Author Topic: 45acp recoil springs??  (Read 1992 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline 1911crazy

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4931
  • Gender: Male
45acp recoil springs??
« on: July 26, 2005, 01:22:58 pm »
I had a problem with a colt series 80 with the sights comming loose so i got P!ssed off and sold it.  I had no clue about changing the recoil springs because of my hotter reloads.  I just ordered a full length recoil spring guide with 18lb spring for $13 for both my 45's but i also ordered a 20lb, 22lb and 23lb recoil springs too.  I mainly shoot the russian wolf ammo and some reloads now and then but i carry 185gr hotter stuff.  Most guys say the 18lb spring will do it but i'm not sure.  What do you think am i on the right track?  I have a NIB SA since the mid 80's I haven't shot that much too. I want to get more into 45's now but i want to be sure how to tune them for the ammo i'm shooting.  Do you put stronger recoil springs till the gun doesn't cycle then back off till it does to be sure you have the correct recoil spring tention?  I have been reluctant to shoot my 45's beacuse of this past problem. I like the feel and its fun to shoot them but I don't want to hurt them either.   Any suggestions?               BigBill


Offline Mikey

  • GBO Supporter
  • Moderator
  • Trade Count: (2)
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9029
45acp recoil springs??
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2005, 01:58:35 pm »
Yo BigBill - the full length recoil spring guides have not been shown to improve accuracy.  They may help though.

As for springs - your SA should have come from the factory with 16-18 lb recoil springs.  I have always stuffed my 1911s, whether 45 or 38 Super, with 22 pounders.  I don't shoot anything but ball in my 45, or comparable reloads (230 gn slugs at around 875'/sec) and my 45s don't hiccup a bit on that stuff.  Shoot some hot reloads in the 38 Super.  Never had a ftf or fte problem with any of my 1911s with the 22lb springs in either caliber.  BTW, get a spring kit - it should also contain a heavier firing pin spring and possibly a heavier hammer return spring.

It seems that lots of fellas had problems with the sights on the Colts coming off.  That was just one of the quality problems they had in the 70s and 80s.  I don't think it was weak springs.

Here's whatcha do - stuff a 20 pounder into your SA and go shootin'.  If you like the reduced recoil and the gun feeds and ejects properly, then there ya go.  If you want her to shoot a bit more softly, try the 22s.  HTH and Buenos Luck.  Mikey.

Offline 1911crazy

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4931
  • Gender: Male
45acp recoil springs??
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2005, 01:20:15 am »
Mikey;  Its  not about the accuracy its about the longivity of my gun lasting before it hammers itself apart.  I had an awesome Colt series 80 in nickel and now i have a still brand SA 45acp.  I just want it to be safer to shoot and hammer it.  The full length spring guide was recomended for the higher tention springs it has nothing to do with the accuracy. I guess its for spring curling up and to reduce binding I can't see it for anything else its more of a spring guide.  I had a gut feeling the springs in the low 20's would be in the ballpark.(20. 22, &23lb springs)                                                             BigBill

Offline Mikey

  • GBO Supporter
  • Moderator
  • Trade Count: (2)
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9029
45acp recoil springs??
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2005, 05:24:04 am »
BigBill - those spring guides were originally intended to improve accuracy and there is a real question as to whether that ever really worked.  I have used Wolff 22 pounders for about as long as I can remember and have never had a kinked spring.  

Anyhoo, I would install a set of 20 pounders and shoot that baby.  The heavier recoil springs will definately dampen the recoil and add longevity to the piece.  In fact, I'm about ready to head out to the range myself - loaded up a couple of hundred 45 ball over some VithaVuoriOy powder and need to bust a few targets.  I think a set of 20 pounders will give you an idea of how much easier it may be to shoot that SA and you will be much happier knowing you're not battering that piece into oblivion.  Then, of course you may want to try some 22 pounders and some different loads.  Doancha just love where this all takes ya (LOL).  HTH and have a ball.  Mikey.

Offline Kingfish

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 66
45acp recoil springs??
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2005, 02:50:02 pm »
I got two recoil spring sets from Wolff for my S80 Colt and finally settled on the 18 1/2lb variable coil spring for mine. I can shoot +P and my very mild target loads will still eject, barely, and land right next to me. I'm talking 4.0grns Bullseye or WST with a 200grn lswc.

Bill

PS: I using a full length guide rod with a shock buff in mine.

