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Service life of OEM recoil spring assembly

Discussion in 'The 10 Ring' started by pistolpete10mm, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. pistolpete10mm


    Feb 28, 2011
    Hi guys, the reason I'm asking how long you can expect to last with your original recoil spring assembly is because I now have about 4300 rounds through my stock G20 3rd gen and since this weekend I experienced 3 failures to feed in 120 rounds.

    The round makes it to the chamber but you need to pull the slide back just a little bit and let go before it can fully chamber.

    I still have the original OEM recoil spring assembly (17 lbs) in my G20 and while it does still feel quite good, I suppose it may have lost some spring tension after 4300 rounds (of which 90% were real 10mm rounds, in the 600 ft/lbs range). On top of that it was freezing outside today and I was on the open range, this may have put some extra stress on the functioning of the pistol.

    My ammo was ok (OAL of less than 1.250): 11,5 gr Accurate 7 with 170 gr Fiocchi FMJ and normal LP primer, cases were ok too. I wasn't limbwristing (firm hold) and it occured in the first few rounds when shooting a full magazine. I already have the +10% magazine springs. Pistol was clean too, extractor also. Magazine seems ok too. So the only thing I can think of is that my recoil spring assembly needs to be changed after 4300 rounds. It worked well in normal temperatures, but it seems that the well-used recoil spring combined with freezing temperatures will give you some FTF, at least that is my way of thinking.

    Do any of you guys have any thoughts on the subject?


  2. _The_Shadow

    _The_Shadow Ret. Fireman

    Jul 23, 2007
    Southeast, LoUiSiAna
    Recoil springs are cheap enough to have extra on hand and testing with a new one for function would show if there is improvement. Magazine springs also need changing at time as well.

    Besure to properly clean and lubricate the gun to see if there is improvement also!

  3. Taterhead

    Taterhead Counting Beans

    Dec 13, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    Even if it is not the RSA, it is time for a swap. I don't know what the price is in Euros, but in the US, they are a little over $7. No reason to not have a spare or two. I believe the standard is to replace after 3000 rounds. That is my policy.

    One other thing that started to wear on my G20 is the ejector. Occasionally rounds were missing the ejector and not ejecting cleanly, or at all. That is a very inexpensive part swap too.

    EDIT: I noticed that you were wearing gloves. Any chance that the gloves were impeding the movement of the slide?
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  4. pistolpete10mm


    Feb 28, 2011
    Thanks guys, I already have two spare stock RSA at home for the G20, so I will try it this week to see if it helps. I will load my mag up with 15 rounds, shoot 5 rounds and than fill the mag up to capacity again, this way it won't take me hundreds of rounds to know if the new RSA was the solution.

    I hope changing the RSA will fix it. It sounds logical as the current one has seen lots of use, and 4300 rounds of 10mm cannot be compared to 4300 rounds of 9mm IMO.
  5. barth

    barth six barrels

    Oct 7, 2011
    The Free Zone
    I think 5000 rounds is the recommended number.
    My G27, running lots of 357 Sig, didn't make it to 5K either
    before having to replace the RSA.

    You run the gun till it stops working right and then tune it up.
    I'd replace the recoil spring.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  6. Any Cal.

    Any Cal.

    Oct 27, 2008
    There is a test for the recoil spring... With the chamber empty, pull the trigger and hold it. Raise the muzzle to vertical and pull the slide back then let go. The slide will want to move forward, but will be unable. Slowly lower the muzzle toward horizontal, the slide should return to battery by the time you get to 45* elevation. If you have to go nearly horizontal, the spring is too weak.

    You might also check for crud under the extractor, or gummed up extractor.


    Feb 24, 2005
    I just tried this. My G23 snaps into battery while pointed vertical. Does this just mean I have a strong recoil spring or am I not doing it right?

    posted using Outdoor Hub Campfire

  8. After you're holding the trigger back, pull the slide back and SLOWLY ride the slide forward, don't just let it go.
  9. icelandicstud


    Nov 20, 2010
    [ame=""]Glock 20 Guide Rod Comparison & Recoil Test Part I - YouTube[/ame]
  10. tango44


    Jun 16, 2005
    Miami Florida
    I change mines every 5K rounds.
  11. TDC20


    Apr 11, 2011
    It sounds to me like you have two things happening, a weak recoil spring, and freezing temperatures increasing the viscosity of the lubricant. I would fix the spring first, and that might take care of it. But if you have to have a gun operate at extremely low temperatures, try a dry lubricant like Remington RemDriLube. It's an aerosol that sprays on. The solvent quickly evaporates and leaves a dry film of teflon on the moving parts, which works extremely well as a super cold weather lubricant. It also doesn't trap burnt powder and other foreign matter like oils do.

