Growing up immersed in the “gun culture”, was a rewarding and character-building part of my childhood.  Being raised in rural Alaska meant the only window outside of subsistence hunting culture was through the monthly gun mags in the local grocery store.  When competitive shooting was brought up, one name was repeated over and over.  David Tubb.  Easily one of, if not the winningest competitive rifle shooter in American history, David is an authority on rifle function and accuracy.  While researching the last couple parts to finish up my Ultralight AR build (ver 2.0) article, I found mentions of his flat wire springs.  Ok, it’s the lightest I could find.  Why?  What’s different?  Is it better?

Tubb Precision flatwire springs overview

After contacting I received an email from the man himself.  Sure, he was happy to send out a T&E buffer spring, but when the package came it contained more than just one spring.  It had four springs from the Tubb line-up that are AR-10 or -15 related.  Here’s a rundown of them, why they’re different and how I plan to use them.

Flat wire magazine spring (L) versus standard wire (R)

So clearly, flat wire spring tech is at the core of all of this.  What’s the difference in using 17-7 ph Stainless steel?  A few reasons, with answers from the Tubb website:

Regarding longevity

“Why should you use Tubb Precision  Flat wire Buffer Springs? Extended life at optimum performance! Many conventional buffer springs are constructed from music wire or non post winding processed stainless steel. Their performance becomes suspect in as little as 500 rounds and can cause rifle performance to degrade to the point that rifle function will change. We fielded many questions from people complaining about “mystery malfunctions” when their rifles get past that round count , and we’ve found installation of a Tubb Precision  Flat wire Buffer Spring cures nearly all of them, and it cures them for good.”

Regarding performance

“Due to the superior nature of the materials used, a Tubb Precision Stainless Steel Flat wire spring has the same power as conventionally constructed “extra power” springs, yet provide that extra energy using a lighter spring weight. Correct timing and resistance on the recoil stroke and a controlled rebound ensures reliable feeding with consistent forward thrust. The result is that the rifle functions flawlessly and stays on target better.”

Regarding spring pressure (select passages from included literature and website)

“A 17-7 ph flat wire spring is considerably longer than a round wire spring yet occupies, when fully compressed, only a fraction of what the conventionally designed spring will.  (This) spring produces greater power compared to a stock spring (in battery load increase of 22% in Ar-15…).  The recoil impulse is softened, allowing the weapon’s gas system to function as intended.  There is less rifle movement so the sights stay on target better.

Standard buffer spring variation, 7.5 lbs.  Flat wire buffer spring variation, 3.9 lbs.”

Tubb flat wire recoil spring with Taccom3G lightweight buffer

Ok, so more consistency, a longer lifespan for an integral part and better performance.  This all sounds awesome on paper, but I’ve got a couple rifles laying around with old springs of dubious condition just waiting for an upgrade.  Likewise, I have some old USGI issued 30-round mags that followed me home after my enlistment (and were abused on all 5 of my overseas deployments).  I’m going to replace the buffer springs in two AR-15’s, one chambered in .223 and another in .300 Blackout, as well as the magazine spring in one of my USGI mags that’s having “performance issues”.  I’ll report back after meaningful round counts have been attained.

If you want to do yet more reading on 17-7 stainless flat wire spring tech, or if you’re wanting to check out upgrades for your rifle, head over to David Tubb’s website and take a look around.  He’s a wealth of information for all shooters, competitive or other.

-Rex Nanorum