Increased Power Recoil Spring?

Mike J

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I have a Ruger Max-9. Galloway sells an increased power recoil spring. It is said to be 10% stronger than the stock spring. The purpose is supposed to be to reduce recoil. It also comes with a stainless guide rod.
The reasons I am interested is two fold. One is I have seen reports of damage to the gun from the stock spring rubbing against the inside of the metal frame. The other being I tried out 147 grain HST's in it. I fired about 50 rounds. The third and fourth rounds I fired of the first magazine did not quite return to battery. The slide stop did not engage it just didn't fully lock up. I gave the slide a push with my thumb & the rounds chambered.
My question is what are the chances of damage being caused by using an increased power recoil spring? Is it likely to cause me a problem later?
 
None and no.

My answer is flippant, but you need to address the cause of your failures- and your gun's.

A stock gun should function correctly with all (or most) factory loaded ammo. The fact that yours didn't it is likely not the fault of the gun but the operator.

When is the last time you cleaned it? When is the last time you lubricated it? Despite Internet lore, all firearms need to be cleaned and lubricated, if not often, at least periodically.
 
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The Galloway RS assembly doesn't cost much. $33 free shipping. So it wouldn't hurt to try it.
It that doesn't smooth things out, I'd send it back to Ruger.
 
I have a Ruger Max-9. Galloway sells an increased power recoil spring. It is said to be 10% stronger than the stock spring. The purpose is supposed to be to reduce recoil. It also comes with a stainless guide rod.
The reasons I am interested is two fold. One is I have seen reports of damage to the gun from the stock spring rubbing against the inside of the metal frame. The other being I tried out 147 grain HST's in it. I fired about 50 rounds. The third and fourth rounds I fired of the first magazine did not quite return to battery. The slide stop did not engage it just didn't fully lock up. I gave the slide a push with my thumb & the rounds chambered.
My question is what are the chances of damage being caused by using an increased power recoil spring? Is it likely to cause me a problem later?
Before I bought it I would check inside. Do you see any rubbing in there that looks like it could get bad?
As for feeding not quite seating a round is not really something I would try to fix with more spring. How new is the pistol? Has it had a good break in? If so cleaned recently? What lube? On semi's I long have preferred grease to oil. Grease tends to stay where you need it FAR better. LIGHT amount on any surface that is sliding.
 
I have a Ruger Max-9. Galloway sells an increased power recoil spring. It is said to be 10% stronger than the stock spring. The purpose is supposed to be to reduce recoil. It also comes with a stainless guide rod.
The reasons I am interested is two fold. One is I have seen reports of damage to the gun from the stock spring rubbing against the inside of the metal frame. The other being I tried out 147 grain HST's in it. I fired about 50 rounds. The third and fourth rounds I fired of the first magazine did not quite return to battery. The slide stop did not engage it just didn't fully lock up. I gave the slide a push with my thumb & the rounds chambered.
My question is what are the chances of damage being caused by using an increased power recoil spring? Is it likely to cause me a problem later?
Are you saying the slide stop did not engage when the mag was empty?
 
Are you saying the slide stop did not engage when the mag was empty?
No. Some people have had an issue with the slide lock engaging while rounds are still in the magazine. That is not happening. It just didn’t fully return to battery.
 
Not returning to battery is most likely a friction issue and it can come from multiple sources of friction. In my Sig P365 if I eased the slide closed it would not return to battery. I polished the breechface, the left adjacent wall to the breech face, and the underside of the extractor claw. Now you cannot ease the slide closed slowly enough to prevent it from going into battery. But if gunpowder residue builds up on the breech face, it increases resistance and can eventually prevent my P365 from going back into battery if the slide is eased closed.

Another source of friction is the guide rod itself. I've had Sig, Rival Arms, and ISMI guide rods and NONE of them were smooth. They were turned on a lathe and the lathe turning marks were NOT polished smooth. This adds another source of friction. I disassemble my return spring assemblies, polish the guide rods, and re-assemble, and they are quieter and feel smoother when racking the slide.

Make sure that the slide rails are smooth, clean, and lubed.

A disconnector can add friction. Make sure that is is clean and lubed.

Granted, a weak recoil spring could also be a problem. I measure the force required to retract my slide periodically so I know the condition of my recoil springs and know when to replace them before I have malfunctions. I use one RSA for target shooting and a carry with another RSA with a very low round count.

I've gone from 115 gr standard pressure ammo to using 124 gr +P ammo. The stock recoil spring in my P365XL is rated at 17 lbs. I'll be testing out and comparing an 18 lb recoil spring at the range next week to see if it makes any difference.
 
