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Posted: 6/14/2009 12:06:47 PM EST
I was told that the spring for the hammer will get weak over a short time from staying cocked and lock. Is there any truth to this? If it is how long can I carry it this way without worry? This will be a duty gun so it will be carried for a long time like this. This maybe a dumb question but I will be carrying this gun for duty carry and I don't want to have any question in my mind about this weapon.

Thanks,
Ranger99
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 12:33:14 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/14/2009 12:37:52 PM EST by pulpsmack]
Back in the late 80s/early 90s, there was a small movement in a few gun rags to "de-sexify" the old designs, and the issue of "metal fatigue" was raised to scare greenhorns like myself from single action pistols. This issue had more to do with the hammer hook, but the long and the short of this is mostly bullshit, as is the case with most gun writing, because the awesomeness of 1911s and Glocks has been written to death and something new needs to be printed to keep readers interested, if not misinformed.

With respect to your question specifically, the mainspring, like all springs in a 1911 is a frequently disposable part that should be changed at regular intervals. The industry standard for the mainspring (as per Wilson Combat) is 5,000 rounds or 365 days for the purpose of routine maintenance. We all know that cars do not burst into flames with a 4,500 mile oil change and it is possible that the mainspring can function indefinitely (as could the recoil spring) depending on usage, but this is needless and negligent.

A 1911 is a fine machine. It asks a little more of the user compared to other designs, but it gives the user more in return. Simple maintenance of all parts at reasonable intervals ensures that these scenarios don't happen.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 12:52:08 PM EST
1911 mainsprings are cheap and easy to replace. I have never heard of one actually wearing out to the point it doesn't impart enough energy to the hammer to torch a round off. If I were to carry it every day, for piece of mind I would replace it with an extra power one from Wolff every year or two. I would also probably replace the recoil, firing pin, and magazine springs as well.

NAD

Link Posted: 6/14/2009 1:07:24 PM EST
A properly made spring will *NOT* wear out from being under compression at or below its designed load. Springs will wear by cycling (and from being over-compressed).

Which is also why it is perfectly fine to leave loaded mags loaded.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 1:35:31 PM EST
Thanks for the replys guy's. Knowing this makes me feel much better.

Ranger99
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 3:09:48 PM EST
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 1:05:07 PM EST
Mines always cocked. Shes had about 9 or 10 k through her as well. I have only replaced the recoil spring. She still runs great too.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 1:15:01 PM EST
As mentioned above, the only thing that will decay any spring is the cyclic action of compression and tension. As long as the spring isn't subjected to plastic deformation, there will only be the decay in cycling the mainspring (or any other spring). Storing magazines loaded, a pistol with the hammer cocked or even the slide locked back on the slide release - all these won't hurt your springs any more than unloaded, de-cocked or in battery.

In the physical universe we occupy, it's the cyclic action - not compression or tension - that decays the life of a spring.

Thank Bradley University's Physics and Material Science departments for this information - and my $28,000 per year tuition bill.

Take care,
Bob
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 4:17:41 PM EST

Originally Posted By Walkure:
A properly made spring will *NOT* wear out from being under compression at or below its designed load. Springs will wear by cycling (and from being over-compressed).

Which is also why it is perfectly fine to leave loaded mags loaded.

QFT!
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