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Colt Series 80 Officer Recoil Spring Setup

Discussion in 'Maintenance & Gunsmithing' started by FAL, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. FAL

    FAL Salem Active Member

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    It seems that the factory setup was the dual springs. They were probably done that way so that a lot of spring tension could fit in the small Officer's recoil spring area. However the dual springs, with no guide rod and only a small tab on the plug, tended to be problematic.

    This means one has the opportunity to improve the system. But which modification is best? I have boiled it down to two but please feel free to add any others:

    1) Single spring

    2) Guide rod system, such as the Wilson Combat Colt 1911 Officer's Two-piece Full-length Guide Rod system. But this method requires a modification to the slide. What modification exactly? Is that something we want to do?

  2. Hardwood floor guy

    Hardwood floor guy Beaverton Active Member

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    most of the 1911 problems i have had,be it 5" or 3" are recoil related or loose extractor tention.
    i have always fixed most 1911 problems with 230gr round nose ammo.the gun was designed around that bullet and 100 years later
    they still just run better with 230gr.
    thats not to say 185gr or hollow points wont run in most 1911's but if you have a finiky gun many can be fixed with fmj 230gr.
    if the original spring configuration was working with the factories test ammo(230gr fmj)then thats the design imo.
    you can find a happy spring setup for your gold sabre rounds and then run some hornady tap +p hollow points in it and have a problem again.
    in this short 1911 its snappy enough so why not run 230gr ammo and a weaker spring system and save on wear and tear?
  3. pokerace

    pokerace Newberg Well-Known Member

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    I found a full leangth guide rod at a gun show booth,no alteration to frame works great. Haven't seen the booth in years though.

    If any body want's a Wilson Combat Colt 1911 Officer's Two-piece Full-length Guide Rod system. I'll put it up for sale. I didn't use it as I did not want to alter frame.
  4. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    The slide will need to be faced back whatever the thickness of the flange is. I've done a few, they are close to the same dimension, but some do differ in their thickness.

    There have been more than a few tabs shear off on the Officer spring plug, and the reverse plug is a solid answer to the problem. But whatever you decide, go with a single spring of 20-22lb. I recommend start with 20lbs and see how it functions. I find that less of a spring, if the gun allows it, will give you a smoother running gun.
  5. Speedsteel

    Speedsteel Oregon Member

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    I would recommend the Kings guide rod reverse plug and dual spring set up, I have run thousands of rounds on these and they work, with or without the buffer.
    You do have to modify the slide, for the reverse plug flange, which can be done by hand but best if machined. With the Kings set up the weapon functions properly. It is a one piece guide rod with captive plug factory dual spring set up with cross pin for dis-assembly and Kings match bushing, always felt the wide bushing and plug were attractive on the front of the gun to boot. Kings Gun Works part # 306A Officers full length guide rod and bushing kit. Orders: 800-282-9449

    Be careful with the single springs, if the total compression length is incorrect it will batter the plug off the front, especially when someone adds a shock buffer and reduces the space for spring compression: spring goes solid during recoil and batters the retaining tab off the factory plug.

    Best Luck, SS
  6. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    First off, buffs are never recommended for anything shorter than a Commander length gun...that being a 4 1/4", not a 4" gun.

    Haven't found an Officers that would run with a buff, and with the short stroke of the cycle...one is just asking for a train wreck.

    With any new spring installed one should always check fro spring bind. I have installed plenty of single spring set ups in Officers, they will run much smoother.
    humdrum and (deleted member) like this.
  7. OHshoot!

    OHshoot! Bellingham Member

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    My lw officer's has a King's full length guiderod, and King's bushing. Mine came with the slide cut deeper to fit the King's guiderod. The setup looks badass with the bold stainless King's set-up.
    I switched out the duel springs for a single ISMI spring. The guy and ISMI cracked a joke about how bubblegumty the duel spring set-up works. Make sure it is a full strength recoil spring. I suggest upgrading to all ISMI springs throughout. This made a huge difference in all my Colts. Even better than Wolff imho. The weapon cycles much better with these springs. They also have alot longer life than wilson or wolff springs.
    Colt recommends never running a shock buff in any of their guns. Call colt cs and ask. I did. Asking for a headache for sure. Why would you short stroke the cycle even more on such a small pistol? Mine has run through hundreds and hundreds of my reloads without a hitch. Ever. Just maintain it properly and you are golden.
    Call cylinder and slide for any parts you need, even the ISMI springs. They will set you straight like they did me.
    Good luck.