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Recoil Spring Check

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by 1911Tuner, May 18, 2004.

  1. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    May 22, 2003
    Lexington,North Carolina...or thereabouts
    One of our members had a bad experience with his Dan Wesson Commander clone (Not sure what the proprietary moniker is) in
    that after having gotten it back from the company armorer...and I use
    the term loosely...his slide and bushing was destroyed.

    Although this has been covered a few times in the past, I thought it
    would be a good time to post instructions on a simple test that will
    prevent this in the future for our other members

    Whenever a recoil spring is replaced, rack the slide and listen closely
    to what the gun is telling you. If you hear a sharp metallic "clink",
    chances are that all is well. If you hear a dull sound...not quite a thud
    but not quite NOT a thud...sort of a "crunchy" sound...you might not want to fire the pistol just yet.

    Take a small strip of masking tape and stick it to the dust cover. Remove the recoil spring plug. If you have the standard "stub" guide rod, leave the
    spring in place too. Be sure that the bushing is rotated completely out of the way in a clockwise direction when looking into the muzzle. If you
    have a full-length guide rod, you may remove the recoil spring.

    Pull the slide fully rearward and hold it there while you make a witness mark on the tape that aligns with the end of the slide. Make this mark
    as close to exact as you can.

    Replace the recoil spring and/or plug, and pull the slide fully rearward
    again. Check the mark on the tape to see that the end of the slide
    is aligned with the mark. If the front of the slide aligns with the mark, you're good to go. If the end of the slide is FORWARD of the mark, you have coil bind, and the spring must be trimmed. If the pistol is fired with a coil bind condition, the very least that will happen is that the bushing will be quickly ruined. In a worst-case, the slide will be damaged beyond any reasonable repair, and the damage can be done as early as the first round. Clip a half-coil at a time until the marks align, and you can hear the metal-to-metal sound when the slide is racked briskly...and then
    trim an extra half-coil just to be sure.

    The package may say that the part is a "Drop-In"...and it may very well
    drop right in and work...but it might not. Read the disclaimer that states:

    "This part should be installed by a qualified gunsmith."

    And so, armed with a little knowledge, we press ever onward...

    Last edited: May 20, 2004
  2. sm

    sm member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Between black coffee, and shiftn' gears

    Thank you for posting this.

    I recently explained the exact same to someone. He did in fact have to "clip".

    Information like this is invaluable.

    I'm always saying in Shotguns, "what a barrel or choke is marked - don't mean that is what it will actually pattern", you have to let the pattern board determine".

    Same principles apply to different platforms. Just because it "says so " don't make it so.

  3. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

    Jan 3, 2003
    South PA, and a bit West of center!
    Thx Tuner ... well worth referring to this by many I'd reckon. Good stuff .... and probably save someone (people) some grief.
  4. U.S.SFC_RET

    U.S.SFC_RET Participating Member

    Dec 5, 2005
    The Old Dominion State
    Tuner what do you mean by dust cover?
  5. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    May 22, 2003
    Lexington,North Carolina...or thereabouts
    Dust Cover

    Howdy, and welcome aboard.

    Technically, the name is Recoil Spring Tunnel...but recently everybody has been calling it the Dust Cover. So, to avoid confusion...I followed suit.
    Like "Barrel Throat" when describing the barrel ramp. The throat is
    actually at the front of the chamber, just ahead of the cartridge stop shoulder...but if I called a ramp, everybody'd think I was referring to the frame's feed ramp.

    Clear as mud...ain't it?;)
  6. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Mentor

    Jan 26, 2004
    Thank you Tuner. Did the check (simple and easy and makes complete sense) on my Combat Gov't Model (the one with the funky soon to be replaced disconnector) The mark lines up with the end of the slide, so I'm goin' to the range. :D
  7. ladybelledog

    ladybelledog New Member

    Feb 2, 2010
    need help on link and pin gold cup

    i have a gold cup with link hole.008 larger than slide stop pin.the link has .010 slop between the lug.can i close this up with a different link.width of link and link slide stop holehole.the slide stop pin is .196 and link hole is.204.width of link is .133 and width of lug is.143.what can i do,does any thing need to be done.thanks randy
  8. BBBBill

    BBBBill Participating Member

    Mar 7, 2005
    Alabama and Florida
    Randy, welcome aboard. You should have started a new thread for this as it is unrelated to the subject.
    Here's factory specs for your issues.

    Slide stop pin diameter - .2005"-.002" (.1985" min) Your's is not in spec, though you can often find them as small as .196" and the guns run well enough. Oversized slide stops are avilable form several sources. I like EGW. They have stops as large as .203" for frames that are worn or out of spec.
    Bottom link hole diameter - My print is blurred on this, but .203"-.204" is common with some as large as .206". I've seen a few larger than that.
    Lug slot width - .138"+.005" (.143" max). Your's is in spec.
    Link width - .136"-.003" (.133" min). Your's is in spec.
    Slide stop pin hole in frame - .201"+ .002" (.203" max) You didn't give that dimension.

    Now the questions are -
    Is it an older Gold Cup NM with the lightened slide? Do you run the appropriate spring weight for the load (common error with a Gold Cup)? How well does your gun run now? Is it reliable? Is it accurate? How many rounds have been through it? How often/how many rounds do you shoot? Does it lock up well or is there lots of slop in the barrel fit? How much mechanical wear is present? What are your goals for this gun?

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