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 Brownell’s HERE
Ratings (out of five stars):
Overall: * * * * *
Worth every single penny for those looking to eliminate that buffer spring noise. And some recoil.
Wow man. That’s very awesome. And your trigger reset is ridiculously loud in comparison.
Slightly jealous that you’ve been to my ranch more in the last month than I have. 🙂
ranch? Exactly how much is RF paying and how come I don’t get a cut since I drive so much traffic to this site????
The Kee Ranch predates TTAG. And probably TTAC.
Dirk, you need to get hired by TTAG for public relations and marketing. You proba bly doubled traffic this week!
exactly – and as an added bonus, RF can also take credit for diversifying his staff!
In and Out in deadly silence.
Did I once see a recommendation to load up the regular tube spring with lithium grease to quiet it down?
Anyone else hear that?
Wow. My hearing is worse than I thought. I didn’t hear the buffer spring in the ‘before’ video. . .
I don’t think it’s your hearing, I think it’s just one of those things that doesn’t get captured very well on a video camera microphone. I could barely tell the difference myself.
While I don’t own one myself, I’ve shot several suppressed AR15 pattern rifles, and the buffer spring is surprisingly loud once you silence the rest of the gun.
I wonder how this would work with a suppressed dedicated .22 LR upper (1:16 rifling).
I have never used a silencer, but the buffer spring has still always annoyed me, especially when I’m qualifying on the range. With a really tight hasty sling and good ear plugs in place, that spring just clangs away after each shot. Not that big of a deal, but if there’s a way to make that go away, I’m going to buy it.
It’s about time someone did this.
I have to admit I got this from a James Yeager video, but I found this spring works wonders. That signature ‘ping’ is pretty much gone. Plus it’s $11 and not $140. 🙂
And it appears they have a buy 1 get 1 free special this week. I’ll just pick up a few more. Keep an eye on what you’re getting, they have 2 versions.
Okay, I have to ask this. I have come to learn my buffer tube spring pretty well. By that, I mean I can hear it make a different sound when the bolt locks open, and I key off of that sound to begin my mag change or as a cue to grab my secondary. Can you still do that with this, or is it truly silent to the point where you really can’t tell?
Well, with my AR, I learned to feel the difference between the BCG cycling all the way and locking back on an empty chamber. I’m sure you could retrain yourself the same way.
JP Silent buffer has been out for years in both ar15 and ar10 platform, I have two in three of the ar’s I own. Anyone that didn’t know they already existed isn’t keeping up.
Sorry we’re all not as well traveled and informed as you are. Please forgive the fact that building my AR only became economically feasible for me in the last year and a half.
So by all means nobody should ever talk about it again, right?
Pffff, you’re still talking about AR’s?
They’ve been out for like almost half a decade now and are so old its not even worth talking about them ever again.
Yeah, I’m desperately looking to move away from my ancient Tavor now!
AR-15s are too mainstream. I’m all about the M1A.
But seriously. Don’t be a douche.
And the M1A is one fine piece of machinery.
Out of curiosity, did you try this spring assembly with supersonic + can, supersonic without can, subsonic without can and have it work fine? I’ve been eying this for a build I want to do and while I can’t have a can it’d be nice to switch between super and subs with no problem.
How do *I* get one of those fancy 300 AAC guns with a silencer and subsonic ammo?
Envious in Brea, CA
Don’t ask yourself that too many times or you’ll do what I did and move to Texas!
That schpronnng noise against my muffs really is annoying.
JP makes great stuff.
Huuuhuhuh… schpronng….. muffs…
“And finally, that loud and obnoxious trigger reset. That’s all the sound the gun makes anymore and it is glorious.”
That is awesome.
And once the trigger reset is silent, the only sound left will be the operator going on about 300 Blackout.
Good review Nick. I too thought long and hard about this for my 300BLK SBR for the same reason you mention, but decided against it. The main problem with this product for me is the inability to use heavy buffers which, IMHO, are a requirement if you are going to run a 300BLK gun suppressed with supersonic ammo. I know AAC says otherwise, but that’s marketing BS. It approaches laughable to say that the same gas system and buffer will work for both unsuppressed subsonic and suppressed supersonic. Anyone objective will admit that the gun is monumentally over-gased in the second condition. If you don’t mind a face full of blowback and beating the heck out of your gun, that’s fine. The only real solution I found was to use a +20% spring (polished and greased, which eliminates 85% of the noise) and a heavy T3 buffer… I then add the Tubbs carrier weight with the tungsten insert for supersonic ammo.
That said, if you only run subsonic, this may be a good solution.
The spring kit includes different weights, you can tune the buffer however you want.
Never knew that…. it’s not in any of the product descrtiptions. Adjustable to what weight? If you can get the buffer weight up to 5oz or more (5.5 ideally), I’m all over this! If not, it still doesn’t work for this application IMO.
