Appropriate loads for a particular weight recoil spring.

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Appropriate loads for a particular weight recoil spring.

Post by USSR on Mon Sep 18 2017, 19:10

Guys,

I am having a Kart Xact NM barrel installed on my Series 70 Gold Cup.   What I would like to pick your brains for is this.   I want mild loads such as are used in Bullseye competition, although I won't be using it for such.   I will be using a 200gr H&G 68 clone at an OAL of 1.250" and have the following powders: Bullseye, 700X, Solo 1000, AA#2, and W231.   I have the following weight springs: 16#, 14#, 12#, and 10#.   Can someone please give me charge weights that are suitable for a particular weight recoil spring?   Thanks in advance for your reply.

Don

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Re: Appropriate loads for a particular weight recoil spring.

Post by Jon Eulette on Mon Sep 18 2017, 19:19

Not that simple Don. If barrel is fit BE snug you can use a lighter recoil spring. If fit is so so you'll need a heavier recoil spring. So you really have to wait for barrel to be fit then try load and spring combinations.
Jon
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Re: Appropriate loads for a particular weight recoil spring.

Post by JKR on Mon Sep 18 2017, 19:21

Slide mount, Frame mount, or Iron sights?

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Re: Appropriate loads for a particular weight recoil spring.

Post by USSR on Mon Sep 18 2017, 19:23

Okay, so assuming a load consisting of 4.0gr of Bullseye, what spring weight would you try first?   It's a Gold Cup, so standard adjustable sight on the slide.

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Re: Appropriate loads for a particular weight recoil spring.

Post by Jon Eulette on Mon Sep 18 2017, 20:12

13#
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Re: Appropriate loads for a particular weight recoil spring.

Post by USSR on Mon Sep 18 2017, 20:23

Okay.   So, since I have a 12# and a 14# spring, that gives me an idea about a charge weight/spring weight to use.   Thanks.

Don

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Re: Appropriate loads for a particular weight recoil spring.

Post by JKR on Tue Sep 19 2017, 08:01

Jon,

Since were on the subject of recoil springs...

I recently had the opportunity to examine Jerry Wilder's old wad gun. It's around mid eighties vintage built by Don Nygord. It has an extended Bomar rib. No tuner. 

What struck me is how light the recoil spring is. It couldn't have been more than three inches long and felt like about six pounds or less although I have no way of knowing. Jerry still shoots it occasionally with Federal Match so I tried it it with some of my light short line lead bullet loads.In spite of the very light spring the cases just sort of rolled out the port and fell on the bench. The old girl still shot very well. 

Was it common to run springs this light? 

Jim

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Re: Appropriate loads for a particular weight recoil spring.

Post by dronning on Tue Sep 19 2017, 09:11

JKR wrote:Jon,
Was it common to run springs this light? 
The mainspring and firing pin stop radius play a big roll in slowing the slide down.  I have a Colt Gold Cup that sounds just like what you described it was a bear to rack the slide.  When I first got it I thought the slide was fit too tight but the slide moves on the frame like butter.  The recoil spring was under 7lbs.  It has almost no radius on the firing pin stop and the mainspring was over 26lb.  Lockup seems to be right on.  Set up this way this gun shot decent groups (2.5" @ 50yds).  I couldn't live with the racking issue so I changed it up.  I left the firing pin stop alone but reduced the mainspring to 19lb and initially increased the recoil spring to 14lbs but I had to drop it to 12lbs with my loads.  It's groups are the same, maybe a little better, but it's much easier to rack now.
- Dave
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Re: Appropriate loads for a particular weight recoil spring.

Post by Jon Eulette on Tue Sep 19 2017, 09:20

I shot with Jerry on USAR pistol team and remember that pistol. He shot a 100-8x SF in San Diego one time with that pistol and the Federal Match 185 jswc. As far as spring goes that's not typical by any means. So no I'm not familiar with it being set up like this. It was common to cut down recoil springs but 3" is extremely short.
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Re: Appropriate loads for a particular weight recoil spring.

Post by JKR on Tue Sep 19 2017, 10:09

Going from my memory on this so it could've been 4" but no longer. With the hammer cocked there wasn't much resistance in the first bit of slide travel. It still stripped cartridges and fed perfectly. 

Jerry told me about a national record set with you and I don't remember who else in a team match. Three man team if I remember correctly. 

