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Old May 26, 2006, 12:10 AM   #1
epr105
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Glock Springs change

I have a question about replacing the springs on a Glock. Is there any set amount of time or use when any of the springs should be changed. Some of the guys who went to Glock school said they dident know. I seem to recall seeing something in print about spring life in a service glock but dont recall what it was.
Ed
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Old May 26, 2006, 02:25 AM   #2
Bill DeShivs
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I don't understand all this spring changing. A properly designed gun should never need the springs changed. Nor have I ever seen springs wear out in MANY years of handling guns.
Bill
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Old May 26, 2006, 01:53 PM   #3
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You can hear as many so-called 'answers' as you the number of folks you care to ask ...

When several of the cops in the Glock armorer's course I attended tried to press the instructor for a definitive answer regarding the number of years the recoil springs should remain serviceable, the instructor took great pains to dance around the subject. Finally, as folks started calling out various numbers of years, the instructor stopped the questioning by answering one fellow who had called out 8 years, saying that 8 years was too long to keep using the same reocil spring in a L/E service weapon ...

S&W changed their recommendations to L/E armorers and standardized on recommending a replacement guideline of every 5,000 rounds fired and/or 5 years of service, whichever occurs first (with the exception of the 1911-style pistols).

I've worn recoil & magazine springs to the point of them exhibiting signs of excessive weakening.

I've had to replace weakened extractor springs, sear springs, etc., when weakened spring related functioning issues occurred in weapons for which I'm responsible to help maintain, too.

I know of another agency who started experiencing noticeable functioning issues symptomatic of excessively weakened magazine springs in their M4006 pistols at the 7-year mark, and the problems were immediately resolved when new magazine springs were installed.

I know a cop who carries a personally owned G22 on duty, and his pistols started exhibiting functioning problems which appeared related to weakened recoil & magazine springs after 10 years of use. It wasn't until he experienced functioning issues while trying to shoot an attacking pitbull that he finally realized that he might need to consider replacing his springs, and that weakened spring functioning issues weren't just an inconvenience at the range.

I've had to replace more 1911 recoil & magazine springs than I can remember over the years after they weakened to the point that functioning issues started occurring. I know a bunch of SWAT team folks who started carrying 1911's, and who were very surprised when they discovered that 1911-type recoil & magazine springs had to be replaced more frequently than most other service pistols.

I remember talking about this subject with another agency's Beretta armorer, and hearing his surprise when they experienced a broken barrel locking block, and were told by someone at Beretta USA that they should've been replacing their recoil springs every 2,000 rounds on their 9mm pistols.

Now, at last count I've attended something like a baker's dozen armorer's classes (including recerts), and I've talked to a fair number of folks at different manufacturers ... as well as a couple of spring vendors ... and I've heard all kinds of stories and information.

Added to my personal experiences and observations, I've considered the info gained in armorer's classes and shared by various manufacturers and have decided upon my own preferences for replacing various springs in service/issued and personally owned weapons over the years. I take various factors into consideration (including design, weapon size and caliber) and have arrived at my own preferred preventive maintenance periods for routinely replacing different springs in different weapons, notwithstanding the necessity to replace any spring which may exhibit signs of premature weakening or failure. It happens.

When it comes right down to it, recoil and magazine springs are fairly inexpensive parts ... and inexpensive insurance, when it comes to that ... and when lives may be at risk, I tend to lean toward the philosophy that it's better safe than sorry.

Of course, you have to realize that not all firearms owners actually shoot their firearms very often, or may ever run up a significant round-count because of frequent shooting, training, practice, etc., etc.

It's not uncommon during a CCW class for us to observe what appear to be weakened spring related functioning issues in some folk's pistols, especially when it comes to magazines. Not uncommon to observe that the student's handguns are dirty when they arrive at class, though. I remember one other instructor's startled expression when he learned that some of the dirty guns are still dirty from the previous CCW class ... two years prior.

I sometimes ask CCW class attendees how often they practive with their firearms, especially between renewals, and the most common answer is a blank stare ...
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Old May 26, 2006, 02:18 PM   #4
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I change my mag springs yearly If I leave them loaded. I change the springs in the pistol at the first signs of malfunctions. they're cheap enough.
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Old May 26, 2006, 02:56 PM   #5
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Like most firearms, some GLocks have went thousands of rounds without breaking a single spring of having a malf. due to weak springs. Others have broken a recoil spring with less than 500 rounds due to a bad factory spring.

