Recoil Spring in 9mm Springfield Range Officer

Discussion in '1911 Gunsmithing' started by pcso13, Nov 25, 2018.

  1. pcso13

    pcso13 Happiness is a range in your backyard

    655
    Nov 25, 2018
    Trying to find out what pound recoil spring my 9mm Springfield range officer came with from the factory. My manual from Springfield seems to only list the .45 and shows 16 lbs.. I have spoken with many people and have had answers of 9 & 10 pounds.

    It seemed the spring was a bit weak so I put in a Wilson Combat 13 lb. spring. Went shooting today and found that occasionally the slide would not lock open when the magazine was empty. This has never been an issue so I was wondering if the new spring might be the culprit.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. B81

    B81 Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2018
    It could be.

    What made you conclude that the factory spring was weak? What were the original trouble symptoms?

    What mags are you using? Have you tested with other mags?

    FWIW, I'm running a 13# recoil spring and 19# mainspring in my 9mm SA Loaded Target (full size).
     

  3. pcso13

    pcso13 Happiness is a range in your backyard

    655
    Nov 25, 2018
    Having issues with rounds seating properly. Many different types of ammo tried and only a few wouldn't give me a problem. Didn't happen often but enough to bother me. Gunsmith checked everything inside out and said it looked good - he suggested a stronger recoil spring.

    Mags are factory mags that came with the gun along with Wilson Combat Vickers mag. Same issue with both types.

    Ammo today was my standard target choice - Remington 115 gr. FMJ.
     
  4. azguy1911

    azguy1911 I'm done buying guns, I'm just a bystander now

    Oct 22, 2015
    It's a 100% the problem, from the Wilson website:

    HOW TO TEST TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE CORRECT RECOIL SPRING WEIGHT FOR YOUR AMMUNITION: Go to the range with your pistol and a magazine that will positively lock your slide to the rear when you slowly retract the slide with the pistol empty. Load one round of the desired ammunition in the proven magazine, load the pistol and fire the single shot holding the pistol in your strong hand, but grip the pistol fairly loose. If the pistol consistently (5 to 10 shots is adequate) locks the slide to the rear, the recoil spring is not too heavy for your ammunition. A recoil spring that is 1-2# below the weight where you begin to have failures to lock open is ideal for your ammunition.

    So, try a 12 or even a 10 lb spring ;)
     
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  5. pcso13

    pcso13 Happiness is a range in your backyard

    655
    Nov 25, 2018
    Thanks azguy1911.

    I'll put the old spring back in and see if the problem goes away.
     
  6. gun_fan111

    gun_fan111 Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2014
    If you are having failures to feed and not enough skills to troubleshoot it yourself, send her to Springfield to fix under their warranty. Replacing an old spring is one thing, but putting in a heavier spring to “force” your gun to feed factory ammo is not a good way to go. I assume your gun is newer... and un-altered...
     
  7. pcso13

    pcso13 Happiness is a range in your backyard

    655
    Nov 25, 2018

    Wow, just looking for some feedback from friendly experienced 1911 owners.

    It’s not “newer” at all. Replaced the spring on the advice of a gunsmith.

    I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but having retired after 33 years in law enforcement I’m not all that unfamiliar with all types of weapons.

    Thanks for your suggestion.
     
  8. gun_fan111

    gun_fan111 Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2014
    Did not mean to be unfriendly, just being direct :)

    Your gun may very well need a new spring if you put enough rounds through it, but fixing a feeding issue with a heavier spring still sounds like a bad idea to me.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I use a 12lb spring in my 9mm Range Officer but that was put in when I replaced the ILS mainspring housing with an Ed Brown part and swapped the mainspring for a 23lb one in the process.

    Good luck in getting your issue resolved
     
  9. Integrity Arms

    Integrity Arms 1911 Pistol Smith

    Mar 20, 2017
    I wouldn't go above 11# in that 13# is your not getting a full cycle and if you look at your brass also probably having some dings put in your ejected brass.. 11# imo for a 9mm fs.. Have had tons of success with that weight.
     
    Mike Meints and pcso13 like this.
  10. BigJimP

    BigJimP Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2018
    Wilson combat's website ..If you go into .."Shop"...then "1911 accessories" ...then "springs" ... then "recoil springs".... / then look at 3 categories... conventional /chrome silicon spring../.or flat wire spring categories...

    As you go into each category...like the 12.5 lb chrome silicon spring ...it gives you recommendations for that spring that work the best...( full size 9mm, 5", velocity, power factor, etc....)..to help you.

    In my full sized 5" wilson in 9mm....( I shoot mostly 115gr bullet at around 1140 fps ...)... and my preferred recoil spring has been either a 12# conventional spring, a 12.5" chrome silicon spring or the new 13# flat wire spring. They have all run 100% ..../ spring life is an issue for me because I put at least 20,000 rds a yr thru that 9mm....so I have used the 12.5 chrome silicone for last 5 yrs ...but this summer I went to the flat wire spring for longer spring life - but you will need to change guide rod & end cap ( buy wilson kit) if you go that flat wire spring route.

