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My uncle has a model 1911 .45ACP Colt Gold Cup pistol. He says it came with 2 springs from the factory, one for hard-ball full deal ammo and one for lighter target loads. He has lost the lighter of the two springs from the factory and needs to know what the spring is rated at so he can order a new one. Can anyone shed some light on this for me please?

Dustin
 

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IIRC, for a GI 1911, the standard spring for service ammo is 16.5 pounds. Many people use an 18 pound spring as a full power spring.
The spring weight often recommended for wadcutter loads is a 13 pound spring. I suspect that would be the lighter one that came with the Gold Cup.
 

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Brownell's offers Wolf springs in packs of 3 different weights, at least they used to. Get that and experiment with what you guys are shooting. With 1911's, it never hurts to try different ones to get reliable functioning.
 

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Dustin,

For durability, I've had good luck with Sprinco's 1911 springs. Incidentally, these are called recoil springs. The mainspring is the one you compress when you cock the hammer. It is behind the plunger in the mainspring housing just below the grip safety on the back of the gun.
 

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A 16 lb spring is standard with the 230 grain @ 850 fps hardball load. It seems that the 18 lb. spring fad is just about over, as they beat up the slide stop and barrel lugs on the return stroke. Target shooters went below 10 lb at times, but I'd use a 12 lb for a start. They aren't expensive, so you could buy a set of 10 -12 - 14 lb springs and see which works best with your target loads.

http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/store/productdetail.aspx?p=16562&s=37268

Bye
Jack
 

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Jack Monteith said:
A 16 lb spring is standard with the 230 grain @ 850 fps hardball load. Target shooters went below 10 lb at times, but I'd use a 12 lb for a start.
Yes, the 12 lb. recoil spring is what I use in my Colt Gold Cup with mid-range target ammunition. The spring is available from Brownell's as well as other dealers and is quite affordable.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks to all.

I will pass the info along to my uncle and see what he wants to do for the lighter recoil spring.

Dustin
 

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I've seen and heard a thousand answers to this sort of question. Some say the springs are the same between Gov't Models and Gold Cups, others say they are different, and they quote different weights for the lighter spring, etc.

The thing is, most people are right.

The Gold Cups came with two recoil springs for a long time, at least well into the 1970s. One was the same as the Gov't Model used (16 lbs), and was usually loose in the box somewhere, or in a plastic bag. Many will say that the Gold Cup spring has the same part number as the Gov't, and that is true, but this heavier spring is the one they mean (whether they realize it or not).

The other spring was usuallly installed in the gun, although I think they switched that at some point and installed the Gov't spring from the factory.

The lighter spring sometimes had some green dye coloring on one end, and I've heard two weights for it- 12 lbs and 14 lbs. Colt collectors may argue for hours over it, but I suspect both were used over the years. Others say that while one spring is shorter (it IS four coils shorter), they are the same weight. And maybe they are.

Basically, the standard recoil spring for a Gov't model is 16 lbs. Either of the two target spring weights (12 or 14) would be OK provided they were used with light 185 SWC target loads. Be careful going lighter, since some Gold Cups had lightened slides (extra cuts in the back end) and what's too light for a Gov't Model could be way too light for the Gold Cup.

Also, he needs to be sure when he orders to order RECOIL springs, not mainsprings, as that's a different animal (located in the grip and powers the hammer).
 

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16 lbs is a hardball spring in a full-size 1911 and 18 lbs is used in the Commander. Both work fine with bullet weights down to 200 grains if you don't load too light. I own a Series '70 I purchased after they stopped issuing two springs. With 185 grain swaged bullets over 3.8 grains of Bullseye, I could feel its recoil get very spongy and it occasionally stovepiped because the slide no longer made it all the way to the rear. I had to go to a 13 lb spring for my load.

The other spring weight issue is that bullets with other-than-round noses sometimes need a little more spring shove to make it up the loading ramp. That is why there is room for compromise in spring weight choices for target loads. I wound up buying a whole set of springs from 9 lbs up, at one point. I just find the heaviest spring weight that doesn't sponge-out. That is, the heaviest one that doesn't prevent the slide from going into full counterbattery with a particular load.

By the way, the collet type bushing springs slightly as the barrel goes into lock-up. That adds resistance the recoil spring must overcome for best lockup. For that reason, I have replaced mine with a Briley bushing, whose drilled ball joint design lets a lighter recoil spring work a little better. A properly fitted conventional bushing is also an improvement over the collet type. The collet type was designed so Colt could escape the expense of custom fitting bushings as they did in the older pre-Series '70 National Match version 1911.
 

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unclenick said:
The collet type was designed so Colt could escape the expense of custom fitting bushings as they did in the older pre-Series '70 National Match version 1911.
Thought the collet type barrel bushing was the cat's meow when it was first introduced. Thought differently about it when my shooting pards collet type fractured and parts of it disappeared while he was shooting mid-range.

My National Match bushing came with a beveled surface where it retains the recoil spring plug. The recoil spring plug has a beveled end that matches the bushing. All designed to twist the bushing a bit to take up any slack when the slide is in battery. An inexpensive way to tighten up the front end without resorting to a fitted match bushing.
 

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An old thread but leads into my current question(s).

I am getting back into Bullseye shooting after a 15yr hiatis and ran into a bit of a snag with my equipment.

Gun data: Colt Series 70 1911 with an AimPoint 2000 (yea I know it's an old red dot but I am old too) mounted on Slide via weaver style mount. Lots of rounds thru gun over time, was reliable at one point. Metalform magazines with bumper added...round top follower

WHAT RECOIL SPRING WT TO use for my Colt Series 70 1911 with my Bullseye load of 200gr SWC, 4.0gr of Bullseye powder & Fed LP primer?

Reason for question is I don't really know if that is the problem and here is my dilema...
...failure to feed (not consistently but rather eratically ie sometimes) and not sure if magazine failure or slide resistance or what?

Seems as if the 3rd or 4th cartridge can't quite make it UP 'nuff to climb into the chamber......but only sometimes....tried 5 different mags so far and at some point there will be a failure to feed issue as described.

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated and applied.

thanks
Irish Bird Dog
 

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Double check your round dimensions. Just use the barrel as the case gauge to be sure your rounds drop into the chamber freely. A 14 lb spring was standard on those. Sprinco makes good 1911 springs and I would get several to try if you are unsure. Your powder charge is big enough, but you might want to charge a bunch of cases then dump the charges individually onto a scale pan just to be sure you aren't throwing any occasional low ones. That can fool the deal.

Old fouling is hard fouling. I'm sure you cleaned the gun up well, but I've seen a number with old fouling hidden in tight places that normal cleaning didn't really get out. Mix a batch of Ed's Red and detail strip the gun and set all the parts in that in a can for a week. Then pull them out and wipe them off with a cloth rag and just put the gun together. Enough of the transmission fluid will stick to it to serve as a the right viscosity lube. You won't need to add any.
 

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