How often do you change your 1911 recoil spring?


April 2, 2006, 09:40 AM
Do you have a fixed number of rounds, or just change when the gun starts having problems?

Is the standard weight recoil spring for a full size 1911 16 pounds?

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April 2, 2006, 09:44 AM
16# is stock for a 5" gun.

I very rarely change the recoil springs, and use lighter than standard in most guns. IMSI springs last a lot longer than others I have tried, and that is what I use now. 10K-20K is a normal interval for me.

April 2, 2006, 10:39 AM
I use standard Wolff springs for 9mm HiPowers and .45 1911s. I swap them out between 2000-3000 rounds. Waiting for problems is OK for a range gun, but not for carry or HD. Weakened springs also accelerate battering and wear, no need for that.

Chuck R.
April 2, 2006, 11:14 AM
I change out every 3000 rounds (or every 3 bricks of primers:D ).

In my Colt Gold Cup I use a 16# Wolf.

In my Les Baer I use either a Wolf 18.5# Variable (OEM) or for range use with cast 200 SWCs a 15# Wolf.

The 18.5# variable runs fine with my light reloads, but the 15# seems to get me back on the target faster.

I donít use a buffer in either pistol, so I change my springs pretty frequently.


April 2, 2006, 12:34 PM
Every 3000 rounds 18lb springs from EGW.

April 2, 2006, 01:19 PM
Since I switched to 18 pound and 16 pound test weight ISMI chrome Silicone springs in my 1911s I haven't changed a spring.
Before the big switch over 2000 rounds was my set limit.
I also use Wolff extra power firing pin springs and replace them when I replace the recoil springs.
I may let these go to 4000 rounds before I change them while using the ISMI springs just to see what happens.

April 2, 2006, 03:00 PM
3k rounds for my 5", 1k rounds for my 3"

April 2, 2006, 05:06 PM
I change the recoil spring when the brass starts flying too far to find or I start having problems -- usually failures to go fully into battery. Spring life in the 3.5" guns seems rather short, springs in 4" and 5" guns last a long time.

I tend to go with about 10% over standard on the replacement as it helps keep the brass from flying so far and doesn't seem to cause any problems. If I didn't reload I'd stick with the standard spring weight.


April 2, 2006, 06:23 PM
i have an 18.5 pound s.s. colt spring in my RIA and a nylon recoil buffer. i will let you know after 3,000 rounds if i have problems. remember, the spring manf. are the main ones telling you to buy more of them......WWII 1911 that have had countless rounds through them still shot a few years ago with 100% reliablity.....hum.......

pete f
April 2, 2006, 07:14 PM
I used to change about every 3000K rounds. now maybe 5K seems the ones i have been getting lately from Midway seem to last longer. I shoot 16 with practice ammo/ 185 wadcutters at 900 fps, 18's for carry/fulll house ammo in the Gov'ts 20 and 24 in the commanders. A worn spring really lets the gun chuck the empties a LONG way.

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