I have a Ruger Max-9. Galloway sells an increased power recoil spring. It is said to be 10% stronger than the stock spring. The purpose is supposed to be to reduce recoil. It also comes with a stainless guide rod.
The reasons I am interested is two fold. One is I have seen reports of damage to the gun from the stock spring rubbing against the inside of the metal frame. The other being I tried out 147 grain HST's in it. I fired about 50 rounds. The third and fourth rounds I fired of the first magazine did not quite return to battery. The slide stop did not engage it just didn't fully lock up. I gave the slide a push with my thumb & the rounds chambered.
My question is what are the chances of damage being caused by using an increased power recoil spring? Is it likely to cause me a problem later?

1) will not reduce recoil, but should reduce the sharp impulse of the slide coming to an abrupt rearward stop.

2) lots of firearms have springs that rub. If it causes that much damage, it's a design flaw. If you still want to keep it and a guide rod fixes it go right ahead.

3) Increased power spring does the opposite of cause damage (see #1). Lots of manufacturers use "weak" springs because people complain about it being "too hard" to rack a slide and not playing well with lower powered target loads, truth be told it's more likely caused by limp wristing.

IMO new to newish pistol keep it sloppy lubed for the first 500.

If it fails to eject, or strip a fresh round, the you know the spring is too heavy or you need to improve your grip.
 
1) will not reduce recoil, but should reduce the sharp impulse of the slide coming to an abrupt rearward stop.

I would consider the impulse of the slide hitting the stop to be part of recoil, and I suspect that reducing this impulse will reduce muzzle flip to some degree.

3) Increased power spring does the opposite of cause damage (see #1). Lots of manufacturers use "weak" springs because people complain about it being "too hard" to rack a slide and not playing well with lower powered target loads, truth be told it's more likely caused by limp wristing.

I can't imagine that the slide slamming into the slide stop any harder than necessary is a good thing. A stronger spring will reduce this impact. But a stronger spring is going to increase the velocity of the slide as it slams into battery. I suspect that which is the greater evil will be dependent upon the design and quality of the particular firearm.

ALWAYS question authority and the status quo! Manufacturers in particular. Don't ignore what they tell you, but give it the smell test and see if what a manufacturer claims makes sense. It would not surprise me a bit that some manufacturers use weaker springs than optimum to reduce complaints. But for my carry pistols, I try to shoot a target round with characteristics as close to my self defense rounds as possible, and my goal is to optimize the recoil spring strength for the +P loads that I use.

In my P365 and P365XL, polishing the stripper rail reduced the amount of force needed to retract the slide over a magazine loaded to capacity. The stainless steel stripper rail in my P365 was so rough that it put deep scratches into the softer brass shell cases that it rubbed against. That was needless friction. Polishing the stripper rail was a better solution than using a stonger recoil spring, in my case.
 
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Springs and other parts cannot reduce recoil, only change how you perceive it.

Actual recoil is over very quickly, a couple/few tenths of an inch of rearward slide movement. All the rest is perceived recoil. That can be tailored to your taste in a number of ways.

A heavier recoil spring results in more perceived recoil for me. YMMV and I'm shooting a 1911.
 
I can't imagine that the slide slamming into the slide stop any harder than necessary is a good thing. A stronger spring will reduce this impact. But a stronger spring is going to increase the velocity of the slide as it slams into battery. I suspect that which is the greater evil will be dependent upon the design and quality of the particular firearm.

That's my spin on it as well.

I had a Browning HiPower for a while, and installed an extra power spring. The slide slammed into battery so hard the hammer followed it a few times. I don't think it was doing the locking lugs any favors, either.

Personally, I would replace the factory spring with a new factory spring, or equivalent, first. Clean and lube the pistol while you have it apart... then run it, again, and see how it does.
 
I have a Ruger Max-9.

. The third and fourth rounds I fired of the first magazine did not quite return to battery.

How did the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th magazine fire? Maybe your grip was off with the 1st mag?

Personally I would send it back to Ruger before futzing with aftermarket recoil springs and guide rods. It's not a 1911... This is a relatively new gun for Ruger.
 
How did the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th magazine fire? Maybe your grip was off with the 1st mag?

Personally I would send it back to Ruger before futzing with aftermarket recoil springs and guide rods. It's not a 1911... This is a relatively new gun for Ruger.
Everything else ran fine. This thread has me thinking my grip may have not been tight enough for those two rounds. I was just curious if this might be a worthwhile modification. If there were any negative consequences of changing it.
 
