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When to replace recoil spring - and how to know


Chillywig

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Running a CK thunder open gun in 9 major. Actually not sure of the recoil spring weight - whatever it came with. Past few matches I have had a round in the chamber, pulled the trigger but the gun was far enough out of battery it did not drop the hammer. I had assumed it was my reloads causing the problems as I chamber checked using the hundo. Last match I had the gun go click with a round in the chamber. I have been suspect of the overly tight KKM barrels/my reloads causing the failures to fire so this match I plunked all the rounds in the barrel then dropped them into the hundo for additional inspection. Unfortunately I was unable to recover the round for further inspection. 

 

Right now if I slowly close the slide I can make it stay out of battery enough to not allow the hammer to fall when pulling the trigger. I have never had to replace the recoil spring in any of my STI's but maybe the slide frame fit was much looser and never noticed issues and I am wondering if that has been causing my problems. I have been using mobile 1 30 weight for lube and kept the gun fairly clean. I have had this gun for a year and about 4500 round thru it. Probably a similar number in dry fire. So when or what should prompt me to change the recoil spring or should I be looking at another issue causing these issues?

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Smarter guys than me will respond I am sure but 4500 is probably close to life span expecially in a major gun. I just got a new CK Arms limited thunder 9mm last month with about 500 thru it now and you can ride the slide all the way to the last 1/8" and it will still go into battery easily. I would remove the spring and make sure the slide is smooth all the way, double check the slide where the disconnector engages, and replace the recoil spring. I was curious what # spring is in my gun and was going to send a message and ask. 

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On my Thunder 9mm open gun, I changed the recoil spring at 10,000 rounds.  Only reason I did it then was it seemed like a good round number.  Not one issue ever knock on wood.  Factory spring is a Wolff 9lb.

 

Your mileage may vary, but that is my experience.  I would look elsewhere first, but springs are cheap.  Order 3 sets and have them on hand.  Change the firing pin spring while you are at it.  Consider moving the Aftec spring forward and put a second one in per CK's recommendation while you are at it as well.

 

Mike

 

 

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Hello: You guys change your recoil springs? I buy two recoil springs when the one in the pistol is 3 coils shorter than the new one I replace it. I then buy two more as spares. I test the used springs to see how close they are to the new ones. The ISMI are usually at most a 1/2lb lighter. Different spring manufacturers will have different spring life. Sprinco seems to last a long time also. Wolff has been hit or miss for me over the years. Thanks, Eric

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OK here's something interesting. 

 

Just so you know I am closing the slide very slowly on an empty chamber and about a 1/16" to 1/32" from closing it can stop out of battery. It does not do it every time but it is repeatable 30 to 40% of the time. 

 

Since getting this gun new I haven't done much to it. Pinned the grip safety and put in a toolless takedown guide rod - Ah Ha!

 

So I put in the CK guide rod still using the only recoil spring that's been in the gun and I can no long longer make the gun stay out of battery closing the slide very slowly. Upon further inspection of the toolless takedown rod I can not see anywhere it is dragging but it made a difference.

 

Anyone else have issues with fit on the tooless takedown rod?

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In my years of shooting Open I never, ever changed the recoil spring.  That included about a dozen of different guns, both new and used.  Never sure how fresh the springs were in the used guns I bought.

 

Truth be told, in all those years I had one hard failure - the Aftec broke in the middle. 

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