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Mainspring longevity

Discussion in '1911 Forums' started by Disregarded9-side, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. Disregarded9-side

    Disregarded9-side Armchair IPSCer

    1,008
    0
    Oct 18, 2008
    North Carolina
    Hey all,

    I had a Wolff 18# mainspring in my 1911 (fullsize Springfield Loaded with Ed Brown MSH) and after around, or even less than, 1K rounds I started having light strikes--first only with WLP primers but then soon with CCIs also. I know that it's a light spring weight from the Gold Cup, and yes, I was doing a lot of dry-firing when that one was in there. I threw the mainspring in the trash and started using the factory one from the ILS MSH again, which I believe is 21#, and the pistol has been up and running again for about 300 rounds.

    However, the current/original mainspring now has a significantly reduced pull weight in comparison to where is was less than 500 actuations ago.

    Does my 1911 just eat mainsprings, or is this normal for the platform that they need replacement every 2K? Is it possible the stock Loaded MIM mainspring is just that much lighter than the Gold Cup's?

    I've put thousands of rounds through other platforms like the HK P-Series and their mainsprings ("Hammersprings") never need attention.
     
  2. AK74play

    AK74play

    1,604
    3
    Jun 26, 2010
    Indiana
    I run 15lb mainsprings (hammer springs) in all my 1911's with no issues whatso ever. You may want to make sure the firing pin channel is clear and clean. Poorly fitting firingpins allow a lot of primer flow back into the channel which can and will cause premature light primer strikes which have nothing to do with mainspring weight.
    I would clean and inspect the firing pin channel and imstall a properly sized firing pin to drastically restrict primer flow into the channel and you should be fine. My guns are shot a LOT and I have never yet had to replace a 15lb spring. They also are a nice touch for ease of cocking the hammer and with less tension on the sear allow for an even better trigger pull.
     

    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013

  3. faawrenchbndr

    faawrenchbndr DirtyThirty fan CLM

    36,086
    449
    Nov 24, 2005
    Troy
    I would assume these are your reloads? Sure the primers are seated?
     
  4. Correct me if I'm wrong but the mainspring from the ILS should NOT be used in the Ed Brown housing. Aren't they Officer model length?

    Like was said make sure your firing pin channel is clean and dry with a properly fitting spring. For the Ed Brown full size housing reduced weight would be 19LB and they rarely need replacing. Standard weight for a standard housing is 23LB, you should never have light strikes with this. I would be cautious using too light of spring with the factory hammer/sear unless adequately safety tested.
     
  5. Disregarded9-side

    Disregarded9-side Armchair IPSCer

    1,008
    0
    Oct 18, 2008
    North Carolina
    AK, good thought; my firing pin channel is clear and shinny as always. I had considered the firing pin as potentially problematic, but ruled it out. This is very clearly an issue with the mainsprings, and again the issue that concerns me isn't light strikes but the speed of the degradation of the mainsprings. Just seems so odd.

    Most cartridges used were my reloads, but I first had issues with factory ammo (WWB, presumably because of the Winchester primers). Primers are seated ideally.

    You're wrong. However you're thinking along the right lines, the MSH internals are not interchangeable. You're right that standard is 23#, but I believe SA uses a 21# in the loaded for a slightly lighten break. To be clear, I've never had a light strike with the factory/~21# mainspring, just the Wolff 18#

    Thanks for all the help, but IDK. I talked to a local friend and Grandmaster about it, they just need changing after a lot of use like any other spring. I guess I just dry fire more than I thought. It was thousands, I just thought it'd be more thousands...I just need another 1911 to spread out the love...
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  6. Hmmm... I'm still thinking they are different. I never pulled my apart, it went in the parts box as soon as I had a new one to replace it with. Reference the following http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=135279 as they sure "appear" to be different springs all together.

    Also checking Wolff's website they list a completely different spring for the ILS as well. I'm still pretty confident I'm right. :)
    http://www.gunsprings.com/Semi-Auto Pistols/SPRINGFIELD/1911A1 SERIES/cID1/mID60/dID267#856
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2013
  7. m814

    m814

    366
    0
    Dec 31, 2007
    Ga
    I see you replaced the ILS. I assume you replaced ALL internals and used a pin to retain them. The ILS does not use a retaining pin. It also uses a 26# spring. A mainspring should be good for at least 5000 firings and I have had no problems with mine at 7000. I think you may have some other issue going on. Put a 23# in it with proper internals. Also check length of hammer strut to make sure it is full length. The titanium firing pin shouldn't be a problem, but if you have an extra power firing pin spring with a titanium pin, lighter mainspring with out of tolerance hammer strut, that would definitely cause this issue.
     
  8. MajorD

    MajorD

    2,383
    105
    Aug 16, 2010
    A 1911 mainspring will pretty much never need replacing. I have 45's with well over 60 k on the original mainspring with no issues at all. I also see very few functional issues with my 1911's without sticking to the OCD inspired change the recoil spring every 5 k.
    If you 1911 works the best thing you can do is- nothing.
     
  9. faawrenchbndr

    faawrenchbndr DirtyThirty fan CLM

    36,086
    449
    Nov 24, 2005
    Troy
    The spring AND internals in a Sprindfiled ils mainspring housing are different.
     
  10. Disregarded9-side

    Disregarded9-side Armchair IPSCer

    1,008
    0
    Oct 18, 2008
    North Carolina
    Interesting...Yeah, I'm certainly using the ILS spring with no other SA components--and I've never had issues with this set up. Looks like you're right MS.

    All of this just makes me wonder even more why the Wolff spring failed after under (probably) 5,000 actuations.
    Whatever.
     
  11. Personally I would ditch everything inside the housing and start fresh. Obviously something is not correct, check it for burrs and polish as required. When I did mine I used the Ed Brown rebuild kit.
    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/126961/ed-brown-frame-rebuild-kit-1911-government-commander-blue
    Gives you everything you need plus a few extra small parts that are prone to launching off the table at inopportune times. It doesn't mention mainspring weight but it's been confirmed by EB that the kit is 19#.