Being the only two competitive shooters in a small rural town we naturally gravitated toward each other. I met him when I was making the transition from rifle. Good guy to know!

Jim

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Re: Appropriate loads for a particular weight recoil spring.

Post by Chris Miceli on Tue Sep 19 2017, 10:45

JKR wrote:Going from my memory on this so it could've been 4" but no longer. With the hammer cocked there wasn't much resistance in the first bit of slide travel. It still stripped cartridges and fed perfectly. 

Jerry told me about a national record set with you and I don't remember who else in a team match. Three man team if I remember correctly. 

Being the only two competitive shooters in a small rural town we naturally gravitated toward each other. I met him when I was making the transition from rifle. Good guy to know!

Jim
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Re: Appropriate loads for a particular weight recoil spring.

Post by USSR on Tue Sep 19 2017, 10:49

dronning wrote:
JKR wrote:Jon,
Was it common to run springs this light? 
The mainspring and firing pin stop radius play a big roll in slowing the slide down.  I have a Colt Gold Cup that sounds just like what you described it was a bear to rack the slide.  When I first got it I thought the slide was fit too tight but the slide moves on the frame like butter.  The recoil spring was under 7lbs.  It has almost no radius on the firing pin stop and the mainspring was over 26lb.  Lockup seems to be right on.  Set up this way this gun shot decent groups (2.5" @ 50yds).  I couldn't live with the racking issue so I changed it up.  I left the firing pin stop alone but reduced the mainspring to 19lb and initially increased the recoil spring to 14lbs but I had to drop it to 12lbs with my loads.  It's groups are the same, maybe a little better, but it's much easier to rack now.
- Dave

In addition to the Kart barrel and bushing, the EGW Oversize firing pin stop is on my gunsmith's to-do list.   Looks like I will have some playing around to do with recoil spring weights.   What are some symptoms to look for of having a spring weight that is slightly too light or too heavy for a particular load?

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Re: Appropriate loads for a particular weight recoil spring.

Post by USSR on Thu Sep 21 2017, 21:02

Hmm, would have thought that I would have got more info such as "using this load with this spring weight" from a site that is supposed to be for Bullseye shooters.   Maybe it's "super secret info"? Smile

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Re: Appropriate loads for a particular weight recoil spring.

Post by Jon Eulette on Thu Sep 21 2017, 21:17

No secrets Don. Lots of trial and error. To be blunt if your gunsmith butchers your barrel fit you can use a heavier recoil spring because it will come out of battery too fast. If it's fit just right you could be using a spring that is 2# lighter. No magic, every gun is different especially if not built by a reputable BE smith.
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Re: Appropriate loads for a particular weight recoil spring.

Post by rreid on Thu Sep 21 2017, 21:45

USSR wrote:Guys,

I am having a Kart Xact NM barrel installed on my Series 70 Gold Cup.   What I would like to pick your brains for is this.   I want mild loads such as are used in Bullseye competition, although I won't be using it for such.   I will be using a 200gr H&G 68 clone at an OAL of 1.250" and have the following powders: Bullseye, 700X, Solo 1000, AA#2, and W231.   I have the following weight springs: 16#, 14#, 12#, and 10#.   Can someone please give me charge weights that are suitable for a particular weight recoil spring?   Thanks in advance for your reply.

Don
I would try 3.5 to 3.7 gr of bullseye with the 12lb spring to start.
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Re: Appropriate loads for a particular weight recoil spring.

Post by USSR on Fri Sep 22 2017, 07:01

Jon Eulette wrote:No secrets Don. Lots of trial and error. To be blunt if your gunsmith butchers your barrel fit you can use a heavier recoil spring because it will come out of battery too fast. If it's fit just right you could be using a spring that is 2# lighter. No magic, every gun is different especially if not built by a reputable BE smith.
Jon

Hmm Jon.   Sounds like sour grapes on your part, with a bit of snobbishness thrown in as well.   Funny how a barrel designed by the manufacturer to be installed by the owner in 1 hour, cannot be properly installed by any gunsmith other than a "reputable BE smith".

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Re: Appropriate loads for a particular weight recoil spring.

