+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    525
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    PWS Enhanced Buffer Tube Quick Review

    I was very interested when I first saw the Primary Weapons Systems Enhanced Buffer Tube. I finally got one and wanted to brief everyone because there isn't a lot of info out there about this accessory.

    I never liked having to index the buffer tube or stake the castle nut when building a lower. It bugs me if it's even a gnat's ass off center, and it's hard to get good staking on the castle nut without special tools. The PWS tube eliminates both these problems.

    It came packaged very nicely, double-boxed and wrapped in shipping paper. The tools and retaining plate are packaged separately. The extrusion and machining are above average. They offer a forged version as well but I see no advantage and it's twice the cost of the extrusion. Two QD sling swivel attachments are machined into the front of the buffer tube. They are both rotation-limited. The tube is mil-spec diameter. I don't think they offer a commercial size.

    The buffer retainer snaps into a hole at the end of the tube, securing it in a centered position. 2 Allen screws are tightened up top, then the lower Allen screw is tightened to finish assembly.

    The upper Allen screws are only 1/16 in. The wrench they provided promptly stripped. My trusty Craftsman fit snugly even after this - I was surprised the head of the screw was undamaged. The lower screw is 3/16 in. I would recommend you throw the provided tools in the trash and use a quality set, otherwise you risk stripping the heads of the super small screws and then you're screwed (zing!). These small screws are the only negative in my opinion. Once they are snug, everything is fine but they are the weakest point in this design. I would not recommend using thread locker on these. PWS says it's optional.

    The buffer comes with instructions that are easy to understand, if a bit wordy (much like myself).

    PWS claims their design reduces carrier tilt in piston guns because it protrudes further into the lower than a typical buffer tube. I do not have any evidence to support this but while scouring the internet I did not find anything to the contrary.

    One more feature is the addition of a dead blow buffer at the far end of the tube. This is supposed to reduce recoil. I haven't shot it yet so I can't tell you if this is significant.

    At $75, it's a little costly but it offers something different and options are good.

    After I get some trigger time on this gun I'll post my observations.

    Your thoughts and opinions are welcome.

    PWS Web Site Product Page

    Some pictures:
















  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,648
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Nice review. I've been running one on my LMT piston for several months and it does eliminate the carrier tilt as advertised. I paid much more than $75. I guess they lowered the price because I think I paid $150 for it, which I thought was way too high. Or maybe I got the forged one. I didn't have any problems with the screws or Allen wrenches, but those two top screws are tiny. My AR is one of the smoothest shooting ARs I've ever owned or shot, but I don't know if it is because of the PWS or because of the SSS buffer spring.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,582
    Downloads
    11
    Uploads
    4
    Thanks for the review MD!

    Looks to be a very nicely machined and well finished piece of gear!


    ETA: I'm interested in learning more details and the mechanics of this built-in buffer. Can you expand a bit on that feature? Thanks!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    525
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Quib View Post
    ETA: I'm interested in learning more details and the mechanics of this built-in buffer. Can you expand a bit on that feature? Thanks!
    My pleasure. I think I saw a cutaway on Defense Review a while ago ...

    Yep, here is the article:

    http://www.defensereview.com/primary...hot-show-2010/

    It should operate similarly to the buffer:
    Dead Blow Hammer Defined
    Dead Blow Hammer Wiki

    I am anxious to try it out

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,582
    Downloads
    11
    Uploads
    4
    Thanks for the update MD!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    136
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    I have both versions, I have to admit if you dropped both on the floor and told me to choose one, I wouldn't be able to tell them apart. Both have worked extremely well. I have not seen anymore carrier tilt wear on my BCG's. I run it on my LMT MRP piston uppers. It was a bit of a headache to install, I shot my buffer retaining spring and pin across the room a few times forgetting that with every rotation I had to hold it down again. But I can be pretty dense at times.

