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1911 Recoil springs !!!
Discussions related to Guns and Firearms
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chambered221
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:17 am    Post subject: 1911 Recoil springs !!! Reply with quote

How often do you change yours or better yet how do you determine if it needs to even be replaced ???
Do you use a buffer ???
How do you determine what weight of a spring to use ???

And lastly......why do I only hear 1911 shooters discussing this issue ???


Maybe one last question.........have you ever replace a recoil spring in something other than a 1911 ??? Shocked

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Donut Slayer
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:21 pm    Post subject: Re: 1911 Recoil springs !!! Reply with quote

I cant answer for the 1911, but there is a check for a glock. With the pistol pointed up and unloaded, pull the slide to the rear and slowly ride it back to the "in battery" position. If it goes into battery the spring is fine. If it hangs up just short of complete battery, replace the spring. Glock recommends replacing the springs every 3 years or so. I have replaced springs on a S&W 1006 before. I put in a stronger spring to reduce the battering the frame was getting from full power loads. And BTW, I am a certified Glock Armorer.

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BigBlue
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:15 pm    Post subject: Re: 1911 Recoil springs !!! Reply with quote

The spring weight depends on the model you have. The standard spring weight for a full size 1911A1 I believe is 16lbs. They will last a very long time on a standard, 5" barreled 1911. My Dad still has the same spring on his since WWII! The shorter Officer models go through springs a bit quicker. They are cheap enough so cost isn't an issue. You could always buy a new one and keep yours as a backup. It would also let you feel the difference between old and new.
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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:32 pm    Post subject: Re: 1911 Recoil springs !!! Reply with quote

I change recoil springs in my three 1911 platforms (Firestar M43, Colt 1911 and Kimber UCC II) when the spent (fired) case starts to hang up coming out of the chamber jamming the weapon. Or when I feel it is time (several thousand rounds). As far as Colt 1911 most common spring weights are 10#, ??#, 16# and 18# (I have seen 22# springs). Stock from the factory is 16# (I think). Spring weight is determined by the power of the cartridge used. The lighter the load (as in target loads) the lighter the spring weight. And vise-versa for heavier loads...Because I use moderate to heavier loads (but not maximum) I have the 16# spring installed and the other two in my parts drawers

In my Colt I do use a "buffer"...

I just replaced the spring in my Firestar and Kimber manual tells you when to change springs.

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SingleShotLover
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:37 am    Post subject: Re: 1911 Recoil springs !!! Reply with quote

Bushmaster wrote:
Spring weight is determined by the power of the cartridge used.

Bushmaster is partially right...load level is one determination of recoil spring strength, but slide mass is the determining factor of any range of acceptable weights. The standard 1911 (5") uses a supposedly standard 16 pound spring, the Commander sizes (4 1/4") use 18 pound springs as standard and the Officer's sizes (3 3/4") use 22 pound springs. As slide mass decreases, spring strength increases to absorb the recoil impetus. Of course, as Bushmaster points out, as loads increase spring strength should also increase. Too much over the standard, however, usually means that your are probably abusing the weapon. Light target loads may well require lighter springs to function properly.

Of my 1911s that I use the most often (all .45 ACP), I use 18 pound springs in my 5" models and 20 pound in my 4 1/4" models as well as using buffers (except in my defense/carry 4 1/4" which uses 20 pound spring and no buffer...simply for functioning reliability and the fact that I don't shoot it as often as the others.) And I change them yearly (as I do my magazine springs also) unless functioning shows problems earlier.

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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:51 am    Post subject: Re: 1911 Recoil springs !!! Reply with quote

Can I have your one year old springs?

My Kimber UCC II uses two springs that equal 18#. and I have an 18# in the firestar with a 20# and 22# in parts.

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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:17 am    Post subject: Re: 1911 Recoil springs !!! Reply with quote

I just wish I had a chance to shoot enough to worry about it... Sad

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chambered221
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:43 am    Post subject: Re: 1911 Recoil springs !!! Reply with quote

There is a reason I ask these questions !!!
Within the 7 years that I've gotten serious about pistols this subject has come up numerous times. Everyone can tell me what they came with from the factory and everyone seems to have their own way of determining things. What no one has been able to give is any sort of test that determines weather or not the spring is weak, going weak, or is up to par.
When it comes to tailoring a spring to a specific load all I've ever gotten was do they eject reliably.

