Reduced power recoil springs


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MoreIsLess
August 3, 2012, 12:19 PM
I just bought my first 1911 about a week ago (Springfield Range Officer). A friend of mine has a SA Loaded and he let me shoot it and I can shoot his better than my gun. He has a 14# recoil spring and suggested that I get one, which I am going to do. What if I went to a 13# spring, what would be the implication of that or is that too light.

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1911Tuner
August 3, 2012, 02:52 PM
The recoil spring's purpose is returning the slide to battery. Period. If the slide will return to battery reliably, it's fine.

Certaindeaf
August 3, 2012, 02:55 PM
I was going to say wait for the 1911Tuner to pipe up.. well, there you go.

MoreIsLess
August 3, 2012, 02:58 PM
The recoil spring's purpose is returning the slide to battery. Period. If the slide will return to battery reliably, it's fine.
Understood. However, if one is planning to reduce the powder charge in their hand loads (which I am planning on doing) a recoil spring that has been succesfully returning the slide to battery may no longer do so, hence they would need a lighter spring (or increase the charge).

1911Tuner
August 3, 2012, 03:04 PM
That doesn't have anything to do with returning to battery. If the ammunition is so weak that the slide short-cycles, that's a whole 'nother issue, and...yes. A lighter spring is called for. Then, if the spring isn't sufficient to get a reliable return, then you start over with the load development.

FWIW, one of my two standby range beater loads is a 200-grain LSWC and 4 grains Bullseye. It cycles the slide with a 16-pound action/recoil spring...a 23-pound mainspring...and a 1/16th radius on the bottom of the firing pin stop. You'd have to go plumb powderpuff for the gun to short-cycle with a 13-14 pound recoil spring.

MoreIsLess
August 3, 2012, 03:48 PM
That doesn't have anything to do with returning to battery. If the ammunition is so weak that the slide short-cycles, that's a whole 'nother issue, and...yes. A lighter spring is called for. Then, if the spring isn't sufficient to get a reliable return, then you start over with the load development.

FWIW, one of my two standby range beater loads is a 200-grain LSWC and 4 grains Bullseye. It cycles the slide with a 16-pound action/recoil spring...a 23-pound mainspring...and a 1/16th radius on the bottom of the firing pin stop. You'd have to go plumb powderpuff for the gun to short-cycle with a 13-14 pound recoil spring.
I don't have any Bullseye, I have AA#2, AA#5, and Win 231 and 230gr LRN. Can you suggest something similar to what you have indicated above using what I have that would be light and still cycle a 16# slide.

rcmodel
August 3, 2012, 03:56 PM
Do you have a reloading manual?
I might suggest the Lyman #49 for lead bullet data.

Of the powers you have?
The W231 or AA#2 would probably be best with light 230 grain loads.

Try 4.0 grains W231 Starting load and work up until you get reliable cycling.
6.0 IS MAX.

Or try 5.0 grains AA#2 Starting load and work up.
5.6 is MAX.

AA #5 is slower burning and would do best in full power loads.


rc

MoreIsLess
August 3, 2012, 03:59 PM
Do you have a reloading manual?
I might suggest the Lyman #49 for lead bullet data.

Of the powers you have?
The W231 or AA#2 would probably be best with light 230 grain loads.

Try 4.0 grains W231 Starting load and work up until you get reliable cycling.

Or try 5.0 grains AA#2 Starting load and work up.

AA #5 is slower burning and would do best in full power loads.

rc
Yes I have Lymans 49th. Majority of the time, it doesn't have what I am looking for and I have to go elsewhere (like here)

rcmodel
August 3, 2012, 04:00 PM
Well, thats where I went to get the W231 data I just posted.

The Accurate website has the Accurate data.

rc

GlackAttack
August 4, 2012, 03:17 PM
If you go too light of a spring for normal or high powered rounds, you may cause the slide to ram the frame more than desired because the spring can't slow it down adequately. This results in faster wear and tear to your firearm. Under 14lbs seems too light.

1911Tuner
August 4, 2012, 03:38 PM
If you go too light of a spring for normal or high powered rounds, you may cause the slide to ram the frame more than desired because the spring can't slow it down adequately.

That's a popular myth that started in the early 80s, likely started by people who make money selling springs and shock buffs. The same people who advise us to install new springs every X number of rounds.

Try as I did, nobody took my word for it, but the rapid rise in IDPA/USPSA shooting pretty well laid waste to it. Some of these guys fire in excess of 50,000 rounds of major power ammunition every year on 10 and 12 pound springs, only changing them when they start observing sluggish return to battery.

The "recoil" spring's purpose is returning the slide forward...not decelerating it. It does do that because if has to be compressed in order to do its job...but that's incidental.

Walt Sherrill
August 5, 2012, 08:05 PM
1911Tuner has commented on this topic more than once, and his comments are often received with some skepticism. Take it to the bank -- he knows this topic and 1911s.

When the slide is moving back, the recoil spring is slowing and slide, but so is the hammer spring. A heavier recoil spring, if it's not so powerful as to prevent cycling, will STORE more that force and when the slide slams forward, the extra force will have to be handled by the slide stop.

Depending on the gun's design, using a heavier recoil spring to protect the frame -- which it doesn't really do -- and could actually shorten the life of the slide stop. Think about it -- if the force being transferred by moving slide through the guide rod to the frame is so severe, why don't the bases of the guide rods get all messed up? Guide rods are typically made of less stout stuff than frames! Even plastic guide rods (CZs, Glocks, and other guns that use them), seem to hold up pretty well.

1911Tuner didn't mention it here, but here in his home state he has demonstrated that it's possible to fire a 1911 WITHOUT A RECOIL SPRING without ugly consequences; the gun fires and the recoil feels almost the same, but the gun just doesn't feed the next round.

Some folks who reload go to heavier recoil springs when they they see their spent cases being sent too far away (to easily recover). That seems to be a good reason to go to a heavier recoil spring.

Red Cent
August 5, 2012, 10:53 PM
Firing the 1911 sans recoil spring ain't no big deal. Tuner and I have discussed it many times and, after some safety tips, I did the dirty in the garage with my super backstop. No big deal. There ain't much difference if any. There is moment of terror as you pull the trigger but then its a "that wasn't bad at all". The difference is the "continued recoil". The slide does not slam forward and if you have lived with a 1911 for a long time you will notice it.
Tuner, you're gonna have to get into the "recoil operated thing".:evil:

1911Tuner
August 6, 2012, 05:37 AM
'Druther not, RC. Seems that whenever I do, these things go on for 25 pages.

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