Offline 1911crazy

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4931
  • Gender: Male
45acp recoil springs??
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2005, 04:26:26 pm »
I just pumped up some Mag Tech 185 JHP's with 7.5grs of Unique thats a little under 900fps and i want to go to 7.8grs/950fps but i want the recoil spring problem solved first. This is my carry round.  I do shoot the 200 SWC lead besides hardball too also so i will need to know what springs to change to too.  I have a feeling that one gun can't shoot it all with one recoil spring.  So for now one gun for carry and one gun to shoot at the range.(SWC/hardball)  I just don't want anything to hammer itself apart again it was my own igornance about changing the recoil springs.  But we didn't have the net then?

Offline Iowegan

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • A Real Regular
  • ****
  • Posts: 647
45acp recoil springs??
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2005, 05:51:24 pm »
1911 recoil springs are available from 10lb to 24lb. It's almost as bad on the gun to over-spring it as it is to under-spring it. Over-springing a 1911 will make it harder to pull the slide back. It will "return" batter the barrel link, frame, slide, and barrel. Additionally, the brass won't eject properly and you will need to install a heavier firing pin spring with any recoil spring over 18 lbs, else you may get a slam fire (not with Colt Series 80s). Under-springing will damage the same parts in different places, probably worse.

Brass ejection distance is a good guide. Assuming your extractor is tensioned properly, your brass should land 5~6 feet away. If brass barely clears the gun, you are asking for malfunctions,  risk return battering, and are using a spring that is too stiff. If your brass flies beyond 6 feet, your spring is too light and you will get "recoil" battering.

A good general guideline is to use the spring designed for the load you intend to shoot. No one spring weight is good for all loads. I know a lot of shooters that never change their springs when they change loads. Not good! Here's a guideline for 45 ACPs:


10 lb - very light target loads, 185~200gr LSWC.
12 lb - light target loads, 200~220gr LSWC.
14 lb - medium target loads, 200~220gr LSWC.
16 lb - normal factory load, 230gr hardball
18 lb - +P factory load, 185~230gr jacketed bullets.
20 lb - heavy load.
22 lb – very heavy load, up to 260gr bullets.
24 lb – used with 10mm Auto only.

Based on your post, I would recommend an 18 lb spring for those 185gr loads, a 16 lb spring for hard ball, and a 14 lb for your target SWCs. Keep in mind, the above chart assumes you are using the proper powder charge weight.

As for the full length spring guides, they don't make a gun work much better nor do they enhance accuracy. Mostly they are just another way to spend money and make the gun harder to disassemble. I like to do a "press check" before holstering to make sure I have a round chambered. This is done by placing your left thumb inside the front of the trigger guard and your forefinger over the spring plug. Squeeze and the action opens far enough to see if a round is chambered. Can't do this with a full length spring guide. Shock buffers are just as worthless. I can't believe people pay a couple bucks for a little piece of rubber. Mostly, shock buffers don't allow the slide to move fully to the rear. This can cause extraction and feeding problems. Yes, they do help keep the spring guide from getting battered but they don't do a thing for the rest of the parts in the gun.

In conclusion, use the "right" recoil spring and you will prolong the life of your gun.
GLB

Offline Mikey

  • GBO Supporter
  • Moderator
  • Trade Count: (2)
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9029
45acp recoil springs??
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2005, 05:11:02 am »
Iowegan - great advice, thank you.  Mikey.

Offline 1911crazy

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4931
  • Gender: Male
45acp recoil springs??
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2005, 06:37:02 pm »
From looking at the heavier spring and the full length guide rod that i just installed in my norinco 1911a1 it appears to me the stronger spring with the full length guide puts less side pressure on the rails.  All the spring pressure is a straight line to the front or rear in the centerline of the gun and the bore. I think its worth the $13 to put full length guide rods in all my 45's. We'll see how she shoots next.

Offline IntrepidWizard

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
45acp recoil springs??
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2005, 07:07:26 pm »
With the CGP I shoot 100's of Wolf and then some Truncated carry rounds and not a problem
Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force! Like fire, it is
a dangerous servant and a fearful master. -- George Washington

Offline 1911crazy

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4931
  • Gender: Male
45acp recoil springs??
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2005, 02:57:56 am »
Iowegan; You are so right its not good to "over spring" or "under spring" the 1911a1 45acp I'm just looking for that sweet spot for the ammo i'm shooting.  I just want the exact spring for the ammo i'm shooting no more, no less. While the 18lb spring seems to be it and time will tell as everything breaks in.  Right now its doing exactly what i wanted it to do with the Wolf hardball. So far its the 18lber w/full length guide rod with Wolf ammo. The slide feels a tad stiffer but she shoots great with less recoil. I'm thinking of ordering a 17lb spring to see if there is any difference in recoil.  So far the 18lber looks to be the one but like you said about over spring and under spring.