I don't recall ever seeing a set time for spring replacement in a Glock. One thing you need to do as a owner is INSPECT the parts of your gun when you take it down to clean it. Look for unusual wear, metal shavings, plastic shavings, cracks and so on...anything that looks different than you think it should. If you find something, take it to a trusted smith and have it looked at.

My 2nd generation G21 is well over 10 years old, and works 100% with it's original recoil spring. I have changed some parts out in this gun, mostly due to design changes and upgrades.

If this topic worries you, go right ahead and swap springs out every 5,000 rounds or so. If not I wouldn't worry much about it for years. Odds are, if you get a bad spring from the factory, you will break it the first year.

Of my 6 Glocks I have left, none of them have less than 5,000 rounds through them...and all are working on factory original springs.

I guess the answer is - Shoot $3,000 worth of ammo, then spend $30 on new springs.
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Old May 26, 2006, 04:56 PM   #6
Bill DeShivs
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Let me reiterate. Properly designed guns, with properly designed and heat reated springs, should not need the springs replaced. Properly made springs should not wear out. They either work, or break. Springs break from flexing. They work harden, just like bending a coat hanger until it breaks.
If a spring is not properly made, it will need to be replaced. If it is properly made, the life should be indefinite. Springs dont weaken from being stressed, but from flexing or moving beyond the springs elastic limits. Springs should not "get weaker."
If a gun design over-stresses a spring (bends it past it's elastic limit) frequently, then the design is wrong. This is not to say that there aren't many guns that overstress springs, but to design a gun with specific spring failure in mind seems pretty stupid, and I would worry about carrying that design for protection.
That said, I agree that replacing them is cheap insurance.
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Old May 26, 2006, 05:12 PM   #7
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Springs DO get weaker from use. NORMAL use. That's why one needs to replace mag springs, extractor springs, recoil springs, etc., occassionally. Those springs CAN'T over stress. They are are used within physical limiting boundaries.
Yes, everything man-made wears out eventually.
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Old May 26, 2006, 05:41 PM   #8
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I noticed that the spring that came with my LaserMax Laser was a bit stiffer than the one I replaced it with. I have fired at least 2,500 rounds out of it and have had it for over 8 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill DeShivs
Properly designed guns, with properly designed and heat reated springs, should not need the springs replaced. Properly made springs should not wear out. They either work, or break. Springs break from flexing. They work harden, just like bending a coat hanger until it breaks.
Bill, I'm not quite sure I agree with you on this one. What about mag springs for mags that are kept fully loaded? What about recoil springs after firing thousands of rounds? I think it has to do with the properties of the steel they use. I think the characteristic is mallability. It is unreasonable to expect a spring not to fatigue over time after being compressed for long periods of time and flexed over and over. Besides, it is a matter of costs. There might be springs that last for a very long time but they may be prohibitively expensive to use on a gun that a manufacturer wants to sell at a lower price point.

