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Old 09-15-2009, 01:57 PM   #41
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I'm trying to figure out if its safe to shoot +P ammo in the 1911. There is nothing in the owner's manual about it. Does anybody know???????
+P ammunition is not recommended in pistols shorter than 5 inches by Springfield. Looks like a 5 inch barrel ya got, so it looks like you can and it will not void the warranty. I would not make a habit of it though, vary your loads.

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Old 09-15-2009, 04:37 PM   #42
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Is just in case anyway, probably won't ever shoot any of it. Thanks for the info.

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Old 09-15-2009, 04:45 PM   #43
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I only carry +P ammo in my 1911's. Even my 4.25" is rated to handle the +P - though it is a custom and it has upgraded springs.

I think if you upgrade the right components, and you have a good steel frame and slide to begin with, you can tune your 1911 to handle the +P loads if you don't shoot thousands of rounds of it each month.

JD

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Old 09-15-2009, 04:53 PM   #44
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I agree with JD, just keep a selection of springs on hand. The normal 5 inch 1911 uses a 16# spring. In the one I keep loaded with "hot" ammo, I use a 17.5# variable rate spring to prevent premature wear...

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Old 09-15-2009, 07:20 PM   #45
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Just the Recoil Spring and Firing Pin Spring??? OR the Main Spring as well???

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Old 09-15-2009, 09:48 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by DrGonzo11 View Post
Just the Recoil Spring and Firing Pin Spring??? OR the Main Spring as well???
Doc, call Springer with your Model and S/N and ask specifically if +P ammo is OK to use in this pistol? ALSO ask what the stock pressure is for the recoil spring_____, FP spring______, main spring________?

Please understand this: Re-springing your 1911 is much more of an art than a science!

The recoil spring regulates cycle times/slide speed.
This is a case of, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

Doc, this means you should run a mag or two of +P downrange without making any change. Compare the +P recoil by loading every other round and look for excessive kick, new sounds like metal on metal and feed issues. Also notice where the spent brass goes after ejection. Faster slide speeds will throw brass further.

Do NOT install a buffer! This only screws up the geometry of the 1911 action! Buffers should be restricted to use in AKs and only then for noise abatement!

Rule of thumb;
Too light of a spring = FTF issues
Too heavy of a spring = FTE

Remember to do this with every 'new' brand of +P ammo. They are not all the same! The cheaper brands will even differ from batch run to batch run.

If you do not experience any contraindication, forget the spring change and shoot the damn thing! Just remember, the more you run +P, the more rapid the wear on the pistol will be.

Should you find the need to re-spring, I would order a selection of five; center with the stock spring pressure and go down two and up two pressure ratings. Start your test with the replacement stock spring pressure and follow the diagnosis above.

Do yourself a favor and just go order ISMI springs. These are THE best 1911 current technology springs on the market!

ISMI springs in my 1911!

Integrated Systems Management FAQ's

ISMI Recoil Spring 1911 Government 18 lb Chrome Silicon - MidwayUSA

Midway seems to have the best price but shop around.
The FP spring determines the hit force and time on primer.
Rule of thumb;
Light FP spring = shorter
Heavy FP spring = longer

Hit force is a go-nogo binary function and is relatively easy to diagnose. Hammer falls and no Bang = nogo! This would be from a FP spring that is too strong...or more than likely a spring that is too long and goes into coil bind before the pin reaches the primer. (Oh yea, or a broken FP.) These issues are simple and easy to remedy. Any time you replace a FP spring and before you finish the gun assembly, take a drift and push from the hammer side to test the coil bind limit and verify the FP extends past the breech face sufficient to cause ignition.

The serious FP spring issue is the time on primer. If your spring is too light (short) there will not be sufficient pressure to pull the FP back off the primer in time for the unlocking of the breach/chamber interface. The FP will be deep into the primer as this movement initiates and poses a potential searing of the FP tip. A rather big NO-NO in PD shooting!

This is another issue easy to remedy. Always be observant and look at your spent brass. Here's a sample of Fenrir's spent brass with a weak FP spring in association with it's fast slide speed:

1primers.jpg

Those brass with the little shavings are a result of the mushrooming of a primer from a 'too hard' FP hit, the excessive primer brass forced into the FP breech hole and the unlocking function introducing a lateral movement across the breech face. Oh yea...the FP is still in the primer at the time and has tremendous lateral pressure applied to that little tip that does all the loud work!

Another reason the hotter your loads, the more robust (read: expensive) your parts MUST BE! Think about that the next time you want to run some +P+ hot balls down your third world MIM special!
The Main Spring serves a multipule of tasks but to us laymen it is a primary determiner of trigger pull.
MSs for the 1911 typically come in four ratings for the government. 23#, 19#, 17# and 15#. Unless you are going to be doing competitive shooting, stay away from the two lower springs.

As a rule we should always equip our carry weapons with the heaviest available MS. (23#)

With that said I run a 19# in my XSE and like the lighter trigger pull and the reduction of the slide effort to cock the hammer. Theoretically this should speed up the cycle time and reduce FTE issues or increase FTF problems. (See how a change in one area can hang you up with a totally different issue elsewhere?)
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Last edited by canebrake; 09-15-2009 at 11:48 PM. Reason: sp
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Old 09-15-2009, 10:48 PM   #47
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Wow, thanks Cane. I don't think I could found more useful information if I bought a book on the subject. I wish all of my questions could be answered with that level thoroughness.

All I want is to be safe shooting +P in a self defense situation 99.9% it will be commercial FMJ ammo. I've just noticed that where JHP rounds in most calibers can easily be found in a non+P round, 45 ACP Personal Defense ammo in the brands I usually use is almost always +P.

I don't want to spend a lot of money on Springs unless I have to. I would like to have a spare set, but nothing expensive and fancy. I have a pretty tight budget.

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Old 09-15-2009, 11:31 PM   #48
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Springs are cheap and as Cane suggested, buy a "tuning" pack which contains a range of weights for the recoil spring. The factory standard for a 5 inch 1911 is 16# and most will cycle fine at that weight - depending on the ammo you use. For a lot of info on gun springs, go to the Wolff springs website as it shows the factory standards and the options available for many, many guns...

Wolff Gunsprings Manufactures springs for modern and vintage firearms, guns, hammer, pistols, handguns, revolvers, rifles, shotguns, semiautomatic, accessories, weapons, law enforcement, hunting, shooting, recoil, colt, mainsprings, magazines, IPSC

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