question about replacing spring in my SIG

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    1. #1
      Member jediwebdude's Avatar
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      question about replacing spring in my SIG

      Here's the dilemma: my wife lacks the strength to pull back the slide. The factory spring is 20 lbs (gun model is SIG P226 Elite .40 cal). Would replacing the spring with something like a 15 or 16 lbs Wolff Recoil Spring remedy this dilemma? What are the downsides to reducing the spring poundage?

      Thx,
      -PJ

    2. #2
      Junior Member Rastus's Avatar
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      Not a good idea!

      Proper matching of the recoil spring weight to the weight of the slide and caliber of ammo is essential to proper operation of the gun and is built into the design. A change of 1 lb. more or less on the recoil spring might not hinder proper operation but would be negligible in the effort required to rack the slide. More than that; there are a lot of reasons not to do it.

      I've seen a change in technique help with folks who have this trouble and maybe that will work for your wife.

    3. #3
      Senior Member zhurdan's Avatar
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      Agreed with Rastus.

      They are engineered for those springs. Putting a lighter spring will actually cause more recoil as the slide with batter the hell out of the shooter as the mainspring will not have enough resistance. The slide will overtravel and basically hit the stops, creating a more pronounced recoil, especially if you dropped it 5 lbs. It would eventually destroy the weapon.

      As to techniques, is she using her thumb and fingers like a slingshot or is she placing her hand with her palm over the back of the slide?

      Slingshotting an auto is touch for many people with weaker or small hands, but the palm over technique gives them the ability to use their whole hand to manipulate the slide.

      Also, revolvers require no such manipulation, my wife just sold her XD9mm for a revolver in .38. She shoots it more, therefore making practice time more fun, less of a chore.

      Zhur

    4. #4
      Member jediwebdude's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by zhurdan View Post
      Agreed with Rastus.

      They are engineered for those springs. Putting a lighter spring will actually cause more recoil as the slide with batter the hell out of the shooter as the mainspring will not have enough resistance. The slide will overtravel and basically hit the stops, creating a more pronounced recoil, especially if you dropped it 5 lbs. It would eventually destroy the weapon.

      As to techniques, is she using her thumb and fingers like a slingshot or is she placing her hand with her palm over the back of the slide?

      Slingshotting an auto is touch for many people with weaker or small hands, but the palm over technique gives them the ability to use their whole hand to manipulate the slide.

      Also, revolvers require no such manipulation, my wife just sold her XD9mm for a revolver in .38. She shoots it more, therefore making practice time more fun, less of a chore.

      Zhur
      Heh...my wife couldn't even budge the slide on my XD9, which is fine because it is one of my carry guns. I'm more concerned with her ability to operate the SIG .40 cal since it is stored in a location for home defense, thus it will remain in the house at all times (except when I take it to the range). She was able to retract the SIG slide once with a lot of effort. Her response was, "I'll bet with a lot of adrenaline running in a real situation, I could do it." I said I can't count on that. I also have a S&W .357 for home defense, but she is terrified of that gun due to its size and the size of the bullet.

      Was hoping that a weaker spring would help her out. I would use the factory spring when shooting at the range, but would change it out only when it sits at home. Thus, it is my hope that the weaker spring would never ever have to experience the gun being fired.

      -PJ

    5. #5
      TOF
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      Senior Member TOF's Avatar
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      Take her to a gun store and let her try some other guns.
      My wife couldn't handle an XD either but has no problem with my M&P40.

      They are no better than a brick if they can't be operated.
      Last edited by TOF; 12-16-2008 at 09:32 AM. Reason: Spelling

    6. #6
      Senior Member tekhead1219's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by jediwebdude View Post
      Here's the dilemma: my wife lacks the strength to pull back the slide.
      Check out : www.corneredcat.com has some good articles and techniques about females and racking the slide on semi's.

    7. #7
      Senior Member zhurdan's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by jediwebdude View Post
      I would use the factory spring when shooting at the range, but would change it out only when it sits at home. Thus, it is my hope that the weaker spring would never ever have to experience the gun being fired.
      -PJ
      DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!! It's been mentioned, but I'll say it again. It is strongly not recommended to use a weaker spring, simply because the forward motion provided by the spring may not be enough to cycle the weapon properly, she would end up with a single shot semiauto, and that'd be bad joo joo beans. The recoil spring serves two purposes, dampening the slides rearward motion, and accelerating the slide forward fast enough to strip a round from the magazine and chamber it back into battery. I look at it this way, pistols are a good example of economy of motion. Everything in a pistol is designed to make it work, just how it is. Sure, there are things you can add to a pistol, but it's far more complex to 'remove' things from a pistol and keep it operating properly. Removing poundage from a spring would surely cause the pistol to function outside it's parameters, and that can lead to failures. It's just my opinion, but if I knew you and your wife personally, I'd try and talk you into a revolver.

      If you have a .357, take her out and let her put some .38's thru it, that'll take the sting out of it, and she'll probably like it a lot more.

      Zhur

    8. #8
      Member Spartan's Avatar
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      My XD45 was very difficult to rack, relatively. My g/f can barely do my 92FS or G19. When I bought my HK USP45, it is very easy to rack the slide. Easier than my G19. I don't have numbers to back it up, but it's stupid easy. Not sure how they did it, but you might want to try it out for yourself... my g/f can rack that all day long, plus it's a 45, plus it's big and heavy wich helps recoil for HD.

    9. #9
      Junior Member Rastus's Avatar
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      Why does she have to rack the slide? Leave it with a cartridge in the chamber and decocked - the way it's supposed to be for defense anyway - and just let her pull the trigger in DA mode the first time. The gun will take care of racking after that.

      Unless there are kids around.

    10. #10
      Senior Member HGF Gold Member unpecador's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Rastus View Post
      Why does she have to rack the slide? Leave it with a cartridge in the chamber and decocked - the way it's supposed to be for defense anyway - and just let her pull the trigger in DA mode the first time. The gun will take care of racking after that.
      For safety reasons, she should be able to rack the slide to check or clear the chamber at any time especially if a round malfunctions, the fastest/easiest way to clear the malfunction could be to rack the slide.

      I think she would feel more comfortable and confident with a handgun that she can completely function on her own.

    11. #11
      Member jediwebdude's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by unpecador View Post
      For safety reasons, she should be able to rack the slide to check or clear the chamber at any time especially if a round malfunctions, the fastest/easiest way to clear the malfunction could be to rack the slide.

      I think she would feel more comfortable and confident with a handgun that she can completely function on her own.
      Bingo!!

    12. #12
      Member propellerhead's Avatar
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      Bringing an old thread back to life...

      So no one changes springs on Sigs?! 1911 guys do it all the time. I know there are many aftermarket spring options for XDs and Glocks. I'm sure other brands too. People change them all the time to tune the recoil. Yes, I agree that too weak of a spring will result in the gun not cycling properly but surely a lighter spring has been tried. No?

    13. #13
      Member SaltyDog's Avatar
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      I've never tried a lighter spring, in my Sig, just because the ammunition that I shoot works fine with the factory spring.
      Now if I were to shoot lighter loads and the spring were too strong to properly cycle the action then I would consider a lighter spring and vice-versa for a larger load.
      Also I believe there may be an adjustment necessary if you add a compensated barrel for instance.

      Most factory springs are sufficient to handle most factory and reloaded ammunition so why fool with it?

      Yes I know the spring manufacturers say - It will reduce recoil - and food supplement manufacturers say - You will lose 50 lbs overnight.

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