Changing 1911 Recoil Spring

Discussion in '1911 Forum' started by 2ndAmendmentFreedom, Aug 18, 2012.

  1. 2ndAmendmentFreedom

    2ndAmendmentFreedom New Member

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    Hey everyone,
    My 1911 has shot close to 2,000 rounds. It's still working flawlessly with no FTEs but sometimes it feels like some shots are kicking the slide back a bit harder than others. I'm using the standard factory, standard weight recoil spring and I was wondering what springs should I buy next to replace the original one. I know that some people religiously change their springs after 1000 rounds, some after 2000, some after 5000 etc. Would I benefit from a slightly heavier spring?

    Thanks :)
     
  2. Overkill0084

    Overkill0084 Active Member

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    Depends on your ammo, among other things.
    IIRC, most standard sized 1911s call for a 16 lb spring. I typically run 18 lb springs. No down side so far. Unless your running +p every day, 16 to 18 lb springs should be fine. Heck, judging from some things I've read, 14 lbs should be OK too.
    As for the replacement interval, opinions vary. I don't spend a lot of time worrying about it. If the spring is noticeably shorter than a new one, replace it. If you shoot the gun a lot and can't remember the last time you changed it, go ahead & replace it. 1911 recoil springs are cheap, so cheap, that there really isn't any excuse for having a worn one.
     

  3. 2ndAmendmentFreedom

    2ndAmendmentFreedom New Member

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    Right I agree with that, it's really not a budget question. I was just wondering if people had a preferred brand and what weight they recommended, right now I'm shooting Sellier & Bellot 230g but usually shoot Federal Champions, 100+ rounds every week.
     
  4. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    I subscribe to the theory that somewhere every 2500-3000 rounds it's a good time to replace the high use springs like the recoil.

    Lately I have been doing some reading on a new product from my maker of choice (*cough*drug dealer*cough*) Nighthawk Customs and Master-smith Bob Marvel.

    The Everlast Recoil Spring

    So far the reviews have been pretty impressive and I am thinking about ordering up a couple and giving them a chance to put up and be reviewed here.

    Just an option for you. ;)

    JD
     
  5. Overkill0084

    Overkill0084 Active Member

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    I run Wolff or Wilson, whichever is convenient. My typical MO is to add a few recoil springs to that order of other stuff I'm ordering from (insert big online retailer here.) Most of my shooting is moderate strength reloads (230 gr Cast w/ 4.6 of Bullseye.) Probably about as strong as Wal-Mart Federal. Very likely milder than that S&B you're using.
     
  6. 2ndAmendmentFreedom

    2ndAmendmentFreedom New Member

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    JD that looks really cool! I'm very tempted to try that lol but right now their store is down. What weight is the spring they use?
    Also in the meanwhile I'm going to buy a few regular springs, should I go with 16lb or slightly more?
     
  7. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    I believe theirs is a regular 16lb model.

    Wolfe are considered some of the best. I know several people that swear by them and they aren't expensive.

    ISMI is a company that is producing a "professional grade" spring that has a loyal following in the fringe community. I haven't used them, but I have read some reports that are very good and they aren't that expensive in my mind.

    I like to run an 18 lb. spring in my full sized carry piece, but I only carry +P ammo, I shoot it regularly in training, so I like the extra protection the +2 pounds affords.

    **Caveat - I also run nothing but Tripp's Cobra Mags after Cane turned me onto them. They are AWESOME!**

    JD
     
  8. cuba

    cuba New Member

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    Its amazing how little is understood about the true function of the action/recoil spring on a 1911, most look at it and assume that its primary function is to dampen recoil, but in fact its primary duty is to return the slide to battery as is also on an automatic rifle, you wouldn't look at the action spring on a rifle as a dampening recoil system, would you? so is the same with the action spring on a 1911, its primary purpose is to ready the pistol to action.

    On the original 1911 design the action spring wasn't even called out in poundage but in music wire diameter and the amount of coils (32), by todays standards the original action springs compression resistance would be 14 pound, and it functioned the 1911 reliably.

    I believe that the reason a lot of the modern day manufacturers are supplying their 1911 rendition with 18 pound springs is because their 1911 are so tightly constructed that they have to fit them with over sprung action springs to over come the out of spec stacking on their pistol and to over come the Ka-Chunk feeding that most of them experience with incorrect profiled lip magazines.

