Which recoil spring

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Post by Willfish30 on 4/21/2019, 2:21 pm

First topic message reminder :

II have a Rock River Arms wadcutter with a bullseye rib and an Ultradot 25mm dot mounted on it. With Zero LSWC 200 and 185 gr, I am experiencing misfeeds. The are hanging up on the the feed ramp 2 or 3 times a box. Should I try a lighter or heavier recoil spring? It has about 1000 rounds through it.

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Post by Willfish30 on 4/23/2019, 4:05 pm

Jon, I agree that there’s a lot of good advice above. The bullet tip is not being deformed by the barrel ramp because it doesn’t make it up that far. The tip is jammed into the feed ramp on the frame. Based on your advice, which I have high regard for, it could be magazine or extractor related.

I’ll try and post some pics from the next range session if I can figure this out.

Will

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Post by james r chapman on 4/23/2019, 6:09 pm

Sounds like it’s diving. Could this be extractor tension?
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Post by Olde Pilot on 4/23/2019, 6:27 pm

Yes. Try feeding ammo with extractor removed as a gross investigation.

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Post by Willfish30 on 4/23/2019, 6:40 pm

Never thought that it could be the extractor till Jon Eulette brought it up. Will try feeding ammo without it as Olde Pilot suggested. I have a new one I can swap it out with. With all these good suggestions, it really shows what a great community and forum we have here. If I can’t resolve this, it won’t be from the lack of good advice. Thanks guys !

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Post by Jon Eulette on 4/23/2019, 7:31 pm

Normally too much extractor tension will allow it to chamber halfway up the barrel feedramp. Nose diving in my experience is magazines or the frame feedramp isn't at the proper angle/dimension. I've also seen pistols that wouldn't feed HP bullets without tuning the pistol; D all of the above but would feed 200 lswc.
Good Luck
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Post by mikemyers on 5/17/2019, 6:39 am

Willfish30 wrote:II have a Rock River Arms wadcutter with a bullseye rib and an Ultradot 25mm dot mounted on it. With Zero LSWC 200 and 185 gr, I am experiencing misfeeds. The are hanging up on the the feed ramp 2 or 3 times a box. Should I try a lighter or heavier recoil spring? It has about 1000 rounds through it.
I'm not sure if this is the appropriate place to ask, but I was wondering about what needs to be done when adding an optical sight to a 1911.  Maybe that applies to what this discussion is about.

I've got.a Springfield Armory 1911 that Dave Salyer built quite a few years ago.  It now has Jon Euelette's sight mount attached.  I haven't decided which optical sight it's going to end up with, Ultradot L/T (mounted now), Aimpoint Micro, or Matchdot II.  The weight of the sights varies, of course.  I'll post a photo below (....and Jon, your new rail looks GREAT on what used to be a rather beat-up looking gun...)

I think you guys are saying that the original gun, no optical sight, came with an 11# spring.  It seems logical to me, that if we add weight to the slide, from optics, the spring will need to be stiffer to compensate.   (I don't have any idea how much "stiffer", based on how much "sight weight".  I bought a spring tester, and will measure the tension of the spring currently in the gun, and any spring I replace it with.)  



Back to this thread.  Maybe it would be a good idea to take this gun, and for a test to remove the optics, and fire the gun to see if it still hangs up on the feed ramp.  If not, that might be a clue in fixing it.


Is there any kind of "guide" showing how much to change the recoil spring, based on which sight is going to be used on a 1911?

  • Ultradot L/T or equivalent. (very light)
  • Aimpoint Micro (light)
  • Matchdot II (heavier)
  • Aimpoint 9000 SC (much heavier).



This image shows a very light Ultradot L/T mounted towards the rear.  A Matchdot would be heavier, higher, and mounted more towards the front.  
The gun I have used to have a Matchdot II mounted to it, similar to the gun this thread is about.  According to Dan, the fellow I bought it from, it was working fine.  I'll post the spring weight once I measure it.
I keep thinking a good test for the gun in this discussion would be to remove the sight, and see the gun it starts functioning properly.   
(Note - Jon told me most sights like this have the screw that goes through the rail located further back, so the sight would be forwards, compared to what is shown below.)
Which recoil spring - Page 2 Img_4310
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Post by kjanracing on 5/17/2019, 8:51 am

I have the same gun and setup. Shooting pretty much the same load. i'm running an 11lb spring. Very reliable.
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Post by mikemyers on 5/17/2019, 9:48 am

Jack H wrote:.......A great spring testing jig is available direct from SDM Fabricating (good folks, and very helpful) or through Brownells. The little fishing scale that comes with it is amazingly accurate. (One suggestion, lubricate the rod and spring prior to pulling a load, as significant errors can result from the increased friction between a "dry" rod and spring.).......We have other ways of dealing with issues of proper spring selection and managing recoil, but this thread is for technical and informational issues on recoil springs.
Jack, I just bought that same kit - haven't used it yet.  Thanks for the tip about lubrication.

