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Discussion Starter #1
I have three 1911 45's at various degrees of performance. I love all three of them. The 1st is a Colt Government. The 2nd is a Springfield MC Operator and the 3rd is a Wilson CQB.
The Colt requires a 16 lb. recoil spring. The Springfield I believe is the same, The Wilson they recommend an 18-1/2 lb.
OK. A friend gave me a pack of Wolf springs. A 12 lb. A 14 lb and a 15 lb. He does not reload. I do. He owns a Springfield TRP and a Les Baer. Using the 12 lb, 14 lb and a 15 lb on the TRP and Les Baer would compromise the slide and or the frame.
So my question is if I use any of those springs on my Colt (16 lb), what kind of reduced load would I use. Lets say, Clays. I used a Clays load few years back using a 230 gr LRN. And the Clays was 4.0 gr. It cycled thru the Colt fine. But because the spring was heavier in the Wilson, would not cycle. Clays is a temperamental powder. Adding more grns. of Clays if not careful can ramp up the pressures to a dangerous lever. But maybe using the 15 lb. spring on the Wilson would cycle better. Am I asking the right kind of question as to know the different recoil spring uses.
 
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Discussion Starter #2
Another question I have is how often are recoil springs changed out for semiautomatic pistols or rifles?
 

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Normally you would use different springs for different loads. It all depends on how and what you are shooting. ( Note, you must know what your factory spring lb is before you start. )
If you are shooting hard ball then you want a heavy spring.
If you are shooting strictly target then you want a nice soft spring.
With a heavy spring you would load to factory spec.
With a soft spring for target start your loads at absolute minimum to the point of were the pistol will not cycle and then work up to a point of 90% cycle and then add 1/10-2/10 gr of powder untill you have 100% cycle and then stop.
For the average person, factory springs are just fine and don't need to be changed unless you are going to feed it a steady diet of what ever.

"good " quality springs should last a very long time.
My target 45 has probably 50,000 rounds through it and is perfictly fine.
My 1914 Colt 45 has never had the springs changed. What you pay for is what you get.
 

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  1. Factory spring for a full size 1911 is 16#. I shoot one of my pistols just as it is when a Korean War vet gave it to me, and as far as I know the springs Colt put in when manufactured.....in......1918! I am not one to start stuffing springs into each used pistol I acquire and shoot all of them. Of course there are exceptions and i replace recoil springs when needed
  2. Oh yeah I also let the slide go forward on my semi auto pistols without a round in the chamber and have done that since I worked in a maintenance depot at a training post where weapons had slides banged forward thousands of times a month and all weapons dry fired more times than one could count. Some of the wives tales about firearms make me chuckle.
 

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Shooter, I may be ignorant but I have carried/ shot 1911’s since 1959....shot more ammo than I could even guess...worked on dozens and dozens of them and somehow believe I am less than ignorant when it comes to this pistol. I have also attended S&W armorers school on automatic pistols on three occasions finding the master gunsmiths let the slide go forward on an empty chamber. At my dept I never had a pistol returned that displayed damage that could be attributed to the slide and frame interaction. Yes I am ignorant but not in this area. :) Now when do I get the bliss?
 

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Another question I have is how often are recoil springs changed out for semiautomatic pistols or rifles?
I really do not know. I have a couple of 1911's that I have shot and carried for more than 40 years and they still have the original factory springs. I did order factory springs for them when I bought them and have them in my case when I go to the range just in case. When the day comes that I need one I will be ready. I have replaced the barrel on the one I carried but haven't needed to do the springs yet. I am a believer of "if it ain't broke don't fix it."
 

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Men, we are a bunch of OLD farts! I too have been carrying a 45 for 40 + years. I'd guess, we learned from our Dads, who were in WWII or Korea. My Dad was a Half-track driver from the Bulge 'til the end. He taught me a lot about 45 safety issues.

My preference is to have heavy springs as my 45's seem to work best with them. My old friend, Remington Rand WWII, has been retired, not because of any issues but out of respect. He's seen enough.
 

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Men, we are a bunch of OLD farts!
:yikes: I resemble that remark!

I have had my 1911 .45 about 9 years and had to change the recoil spring one time shortly after I got it. It has had an 18lb spring ever since and runs smooth as butter. I shoot 230gr ball almost exclusively, however I occasionally shoot & carry Hornady 185 grain HP.
 

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:yikes: I resemble that remark!

I have had my 1911 .45 about 9 years and had to change the recoil spring one time shortly after I got it. It has had an 18lb spring ever since and runs smooth as butter. I shoot 230gr ball almost exclusively, however I occasionally shoot & carry Hornady 185 grain HP.
When I reload,I use 4grs Bullseye and an 230 lead ball. It's just enough to work the slide. A Friend of mine, who used to shoot at Camp Perry, told me many times "Velocity doesn't kill anything, placement does. If you use enough powder to work slide you have better control." I was shooting a 45 competition, 60 seconds 25 rounds various stages and positions. I was stopped by the Range Master after I dropped my 2nd mag. He said "You done this before", I said "10 years ago, why?" He said " I got to mark the holes your putting them in the same hole." Out of 250 pts I scorred 217 in 26 seconds.
 

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The top item in this lineup is the '44 vintage Ithaca M1911A1 I'd carried for about thirty years, during which time I put a lot of rounds through it - 230gr FMJ USGI and Remington commercial. The only part I changed out was the barrel - replaced the wartime HS with a Colt Government Model barrel. The HS barrel has been reinstalled just to bring the old war horse back to original configuration. The point I'm rather ponderously leading up to is that the recoil spring has been in there since I received the pistol in the '60s and carried till I retired in '93. It's never failed me - not once, and none of the parts show any signs of battering.
198392_094e9bcf955fc5aeb6807dc3949f4b7d.jpg
 

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My buddy and I not only have a number of 1911’s, Colt and other brands, but a bit over two hundred semi autos and a couple of dozen revolvers. The cost to immediately replace all springs as some suggest would tend to break the bank when most do not need any new springs. I cannot even suggest the number of rounds we have fired through our firearms without spring replacement or any damage to the pistols. I did find a mag today that either has a short spring or a weak one, since I bought it used I do not know is’s age or prior use.
 

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I did find a mag today that either has a short spring or a weak one, since I bought it used I do not know is’s age or prior use.
Sometime back in the late '60s or early '70s I was given four loaded M1911 magazines. They were wrapped neatly in a sheet of yellowed newspaper which was tied with a length of twine. The newspaper was dated pre-WW2. The rounds were standard USGI ball. Next range session I brought the mags along - still loaded - and emptied them without a hitch.
 

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McKenzie, The Star mag uses a very light weight coil spring, I compare this mag to others I have and it is definitely weaker than the others. About thirty years ago I was given a 1911 still in the holster when it was brought home from WWI. Took me some time ( days) to get the pistol out of the holster, I cleaned it up and fired the 1917 ammo that was in the magazine. I do not replace springs unless necessary.
 

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"When I reload,I use 4grs Bullseye and an 230 lead ball."
I like this load very much, for the same reasons as the gent who posted the above. It's mild, but operates the slide in every stock M1911A1 in which I've used it. I've recently switched to the 225 gr. TCBB, but accuracy and reliability remained unaffected.
 
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