    The only time that you should need to replace your action spring is if the action starts to become sluggish on its return to battery other wise you should be good to go.

    Ask yourself why the IPSC competitors fit their 1911 with 11 and 12 pound springs with out any failures through out 20,000 round with out a change.

    shoot safe, shoot straight, and have fun
     
  9. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Probably because they a running custom built race guns with deflector shields and phase photon power packs. :rolleyes:

    Custom lightened slides, custom weighted frames, custom triggers that reduced into mere ounces? There is more work put in on a race gun then most 1911's see in a lifetime of ownership.

    A true IPSC gun is FAR REMOVED from that of a true 1911.
     
  10. 2ndAmendmentFreedom

    2ndAmendmentFreedom New Member

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    Good piece of info Cuba but I'm sure that everyone here knew what the main function of the recoil spring was, I was asking about a slightly heavier spring because I tend to shoot slightly hotter loads than standard. Also my Colt 1911 is not super tightly fitted, it's smooth as butter and I believe that Colt is usually known for slightly looser fittings compared to other name brands.

    I've only shot my 1911s using 16lb springs, how would it feel shooting the same loads with an 18lb? I'm guessing slightly lower muzzle flip right?
     
  11. cuba

    cuba New Member

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    I couldn't really answer how it would feel shooting your +P rounds on a 1911 using a 18 pound spring, cause I use the power factor load that the 1911 was designed to use with a 16 pound spring (230 gr @ 850 FPS), but this I do know, that is that, the only connection of the slide and frame recoil system in a 1911 is the action spring and like on a revolver the more solid the connection is the more felt recoil, so in my opinion the more you stiffen the connection between the frame and slide by introducing a stiffer action spring to the system the more felt recoil, and with an increased momentum on the slide when returning to battery with an 18 pound spring, will cause excessive battering to the slide stop pin and lower barrel lugs, also you will have the possibility of inducing a FTF, because with an 18 pound spring you will increased the slides abutment rebound and in turn, out run the magazine spring, also with a stiffer spring, if you don't grip the pistol firmly the slide will catch the empty shell in the air while on the ejecting stroke creating what is commonly called "limp wristing".

    There is no free lunch when altering a perfectly balanced engineering design as that of the original 1911, I have found that for every change and deviation you make to the design you will have to alter two other things to balance out the difference, and most times a lot of trial and error to find out what those two other things are.

    shoot safe, shoot straight, and have fun
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2012
  12. 2ndAmendmentFreedom

    2ndAmendmentFreedom New Member

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    Couldn't agree more with "for every change and deviation you make to the design you will have to alter two other things to balance out the difference".

    Gonna get a few 16lb Wolff.

    Thanks!
     
  13. Overkill0084

    Overkill0084 Active Member

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    Wilson Combat suggests a 17 lb spring as pretty much Ideal.
    http://shopwilsoncombat.com/Flat-Wire-Recoil-Spring-Kit-Full-Size/productinfo/614/
    Let's be realistic, an 18 lb spring isn't exactly heavy duty. We're talking 2 more pounds, what's that 12%ish? That hardly constitutes abuse.
    All those parts hold up to these:
    http://shop.460rowland.com/conversion_kits?product_id=50
    (22 to 24 lb spring.)
     
  14. cuba

    cuba New Member

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    No one mentioned abuse but the fact that a 18 pound spring will increase the momentum impact of the slide to the side stop pin and lower barrel lugs by a 11% greater amount than a 16 pound spring should not be hard to understand, I also believe that Wilson Combat has a dog in that fight, he also sells shock buffer which will alter the impact rebound of the abutment that is needed to successfully feed a round into the chamber as designed, at 16 pounds the recoil spring has already been upgraded by 1.5 pounds, the original action spring as designed by JMB and the Colt engineers is rated by todays standard as 14.5 pounds.

    And as I mentioned before once you change one thing in the design you will probably have to alter and change two other thing, so it should be of no surprise that if you change the bullet type from 230 gr @ 850 fps to a 460 Rowland traveling at about twice the speed and double the CUP (40,000 vs 21,000) pressure, that you will have to change the action spring and harness the recoil by way of a compensator to boot, and even with these modifications the pistol will probably not last past 10 thousand rounds, why!! because the 1911 was not designed to perform under those conditions.

    shoot safe, shoot straight, and have fun
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2012