Possible problem with Wolff springs for Para-Ord P14-45


November 9, 2006, 11:47 AM
I'm posting this here because I figure it's more gunsmithing than pistol... the original thread is here FYI http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=230461

I have a 15-round magazine for my P14-45 limited (it has a +1 base plate) and it has started to produce some FTF jams. My 14-rounders haven't been shot as much and never jam. I bought some Wolff +10% mag springs, and they are supposed to fit the P14-45 in 14 and 15 rounds, and also P13s.

First thing I noticed is the Wolff spring is at least 40% longer than the original, and the wire is much thicker. That's to be expected, I guess. The card says the bottom of the spring may require fitting in some magazines, and mine did... I had to snip off about 1/8 inch of the very end of the spring (where there's a short 90-degree bend) to get the end of the spring to fit between the side walls of the bottom plate. So far, so good.

I made sure to orient the spring, follower, and base plate the same way as before and put it back together. Noticeably more pressure, again, this is to be expected with a +10% spring.

However, it was VERY difficult to load the magazine. I'm not a frail guy and it was all I could do to load the first 13 rounds. Nice new polished brass... I doubt I could have loaded aluminum-cased rounds.

The 15th round would NOT go into the mag until I inverted the magazine and pressed downward against a plastic storage lid and then slipped the last round in. That can't be normal. I guess there isn't room for the extra metal of the thicker/longer spring.

I also couldn't seat the loaded magazine into the frame. I had to lock the slide back and then insert the mag. I manually cycled the full 15 rounds through the gun in a controlled environment (I know, not the smartest thing but I wanted to know if the rounds would even cycle through. I also realize it's not a proper test of functionality, disclaimers, don't try this at home, etc.).

They cycled fine. However, it's obvious that the spring needs modification in order to allow me to actually load the magazine, and then to insert it into the well fully.

Ideas? If my limited knowledge of motorcycle suspension transfers to this arena, cutting off a coil of a spring actually _increases_ its stiffness, and it's pretty darn stiff already. However, do you suppose in this case removing a coil would allow for more space for the spring to compress?

Also, when I push down on the follower of one of my 14-rounders, it snaps back up quickly and with authority. When I push down on the follower of the Wolff-equipped 15-rounder, it sort of squishes back up in a half-hearted fashion. I guess if the magazine functions perfectly in an actually firing weapon, it won't matter, but I was wondering if this is a symptom of another problem. The follower and mag appeared relatively clean, though I didn't clean them.

What do you think I should do? I don't want to ruin the spring more than I already may have (although I doubut my snipping off 1/8" ruined it). Do I need to snip off a coil or two and then bend the bottom to match the base plate?

Thanks for the help.:cool:

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November 9, 2006, 12:46 PM
I have used Wolff mag springs in my Para P16 and I can say that for the first few uses, they will be very stiff and it will seem that you can't get all the rounds into your mag. I run my mag springs full length and after a number of reloads, they eventually loosen up a bit. So much that they are easier to load, but not enough that they will fail, for a fair amount of time. When I was shooting my P16 regularly(IPSC competition and practice), I'd replace my mag springs about once a year. I've been shooting other divisions lately so my mag springs are a couple years old. After next year, I may go back to Limited and see how they are doing. Since they are +20%, you will notice the difference (as you have). I don't know if it's round 1000 where it stops working, but for me I figure it's way more than that. Probably in the range of 2 or 3 thousand (5 mags, 10-15 thousand rounds per year).


November 9, 2006, 01:17 PM
Are you able to fully load/seat a new spring, then? Or do you not fully load the mag for the first while until it loosens up a bit?

November 9, 2006, 06:15 PM
I'm under impression that those spring are 13 coils sutiable for 140mm USPSA Limited guns. If you are going to use them in carry/IPSC Standard 126mm magazines they need to be trimmed to some 11, maybe 10 coils with +1 extension pad. Thats what 90% of IPSC shooters do (we can't use 140mm magazines in Standard division). With 13 coils they are extremmelly hard to fully load and also springs are ovecompressed. If springs are overcompressed they loose trension several times faster, than when used inside it's engineered working limits.

On other hand triming to 9 coils can give some additional ammo capacity (with very flat follower), but it seems to induce reliability problems (at least for me!). As for now I found that 11 coils is good compromise. I use them in my STI 2011 based custom gun.

November 9, 2006, 06:22 PM
Thank you very much. I'm surprised that these springs require so much work to fit... they're very highly recommended. There's no way one of these would fit in a 13-round mag... that is, if you actually wanted to put 13 rounds in.

When you trim coils off, do you have to bend the bottom coil flat or anything? Or does that not matter?

I'll try to post a pic later.

November 10, 2006, 06:30 AM
I don't bent last coil flat, but it's more elegant if you do so :rolleyes:

I suggest you trim one coil at a time. It's hard to add coil that you already cut. I ruined some springs this wy :scrutiny: . If you use carry mags with flat baseplate (not +something) and standard followers (not competition one) even 9 coils seem to work, but it's too short for extended capacity magazines.

And wear safety glasses!!

November 10, 2006, 01:24 PM
Thanks again. And good tip about the safety glasses. I must try to find mine.:D

November 27, 2006, 04:16 PM

I snipped a couple of coils off the bottom of the spring and I'm finally able to load the 15th round into the mag (it's tight, but I can do it). Seems to hand-cycle okay, and I can seat the mag with a sharp rap.

I'll see if it feeds/cycles reliably in actual firing, and if so, I'll snip the others.

Thanks again for the advice.:cool:

November 27, 2006, 06:39 PM
CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The High Road, nor the staff of THR assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information.

In 2000 I was working up a load for 460 Rowland loads in a 20 ounce Republic Arms Patriot 45acp pistol [now sold to Cobra].

The manual said, " no +P", but I could see the support, chamber wall thickness, and lock up were adaquate.

The factory was sending me parts for free and trying to help, but I developed a flinch.

I put Wolff gunsmith pak springs in a home made recoil spring assembly, 3 springs and 42 pounds force to get the slide all the way back.

I got rid of the flinch, but the chamber was empty [faliure to feed].

I doubled up the magazine springs, it held one fewer round, but now I have a pocket sized 460R that feeds and does not detroy my hand.

Some big drawbacks are:
1) Few men have enough grip to chamber a round with 42 pounds to pull.
2) Few fingers are strong enough to load a double mag spring magazine.

November 27, 2006, 06:52 PM
So the FTF was caused by the super-sprung slide moving forward too quickly for the mag spring to raise the next round? Very interesting, and a cool solution.:cool:

November 27, 2006, 07:49 PM
Seems you bought "custom fit" springs. Wolf does sell +10% (extra power) drop in springs for P12, P13, and P14. I've used them in the past, but now only buy the custom fit springs as I can use them in whatever mags needs a new spring instead of having a P13 spring left when I need a P14 one. Also a good bit cheaper to get a 10-pak of the custom fit springs rather than individuals of the others.


November 29, 2006, 06:21 PM
That's what I thought I ordered... and they had a flattened/bent bottom coil, like it was intended for one specific magazine. Weird.:scrutiny:

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