Some time ago Hilton contacted me to conduct an evaluation on Colt’s new Dual Recoil Spring Assembly for the 1911 pistol. For those of you who haven’t kept up with the various articles on this, Colt developed the dual recoil spring assembly at the request of the Marine Corps for the new M45 1911 Pistol. The reasoning behind the new spring is to extend service life to 8000 rounds between changes.
The system is designed to drop into a 5in. 1911. It will not fit a Commander or smaller size pistol. I have no idea if Colt intends to develop the system for smaller pistols.
Testing consisted of 100 rounds of PMC 230gr. Ball. 100 rounds of Remington UMC 230gr. Ball and 100 rounds of my 200gr. LSWC Reloads.
The assorted 300 rounds were fired in my Springfield 1911 pictured above. An additional 300 rounds consisting of the same ammunition were fired in a Les Baer TRS 1911.
While 600 rounds of .45 ACP through 2 pistols is hardly a torture test, ammunition cost and supply had to be taken into consideration.
Prior to testing, both pistols were cleaned and lubed as normal. Testing began with the ball ammunition and ended with the reloads.
The pistols both functioned normally with the Dual Recoil Spring Assembly installed. Neither I nor my fellow testers found any difference in the function or felt recoil of either pistol during testing. The pistols did not seem to shoot any “softer”, however felt recoil is a subjective thing.
There was no additional wear to either pistol. The spring system dropped in to both pistols as would be expected.
Both pistols normally run Wolff 18lb. recoil springs. We noted no difference in the force required to rack the slide on either pistol with either spring assembly.
So what is the advantage if any of the Dual Spring Assembly? If you shoot 8000 rounds a year, the new springs mean 1 spring change a year. If you find yourself in a situation where you can’t get new springs, the new system might be a benefit. While I found no fault with the system, it’s reported that the Marines may continue to change springs at less than the 8000 round reported service life of the system. As preventive maintenance that’s certainly prudent, as springs are cheap, pistols are not.
For me, Wolff springs and others are readily available and inexpensive and I intend to continue changing springs at 3000 round intervals. For a Marine Armorer deployed who might not be able to get a ready supply of recoil springs, an 8000 round service life may just be a benefit.