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Discussion Starter #1
If this isn't the appropriate place for this please feel free to move it.

With that being said, does anyone have a guesstimate on the service life of the "1911" spring that's used on most aftermarket single piece guide rods for the XD? Wolff brand springs. Typically used for the Canyon Creek, or Don's guide rod, etc?

I had a 20lb spring I installed with my Canyon Creek Tungsten guide rod, pretty much when I purchased the gun.

I never used the stock captive assembly. I have probably close to 1500-1600 rounds through my XD (don't shoot it a lot anymore), and am finding that the guide rod spring is or has worn out. There's a bulge in a few of the coils 3/4 of the way down on it, and there seems to be a lot of forward and reward slop in the gun as if the spring is no longer a 20lb spring. I think because of the bulge the gun sometimes acts as if it doesn't want to return to it's final position if you rock the slide back just a tad as if you were going to reset the striker for dry fire practice..

All I've ever shot out of this gun is 180gr Blazer Brass or WWB, and a few Gold Dots, and HST. Should I have gotten more rounds of of that spring, or would you guys say that 1500-1600 rounds is an acceptable service life out of these springs?

I threw the stock assembly and even a 22lb spring in there, and gun functions normal, so I know it's the spring :)
 

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Definitely past useful life. Are you sure this is a 1911 spring? Going with a tungsten guide that small of diameter does not make much sense. It would be about the same weight as a normal diameter replacement stainless steel rod at 4 times the cost. But I did see where Canyon Creek offered one. Just want you to get the correct size replacement spring. A 1911 guide would be about 1/4 to 5/16 inch diameter and requires a bushing at the muzzle. A 'normal' sized solid guide that might fit with Wolff springs would be a bit over 3/8 and fits the slide at the muzzle without any bushing and should be good for many thousands of shots. 1911 people seem to expect springs to wear out around a thousand or less shots. (LOL Not my opinion, I read it on 1911 forum)
 

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Pictures of the new rod and worn spring?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Definitely past useful life. Are you sure this is a 1911 spring?
Wolff Precision Load Rated Conventional Recoil Spring. For use in Springfield Armory 1911A1 Compact and Champion 4", .45 ACP. Stock # 4932. These are the springs sold by Pistol Gear for all single piece guide rods for the XD, and I believe even the XDMs


Going with a tungsten guide that small of diameter does not make much sense. It would be about the same weight as a normal diameter replacement stainless steel rod at 4 times the cost.
I just purchased the heaviest offering at that time (4yrs ago). This tungsten model is the same external dimensions as a stainless unit, but weighs 2x as much.

But I did see where Canyon Creek offered one. Just want you to get the correct size replacement spring. A 1911 guide would be about 1/4 to 5/16 inch diameter and requires a bushing at the muzzle. A 'normal' sized solid guide that might fit with Wolff springs would be a bit over 3/8 and fits the slide at the muzzle without any bushing and should be good for many thousands of shots. 1911 people seem to expect springs to wear out around a thousand or less shots. (LOL Not my opinion, I read it on 1911 forum)
All XD Guide Rods that I've seen available use a Guide bushing that goes into the slide for the spring. OD of this spring is a touch over 7/16". ID is 11/32"
 

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Discussion Starter #5
spring. Kinda hard to see, but there's no uniformity where I have the pen pointed, so that's where I called the bulge:





Like I said the guide rod is fine. Threw the 22lb spring in there and all is well:

 

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Sorry about the bad info in my post last night. I was confusing the dimensions/volume/mass of a 1911 style small diameter tungsten guide rod for an XD with the dim/vol/mass of a stock diameter stainless guide rod for an XDm. The small dia 3 inch long tungsten XD guide weighs 0.147lb vs the stock dia 3.5 inch long SS XDm guide weight of 0.12lb. Hence the statement that the weight difference would not be worth the cost. Using the small diameter XD (1911) guide dimensions, SS would only weight 0.06lb. Obviously much lighter than a tungsten rod of similar dimensions.

