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Old February 24, 2019, 04:02 PM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: May 22, 2011
Posts: 11,901
Originally Posted by chemcal View Post
TunnelRat do you have an opinion about an 18 lb spring in a p229 for carry?
We all have opinions. The question is does my opinion matter for you. I won't be in your gun fight in the very unlikely chance you end up in one, and if you invite me I'll politely decline. I will give my views, but please take into account the above because in the end it's a call you have to make (though I do understand asking for experience to better make decisions).

Any time you change spring weights you're taking a gamble. You're trading potential reliability for ease of shooting. This is one sort of hypocrisy I always found about DA firearms and the people that carry them, and this includes myself. The notion is that the extra weight of the trigger pull and uncocked nature of the pistol give you additional safety. Yet me and many others here then take those pistols and change the mainsprings, and other springs as well, to reduce that trigger weight and make the DA easier to shoot. You'll often hear arguments that the DA could be lighter from the factory anyway and the only reason it is heavy is because of lawyers or overcautious engineers. And maybe that's true. But at some point for me personally I started to realize that if the pistol was safe with an 8 lb. DA as opposed to 10 lb., then maybe it's safe at the 6 lb. striker fired "safe action" out there as well. And with those I don't have to change springs outside of factory specifications to achieve the trigger pull weight I'm looking for. My goal isn't to "convert" you, but give food for thought.

If you do decide to swap springs, my advice is to try a number of options. You should be able to order springs from Wolff or similar, often in a pack that spans a number of weights. Try a 19, 18, 17 lb., whatever you want really (it's easy enough to change). Examine the trigger pull both with a gauge and for yourself by doing some drills with the different springs. Try both your range ammo and carry ammo and look for solid indentations on the primers. Compare them from the different springs. While changing the mainsprings can change the slide velocity, your likely biggest issue in going to a lighter mainspring will be the potential for light strikes. Yes you have a DA so you could hit it again, but that's not the goal. Keep in mind that springs weaken with time so when you decide on a lighter spring get multiples and consider swapping them out periodically to offset that problem of fatigue. Also keep in mind that a reduction in DA will typically result in some change in SA as well (though these should be slight). You can also play with trigger return spring weights as well, if available.

Pblanc is right that there are resources out there. Bruce Gray has recommendations as will other shooters. All that is based on their experience and that experience will vary. Gray has a lot of experience with P series pistols. My point above is simply that like we argue the weights can be changed from factory, maybe they can also be changed from the recommended changes? What is the magical threshold? I don't know.

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Last edited by TunnelRat; February 24, 2019 at 05:11 PM.
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