Flatwire Chrome Silicon Buffer Spring
This isn’t your standard milspec buffer spring. I know what you’re thinking: “It’s a stupid spring…..who cares?”. If you are of this train of thought, then you are in good company….or rather, you were in good company. After receiving and using the David Tubb Flatwire Chrome Silicon buffer spring, I can 100% say that yes, it does make a difference.
Standard AR-15 buffer springs use music wire, which in as little as 500 compression cycles, begins to lose the ability to compress and rebound with the same force as when new. The more you fire, the weaker the spring gets. Guys will then resort to getting the extra power springs, which can become problematic for those who shoot weaker ammo. In order for that ammo to work, the have to do one of the following: Decrease cycle weight (lighter carrier or buffer) or increase barrel gas port hole size. Typically the former approach is taken as most guys don’t want to mess with their barrel, nor have the means to. The problem with this is that 1) The new spring is of the same type of material as the original (music wire), and 2) They’re trying to fix a symptom and not getting to the root of the problem.
In comes the Chrome Silicon Flatwire spring. Like the name implies, it’s made of chrome-silicon, and it is made using flatwire. Literally, the coils are flat…..think of it like a slinky. Anyway, the claims on this spring (and others like it) are as follows:
1) Consistent spring weight throughout its compression length
2) Stiffer initial compression weight, lending to longer bolt lock, leading to higher velocity
3) Compression cycles of 1,000,000 times without progressively losing power
4) Same power as extra power springs, with a lighter spring weight
I might have missed a couple points in there, and it appears that something has changed since I bought mine a year and a half ago. However, the same main selling points remain. And in that 1.5 years of usage, I have become a believer. Immediately upon putting it in my rifle, I noticed that there is ZERO bolt bounce. You can feel the extra power in racking it back, and when you sent it home, it goes home with authority and STAYS home. It’s one quick thud and done. I believe this to be because of the stiffer initial compression versus the standard spring’s progressive compression rate. Not 100% on that, but that’s what my gut is telling me. Another thing I noticed is that it feels a little bit smoother. That classic “sproing” noise is still there, but it did smooth out the feel a bit. And lastly, over the 1.5 years, it has not eased up over time, gotten lighter or weaker at all.
Now, the weird thing that surprised me about this is that it feels stiffer and stronger, but I didn’t change anything about my system to account for the “typically”required increased pressure to cycle the system. I can still fire weak rounds and heavy round alike and they both function perfectly. My rifle wasn’t overgassed prior to this upgrade. I was expecting to have to change my Spikes ST-T2 Tungsten buffer, but that wasn’t the case, and I was really happy about that. The bolt locks back every time, every case is ejected and every new round is fed properly. Could it be true that this “extra power” spring really does have a lighter spring weight? Seems to be true for me. A few people online had other things to say about this issue, but I didn’t have their problems whatsoever.
It is my honest to God belief that these springs do enhance the reliability of your AR-15. They last longer, they act more appropriately for firearm use via consistent pressure weight, and they help to slow down the timing to get that pressure built up to push out the bullets a little bit faster. Now, I need to note here that I have not experimented with this product in any other platform other than my 14.5″ midlength barrel with a full auto carrier and a Spikes ST-T2 buffer. Maybe my setup just happened to have the perfect combination of specs (weight, gas port size, gas length, etc), but I cannot say with 100% surety that you will have the same result. I am confident you can get it that way with some tweaking, but again, I cannot guarantee it. For $20-$25, I don’t really think you can go wrong. Try it. If it doesn’t work for you, someone else will be more than happy to pick take it off your hands for nearly what you paid for it. I am very happy I bought it and it will certainly stay in my rifle, and should it fail, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another one.
I recommend this product to anyone with an AR-15 looking to enhance performance and reliability. It's been a great upgrade for me and it's very cheap. I can understand the skepticism at it's seemingly "gimmicky-ness", but I can seriously feel a difference. I don't think you can go wrong with this one!