Tag Archives: AR15

POF AR-15 Triggers – Great Features and Great Value

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Patriot Ordinance Factory (POF) has a great AR-15 trigger package that’s well worth considering if you’d like a better trigger.  POF is well known for quality piston driven AR-15s and were one of the pioneers in the piston AR market.   In addition to developing one of the first successful AR piston systems that is still popular today, they have many other innovations to their credit.  These include anti-tilt buffer tubes, roller cam pins for BCGs and they were one of the first to use a nitride finish on their barrels.  Quality and innovation has become my expectation when POF comes out with a new part, so when I saw their new AR triggers it got my attention.

The main trigger components are precision machined out of tool steel and pre-installed in a nice looking red, anodized aluminum housing.  This set up makes drop-in installation very simple.  POF went a step further than most with urethane feet added to the bottom of the housing to help make for a perfect fit.  Their trigger is a single stage type set at 4.5 lbs. and is very smooth and crisp.  While many shooters these days seem obsessed with super light trigger pulls, in a high stress scenario, 4.5 lbs. is a pretty good all around weight.  It’s a light enough pull for very good accuracy, yet it has enough feel to it to avoid accidental discharges and to be easy to predict under stress.  I would consider 3.5 lbs. to be a practical minimum for combat or 3-gun type weapon that will need to perform speed shooting, long range shooting and shooting on the move.  A 4.5 lbs. trigger gives you just a bit more of a safety factor without sacrificing speed or accuracy.  The short, single stage pull on the POF trigger helps with speed and quick reset helps with speedy follow up shots.  To add to the value, POF includes a set of KNS anti-walk pins which is a nice touch.  All this for a retail price of $199.00 is pretty good in today’s market where many comparable triggers can cost $30-$100 more and don’t include a KNS pin set.

Why Anti-Tilt Buffers Matter

Did you know that all AR-15 and AR-10 bolt carriers tilt down at the rear end as the action cycles?  This phenomenon called “carrier tilt” became widely known when piston driven ARs became popular because in some cases it was severe enough to cause obvious damage to the gun in short order.  On the piston guns, the gas piston strikes the solid carrier key on top of the bolt carrier to drive it to the rear.  This strike at the top of the carrier causes the lower, rear of the carrier to tilt downward as it starts to move which makes it contact the lower portion of the buffer tube (receiver extension).  On most standard bolt carriers, the rear of the carrier is completely unsupported and there is enough play in the tolerances between the carrier guide rails at the front and the upper receiver to allow this movement.  So a lot of piston guns were getting noticeable wear in the buffer tube or at the front edge of the buffer tube after just a few hundred rounds and customers didn’t like this.  To fix the problem, piston gun manufacturers enlarged the profile of the rear end of the carriers and beveled them or machined “skids” into them so they couldn’t tilt as far and if they did impact the buffer tube, the wear wouldn’t be as significant.  This is a partial solution for the piston guns, but some tilt may still happen depending on the tolerances and there is a bit of movement before the carrier gets inside the buffer tube where the skids can help.

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What most AR shooters don’t realize is that the Direct Impingement Guns or “Gas Guns” also suffer from some carrier tilt.  It usually isn’t as much so it may not result in any buffer tube wear or other obvious visual signs.  But the gas still hits the carrier at the top, just as it does on a piston gun causing the rear to tilt.  It’s impact just isn’t as abrupt as a piston is, so the tilt isn’t normally as severe.  But there is still the same amount of play in the carrier to receiver fit to allow for tilt on a gas gun and it still can have negative consequences even if it isn’t damaging your buffer tube.  When the carrier tilts as it starts moving to the rear and unlocking the bolt, it is putting extra stress on the bolt which is still locked into the barrel trying to turn and pull through the locking lugs.  This stress can eventually cause the bolt to crack and break, normally at the locking lugs or at the cam pin hole, which are two of the thinnest and most stressed points on the bolt.  So that’s a serious problem right?  If your bolt breaks, your weapon is down hard until it can be replaced.

