Something is not right and it probably isn't the quality of the buffer. You can get a brand new one of premium quality and it will end up damaged also.
If you can post a picture it would give the experts here a better idea - I'm no AR expert by the way.
I'd check to make sure the spring loaded retainer/pin that mounts vertically (in the rear of lower) is intact.
I don't think the buffer would travel beyond it a whole 1/4" but close.
When you separate the upper and lower does the buffer stay in the tube?