp for my SBR back from the ATF and I immediately noticed a problem. I had been using a fixed stock on my old 300 AAC Blackout build that had a little more material surrounding the buffer assembly. But with the lighter SBR I opted for an M4 style stock with a thinner wall. The result is that after every shot you can hear the buffer jangling around, adding to your noise signature. It’s not much, but it’s enough to be annoying.
When you’re trying to get a rifle to be as quiet as possible, every little bit counts. Heck, I’m looking for ways to dampen the sound of the trigger resetting. So until I figure that out, I needed to kill the buffer noise.
JP cooked this up with a couple of his engineers as a way to make a gas gun feel more like a bolt gun. John Paul is a veteran of the Soldier of Fortune 3-gun competitions and numerous sniper matches. His vision of his rifles is to prove that semi-automatic guns are on the same level as bolt guns in terms of accuracy and usability. From what I’ve seen his are pretty damned close already.
This buffer assembly (available for both .308 and 5.56 and ships with an insert for rifle-length tubes) is one of the small details that John Paul is working on to make the experience of shooting one of his gas guns nearly indistinguishable from a bolt action rifle. And for such a relatively small problem he’s put a ton of time and effort into this one part.
The spring comes pre-assembled and ready to drop into your lower receiver, but JP recommends that you completely remove the small detent located in the lower receiver itself that keeps the buffer from flying out first — you won’t need it with this assembly. I, uh, didn’t follow those instructions and while getting the thing in is fine and dandy, it was a royal pain in the ass to remove. Word to the wise: listen to the man.
JP also has a set of springs that you can order that will fine tune the system for your specific gun and loads, either increasing or decreasing the cyclic rate and resistance as needed. That’s all well and good, but how does it work? Well . . .
If you listen really closely to the second half of the video, you’ll hear four things in sequence. first, the gun goes off. Then, since there’s no sound coming from the buffer spring anymore, you can hear the bullet slamming into the dirt berm. Third, the spent case hits the ground. And finally, that loud and obnoxious trigger reset. That’s all the sound the gun makes anymore and it is glorious. Here’s a little longer video if you’re at work and need something to do:
JP’s gizmo completely eliminated the noise that the buffer spring makes. And, as an added bonus, it makes the recoil from the gun much more pleasant. John Paul designed this assembly for one specific purpose and it does its job flawlessly. If you’re looking for something that eliminates the noise from the buffer spring and eases recoil at the same time, this is what you need.
Silent Captured Buffer Spring
Available from JP Enterprises
Ratings (out of five stars):
Overall: * * * * *
Worth every single penny for those looking to eliminate that buffer spring noise. And some recoil.