Recoil Spring Selection Tips (from Wilson Combat catalog)

By Bill Wilson

As a rule of thumb, you should use the heaviest recoil spring possible, which does not interfere with the pistol functioning.

The spring tension requirement is affected by many factors, including the ammunition used, grip pressure, compensators, slide to frame friction, pistol type etc. The following procedure will help you determine what is the proper recoil spring for your gun.

  1. First, try the recommended standard spring for your load/pistol combination.
  2. Watch for extraction related jams and failure of the slide to lock back. This is an indication of a very heavy spring. Use a lighter one.
  3. Use SHOK-BUFF and watch them closely. If they do not last 700-1000 rounds, you have a weak spring
  4. Your recoil spring should be replaced every 2000 rounds.


Light Full
Target Charge
Load Load
Govt/Gold Cup (stock) #10 #18.5
Govt/Gold Cup (compens.) #9 #15
Govt/Gold Cup (.38SP/9mm stock) #10 #15
Govt/Gold Cup (.38SP/9mm comp.) #9 #13
Delta Elite (10mm stock) #18.5 #24
Govt/Gold Cup (.40S&W stock) #13 #22
Commander (.45 stock) #12 #20
Officers (.45 stock guide) #18.5 #24
Springfield Compact (.45 stock) #20 #24

Full charge load refers to IPSC major or factory hardball. Light
target load refers to a download of about 20%.

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