Light weight mainspring?

Discussion in 'General 1911 talk' started by ZoidMeister, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Consider my signature line before replying . . . .

    Dec 4, 2014
    Just curious to see if any of you are running less than the original 23 pound mainspring in your 1911. What made you choose to swap out the original, and why?

    How light have you gone?
    TangoWhiskeyFoxtrot likes this.
  2. Mike Meints

    Mike Meints Well-Known Member

    Mar 2, 2017

  3. Wheels No More

    Wheels No More Long gone

    May 12, 2015
    Interesting topic I'll subscribe. I'm running 18 recoil 23 mainspring in my commanders.
    I might want to change that after this thread.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  4. rmac

    rmac Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Jan 26, 2016
    In all my custom 5 inch 1911's I'm using Cylinder and Slide Ultra Light ignition sets that have a 17# mainspring.
    In custom Commanders with lightened slide I use the Cylinder and Slide Ultra Light set with 20# mainspring with 20 to 22# recoil spring to help the Commander lengths funky ejection pattern.
    Steve Owens likes this.
  5. El Perdido

    El Perdido Fictional Western Sage

    Oct 3, 2011

    Can't think of a valid reason to go lower, for me
  6. apipeguy

    apipeguy Well-Known Member

    Feb 28, 2014
    18# in a couple 5” bullseye guns, still get 100% ignition and it does give a slightly lower trigger pull. I’m down to 2# on one. Also allows for a lighter recoil spring with my light loads. Lighter recoil spring and lighter hammer spring make a light load function the slide as it needs to. Can’t see a reason to go lower on a gun for defensive purposes.
    ZoidMeister likes this.
  7. BigJimP

    BigJimP Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2018
    Always a 23# mainspring in my 5" full sized guns in .45acp...
    ( always 19# mainsprings in full sized 5" gun in 9mm ).

    I did try 19# in .45acp 5" full sized gun...and I got good ignition ..but I changed it back to 23# because I was carrying that gun and didn't want to risk an issue.

    I know bullseye shooters that have gone as low as 15# on bullseye guns, using Federal primers that are really soft...they say no issues ( and they go light on recoil springs too ).....but I'm skeptical...
    ZoidMeister likes this.
  8. Shocker2000

    Shocker2000 Well-Known Member

    Apr 6, 2016
    19# Ed Brown in my Guncrafter No Name government - stock in everything else. No real reason, just wanted to try it.

    Now that I think about it, there was a reason. It wasn't trigger pull so much.
    Since the slide has to push the hammer back on recoil, I was experimenting with recoil spring in combination with the mainspring.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
    ZoidMeister and FWoo45 like this.
  9. Integrity Arms

    Integrity Arms 1911 Pistol Smith

    Mar 20, 2017
    I'm in at one time I bought all kinds of weights for this reason and once I found a good recoil spring weight, never dropped any of the MS weights. Interesting.
    ZoidMeister likes this.
  10. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Consider my signature line before replying . . . .

    Dec 4, 2014
    I've been running a 17lb spring in my Zoids build. I've been getting 2lb-8oz trigger pulls consistently. Going to a 23 lb mainspring yeilds around 3lb- 12oz trigger pulls.

    When dry firing the gun, I notice that the "snap" of the trigger is significantly less robust with the lighter spring - almost "wimpy" when compared to the 23 lb spring. It is impossible to tell the difference when firing live ammo. I have never had a failure to fire with this light spring regardless of ammo used. I am using the original 1927 firing pin spring. It doesn't feel soft or mushy. I am guessing that using a lighter hammer spring, one should also look at the firing pin spring to make sure it isn't going to cause light primer strikes.

    The reason for the question is seeing "competition springs" from Wolff, ISMI, and C&S in in the 15lb to 17lb range. I was curious if anyone used these and what your results were.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
    FWoo45 and BigJimP like this.
  11. Integrity Arms

    Integrity Arms 1911 Pistol Smith

    Mar 20, 2017
    I do know a lot of the recoil spring packs I got from wolf come with reduced power fp springs.
    ZoidMeister likes this.
  12. switchback

    switchback Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2014
    I use only 23lb main spring. All my guns are potential hard use guns and I want no light hits. Once upon a time, I played with 19lb mainsprings and had no issues but, IMHO, there are better ways to lighten the trigger pull. For me anyway, its all about smooth and not numbers on pull weight.

    recoil spring is whatever the pistol requires for function 16-18lb for gov't model

    firing pin spring is wolff XP, always

    UBOATDOC and ZoidMeister like this.
  13. RatBikeRod

    RatBikeRod You Don’t Know Me!

    Nov 22, 2017
    Ok, since I am in my learning to smith my 1911’s phase (hopefully will not be followed by replacing broken parts phase) this is interesting.

    Why do you say Wolf XP always for the firing pin spring?
    ZoidMeister likes this.
  14. WWB

    WWB Administrator Staff Member Admin Moderator Supporting Addict

    Apr 11, 2015
    XP firing pin spring is standard on most 1911 that don’t have a Firing pin safety. They use the XP firing pin spring to make the gun more drop safe.
    cghelton, william adams and WHEELS like this.
  15. RatBikeRod

    RatBikeRod You Don’t Know Me!

    Nov 22, 2017
    Gotcha, thank you for the explanation.
    WWB likes this.
  16. Apollo99

    Apollo99 Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2017
    I'm a chicken, I always use #23 springs, I rely on a good smooth, no creep, no mushy trigger job rather than a lighter mainspring to bring down the trigger pull. That along with a proper adjustment of the sear spring is all I need.
    william adams likes this.
  17. Wheels No More

    Wheels No More Long gone

    May 12, 2015
    How crazy does this sound?
    I have a flat wire 22# recoil
    So I went with a 19# mainspring.
    The numbers add up to the same as an 18# recoil and
    23# mainspring.
    David Rios likes this.
  18. Greg45acp

    Greg45acp Double Secret Banned Supporting Addict

    Oct 31, 2016
    Wolff sells a 20 lb. Mainspring that I have in a couple 1911s. I've shot many hundreds of handloads using CCI LP primers (CCI are probably the hardest commercial primer) as well as a few boxes of Wolf (Russian GARBAGE with known hard primers).

    I've bumped up to 18 lb. recoil springs on these guns as well as the EGW/Harrison square bottom firing pin stops.
    ZoidMeister likes this.
  19. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Consider my signature line before replying . . . .

    Dec 4, 2014
    I'm running a 17# spring on the trigger. I'll need to give that Wolf ammo a try.

    Anybody running with a spring less than 17lbs?
  20. switchback

    switchback Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2014
    I know you know your way around the platform. But, obviously, both springs do a different job. 22lb recoil spring in a gov't model? Way oversprung, imho. Now if you are talking commander 45s. Wilson on recoil spring, says to use the lightest recoil spring that will run the pistol. Progressively go lighter until the pistol won't function properly , then go heavier one size. all this testing with a loose one handed grip. Usually a 16 or 17 lb recoil spring works perfect.
    Nothing wrong with the 19lb mainspring, I just run the standard 23lb.

    Rod, good explanation of the XP firing pin by WWB, as we've come to expect. (-:

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