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Suddenly Shredding Shok Buffs


alzo

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I have always used a 18.5 lb recoil spring and a Wilson shok buff in my CQB. With factory 230gr ball ammo, the buffs would last 900-1000 rounds.

When I reload, I use a Zero 230gr JHP with 6.2gr of Vihtavuori N340 (1.21" COL). The last time I chronographed this load it averaged 847fps. So this seems to me to be a "normal" 45acp load, definitely not +P.

With this reload, the shok buffs do not even last 200 rounds. The easy answer would be to go to a 20lb recoil spring, but I thought the 18.5lb springs should be more than enough for what I'm shooting. Plus, I don't know if I'd notice any undesirable shooting characteristics from the 20lb spring.

Any thoughts ? Are there occasional bad batches of shok buffs ?

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A 20 pound spring might keep you from wrecking a $1 buffer, but it will beat the slide stop and barrel lugs on closing.

Put a new 16 pound spring in, check for coil bind, and pick up another pack of buffers. I would switch to a little faster powder too. No need for a slow powder if you are only loading to 850.

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A 20 pound spring might keep you from wrecking a $1 buffer, but it will beat the slide stop and barrel lugs on closing.

Put a new 16 pound spring in, check for coil bind, and pick up another pack of buffers. I would switch to a little faster powder too. No need for a slow powder if you are only loading to 850.

I always use Wilson springs. I didn't stop to think that there might be something wrong with the spring. Maybe it's weaker than labelled. The cut in the buff is the horseshoe shaped cut of the spring tunnel smacking into it. It is not a circle cut which I would expect from a binding spring.

On the powder selection, I was looking for something that would get me to 850 without pushing the upper limits of pressure. For example, W231 would get me there, but would probably be pushing it pressure-wise. Looking at the Viht powders, it seemed that N340 was the choice for safe 850fps loads. Is there a better choice from Vihtavuori for this ?

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I have noticed what LPATTERSON says to be correct in my experience. The different shcok buffs from different companies work/last differently. However, it seems that your spring(s) aren't quite right based on the damage to the buff you describe and the short length of time/service they last (less than 200 rounds). Sounds like there is a real slam taking place when you shoot, and that suggests the spring is either not heavy enough for the load or is worn out or defective. I'd change to another 18.5 spring and see if there's a similar result.

If so, I don't see why you wouldn't try the 20 if you like the load you are shooting. If no problem with the buff when you change to another spring, you could probably conclude it was that particular spring and throw it away so you don't use it again.

I like 231 and find it a great all around powder for 45 ACP so you could also change loads, but, really, if the one you are using shoots and functions okay, why change unless you find the 18.5 new spring is too weak and don't want to use a 20.

Maybe Patrick Sweeney will weigh in on this from a gunsmithing perspective.

Bob

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A few things: springs vary in strength. Depending on the manufacturer, the batch, the phase of the moon, etc, a package of 18.5 springs could have a spread from 18 to 19 or a spread from 17 to 20. If you got that 17 out of the batch, your spring isn't keeping the slide from hammering the buff.

Shredding buffs usually comes from sharp edges on the recoil spring housing. You want it square, flat and with the edges slightly broken.

As for avoiding high pressures in the .45, don't sweat it. If you max out the chamber pressure in a standard load for the .45 ACP, you're running a whopping 18,000 PSI. BFD. A +P load only boosts that to 21,000. Considering that factory 9mm or Super has a pressure ceiling of 34,000, you have a long way to go before you're in trouble.

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