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I'm working with two guns, Colt Combat Commader and Sig 220ST.

I went to the range with some mild handloads and the Commander did fine. It did jam one factory load, though.

The Sig had a problem. The recoil was enough to cock the gun but not eject the spent casing.

I went to the Wolf spring website and it says the factory strength for the Colt's recoil spring is 18 pounds. It says the Sig's spring is 20 pounds.

Pulling the slides back on each gun, it sure feels like more of a difference than 2 pounds. Actually, the Colt feels almost too light while the Sig feels waaaay too heavy.

Is Wolf correct? And, why would Sig want a 20 pound recoil spring? Is Sig more prone to damage from battering?
 

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Are the springs factory standard?

P&R1951 said:
I went to the Wolf spring website and it says the factory strength for the Colt's recoil spring is 18 pounds. It says the Sig's spring is 20 pounds.
Are you sure that the actual springs in your guns have the exact spring constants you saw in the Wolff website? The best way to test them is to remove them from the gun and hang weights on them to see how far they stretch with a given weight. Spring constants are given in pounds per inch, so a 20 pound coil spring should stretch one inch when a 20 pound force is applied to it, or half an inch when a 10 pound force is applied, etc. Make sure you don't exceed the elastic limit and permanently stretch the spring.

How to test a spring
 

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Gun springs are not specified according to the physics lab spring constant of lbs force per inch of deflection, but by the force to compress them as much as in the gun. So a 20 lb spring is not 20 lbs per inch, but 20 lbs to the full recoil position.

Sig Sauer used to use a 15 lb recoil spring in P220 .45ACP. Why they made such a great change to 20, I don't know. My well used older P220 is not battered.

Colt springs are frequently softer than the book specification. Also, unless you cocked the hammer, the mainspring has a strong effect on slide movement, and will differ from gun to gun.

Wolff makes "calibration packs" of assorted springs so you can pick the one to suit your gun and your ammo. See if they have one for P220.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Jim Watson said:
Gun springs are not specified according to the physics lab spring constant of lbs force per inch of deflection, but by the force to compress them as much as in the gun. So a 20 lb spring is not 20 lbs per inch, but 20 lbs to the full recoil position.

Sig Sauer used to use a 15 lb recoil spring in P220 .45ACP. Why they made such a great change to 20, I don't know. My well used older P220 is not battered.

Colt springs are frequently softer than the book specification. Also, unless you cocked the hammer, the mainspring has a strong effect on slide movement, and will differ from gun to gun.

Wolff makes "calibration packs" of assorted springs so you can pick the one to suit your gun and your ammo. See if they have one for P220.
Re your observations about Sig's and Colt's springs, I concur. I think I would like a stiffer spring for the Colt and a softer spring for the Sig. Maybe same weight for both since there doesn't seem to be any danger in battering either gun.

Could you recommend a starting weight for me? I use mostly handloads. Usually 5.6 grains Unique over a 200 grain SWC plated bullet. Sometimes I shoot WWB 230 grain FMJ factory ammo.
 

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5.6 of Unique is a pretty light load; a spring a couple of pounds below standard will work fine. You certainly don't want to bump the spring rate up for light loads.
 

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Dont worry about the feel of the slide. As Wolff says, if the empties land three to six feet away, you are fine. If they just dribble out the port, the spring is heavy, if they go into orbit, it is light.

I'd get a 15 for the P220 and see where the brass goes from the Commander before changing.
 
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