View Full Version : 1911Tuner - Which Recoil Spring? Brand/Weight
19th October 2004, 13:50
I seek your valued opinion.
I have a NRM Government and Commander in .45ACP. Both have over 3000 rounds through them.... I shoot only 230grain standard pressure loads. Perhaps it is time for a new recoil springs.
Am I right that the Colt factory springs are:
16lbs for the Government
18lbs for the Commander
What should I replace them with?
18lbs for the Government
20lbs for the Commander
Should I use Wolff springs?
Both pistols (as you can see below) have been 100% reliable with the factory springs.
After reading a few posts I am worried that putting heavier than factory springs in could mess up the timing and I do not want to mess with the 100% reliability pattern I have going.
19th October 2004, 13:53
Also should I replace any other springs at this time?
20th October 2004, 16:36
I wouldn't go higher than 16 pounds in a 5-inch gun...and the Commander question can be tricky. Some will run okay with an 18-pound spring, and some won't. My trick for a Commander is to buy a standard Wolff GM spring...32 coils...and cut it down to 23.5-24 coils for the Commander...Some will require going as low as 22.5 coils, but most work within that range.
Be sure to check for coil bind....solid stacking of the spring in the tunnel.
If the spring is too long, it will bottom out before the slide reaches full travel
and break the bushing or the slide.
With the guide rod in the gun, and the spring plug out so that the spring is at free length, pull the slide fully to the rear. Make a witness mark on a piece of masking tape on the frame that lines up with the front of the bushing. A straightedge will help make it exact.
Replace the spring plug, and pull the slide all the way back again. If the mark aligns with the edge of the bushing, you're golden. If the edge of the bushing is forward of the mark, you need to clip a little more off the spring.
A half-coil should do it within that range. If you use a shock buffer, be sure to allow for its thickness...which equals about twice the wire diameter of the spring...or a little more. Commanders don't generally do well with shock buffs due to the shorter slide travel.
A quick-check is to rack the slide briskly. if you hear shapr metal to metal contact, it's probably okay. If you hear a dull thud or slight "crunch" sound,
the spring is stacked solid, and you need to trim it.
Remember that the heavier the spring, the more critical the magazine timing is...especially on the last round. Also, a heavier spring puts more stress on the lower barrel lug and slidestop crosspin when the gun goes to battery.
There are other ways to reduce slide to frame impact than just dropping in a heavy spring...which affects other things too. I use 14 pound springs in 5-inch carry guns almost exclusively...and for Commanders, the above set-up works well.
I'd install a new firing pin spring about every 5,000 rounds...Cheap at about 2 bucks a copy.
20th October 2004, 20:44
Thanks very much Tuner. I appreciate the pro bono work.
In light of your reply I went ahead and ordered a couple of springs from Wolff.
#41916 Colt 1911 .45 STD Recoil Spring 16 lbs
#42218 Commander .45 STD Recoil Spring 18 lbs
I ordered the Commander spring, as the thought of me cutting a spring to the right number of coils.... well it would keep me awake at night.
I will be sure to post a thread if changing the springs ruins my 100% reliability track record.
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