    I also use a 19lb mainspring or hammer strut spring ...but that spring should have nothing to do with your issues.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
    pcso13 likes this.
  11. B81

    B81 Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2018
    Could you clarify what you mean by "not seating properly." Was the gun just not returning to battery? Was the round jumping in front of the extractor?

    With the factory spring, were you able to rectify a "seating failure" event by bumping the back if your slide with your hand?

    How new is this gun? How many rounds do you have through it? What kind of lube are you using?

    For some reason, it has become fashionable these days to not clean one's gun. Are you thoroughly cleaning the gun after each range trip? Do you have still have trouble after the gun is thoroughly cleaned and lubed?
     
    pcso13 likes this.
  12. Stogies

    Stogies One more please!

    Aug 22, 2015
    Wow is right
    @gun_fan111
    is a great guy and only trying to help. There was no disrespectful tone there, merely trying to give you good advice.
    Lighten up!
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
    gun_fan111 likes this.
  13. fieldgrade

    fieldgrade resident crank

    Mar 13, 2017
    My full sized Valor in 9mm had a 10lb spring. My fullsized Fusion in 9mm has a 12lb spring (and runs better than the Valor) although the Valor didn't like a 12 lb spring. You can get a digital caliper off Amazon for like $20 and measure the coil diameter to compare what you have.

    I found a post eleswhere that says the RO recoil spring in 9mm is 9lb
     
    pcso13 likes this.
  14. Mike Meints

    Mike Meints Well-Known Member

    Mar 2, 2017
    pcso13 ,
    The condition you're describing is the result of insufficient slide speed .
    Does the slide bind or drag at all on the frame ? Does it seem to slow down after shooting it a while or is it sluggish to begin with ?
    Assuming the pistol is clean and the slide moves freely , it should function with a 9 or 10 lb. recoil spring . Failure to return to battery can be a dirty pistol . One that has a tight slide to frame fit might require a lighter viscosity oil ( Rem or Wilson lite ). It could also be too much spring tension on the disconnector slowing down the slide on it's return .
    I would start by checking ease of movement with just the slide on the frame and work from there . You'll find it . Good luck !
    Just my .02
     
    pcso13 likes this.
  15. pcso13

    pcso13 Happiness is a range in your backyard

    655
    Nov 25, 2018
    Thanks gun_fan111, I'm good with direct. :cheers:

    A little over 1000 rounds when the issue started. Also, I don't want to make the problem sound worse than it is - wasn't very often at all but when it happens twice or more with different types of ammo it gets my attention. The gunsmith I took it to checked it out and said everything looked fine (he said it's not a feeding issue as I also originally suspected) and suggested a little stronger recoil spring. With the old spring when I pulled the slide back to chamber a round it just seemed weak. I know that's not very scientific, but I'm familiar with the gun and there came a point when the slide just seemed to cycle weakly/slower than normal.

    It very well could be that it just needs a new spring - same strength as from the factory. That's why I wanted to know if anyone knew what pound spring it came with from the factory. I contacted Springfield Armory today and they advised me that it's a 9 lb. spring. That answers that!

    And if you don't mind me asking, why did you replace the ILS mainspring housing? Was it not functioning properly, or you just don't like ILS?

    Thanks.
     
    gun_fan111 likes this.
  16. pcso13

    pcso13 Happiness is a range in your backyard

    655
    Nov 25, 2018
    Stogies, while I admire you coming to the defense of gun_fan111, as a new member just trying to ask a question I admit I was taken aback at his tone. I'm not familiar with how things are done here and I'm not familiar with the members and how they respond to questions so maybe you could take that into consideration until I catch up with the learning curve here.

    gun-fan111 say's he didn't mean to be unfriendly, just direct, and I take him at his word.

    I also suspect gun_fan111 doesn't need anyone to take up for him. :)

    I felt like this forum was a good place to interact with and learn some things from 1911 enthusiasts. I'm of the opinion that the only stupid question is the one not asked.

    Peace! :cheers:
     
    limbkiller likes this.
  17. pcso13

    pcso13 Happiness is a range in your backyard

    655
    Nov 25, 2018

    PewPewPtwang. Thanks for your reply! I have tried to answer your questions in red above.
     
  18. gun_fan111

    gun_fan111 Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2014
    Main reason I removed the ILS is because I was actually installing a two piece part from Ed Brown that has the extended magwell. But I also think that ILS itself is a useless addition (if one has a safe) with more parts to break, keys to keep track of and an extra part to keep track of to break it down for cleaning.
     
    pcso13 likes this.
  19. Mike Meints

    Mike Meints Well-Known Member

    Mar 2, 2017
    Also, that Springfield has , I believe , a Titanium firing pin and uses a 24 lb. mainspring . All of which would work properly with a 9 or 10 # recoil spring .
    If you change the firing pin to steel , then you might use a heavier recoil spring and a lighter mainspring .
     
    pcso13 likes this.

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