Apparent Recoil and Muzzel Flip Reduction with Wolff springs
On their Kel-Tec page the folks at Wolff Gunsprings list the following information:
Factory Standard.: 16 Lb.
Extra Power.........: 18, 19 and 20 Lb.
Because I am cheap and also have a P-40 conversion, I purchased Wolff's Recoil Calibration Pak for the P-40 that contains 1 each of 19, 20 and 21 Lb. spring sets.
Today I installed their 19 Lb. spring set in my P-11 and went to the range to fire off about 60 rounds of Speer Gold Dots, just about the only thing I shoot besides a few Federal Hydra-SHOK, both "normal" pressure rounds.
In my opinion, the reduction in felt recoil and muzzle flip is remarkable!
Admittedly, the new springs were a little more difficult to insert than the not very tired stock springs but I wonder, "Why aren't the factory stock springs stronger?"
Of possibly greater importance, "Is there is any downside to the heaver springs?"
TucsonMTB . . . who is suddenly very curious
I've been considering putting a wolff spring in my P11, and wondered what the difference would be from the 18 to 19 LB version. Also, a while back I bought a lot of Kel Tec accessories on an auction, and steel guide rod was included. Would it make any difference to pair the wolff spring with the steel guide? I haven't even opened the package on the rod yet, and haven't had any plans to use it with the factory spring. Or, is the steel rod even necessary? I want to try the Wolff spring, but don't know if I should order the 18 or 19. Any thoughts or experiences?
I am still evaluating mine and won't be able to comment for a few weeks, sorry.
Originally Posted by michaelfm
TucsonMTB . . . who likes to be right
IMO, the factory springs are fine for normal loads. I would only use extra power springs for +P ammo, if then.
This info relates to 1911s but applies here as well:
Heavy recoil springs mean slower rearward travel but faster forward travel. The total cycle time changes very little, if at all. All the heavy spring does is alter the balance. Faster forward means that the magazine has to be in top form to keep up, especially on that critical last round...AND...slidelock. I've seen pistols fail to lock on empty nearly every time with an 18 pound spring, then turn around and function perfectly every time when the spring rate drops to 16 pounds.
Faster forward means increased momentum for the slide. When you consider that the relatively small lower lug feet and the slidestop crosspin are the two parts that bring it all to a sudden halt, it's not hard to figure out that if the slide's momentum is increased by 10%, then the shock against these parts is also increased by 10%. That's not a lot if the pistol sees limited use...but in a hard-duty range gun, it means something. The impact surface between slide and frame were designed to withstand a lot of impact shock. The lower lug feet weren't. This is why the dictum to never let the slide go to battery at full speed on an empty chamber is generally accepted wisdom. The feeding phase slows the slide and softens the blow. When the gun is empty, the feet slam into the slidestop crosspin with all the impact that a 16-ounce slide that is driven by the recoil spring can muster. Think of it as slapping the faces of two 16-ounce hammers together at the same speed of the free-moving slide. It won't be long until the hammers begin to deform.
The springs in the 1911 were determined by John Browning and a team of engineers at Colt nearly a century ago. Whenever we start playing around with these carefully considered rates, we very often bring on problems with the gun, all of which may not be immediately apparent.
Any time that a component of a successful design is altered or changed, it affects several aspects of the design's function. The engineer's dictum states that: "Whenever one thing is changed, it usually requires change in at least two other areas in order to compensate for the first change."
Bottom line... I would not go too much past the standard weight. I have heard that Kel-tec does not recommend extra strength springs, and remember, they will generally send you replacement springs free.
Reagarding the steel guide rod, consider this:
"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it."
TxCajun, thanks for the info. I haven't found it necessary to shoot +P loads, so I shouldn't worry about a Wolff spring. The idea of lessening the recoil sounded interesting, but if it leads to function problems, I'll go with the harder snap. The steel guide rod will probably rest in the parts box to be used in case of emergency, unless someone really needs one. Good to know KT will send you a replacement spring if needed!
Yep, what TX says is accurate. In fact, go too high in spring strength and your pistol will start "rocking" instead of recoiling - in other words, it's actually experiencing FORWARD recoil as the slide slams shut!
I'd reserve the extra-power springs (well, at least the HEAVIEST of them) for the hottest loads.
Well, I guess the experiment is over after only 200 rounds.
The recoil reduction really is "just a novelty". Not adding stress to my P-11 or P-40 is a better goal.
I had hoped that more positively seating the 9mm barrel might help accuracy. But, the P-40 still shoots better and I can't detect any improvement subjectively.
Oh, and even Zeke, during his visit to Tucson, found that both shoot low for him as well. I know, aim higher.
TucsonMTB . . . who is no longer experimenting
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