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what is the practical service life of the mainspring?

I regularly change the recoil and firing pin springs at prescribed intervals, based on either round count and/or recoil spring length/set, but I have never changed the mainspring on any of my 1911s nor 2011s...
 

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HI,
having worked in the trade for 29 years I have seen 1, ONE Main spring break ever.

I see your 3000 rounds and I raise you 30,000

I did see an issue with a dry gun, aluminum ms hsng that was pretty mean looking inside. Dry dry.

geo

www.egwguns.com
 

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I've got a pistol that has probably 100,000 rounds thru it over 30 years. I put the mainspring in it in 1982 or '83.
 

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Got one with 50,000 plus with original mainspring. Could be why my trigger pull keeps getting better :scratch:
 

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the mainspring is not a service/maintenance part
its a part just like the Trigger bow
you dont replace it as part of maintenance
it gets replaced when you change something the requires it
(i have a 23lb in to maximize the effect of reducing slide reward velocity)

so im with George
I see your 3000 rounds and I raise you 30,000
 

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If you don't care that your 23# spring is slowly weakening over time to a 14# spring then don't worry about it. If you want it to remain near its rating, you better listen to Ed Brown.
 

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Got one with 50,000 plus with original mainspring. Could be why my trigger pull keeps getting better :scratch:

ditto!
My first wadcutter has over 53,000. Still has the original mainspring, extractor & firing pin. Recoil spring gets changed out every 5000 or so as all I shoot through it is precision Bullseye loads.

Al
 

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Check mainspring weight using a drill press. I use a small light vise like this one,

http://www.micromark.com/quick-jaw-vise-2-1and4-inch-capacity,8093.html

a scale like this one,

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008D6V2D2/ref=pe_385040_30332200_TE_item

and my drill press with a 1/8" diameter steel rod about 3" long clamped in the chuck.

Nothing special about the equipment - just what I use.

Firmly clamp the fully assembled mainspring housing in the vise oriented with the cap up (normal position). Place the vise on top of the scale and place both on the the drill press table. Adjust the height so that the steel rod clamped in the drill press chuck almost touches the top of the mainspring cap and is centered in the cup in the cap.

Zero (tare) the scale.

For a quick spring check, slowly move the chuck holding the 1/8" pin down until the mainspring cap just starts to lose contact with the mainspring cap pin. A 19 lb mainspring will read about 15 lbs on the scale. A 23 lb mainspring will read about 20 lbs on the scale.

If the drill press has a precise scale for measuring chuck movement, it can be used to measure spring rate by comparing the scale readings at two (or more) different compression amounts and dividing the difference in scale readings in pounds by the difference in chuck movement in inches.

Dividing the measured spring rate by 1.2 will provide the spring weight at 1" (normal) compression. A 23 lb mainspring has a spring rate of about 28 lb/in and a 19 lb mainspring has a spring rate of about 23 lb/in.

Not exactly precise, but probably as close as the spring weight markings on a new spring package.
 
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