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what power spring to use

1077 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  1saxman
Just curious as to what power recoil spring I ought to replace in my TRS. I know that Baer's use 18.5# but always liked the 16# for less battering on the slide stop. I shoot nothing but 230grain. What do you all use?
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I won't quote him, because he may not want to get involved in this personally, but I asked a well-known gunsmith recently about this. Not to put words in his mouth, I told him what my understanding of this question was and he replied that I was pretty much right.

With 230 grain ball ammo, you can prolly shoot a properly set up 1911 with a 16# spring till the cows come home and you won't have any problem with it.

Here's what I wrote to him. . .

I took the 16# spring out of my Springfield milspec and put in an 18.5# and it's a pain to rack. I can't make heads/tails out of the forum posts (it's like religion or art), but my sense is the shock buff came about when competition shooter started shooting light target loads with lighter springs. I'm also guessing my full sized will shoot normally loaded 230 grain bullets just fine with the 16# spring and no buff, but I'd sure like your opinion on it. Thanks. Sending a work order in this coming weekend.
and here is his reply. . .

Thanks for getting in touch. You've got the spring thing figured out for a 5" .45 shooting ball ammo.
OTOH, from what I've read here a good percentage (if not a majority) of folks use 17, 17.5, 18 and 18.5# springs without a bobble, either. Personally, I'm going to have my gun thoroughly tuned by this gunsmith, and then I plan to carry it and shoot maybe 2,500 rounds a year through it with the stock 16# spring and no intention of ever using a shok buff.

I think it's a testament to the 1911 that this range of springs can be used without apparent problem. Far from being "finicky" the 1911 is a very robust design which will work within wide parameters.

Personal preference, says I, use what you like. I am not a gunsmith, and I don't play one on TV [/full disclosure].
 

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You will find that a 1911 will work with a 16# spring, with just about any reasonable load. Using lighter springs, to "tune" the feel of the gun as it cycles, is common among competition shooters. For full-power ammo, 16# is the correct spring, but a pound or two, as long as the gun runs, isn't going to make much difference, interms of funcitonal reliability. I know guys using 10# springs in their competition guns, because they like how it "feels", but they are using light, "major power" loads.
 

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No. The mainspring shouldn't need frequent changing; I don't think Ive ever changed one, unless it was to change the rate. I use full-power springs (23#) on my "weapons", and reduced-power (19#) on my game guns.
 

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I like the Wollf 'Variable Power' 16.5# spring for my otherwise original Government Model and M1911A1. It's simply a variable rate spring, with the coils spaced tighter at the rear. This allows a slightly easier initial movement of the slide for ease in loading, but the spring gets stiffer toward the end of slide travel, reducing battering. I also use an Ed Brown buffer with it to further soften the impact of the slide dust cover. A Wollf Extra-Power firing pin spring complements the recoil spring. This set-up is for full-power 230 gr loads and would probably cause ejection/loading problems with lighter loads.
 
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