Everything else ran fine. This thread has me thinking my grip may have not been tight enough for those two rounds. I was just curious if this might be a worthwhile modification. If there were any negative consequences of changing it.

It could just be you. I wouldn't worry about it, if it doesn't happen again.

Edited to add: These little sub compact polymer 9mm pistols require a firm grip & locked forearms to function correctly. Your failures to return to battery are classic signs of "limp wristing."

I shoot / carry a Ruger LC9s Pro (discontinued by Ruger) which I believe the Max-9 is based on. I use a firmer grip (squeeze it more) than I do with my larger polymer pistols as it likes to move around in my hands.

You might consider some rubber stick on grips.
 
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First 50rds through gun or how many rounds does it have?

If it’s not returning to battery with full blown ammo then there is an issue.
 
It could just be you. I wouldn't worry about it, if it doesn't happen again.

Edited to add: These little sub compact polymer 9mm pistols require a firm grip & locked forearms to function correctly. Your failures to return to battery are classic signs of "limp wristing."

I shoot / carry a Ruger LC9s Pro (discontinued by Ruger) which I believe the Max-9 is based on. I use a firmer grip (squeeze it more) than I do with my larger polymer pistols as it likes to move around in my hands.

You might consider some rubber stick on grips.
I already put some tread tape on it.
 
First 50rds through gun or how many rounds does it have?

If it’s not returning to battery with full blown ammo then there is an issue.
I had about 450 rounds through the gun before that range trip. It happened with Federal HST LE147 grain. It happened twice then not again. It may have been my grip.

Edited to remove redundancy.
 
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There is one side benefit of shooting these little guns. After shooting it I shot my Dagger compact. My groups were tighter than they were the last time I shot it. These little pistols make you very aware of anything you are doing wrong.
 
I had shot rifles and shotguns when I was a teenager. But I had NEVER shot a pistol until December of 2020 when I was 66 years old. Granted, I have large hands and most people would think that I have a strong grip. But you would think that as someone new to shooting pistols that at some point I wouldn't grip the pistol properly and have a malfunction because of it. But the only malfunction that I have had with either my Sig P365 or P365XL has been ME dropping a round while trying to load the magazines.

So either I'm that good that I haven't had a malfunction, or the P365 series is just a very good pistol design tolerant of my operator errors.

Granted, I've also taken the time to perform internal parts polishing to remove unnecessary sources of friction that most people never bother to do.

But as the saying goes, one test is worth 1,000 opinions.

So this week I'll be comparing a 17 lb vs an 18 lb recoil spring with Magtech 9A 115 gr 9 mm ammo rated at 1,135 fps muzzle velocity and 329 ft lbs muzzle energy vs Sig M17 Nato 124 gr +P 9mm ammo rated at 1,198 fps muzzle velocity and 395 ft lbs muzzle energy and see how they perform with each recoil spring. FYI, both recoil springs are made by ISMI, and both guide rods are made by ISMI, so this should be as close to an apples to apples comparison test as possible.

My first priority is to determine which recoil spring will perform best with the Sig +P ammo. Secondarily, to determine whether or not the 18 lb spring will cause any malfunctions with a weaker powder load.

Does anyone want to bet whether or not my perceptions as a relatively new shooter will even be good enough to tell the difference?
 
It runs fine with 124 grain Hornady XTP. I wanted to use the 147 grain because most gel tests seem to indicate that heavy for caliber bullets expand more reliably from short barreled 9mm pistols. Of course, if the pistol will not reliably chamber & fire them that is a moot point. It did feed 40 rounds with no issue after that first magazine though.
 
None and no.

My answer is flippant, but you need to address the cause of your failures- and your gun's.

A stock gun should function correctly with all (or most) factory loaded ammo. The fact that yours didn't it is likely not the fault of the gun but the operator.

When is the last time you cleaned it? When is the last time you lubricated it? Despite Internet lore, all firearms need to be cleaned and lubricated, if not often, at least periodically.
I have cleaned & lubricated it after every range trip.
 
I have cleaned & lubricated it after every range trip.
Good for you!

Many guys don't.

A chamber brush is a good item to add to your arsenal of cleaning brushes.

Specifically designed to get at the corners of the chamber to ensure the case seats fully.
 
Good for you!

Many guys don't.

A chamber brush is a good item to add to your arsenal of cleaning brushes.

Specifically designed to get at the corners of the chamber to ensure the case seats fully.
It depends on the gun. If there is a chance I might carry it I clean after every range trip. I wont carry a dirty gun. I honestly think this gun requires a firmer grip. The micros are different from larger guns.
 
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