Post by USSR on Fri Sep 22 2017, 07:02

rreid wrote:
USSR wrote:Guys,

I am having a Kart Xact NM barrel installed on my Series 70 Gold Cup.   What I would like to pick your brains for is this.   I want mild loads such as are used in Bullseye competition, although I won't be using it for such.   I will be using a 200gr H&G 68 clone at an OAL of 1.250" and have the following powders: Bullseye, 700X, Solo 1000, AA#2, and W231.   I have the following weight springs: 16#, 14#, 12#, and 10#.   Can someone please give me charge weights that are suitable for a particular weight recoil spring?   Thanks in advance for your reply.

Don
I would try 3.5 to 3.7 gr of bullseye with the 12lb spring to start.

Thanks rreid, I will try that load for sure.

Don

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Re: Appropriate loads for a particular weight recoil spring.

Post by dronning on Fri Sep 22 2017, 09:03

USSR wrote:
Jon Eulette wrote:No secrets Don. Lots of trial and error. To be blunt if your gunsmith butchers your barrel fit you can use a heavier recoil spring because it will come out of battery too fast. If it's fit just right you could be using a spring that is 2# lighter. No magic, every gun is different especially if not built by a reputable BE smith.
Jon

Hmm Jon.   Sounds like sour grapes on your part, with a bit of snobbishness thrown in as well.   Funny how a barrel designed by the manufacturer to be installed by the owner in 1 hour, cannot be properly installed by any gunsmith other than a "reputable BE smith".

Don

Sorry Don but Jon is just being truthful.  Having waaay too many 1911's (not really possible) and having ton's of work done plus several ground up builds over the years.  There is a huge difference in a gun purpose built for Bullseye by a 'smith that understands the world of shooting light loads accurately and one that isn't.  I have 2 Gold Cups that were built up for me and both are under 2" at 50yds but only with what I would consider a hot load.  That is why there are a cluster of Bullseye 'smiths we gravitate to.

A drop in barrel may give you good results but even frames/slides from the same mfg. have enough tolerances that you might not be able to get the lockup needed to have both an accurate and a soft shooting gun with mild to light loads. My experience has been the ez fit barrels are usually a compromise. 

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Re: Appropriate loads for a particular weight recoil spring.

Post by USSR on Fri Sep 22 2017, 10:14

Sorry Dave, but I was being more truthful than Jon.   I specifically stated that my gun would not be used for Bullseye competition.   Regarding the "huge difference".  You can make that case for a gun purpose built from the ground up to be a Bullseye gun, but to try to make the case that only a Bullseye smith can properly install a barrel that the manufacturer states can be installed by the casual shooter in 1 hour is just plain snobbery.   And I have zero tolerence for snobs.

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Re: Appropriate loads for a particular weight recoil spring.

Post by Jon Eulette on Fri Sep 22 2017, 10:18

Don,


I unfortunately am a BE pistol 'snob' just as you stated. I've earned the title by setting national records, winning national and state championships, having other shooters win national and state championships all with pistols I have built. Having worked on countless pistols built by non-BE gunsmiths I have knowledge and experience that I base my comments on regarding their typical ability to build a pistol worthy of shooting BE with. So I am very opinionated about BE pistols and how they are built. The majority of real BE pistolsmiths build the same way; there are minor differences between us. There is no perfect pistol! There is always some minor trade-off, but it takes years of experience to know where to make it during a pistol build. Jerry Keefer makes his own parts in some cases so he doesn't have to make a trade-off! He is gifted and someone I look up to because he shares his knowledge to help others grow in their smithing skills. I'm glad you found our BE forum and are sharing what you are doing and commenting. We are a good bunch of guys and gals who at times ruffle feathers but we strive for promoting BE and what it takes to be the best at it. Realistically the majority of shooters will never be a champion but their love for BE is the driving force that keeps us all going. Brian Zins has won 12 National Championships at Camp Perry. He wears a belt buckle that says "cocky" on it. To be the best it takes a little cockiness. We all express it differently but its earned! So ultimately my goal is for shooters to learn how to shoot better and to try and steer them down the right path when getting gun work done or choosing a pistol. I do refer shooters to other BE smiths and encourage them to shoot what they can afford; it can get pricey. I also try to be open to different methods or points of view because I do learn from others on the forum and I'll be the first to admit I was wrong or ask for forgiveness if necessary. I love BE and spend way too much time on this website and building guns. But that's just me:)
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Re: Appropriate loads for a particular weight recoil spring.