Donut Slayer is the first (I've heard) to ever give any sort of mechanical test.

Bushy, I've heard a number of guys make the same statement about once they start to limp out. I usually follow that up with "How long to you think you were incurring frame damage with a weak spring ?" Everyone seems to think about that without a response.
By the way my Kimber manual says nothing about recoil spring replacement.
The UCC II has two springs !!! Can I see a picture of that set up please ??? (No I'm not doubting you, just never seen it)

SSL, you change yours yearly ......... I know guys that have never changed a spring Shocked and can't get an understanding of my questioning. About how many rounds do you put through them ???

As far as the buffers go. I quit using them after I seen more than a few guns go down during matches because of them.
I don't ever foresee me using one in a carry gun !!!


Pumpkin, We need to find you a new job !!!

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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:44 am    Post subject: Re: 1911 Recoil springs !!! Reply with quote

Sure. Needs to be cleaned and regreased anyway.

On my Colt .45 ACP 1911 I have changed the spring twice in the last 20 years. Same with my Firestar (also 20 years). So far no change has been made in the Kimber. The Colt was changed because I modified the recoil system. The Firestar because it was starting to not completely extract the fired case far enough to contact the ejector pin and was stacking the fired case on top of the fresh round with the fired case still half in the chamber.

Some owner's manuals tell you when to change the springs (Kimber does). Some don't (Colt and Firestar don't). I would consider changing the recoil spring if you suspect a problem after 2,000 to 4,000 rounds if you don't have any other reference.



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I have one nerve left and yer standin' on it...

DEMOCRACY Two wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for lunch...
LIBERTY A well armed sheep contesting the outcome of the vote...


Last edited by Bushmaster on Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:03 am; edited 2 times in total
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chambered221
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:52 am    Post subject: Re: 1911 Recoil springs !!! Reply with quote

Why thank you Sir !!!

Now where's that bottle of tequila ???

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Ask as many people needed, sooner or later your question will be answered the way you want it answered !!!

A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.
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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:08 am    Post subject: Re: 1911 Recoil springs !!! Reply with quote

Oh geezz...Not only is he lost, but now he lost the tequila. What next...??

Yer welcome...Now the fight to reassemble the dang thing...

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DEMOCRACY Two wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for lunch...
LIBERTY A well armed sheep contesting the outcome of the vote...
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hunterjoe21
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:04 pm    Post subject: Re: 1911 Recoil springs !!! Reply with quote

Bushmaster wrote:
Oh geezz...Not only is he lost, but now he lost the tequila. What next...??

Yer welcome...Now the fight to reassemble the dang thing...

Least I know now that I'm not the only one fightin' with it...

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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:19 pm    Post subject: Re: 1911 Recoil springs !!! Reply with quote

Oh I have a better way then Kimber for disassembling this Little Kimber. I don't use the wire tool for disassembly. After I'm ready to install the spring and guide assembly I, then, insert the tool (wire) then install it in the slide.

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DEMOCRACY Two wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for lunch...
LIBERTY A well armed sheep contesting the outcome of the vote...
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hunterjoe21
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:48 pm    Post subject: Re: 1911 Recoil springs !!! Reply with quote

Bushmaster wrote:
Oh I have a better way then Kimber for disassembling this Little Kimber. I don't use the wire tool for disassembly. After I'm ready to install the spring and guide assembly I, then, insert the tool (wire) then install it in the slide.

I cant get the rod/spring assembly in or out of the slide without the tool. My disassmbly starts the same as yours though. I remove the slide without installing the "paper clip"...

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SingleShotLover
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 9:48 am    Post subject: Re: 1911 Recoil springs !!! Reply with quote

chambered221 wrote:


SSL, you change yours yearly ......... I know guys that have never changed a spring Shocked and can't get an understanding of my questioning. About how many rounds do you put through them ???

Since I have my own range in my back yard, I shoot quite a bit more than most might be able to, averaging several thousand rounds in each gun per year (except my defense/carry gun since I don't want to put too much wear on it.) And yes, I know that I change springs far more often than necessary, but having had one fail once when needed rather badly, I figure it's cheap insurance.

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The biggest problem with a closed mind is that it never seems to come with a closed mouth.

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