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Discussion Starter #1
I have an unmodified Colt 1991 NRM 5" (540 rounds, zero malfunctions). I shoot full power factory rounds and more sedate reloads, 185-230 grain bullets. With factory springs functioning is OK with all charges, even quite low. Spent cases are good, not bulged; ejection is on the "far" side and many primers have a LITTLE indent, sign perhaps of a little early slide opening. In this forum I read to choose the stronger recoil spring that allows proper cycling, in Brian Enos springs forum I read the opposite, even for general use guns. I'd like to have your counseils about wich spring weight and type (constant or variable) choose. Many thanks to all.
 

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Hey MAXM, I have a 1991 also and when I first started handloading I thought I would need to step down in the recoil spring for my milder loads. I went with a 14lb but later found the gun still cycles properly with the factory 16lb so it's back in. I have 1300 rds thru mine and the only failures I had were related to reloads with wrong OALs.

Your primer marks are probably due to the firing pin spring that Colt uses. Try an extra power f.p. spring from Wolff Gunsprings and your problem should go away.

P.S. Wolff packs an EX power F.P. spring with every recoil spring, think of it as a freebie :D . I'd stick to 14lb to 16lb range, just don't use the lighter spring with hot loads.
 

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Well since you said you shoot normally full power and have some experience with "far" flung empties I would say it may be benefical to move up a bit. The 16# is standard issue, but my standard spring is the Wolfe 17.5# variable rate. I have had no issues using these springs and get appropriate ejection distance with reliable cyclying. I think the rule of thumb is to use the heaviest recoil spring which will allow your gun to cycle reliably. I also get the little extra protection against frame battering with the heavier spring. As usual, buy a couple and try it out for a couple hundred rounds and see what happens. Using the 17.5# I have had no issues when I use a lighter load either, but when I say light, I only refering to maybe a 10-15% lighter load for general practice.

Shoots safe and have fun!!

Gunslinger
 

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I mentioned on another thread that I use 20lb springs because I want to reduce slide and frame battering. I don't like to use buffs because they don't allow me to sling shot the slide when it's locked back on all my guns. Also, with lighter springs the empties go into orbit. I try to keep them from ejecting any more than 10 fet away, becuase any more than that, and the slide velocity is too much to suit me.

Some guys recommended I try 16lb springs, so I did last weekend, and the empties flew up to 20 ft away...no good. This also requires a shock buff...no good. Some of the guys that I used to shoot PPC and IDPA with, used springs all the way up to 32 lb with no failures to cycle, and no long term damage. I still shoot mine in IDPA (a Kimber) with a 20lb spring, and I can even hold it with one finger and the thumb, and it still cycles. this is with 230 factory ball.

Oh, by the way, I don't think Brian Enos (see posting above) has to buy too many 1911's out of his own pocket, or worries if they will last for more than a shooting season.
 

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Just remember that a heavier recoil spring will send the slide forward harder which will increase the battering of the barrel's lower legs and on the slide stop and slide stop hole (cause it to get elongated) too. If the brass is going too far with a 16 lb spring then you might want to tune your extractor and/or ejector. I use a full size Kimber also but at present it has a shock buffer from CP Buffs in it and my brass usually lands around 6 feet away - without a buff it's around 10 feet. I have ordered some buffs from Brownell's that are .090 thick to try to see if it will allow the slide enough travel to be sling-shot-ed. Another thing thats important about recoil springs is their length - you want to make sure that they aren't too long and are stacking up which can cause the barrel bushing and/or slide to break. I use to be a fan of heavier recoil springs too (trying to do all I could to protect my pistol) but after picking the brain of a long time 1911 tuner I found out that I was causing another problem while trying to solve one. Actually causing more than one, it also will give you feeding problems sooner due to out running your mag springs. As always YMMV.

Ken
 

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Yes, I thought about the slide slamming foreward and causing problems, but some well known builders told me that the act of feeding the cartridge, with the friction caused along the feed ramp, and also the drag of the following case head (the one still in the mag) on the bottom of the slide negates this (still talking about a 20lb spring, not 30lb.), so I am not worried about that kind of damage.

If I found some thin buffers, I might give them a try. I'm still only talking 20lb, which is not that much more than the 16-18 lb springs you guys swear by....it's just a tad heavier.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
cra955, excuse me for my delayed reply. I have a Chrony, but I' don't have yet measured my actual reloads. However, I'm happy with my M1991 NRM:) and my reloads too (no malfunctions).
I've ordered a 17.5 lbs Wolff recoil variable rate spring and a heavy duty firing pin spring and will try them.
Thanks for all your useful and kind responses,
MAXM
 
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