    SOS

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    140
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    We also had an opportunity to test the PWS Enhanced Buffer Tube and I agree with the review by MoxyDave. We tested the cheaper version. The machining was high quality, the finish looked flawless, and the fit was great! PWS found a way to make a standard buffer tube a little more useful by providing some much needed features. As stated above, the difference in appearance between the forged (more expensive version) and the impact extruded (cheaper) version appear almost identical. Without having tested the forged version I would hate to draw conclusions but I would assume the forged version would probably provide an increase in both strength and rigidity.
    Adversity introduces us to ourselves

    Facebook: Loess Hills Tactical

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    4
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by skd_tactical View Post
    I have both versions, I have to admit if you dropped both on the floor and told me to choose one, I wouldn't be able to tell them apart. Both have worked extremely well. I have not seen anymore carrier tilt wear on my BCG's. I run it on my LMT MRP piston uppers. It was a bit of a headache to install, I shot my buffer retaining spring and pin across the room a few times forgetting that with every rotation I had to hold it down again. But I can be pretty dense at times.

    SOS
    That funny cuz the same thing just happened to me the other day and after launching the detent the 2nd time, it couldn't be found & ofcourse it had to be my last one. but on a different note is there any other companies who on their buffer tubes capture or atleast encompass the detent somehow? PWS is all I've found so far. how about you guys???

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    49
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    It looks like the POF buffer tube does, but I've only seen pictures.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Chandler, AZ
    Posts
    110
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by paulosantos View Post
    Nice review. I've been running one on my LMT piston for several months and it does eliminate the carrier tilt as advertised. I paid much more than $75. I guess they lowered the price because I think I paid $150 for it, which I thought was way too high. Or maybe I got the forged one. I didn't have any problems with the screws or Allen wrenches, but those two top screws are tiny. My AR is one of the smoothest shooting ARs I've ever owned or shot, but I don't know if it is because of the PWS or because of the SSS buffer spring.
    How can the energy that induced the carrier tilt be eliminated? It can certainly be dissipated. Long term, the questions now are where has the energy gone and to what effect.
    Last edited by Specialized Armament; 31 December 2010 at 14:47.
    Specialized Armament
    (480) 940-7397
    sales@specializedarmament.com
    Quality Never Quits!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,648
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Specialized Armament View Post
    How can the energy that induced the carrier tilt be eliminated? It can certainly be dissipated. Long term, the quesions now are where has the energy gone and to what effect.
    Dissipated is probably the better term. Long term, I'm going to guess that the energy is going to be placed right there at the tip of the buffer tube. I've been keeping an eye on it and it hasn't changed since I got it and it has several thousand rounds through it.

    I honestly wasn't a believer of the piston AR and I got mine out of curiosity and I knew that if I didn't like it, I just swap it out for a DI barrel. Why not try one for yourself and see how they are? What's the worse that can happen? You may actually like them? I remember being a little boy, thinking girls were yukkie and they all had the kuddies. Thank God I gave them a try. LOL.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    324
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by paulosantos View Post
    Why not try one for yourself and see how they are? What's the worse that can happen? You may actually like them? I remember being a little boy, thinking girls were yukkie and they all had the kuddies. Thank God I gave them a try. LOL.
    -One Nation, Under God
    -When there's lead in the air, there's hope in the heart.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Chandler, AZ
    Posts
    110
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by paulosantos View Post
    Dissipated is probably the better term. Long term, I'm going to guess that the energy is going to be placed right there at the tip of the buffer tube. I've been keeping an eye on it and it hasn't changed since I got it and it has several thousand rounds through it.

    I honestly wasn't a believer of the piston AR and I got mine out of curiosity and I knew that if I didn't like it, I just swap it out for a DI barrel. Why not try one for yourself and see how they are? What's the worse that can happen? You may actually like them? I remember being a little boy, thinking girls were yukkie and they all had the kuddies. Thank God I gave them a try. LOL.
    Considering the alternative to girls, your choice was limited. Now that you have been enjoying the fruits of your decision, why would you ever consider the other operating system?
    Specialized Armament
    (480) 940-7397
    sales@specializedarmament.com
    Quality Never Quits!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,648
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Specialized Armament View Post
    Considering the alternative to girls, your choice was limited. Now that you have been enjoying the fruits of your decision, why would you ever consider the other operating system?
    Who says you can't like DI and Piston? Just the way I like blondes, brunettes, and red heads. Women and ARs, I like them as long as they work. And having a nice rear end is also a plus. LOL.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    525
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    It would be very interesting to see a cutaway in operation and observe the differences. My guess is having that extra little lip engage the carrier from the get-go simply gives it less of an opportunity to move laterally.

    I still haven't shot it yet. Man I need to get out more!

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts