July, 16

AR 15 Buffer Tubes: Everything You Need to Know

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AR 15 buffer tubes. You may have heard this term before if you're a gun enthusiast or a member of the military. But what exactly are AR 15 buffer tubes? If you're not familiar with this particular weapon and its terminology, it can be confusing.

AR 15 buffer tubes play an important role in the functioning of the firearm. They connect to the lower receiver and allow for proper recoil management when firing. The size and material of buffer tube used can affect everything from how smooth your shots are to overall accuracy.

In this article, we'll dive deeper into AR 15 buffer tubes – what they do, why they matter, and which ones might be right for your specific needs as a shooter or soldier. So whether you're new to firearms or an experienced professional looking to learn more about these essential components, keep reading for all the information you need on AR 15 buffer tubes.

AR 15 Buffer Tubes: A Comprehensive Guide

If you're an AR-15 enthusiast, then you know that the buffer tube is a critical component of the rifle. The buffer tube is responsible for absorbing recoil and directing gas pressure from the expanding gases during firing. Without it, your rifle would be prone to malfunctions and less accurate.

In this article, we'll take a closer look at everything you need to know about AR 15 buffer tubes. We’ll compare different types of tubes available in the market today, examine their benefits over one another, and give tips on how to choose the right one for your needs.

What Are AR 15 Buffer Tubes?

AR-15 buffer tubes are metal or polymer components that attach to a rifle's lower receiver assembly. It houses two vital parts: The recoil spring and weight system known as the "buffer." Together they reduce felt recoil by slowing down bolt carrier group movement after each shot.

The most common materials used in making these components are aluminum alloys or high-strength polymers like Nylon reinforced with glass fibers which make them lightweight without sacrificing durability.

Types of Buffer Tubes Available

Currently, there are three primary types of buffer tubes; Mil-Spec (Military Specification), Commercial Spec (Commercial Specification), and Pistol Spec (Pistol Brace).

Mil-Spec Buffer Tubes

Mil-spec refers to products that meet military specifications or standards set by NATO countries; these standards ensure uniformity across all weapons systems issued within NATO forces worldwide.

Mil-spec diameter measures about 1.14 inches while its thread pitch size stands at approximately .157 inches per turn instead of commercial specification which has threads measuring .120 inches per turn allowing greater compatibility between different manufacturers' rifles parts when assembled onto lower receivers without any issues arising due mismatched sizes such as those found with commercial buffers being too small for milspec stocks causing play between them resulting in noise while shooting.

Diameter 1.14 inches
Thread Pitch Size .157 inches per turn

Commercial Spec Buffer Tubes

Commercial Spec buffer tubes are becoming increasingly more common, especially among non-military personnel who want to build their rifles. The commercial spec's main difference from the mil-spec is its smaller diameter and unique thread pitch size.

The smaller diameter measures around 1.17 inches, while the thread pitch size stands at approximately .120 inches per turn, giving it a snug fit with other commercial specification products compared to Mil-spec.

Commercial Spec
Diameter 1.17 inches
Thread Pitch Size .120inches per turn

Pistol Buffer Tubes

Pistol buffer tubes are a relatively new concept that became popular alongside the rise of pistol brace designs after SB Tactical released its first stabilizing brace in early 2013.

Pistol buffer tubes lack threads for attaching stocks or braces and have different lengths allowing them to be used with different AR-style pistols chambered in various calibers like .223/5.56mm NATO rounds or even larger ones like .308 Winchester depending on your needs.

Benefits of AR-15 Buffer Tube Types

Each type has pros and cons that make it ideal for specific applications.

Mil-Spec buffers:

  • They meet military specifications ensuring parts compatibility between different manufacturers.
  • They offer better durability due to their larger diameter than those found on commercial specifications models.
  • Since they're standard issue by NATO forces worldwide, finding replacement parts will always be easy no matter where you go as long as there's an armory nearby.

Commercial buffers:

  • They offer enhanced compatibility across multiple manufacturers' rifle components since most companies adopt this specification instead of Mil-Spec.
  • Their slightly smaller-diameter allows greater customization options when building your rifle without worrying too much about compatibility issues.

Pistol brace buffers:

  • They're significantly shorter than mil-spec and commercial specification models, making them perfect for use with AR-style pistols.
  • Their lack of threads allows for more customization options in terms of pistol braces or other stabilizing devices of different lengths and designs.

Tips When Choosing an AR-15 Buffer Tube

When it comes to selecting the right buffer tube for your weapon system, here are some essential factors you should consider:

  1. Purpose: What do you intend to use your rifle for? Is it hunting or personal defense? If so, then a Mil-Spec buffer tube might be the best option due to its durability.
  2. Compatibility: Look at other components like lower receivers that will be attached along with the buffer tubes before purchasing one since different manufacturers have adopted diverse specifications which may result in mismatching sizes causing play between parts leading up noise during firing when assembled onto lower receivers without any modifications being done on either side beforehand.
  3. Budget: How much can you comfortably spend on a buffer tube kit? Prices vary depending on material quality and type selected; pistol brace Kits tend to cost less than those designed specifically towards rifles due tool-less installation resulting from their short size eliminating need special stock wrenches except maybe castle nut pliers which most gun enthusiasts already own.


In conclusion, we've discussed everything there is about AR 15 Buffer Tubes. We looked at what they are made of, what types exist today (Mil-Spec vs Commercial Spec vs Pistol Brace), their benefits over each other regarding performance enhancement purposes- mentioning how customizability related issues arising from using one spec over another affect sound reduction felt during every shot fired where applicable-, tips when choosing the right type based upon specific criteria such as purpose intended use or budget constraints.

As always remember technical aspects aside if nothing feels better than shooting your firearm after installing newly acquired components while feeling proud knowing effort put into understanding said components was all worth it!


What is an AR-15 buffer tube?

An AR-15 buffer tube, also known as a receiver extension, is the cylindrical metal component that connects the stock to the lower receiver. It contains a recoil spring and buffer inside that work together to absorb and reduce recoil. Most AR-15 buffer tubes are made from aluminum or steel and come in two different sizes: commercial and mil-spec.

The purpose of an AR-15 buffer tube is twofold. Firstly, it provides a secure attachment point for the stock, which allows for greater control over the firearm while shooting. Secondly, it houses important internal components such as springs and buffers that play a key role in mitigating felt recoil.

When selecting an AR-15 buffer tube, it's important to ensure compatibility with other components such as stocks or pistol braces. Additionally, choosing between commercial or mil-spec size can impact fitting of aftermarket parts down the line.

What are some common types of AR-15 Buffer Tubes?

There are several types of ar 1\5buffer tubes available on today's market:

  • Mil-Spec Buffer Tube: Mil-spec diameter receivers require their own specific size (diameter) for their corresponding parts.
  • Commercial Spec: This type utilizes dimensions at small increments than standard specs.
  • Pistol Length Buffer Tube
  • Carbine Length Buffers
  • Rifle length Buffers

Mil-Spec buffers measure about 1 inch across; whereas commercial ones measure approximately 1/8 inch bigger than mil-specs’. A firearm owner must take his time when selecting between these two since they aren’t interchangeable with each other (i.e., you can’t use a Commercial spec Stock on ,mil spec sized Receiver Extension).

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