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Soren

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I've had this Rock Island Armory 1911-A1 FS for almost 10 year or so (I don't remember exactly when I bought it).
Currently, it has the full length guide rod in it. I am thinking about swapping it out for a GI length guide rod, just because I like the look of a closed plug better.
If I do that, do you think that I should also replace the recoil spring? If so, what weight spring do you think I should get? I am not sure what weight spring it currently has.

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Soren

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So, I picked up a GI length guide rod from Advanced Tactical (that RIA's parts store) and cone shaped recoil spring plug from Innovative Industries. Advanced Tactical was out of 16# springs, so I bought an 18# spring. For now, I've kept the original recoil spring in it. When I get a chance to go to the range next week, I'll take the 18# spring with me and swap it out there just to compare differences. I haven't been able to find online any answers to what happens if you go with a lighter or heavier recoil spring.
Anyway, it cycles fine with snap caps. Hopefully Monday or Tuesday I'll get a chance to get over to the gun club and run some ammo through it and see how it runs. I only did this because I like the looks of a closed recoil spring plug rather than the open one. I did find one a few years ago (I should have bought it then) that was a spike, but I can't find anything like that any more.

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Too heavy a spring == stove pipes / other failure to eject issues.

Too light == added stress to the gun, possibly leading to damage to other parts.

You may experience those FTE issues with lighter ammo and the heavier spring, won’t know till you go shoot! ;)
 

EHJ

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I switched up to 17# Wilson Combat flat springs. (And their guide rod)
The little buffer is pretty nifty, too. It seems to work.

I changed old styles every 5 years before - and could feel how differently identical - fresh (not set) springs are compared to old ones.

 
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po18guy

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Not to mention failure of the slide to pick up the next round from the mag. However, that'sonly about a 12% increase, so it might just work fine. Certainly with "healthy" handloads. An email to Wolff will yield the benefit of their extensive experience.
 

L84Cabo

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Shoot Rock Island an email and see what they suggest. It's likely in the 16-18 lb range. You should also think about replacing the firing pin spring and the plunger spring for the thumb safety. So ask them about those too.

You'll get lots of opinions on this but going forward I would swap out the recoil spring every 2K rounds...or most certainly when the recoil spring compresses to half an inch shorter than a new spring.

And at 10 years I'm sure your mag springs could use a bit of freshening up too. :)
 

Soren

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I went to the gun club the other day to try it out. With the old spring it worked just fine. I didn't try the 18# spring. At the range, I decided against swapping out the spring at the range. I didn't want to tear down the gun on the bench just in case that spring got away from me (the last thing I wanted to was to try to look for the recoil spring plug in the dirt). So, mission accomplished (minus testing the 18# spring).
I ordered a 16# spring from Wolff. When that shows up, I'll swap it out. But, for now, it does run nice and smooth.
 
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I typically use these when I replace my recoil springs:


On three different occasions (across three different Rock Island 1911s), I have had the factory recoil springs begin to cause issues after 600-800 rounds. The 18lb EGW springs definitely last longer, as I have not had to replace any yet. I only ever shoot standard 230 grain hard ball ammo; I have never had an issue with the spring being too heavy!
 
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