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Monday, July 11, 2011

Review: MGI Rate and Recoil Reducing Buffer

I recently had a package show up at my door from the good people at MGI. Inside was one of their most exciting products... Their Rate and Recoil Reducing Buffer (RRRB). MGI produces a wide variety of parts and accessories as well as complete weapon systems... but this one particular product has greatly intrigued me from the first time that I had heard about it.

Their Rate and Recoil Reducing Buffer is designed to reduce the perceived recoil of your rifle by reducing the rifle's cyclic rate. As a result, it helps make rapid fire shooting much more accurate. Its a simple, drop-in unit that replaces the original factory buffer in your M16/M4/AR-15. It works in both carbine and full length rifles and will work with any of the countless AR calibers that are out there.

The unit requires no tools and no additional modifications to the firearm. It simply fits inside the factory buffer spring and then is reinstalled just like the factory part would be. Most importantly, the RRRB is a completely mechanical unit and is not built around a hydraulic setup like other brands are. This contributes greatly to the overall reliability and consistency of this unit.

I installed the RRRB in a Stag Arms Model 1 Carbine with a 16" barrel and took it out to the range for a little testing and evaluation (ammo used was 55gr Wolf FMJ). Now, I dont have access to full auto weaponry, high speed cameras, or a shot timer so I cant give you any specific hard numbers on the reduction in the rate of fire that I was able to get from this unit. I can, however, testify to the fact that this thing works exactly as advertised... and it is impressive!

Compared to a standard carbine buffer, recoil was without a doubt reduced significantly. Felt recoil was definitely smoother and not as "sharp" as it is with the standard buffer. Muzzle climb and movement off of target were also substantially reduced resulting in faster recovery times and more shots on target. The difference this buffer makes is actually pretty amazing. Shooting a carbine with the RRRB installed is (In my opinion) darn close to shooting a hot .22 lr. The controlabilty of the gun is greatly increased, and I think it would be safe to say that the RRRB would nearly completely eliminate felt recoil and muzzle rise in longer barreled precision 5.56 rifles.

If you want actual hard numbers, in MGI's own testing they were able to achieve the following results:
With an 11.5" M16 with a cyclic rate of nearly 1100 rounds per minute rate of fire was reduced by their buffer to 754 rounds per minute (thats a 31% reduction!). They also tested the unit in an M16 with a 20" barrel that was cycling at 771 rounds per minute. It dropped to 585 rounds per minute (thats a 24% reduction)
Probably the greatest testament that I can give to the RRRB's effectiveness is that of what happened when one of my shooting buddies gave it a go. I told him that the rifle had a new buffer in it, but with him not being an "AR guy" that really didn't mean much of anything to him. He shouldered the rifle on the firing line and squeezed off three shots, stopped, and exclaimed "There's no recoil!". To which I responded, "Its that new buffer I put in it". He then re-shouldered the gun and dumped the rest of the mag.... He came off the line giggling like a school girl and said, "Wow! Thats awesome!".

MGI's RRRB does exactly what they say it does. You don't need fancy high speed cameras to realize that there is a significant reduction in the cyclic rate of the firearm, and that felt recoil is drastically decreased. Reliability was also 100% for the time that I have spent on the range with it. Also included in the box that MGI sent me was their D-Fender D Ring which I am sure also aided in the reliability of the entire package. The D-Fender is just a simple rubber gasket, but it aides in eliminating extraction problems by increasing the extractor spring force by 4 times... pretty cool. Overall, this is a great package, and one that every AR owner should consider including in their setup. It completely lived up to the lofty expectations that I had going into this trial, and I think that it will live up to yours as well.

*MGI also has a couple of videos on YouTube (here and here) if you want to see how the RRRB effects full auto fire.