Sorry. This one’s a bit rhetorical, ’cause the guys at Wilson Combat reckon they’ve got it wired. So to speak. Here are their top five reason to replace your 1911′s recoil spring:
1. If you start getting failures to return to battery while feeding it may be an indication that your recoil spring is losing some of its overall length. Typically, compact pistols will require more frequent length recoil spring changes than standard pistols.
2. If your Shok-Buff recoil buffer is becoming torn within a few hundred rounds after installation-that is also evidence that your recoil spring is ready to be replaced . . .
Any easy way to check for a worn spring is to compare your recoil spring versus a new spring of the same weight and brand. If your spring has lost approximately one-half an inch of overall length, it is time to replace your spring. To ensure this you should always have extra recoil springs of your desired weight(s) on hand . . .
3. Any time you buy a second-hand or older 1911 pistol, it is a good idea to bring all unknown poundage springs back to factory spec for reliable operation. New, quality springs are a cheap insurance policy against malfunctions and pistol damage.
4. If your ejection or extraction pattern suddenly changes, you may have a weakened recoil spring.
5. When you want to own something made by Wilson Combat for less than $10.”
I added that last one. Obviously.