Discussion in '1911 Gunsmithing' started by Mongo45, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. Mongo45

    Mongo45 Active Member

    Jul 15, 2014
    I’ve been doing a little research on the proper spring weight (both recoil and mainspring) for a 5” Gov’t model using factory 230gr ball or 230 HST.

    What symptoms would I see with an oversprung (18-20) gun that the standard 16# recoil spring would fix.

    I’ve got a well built (Karl Sokol) 5” Springfield that I had a couple hiccups with. When chambering the first round on a full magazine using the slide lock the round went high (nose up) into the chamber and stopped. Slightly drawing the slide back and releasing immediately fed it. The gun shot and cycled perfectly otherwise. 2-300 Fed 230gr ball. Had it happen a half dozen times with a variety of Wilson ETM and Ed Brown mags. The springs are easily 10 years old and I didn’t know if this could be an under or over spring issue.

    What do you guys use for spring weight...?

    It’s not my competition gun just a spare and doesn’t see a lot of use maybe 2K total down the pipe over last 10 years
  2. El Perdido

    El Perdido Fictional Western Sage

    Oct 3, 2011
    I use 16lb Wolff springs for my 5" 1911's
    Also change em out at 2000 rounds

  3. july19

    july19 Womb? Weary? He rests. He has travelled. Supporting Addict

    Sep 16, 2013
    I recommend using the spring weight the pistol was designed for and changing them at 2000 rounds, as El Peridido says. The springs are inexpensive, there is no point in seeing how long one can make one last.
  4. Apollo99

    Apollo99 Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2017
    While I haven't touched the springs in my SA PRO, I have put the Wilson Combat spring kit in all of my other 1911s over the years. It comes with an 18.5 lb. recoil spring and I've never had any problems. I think a 20 lb. may be a little on the stiff side, unless you are shooting +p loads. The 20 lb. spring with standard loads may fail to cycle the slide, giving you failure to eject, failure to feed issues. I do put 22 lb. on my commander size 1911 ,but that's what it calls for.
  5. TangoWhiskeyFoxtrot

    TangoWhiskeyFoxtrot I do not consent.

    Dec 28, 2017
    Did you recently change something or did the gun work fine for 2k+ rounds and now is misbehaving?

    If it worked before and doesn't now my approach would be to try and get a simple length comparison between used/new and see if the used one shows any sign of collapse.

    There isn't any easy way to test the actual spring rate of small coil springs so you have to find some kind of proxy.

    This is just my approach, but I would try to get a sense if the used spring was still performing to spec and get to a known baseline before beginning rate experimentation.

    This assumes that you know the brand of the used spring and, preferably, the mfg stated weight.

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
  6. mikegalway

    mikegalway CEO of DILLIGAF industries Supporting Addict

    Feb 23, 2014
    I'm running 20lb flat wire in one 5 inch Wilson and a 17 lb in the other . Both work fine .
  7. Mongo45

    Mongo45 Active Member

    Jul 15, 2014
    What main spring weight goes with a 18.5 recoil spring..?
  8. gaijin

    gaijin Well-Known Member

    May 18, 2015
    In my .45's I run a 15# RS, 21# MS and a FBFPS.
    Kip likes this.
  9. Greg45acp

    Greg45acp Double Secret Banned Supporting Addict

    Oct 31, 2016
    16 pounds for recoil spring / 23 lbs. for mainspring is considered the OEM standard in a 5" 45.

    Some recommend 18.5 lbs for recoil with 19 for the mainspring as a better combo (Bill Wilson and Larry Vickers like this combo).

    Stay away from variable rate springs. They are for compensated guns.
    Mongo45 and ChuckC like this.

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