From the first post, it's a Rock River Arms wadcutter with Ultradot 25mm.  In another response he writes "It’s bone stock so it has the factory recoil spring of 11#"
'Outthere' wrote:  "I have the same pistol and scope set-up. It has a 15# recoil spring."
'kjanracing' wrote: "I have the same gun and setup. Shooting pretty much the same load. i'm running an 11lb spring. "


I'm surprised to learn that one can put something like the Matchdot sight with mounting gear on a 1911 slide, and not have to change the recoil spring to deal with the added mass.  Apparently it can work either with an 11# spring or a 15# spring?

There's that formula:    Force = mass x acceleration  To exaggerate, suppose the Matchdot was replaced with SuperMatchdot, which weighed ten pounds.  Or 50 pounds.  I don't think the gun would function.

So if the gun was perfect from the factory, and let's say we're almost doubling the mass of the slide+sight, it seems to me that the spring would need to be made stronger.  What am I missing?
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Post by mikemyers on 5/19/2019, 8:04 am

Internet gunsmithing....    lovely term.  I need to remember that.

My turn to ask.  I've got a several year old Les Baer Premiere II, which was intended to be "my Bullseye Gun".  It's currently my least favorite gun, because it used to take a pair of elephants pulling on the slide and frame to rack the slide, now I can do it if I work on the gun from the side (so it's pointing downrange), and apply as much force as my old body can apply.  Never mind "old" - at least now I can do it.

Moving on, the gun came with a 18# recoil spring, which Les told me to leave in the gun no matter what I was shooting.  The very nice lady who works at Baer told me a 16# spring would be appropriate for Bullseye, but I'm not sure how much she knows about Bullseye.

So, on to my question.  For shooting light loads (Terry's Magnus #801 bullets over 4.2 grains of Bullseye, soon to be WST), would an 11# spring be more appropriate?  There are no optics on the gun, just the stock steel sights.


As to why it's my least favorite gun, yesterday was an example - after cleaning my two wad guns, I wanted to clean the Baer.  It came apart just fine, and cleaned up nicely, but then it was time for re-assembly.  I tried putting the slide stop in first, then went to press in the spring so I could rotate the barrel bushing in place.  No go.  The barrel bushing is still a force fit, and the only way to move it is with my aluminum bushing wrench.  I tried this over and over, and while I could hold the spring and plug down, I couldn't hold it long enough to get a tool in the bushing to turn it.  Gave up after fifteen minutes, and went back to the other way, put the bushing in place first, then compress the spring so I can slide the frame in place.  This used to be difficult, but at least I can do it.  So, slide stop in place, and I go to push it up and in....   no go.  The spring loaded ball is blocking it.  Les doesn't do the trick to the slide stop to make this easier.  Phooey.  After another 15 minutes of struggle, I get an idea (maybe forgot it from before), get the slide stop so it's "almost" going in place, and use a Pachmayr Widget to depress the ball, keeping pressure on the slide stop so it stays in place.  Once that was done, put down the Widget, and everything snaps into place.

I spent too much money on this gun to quit on it, and spent too much time firing 230 grain WWB ammo (Winchester White Box) to get it to break in, to give up on it now.  

So, back to this thread, I don't think the 16 pound spring is what you guys would recommend (much less the 18 pound spring!), what be a more appropriate string ONLY for shooting the light weight bullseye rounds.

(If I was smarter, I'd have given up on this gun long ago, but I guess I'm too stubborn to quit, especially now, three years later....)
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Post by JIMPGOV on 5/19/2019, 8:26 am

JUST FOR YOUR INFORMATION. THE STANDARD RECOIL SPRING FOR A ROCK RIVER WAD GUN IS 12.5#. ON OLDER GUNS THE STOCK RECOIL SPRING WAS 13#. RRA DOES NOT RECOMMEND VARIABLE RATE SPRING. JP

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Post by Aprilian on 5/19/2019, 9:10 am

I ran  10# in my LB (frame mount) for a couple years and am now running an 11# on a FLG so I can swap easily for the Marvel.  You can take the slide off (regular guide rod) with the spring in place - and then replace it the same way - look on youtube.

Turning the bushing with gun in battery is not good for accuracy.

Jon Eulette builds tight pistols and told me to cock hammer, put hand over front of slide with thumb inside front of trigger guard and move the slide backwards.  Worked for me, obviously you want to treat a loaded weapon with usual precautions.

I'm running my 801's over 3.7 N310.  No failures.
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Post by mikemyers on 5/19/2019, 11:46 am

Aprilian wrote:.........Turning the bushing with gun in battery is not good for accuracy..........cock hammer, put hand over front of slide with thumb inside front of trigger guard and move the slide backwards........


