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Changing Recoil Springs?

This is a discussion on Changing Recoil Springs? within the XD Gunsmithing and Maintenance forums, part of the XD Talk category; I've recently been considering changing out the recoil spring on my XD-45 Tactical. The recoil doesn't really bother me, but I've heard that placing a ...


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Old 06-30-2006, 01:59 PM   #1
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Changing Recoil Springs?

I've recently been considering changing out the recoil spring on my XD-45 Tactical. The recoil doesn't really bother me, but I've heard that placing a heavier recoil spring in it can reduce felt recoil which can aid in follow up shots, etc. I've heard that this does slow down the action a bit, and it makes it harder to rack the slide for the first shot? I'm a very strong fellow, so I'm not worried about it, but I was curious if anyone had any experience with it, or their XD had trouble cycling. I've heard the factory spring is about 18#, and was considering replacing it with a 22# spring.

I contacted springfield on this issue and they told me they had no information on it. They said that on the tactical model the recoil spring is never fully compressed and should never need replacing. I then asked if they did any of it in the custom shop and talked to a lady there. She told me that in the future, springfield would eventually offer XD's with different recoil spring weights, but they didn't even have the springs in, so they could not tell me about how they would perform. Any information on this issue would be much appreciated.
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Old 06-30-2006, 02:42 PM   #2
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As of right now, there are no aftermarket springs for the XD45 tactical. At least none that will fit over the stock guide rod.
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Old 06-30-2006, 02:44 PM   #3
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You have come to the right place. Much Research has been done but a final product for the .45 in not yet in production. I have decided to twiddle my thumbs for now and wait for the kit, but this thread has a lot of information for you. There are other threads as well, this is a popular topic.

http://www.xdtalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13812
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Old 06-30-2006, 02:50 PM   #4
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Odin and Wu thank you very much for your help and input, I really appreciate it. Can you offer any suggestions for the same replacement on an XD-40. I have a young lady friend who is going to purchase one for CCW, and she is a bit concerned with recoil. I told her that I heard this was a way to reduce "felt recoil". Thanks again
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Old 06-30-2006, 02:57 PM   #5
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XD40, get the Don's Guide Rod and get a couple of different springs to try out. Everyone is different when it comes to how heavy they like their recoil.

I personally run 16# springs in both of my XD's
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Old 07-01-2006, 12:04 AM   #6
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Might be silly question but is the higher the spring number the less recoil?
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Old 07-01-2006, 01:08 AM   #7
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I've been told that a higher recoil spring, means more pounds in the recoil spring, like a 22# is heavier than a 18#. This translates to the spring taking more of the push from the slide, than your hand, so causes less "felt recoil". The spring also affects the speed of the slide, so it technically causes your gun to cycle slightly faster, and I suppose in some conditions to cause it to cycle too slowly, and you might get some FTF's. I've heard that a new guide rod can reduce a bit of recoil also, because of the added weight, but a spring affects this also. Just realize that although the recoil is taken up by the spring, when you rack the slide, you're fighting the spring. So I've heard that a heavier spring makes it harder to rack the slide. Hope that helps.

Last edited by Tomcat088; 07-01-2006 at 01:08 AM. Reason: mispelling
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Old 07-01-2006, 09:47 AM   #8
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Good info. Don's forum is definitely the place to go.
Supposedly, the heavier the spring, the less felt recoil, but inversely, you get more muzzle drop as the heavier spring slams the slide forward, making it a little slower for follow-up shots. With a lighter spring, you get more felt recoil, but less muzzle drop for faster follow-ups. Keep in mind that felt recoil is very subjective, so some people will probably be able to tell more difference than others.
Another thing to think about is that a heavier than normal spring is often difficult for women to operate. My wife can't cycle the slide on my .40 service with the 22# spring in it, but she's not very big and has enough trouble with the stock spring.
Just curious about the choice of the .40 for your friend. I take it you're looking at the sc? You might see if you can rent, or find both the 9mm and .40 for her to try. I let a young lady try my .40 service at the range last week and she definitely didn't like it. I do have Don's guide rod with a 22# spring for it, but the stock spring was in it when she shot it. Usually you don't start having reliability problems until you start putting in springs that are too light to cycle the slide properly, but that's just a matter of experimentation with using different spring weights with different loads.
I think Don has experimented with a heavier metal for his rods for added weight to keep the recoil down, but I don't remember if it was titanium or another metal.
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Old 07-01-2006, 12:36 PM   #9
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Howdy pat, and thank you for the info. I'm currently talking with Don and will be experimenting with some different springs for my pistol. I didn't realize that they affected muzzle drop though. I could actually use a bit more muzzle drop, so a heavier spring might help me out a bit. I did realize that for women it was more difficult to operate, which does worry me.

I am NOT looking at getting her a subcompact. I was looking at a service model, with the 4" barrel. She was looking at carrying in one of those purses, and just having it bedside for home protection. I think that the subcompact has a bit too short of a sight radius to make it quite as accurate, although the gun can do it, our eyes can't quite do it as well. Also she'll have trouble keeping it down for follow up shots, and the muzzle flash would be larger, if she was in dark conditions. I know that shot placement is critical, but I'd really like to try to stay away from the 9mm. She's a new shooter and I'm going to start her out with a .22, and work our way up, so she gets comfortable with many calibers. Ultimately what she feels most comfortable with will decide the pistol, but I just wanted to consider some options so that it might make a slightly larger caliber a bit easier. Thank you for your help
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Old 07-01-2006, 01:03 PM   #10
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Thanks for taking the time to teach a new shooter well Tomcat! That's the way to fight the good fight. I've always seen guns as a great thing for ladies, the one true equalizer. In turn women are potentially the best spokespeople for responsible personal arms. I've put a couple offers out there to ladies but so far none have come to the range with me. I hope to improve my own skills and maybe get an NRA certification someday. "Each one teach one" is the most natural and most effective path to personal freedom and responsible empowerment.

Cheers!
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