1911 goverment Mainspring, lock time and accuracy

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1911 goverment Mainspring, lock time and accuracy

Post by DavidR on Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:18 am

This has been touched on in several topics but thought a topic on its own might be good. We have heard the mainspring does several things, slows or speeds up the slide depending on being heavy or light. Increases or decreases lock time of the hammer striking the firing pin. Weights most say run from 17 0n the light end to 23 on the heavy side. What do you find works best and does lock time have anything to do with accuracy or the ability to fire a accurate shot? It seems a M/S that causes the hammer to fall faster would be better, giving the shooter less time to move off target as the shot breaks but what sounds good isn't always true...

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Re: 1911 goverment Mainspring, lock time and accuracy

Post by AllAces on Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:40 am

An interesting topic and I sure would like to hear from some of the top gunsmiths and high masters as to their experience.  I know a couple master level shooters who use the 23 lb spring but are a not sure why or if it helps.

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Re: 1911 goverment Mainspring, lock time and accuracy

Post by kc.crawford.7 on Fri Jun 26, 2015 11:12 am

I don't know that lock time in our pistols truly matters.  The weight of the main spring does have some definite cause and effect relationships.  The obvious is the lighter the spring the less resistance that has be overcome by the slide.  And on the reverse the heavier the spring the more resistance has to be overcome.  With the "wobble area" of each person, I do not personally believe that a faster lock time will be noticeable.  That is all in the ability to call your shot.  I don't have measuring equipment to get the differences in lock time between changing main springs.  But the extremely small difference I don't think will give a difference that can be qualified short of a math equation to prove numbers.

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Re: 1911 goverment Mainspring, lock time and accuracy

Post by LenV on Fri Jun 26, 2015 11:15 am

I was getting a nose dip when the hammer was hitting the firing pin in dry fire. The heavy mainspring seemed to be the culprit. I lowered the weight to 17lbs and the dip went away. That also allowed me to put in a couple of pounds heavier recoil spring increasing lock time and pistol still functioned flawlessly. I now run 17s in all my 1911's. YMMV

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Re: 1911 goverment Mainspring, lock time and accuracy

Post by Froneck on Fri Jun 26, 2015 11:18 am

A lot has been said about lock time but I find little to be true. One thing to look for when dry firing is to see the if sights move when the hammer hits the slide. That impact is visible on guns with heavy hammers.
 Floyd Aikman and I'm sure others would grind the upper portion of the hammer so there was no contact with the sides of the hammer slot in the slide. It was thought that the hammer hitting the slide on the sides could move it enough to cause increase in group size. Plus it would lessen the hammer force on the firing pin.
 One of the things done to decrease lock time was to cut the inside of the upper end of the hammer to decrease weight. To keep to referees happy with EIC guns the cut-out was filled with a black epoxy.
 Another thing to remember the more weight on the hammer the more it transfers to the sear. Though the hammer spring pressure effectively decreases as the hammer moves rearward due to the rotation of the hammer strut pin, any increase in spring pressure will be transferred at that same ratio to the sear.
 Some like to increase Hammer spring to lessen recoil spring weight but the hammer effects the slide only in the rear direction, low weight recoil springs can cause feeding problems.
 Sanderson showed me a 1911 he put a hammer that looked like a thin flat paddle, pulling the trigger would not cause any sight movement at all as seen thru red dot scope. Dot remained perfectly motionless at the time of hammer impact.

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Re: 1911 goverment Mainspring, lock time and accuracy

Post by DavidR on Fri Jun 26, 2015 12:11 pm

So Frank, what M/S spring does the AMU use if you know?

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Re: 1911 goverment Mainspring, lock time and accuracy

Post by Froneck on Fri Jun 26, 2015 12:15 pm

I don't know, I can find out when at Perry. Trying to call Adam now is not easy, they are getting packed to go to Canton. When I talked to him yesterday it was just a few minutes as he was busy trying to get everything set up.

