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  #1  
Old 06-27-2020, 05:22 AM
CMDR CMDR is offline
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I'm gettin' older & a bit weaker, ...

I still love my 1911. Its a 5"er, with original factory springs, and a recent article from a reputable source, mentioned changing recoil springs and adding a buff. Before I go monkeying with it, just wanted other opinions as to YES/NO/MAYBE, and why you feel that way.
Thanx in Advance,
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  #2  
Old 06-27-2020, 05:33 AM
Plantar5 Plantar5 is online now
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If it ain’t broke...why bother?

If it never had a shock buff, I wouldn’t add one.

Do you shoot it? Round count would likely factor into replacing the recoil spring.
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  #3  
Old 06-27-2020, 06:21 AM
Plaidad Plaidad is offline
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Are you thinking of going to a lighter recoil spring to make the slide easier to rack? If so, try cocking the hammer before you rack the slide. It makes it much easier. I have never used buffers, based on the theory that the more parts in a system, the more opportunities for something to break.
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  #4  
Old 06-27-2020, 06:51 AM
roaniecowpony roaniecowpony is online now
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In the 70's, shock buffs were all the rage. You were "abusing" your 1911 if you didn't use them. Pictures of cracked frames were published in magazines as examples of why you should use them.

Now, it seems you're an uninformed fool if you use them. I guess shooters have blasted hundreds or thousands of rounds and had them fall apart and bind up a gun. I thought you were supposed to change them often, so I never saw that problem....since the 70's.
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  #5  
Old 06-27-2020, 06:54 AM
bradsvette bradsvette is offline
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I would definitely skip the buffer. They can dry up, get brittle, and crack apart in your gun, thereby tying it up. Like Plaidad said, cock the hammer before racking the slide. If that's getting to be too difficult, i suppose you could try a 16 lb., 15 lb., or even a 14 lb. recoil spring. I'd use lighter loads, meaning less powerful, with the lighter springs.
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  #6  
Old 06-27-2020, 07:00 AM
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The shock buff is sold to protect the gun, not the shooter. Note I said “sold to”, many don’t buy the need.
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  #7  
Old 06-27-2020, 07:45 AM
yeti yeti is offline
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I run Wolff 14# conventional springs in all 5" for 175PF or less ammo for many years. No issues. Just replace the recoil spring with a fresh one every 1500-2000 rounds or when you see ejection significantly change.
Not a gummibear buff fan at all, but have used Aluma-Buffs in undersprung guns I had concern about.
Don't reload? Buy low recoil ammo or 200gr standard velocity ammo.

If you run mostly factory 230gr ammo (190PF+) I'd stay with a 16# recoil spring and pre-cock the hammer.
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  #8  
Old 06-27-2020, 07:54 AM
Buzz45 Buzz45 is offline
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I use the 1911 recoil buffers, but only in my Mini 14. A lighter recoil spring may cause damage to your pistol and could cause feeding problems. JMO.
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  #9  
Old 06-27-2020, 08:49 PM
L84CABO L84CABO is offline
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I personally wouldn't go lightening the recoil spring to try and achieve a lighter racking slide. Recoil spring weight is really determined by the gun, not by hand strength. If you're looking for an easier slide to rack, I would go with a 9mm instead of a 45.

As for the shock buff, I'd run the gun how it came from the factory.
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  #10  
Old 06-27-2020, 09:11 PM
Jason D Jason D is offline
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Thumb cocking as mentioned is one of the ways to making the gun easier to work the slide.

You could drop several pounds on the recoil spring if you were a reloader and had the ability to manufacture mouse fart loads. Another option would be to run a .22 conversion on your gun, and yet another would be to buy a gun in 9mm.

I will say that the factory recoil spring on a Springfield 9mm RO is like 9 pounds. The guns feel like a .45, but recoil like a .22. It's an effective way for an old dog to keep on shooting.
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Old 06-28-2020, 01:06 AM
Rock185 Rock185 is offline
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Older and weaker, me too I don't put thousands of rounds through any one gun, and don't often feel the need to change recoil springs. A couple pounds lighter spring would make cycling the slide easier. and probably wouldn't hurt a thing IMHO, unless you intend to put thousands of rounds through it.

Reference buffers, I have used them in a number of guns. Range toys,fine. But FWIW I quit using them in any gun that absolutely, positively, has to function reliably. The common type that fit over the recoil spring guide shorten the recoil stroke by the compressed thickness of the buffer. Doesn't seem like much, but I had malfunctions in a full size and compact pistol using a buffer. Buffers removed, no issues since....

BTW, A couple of my 5" 9MM 1911s came with 10# recoil springs. Really easy to cycle those slides, but I realize you may have no interest in acquiring a 9MM version......
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  #12  
Old 06-28-2020, 02:26 AM
Totally Tactical Totally Tactical is offline
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On a 5 inch gun the recoil spring should be changed every 2000 rounds.
So if your over that I would change it.
If your only shooting ball ammo and not the hotter hollowpoints, you can put a 16 lb in it.
As for shock buff not needed, but they may make the gun feel softer shooting for you.
So my rule on shok buff is only on the 5 inch guns and check every time you clean it for cracking, first sign of crack, replace.

If you really want to try a ***** cat. get a 9mm 5inch 1911.
You can run a 10 or 12 lb recoil spring, so very easy to operate the slide and almost no recoil.
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  #13  
Old 06-28-2020, 12:24 PM
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I run a 20# mainspring (23# is stock) and 12# recoil spring (16# is stock) in my .45ACP 1911's. Never been an issue. Oh, and there are some well respected smiths and 1911 experts who use buffs, but will only admit it quietly to avoid the hysteria of the masses about them.