Post by jglenn21 on Fri Sep 22 2017, 10:31

way to many variables in any pistol build as noted. you can get pretty close from what folks have mentioned for you here. I don't build near the number of guns that the smiths here do, but having built them over the last 30 years for myself and family. it's always a bit experimentation on the recoil spring.

barrel lug fit and bushing fit
firing pin stop
hammer profile
mainspring
slide fit
red dot weight on a slide mount
magazine springs
actual load used

the list goes on a bit

I'm sure Jon's perspective on barrel fit is related to a true gunsmith fit style of barrel such as the Kart NM or KKM.. even fitting a match barrel differs by brand.
Same concept but different work needed at times..

Even the brand of recoil spring matters as one 10lb is not necessarily the same as another.


start with the recommendations given and then go from there.

obvious symptoms for too strong a recoil spring would be failures to eject and thus feed or failure to lock back on the last round.

too light can be a failure to feed and spent shells going all over the place.

always a balancing act. I like a positive ejection but not one that throws the cases too far( lazy)

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Re: Appropriate loads for a particular weight recoil spring.

Post by USSR on Fri Sep 22 2017, 10:52

jglenn21 wrote:start with the recommendations given and then go from there.

obvious symptoms for too strong a recoil spring would be failures to eject and thus feed or failure to lock back on the last round.

too light can be a failure to feed and spent shells going all over the place.

always a balancing act. I like a positive ejection but not one that throws the cases too far( lazy)


Thanks jglenn21.  With the loads I am talking about, I think the 12# - 14# springs are where I want to be.

Don

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Re: Appropriate loads for a particular weight recoil spring.

Post by mspingeld on Fri Sep 22 2017, 11:00

Shouldn't this be looked at the other way around. Find the most accurate load for the gun first and THEN find the heaviest spring (for reduced perceived recoil) that allows it to function consistently?

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Re: Appropriate loads for a particular weight recoil spring.

Post by Wobbley on Fri Sep 22 2017, 11:31

mspingeld wrote:Shouldn't this be looked at the other way around. Find the most accurate load for the gun first and THEN find the heaviest spring (for reduced perceived recoil) that allows it to function consistently?
Actually the other way around.  Find the lowest load that will function reliably then increase it until you get the accuracy you need.  

Since the OP is going to rekpmain with iron sights, I'd actually recommend the 14 pound spring to start with then find the minimum load that gives reliable lockback, (100 % in 5 mags) on the slide.  Worth a 200 cast SWC I would expect that to be about 3.6 to 3.8 gr BE.  With the set up as planned, the 12 pound spring may be too light and allow the slide to gain too much momentum too quickly.  The spring's primary function is to force the slide forward and to load the pistol.  Too much spring force and you get serious muzzle drop.  The significant slide velocity retarding mechanism is the hammer and the cocking geometry.  To give an idea, rack the pistol hammer down then do it hammer cocked.  That is far more effective in reducing felt recoil.  If the recoil spring had to absorb the energy you couldn't rack the pistol.
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Re: Appropriate loads for a particular weight recoil spring.

Post by USSR on Fri Sep 22 2017, 12:11

Wobbley wrote:
mspingeld wrote:Shouldn't this be looked at the other way around. Find the most accurate load for the gun first and THEN find the heaviest spring (for reduced perceived recoil) that allows it to function consistently?
Actually the other way around.  Find the lowest load that will function reliably then increase it until you get the accuracy you need.  

Since the OP is going to rekpmain with iron sights, I'd actually recommend the 14 pound spring to start with then find the minimum load that gives reliable lockback, (100 % in 5 mags) on the slide.  Worth a 200 cast SWC I would expect that to be about 3.6 to 3.8 gr BE.  With the set up as planned, the 12 pound spring may be too light and allow the slide to gain too much momentum too quickly.  The spring's primary function is to force the slide forward and to load the pistol.  Too much spring force and you get serious muzzle drop.  The significant slide velocity retarding mechanism is the hammer and the cocking geometry.  To give an idea, rack the pistol hammer down then do it hammer cocked.  That is far more effective in reducing felt recoil.  If the recoil spring had to absorb the energy you couldn't rack the pistol.

Good discussion regarding the recoil spring's function.   Which brings up the the issue of what role the EGW Oversize Firing Pin Stop that I am having installed will play in picking a particular weight recoil spring?

Don

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Re: Appropriate loads for a particular weight recoil spring.

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