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I had always read that this was a MAJOR no no, but something occurred to me today. When I first got my Z-43, I was surprised to see that the endcap had the same rubber H buffer as you would see in a 9mm gun, instead of the mechanical buffer found in 93-type stocks. I had known ahead of time that the Z-43 did not have a buffered carrier, so I was actually concerned I had been sent the wrong endcap and wrote to Zenith. They told me that in pistol configuration, the gun was more easily able to rock back when fired, soaking up the recoil and preventing damage. This made sense to me, and since I was converting it into a carbine with a buffered stock anyway, I never worried about it. This was roughly five months ago.

Today I saw a video of someone firing a Z-43 with it braced against their hip, the gun barely moving at all. It dawned on me that bracing the gun on one's hip would be equivalent to bracing a stock on one's shoulder, and that if the gun isn't free to move with the recoil it should be awfully stressful with only a rubber buffer. This guy didn't seem to be having any issues though, which made me wonder the following (and I seriously apologize for the disjointed nature of my questions):

Is not having a mechanical buffer less damaging than I thought? Is it a cumulative damage issue, only presenting problems after hundreds of rounds? Would it even be an issue for the average shooter, or was the mechanical buffer only necessary on full-auto military rifles?

If it IS just as serious as I thought, are people destroying their pistols by shooting like this? Can they prevent damage by regularly replacing the H buffer? What about people that use a brace and actually strap it to their arm, thereby limiting the gun's ability to move and soak up recoil?

Or, third option, is it only a problem with full-length barrels, but not pistol barrels? Short barrels have less felt recoil because more of the powder escapes before burning, but would that be enough to mitigate damage from going bufferless?

I swear, every time I think I know it all about these guns I end up with more questions.
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