But if racking the slide is the sole concern, then simply cock the hammer as suggested above.
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Old 06-28-2020, 12:52 PM
Big Pete10 Big Pete10 is offline
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I used shock buffs in a Combat Elite for a while, til it broke and tied up the gun. Looked fine when I cleaned the gun, broke net time I used it.
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  #15  
Old 06-28-2020, 03:16 PM
seagiant seagiant is offline
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Hi,
Ha! Ha!, no, no, no, to Shok-Buffs!!!
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  #16  
Old 06-28-2020, 08:39 PM
Jason D Jason D is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seagiant View Post
Hi,
Ha! Ha!, no, no, no, to Shok-Buffs!!!
Shock buffs make sense in the case of an aging shooter and talk about lighter recoil springs. Consider if the only ammo you could get was factory, and age has sapped you of the strength to continue working a slide.

You start thinking maybe it would be easier to put a lighter spring in the gun. Now you have a .45 using factory ammo, and say a 13 pound spring. That slide will work easier, and it was also recoil faster, and will eventually batter the gun enough that it becomes a problem. Insert buffer here...

Now if you were a reloader capable of making extremely light target loads, it wouldn't be an issue. You are not though, and are limited to factory ammo only. You look for alternatives to keep shooting.

The Op's questions and potential solutions are valid.
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Old 06-29-2020, 03:49 PM
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Time to swap to a revolver, gramps. Thats what Im gonna do when the time comes. Cocking the hammer wont do squat if you have a malf.
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Old 06-29-2020, 04:42 PM
VetPsychWars VetPsychWars is offline
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I had a buffer in my 1918 Colt and Bad Things Happened. I prefer Colt springs myself, and as mentioned, change the recoil spring after a few thousand rounds.

Tom
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Old 06-29-2020, 06:11 PM
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Sounds like a training issue.
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  #20  
Old 06-29-2020, 06:14 PM
Big Pete10 Big Pete10 is offline
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Shock buffs don't reduce perceived recoil. I shoot 1911 guns and a 625 revolver. the revolver slaps your hand considerably harder than a 1911 gun. May be time to switch to a .38 revolver.
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Old 06-29-2020, 08:54 PM
FFLMike FFLMike is offline
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I have been burning Wolff 12 and 14 lb variable recoil springs and 15 or 16 lb hammer springs in all of my 5" 1911's. They work great. JMHO.

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  #22  
Old 06-29-2020, 08:55 PM
Jason D Jason D is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Pete10 View Post
Shock buffs don't reduce perceived recoil. I shoot 1911 guns and a 625 revolver. the revolver slaps your hand considerably harder than a 1911 gun. May be time to switch to a .38 revolver.
Correct, and they were never meant to. They were meant to cushion the slide and frame during recoil.

You could take a 1911 in .45 acp, drop a 10 pound recoil spring in it, and fire normal ammo though it. The gun will work, but it will beat the **** out of the gun straight away.

The OP says he is getting older and a bit weaker. I assume his question was about making the slide easier to work with a lighter recoil spring, and trying to prevent battering with the buffer.

The OP has several choices to making the gun easier to manipulate. The cheapest being thumb cocking the gun first. To lighten springs and use a buffer, one really should be able to produce light target loads. You could drop the recoil spring down several pounds and not have to worry about battering the gun, if you could make light target loads at home.
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:10 PM
sevenL4 sevenL4 is offline
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I find the lightest spring that will return the pistol to battery. Then I increase a pound or two. I used a buffer once. It got 'tattered' and locked up my pistol. Find some ammo that's not so powerful and use it for fun. Change to home defense ammo before you put the pistol in the night stand. I like shooting my .45 for Steel Challenge and learned a long time ago that the bullet has to have just enough velocity to ring the plate. I load 155gr swc for steel and if I hit the target it rings. I change springs when it's needed, not after a particular round count. Call me a heathen but I also don't change oil in my truck every 3000 miles, regardless of the oil company or truck manufacturer's instructions. My favorite 1911 is almost 100 years old, 1923 YOM. My GMC is approaching 200,000 miles and doesn't make noise or leak.
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:53 PM
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Imissedagain Imissedagain is offline
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If you don't use them, they get weak.
Try a steady diet of hand and wrist exercise.
Squeeze racquetballs or something similar... squeeze and hold for 20-30 seconds a lot... several times a day.
A round bar, string and a weight... roll it up and down.... many times daily.
Give it a week and the results will amaze... and start saving for a quality N frame 8 shooter.
The 1911s have a hammer and the G36 does not.... carrying it gave me a wake up call to start the exercising.

Even though my hands get a workout in the woodshop and playing musical instruments the exercises are part of my daily routine now.
My 80+ year old Air America buddy functions like a 55 year old as he has been working out daily since forever.

The correct lighter springs are in my Gold Cup as it's most often a bullseye gun.
Wouldn't want to get hit with those loads.
The new Ruger Officer seems easier than my Colt GM without cocking the hammer first.
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  #25  
Old 06-30-2020, 03:49 PM
mkk41 mkk41 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seagiant View Post
Hi,
Ha! Ha!, no, no, no, to Shok-Buffs!!!


Well John M Browning didn't see the need for the thumb-safety in his original design .

Suitable materials like polyurethane wasn't around then either.
Lots of the cheap , bulk gun show buffs are questionable. Most are way too thick.

I use the blue ones from Wilson Combat in my older NM's and ex-GI guns. I do believe Wilson knows a thing or two about 1911's. They are cheap insurance , especially if you don't change your recoil springs as often as necessary. Change them every so often , 1000rds or so. Springs every 3000.
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