The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > The Smithy

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old September 22, 2013, 10:52 PM   #1
ammo.crafter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 25, 2006
Location: the Garden State
Posts: 754
1911 recoil spring

Shooting a Colt Series 80 45acp for PPC competition and need a replacement recoil/slide spring.
What weight spring would you use for a 200gr cast lead SWC at approx. 825f/s?
__________________
"The Constitution is not an instrument for government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government, lest it come to dominate our lives and interests."
Patrick Henry, American Patriot
ammo.crafter is offline  
Old September 23, 2013, 12:12 AM   #2
Scorch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 13, 2006
Location: Washington state
Posts: 11,408
16 lbs is factory standard. I always use the Wolff 16.5 lbs variable rate spring.
__________________
Never try to educate someone who resists knowledge at all costs.
But what do I know?
Summit Arms Services
Taylor Machine
Scorch is offline  
Old September 23, 2013, 07:13 AM   #3
g.willikers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 28, 2008
Posts: 4,880
That's the load a lot of USPSA competitors use.
It's one that doesn't seem to be all that picky concerning recoil springs.
Springs from 14 to 18 lbs can apparently be used, depending as to how the gun feels to the person using it.
__________________
Lock the doors, they're coming in the windows.
g.willikers is offline  
Old September 23, 2013, 08:08 AM   #4
Hunter Customs
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 26, 2005
Location: Osborn, Missouri
Posts: 1,731
Quote:
I always use the Wolff 16.5 lbs variable rate spring.
Yep, that's been my choice for years, set all my full size 1911 style guns up with a 16.5 variable.

When I was shooting USPSA the trend was to go with as light of recoil spring as possible, I would say a 14 lb spring would be just fine.

If I remember correctly I believe the original recoil spring in the 1911 would have been rated at 14lbs, however back then I don't believe they rated the springs in pounds.

Best Regards
Bob Hunter
www.huntercustoms.com
Hunter Customs is online now  
Old September 23, 2013, 12:44 PM   #5
RickB
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 1, 2000
Location: Western WA
Posts: 5,640
For 200@825 you can certainly use a 14# spring.
I know guys using 12# springs with 200@850 loads, and while the guns run, I think they do it more for tuning the recoil characteristics than any other consideration. I use a 14# for 200@850, mostly so I don't have to change springs if I want to shoot full-power loads.
RickB is offline  
Old September 23, 2013, 01:10 PM   #6
Jerry45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 18, 2000
Location: Metairie, Louisiana
Posts: 890
Actually it's done for reliability and to keep the gun from beating itself to death. You want the heaviest spring (for the bullet / powder combo) that still allows the pistol to function without an malfunction. I used a 16# spring for 200 gr. SWC at between 750 and 850 FPS without a com. With a comp I used either a 8 or 9 # spring. Every pistol is different and what runs well in one doesn't always run in others. I know people the use 18 # springs in stock guns with full power loads and people that use 4 # springs in all-out race guns.

I'm reasonably sure a 16 # would function properly for the OPs loads.
__________________
Guns are not dangerous! People are! RKBA!
Jerry45 is offline  
Old September 23, 2013, 06:36 PM   #7
RickB
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 1, 2000
Location: Western WA
Posts: 5,640
Quote:
You want the heaviest spring (for the bullet / powder combo) that still allows the pistol to function without an malfunction.
I lean more toward the lightest spring that will run reliably. The heaviest spring that still runs is right on the edge of a failure to eject, because you are slowing the slide at the point that you need some energy to kick-out the empty case. Does PPC allow mulligans for functional failures?
A 1911/.45 should feed with a 12# spring, so there's no need to use a heavy spring for feeding; some consider the 1911 recoil spring to be a "feed spring".
RickB is offline  
Old September 24, 2013, 03:58 AM   #8
1911Tuner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 17, 2004
Location: NC Piedmont/Foothills
Posts: 605
Spring

Quote:
Actually it's done for reliability and to keep the gun from beating itself to death.
*cough*

A few years back, I arranged a demonstration for a guy who believed that he needed a 22 pound spring to keep his LW Commander from beating itself to death.