When most everything is apart, and I have the slide with barrel still inside, and want to remove the bushing, it is STILL next to impossible to turn the bushing.   After I get the bushing turned to the position for removal, the only way to move the bushing out, is to ram the barrel into it, little by little.  Eventually it comes out.   During re-assembly, the only way to push it completely in is to tap it with a plastic hammer.  

For anyone else as frustrated as I was, this. video helped me a lot.  The plastic widget made all the difference in the world:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJhPari7dpc
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Post by mikemyers on 6/23/2019, 9:53 pm

Regarding recoil springs, I bought the set of three recoil springs from Wolff for my S&W Model 52.  The instructions say:

Start with the highest load rating and work down until the desired slide operation is obtained.

Question - what does this mean?  What kind of things are we looking for in slide operation?
If 10# works fine, why would I want to use 9#?
Suppose I use 8# - what is the poor slide operation that I'm checking for?  

The kit came with three springs, 10#, 9#, and 8#.  I installed the 10# spring.
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Post by jglenn21 on 6/24/2019, 12:08 pm

desired slide operation = it works... Smile

process would be try the 10 if it fails try the 9 if the 9 works Stop and use the 9.
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Post by mikemyers on 6/24/2019, 3:56 pm

jglenn21 wrote:desired slide operation = it works... Smile
......... if it fails try the 9 if the 9 works Stop and use the 9.
OK, that helps, but what are the ways that the spring might fail?
Are we checking that the gun simply ejects the previous round, and loads the next round?
Are we checking if the slide remains open after the last round is fired?
Are we checking if the spring is so stiff it's difficult to cycle the slide?
Are we checking for excess recoil?
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Post by jglenn21 on 6/24/2019, 4:11 pm

strictly a functionality test..  a lighter spring simply brings into play feed /ejection issues. Also a lighter spring is going to beat you gun up more.



basically yes to all your questions
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Post by mikemyers on 6/24/2019, 4:18 pm

Again, thanks!  Makes sense.  So if the 10# spring works fine, I try the 9#.  If the 9# works fine, I try the 8#, but if doesn't work, I go back to the 10#.

The goal is to find the lightest spring that works, right?
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Post by james r chapman on 6/24/2019, 4:26 pm

no.
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Post by jglenn21 on 6/24/2019, 6:29 pm

No is the correct answer..
we actually want the heaviest spring that works reliably

in the above example of springs if the 10 had worked  I would have stopped.  if an 11 worked I'd prefer it over the 10.. if you go too light it will actually hurt accuracy  due to in consistent lock up on the 1911.
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Post by estuck on 6/24/2019, 7:08 pm

Lots of good info. Thought I would weigh in. I had a similar problem in the past. My wad gun would feed fine with 185g JHP with Metalform magazines. However it would not reliably feed 185 gr LSWC, no matter which magazine I used. I switched to Mecgar mags and problem solved. Can you try a different make of magazine  from a buddy and test? I would also check extractor tension, and make sure the extractor tunnel is clean. If the round is hitting the feed ramp, it seems like it is not releasing from the magazine soon enough, at least for that type of round. Good luck.

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Post by 8eightring on 6/24/2019, 7:08 pm

I like the Colt Dimple for for correcting feeding issues like this.

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Post by mikemyers on 6/24/2019, 7:33 pm

jglenn21 wrote:No is the correct answer..
we actually want the heaviest spring that works reliably

in the above example of springs if the 10 had worked  I would have stopped.  if an 11 worked I'd prefer it over the 10.. if you go too light it will actually hurt accuracy  due to in consistent lock up on the 1911.
I suppose I ought to be even more confused, but while Wolff is giving general information, you guys are referring specifically to Bullseye.

Wolff instructions:  Start with the highest load rating and work down until the desired slide operation is obtained.

'jglenn21 is saying if the heaviest load rating I received works, stop.  Done.    .....or, should I try an 11# spring to see if it still works - if so, use the 11#, but also try a 12# spring?
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Post by jglenn21 on 6/24/2019, 8:10 pm

for the 52 wolff just gave you what works in their experience. I doubt you would need a 11 for the soft 38 wadcutter loads.
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Post by Willfish30 on 6/24/2019, 8:30 pm

estuck, 
Funny you mentioned using 185gr JHP, I switched the recoil spring to a 12 pound spring and started using Zero reloaded 185gr JHP....so far 300 rounds without a misfeed. But I will try Mecgar mags with the 185gr LSWC and see what happens just for the hellavit. In the meantime, I'm happy with the JHP's even though they're a little hotter, thus the 12# spring.

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Post by bruce martindale on 6/24/2019, 9:20 pm

Save / set aside the ftf rounds; see how well they fit the breech face. If the rims are too large or breechface too tight, they won't feed.

You're using commercial so it's unlikely but possible.

Good luck

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