Maybe more helpful, check the Wolff FAQ page at: Wolff Gunsprings - Firearm Springs for Semi-Auto Pistols, Revolvers, Rifles, & Shotguns .
FAQ # 4 para 3. "500-1500" cycles for a spring in your application - replacing a dual spring with a single spring.

It still may be worth checking about using a larger diameter solid guide rod and using the standard size Wolff spring sets for XDs. These should give much better service life than a 1911 spring as there are many more coils to the XD spring, helping to distribute the stresses. The coil wire is not pushed past the elastic limits of the material like with the 1911 springs. I do not have an XD in 40, 357 or 9mm so I do not know the muzzle guide diameter in the slide of the 4" model or if this would correctly fit the diameter of a solid guide rod from a 5" model cut down an inch in length. You would have to check this. Probably a site sponsor would know compatibility as they sell springs and rods for both 4 and 5" models. A large diameter solid rod for a 4" model XD may be available that would fit with the Wolff XD springs.

I turned a tungsten guide rod at stock diameter (0.39") for an XDm 4.5 and used the Wolff springs for XDm 4.5. Tungsten rod = 0.29lb. A SS stock size rod would be 0.12lb in the XDm. No bushing is needed. The rod diameter fits the muzzle guide properly and the Wolff XDm springs fit this stock diameter guide rod. They fit correctly despite the Wolff claim of needing a Wolff guide rod. The springs have served for many thousands of rounds so far. No distortions or over stresses of the spring. Wolff also offers springs for the XD series, for use with their Wolff XD solid guide rod. Have to call them to see if these springs are at stock guide spring inner diameters for 5" XDs and if the springs for the 4" and 5" are the same diameter (where no bushing is needed and the larger dia rod would fit both the pistol and the springs). This would be a greater weight than a small dia 1911 rod and help with better spring life.

Do not try cutting down a spring for a 5" to fit a 4" pistol. You will usually loose proper in battery spring compression and have premature slide opening while the chamber pressure is still high. You need to use springs made for 4" and work a match for correct diameter to fit the 4" muzzle guide and guide rod. If the spring has an open and closed coil end, instead of two closed ends, put the closed coil end nearest the muzzle.

There are also threads posted for filling the original hollow 5" XD guide rod with lead or several small tungsten rods as well as solid SS and Tungsten rods from forum sponsors. They could be cut to 4" if necessary and the diameter is correct.
 

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It looks like the OD of the spring may be ever so slightly too large allowing it to bind. But it is really hard to tell just from pictures! The spring should fit snug to the guide rod. If there is too much slop, the spring can flop over to one side, bind,get pinched and all sorts of bad things.

With springs being so dern cheap, it's not worth hanging on to one that is suspect.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Thumper. I wonder if at the time they made the rods smaller diameter with the bushing because wolff wasn't making XD springs? I noticed on PG's site they still sell the same units still using the same spring and bushing. Or perhaps there's a reason they used a bushing and smaller diameter rod...
 

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YES. Originally, only the 1911 springs were available for altering the XD recoil weight. The 1911 diameter rod allows a very wide variety of spring, probably from about 10lb to 34 lb. Also the 1911 springs are readily available from many retailers.
Now springs made specific for XD and XDm are marketed. They can last many thousands of rounds. The available weights are not as many but since the lightest and heaviest 1911 springs will not function the pistol properly, the available range should cover just about any commercial round and not effect slide timing to far from the desired range.
The heavier 1911 spring you have should still work with most ammo as long as it allows time for the next round to cycle up for pickup by the breech. A stronger spring closes the slide faster. Real light ammo (either light weight bullet or light powder charge) may not fully open the slide. The stock spring assembly works reliably with nearly anything except light competition reloads but does not have the added weight of a solid rod for recoil reduction.
You can check with a sponsor if the stock diameter solid rods (like for the 5" model) are available for the 4" and work with Wolff springs for 4" models. The larger diameter could allow up to nearly 4 oz in tungsten or close to 2 in SS. Then a Wolff tuning set of 3 springs if you do not know what weight you want. Stock is about 18.5 lb +/- 5%. Or stay with the 1911 springs if you are happy with that feel and just keep some extras around as replacements. Make sure the spring length and diameter are correct for the rod size.
 
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