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Extra Power Springs

2170 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  jwc007
I've been reading reports about experimentations with certain extra power recoil springs in a variety of pistols. Users tout reduced recoil and a host of other "improvements" in the function of their guns. I've had thoughts of trying these, but not sure I'm sold on the idea of extra power springs. My inquiring mind always asks what the downside to this may be. I've formulated some opinions about this, but would like to hear from others who may have tried heavier springs and what difference (if any) was noticed. Not just Taurus pistols, but any brand you may have tried alternate springs in.
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I would think that if they are to strong, they might keep the gun from cycling like it should. No experience, just a shot in the dark really. It makes sense to me.

I could see the reduced recoil too though.
Since I shoot mostly reloads I've experimented a lot with recoil springs. The spring should match the load. I like to use the heaviest spring the gun will work with. Too heavy of a spring will cause the gun to short cycle and not eject or stovepipe or eject and not feed another rnd. Too light of a spring just beats hell outta your pistol, and you. I start with the heaviest spring (usually this one don't work) and change down (or up, depending on your point of view) to what works. My pin gun drops the cases on the rail, easy to pick 'em up. I've been told that I should use a lighter spring on this gun to get the cases flying out --- I don't know why I would do this. I'm happy as long as the cases come out! How far they fly - I'm not concerned about. This helps with felt recoil and doesn't beat up my pin gun.
I see I didn't mention these heavier springs should be progressive rate recoil springs. I replace the stock 16# in 1911's with a progressive rate 18# spring and this reduces the felt recoil - try and see for yourself.
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I recommend and use some Recoil Springs that are at most 2 pounds over stock, such as the 15 lb recoil spring in my PT92 vs the Stock 13 lb recoil spring. I believe that Beretta and Taurus undersprung this model to reliably work with weak or inferior ammo. This is also seems to be true of a number of other 9mm pistols, such as CZ's. I've heard of this on some .40's as well.

That said, I don't think you can apply this across the board. I've found that .45 1911's work perfectly well with the Stock 16 lb Spring. My .45 EAA Witnesses work fine with the Stock Tanfoglio 14 lb Spring, however that Tanfoglio Spring seems more like 15 to 16 lbs. My old .45 Witness has the Wolff "Extra Power" 16 lb Spring in it and it behaves as if it was using the stock spring. My Taurus PT945 is just fine with it's Stock 17 lb Recoil Spring.

There is also the law of diminishing returns. The heavier recoil spring you use, the longer the action of the pistol will stay locked up, transferring more, not less, recoil to the shooter. Certainly less recoil is transferred to the pistol, but there is a point at which that will be undesirable. (Probably why Wolff Gunsprings sells calibration packs.) Ammunition type and power level also plays a part, but I don't know anyone rich enough to plink with Corbon +P+, or why anyone would want to. Conversely, Bullseye Competitors often install lighter Recoil Springs for use with very light Target Loads. My pistols use Recoil Springs that are balanced for average defensive loadings for that given caliber. Often Stock, but not always. I do keep an 18 lb Spring for my older .45 Witness and only install it for use with +P ammo, which is not often.

Also, be mindful of the relationship of the Main/Hammerspring on traditional DA/SA or SA Hammered Pistol designs. The Main/Hammer Spring weight is balanced to work with the Recoil Spring. As the Main/Hammer Spring wears or lightens with age, the Recoil Spring Weight should go up to compensate. Some "Hobby" Gunsmiths, clipping mainspring coils in search of a lighter DA trigger pull, often do not compensate with a heavier recoil spring and they should.

In the Future, more an more Pistols will come equipped with two stage recoil spring setups, such as those on the Compact Poly Framed Taurus Pistols, H&K USP Series, and the newer 2007 production Beretta 90-two. This basicly consists of a light primary Recoil Spring and a heavy secondary Buffer Spring.
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Being the cautious one that I am, I try to imagine how something will work before I try it. I'm no expert, and I'm not always right. But it would seem to me that a heavier recoil spring would mean slower rearward travel, but faster forward travel. That being said, your magazine better be working exactly right to keep up. I'm thinking if I were to shoot a lot of +P loads, the heavier spring might make sense. But for standard rounds, is it really necessary?
In the Future, more an more Pistols will come equipped with two stage recoil spring setups, such as those on the Compact Poly Framed Taurus Pistols, H&K USP Series, and the newer 2007 production Beretta 90-two. This basicly consists of a light primary Recoil Spring and a heavy secondary Buffer Spring.
Taurus has been using what is most often refered to as a "dual action" spring system... or a "frame saver". Here is a picture of a similar type from EFKFiredragon Products

Most recoil springs are single springs, but the dual action springs are two springs... the main spring more moderate than the normal spring, and the second (inner) spring is heavier. The intent is to allow the slide to begin to cycle, either under fire or hand cycling, with less tension, and then the inner spring soaks up the recoil tension prior to the slide hitting the frame.

Here are their selling points

  • Impact: The elimination of the slide impacting the frame at high speed preserves the structure of the firearm - and your rather significant investment!
  • Muzzle Control: By changing the final backward movement of the slide from a sudden stop to a progressive stop, muzzle jump is greatly decreased by 40% giving you more control.
  • Function: No interference of ejection port or any feeding problems.
  • Progressive: This is a system designed to reduced the backward motion of the slide in progressive stages after the gun is shot. The effect of this system is that the recoil is reduced by 40% making your follow up shots much easier to shoot. This is a VERY effective system.
  • Stability: Better stability for your barrel. Stainless steel guide rod replaces plastic guide rods for superior barrel support and function.
    Better Accuracy: Progressively slows down your slide from heavy impact against the frame. Works just like a car shock absorber, reducing the slide impact. Lower impact means less recoil, accurate recovery of the weapon for on-target accuracy is better achieved, shot after shot. Even expert shooters can benefit from lower recoil.
  • Lower Frame Shock: The slide is one of the heaviest components in a semi-automatic pistol. Upon firing, the slide slams back with great energy against the frame. Frame Saver Dual Actions springs can lower this slide impact dramatically, preventing excessive wear, cracked slides and damaged frames, particularly on modern polymer framed pistols such as glocks, Sigmas & HKs.

This is one of the reasons all of us have noted the softer than anticipated recoil on the PT145... this dual action recoil system is really doing the job. It is also the reason that the recoil spring assembly should be replaced as a unit.
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A similar "Dual Action" Recoil Spring setup is made by Sprinco and I have their system on my PT945, for which is produced sporadicly. It works very well. I also have one for my older .45 Witness, but I don't use it very often.


Hopefully, Taurus will make Dual Action Spring Systems available/standard for all of it's Semi-Auto Pistols, soon.
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