9mm AR carbines can be tricky to get right. Usually, they’re blowback operated. You have to ensure that the action is properly tuned. Otherwise you’ll have reliability issues.
Unlike a standard 5.56mm rifle, getting the best 9mm AR buffer is a very important part of your 9mm AR build.
There are a lot of 9mm AR buffers out there. And we sorted through them to find the best 9mm AR buffers for you. That way you can get what you need without sorting through all the misfires on the market.
SPOILER—if you just want a 9mm AR buffer that will work in almost any system, get the PSA Custom AR-9 9mm Enhanced Fluted Buffer. It’s an enhanced buffer that costs about the same as most standard 9mm AR buffers. It’s a tough deal to beat.
If you need a specialized buffer, or if you just want to see the results of our search, keep reading. We’ve got a whole bunch of options for you.
Top 9mm AR Buffers on the Market Today
The Best 9mm AR Buffers Reviews: Reliable Action
The overall best 9mm AR buffer will get slammed around first. The other best 9mm AR buffers will be plinked in order of price.
Building a budget carbine? Read the first reviews for the most affordable 9mm AR buffers.
Building the best carbine ever? Head to the end for the best 9mm AR buffers that have no regard for your budget.
Time to see how these buffers recoil.
1. PSA Custom AR-9 9mm Enhanced Fluted Buffer - Overall Best 9mm AR Buffer
9mm AR buffers can be surprisingly expensive. Especially considering the cost of a standard 5.56mm buffer. But the PSA Custom AR-9 9mm Enhanced Fluted Buffer is one of the most affordable 9mm buffers on the market. And it’s good enough for almost any 9mm carbine.
First, this is a stainless steel buffer. The stainless steel body is nice because it resists corrosion reasonably well.
Additionally, the body is fluted. Fluting isn’t a big deal. But it does help keep your buffer cool and enables the buffer to move more freely, even if the difference is very slight.
However, the main thing about this buffer is that it weighs 8 ounces.
This matters because it’s heavy enough to give you reliable operation, with a fairly mellow recoil impulse. It’s also heavy enough that running a suppressor on your 9mm carbine won’t cause excessive wear on your internals.
But, even with the slightly higher weight, I’d recommend an even heavier buffer for a dedicated suppressor host.
If you’re going to shoot unsuppressed most of the time, though, this buffer is definitely the most affordable and reliable option.
2. Guntec USA AR 9mm Buffer - 8 oz 9mm Buffer
The Guntec USA AR 9mm Buffer isn’t the cheapest 9mm AR buffer. But it’s close. And it’s a step above a plain buffer.
The main thing about this buffer is the stainless steel construction. It gives you dependable corrosion resistance and a long lifespan.
However, the body is also polished to reduce friction. This buffer gives your carbine a noticeably smoother action than a stock buffer.
Additionally, this buffer weighs 8.2 ounces. It gives you a much smoother recoil impulse than lighter 9mm buffers. And it’s heavy enough for suppressed shooting without a harsh recoil impulse or excessive wear on your internals.
It might be a tad light for a carbine that you’re going to exclusively shoot suppressed.
For an AR that you’re only going to shoot suppressed on occasion or an unsuppressed carbine this Guntec model is a dependable and affordable buffer, though.
3. Yankee Hill Machine 9MM Bolt Buffer - Budget 9mm AR Buffer
Yankee Hill Machine is one of the most underrated manufacturers around. They make really high quality components. And the Yankee Hill Machine 9MM Bolt Buffer reflects that dedication to quality.
This is a stainless steel buffer, which on its own gives you enough corrosion resistance for any 9mm carbine.
However, this buffer has an additional corrosion resistant coating that extends the lifespan even further.
Additionally, the body is polished to reduce friction and make your action smoother.
The only downside to this buffer is that it’s not ideal for suppressed shooting. It only weighs 5.7 ounces.
In fact, I’d recommend using a tuned .308 spring or dedicated 9mm buffer spring with this buffer to help keep your bolt from moving too quickly or violently.
This might seem like a disqualifying characteristic.
