View Full Version : Will stronger recoil springs help reduce felt recoil?

CR Williams
06-23-2008, 11:05 AM
Some .40 and .45 cal pistols are tough on me from a felt-recoil perspective. Would getting a recoil spring a pound or three above factory 'spec help me out with that enough to care about it?

06-23-2008, 11:17 AM
Switch to a 9mm and you are going to love how easy it feels to shoot it compared to the 40 and 45, even me that I am not or better yet I was not too recoil sensitive I can feel how easy it is to shoot the 9mm compared to the other calibers specially in scenarios of shooting left handed or right handed only while running Etc.:)

06-23-2008, 11:24 AM
If you change recoil springs you will be forced to run fairly hot loads as the lighter the loads get the less reliable the cycling will be.
Recoil is pretty much the nature of the beast with a .40 cal.
Power equals recoil given the same mass gun. Not really much you can do about it. Even with a stronger spring your hand still has to resist the spring force to return the slide. It might reduce the feeling of the slide smacking the frame though. YOu could also run a lighter grain bullet...say 135 gr in .40 and 185 in .45.

John Silver
06-23-2008, 11:41 AM
As noted, you have to resist the spring no matter what you do.

If your recoil springs are worn out to the point where the slide is really hammering the frame, replacing them with factory springs could reduce the felt recoil. However, if you replace a new, factory weight spring with a heavier one, felt recoil can increase as you now have a heavier weight spring you need to resist upon recoil if the gun is to function properly.

Some people go to a lighter spring and shoot reduced recoil loads, though that's not something to do in a defensive gun unless you absolutley must.

CR Williams
06-23-2008, 01:14 PM
Okay, thanks. Neither of these is a carry gun. I will probably set the .45 up as a house gun. I mainly wanted something that I could feed with whatever might be available at any given time. I carry a 9mm, Ike; I can shoot the bigger ones as fast, but the 9mm is way easier for me and I figure it'll be hard enough in a fight for me not to want to add effort to it.

06-23-2008, 01:43 PM
You may look at gun platform. My 1911s kick more than my compact pt145. THat's right, more. :)

06-23-2008, 01:53 PM
The easiest way to reduce recoil it to use a steel framed gun.

06-23-2008, 04:39 PM
YMMV, but I "tested" this on my steel framed 1911 (Govt. size) during a competition class once about a year ago.

18# -> 16# -> 14# -> 12#

The 12# definitely "felt" like a lighter recoil impulse, faster back on front sights after the shot - using full power factory 230gr. ball. Competition shooters have been doing this for awhile, especially coupled with lighter loads.

But for my carry / defensive guns? Nope - keeping it stock as I don't want to gamble on reliability / durability.

Michael Biggs
06-23-2008, 05:36 PM
I agree with Ike's suggestion: Get a 9mm!!

CR Williams
06-24-2008, 06:15 AM
I got four 9mms already; how many more do you want me to get?

I just wanted something in the most-seen calibers, thus the larger .40 and .45 (xDs, because I found good prices on them). They will not be shot a great deal, but it would be nice if I could ease the stress of them up a bit. Stock is best, though, for my purposes. Thanks again.

06-24-2008, 04:28 PM
On what data and measurements do you base this knowledge claim, please? :confused:

Pick your favorite ballistics program and enter the data.

06-25-2008, 02:08 AM
The answer for any given gun is yes. The total recoil cannot be changed but its delivery to the hand can be changed - the thing you feel most is the slide impacting the frame and a heavier spring uses up more of the slides energy, and therefore velocity, before it gets there.

There are two problems with this.

One, the slide has to go far enough back to pick up and feed the next round. Any insecurity or weakness of your hold on the gun can cause a misfeed if the spring strength is close to the upper limit. So, as with any modification, you need to test to make sure of reliable function.

Two, the energy absorbed by the recoil spring before the slide impacts the frame is not lost. It is returned in the form of a faster forward movement of the slide. This might, just about, batter the breachface area of the gun but more importantly it will provide an extra jolt to your hold as it slams into battery. This tips the muzzle down rather than up and is the reason why top competitiors in action shooting sports use weaker rather than stronger recoil springs. They control recoil very well but their re-aquisition of the sights is disturbed by this extra strength forward impact.

Only for people with weak hands will the extra strength spring cause a problem with racking the slide and therefore with clearance drills. On this question, see Gabes thread about speed reloads. Generally there is not time! You will not feel the extra strength of the recoil spring under recoil, since until the slide hits the frame the force you feel in your hand is not much different from the force you feel as you rack the slide. The recoil spring can only transmit force to the frame equal to the force in the spring at its level of compression.


06-30-2008, 10:41 PM
I can't answer for the 40 cal, as I don't have much experience with them. I can for the 45 acp.

If your gun functions with the recoil spring, LEAVE IT ALONE. What will give you less recoil is lighter loads.

I shoot nothing but 230 grn lead bullets with 3.8 grns of bullseye. The only exception if I'm shooting Bullseye EIC matches where 230 Grn FMJ are required. But I still use the same powder charge.

My AK NG pistol team used the same load in their target pistols during the 80s when there was a 45 ammo shortage, prior to the Army buying 45s from Israel. Scores improved over the full charge hardball loads.

I've shot matches where the full house factory 9s bounce off pepper targets but I'v never had one fail to fall it I hit it.

I shoot tons of 45s and I dont like recoil. These are mild and fuction flawlessly in my Colt Series 70 Gold Cup hard ball gun and my USGI 1911A1.

I dont care how good you are, you start flinching and you wont hit shit.