I fired my LW Commander 98 times with factory hardball without a recoil spring, field-stripping the pistol every 49 rounds to show him that the impact abutment in the frame was undamaged. Still not convinced, he handed me a magazine full of +P. Still no damage.

He stormed off, claiming that I'd set up a super special pistol that I could do it with.

*sigh*

Many IDPA/USPSA shooters fire their guns tens of thousands of rounds year in and year out with 12 pound springs without issue.

If you want to reproduce my demo, use a FLGR and plug. The standard "stub" type guide rod will get cattywampus and tie up the slide...possibly damaging something. Be sure to check to see that the bushing is line up correctly between shots if the end of the rod doesn't come out flush with the bushing.

Quote:
some consider the 1911 recoil spring to be a "feed spring".
That's exactly what it is...an action spring...just like the action spring on an M1 or M14 rifle. Its function is returning the bolt/slide to battery. Whatever else it does is incidental.
__________________
If your front porch collapses and kills more than three dogs...You just might be a redneck
1911Tuner is offline  
Old September 24, 2013, 01:41 PM   #9
Jerry45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 18, 2000
Location: Metairie, Louisiana
Posts: 890
RickB we're looking for the same thing just attacking it from the opposite ends of the spectrum. I start heavy and work down. It's the spring that works reliably we are both looking for.

I'm pretty sure there aren't any Mulligans.
__________________
Guns are not dangerous! People are! RKBA!
Jerry45 is offline  
Old September 24, 2013, 01:56 PM   #10
Jerry45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 18, 2000
Location: Metairie, Louisiana
Posts: 890
1911Tuner, sorry to tell you that over the life of the gun a too light a spring will cause damage. I've see the cracked frames to backup my "opinion". I have a Kimber Custom (that's the cheep one) that I used / use for competition that has over 70,000 rounds through it and no damage. I've seen 1911s with far fewer rounds with cracked frames because of too light a spring.

Put 20,000 or 30,000 rounds through your 1911 without a recoil spring then come back and tell me there was no damage and I'll gladly eat my dish of crow.

Now if someone wants to run a 12 # spring and + Ps that's their prerogative. Mine gets beat up less and functioned perfectly with a 16 # spring. I do agree that 22 # is overkill and probably would cause FTF with standard ammo.
__________________
Guns are not dangerous! People are! RKBA!
Jerry45 is offline  
Old September 25, 2013, 12:41 PM   #11
1911Tuner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 17, 2004
Location: NC Piedmont/Foothills
Posts: 605
re:

Quote:
1911Tuner, sorry to tell you that over the life of the gun a too light a spring will cause damage. I've see the cracked frames to backup my "opinion"
You probably won't wanna hear this...but here goes.

The cracks at the junction of the rails and impact abutment are the result of thin cross-sections and sharp corners. They're self-limiting and in no way affect the function of the gun...and they're inevitable if you shoot enough...regardless of the spring rate.

They'll even crack if shock buffs are used for all shooting. It'll just take a little longer. Nature of the beast, I'm afraid.

I have a pair of early Colt 1991A1s that I bought in October '91 and January '92 strictly for beater duty. They're nearly at the 400,000 round mark...collectively...about evenly split. They both cracked in those areas many years and many tens of thousands of rounds ago. The cracks haven't traveled, and the pistols function just fine. I expect they'll be walkin' the walk long after I'm gone.
__________________
If your front porch collapses and kills more than three dogs...You just might be a redneck
1911Tuner is offline  
Old September 25, 2013, 12:59 PM   #12
spacecoast
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 14, 2009
Location: Sunshine and Keystone States
Posts: 4,052
Not having tried it, what's the feeling of shooting a 1911 with no recoil spring?
spacecoast is offline  
Old September 25, 2013, 01:53 PM   #13
1911Tuner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 17, 2004
Location: NC Piedmont/Foothills
Posts: 605
re:

