Reduced power spring for SR 1911

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by todd51, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. todd51

    todd51 Well-Known Member

    Mar 20, 2009
    Central, Ohio
    Because of increasing arthritis in my left hand, pain and weakness is making it almost impossible for me to cycle the slide with my left hand on this pistol even with the hammer cocked. It seems to have had stronger stock springs than I have encountered in other 1911s in the past. I have a Colt MK IV/Series '70 Gold Cup which has stock springs and I can still cycled the slide with my left hand even with out the hammer cocked. These are the only 1911 I still have in my inventory.

    Can I switch out the springs on the Ruger and achieve something similar to the condition that exits in the Colt? This would be for range use only and I would have to also determine some loads that would balance out with the reduced power springs. Looking at Wolf, Wilson and other suppliers I see there is a wide assortment of various ratings on the springs. Where should I start power wise and do I have to swap out all the springs, (recoil, firing pin, hammer). Do these have to be "balanced" in some way so they are work properly together.

    I don't care if it means I get down to some pretty light powder puff reloads to make this all work. But right now I am shying away from enjoying this pistol because of the difficulty of cycling the slide.

    Attached Files:

  2. BillM

    BillM Active Member

    Jan 16, 2010
    Amity Orygun
    Sure you can swap springs. I believe the Ruger is a fairly accurate
    1911 clone, so there shouldn't be any big surprises.

    Firing pin spring--don't mess with it.

    Recoil spring---try around a 14 lb spring. You might even give a
    progressive wound spring a try, it might make it easier to cock.

    You can go lighter--LOTS lighter. If you want to reload light loads,
    the gun will still function fine down to at least 8 lbs.

    Mainspring. I wouldn't go lighter than 17 lbs, you might need 19 lbs
    to get 100% ignition. Does the Ruger have a mainspring housing lock
    like current Springfields? If so watch the spring length, the top plunger
    may not be mil-spec.

    Also look at the radius on the bottom edge of the firing pin stop. More
    radius can make a gun cock easier when the hammer is down. Changing
    the radius WILL affect overall gun timing, might want to leave that mod
    to a gunsmith.
  3. goofy

    goofy Well-Known Member

    Feb 7, 2011
    Wolf has a complete spring package it comes with all the springs you are talking about you can start with the higher lbs and work your way down to ware it feels the way you want and the action still functions the correct way.
    I would not start swapping springs from other makes get the ones that are for the gun you have.
  4. todd51

    todd51 Well-Known Member

    Mar 20, 2009
    Central, Ohio
    Thanks Bill and Mike.

    I broke both guns down to look at the profile on the firing pin stop and there is a difference in radius. The Ruger has a "flat" before it "blends" to the slide. The Colt doesn't have this flat possibly giving the Colt a larger radius. I would not attempt to change that and will try some lighter springs as Mike suggested.

    Just as an aside, what kind of loads would they be shooting with those extremely light recoil springs. I see Wolf goes as low as 5 lb. Don't get me wrong if I can get the Ruger functioning similar to the Gold Cup I will be happy shooting the loads I use in the Colt.

    While I had both pistols apart I tried the Gold Cup recoil spring in the Ruger to see what difference it would make. I can easily cycle the slide on the Ruger with that Gold Cup spring installed even with out cocking the hammer first. That was just a quick try and both guns are back to their normal configuration.

    Mike I think I will order one of those kits from Wolf. They have one with recoil springs from 15 down to 11 lbs. While I am at it I will also get their hammer spring kit which has 19, 20 & 21 lb. springs.

    Again thanks for the help. SR1911/DSCF0001_zps6c1ed8dc.jpg
  5. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member

    Feb 9, 2001
  6. RJay

    RJay Active Member

    Feb 22, 2004
    Goodyear, Arizona
    One other solution, A few years ago I brought a" compensator " on a whim. Sticks out about a inch and a 1/4. Of course it doesn't work, not with the 45 with standard loads so off it came and is in one of my parts boxes. However I did find out it was very good in one aspect, by placing the devise against a hard object and pushing, you can cycle the slide with no effort with one hand. If fact I left it on for quiet a while, even if it didn't perform the intended function, just for the ease of cycling the first round. I've seen them recently in one of my catalogs so they are still on the market.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013
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