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Posted: 5/20/2005 8:00:23 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/20/2005 8:02:21 PM EST by howlie]
I've got a gen.1 govt. Kimber (5" barrel) with about 2.5K rounds and I want to replace the recoil spring with a fresh wolff spring.

I shoot standard 230gr factory ball ammo. Mostly Win. white box.

The factory spring from Kimber is 16lb. I was going to order another 16lb spring then I read this:

Recoil Spring Selection Tips (from Wilson Combat catalog)

By Bill Wilson


As a rule of thumb, you should use the heaviest recoil spring possible, which does not interfere with the pistol functioning.

The spring tension requirement is affected by many factors, including the ammunition used, grip pressure, compensators, slide to frame friction, pistol type etc. The following procedure will help you determine what is the proper recoil spring for your gun.

1. First, try the recommended standard spring for your load/pistol combination.

2. Watch for extraction related jams and failure of the slide to lock back. This is an indication of a very heavy spring. Use a lighter one.

3. Use SHOK-BUFF and watch them closely. If they do not last 700-1000 rounds, you have a weak spring

Your recoil spring should be replaced every 2000 rounds.

Gun Light Target Load Full Charge Load
Govt/Gold Cup (stock) #10 #18.5
Govt/Gold Cup (compens.) #9 #15
Govt/Gold Cup (.38SP/9mm stock) #10 #15
Govt/Gold Cup (.38SP/9mm comp.) #9 #13
Delta Elite (10mm stock) #18.5 #24
Govt/Gold Cup (.40S&W stock) #13 #22
Commander (.45 stock) #12 #20
Officers (.45 stock guide) #18.5 #24
Springfield Compact (.45 stock) #20 #24

Full charge load refers to IPSC major or factory hardball. Light target load refers to a download of about 20%.

What are you guys running in your govt 1911's? 16lb, 17lb, 18.5lb?

Link Posted: 5/20/2005 8:03:51 PM EST
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 8:11:50 PM EST
Thanks for the info. I've noticed some wear from the guide rod impacting the frame. Is this just normal wear or the result of a tired or underpowered recoil spring?

Link Posted: 5/20/2005 8:16:28 PM EST
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 8:19:51 PM EST
I think I'll split the difference and get a 17lb spring.
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 8:22:12 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/20/2005 8:25:02 PM EST by keystone170]
I have a 24# spring on my Springfield Ultra Compact.
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 8:29:16 PM EST
What lumpy said...18-1/2#.

Link Posted: 5/20/2005 8:31:26 PM EST

Originally Posted By arowneragain:
What lumpy said...18-1/2#.

Make that +3.
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 8:38:45 PM EST
+4.........18.5# be the way to go, yo!
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 8:39:14 PM EST
I see a trend emerging here.

I took the slide off my piece and looked closer at the frame/slide/guide rod impact areas. It looks as if it may benefit from a heavier than factory spring. I'll give the 18.5lb spring a try.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 2:26:57 AM EST
+whatever number we're on. 18.5 is the way to go
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 2:46:57 AM EST
If you want more, there is an entire forum dedicated to springs on the Brian Enos web site at www.brianenos.com. Understand it is a competition driven site.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 3:25:14 AM EST
I use wolff 18 1/2 lb spring
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 6:40:41 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/21/2005 6:46:57 AM EST by Dano523]
I say unless you’re running hot loads, just run the standard 16 Lb spring.
All over springing does is increase the felt recoil, and may lead to cycling problems.

Bottom line is to watch your ejection path of the spent cases. If your getting cases free thrown past the 10' mark, then a stronger or new spring is in order. On the other hand, if you’re spent cases are not making it to the 5' mark (in the air), then a weaker spring is in order.

As for the point of your recoil spring needing replacement, again watch the ejection distance of the spent case to figure out if it does so or not.

As for some of my pistols, they range from a 13 lb spring for light loads; to a 1911 40 that runs a 24 lb spring for the correct ejection path. Let the pistol and the ammo dictate what recoil spring is needed, and not some generic chart, nor what may work is someone else's pistol.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 8:01:11 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/21/2005 8:01:34 AM EST by AJohnston]
Conventionally rated 16# recoil spring... it's all you need.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 2:12:36 PM EST
my springer came with a 14lb spring, I bought a 16lb'er and that's what's in it now. MY dad gave me a wilson 18lb spring, I've been debating putting it in, I shoot 230gr ball, and cor-bon +p's for selfdefense
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