standard GI 1911A1 recoil spring strength???

Discussion in 'The 1911 Forum' started by MRMIKE08075, Jun 28, 2007.

  1. MRMIKE08075

    MRMIKE08075 Member

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    can anyone tell me what the recoil spring strentgh (in lbs) for a standard issue GI 1911A1 is???

    i believe its in the 6-8 lb range...

    but i cannot locate a definitive answer.

    best regards, mike.
  2. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member Supporting Member

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  3. MRMIKE08075

    MRMIKE08075 Member

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    thats a surprise to me...

    but maybe after 50 years in the field the GI 1911A1's i have handled have lost alot of tension from there springs???

    best regards, mike.
  4. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    My compensated race gun used an eight lb spring. :D

    My Colt Commander uses a 22 lb spring. If you are shooting wad cutter target loads you may get by with a 12 lb spring in a Gov't model.
  5. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    As Shooter says, Mil-Spec. was 16 lb.

    For lighter loads, you'll want to go down to 14 or maybe even 12 lbs. For heavier (+P) stuff, you should be in the 18-20 lb. range.

    I'd recommend these: http://www.gunsprings.com/1ndex.html
  6. MRMIKE08075

    MRMIKE08075 Member

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    the reason i ask is the last tricked out match gun i built for my dad has a recoil spring that is so heavy its damn near impossible to rack the slide manualy...

    on the plus side the heavy spring eats up the recoil...

    but my dad would prefer a lighter spring...

    and in its current configuration it only feeds 230gr hardball and my dad wants to shoot off a bunch of 185gr wadcutters.

    i recomended he purchase a 14lb spring and a 16lb spring and see which he prefers...

    best regards, mike,
  7. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Mike, clip a couple of coils off the existing spring.
  8. stash247

    stash247 New Member

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    Mike, Brownell's has them in a variety of numbers; 18# is standard for a 5", hardball pistol, but they will send whatever you order, up to a 24# spring, for a 3" Hardball gun, to my recollection, and they have competent advisors, for this type of question! 1-800-741-0015.
  9. MRMIKE08075

    MRMIKE08075 Member

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    i bought the "sampler pack" that included a whole range of spring weights...

    the consensus is that the 14lb and 16lb springs "feel" best...

    the spring we took out of the gun appears to be twice the thickness of the heaviest spring in the sampler.

    we will range test the 14 / 16 lbers with a variety of loads and see what works best.

    the only other "problem" i have had is that the titanium power extractor rips the rim right off of CCI BLAZER aluminum cases (takes a chunk right out)

    best regards, mike.
  10. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    MRMIKE08075:

    Start with the heaviest first or at least the 18#'er. Test by installing the spring that just lets the gun feed (slide cycles all the way to the rear every time and locks back on the last round. Be sure to test on all the ammos you expect to use.

    If you put in too light a spring then the gun will get battered by the frame acting as a stop to a very fast moving slide. Perfect is when the slide travels all the way to the rear and just lightly kisses the frame. Frame buffers help but, dependent on the gun, they may keep the slide from locking back if you have a mix of after market parts. My Rock Island with a Dwyer Group Gripper spring guide did that but my Colt Delta Elite with an older version of the Dwyer Group Gripper did not (??).

    LDBennett
  11. MRMIKE08075

    MRMIKE08075 Member

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    i have advised my Dad that an 18lb spring would be my choice...

    we do have a recoil buffer installed...

    my dad is a traditionalist, and prefers not to go the guide rod route, despite having the parts set aside to convert the gun.

    the slide and frame are VERY TIGHT, being a matched / enhanced set from ESSEX (do they still offer matched sets???)

    my dad does have a "practice" 1911A1, so the match gun does not see alot of use, exept when we install the Kimber Match Target .22 conversion kit.

    i am pretty happy with this 1st for us build from scratch, but i will continue to make minor adjustments and tinker.

    thanks guys.

    best regards, mike.
  12. stevenorlando

    stevenorlando New Member

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    Hello All,

    I'm interested in using SWC ammo as well, and I would like to know what strength recoil spring and what strength mainspring to use.

    I know the std. recoil spring is 16 lbs, and the std. mainspring is 23 lbs.

    I know that the Les Baer Wadcutter 1911 uses lighter springs, maybe I can contact them.

    Also, does anyone know how to measure spring strength?

    Steve
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