Now that i have it close I notice the spring guide kit comes with a variable wound recoil spring. I know the variable spring has a tention power curve(arc) rather than a straight line tention the conventional spring has.  The variable spring multiplies the spring tention faster as it compresses. Both springs are the same tention in the end when compressed so its just which one you like better.  Thats something to think about when picking a new recoil spring too.  Its like sleeping with a hard pillow or a soft pillow.

Offline Iowegan

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • A Real Regular
  • ****
  • Posts: 647
45acp recoil springs??
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2005, 11:03:18 am »
BigBill, If you test any coil spring using a tension gauge, they all have a power curve. Example: an 18 lb spring starts off at about 16 lbs when the spring is the same compressed length as it would be in a gun with the slide in battery (4 inches). It gradually increases to 18 lbs about 3/4 of the way into the throw and continues to increase to about 20 lbs when fully compressed (2 inches). This gives an average of about 18 lbs over the slide throw of 2 inches.  Spring "weight" is tested with the spring installed in the gun and the slide is 1.5" into the throw. This measurement will match the number on the Wolff package within 1/2 lb. This concept is the same as a typical spring scale like a fish scale or bathroom scale. In other words, the more you compress a spring, the more pounds of tension it has, so basically all coil springs are variable tension.

Variable tension springs are wound with fewer coils per inch at one end and continue to increase in coils per inch to the other end. When you measure them, they start lower and end higher, but only by a very token amount.  When you look at a variable tension spring out of the gun, the concept looks good, however when the spring is in the gun, it is compressed to 4" at battery and 2" at full recoil.  So when the spring is "loaded", the min-to-max tension will be nearly identical to a conventional spring. Just another way to waste money.

Now for some more stuff on full length guide rods. They work but are no better or worse in any respect than a standard guide rod. They make the gun harder to field strip but do have "gee whiz braggin' rights". What you "feel" when manually operating the slide is not what happens when the gun recoils or rebounds. The barrel tilts on recoil thus applying considerable vertical pressure on the slide rails. Additionally, the fired bullet makes the barrel and slide torque, thus applying horizontal pressure on the slide rails. If you look closely at the slide rails, there is a bearing surface for both vertical and horizontal slide movement. Full length guide rods have no effect on how the slide tracks on the frame during recoil or rebound.

That brings us to the never ending false concept of the slide-to-frame fit. Most novice 1911 folks judge a gun by how tight the slide fits the frame. Actually, this has very little to do with accuracy but does impair function if the fit is too tight. A 1911 is designed where the barrel, bushing, and slide operate as a "locked" unit. The lower frame just holds things together. The fit between the barrel and bushing, bushing and slide, barrel lock rings-to-slide lock rings, and barrel hood-to-breach fit are the real accuracy issues. The slide can do the "floppy chicken" and still be an accurate gun if the top end is tight. Don't worry about slide wear, it doesn't really matter. Example: I have an old Colt Series 70 that I bought new in 1978 for a bullseye gun. It has had 10's of thousands of rounds through it and will still shoot the X ring out. When the gun was new, it had a mere .005" of slack between the slide and frame. It now has more than .020" of slack and is still just as accurate. Of course the top end is nice and tight.

I have my biased feelings about Wolf ammo too. I wouldn't use that stuff in any 1911. Look at your barrel's throat and the breach face after firing a few hundred rounds of steel cases. Brass is much softer and will take the brunt of wear vs the gun.
GLB

Offline 1911crazy

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4931
  • Gender: Male
45acp recoil springs??
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2005, 12:33:27 pm »
I noticed I can hear the 18lb spring binding without the full length guide rod.  With the full length guide rod with moly the slide is a smoother action when run by hand and there is no binding sound too. I'm not really worried about the steel case on the wolf ammo if the barrel is hardened the steel case shouldn't affect it.  Time will tell but i'm using a cheap $59 barrel in my Norinco right now. I have been thinking about picking up a better quality barrel to try too.  The wolf ammo is around $5+ a box.  That makes the 1911 affordable to shoot too. I put the orginal Norinco barrel away while its still good and numbered to the gun.