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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
If your pistol cycles and feeds and ejects reliably, is it really necessary to replace the recoil spring? or do you decide by the round count? like every 3,000 rds replace the spring if it needs it or not? right now mine have at least 3,000 - 4,000 rds and they seem to work just fine, they dont feel weak or anything when I pull back the slide.

How often does the military replace the recoil spring? do they even keep track of how many rounds have been fired out of each M1911? or do they just replace them when needed? or if the gun starts jamming or shows signs of needing a new spring?
 

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As long as things are working fine I wouldn't worry about it, although it's a good idea to keep a couple on hand just in case. Also it seems like not all springs are created equal, some just seem to wear out faster than others.
 

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If your pistol cycles and feeds and ejects reliably, is it really necessary to replace the recoil spring?
Not at all. If you're car is running just fine, do you replace the spark plugs??? Same kind of deal here. I've. Heard of people replacing springs at set intervals, but it's not at all necessary.
 

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This becomes more a matter of opinion than of absolute fact, at least with a full size 45acp 1911 which is somewhat forgiving of imperfections.

My opinion is that an older, weakened recoil spring causes greater impact stresses on the internals of a 1911 (lower barrel lugs, VIS, etc.). And it also increases the risks of malfunctions on the forward cycling motion ... due to less energy being stored.

Of course, the counter argument is a "so what" response ... I.e., the gun is still working and 1911s are built pretty tough to handle a lot of stress.

An individual's view of these two opposing perspectives will define that person's beliefs on this matter.

Given that replacent recoil springs cost next to nothing in comparison to ammo costs, range fees, etc., I personally like to change them at recommended intervals.
 

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Do you change the oil in your car at regular intervals even though it runs fine?
You would if you're smart, but this is completely different than changing springs. Not changing oil will lead to degradation and accelerated wear. Not changing springs won't damage the gun at all.
 

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You would if you're smart, but this is completely different than changing springs. Not changing oil will lead to degradation and accelerated wear. Not changing springs won't damage the gun at all.
Not changing springs will increase the battering of the frame and slide as the recoil spring loses tension. It might not be the same as changing your oil, but it's a lot like replacing your shocks or struts. Letting them go will accelerate wear on the other components over time, so it's a good idea to replace them before they wear out.
 

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Not changing springs will increase the battering of the frame and slide as the recoil spring loses tension. It might not be the same as changing your oil, but it's a lot like replacing your shocks or struts. Letting them go will accelerate wear on the other components over time, so it's a good idea to replace them before they wear out.
My only problem with this is when I see slow motion videos of various spring weights, I don't see much difference in the battering. Furthermore, I have noticed zero wear in any of my pistols. Some are still going strong on the original spring.

I would suggest that if it's still got the umph to return to battery consistently, then accelerated wear do to increased battering is probably a non issue??? Just a thought.
 

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It's pretty hard to tell when a spring is losing its oomph. The Marines pushed their test Colt M45A1 pistols past 3,000 rounds and ended up cracking the slides, leading Colt to redesign the weapons with a dual recoil spring setup. You do what you want with your pistols, but on my high-use guns I replace the springs as soon as they become noticeably shorter than a new spring that has been broken in.
 

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Well, preventive maintenance is certainly never a bad idea.

And as brother chrysanthemum said, springs are cheap.
 

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Distance the ejected case is thrown is a fairly good indicator.
They always bounce off the divider and whack me in the forehead regardless. Maybe I should keep a log of how big the welts get? :dope:
 

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I suppose it has a lot to do with what its purpose is. If it is a duty, competition, or carry gun, then i would do preventive maintenance simply because you dont want that first mishap to happen at the worst possible time. If it is a range/fun only gun then not changing it doesnt really matter as much until there is a problem.
 

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I'm sure changing recoil springs at 3K is overkill.
However, they are cheap and when you shoot a bunch in competition you don't want any malfs so...
 

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We always changed the valve springs on the race bikes at around 200 runs. Now these are race engines that idle at around 3000 RPM and for 7+seconds run in excess of 12K RPM.
That's a lot of cycles and considerably more pressure than a recoil spring in a 1911.

So long as the spring is not stacking inside the gun it should last well beyond 3000 rounds. If it is stacking, there is something basic wrong with the design of the spring. Stacking, btw, means coils touching coils on compression. A state to be avoided.
 

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I generally use Wolff Springs' guidelines: If my pistol's ejecting brass farther than about 8', then I go to a stronger spring. :)
 

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Ejection gets erratic, the gun will cycle more harshley, and may not lock back on the last round as reliably. If the magazine springs are also weak it may have issues feeding the last round. Mainly the slide and frame will not last as long. Mine will split a shock buffer quite quickly as well. It's cheap insurance.

I don't put a ton of rounds through my guns, but use and carry them enough that springs (firing pin, recoil, and magazine) get replaced when needed.
 

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I tend to replace recoil somewhere between 3 and 4k rounds. Its more a matter of habit than necessity, but I carry all my 1911s regularly so I tend to think of it as preventative maintenance. I don't want to have a failure at an inopportune time, look back, and think all for the want of a horseshoe nail....
 
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