How To Lose The AR Twang

JPE’s Silent Captured Spring eliminates the sound of the recoil…

JPE’s Silent Captured Spring eliminates the sound of the recoil spring grating on the inside of the lower receiver extension tube.

Anybody that has snuggled up against the stock of an AR-15 and pulled the trigger is probably familiar with the scratchy “twang” as the bolt carrier assembly travels backwards in recoil against the buffer spring. Aside from being annoying, it can break concentration when trying to squeeze off a quick follow-up shot. Nearly as bad is the sound the recoil spring makes when pulling the charging handle as it scrubs the inside of the recoil spring tube. It makes my skin crawl, akin to scraping fingernails across a chalk board. It doesn’t seem to matter if the AR is a $500 parts gun or a $3,500 custom rig—they all seem to need some help ironing out this maddening quirk.

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A coating of moly grease on the recoil spring is a cheap, easy way to reduce that irritating charging noise.

I’ve had a Bushmaster Varminter for several years that wears an ACE skeleton stock, and it was a “twangy” offender until I did something about it. The first remedy I performed was to remove the recoil buffer and spring. Then, I took a dab of moly grease and coated the spring with an ample amount. The part of the buffer that made contact with the inside of the recoil spring tube got a coating of grease, too. You don’t want too much grease—just enough to lubricate the system. If you pull the charging handle back and grease squirts out of the gun, you’ve gone and overdone things.

Greasing the recoil spring helped quite a bit, but it has its downside, too. Grease and oil are dust magnets. And, if you’re shooting a suppressed weapon, carbon, grit and gunk buildup gets magnified when it’s got something like grease to adhere to. Although a simple fix, greasing the recoil spring may not be the best choice if you have to fight in a dusty, sandy environment. Or, if you are shooting competitively in grimy environs, you may want another option to cure the “twangs.”

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  • Pat Wickersham

    You should get the nobel prize for this!