The AR15 is not only America’s favorite Rifle, it is arguably the single most upgradeable firearms platform EVER! With myriad options from the muzzle device all the way back to the butt pad, there is something for every application and style. One notable and overlooked element is the buffer system.
The AR15 buffer system is simple enough - a spring and a weight riding in a tube. The standard spring and buffer produces a rather raspy “sproing” sound in an otherwise entirely elegant system. The standard buffer is the red headed stepchild of AR15 parts for certain. So why hasn’t anyone done anything about it in more than half a century? Enter JP Enterprises aka JP Rifles.
Semi-auto rifle enthusiasts were stoked when JP released a centerless and ground polished spring and red anodized low mass buffer. Unfortunately, the buffer was only released for full, rifle length extension tubes. I am one of many shooters annoyed by the rasp of the standard buffer system, especially when wearing electronic hear pro, and found the JP Enhanced Buffer System to be noticeably smoother in both sound and performance. The complete system cost was $80-90 depending on where you picked it up. Not expensive, per se, but significantly more than the ubiquitous original.
Turns out the aforementioned was a stepping stone for JP Enterprises that “led ultimately to the creation of the patented Silent Captured Spring in 2012. Maintaining all the benefits of [their] polished buffer springs and proprietary LMOS™ buffer, this combination buffer-spring assembly eliminates the friction of standard buffer components resulting in outstanding smoothness and sound abatement.” In JP Rifle’s ongoing attempt to “tame the “spoon over a cheese grater” sound emitted by modern sporting rifles [they] effectively eliminated the friction of standard buffer components resulting in outstanding smoothness and sound abatement. What’s more, the spring is removable from the assembly for custom tuning, and both the AR-15 and AR-10 versions of the JP Silent Captured Springs are functional in rifle- and carbine-length operating systems.” Circa 2020 the Standard Gen 2 JP Enterprises Silent Captured Spring runs roughly $140 with tunable systems running $170. Heavy shooters pay an additional $40 respectively for their AR10s.
There is no doubt the Silent Captured Spring reduces an unpleasant operating noise and puts a smile on your face when you charge a buttery smooth rifle. What about the impact on performance? On one hand the JP SCS is not going to improve the basic performance of your rifle. It is effectively doing the same job the standard buffer system does. It manages the recoil and returns the bolt carrier group to being in battery. On the other hand there is a performance enhancement that is a little harder to quantify. It feels better. When any system runs smoother, it runs smoother. It seems obvious right? There is a smoothness to any rifle running a Silent Captured Spring that may not be making it perform better and yet it’s “performing” better. It’s visceral, hard to explain and has to be experienced.
Clearly, I am a fan of the JP Rifles Silent Captured Springs but are they worth the money? At 4 to 5 times the cost of a mil-spec buffer and spring the JP Enterprises SCS is definitely a costly upgrade that has more impact on the shooters experience than performance.
If you are interested in more info or purchasing a new buffer system feel free to message us at the shop. My advice is find someone on the range with a JP Enterprises Silent Captured Spring installed and give it a shot. WARNING: BE PREPARED. If you are like me you will never go back. I currently have a JP Rifles Silent Captured Spring for every rifle I own and a spare… Cha-Ching!