I'm shopping for buffer tubes to complete a rifle build. Besides milspec vs commercial, I see choices between 6061 and 7075 aluminum. I've done my homework enough that I can see that 7075 is considerably stronger and tougher.
My question is: Does it matter? Does anyone have a 6061 buffer tube failure story to share? Did it fly off the back of the rifle, bend, or strip out the threads?
I ask because I tend to overbuild and overspend. I'm also the kind of metal geek that chooses between knives based on the metal used so choosing the 7075 tube seems like the natural choice for me, if not necessarily the smart one.
Does it matter, apart from cost?
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I don't have any experience with 6061 tubes. But unless it's a super fancy PWS or other tube. They are pretty cheap even at 7075. So I would just stick with a AL 7075.
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Just like the commercial vs mil spec argument, usually the only failures you hear about are mil spec ones. Not because of how they're made, but how they're used.
If you're not jumping on them, or butt stroking mulfunctions clear, it probably won't matter.
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I have never actually heard of a 6061 buffer tube failing but the 7075 buffer tubes from Aero Precision and BCM aren’t really cost prohibitive so I don’t think you would really go wrong splurging on either for that extra bit of piece-o-mind.
I think it is kinda like the 4140 & 4150 barrel debate. I have never seen a 4140 barrel that has been worn out by the average shooter but that isn’t stopping me from considering replacing my, as yet unfired, FN-15's 16" 4140 barrel with a BCM 4150 CMV 14.5" SOCOM barrel.
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Did you sweat this much on the rest of the parts? But in any case across many personal guns and many guns of others abused by all, I have never seen a buffer tube fail. But that said given your post just get the 7075 one and be done with it.
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Buy a mil-spec buffer tube not a commercial.
Far easier to find the stock of your choice in mil-spec.
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You can find reasonable quality 7075 mil spec tubes for around $20. Anderson and Delta Team have them and I'm sure there are others.
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Buy a Mil-Spec 7075-T6 tube and forget about it. If you are building it, go for the standard military size and material. They aren't that much more.
PSA offers them, Mil-Spec size in both. The 7075-T6 isn't that much more, and PSA has a combo with a forged 7075-T6 charging handle. Good deal.
Not saying if you get the other it's junk, but the Mil-Spec is better, and more stock options.
I have a commercial sized 6065-T6 buffer tube on a old carbine that I bought, the only factory built AR 15 I own. I got it in the ban days, for what was then a good price. Because it wasn't a top tier maker. It has never failed and I have beat the living snot out of it. It's been mortared in training and just rough handling. It's still going strong.
That said, when I built, I buy Mil-Spec size in Mil-Spec 7075-T6 and call it a day.
If the old commercial one ever dies it will be replaced with a Mil-Spec 7075-T6 tube, until thin I'm not really worried, it's not my "go-to" or "go to war" or any of that "tacicool" stuff. It's just a fun range rifle now.
Shoot it first.
in my experience FN's barrels are very good.
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Tom's Tactical has them with free shipping...plus you can change the buffer weights for a few dollars up-charge when you order.
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