Recoil buffers or "ShokBufs" are definitely worthwhile. They improve the feel of the recoil impulse and lengthen the life of the gun. A gun run on ShokBufs will look new internally indefinitely. The only potential downside is that Commander length slides may not slingshot or even lock back on an empty mag with a ShokBuf in place. Full size GI frames have no such problems.
There is some BS around that ShokBufs will go to pieces and jam up your gun. First of all, they last well over 1000 rounds, so you will have plenty of opportunity to inspect them during field stripping and cleaning. Second of all, if by some miracle one did go to pieces... Nah, they are crazy tough, it won't happen. I recommend the Blue ones from Wilson.
A very long time ago they were made by King's and were made of leather. The leather ones would go to pieces, but I still doubt that they would jam up the gun. They'd just fall into the dust cover and out the front.
Thanks for the welcome and for the in-put! I think that I'm going to use the buffers. I can get a pack of six of the blue Wilson buffers for $10, which seems like cheap insurance to me. Also, I've been reading these postings since I joined and Mr. Pokute seems to know his way around a 1911.
I have used them without trouble, but have been told by a gunsmith that using the proper recoil spring for the load you are shooting eliminates the need for a buffer. As Geezer said, my source called it a gimmick.
The "proper" recoil spring is the lightest one necessary to prevent premature unlocking (as indicated by comma shaped firing pin marks on your primers). And that's exactly the situation where the ShokBuf does it's job (softening the blow of the slide against the frame at full rearward travel) best.
All my fullsize 1911's are running ShokBufs. I'd be afraid to shoot my WWI gun without one.