So is there a final verdict on what type of spring is the best? The 1911 uses a regular wire spring, Sig uses a stranded wire for their P series guns, and Glock uses a flat wire spring on some of their gun. I have to say that I have not had any spring related failures in the over 10 years I have been shooting so I don't know if it is really a major concern.
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Old May 26, 2006, 07:02 PM   #9
Bill DeShivs
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"Those springs CAN'T over stress. They are are used within physical limiting boundaries."
Certainly they can, if the physical boundaries are in excess of the springs' elasticity.
My whole point here is that guns should not be designed to have the springs replaced after "X" number of rounds. Magazines should not be designed to stuff so full that the springs need to be replaced.
I'm no expert, but I make a lot more springs than most people. Good springs don't get weak.They will break if overused or overstressed. Bad springs MIGHT get weaker, but I have never seen it happen. I have seen 150 year old springs in perfect working order. These were leaf springs-stored compressed. I have seen magazines that were loaded for 40 years function perfectly.
This "spring replacement" problem seems to have reared its head with the "modern" wondernines and such. Maybe the makers should look into this.
Bill
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Old May 27, 2006, 08:14 AM   #10
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Compressing a spring for ANY amount of time won't weaken it. Because a 40 year old spring works means nothing if it hasn't been worked a whole lot during that 40 years. Fully loaded magazine springs should last forever. They don't weaker by just sitting there being compressed. They weaken by being worked...just like any other spring. A coil spring that is placed in the proper sized tube will not be damaged not it be exceed the spring's "elasticity" if it is simply fully compressed.
Guns are certainly not "designed" to have their springs last for "X" number of rounds. They just wear out after use. Bill, if you've never seen a spring get weak in a gun from use, then you certainly don't get out and shoot very much. It happens all the time.
Leaf springs on a car sit at least partially compressed all the time and rarely if ever have a problem but 2 things will cause you to have to replace them.
1. If you put a big load on the car and compress those springs to the point that it reverses the arch in them and leave it for very long or, 2. If the car is used on very rough roads and works the springs constantly at or near their designed limits.
Regardless of cause, springs DO wear out, It's a cold hard fact of life.
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Old May 27, 2006, 08:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
I have a question about replacing the springs on a Glock. Is there any set amount of time or use when any of the springs should be changed.
I used a G24 for almost a decade. I'd say the proper time to change the recoil spring on a Glock is when you buy it. The stock spring is 16 or 17 pounds. I used a 22 pound spring.
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Old May 27, 2006, 12:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
I don't understand all this spring changing. A properly designed gun should never need the springs changed. Nor have I ever seen springs wear out in MANY years of handling guns.
Bill
Perhaps. But there are cases where new springs can be beneficial. The general concensus among Glock owners is that Glocks are undersprung, for whatever reason. I have a Glock 20. The factory recoil spring is 17 pounds. When I shoot anything hotter than Winchester Silvertips, I get FTF and my brass is never found again. So I am going to try a 22 pound recoil spring. Someone needs to tell Glock that the only people buying a 10mm these days is those who actually want 10mm performance, and for full power loads, the vast majority of people seem to agree the factory recoil spring on the Glock 20 doesn't get the job done.

Finally, springs are cheap. I don't think it makes any sense at all to skimp on springs on a pistol designated for self defense. If spending $7 on a new recoil spring every 5000 rounds or so and possibly replacing mag springs at the same time keeps your pistol running and helps you sleep better at night, I don't see any reason why someone wouldn't.
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Old May 28, 2006, 04:07 AM   #13
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Thanks for the replies. I was looking more for a objective anwser than subjective. The Glocks that I am looking at need Mag springs without a doubt. They are duty and off duty guns. I have a bunch of Glock armorers at work who think that the internal springs only need to be changed upon failure. Now I think that is a bad idea as the failure might not be at the range it might be in the street. I am going to call glock on Tuesday and see what they say.
My opinion on the subject is that for a equipment item that might make the diffrence between life and death ten dollars every few years is not too much money and it would be well spent
Ed
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Old May 28, 2006, 07:29 AM   #14
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Glock spring change?

IF IT AIN'T BROKE, DON'T FIX IT !!!
I shoot and carry a 16 year old Glock 21. I have replace only 2 broken trigger springs, after over a million rounds.
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Old May 28, 2006, 12:02 PM   #15
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Pistol design has absolutely nothing to do with the physics (and reality) of springs' wearing out. There are simple tests for determining, for example, whether a recoil spring needs to be replaced. The assertion that there are ANY pistols on EARTH whose designs obviate their springs' wearing out is absurd.

Glock uses the same recoil spring for their .357 Sigs as with their 9mms. Make sense to anybody with a rudimentary knowledge of physics? I thought not. They also use the same recoil assembly for .45ACP as with 10mm. (Oh, slide's a few ounces heavier in the G20? That's largely irrelevant.) Glock's engineers have not only functionality in mind, but also marketing parameters, when designing recoil spring assemblies for their pistols. Most of their recoil spring assemblies are compromise designs that work, but not optimally
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Old May 29, 2006, 11:58 PM   #16
epr105
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Sooooo Every 499,999 is good

MADISON
So objectivly you are saying that 2 trigger springs after 1 million rounds. Would that be on T/S every 500,000 rounds or did they fail at some point in between. I am glad you have had such good luck with your glock. I really need anwsers on the amount of time the springs will work without failing. As I do not want to send anyone out with a Glock with 499,999 rounds through it and when they try to fire the 500,000 the trigger spring fails and no bang.
I will be calling them (Glock) in the morning and let you all know what happens.
Ed
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Old May 30, 2006, 12:17 AM   #17
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I've only changed mag springs and a recoil spring so far.
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Old May 30, 2006, 08:41 AM   #18
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Ed, with ALL due respect, you're asking Glock a nonsensical question! How would you expect a reasonable answer?
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Old May 30, 2006, 09:26 AM   #19
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Bill,
I don't think you understand steel and heat treating. The more ANY spring steel flexes the more metal fatigue it undergoes. Thats just the nature of carbon steel and heat treating.

