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What Springs for Light Loads?

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JRV
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L. Boscoe
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What Springs for Light Loads? Empty What Springs for Light Loads?

Post by bihammond 7/7/2023, 2:35 pm

Loaded up a few rounds of 4.1gr N310 under the Nosler 185gr JHP and wondered what springs others used for a similar cartridge.

I tried lighter loads of N320 in the past but didn't get good ejection until closer to 5 gr.
Used Les Baer Premier II so unsure of actual spring weights. Possibly an 18lb variable recoil, I believe that's stock. I do have a variable 14lb recoil spring from Wolff on hand but wondering if I should look into something lighter or if I should look at other springs besides the recoil.

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Post by DA/SA 7/7/2023, 2:46 pm

Slide mounted scope?
Iron sights?
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Post by bihammond 7/7/2023, 3:29 pm

Irons

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Post by DA/SA 7/7/2023, 3:38 pm

Try something in the 14-16 range, (depends on how tight your pistol is) non variable such as an ISMI from Midway.

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/2381154776?pid=913337
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Post by L. Boscoe 7/7/2023, 3:48 pm

I have a  LB heavy that I use an 11# spring in with 4.0 gr of N310 behind
either 200gr or 185 gr bullets, no problems, could probably use a 12 or maybe 13.  14 did not work.  Les' guns come with 18#, and he will yell at
you if  you don't shoot 500 rounds of harball to break a new gun in.

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Post by Cmysix 7/7/2023, 4:16 pm

19 pound main spring and a 14 pound recoil spring
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Post by Jon Eulette 7/7/2023, 4:26 pm

L. Boscoe wrote:I have a  LB heavy that I use an 11# spring in with 4.0 gr of N310 behind
either 200gr or 185 gr bullets, no problems, could probably use a 12 or maybe 13.  14 did not work.  Les' guns come with 18#, and he will yell at
you if  you don't shoot 500 rounds of harball to break a new gun in.
Les is a jerk. He’s had to rebarrel many guns I’ve had customers send back to him. I remember when he was being taught to fit barrels by Bruce Woodford (Rock Island Arsenal Armorer). Bruce was tearing Les a new one. He never learned how to fit a barrel. But boy is he a great businessman!
Jon
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Post by bihammond 7/7/2023, 5:28 pm

Thanks for the input. I'll see what happens with the 14lb recoil spring and a few different loads. 
I'll also see about another recoil spring at ~12lbs and a 19lb main spring to mix and match.

I know Les Baer is a polarizing character, especially in the BE world. I picked this pistol up for about the same price as a Springfield RO (and a third the price of a basic RRA) and it shoots far better than I can. When / If I feel it's a limiting factor in my shooting, I'll trade it in for a better / more appropriate model.

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Post by SingleActionAndrew 7/7/2023, 5:37 pm

Do you know what the weight of the main/hammer spring is? 4.1gr N310 isn't that light of a load. My non-bullseye Kimber 45 cycles it fine, and my hardball gun with 19main/14action does too
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Post by fc60 7/7/2023, 5:57 pm

Greetings,

Try this...

Start with a heavy spring, about 16#. Fire a shot. Does the slide lock back?

If no, repeat with a 15# spring.

If no, repeat with a 14# spring.

I think you get the process.

The idea is to have enough spring to keep the barrel engaged until the bullet exits. Also, it prevents the slide dust cover from banging into the frame.

Cheers,

Dave
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Post by bihammond 7/7/2023, 6:32 pm

SA Andrew - I believe the stock hammer spring is 21lbs.

Dave - I don't want another bag of springs that I'll only use once. I already have a pile for the Beretta.

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Post by DA/SA 7/7/2023, 7:08 pm

Dave knows.
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Post by L. Boscoe 7/7/2023, 8:29 pm

One good way to know if you have the right spring is how far the brass goes.
If it goes into the next zip code, you're too light.  About six feet away is good.

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Post by JRV 7/7/2023, 9:20 pm

Springs are cheap. There are plenty of ways to get rid of them if you don’t want extras laying around.

Alibis can be expensive.

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Post by rburk 7/8/2023, 12:54 am

If you don't want a bag of springs left over, then go the other route, which is to adjust your load to match your gun.  You may not end up with the best grouping load, but at least your gun will function.

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Post by Cmysix 7/8/2023, 6:26 am

STOCK 1911 as originally designed 16 pound slide(recoil)spring and 23 pound main(hammer) spring. the main spring has as much to do with controlling recoil as the slide spring does, I hear about TUNING the springs all the time. you have to TUNE both springs at the same time to get the desired results, put a lower poundage slide spring in and not a main spring and you will actually increase muzzle flip. Wolff recommends a 14 pound slide spring and a 19 pound main spring for reduced power loads ,
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Post by inthebeech 7/8/2023, 7:28 am

Don't forget about the FP stop.  It's radius has a big effect on cycling and felt recoil.  I'm not advising changing this; just that you are getting advice perhaps from folks whos FP stop radii are ranging from maximum down to nearly nothing.  I only have experience with the brands below but among these, no two radii are the same - Rock River, EGW, Harris Design, Springfield Armory. So to me, a more complete answer for a broken-in gun has three parts; recoil spring weight, main spring weight, FP stop radii.  To me the recoil spring is sized for one thing; getting the gun solidly back in to battery (in a dirty gun) and then FP stop radii and main spring are sized for reliable extraction and your desired recoil feel.  Trigger pull will change with all this messing around so setting it then is last.  A BE smith does about a zillion other things during this process.


Last edited by inthebeech on 7/8/2023, 5:03 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Corrected spelling)
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Post by Texasref 7/8/2023, 8:42 am

For what it's worth, I can tell you my set up for iron sights. 5" barrel and polished feed ramp.
3.7gns N310 under 200gn SWC.
17# Main spring. I use this in all my 1911's (I've shot 15# but they are very unreliable)
14# recoil spring (No variable allowed)
Radius firing pin stop (Polished) Thanks ITBeech for mentioning this. Has more to do with cycling than most realize.

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Post by bihammond 7/8/2023, 1:40 pm

rburk wrote:If you don't want a bag of springs left over, then go the other route, which is to adjust your load to match your gun.  You may not end up with the best grouping load, but at least your gun will function.

This is what I did with N320. Don't have my notes handy but I think I ended up at 4.7 grains to run the gun reliably. I've gone ahead and loaded up a few more rounds with increasing powder charges to get a better feel for stock vs 14lb recoil spring + I'll pick up a 19lb main spring to test as well. I will keep the firing pin stop in mind though that's going to be a bit advanced for me.

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Post by Caster3845 7/8/2023, 9:04 pm

I remember when he was being taught to fit barrels by Bruce Woodford (Rock Island Arsenal Armorer). Bruce was tearing Les a new one.


Jon, 
   I knew Bruce very well and we spent many, many hours talking and I know there was no love loss between the two of them, so  I can just picture him just chewing on Less . 
   I also watched him do a couple of trigger jobs for me. He never used a jig and his triggers were so sweet. I can't get them that good and I use a jig. He was just a master at his craft.
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