1911 recoil spring?

Discussion in 'Semi-Auto Handguns' started by BeyondTheBox, May 14, 2013.

  1. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

    2,630
    0
    0
    I love the look of the original knurled recoil spring plug in an M1911A1, but doesn't it bother you that they don't have full guide rods? A section of spring just sort of free floating?

    I know it's not necessarily a known issue, but seems to me to be a set up for failures. Is this more common in 70 series? I know the new age 1911 and 2011 types tend to use full rods either with open ended plugs or no plug at all. Guess it depends if there's a barrel bushing or not.

    Which is the lesser of evils for you?

    Do you swap them out for a different style?

    Am I being nit picky again? Lol
     
  2. fa35jsf

    fa35jsf New Member

    1,182
    0
    0
    Well I have only ever shot a gun with a full length rod in it but I always wondered the same. I feel that this thread might expose some deep seated beliefs in the true 1911 lovers.
     

  3. austin92

    austin92 New Member

    1,059
    0
    0
    Recently purchased my first 1911 so I'll b following along to hear more
     
  4. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

    6,624
    0
    0
    Some Kimber 1911's have the short guide rod and they function just fine. I would upgrade the stock spring to a Wolff recoil spring.
     
  5. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired

    12,363
    0
    0
    I have a varied selection of both long and short.

    I used to fall for the hype that the long rod would stop the "kinking" of the recoil spring during recoil.

    Then one night, I was awaken by a presence in my room. Now this was not the dog wanting to go out, but something that had the tallness and a type of aura that would only be of a supreme being. JMB dropped by to discuss some things. I asked him about the full length guide. He revealed a discussion he had with some Lt Col when the 1911 was going under acceptance trials. The Lt Col asked about have full length rods in the 1911 (like the other guns) and kinking. JMB explained to him (and to me) that the dern spring was suppose to kink.

    Using this new revelation, I have determined that any 1911 I assemble would not have a full length guide. Although I have not changed any out of those that were in new guns, I would still support the short guide as JMB designed.

    My non-extended rods allow the disassembly and reassembly of 1911s per the instructions given to the US military by JMB.
     
  6. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

    4,823
    0
    0
    Think about it...Where does the spring have to go? I've had them with both full and mil spec rods and I've not found any evidence that the longer rod made a difference. The only thing I advocate to new 1911 people is to have a new recoil spring around to use as a measure. If the spring in the gun gets over 2 coils shorter then replace it. They don't cost much so I usually away shave a few in my gun cleaning/tool box. the only issue I've had with 1911's are bad mags and word recoil springs. Honestly the only thing I've noticed that a full length rod gives is more trouble breaking them down. The two piece rods require a tool and the one piece rods make it a little harder to turn the barrel bushing.
     
  7. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

    2,630
    0
    0
    Interesting, and good point, but the idea of kinking simply bugs the bajezus out of me, too much so.
     
  8. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired

    12,363
    0
    0
    Kinking is not a problem. Where is the recoil spring going to pop out to?
    It is in a "captive" environment.

    Compressing it in a pistol is totally different than trying to compress it on a table top.
     
  9. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

    2,630
    0
    0
    Oh I know it's not going anywhere, never questioned that, but that's not the point for me, it's simply a bothersome thought. Rational, perhaps not, but a pet peeve nonetheless.

    Like I said, seems a set up for failures and unnecessary jams. Again, I know it's not a known issue, but I'm a preventative type and would rather be safe than sorry.
     
  10. trip286

    trip286 New Member

    18,707
    0
    0
    There is no more side to side wobble in the recoil spring with a standard short rod, than there is with a full length guide rod.

    It may SEEM contrary to what you feel is sensible, but the man who designed it, designed his first rifle at (I think) 11 years old. He had a lot of practice before he built the 1911, and it's been working since 1910.
     
  11. bartwatkins

    bartwatkins New Member

    512
    0
    0
    No it will not cause any issue. The recoil spring is in a tubular chamber/housing and has "no where to go" so to speak. It cannot kink or bind because it has to room to do so. It compresses in a relatively straight line. It was designed that way. Also, there was a guy on one forum who from time to time, to prove this point, would run his 1911 with just the recoil spring and the end-plug (but no guide rod at all - not even a GI-style). I forget who he was but he never experienced one malfunction to my knowledge.


    My Springer came with a two-piece, full-length guide rod. It still had a barrell bushing too. The plug must be open ended so that the full length guide rod can be there. In other words, when the slide cycles the full length guide rod cannot compress and the guide rod would bust through the end of a closed end plug - a full length guide rod has to have an open end.

    Either way works fine - just a matter of preference. After over 3K rounds in my Springer (when I needed a new recoil spring), I finally switched out to a standard/short/GI-style guide rod.
     
  12. bartwatkins

    bartwatkins New Member

    512
    0
    0
    I will search for and try to find the guy and threads concerning running the 1911 with no guide rod at all. I think it was on the 1911forum.com
    (I am not advocating that and would not try it in my guns - but it was an interesting read & does bolster his point that a full-length GR is really not needed).
     
  13. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

    2,630
    0
    0
    I just find it easier to have a full length guide rod when taking apart and putting back together.
     
  14. bartwatkins

    bartwatkins New Member

    512
    0
    0
    Now that is true and a very good point....
     
  15. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

    2,630
    0
    0
    Those Springs like to get wonky without something inside them, or so I've found. And they're too damn stiff to keep fully compressed and install then let go.
     
  16. trip286

    trip286 New Member

    18,707
    0
    0
    I've had..... yep, zero problems. had to count an make sure. took a minute...
     
  17. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

    2,630
    0
    0
    Lol you would!
     
  18. bartwatkins

    bartwatkins New Member

    512
    0
    0
    Ok found what I was talking about.....
    The guy's screen name is JLA and he is a moderator/host on 'thefirearmsforum.com' - the thread I am referring to is under the 'The 1911 Forum' subforum and it is entitled
    "Full Length Guide Rod" (if you want to look it up). I am not going to link it here because I'm not sure if that violates any rules by linking a thread from another forum.

    Anyway, JLA states/claims that he ran 2 full mags in his 1911 with no guide rod at all. He did say that that doing this in any prolonged manner would likely damage the end of the recoil spring. But he also said that 2 full mags with no ill effects "proves his point".

    Just food for thought....
     
  19. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired

    12,363
    0
    0
    Remember that the primary job of the recoil spring is to return the slide to battery.
    The secondary job is to assist the hammer spring with recoil control.

    If the hammer spring was strong enough to sustain the impact, one could shoot more that 2 magazines (but I would not want to manually return the slide to battery everytime.)

    The plug (as demonstrated in the above example) protects the end of the spring and keeps the end from interferring with the link setup should it fail to maintain shape.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2013