21 June 2021

Meanwhile Back In The Real World

While in the research for making the KISS version of the WWSD carbine, Behind Every Blade of Grass, I keep noticing features that really matter to Karl Kasarda, but don't seem to matter... uh... well... anywhere else.

First up is the $140 captured buffer and recoil spring.  This is mandatory to the WWSD carbine because the buffer retainer is just waiting to break off and jam up your hammer/trigger components.

I have never, ever, seen this happen.  I'd never even heard about it happening until the original WWSD videos.  Has it happened to you or someone you know by name?

Next is eliminating the forward assist.  I'm OK with it being absent, because it is basically useless, but I'm not paying extra for it nor going out of my way to see it gone.  When I made my first home-built AR's it was widely reported that the forward assist could cause a break and you should use a plug in the hole instead of a forward assist.

Then there's using a cassette style trigger pack to prevent blown primers and the buffer retainer from jamming up your trigger.  I think this is just gilding the lily for having a better than bog standard trigger.

The thing about these three solutions, to me, is if they were common and worth spending a lot more for... they'd be mentioned in the troubleshooting section of the 23&P because the military has been using the normal parts for half a century and hasn't changed them.

They have gone back and fixed things which did cause problems, like the extractor spring and too-light carbine buffers; so we know they don't blow off problems that cause stoppages forever (they are slow about it though) and the institutional wisdom is in the TM's and PM magazine even if the official changes haven't filtered through the change process and procurement channels.


  1. I have a local friend with an M&P 15 sport that sheared the buffer retainer and locked up the gun. I have not broken one and I don't recall anybody else I know that has either.

    However: The WWSD lower uses a little roll pin driven across the buffer retainer instead of the end of a buffer tube threading over to keep the retainer in it's home. Maybe this roll pin has a different life expectancy than the regular retention method.

    1. I don't think the BEBoG lower's retention method will affect the life of the buffer retainer.

      If you look carefully, when you close the lower, the bolt carrier is pressing the buffer off the buffer retainer.

      This makes me wonder, "How is it getting hit so hard that it breaks?"

    2. I think you are right, and based on your observation about buffers not resting on the pin when gun is assembled and bolt is in battery I went and checked a few things I had sitting around...

      None of my AL lowers allow the buffer to contact the retainer when the upper is installed and the bolt is in battery. Making me wonder if a shearing retainer is a symptom of an incorrectly located buffer retainer hole?

      I will have to go look at my buddy's gun and see if his hits when closed, if it does might have to find a different fix for him than just a new retainer & spring.

    3. There might also be a LOT of cheaply made buffer retainers out there that can't take the strumming of the spring and insertion of the buffer for long.

  2. I personally witnessed the broken buffer retainer happen at a match earlier this year.

    He was on my squad and it was in a short barreled, suppressed .300 Blowup.

    It happened during a stage and the broken retainer and it's spring ended up in the FCG pocket tying up the trigger.

    It apparently does happen, but rarely enough to not be that much of an issue.

    1. Did anyone think to take a picture? I am far more inclined to believe his failure is the buffer tube not being in far enough than the retainer breaking because the spring caused the issue.


You are a guest here when you comment. This is my soapbox, not yours. Be polite. Inappropriate comments will be deleted without mention. Amnesty period is expired.

Do not go off on a tangent, stay with the topic of the post. If I can't tell what your point is in the first couple of sentences I'm flushing it.

If you're trying to comment anonymously: Sign your work. Try this link for an explanation: https://mcthag.blogspot.com/2023/04/lots-of-new-readers.html

Anonymous comments must pass a higher bar than others. Repeat offenders must pass an even higher bar.

If you can't comprehend this, don't comment; because I'm going to moderate and mock you for wasting your time.