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Thread: Spring weights for a 5" defensive M1911-A1?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    25th July 2016
    Location
    Birmingham, MI
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    Spring weights for a 5" defensive M1911-A1?

    Over the past few years, I've picked up a coupla .45's and love 'em all. I have an older steel Combat Commander as well as a RIA MS with dual slide safeties, beavertail grip, and skeleton trigger. I found a minimally-used SA Range Officer, as well as new SA TRP, and RIA FS guvmint model, to which I upgraded the 1911-A1 grip safety and spur hammer to a skeleton hammer and beavertail safety.
    All weapons will print within a 3x5" card at 10 yds with 230gr military ball ammo.
    I have noticed recoil spring weights, when retracting the slides, range from moderate to heavy pressure and would like to replace the existing springs with dependable quality units.
    Can anyone provide me with 'recommended' spring weights (slide, main, and hammer) for 5" and 4-1/4 - 4-1/2" barreled 1911s?
    I've always had good luck with Wolff springs.
    Thanks in advance for your advice.

    Rustymusket

  2. #2
    Join Date
    2nd June 2004
    Location
    Terra
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    For .45 ACP, 230-grain standard power ammo:

    Government size (5"): Recoil, 16-pound - Hammer, 23-pound

    Commander (4-1/4"): Recoil, 18-pound - Hammer, 23-pound

    I've never heard of a 4-1/2" 1911. The hammer spring is the main spring.
    Hawkmoon
    On a good day, can hit the broad side of a barn ... from the inside

  3. #3
    Join Date
    7th June 2004
    Location
    Western Washington
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    I use 23# mainsprings in all of my guns.
    Consensus recoil spring rating for 5" .45s is 16#, and 18# for Commanders, but the original Commanders, from the '50s, used Government Model springs cut-down to fit.
    Even today, at Colt they refer to .45 springs by the number of coils rather than the rating.
    Buy a bag of 16# Gov't springs, and cut one down when you need one for the Commander; I've been doing it for years.
    "A grip safety is just another excess moving part. I have never known one to prevent an accident, and moreover, it is difficult to postulate a circumstance in which it might." Jeff Cooper

  4. #4
    Join Date
    22nd December 2004
    Location
    Orlando, FL USA
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    Another vote for 23# mainspring. 16# is sort of the standard for 5 inch model recoil spring, but an 18# will give you a little more longevity, especially if you use hotter +P loads like the Federal HST. Just make sure your gun is reliable with the heavier spring.
    "The 1911 was the design, given by God to us through John M. Browning, that represents the epitome of what a killing tool needs to be. It was true in 1911 and it's true now." - Col. Robert Coates commanding, U.S. Marine Corp Special Operations Command Detachment 1 (DET 1)

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