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I would like to explore the recoil spring subject in a bit more detail and get the Masters take on the subject. I understand the nature of the difference between a variable wound and conventional wound recoil spring. However, what are the pros and cons of each? Which one is better for a Limited 40 and why? The way I see it, a variable wound srping unlocks the gun a bit faster, yet slows the slide down more as it compresses. Does it accelerate the slide in the reverse order, that is, accelerate the slide faster at the begining of its decompression and slows the slide down at the end of its cycle? If so, would it be a better choice for slide recoil management, that is if the above operation of the spring is correct. Would a variable wound spring affect which weight would be recommended? I would be interesed in any thoughts others may have on this subject.
 

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From wolff web site:

1. What is the difference between conventional and variable recoil springs?

The difference is both physical and operational. On a conventional spring, all the coils are spaced equally apart, except for the closed ends. In a variable recoil spring the space varies between coils with less space between coils at one end and more space between coils at the other end. The way the springs store energy is also different. For example if a conventional recoil spring is compressed 1/2", it might store 1 pound of energy. For every additional 1/2" this spring is compressed it would then store 1 additional pound of energy. When a variable recoil spring is compressed 1/2", it might store 1/4 pound of energy. The next half inch of compression might store 1/2 pound, the next half inch might store 3/4 pound and so on. In other words, a conventional spring stores energy on a straight line and a variable spring stores energy on a curve. If both springs are rated at 16 pounds, they will both store 16 pounds when compressed to the same working length, but the way they get to 16 pounds is different.




2. Should I use a conventional or variable spring when both are available?


The choice is often very subjective. Variable recoil springs reduce the battery load values with increasingly greater recoil load values. This results in easier unlocking, improved recoil energy storage, dampening, feeding, breaching and lockup. Variable recoil springs are particularly beneficial with compensated pistols and when using light target loads where less recoil energy is available. Conventional recoil springs are particularly beneficial when shooting heavier loads where keeping the slide closed as long as possible is desired. The "correct type" of recoil spring is best determined through experimentation and your own personal preference.
 

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From my personal experience, both work well when matched to the load, but I do notice the variable rate springs have a higher tolerance range for reliable functioning. For example using a std 16lb spring with bullseye target loads(200gr swc and 3.9gr Clays), I will get about 5-10 stovepipes out of a hundred rounds. With the 16lb variable rate spring, I won't get any stovepipes. Anyone else with similar experiences.
 
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