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bowserb 11-10-2011 12:34 PM

Recoil spring resistance--how much and why?
I didn't know whether to post in XD or 1911, so I'm splitting the difference and going here. I've got a Springfield XDm-45 with no problems. The only failure I ever have is clearing the gun. I remove the mag and then rack the slide to eject the cartridge in the chamber, and sometimes that round gets stuck halfway out. I've concluded that it happens because of my not pulling the slide fast enough and hard enough. And that brings me to my question.

When I bought the XDm, I noticed that the recoil spring seemed really stiff compared to the other gun I almost bought, a Glock 21. Since then, I've acquired a new Colt XSE 01980, which is of course, a 1911 pistol. The recoil spring on that pistol is also much easier than the XDm. I know spring resistance is measured in pounds, but that's all I know. I don't know if 18 lbs is fully compressed, normal storage compression, or what.

I've searched a couple of XD/XDM forums, and it seems that quite a few others have pondered this matter and more specifically inquired about softer recoil springs. What I haven't found is anyone who has changed their XDm recoil spring and reported back. I also haven't been able to find an explanation as to why a 1911 or Glock recoil spring can be so much softer, yet be just as reliable as the stiff XDm spring.

Does anyone have any knowledge about this, or can refer me to another source of info? Thanks.

JonM 11-10-2011 01:54 PM

Xd/m design of how the barrel locks up is close to that of the sig p22x and those have fairly heavy recoil springs too. Changing to a lighter spring may lead to the slide battering the frame too much and accelerate wear in a bad way.

It may also lead to issues with feed reliabilty. A lighter spring may not have enough energy to move the slide forward with enough force to strip a round from the magazine and go into battery.

USMC_Richey 11-10-2011 04:47 PM

You know, I have shot several handguns new that felt like that. Sometimes it's to compensate for wear in the springs in the future. I'd just be patient and get some use in it, it will "probably" lighten up. But probably not the trigger pull ;)

therewolf 11-10-2011 07:17 PM

Hi bowserb,

Welcome to the FTF.

Grandpa PITA here, did you fire the usual 250 to 300

break-in rounds through your new semi? One thing that

does is take a little stiffness out of the spring which

helps the gun cycle better...

bowserb 11-11-2011 12:19 PM

Thanks, guys. I'm not going to change the recoil spring on the XDm. I just wonder about the physics at work here. Like the XD/XDm, Glock is a striker fired gun, yet the recoil spring on a G21 feels like about half the resistance of the XDm (although it's probably just a couple lbs less). Glocks don't seem to have a problem battering their frames or stripping a round off the mag.

Similarly, the 1911 has a really soft recoil spring. Of course, the 1911 slide has to cock the hammer at the end of its rearward travel, so you wouldn't want to resist too much recoil there. It also manages to strip off even the top round of an 8-rd mag with no problem, though. Maybe Gaston Glock and Mr. Browning knew something they haven't learned in Croatia?

If I never get an answer to this, I'll probably live just as long.

therewolf 11-11-2011 02:03 PM

You're going to feel less with a Glock because of all the non-metal

parts soaking it up. Less vibration,recoil, and muzzle jump in general...

How's zat break in period coming along?(No, I wouldn't change the

spring, either.)

bowserb 11-11-2011 03:26 PM


Originally Posted by therewolf (Post 624963)
You're going to feel less with a Glock because of all the non-metal parts soaking it up. Less vibration,recoil, and muzzle jump in general...How's zat break in period coming along?(No, I wouldn't change the spring, either.)

Oh yes, I failed to answer that break in question. I have about 500 rounds through the XDM, which btw has as much polymer structure as the Glock. Only have a couple hundred rounds fired by the Colt 1911.

Going to the range as soon as I finish this post. First time to the range with all my magazines full to start: six 13-rounders for the XDM45 and five 8-round 1911 mags for the Colt XSE. So this time I get to shoot for a while before stopping to reload.

Ranger-6 02-11-2012 08:59 PM

The recoil spring can come in different strengths. If a shooter is going to shoot standard pressure rounds then a lighter spring could be used. If a shooter was going to shoot +p, +p+, or heavier loads then a stronger spring may be considered. Knowing your gun's recoil spring strength and knowing what loads you are going to shoot makes all the difference for control of the recoil.

gollygee 02-12-2012 05:40 PM

I know that some pistols can be hand cycled thru a full mag without a hang up, but I don't get overly concerned if mine doesn't. First off, they are designed to eject an empty case which is much lighter & shorter than an unfired round. Also, the ejection port may just barely be larger than the round, meaning it's got to hit just about perfect in order to make it through the opening. If my pistol cycles good when shooting it, I don't worry about it.

Paperpuncher 02-12-2012 06:44 PM

You haven't pulled back on a slide with some recoil spring resistance until you've pulled on a Kahr CM9.

That slide is brutal....period

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