View Full Version : Cutting 1911 recoil spring

01-05-2013, 1:38 PM
I have a late 80s Colt Officers .45. Ordered a new set of springs from Jack First (Colt does not stock parts for the Officers any longer). Did the spring. Stacking check. The new recoil springs appear too long. While slide is back, I have a solid stack.
Want to cut a 1/2 coil off each of the recoil springs. Should I use a small file or go major with a Dremmel tool?

01-05-2013, 1:43 PM
Compared to the old springs new one will be longer.

01-05-2013, 2:08 PM
Yes I know. I did the stacking check. Leave guide rod in no springs. Pull slide all the way back. Make a pencil mark on the dust cover where the front edge of slide lines up. Put the recoil spring and plug back in. Pull slide back. The line and slide edge should line up as before. My slide edge is forward of that line, which indicates a solid stack.

01-05-2013, 2:21 PM
I have no opinion on length of spring but to cut it use a cutting disk - if you have one- in your dremel -- do not overheat the spring -- grind a moment and let cool then grind again --
Often wire springs .010 to .015 can be cut with dikes but that method can be hazardous to the dikes as well as distort the spring --

Dutch Henry
01-05-2013, 4:25 PM
Are you using a recoil buffer? If so, remove it and try again. You might also want to look at Wolff Gunsprings. I've had very good luck with them in all of my autopistols.

Once you start cutting recoil springs you have no way of knowing what the rating is on the end result.

01-05-2013, 5:35 PM
Do as gunboat says and go slow to avoid heat build up. So long as it's the right weight spring to begin with it will be fine cut down to fit. Spring weight at full compression is a factor of wire diameter and angle of wind. A spring may feel softer when partially compressed but at full compression it should be (nominally) the same cut or not.

Gunsmith Dan
01-06-2013, 1:43 AM
The best way to test it is ...shoot it!!!

If a spring is longer but the gauge diameter thickness is smaller you are getting the same amount of tension as a shorter but thicker diameter spring (which is normal for alot of aftermarket springs as it is cheaper to make smaller diameter wires).

So while you might think you got a too long spring you might actually cause it to short cycle by cutting it down. This on top of the fact smaller diameter also means a longer spring would compress to the same length as a thicker diameter shorter spring.

If you can cycle the slide to the point it can be locked back without a huge amount of effort you should be ok. Go shoot it and see if you have any malfunctions because of slide cycling problems then adjust from there. A spring that stacks to the point it will cause the slide to not fully cycle would make it extremely hard to lock the slide back.

The only time you would have to worry is if the replacement spring is longer than the original, in a uncompressed state, by more than 1 inch in the same or thicker diameter.