Thursday, July 14, 2011

MGI Rate and Recoil Reducing Buffer :: Review

Standard Buffer // MGI Rate and Recoil Reducing Buffer
A few weeks ago I received a package from MGI and was really excited when I saw what was inside. Enclosed was their Rate and Recoil Reducing Buffer along with their D-Fender; but more on that in a little bit. It had arrived just in time for me to install them and test them for function before I took my AR to the DPMS Outbreak: Omega 4 Zombie Shoot.

MGI claims that their buffer reduces the cyclic rate at which the rifle will fire. Basically, if you were to have a magazine that held an unlimited number of rounds and inserted it into a full-auto rifle and held the trigger for one minute you would find out how many rounds your gun could fire in a cyclic state. I do not have a full-auto... unfortunately, but MGI claims that:
The 11 1/2 inch barreled carbine was initially firing 1016 rounds per minute (rpm). After installing the MGI Buffer, the rate of fire dropped 271 rpm to a rate of 745 rpm. Our 20 inch barreled demo gun was initially shooting at a rate of 771 rpm. After installing the MGI Buffer the rate of fire fell 133 rpm to a rate of 638 rpm.
I have no reason to doubt their findings; as I can attest the second ability of the buffer (recoil reduction) does work.

The reason I wanted to test fire the gun wasn't necessarily to see if it would cycle with the new buffer, but to see how well their D-Fender ring worked. The D-Fender is a 'D'-shaped rubber o-ring that sits around the extractor spring and increases the extraction force by four times its normal capabilities! As a testament to its ability; to date I have fired over 500 rounds with the D-Fender installed and have experienced zero extraction issues.

The D-Fender on the far right
Back to the buffer...

The MGI Rate and Recoil Reducing Buffer weighs considerably more than a standard AR buffer and also has a pivoting head. Unlike many aftermarket buffers that are hydraulic in design; the MGI Buffer is mechanical. Before I explain how the buffer works I should tell you its origins. MGI has created a multi-caliber weapon system dubbed the Hydra. It features a convertible magazine well that can accommodate seven different calibers by only changing the barrel, bolt, and magazine. As many of you know some calibers don't cycle very well without a properly weighted buffer. MGI found a way around that issue by developing their Rate and Recoil Reducing Buffer. What happens is when the round is fired and the bolt cycles; the MGI buffer will exert the same amount of force back to the bolt. Maybe MGI explains it a little better:
Basically, the harder you push it, the harder it pushes back to counter the recoil. It's function is similar in nature to that of placing a hammer in each of your hands and swinging them towards each other meeting in front of you. When they meet, they will cancel out the energy in each other coming to a stop. If you swing both hammers harder, they will cancel out each other's forward momentum. This is the same as the carrier moving to the rear as the buffer weights are moving forward to help cancel out the rearward energy of the carrier. Changing to a larger caliber just causes the weights to be hitting the carrier that much harder.
I may not know all of the scientific stuff that happens, but I sure do know that the felt recoil of my rifle was reduced noticeably. While firing long strings I didn't need to concentrate on keeping the muzzle down; the Buffer negated that need and I was able to concentrate on target recognition, sight alignment, and trigger pull. I especially enjoyed letting others fire my 12.5" SBR after they had fired their 16" AR's and watch the amazement on their faces. "How does this recoil less!?" "The muzzle doesn't climb at all!" "That is amazing!" are the three comments I heard he most. Oh, followed by, "I need to get one of these!" after I told them the secret was the MGI Rate and Recoil Reducing Buffer.

MGI Buffer 7oz.
Standard Buffer 2.9oz.

Below is my feeble attempt at some high-speed footage of a couple AR's firing with and without the MGI Buffer. I find it difficult at times to see the difference between the two, but I have no problem feeling the difference. If you want to see more video of the MGI Buffer in action check out my YouTube DPMS Zombie Shoot Play List. Enjoy!


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