View Full Version : Is there a trick to re-inserting the recoil spring?
22nd April 2006, 19:50
Hello everyone. I've owned handguns for several years, mostly Sigs. I just picked up my first 1911. It's a Dan Wesson PM7 .45 ACP.
I'm wondering if there are any tricks to re-inserting the recoil spring. It seems kind of difficult due to it's length and the pressure required.
Thanks in advance.
22nd April 2006, 20:35
Does the Dan Wesson use a standard 1911 recoil spring plug that goes in from the front, or is it a full-length guide rod or reverse plug?
If it's a standard plug, there's no real trick to it. I like to put the bushing in place first. Rotate the bushing 90 degrees clockwise. That leaves enough room for the spring and plug to go in. Put the spring in place, set the plug over the end, push down, and rotate the barrel bushing counter-clockwise just enough to catch the lip of the plug. If the barrel bushing moves freely you can turn it into position by hand. If it's tight, catch the lip and then use a bushing wrench to depress the plug and turn the bushing.
22nd April 2006, 22:04
Thanks for the response Hawkmoon. This pistol uses the standard recoil spring plug. I think I figured out what I was doing wrong. I don't believe I had the spring seated all the way back inside the slide. So it was sticking out the front by 6" to 8" inches instead of just a couple of inches. I was therefore trying to compress it that entire distance and was having a difficult time.
I'm not exactly sure how I managed to do that. I just tried field stripping it again and this time the final step with the recoil spring was a piece of cake. Stupid beginners mistake I suppose.
Thanks again for the quick response. Now it's time to get this new toy to the range!
22nd April 2006, 22:51
You probably got the back end of the spring caught on the tip of the recoil spring guide rather than around it so it could set back against the base of the guide.
There's a small detent near the end of the plug. If you screw that on the end of the spring and it happens to get away from you before getting the bushing part over it, you won't have to go across the room looking for the plug (don't ask me how I know this).
Also, if your bushing is tight and reluctant to turn when you get the plug down, push the plug a little more so about 1/2" of barrel shows. The bushing will now turn easily and you won't need a bushing wrench. I find this maneuver easier than using a bushing wrench.
23rd April 2006, 09:06
I don't know about all the new recoil springs, but all the military recoil springs were just slightly smaller on one end. This created a friction fit on the recoil spring guide to hold the spring in place. The other end was not tapered, in order to catch in the detent in the recoil spring plug.
23rd April 2006, 17:09
The new spring that I just bought has the smaller end on one end.
12th May 2006, 07:21
New springs can be tough to reinstall. Ed Brown's "Bench Reference" gave me a really useful way to wrestle most of them into position. You stand the slide muzzle down on your work mat, control the possible bowing of the spring with your left hand, stand up and put your weight on the guide assembly cramming it into position with your right. You will be amazed at the difference that makes over doing the same thing sitting down at your bench. Lady shooters take note; you don't have to be Godzilla to do it this way.
12th May 2006, 09:57
Pay attention to the "front" and "rear" ends of the recoil spring. The front end is open, and at the rear end the coils close completely. At least that's how it is on my Kimber. It's easy to install backwards, but Kimber says firing the gun with the recoil spring in bacwards will damage the gun.
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