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dgray64 07-22-2008 10:46 PM

Lighter recoil spring on S&W Sigma
My neighbor has a 9mm Sigma that shoots dead-on for him. Of course he was an Army instructor for the 1911 back in the early 60's so he knows how to shoot. The problem is that at 69 he has some hand problems from injuries incurred throughout his life and now he has a problem racking the slide on the Smith. I thought I could put in a lighter recoil spring. The stock spring is about 18#. Whats the lightest that I could put in it. He doesn't do much target practice, just has it for home defense. When he does shoot it, he puts them in the center. Thanks for any help you can give me.

Dave :)

robocop10mm 07-23-2008 08:03 PM

Look at They have some really nice recoil reducers that use a captive spring (ala HK USP) and you could reduce the recoil spring tension considerably without compromising your frame. I understand Rob Leatham uses a 10lb recoil spring on his comp gun with one of sprinco's set ups. I have them in both my steel frame Smiths (4506 and 1006).

G21.45 07-24-2008 01:04 AM

:) Suggest you do NOT reduce the strength of the recoil spring because that will just lead to other problems. If the, 'support hand over the top of the slide's rear - w/ the palm down' method isn't working, then, try using the slingshot method by pinching the FRONT of the slide before pulling it backwards.

Two years ago I broke both my wrists at the same time; one year ago I broke both pinkies, together; so, I definitely have sympathy and a sense of appreciation for what your friend is going through. Pinching the front of the slide worked well for me. So did catching a front corner of the slide on the edge of a shooting bench. You can, even, use the hand over top method in conjunction with pressing the muzzle against the edge of a post or table - Any of these methods will work.

I do, however, strongly recommend shooting the pistol dry rather than attempting to rack the slide on a loaded chamber. No way would I use either of these expedient racking methods if there were a round in the chamber! (Cause bad things could happen.) :eek:

Remember to keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction; (Rule #2!) and do NOT place your fingers in front of the muzzle at anytime. One other thing: This might be a lot easier to do with the square muzzle configuration on a Glock than the more narrower and more rounded profile of the Sigma; so, you're going to have to experiment and practice for awhile with an EMPTY pistol - OK! ;)

robocop10mm 07-24-2008 02:44 PM

One of the most difficult parts of "racking the slide" is overcoming the "locked" breech. With the full 18# spring, unlocking the breech can be a chore. The beauty of the sprinco recoil reducers is you could go with a 16# or MAYBE a 14# recoil spring and not lose any protection for the frame. The secondary (captive) spring only comes into play for the last 1/4 - 1/2 inch of slide travel. At that point you should have a better grip on the slide and have some momentum built up so racking feels easier. The only drawback is if you want to lock open the slide you have to hold against the tension of both springs. To make that easier, one could insert an empty magazine and rack the slide allowing the mag follower to activate the slide stop for you.

Another alternative might be a progressive spring. This would start off at a lesser poundage and build to 18# when fully compressed.

genie 07-25-2008 11:25 PM

Messing with springs is what cracks 1911 frames due to slide impact. Effect upon polymer frame? Don't really know, but an "engineered" product such as mentioned in this thread is surely a better way to go than hit-and-miss spring changing. Places selling these springs have to think about the liability side to such products.

calibaker420 03-27-2009 07:25 AM

the SW40VE does have a decent enough amount of power when closing the slide with the thumb release i would be skeptical changing anything with a plastic frame

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