Looked into this… no buffer weights are available from JP. I think you totally missed my point Nick, and/or don’t understand the independant significance and functions of the buffer and buffer spring. JP sells springs with different rates, but does NOT sell tungsten weights such that you can increase the buffer weight. My point above was that you needed both high rate springs AND absurd buffer weights when shooting 300blk supersonic through a can. Simply put, the gun is so over-gassed that it will beat itself up and throw excessive blowback without these two modifications. Not only does the JP SCS not allow you to adjust the buffer weight upwards, the solid rod in the SCS precludes the use of bolt carrier weights to make up for this defeciency… the worst of all worlds.
strange, my 300blk isn’t overgassed with suppressed supersonics. but then i reload…
ah, i just noticed you run an SBR. which means pistol gas. all sorts of badness for 300blk for sure in that configuration.
run carbine gas, run happy.
I tried to get one of these on my last AR build, but it was just after Obama’s 2nd election and they weren’t in stock and then, for obvious reasons, stayed impossible to get for a long time after. I ended up using one of JP’s ‘center-less ground and polished’ buffer springs ($20), which was their original product to reduce buffer spring noise before they came out with this captured setup, and I was very happy with the results. While I can’t compare it to the captured setup because I still haven’t made the leap to trying one, I can say that it’s MUCH quieter and smoother than a standard spring, no question. None of that sproing noise or feel at all.
One more thing — JP reduced power FCG springs will help with the reset noise.
I’m glad to see this positive review… I have one of the JP captured spring setups, but it’s in a gun that I haven’t yet had a chance to shoot (don’t have glass for it). I’m REALLY looking forward to getting it finished….
I use one of these in my AAC SBR with a suppressor shooting .300blk subsonic loads. From the shooting position, the loudest thing is the bolt hitting home, and after that it’s the impact on the target if you are hitting something solid. This thing doesn’t make a HUGE difference, but it definitely makes a difference, and when you’ve already spent a few thousand dollars to assemble the quietest AR you can, a bit more isn’t a big deal!
I really didn’t hear any difference at all, just the trigger reset mostly. But that’s a fine rifle you got there Nick, tell me, iv seen a lot of videos of suppressed rifles, did you edit this to be so quiet or is it just that good?
Also, has the suppressor been a pain in the ass to take care of? Or is it simply an issue of running a bore snake?
Thanks in advance.
Nope, no sound editing whatsoever. What you hear is what you get. It’s a little louder than you’d expect in the wild, but that’s a factor of the microphone not being able to pick up all the sound.
As for the can, for the rifle silencer I don’t do anything to it. It’s more or less self cleaning. For the pistol silencer, it disassembles and lets me clean out the baffles.
Another ‘problem’ I am not aware of
When you have a round wire spring, it will ring, and it can degrade in as little as 1000 cycles. You also can’t store it compressed. Now, chrome silicate springs (the same material that valve springs are made from) are amazing. You’ll get 500,000+ cycles and can store it compressed (bolt locked back for fast deployment). Another bonus, no “spronnnnnng” sound, and consistent compressions throughout the life of the spring. I have been through 2 barrels so far on my original set of springs and no sign of letting up. They’re available through Tubb Precision.
you can store any spring compressed. it’s not static compression that wears metal out, it’s cycling. otherwise your car would wear its suspension out just sitting parked, and your gun’s striker/hammer would wear itself out just being cocked.
They do get worn out by being compressed. That’s why springer air guns shouldn’t be cocked for more then an hour or so walking through the woods. It’s all about metal alloys and coil thickness.
Even on a non supressed AR the spring is distracting and annoying. I dont shoot my AR any more because of it.
Gosh dang it man, stop making me so jealous. I’ve wanted to build one of those for quite some time now…
lol I got one of these in a trade right before the last scare and I believe they were only 109.99 then. Why are they 140 now? Usually a product goes down in price over time when there is less demand and high supply, strange how JP thinks their product doesn’t have to follow normal market rules. I used it in a stag/white oak build and I noticed absolutely nothing compared to my other buffer/spring setups. I have to wonder if people are just buying it just because and then saying it works just to defend the ridiculous price. And I’m not one to cut costs when it comes to a ar build, I use seekins billet lowers, white oak uppers, geissele triggers, but I also have to speak the truth about so called quality products made by a quality company that is nothing more than a gimmick. If this spring was 40 I could justify it maybe but in no way should anyone spend over 100 just to get 99% recoil spring silence when they can achieve 98% silence with a enhanced spring for about 1/14th of the cost. People are strange and their habits predictable. While the JP silent spring has been out a good 5 years it has been and always will be one of the most useless accessories for the ar15 or ar10, thankfully most don’t fall for it. Reminds me of ambi safeties for people who are not ambidextrous.
What color spring should I put in my lr .308 using subsonic loads? To get it to function semi auto
What color spring should I put in my lr .308 using subsonic loads? To get it to function semi auto