GLOCK 21 and recoil spring testing w/various ammo


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jonboynumba1
October 20, 2010, 05:09 PM
I've had a 21SF for a while now (the one with the stupid pica. rail and ambi magazine release...though thankfully mine seems to work fine) It replacedgen II 21 I had years back and liked but traded for a 1911 I liked better. Really liked the new SF in hand. I polished and swapped to a 3.5# disconector extend slide release...and have some heinie sights on order. I also added a wolf one piece guide-rod and got the calibration plus power set of springs from Wolf. I remember years ago I just went to (I think) a 19 or 20 pounder and felt like it had more recoil. I'd read since then that that can actually happen as the increased spring tention keeps the bbl. locked up a bit longer and so the slide gets more energy from the recoil pulse before it unlocks. seemed logical...

So a month back I shot it with the wolf rod and factory standard rated 17# wolf spring...it felt harsher than with the regular plastic factory assembly...so today I went with a selection of ammo and all the springs...17 glock factory, 17,19,20,22 wolf w/ steel one piece non-captured guiderod. I tested a selection of DoubleTap 230gr (1000+ fps) DT 185gr (1200+ fps) remington golden saber 185gr (1000 FPS) winchester WB 230gr ball and winchester WB 230gr HP (presumably both around 800-850fps) This wasn't cheap but I shot enough with each bouncing mostloy between factory, 20# and 22# springs. Here are some conclusions I came to.

surprisingly...it was reliable with all weights and loads with all springs tested...even trying to hold it loose and CAUSE a failure I could not get one to happen.

Felt recoil seemed to stack like this: DT 185gr= hardest kicker...not uncomfortably so but you'll know it when you touch one off! win. WB 230gr.HP kicked harder than WB 230gr. ball I think it may have actually kicked harder than the DT 230gr gold dots...it was too close to call really when swapping springs ect as well. The 185gr golden sabers where the lightest in recoil...yet I could not induce a failure to eject even with the 22# spring.

Spring wise it almost seems like if you stray from the factory recoil assembly you'd better go right to at least the 20# spring to avoid an increase in recoil. It also makes the gun go into battery smarter...which I like...but in truth there was not a whole lot of difference in feel between the 17# fectory assembly and the 22# wolf on their guiderode. They are the most similar in recoil feel...it's almost like the recoil is about equal...but feels a little different. It's harder to pull the slide back if you have small hands...I'm ham fisted so I barely noticed (but my wife surely did..HATES the 22# for that reason) The gun almost felt "tighter" with the 22# in place...perhaps it was simply the extra forward weight of the guidrod I was noticing...so after ALL THAT ammo...I'm staying 22# (my wife doesn't like this gun anyway...she has her own HG's-LOL)

I almost wish I'd had a 24# to test...I'd bet that would be where there might be some failures starting in some loads...but that is purely a guess...I'll end up getting one to find out eventually I'm sure.

I'm considering a ported barrel in the future...it wouldn't surprise me if that made me need to go down to a lighter spring...it also wouldn't surprise me if the factory spring assembly didn't work about as well there as anything you can "upgrade" to...which is pretty much what I found today...though nominally...it does seem a bit more "collected" with the 22#er...and that may be the slight weight forward the guidrod adds...who knows.

I also considered .45 super and .40 corbon for fun with this gun...but honestly with Double Taps 185gr. Nolser load it seems like little gain...I'd rather build another .460 rowland 1911 I think. Anyway that was part of my interest in seeing how different weight springs made the 21SF feel with different levels of loads of .45acp from light to light and fast to heavy and "as fast as heavy gets in .45acp" -LOL

on a side note I tested this sitting at a 50 yard bench taking my time...I found that at that distance the 185 DT load seemed the most consistently easy to make hits with at 50 yards on some stray paperplates and bowling pins. All of the rounds above shot well...but the two DT loads while different in drop and feel both shot very well...as did the golden saber 185's...which are a JOY to plink with with the heavy spring...though certainly not priced within plinking range. The WWB HP's shot better at distance than the WWB ball. I would think a 200gr SWC loaded just hot enough to be reliable would feel even better than the Remington 185 HP's I had today...when I get the new barrel (ported or not) that will be my first project as I have a target handload like that already I'd like to run for matches in this gun...as I think this will become my gaming gun...and part-time woods walker with the DT 185's.

PS-I sure would like to know how the hail Mike at Doubletap is getting 1200+ fps out of that 185gr nosler and it not even being plus P rated! (feels plus something!-LOL) I'm a LONG time 230gr fan in .45 auto....but that is one sweet load he has there! I can't find anything even close in my load books...I think I'll order some more while I'm thinking about it! Hope that helps somebody.

PS PS- the 21 is one VERY reliable SOB for way under $600! It's more accurate than a gun in this price class ought to be...trigger work and widening the rear sight notch helps...I can't wait to get the Heinie slant pro's on there and ditch the plastic factory ones all together...that's one part GLOCK never "Perfected" at all-LOL!

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