Quote:
Not having tried it, what's the feeling of shooting a 1911 with no recoil spring?
Surprisingly soft recoil...with a little delay. About 90% of what we recognize as recoil...muzzle flip...comes when the slide hits the frame. The rest comes from the "recoil" spring itself when it creates a separate action/reaction event between the slide and frame, with the spring as the driving/accelerating force.

With an autopistol, the slide and barrel assembly is the gun. The frame is little more than the gun mount, with no solid connection between the gun and the mount.
__________________
If your front porch collapses and kills more than three dogs...You just might be a redneck
1911Tuner is offline  
Old September 25, 2013, 05:47 PM   #14
polyphemus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 24, 2012
Posts: 402
.45 ACP cartridge generates say 19000 psi,the recoil spring compresses at
12 to 20 lbs.Logic says that it can not be a factor in recoil shock control.
polyphemus is offline  
Old September 26, 2013, 06:37 AM   #15
1911Tuner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 17, 2004
Location: NC Piedmont/Foothills
Posts: 605
Springy stuff

What many people don't know is that the original spring...the one that John Browning and Colt's dream team settled on...wasn't rated in pounds. The specs were 32 and 3/4 turns of .043 diameter music wire. Compared to Wolff's 32-turn/14 pound spring...that works out to about 14.5 pounds at full compression, and 13.5-13.7 pounds at full slide travel as installed in the gun.

This, with the old, soft frames and slides and original USGI spec hardball ammunition.

The spring's specs were changed at some point prior to WW2, and they became 30 turns of .044 diameter music wire...which resulted in pretty much the same dynamics.

And until the introduction of "Heavy Duty" springs, those were pretty much the only springs that were available...either through military surplus, or from Colt.

And the frames held up well into the 1980s when they were phased out.

Too much emphasis on the frame and not enough on the slide. The slide and barrel assembly catches all the hell. That's why the military ordered about a dozen of'em for every finished pistol that was delivered.
__________________
If your front porch collapses and kills more than three dogs...You just might be a redneck
1911Tuner is offline  
Old September 26, 2013, 10:47 AM   #16
80viking
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 8, 2009
Location: The Peoples Republic of Massachusetts
Posts: 311
^^^ I agree. I run a 10lb spring in my 45cal 1911 open gun and an 8lb spring in my 9mm 1911 stock gun. The key to to gun functioning with light springs is to polish and smooth out every thing the cartridge has to touch on the way into the chamber.

John
80viking is offline  
Old September 27, 2013, 10:52 AM   #17
1911Tuner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 17, 2004
Location: NC Piedmont/Foothills
Posts: 605
re:

Quote:
I run a 10lb spring in my 45cal 1911 open gun and an 8lb spring in my 9mm 1911 stock gun.
Yup. Consider the IDPA/USPSA shooters who run 12-pound springs in their stock .45s and shoot tens of thousands of rounds of major PF ammo a year...year in and year out...without buffs. Some of'em don't change their springs until the return to battery gets sluggish. One local guy changes springs every 50,000 rounds whether the gun needs it or not.

And their frames are fine.
__________________
If your front porch collapses and kills more than three dogs...You just might be a redneck
1911Tuner is offline  
Old September 27, 2013, 02:42 PM   #18
Jim Watson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 25, 2001
Location: Alabama
Posts: 10,920
It probably doesn't matter much, but current Major Power Factor for USPSA and CDP Power Floor for IDPA is 165, only 718+ fps if you stick with a 230 gr bullet, or more likely a 200 at 825+.
That is only 87% of factory, allowing a little safety margin of 170 on match power factor.
Jim Watson is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:07 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10841 seconds with 9 queries