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M11-A1 hammer spring

This is a discussion on M11-A1 hammer spring within the SIG Sauer Pistols forums, part of the SIG Sauer Forum category; I had a M11-A1 some time ago and sold it off (why, I have no idea). I just picked up another - in FDE. It's ...


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Old 05-15-2019, 04:17 AM   #16
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I had a M11-A1 some time ago and sold it off (why, I have no idea). I just picked up another - in FDE. It's a great pistol. I've played around a lot with the hammer springs in the past. A top armorer in the community (The Sig Armorer) suggested I not go lower than 19 lbs for reliability reasons (avoiding a light strike situation). I have tried a 19 lb spring and it felt good. No light strikes ever. Same with the 18 lb. That was my favorite. That, plus lots of range time and letting everything smooth out on its own seemed to be the right combination. Coincidentally I have a 18 and 19 lb spring coming today from Midway USA. My plan is to install the 18 and to have the 19 as a backup. I am pretty good about maintenance and changing springs and such so when I get to the point after several thousand rounds where it feels like time to change some springs out I will just order another 18 lb spring and put it in. The 19 will be on-hand in the event I have a light strike. That has never happened (I only shoot factory ammo) but if it did I would go to the 19 lb spring and stay there. Given this gun is brand new it may be that a 19 lb spring feels "good enough" after all the rest of the internals have settled in and smoothed out. As others have said, the DA on this is not for the faint of heart. SA is just ok. Both will be better after the 18 lb spring goes in tonight. I also plan to look at the hammer strut and the safety lever. If either has any imperfections I can smooth those out with a touch of high grit wet sand paper. That's as far as I'd personally ever go in terms of touching any part of the action - better to leave that to the professionals like The Sig Armorer. By the way, I have had a couple guns worked on by him (Robert). His work is incredible.
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Last edited by ajmoseley; 05-15-2019 at 04:23 AM.
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:53 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmoseley View Post
I had a M11-A1 some time ago and sold it off (why, I have no idea). I just picked up another - in FDE. It's a great pistol. I've played around a lot with the hammer springs in the past. A top armorer in the community (The Sig Armorer) suggested I not go lower than 19 lbs for reliability reasons (avoiding a light strike situation). I have tried a 19 lb spring and it felt good. No light strikes ever. Same with the 18 lb. That was my favorite. That, plus lots of range time and letting everything smooth out on its own seemed to be the right combination. Coincidentally I have a 18 and 19 lb spring coming today from Midway USA. My plan is to install the 18 and to have the 19 as a backup. I am pretty good about maintenance and changing springs and such so when I get to the point after several thousand rounds where it feels like time to change some springs out I will just order another 18 lb spring and put it in. The 19 will be on-hand in the event I have a light strike. That has never happened (I only shoot factory ammo) but if it did I would go to the 19 lb spring and stay there. Given this gun is brand new it may be that a 19 lb spring feels "good enough" after all the rest of the internals have settled in and smoothed out. As others have said, the DA on this is not for the faint of heart. SA is just ok. Both will be better after the 18 lb spring goes in tonight. I also plan to look at the hammer strut and the safety lever. If either has any imperfections I can smooth those out with a touch of high grit wet sand paper. That's as far as I'd personally ever go in terms of touching any part of the action - better to leave that to the professionals like The Sig Armorer. By the way, I have had a couple guns worked on by him (Robert). His work is incredible.
I'd normally say welcome, but it looks like you have been here for quite some time. It must be really nice being close to someone like Robert, so you don't have to "ship" you firearm, for work.

Part of the spring tension problem, is actually tolerances, as the spring wire diameter plays a big part, but so does the hardening and tempering process. Just as the OEM are currently rated @ 21#, according to Wolff, just as the Recoil Springs shorten and fatigue over cycles, so does mainsprings. Just as you mention using 18#, as long as it is successful igniting the primers of the ammunition you use, it may be until it reaches the 16# tension from fatigue, that you start getting misfires, which means it may last twice as long as a 17# spring, and a 19# could last 3x as long as a 17# spring. As long as you have replacements available, there shouldn't be any problems.
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Old 05-15-2019, 08:49 AM   #18
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What Willard said.

Checking a few spent cases is also a good habit to get into. Look at primer indents as well as brass for scratching, bulges, dents etc.
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:37 AM   #19
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Worthy of consideration is that the mainspring and the recoil spring together are calibrated to achieve proper slide velocity. Weakening the mainspring decreases the net force slowing the slide and can yield early unlocking with high pressure ammo. There's lots of safety built in with the two springs together but if a shooter was using +P+ ammo, a softer mainspring and a worn recoil spring, slide velocity can be high and possibly damaging to the pistol.
The Sig pistols are very well engineered and their springs and spring rates are carefully chosen for reliability and durability, care and moderation is in order when changing what the engineers have figured out.
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Old 05-15-2019, 03:28 PM   #20
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These are great points. I have thought about that too - weak mainspring and what that might do in terms of increasing the speed/force of the slide coming back and (potentially) reducing the life of the firearm due to that increased force of the slide coming back (or slamming back) after each shot. The mainspring plays a role, I think, in slowing this. It's one of the reasons I go back and forth between the 18 and 19 pound springs. While I've never had an issue with the 18 pound spring my gut always tells me that 19 might be better for reliability reasons and for this reason I've cited above. By the way I have no data or experience to back this up. It's just something I've thought about and am sensitive to.

Also, I did have to send my firearms to Robert. I am in IL and he is in TX if I recall. While I hate, absolutely hate, a firearm leaving my possession like that, he made it easy (and worth it). It's crazy what someone who knows what they are doing can do to increase the performance of the Sig action. I still regret letting go of that last one he worked on.
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Old 05-15-2019, 03:29 PM   #21
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Every M11A1 I pick up has a terribly heavy DA pull. I avoid them.
Too bad.
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