View Full Version : New recoil springs in old handguns

December 19, 2008, 10:26 AM
I've read several times that one should consider replacing the recoil spring in older semi-autos, due to age, wear, fatigue, etc. I've also noticed that the springs come in pound ratings other than the original factory rating. What are the reasons for installing either an over- or under-rated recoil spring?

December 19, 2008, 10:30 AM
I only replace springs if the gun does not function well.

December 19, 2008, 11:08 AM
In any automatic, there is always a balance of necessary spring strenght. A perfectly balanced spring will "barely" allow the slide to bottom out against the rear stops and then push the slide back into battery without excess energy. If it is too strong, the slide won't rack all the way and you'll get jams. If it is too weak, the recoil will force the slide back too hard and put unnecessary wear on the slide stops. I may also not be strong enough to force the slide back into battery.

Manufacturer's put an "average" slide on to handle a wide variety of loads. If you are routinely shooting very weak target loads, then you might benefit from switching to a weaker spring - one that wouldn't overpower the recoil provided by the weaker target load. On the other hand, if you are shooting hot loads, then you would probably benefit from an extra power spring that would absorb more of the recoil before the slide bottomed against the stops.

I know that Makarov shooters will routinely switch to a stronger spring. The factory springs were originally designed for Russian rounds that aren't quite as hot as the factory rounds available today. Going to a spring with just one or two pounds of extra strength helps smooth out some of the recoil snap without interfering with feeding.

December 19, 2008, 11:43 AM
I know that Makarov shooters will routinely switch to a stronger spring.

'Makarov' pistol or 'Makarov' round (9x18)?

December 19, 2008, 12:23 PM
Target shooters will use a lighter spring so their lighter loadings will function properly. The lighter loadings have less wear and tear on both shooter and gun.

December 19, 2008, 07:15 PM
Both. I've replaced the springs in both of my Makarov pistols and both of my Polish P-64's. PA-63 shooters also like to change their springs to reduce the "snap" effect of the recoil in that light aluminum frame.

December 20, 2008, 10:00 AM
My gunsmith changed my CZ52 (7.62X25) pistol's recoil spring to a heavier one from Wolfe.

And I had a shorter walking distance to retrieve casings!!!

And with lighter handloads ..... you can easily load down to the point where the casings practically land on your feet ........

Before the change ...... you'd find them at around 50 feet!

Three 44s

December 20, 2008, 08:24 PM
Yup my CZ52 slings brass from hell to breakfast as well. I'll look in to the spring upgrade. I really don't want to make it harder to rack the slide tho, compared to others it is not as easy to do. Maybe steel case is the answer, at least they biodegrade in a few years.