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Re: 1911 goverment Mainspring, lock time and accuracy

Post by DavidR on Fri Jun 26, 2015 12:23 pm

I know many smiths that have posted about this say 18 is the best but when you buy those drop in kits a lot of them come with 19's. I have also read many old timer's say the 23 is best.  Im sure others will weigh in on this

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Re: 1911 goverment Mainspring, lock time and accuracy

Post by Jerry Keefer on Fri Jun 26, 2015 12:31 pm

I like light weight hammers to a point..but have broken several, commercial hammers, so I have backed up a bit, and use Chuck Warner's hammers that I lighten just a little more and scallop for easy cocking. The reason is, the harder the hammer hits, the more motion from inertia that is imparted to the gun. 20lb main springs..I keep the recoil spring in the 14/15 lb area.. Lightened slides. Whatever pulls the shooter back on target. I never use the 9mm firing pins in the 45.. So, I am really not too extreme in either direction..

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Re: 1911 goverment Mainspring, lock time and accuracy

Post by Jwhelan939 on Fri Jun 26, 2015 1:58 pm

I have found that using the 21# mainspring with the EGW flat bottom firing pin stop slows lock time just enough to give better combustion. My forearms used to have a decent dusting of unspent powder after a match. With this new combo I don't have the same problem. In my head, more consistent burn translates to more consistent velocity and poi. Not sure you would notice much at 25,but it translates at 50.

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Re: 1911 goverment Mainspring, lock time and accuracy

Post by kwixdraw on Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:41 pm

Interesting thread. I was wondering what everyone thought about Titanium firing pins, hammer struts and mainspring caps. From the posts above It sounds to me like most feel that its not going to show up on the target.

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Re: 1911 goverment Mainspring, lock time and accuracy

Post by Axehandle on Sun Jun 28, 2015 6:00 pm

Reading all this makes me smile when I realize I have NEVER changed a mainspring for any reason in my paper punchers.   That just might be the reason I never shot 2650!   Dang!  If I had only known.  Laughing    Seriously I depend on my gun builder to put the proper springs in my  gun.    My job is to shoot them...   Very Happy

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Re: 1911 goverment Mainspring, lock time and accuracy

Post by john bickar on Sun Jun 28, 2015 6:06 pm

Axehandle wrote:reading all this make me smile when I realize I have NEVER changed a mainspring for any reason in my paper punchers.   That just might be the reason I never shot 2650!   Dang!  If I had only known.  Laughing    Seriously I depend on my gun builder to put the proper springs in my  gun.    My job is to shoot them...   Very Happy
Yeah, I'm amazed I ever even managed to crack 2400 without this invaluable knowledge!

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Re: 1911 goverment Mainspring, lock time and accuracy

Post by john bickar on Sun Jun 28, 2015 6:16 pm

Aaaand I'm a dumbass. This thread is in "Equipment Discussion," after all. My snark was not warranted.

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Re: 1911 goverment Mainspring, lock time and accuracy

Post by Axehandle on Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:20 pm

Oh, just laugh a little!  I know there are lots of guys out there who really get deep into tweaking their own guns and this type discussion really has good stuff for them.
It is just a place i don't go.  I did change out the mainspring housing inards of of Springfield RO one time but I just grabbed a spring out of the parts bin and continued to party down...

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Re: 1911 goverment Mainspring, lock time and accuracy

Post by john bickar on Sun Jun 28, 2015 9:13 pm

Axehandle wrote:Oh, just laugh a little!  I know there are lots of guys out there who really get deep into tweaking their own guns and this type discussion really has good stuff for them.

I am, I'm laughing at my own dumbassery. This is the place for this type of discussion, which is why I didn't delete my original dumbass post.

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Re: 1911 goverment Mainspring, lock time and accuracy

Post by kwixdraw on Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:20 pm

Well don't feel too bad guys. I know I make strange comments from time to time. I have neither the skill nor the knowledge that Jerry and some other folks have. I'm just getting back in the game after 30 years of raising kids and fooling with service rifles for a few years at a whack during that time. I have just enough training and experience to know that some stuff works and some is just fluff but makes the game more interesting. Look at all the run and gun games. I'm sure some of those guys are spending huge bucks in the hope of being able to find Excaliber.