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So how do we solve this problem?  The piston gun manufacturers modified the design of the rear end of the carrier as mentioned above.  That’s a good thing.  Many shooters carry a spare bolt in their pistol grip which is a prudent idea in case one does break.  Some of the top tier companies started making their bolts out of tougher steels and doing more quality control on the bolts which raised the price a bit, but is a good thing for the gun owner and does reduce breakage.  But in my mind, a real solution needs to get rid of the carrier tilt in the first place and remove these stresses from the operating system altogether.  That’s where the anti-tilt buffer comes in.  An anti-tilt buffer has a protrusion at its front end that extends into the hole in the rear of the bolt carrier.  It supports the bolt carrier through it’s entire cycle not allowing it to tilt more than a few thousandths of an inch.  So the buffer tube doesn’t get any wear, the bolt doesn’t endure any stresses from the carrier tilt and the entire system cycles more smoothly because there is less friction.  All in all this is a great solution.  As you should know, there’s always a trade off somewhere for these advantages, so what’s the down side of an anti-tilt buffer?  Since the buffer is holding onto the rear of the carrier, you can’t just pull the rear takedown pin and shotgun open the action.  You have to pull both the rear and the front takedown pins and pull the upper receiver completely off of the lower receiver to open the action.  Not too bad right?  Some folks don’t like this because they are so used to opening up the action that way, but it’s a pretty small trade off for a smoother running, longer lasting operating system if you ask me.  Besides, now days you can find all sorts of easy pull take down pins to make pulling them both a breeze.  So if you want the smoothest running, longest lasting operating system you can have take a close look at some anti-tilt buffers.  The CTS Aktive buffers are some of the best.

AKTIVE Buffer for Fixed Stock AR-10 and AR-15

Without a doubt, the AKTIVE Buffers by CTS Engineering would be one of my first picks for any AR-15 or AR-10 rifle with a fixed stock.  They have a solid stainless steel buffer body with an overall weight that has been finely tuned for excellent performance in those specific platforms.  But even more importantly, they have a shock absorbing piston on the front end and a far superior bumper on the rear end for a dual stage buffering action.  This action really does make a noticeable difference in the smoothness and recoil of the weapon.  I’ve seen a lot of buffers over the years and this is probably the best bang for the buck of any buffer on the market.  The AKTIVE buffers are made in both a standard and an anti-tilt version in so you can have every feature you could want on a buffer.  They run as smoothly and quietly as any buffer system on the market, so if you are thinking about using a suppressor, they are a great choice for that too.  Heavy loads or light loads?  No problem.  Match them up with a tuned, ground and polished JP buffer spring for the quietest operation possible.  You will be very pleased, I assure you that.  If you have a fixed stock AR type rifle, this is one of the best upgrades you can buy for it.

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Customer Review: Kynshot AR-15 Carbine Buffer with JP Buffer Spring

Jason, of Indiana, emailed us a GREAT review of the Kynshot AR-15 Carbine Buffer and the JP Buffer Spring for the AR-15 Carbine ! Here’s what he had to say:

“I received the Kynshot and JP spring Friday before I left for work.  I got them both installed, but I didn’t have time to shoot it until Saturday.

Saturday, I went out with my 9 yo son for some shooting.  We were sighting in some new ammo I just received that morning, Federal 5.56 XM-855. I am assuming that ammo packs a little more punch than .223.  It was very comfortable for both of us to shoot.  The recoil is still there, bu it is spread out over time, instead of a quick shot.  I’m really happy with the upgrade.

It does shoot smoothly, and also muzzle rise is reduced.  My 9 yo noticed and could explain the difference he felt in shooting.  He is as unbiased as you can get.  All he knows is what happens when he pulls the trigger, and he likes it.  He said the same that I thought.  It doesn’t kick as hard, and the red dot doesn’t go up near as much.  I should have him write a review!

Thanks again for all your help.”

Thank you, Jason, for shopping at www.Nokick.com!

If you found this review helpful, click here, scroll down till you see the review and where it says “Was this review helpful?” click “Yes”.  Thanks!

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