    I have been using this for my semi-auto shotgun for years. As a duck hunter, you see a lot of extreme weather conditions, and this stuff just plain works for 100% reliability. Nothing in the form of oils will work as reliably, especially in the cold extremes. It also works great for semi-auto .22's in freezing cold weather, where the low recoil energy is too easily impeded by thickening oils at sub-zero temperatures.

    I wouldn't recommend using this stuff all the time in moderate temperatures. I don't think it has the protective properties that oils and grease do, especially for extended (>100rds) shooting sessions. But if you have to have a cold weather gun with 100% reliability, this stuff is great.

    I think someone also makes a similar product except the dry lubricant is graphite. Same concept. This stuff is also awesome for spraying into sticky locks, since the solvent cleans out the gunk and the dry teflon residue left behind doesn't attract or retain other foreign matter, so it won't gunk up again.

    Since I carry my G20 IWB, it never gets cold enough that I have to worry about the cold thickening oil. :cool:
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  12. orangeride


    Oct 19, 2011
    First I do agree its time to change the RSA. Also the heavier mag spring could be causising the rounds to be tuffer to strip off the mag. I shot a match sat in a place where it was normally pretty warm and they had a cold snap come through. All sorts of guns where having problems.
  13. mpw003


    Apr 21, 2011
    I do a check of my springs once a year and replace anything that looks "worn" Now that i'm reloading I may need to do this twice a year as my shooting as doubled....
  14. pistolpete10mm


    Feb 28, 2011
    Thanks for all the advice guys!

    I did an extensive test last week with the new recoil spring, again standard Glock 17 lbs on a plastic guide rod, and everything worked perfectly. Temperatures were again sub zero and my G20 fed 100% in the +100 rounds I tried. Each time I loaded a full 15-round mag, fired 5 rounds and reloaded the mag to its full capacity again. I did this because with the worn recoil spring the feed problems occured in the first couple of rounds.

    So I guess if you shoot real 10mm rounds with the original recoil spring, you should change it between 3000 and 5000 rounds. My G20 had about 4400 rounds through it, and the worn recoil spring combined with the sub zero temperatures gave feeding problems. Still the worn spring didn't feel bad when I did the test described in one of the above posts, but it was enough to give feeding problems in cold weather conditions.

    From now on I will change the recoil spring in my 10mm every 3000 rounds just to make sure my pistol remains reliable.
  15. I run the 20 pound stainless RSA from Glockstore. It is a very nice product, and works with heavy and light loads.
  16. Stkx66


    Jul 18, 2010
    Wow! I had 2 FTF's yesterday at my local indoor range and today I read this post. Sure enough my G20 did not pass the test. I don't think I've shot more than 2,000 rounds on the original factory spring but maybe I have...?:whistling: I ordered a stainless guide rod and complete flat spring kit from GlockMeister. I anticipate running the 20lb spring. I mostly shoot Underwood, Double Tap, Remington, Georgia Arms ammo.-( More Remington and Georgia Arms target ammo than the other two ) Thanks for the info.! Also, I had an FTF with 200 grain hardcast this past summer and subsequently swapped out ammo for Underwood 200 grain XTP's which cycled just fine at the time. My recoil spring may have needed changing for as long as a year. Again thanks for the info.
  17. Any Cal.

    Any Cal.

    Oct 27, 2008
    Obviously the new spring did the trick, but it sounds like thick lube wasn't helping. I am curious as to whether the recoil spring test with the old spring would fail if the gun was cold.

    I was just passing on what I had learned. There is a lot of info floating around on Glocks, and you do learn quite a bit trying to fix the problems that crop up when you 'soup up' your gun...:whistling:
  18. Glock really should have designed a 20 pound recoil spring for the G20. I know is is cheaper for them to mass produce parts, but with the heavier loads people shoot nowadays the 20 pound spring would have been the best way to go.
  19. Any Cal.

    Any Cal.

    Oct 27, 2008
    I still haven't seen anything other than speculation that the factory spring isn't adequate. It would be interesting to find real life data on what the spring absorbs and what levels of energy are detrimental to the frame. All the speculation on distance brass is thrown have nothing to do with the construction of the gun or its lifespan. In fact, I haven't seen evidence of issues caused by the use of the factory spring either, which is odd if it really is a problem. PistolPete is thousands of rounds into the factory RSA w/ no issues, which suggests that the factory weight is fine.
  20. What is telling to me is my G20sf exhibits some failure to extract malfunctions with Hornady 180 grain and the OEM spring. When I drop in the 20 pound spring the malfunctions stop. I know it may be my particular gun but it makes me wonder.