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Gotta agree with this one. If there’s nothing exiting the rear of the receiver and traveling into the buffer tube, there’s no need for a buffer tube and other stocks or stock-mounting options are typically superior.


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    • damn marsupial has me seeing gum and reading gun.
      i don’t even want the dang buffer on anything.
      those nice little square rails and a spartan clamp on folder are appealing.

  1. And nonstandardized. At least with the buffer tube you have a high probability of getting something to fit without having to fiddle with it.

  2. Disagree. Depends on the platform. The best thing, for example, IWI did to the gen 2 Galil Ace is make the stock compatible with AR buffer tube/receiver extensions.

    Having a AR buffer tube or compatible part on the gun opens up a lot of aftermarket stocks and accessories.

    • I’m with dwb- having a buffer tube means I can use pretty much any AR stock I want, which gives me a lot more options than pretty much any other platform.

      Now if only Magpul would get around to shipping the #*%&% PRS Lite….

    • I agree as well. It’s a universal interface. It can not only be mounted on a folding hinge, but also allows collapsing / adjustment to the shooter.

      Perhaps most importantly, it’s round (same cheek interface as a traditional wood stock). All else being equal, I hate the extension mechanisms that present your face with, basically, a pair of knife blanks – some complete with “serrations” to interface with the locking mechanism.

  3. The AR-15 has perhaps one of the worst buttstock configurations from a standpoint of gun fitting that I’ve ever seen. But, it’s cheap, popular, and in a .223 rifle with negligible recoil, it works OK.

    If you have an option to use something else (ie, you have no buffer coming back into a tube), you really should look for better options, especially on anything with heavier recoil.

  4. I have an 870 with a mesa stock kit and a buffer tube carrying a hydraulic action. Tames the shock of slugs wonderfully. So there is sometimes a reason.

    • Last year, I took a four-day tactical shotgun course. 500 shells total, 80% of it 00 buck or slug. Stock Rem 870 with no fancy upgrades to reduce felt recoil. Only used a shoulder pad, such as is sold for trap/skeet shooters.

      Day 1…great. Lots of adrenaline and fun.
      Day 2…a little sore
      Day 3…ibuprofen became my best friend.
      Day 4 became mind over matter, and I learned to force any discomfort out of my focus. Amazingly, it worked, and my chest meat stopped hurting.

  5. “If there’s nothing exiting the rear of the receiver and traveling into the buffer tube, there’s no need for a buffer tube and other stocks or stock-mounting options are typically superior.”

    Hmmmm… for the standard AR configuration there is something “exiting the rear of the receiver and traveling into the buffer tube” – its called recoil force. The maximum average recoil force of a .223/5.56 AR-15 is ~ 6.5 Joules (that is with no standard spring/buffer/buffer tube arrangement)

    “Joule” is a unit of energy. It is defined as the energy transferred to an object when a one newton force is applied to the object in the direction of its motion through a distance of one meter. It is also defined as the energy dissipated as heat when a 1 ampere electric current passes through a resistance of one ohm in the course of one second. Although both of these definitions involve energy, we are interest in the energy transferred for AR-15 recoil as that is what one feels in recoil because its the transfer of energy from the rifle to the shooter.

    1 Joule = 0.73756214927727 ft-lbf

    A foot-pound (ft·lb or ft·lbf) is a measurement unit of work or energy. It is defined as the energy transferred when a force of one pound-force is applied over a linear displacement of one foot.

    ~6.5 * 0.73756214927727= ~ 4.794153970302255 ft-lbf (rounded = ~ 4.8 ft-lbf)

    The recoil force of an AR-15 is around ~6.5 Joules or ~ 4.8 foot-pounds (ft-lbf) Maximum.

    with buffer/spring:

    I used the upper recoil force limit in Joules, in reality though it varies some with rifle weight. As rifle weigh increases recoil force goes down and as weight decreases recoil force goes up – so for example, an 8.5 lb rifle has 3.9 ft-lbf of recoil force while a 7.5 lb rifle has a 3.0 ft-lbf recoil force.

    A 9 lb .223/5.56 rifle has a recoil force of ~3.4 lbf.

    10 lbf to 15 lbf range is the threshold range where recoil starts to become “intrusive” meaning the point at which it begins to bother people by inducing pain level discomfort.

    An average electric tooth brush in the persons hand being used exerts about ~6.5 lbf of force minimum (on average).

    So roughly half (+/- a little, variable) the maximum recoil force is expended in the buffer/spring. That recoil force “enters” the buffer/spring in the buffer tube from the rear of the rear of the receiver.

    • “one pound-force”

      A pound-force (lbf) is a measurement unit of force. A pound-force unit = (mass of one avoirdupois pound = 0.45359237 kg) X (standard acceleration due to gravity on Earth = defined as exactly 9.80665 meter per second²).

      Thus :
      one pound-force = 0.45359237 kg × 9.80665 meter per second² = 32.17405 pound × foot per second²)

      • pound-force uses the designation “lbf” as in a a non-SI (non-System International) unit.

        foot-pound uses the designation “ft·lb” or “ft·lbf” and is sometimes designated as just “lbf” where its understood “ft·lb” or “ft·lbf” is being referenced. Its corresponding SI unit is the “joule”

        The two are different even though sometimes you see them use the same designation. It depends on the understanding of what is being referenced, if “ft·lb” or “ft·lbf” is being referenced then “lbf” means foot-pound and if pound-force is being referenced the then “lbf” means pound-force. Neither should be confused with designations used in torque with can also be measured in ft·lbf where the correct designation has no shorthand version and (to be correct) remains “ft·lbf” in reference to torque.

    • “(that is with no standard spring/buffer/buffer tube arrangement)”

      for clarification
      …”that is with no standard spring/buffer/buffer tube arrangement measured at the exit of the receiver rear where the buffer tube attaches – peak

      • between you and jefropedo i’ve never been able to skim through these sections so rapidly.
        pretty sure you just said the ar15’s nominal caliber has minimal recoil reduced even further by the use of a buffer.
        i will next summarize proust.

        • well, yeah I did say, paraphrased and reduced, that, for your context, “ar15’s nominal caliber has minimal recoil reduced even further by the use of a buffer.” if its the context of the peak maximum without the spring/buffer/buffer tube arrangement for reference. But yeah, you could say it that way.

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