The reality is that you need to change your recoil springs every 5000 rounds on a full size auto pistol and every 2000 rounds on a compact pistol.
Thats life. You can wish it was different all you want, and you can have your opinions on it, but thats not really going to change anything. Reality is what it is. Spring steel has its limits.
After a peice of heat treated spring steel flexes a certain number of times, it begins to "take a set."
An easy way to explain this is with swords. A new and properly made sword is fairly flexible. You can bend it about a foot out of alignment and it will spring back straight, if it has been properly tempered. However, the more times you bend it, the more metal fatigue sets in, and eventualy the sword won't spring back to true. It takes a set and stays in the bent position. Keep on bending it after that, and the steel cracks.

Saying what you are saying would be akin to saying "a properly designed car shoud never need an oil change.'
The reality is that it does. Thats the nature of the laws of physics.
Changing recoil springs in your pistol is just like changing the oil in your car. Doing it frequently prolongs the service life.

>>>> Let me reiterate. Properly designed guns, with properly designed and heat reated springs, should not need the springs replaced. Properly made springs should not wear out. They either work, or break.<<<<
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Old May 30, 2006, 11:21 AM   #20
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Properly-designed brains don't come to improperly-conceived conclusions!
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Old May 30, 2006, 01:56 PM   #21
Bill DeShivs
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Jack
I certainly understand steels and heat treating. Do a search for "Bill DeShivs" on the Internet. You'll see that I know a little about springs.
I know that in reality springs may need to be replaced, but it should be a rare occurance. Some guys change springs more often than their underwear. 20 years ago hardly anyone changed springs like this. Our guns worked perfectly.
Carefully re read my posts.
Bill
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Old May 30, 2006, 11:09 PM   #22
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Look guys I am not looking to start a war here I just had a simple question about service life of the springs in a Glock pistols. Everything that is ever made has a MTBF (Mean time between failures) . Springs are no diffrent and I was just looking for the anwser the correct anwser to a problem. I seem to have started another problem here as some of you feel that springs never need replacement and others are going on gut instinct that springs should be replaced every x amount of time. I wasent looking for opinions I wanted factual information from a reliable source ie a bulliten from Glock or a refrence to the service manual. AUSSEROrdeutlich If I thought this was nonsense would I have even asked the question in the first place??? I am only trying to do what is right for the people who rely on me!
Thanks for the help I really had no intent of starting a war about springs..Ed
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Old May 31, 2006, 08:09 AM   #23
Jack Malloy
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One of my friends has a model 1911, the orginal, not an A-1. He had problems out of it till he put in a new recoil spring.
Changing springs out is common practice. Glock does it when somebody sends them a gun to be refurbished.
One of my freinds was on the Kentucky State Police. When they issued the Smith 10 mm they had a booklet that went around showing what wear and tear to check for at what round count, and recommendations about things like parts replacements and such.
In the real world you can easily see whether or not a spring needs to be replaced. Buy a standard weight replacement spring and periodically take out the original and compare them side by side. Usually in about 5-8 thousand rounds you will see that the original spring is getting shorter. This is becuase the springs are taking a set.
Properly springing an auto pistol is a tricky thing. When the South Africans reverse engineered the beretta as the Z-88, they made the whole gun there in South Africa, but had to import the springs from elsewhere.
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Old May 31, 2006, 04:46 PM   #24
Bill DeShivs
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I'll bet machineguns wear springs out really fast!

Bill
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Old June 5, 2006, 01:05 PM   #25
Jack Malloy
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Machine guns usually have bolts which are very heavy, and springs that are three times stiffer than pistol springs.
Every handled a Thompson 1927 a-1?
I have. Its a lot stiffer than cycling even a compact officers model Colt. 45 with extra heavy duty Wolf springs in comparison.

Even the finest steel and heat treating has its limits...
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