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Re: 1911 goverment Mainspring, lock time and accuracy

Post by kwixdraw on Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 pm

My comment about all the Ti parts comes from experience racing motocross. For a time Ti was the rage and poorly engineered parts, like axles, were breaking and guys were getting hurt. I was wondering if the Ti parts for 1911s were actually doing any good or was it just marketing hype. Personally I have never seen anything wrong with the standard pieces so I am  leery of "Extreme, hyper duty, extended service" labels. With all the stuff out there and nothing much from Colt, what can you trust?

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Re: 1911 goverment Mainspring, lock time and accuracy

Post by Jerry Keefer on Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:17 am

Ti was popular in the early 90s and I tried most of those parts.  I never broke or had a failure with one. I think there is some benefit to them, there has to be, according to the laws of physics, but, I noticed that most of the main spring caps had short tenons.. I prefer a long tenon. The hammer struts were square cut thru out.. I prefer the military spec strut with the round extension. I also like a high luster polish on all the parts.. so I use the steel components to achieve that.  Now, in 1990, I bought a Ti standard shape hammer for a ball gun..Availability of that hammer was short, but that hammer is as good as the day I bought it, and has seen countless rounds thru that gun, which carried me to a number of distinguished wins, state titles, and a national class win.  The trigger  job is terrific. While checking trigger weights at Bristol many years ago, the late Ed Williams proclaimed," Who the hell did that trigger??"  Was it the hammer and Ti parts..?? I doubt  it.. It was just one of "those" special guns, that comes along every now and then..Smile

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Re: 1911 goverment Mainspring, lock time and accuracy

Post by DavidR on Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:33 am

Axehandle wrote:Reading all this makes me smile when I realize I have NEVER changed a mainspring for any reason in my paper punchers.   That just might be the reason I never shot 2650!   Dang!  If I had only known.  Laughing    Seriously I depend on my gun builder to put the proper springs in my  gun.    My job is to shoot them...  
That's what makes the world go round, just like cars. There are those that are happy just knowing how to insert the key and hope it cranks and others that want to know what every part does and why. Laughing

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Re: 1911 goverment Mainspring, lock time and accuracy

Post by Axehandle on Mon Jun 29, 2015 12:37 pm

Oh, I have guns (and Cars) that I take apart and play with.  They have been known to stay in pieces for years.   Match guns and daily transportation guns are off limits... Smile


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Re: 1911 goverment Mainspring, lock time and accuracy

Post by kwixdraw on Mon Jun 29, 2015 2:30 pm

I keep trying to get that across to my stepson..."Do NOT hotrod your daily transportation or you will walk a lot."   I like to know how and why it works. I always had trouble with the PD's philosophy of telling the guys that evil spirits lived inside their gun and would flee if it was opened for cleaning. Just me. I like Jaguars too. Restoring a '67 XKE FHC. Everyone need a project of pure passion.
           Cliff

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Re: 1911 goverment Mainspring, lock time and accuracy

Post by Froneck on Mon Jun 29, 2015 2:34 pm

TiAL64V is a good Ti alloy. Tough and Strong. Surface will work harden to a point that HSS will not cut it. I use it quite a bit for may projects and build the frame of homemade gun that Adam used 25 years ago and it still looks like new.

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Re: 1911 goverment Mainspring, lock time and accuracy

Post by kwixdraw on Mon Jun 29, 2015 2:47 pm

When you build a part out of that alloy, do you have to allow for a dimension change as it work hardens. I would love to be able to build a High Standard out of the best of everything available. Just for the exercise of it.

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Re: 1911 goverment Mainspring, lock time and accuracy

Post by Axehandle on Mon Jun 29, 2015 2:56 pm

I understood that the HS built with the best stuff had already been done...  They are the Hamden guns..   Smile

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Re: 1911 goverment Mainspring, lock time and accuracy

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