But, if you’re going to use a spring to tune your 9mm action, this Yankee Hill Machine buffer is good to use because the weight is standard. So it won’t cause reliability issues with spring systems that are designed for standard weight buffers.
4. Spikes Tactical ST-9X 9mm Heavy Buffer - Stainless Steel 9mm AR Buffer
I’m a big fan of the Spikes tactical tungsten buffers. I use them in almost all my 5.56mm carbines. The Spikes Tactical ST-9X 9mm Heavy Buffer appears to use a fairly similar design.
On the outside, the stainless steel body is polished to reduce friction and smooth out your rifle’s action. And stainless steel gives you the corrosion resistance you’d expect from any AR buffer.
I’m not sure if this buffer uses the same tungsten powder as other Spikes Tactical buffers. However, if it uses standard weights, they’re very tightly fitted. This buffer seems to have less rattle than a mil-spec buffer.
This makes the recoil impulse even more pleasant because the weights don’t slam inside the buffer when it bottoms out in the recoil cycle.
This is a 7.7 ounce buffer, which is fine for standard 9mm carbines. And it works for suppressed operation, as well. But it’s a bit light for a dedicated suppressed carbine.
But, if you shoot unsuppressed most of the time, this Spikes Tactical buffer will give you a smooth and reliable 9mm carbine.
5. Dark Storm Industries DS-9 9mm Carbine Buffer - Competition 9mm AR Buffer
The Dark Storm Industries DS-9 9mm Carbine Buffer is designed to work with specialized 9mm ammunition, which is ideal for competition shooters who make their own ammunition or use specialty rounds.
As you’d expect, this buffer is stainless steel. And it’s finished with a corrosion resistant coating to enhance the corrosion resistance and extend the lifespan as much as possible.
Then, this buffer weighs 8.8 ounces. It’s a bit heavier than most heavy 9mm buffers. That way you can use this buffer with +P and heavier competition loads. Though, it’s still smart to use a stiffer spring to help reduce the wear on your internal parts.
This buffer is also heavy enough for use on a suppressed carbine. Though it could be heavier.
The only downside to this buffer is that it’s pretty expensive. If not for the price, I’d recommend running this Dark Storm buffer in every 9mm AR. But the price makes it most ideal for competition shooters who really need the additional weight for specialized ammo.
6. Angstadt Arms 9mm Buffer Kit - Suppressed 9mm AR Buffer
A 9mm AR can be a great suppressor host. However, the blowback operation means that you need to account for the additional back pressure from your can. That usually requires a very heavy AR9 buffer.
The Angstadt Arms 9mm Buffer Kit comes with a heavy 9mm AR buffer.
This 9mm buffer kit can be ordered with a 10 ounce buffer. A 10 ounce buffer is ideal for a dedicated suppressor host. It ensures that your bolt runs at a normal speed, even with the additional pressure.
However, the 10 ounce buffer is fine for unsuppressed shooting, as well. I just run a 10 ounce buffer in all my 9mm AR carbines because it makes the recoil impulse much gentler. And there’s never an issue when I throw my can on.
This kit also comes with a buffer spring. That way you don’t have to worry about getting the right spring for your buffer weight or anything. It’s all taken care of.
Lastly, the buffer in this kit is phosphate coated, which gives the stainless steel additional corrosion resistance to endure the additional gases that are going to blow into your buffer tube.
If you’re building a 9mm suppressor host, this Angstadt Arms buffer kit is the way to go. And it gives you a remarkably smooth recoil impulse when you shoot suppressed or unsuppressed. This could easily be your go-to 9mm buffer kit.
There are lots of ways to tune an AR9 buffer and spring. And, unlike an AR-15, the recoil system on an AR9 usually requires some attention. It’s almost never as easy as just getting any buffer and spring and slapping them in.
But, the PSA Custom AR-9 9mm Enhanced Fluted Buffer is a really affordable 9mm buffer that will save you from most reliability issues related to your buffer and spring. You could use this buffer as your go-to buffer for any AR9 build and probably have zero issues (and zero budget blowouts).
Now that you’ve seen all the best options, it’s time to get that 9mm AR buffered up and ready to run. That way you can get out there and take a few shots without any worries about reliability.