What weight recoil spring?

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by HOUSER52, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. HOUSER52

    HOUSER52 Active Member

    Jun 17, 2010
    I'm going to start reloading pretty soon for my 3AT and have been trying to save all my brass. I guess I want to slow down the slide enough so the empty brass will not be thrown into the next county.

    After searching I found very little on replacing the factory P3AT recoil spring with different a weight.

    I don't want to effect reliability but it would be nice to have the empty brass fall 3-4 feet away.

    If you have replaced your recoil spring with a Wolff recoil spring what weight did you have the best results?
  2. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    did you look at the "wolff recoil spring review" post that is referanced in the FAQ/VIP


  3. HOUSER52

    HOUSER52 Active Member

    Jun 17, 2010
    Yes I read that yesterday and again just now. From the couple comments about the fired casings it doesn't sound like stronger springs kept them any closer.

    Are you still using a stronger spring? Are your empties still being thrown 20'-30" like with my factory spring?
  4. PF9Newbie

    PF9Newbie New Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    The timing on these pocket pistols is fairly critical for reliable operation. If you use a much stronger recoil spring, you may end up slowing the slide opening (or speeding up the closure) so much that it no longer will feed from the mag properly. If you need to change the ejection of the cases, you may want a gunsmith to look at the ejector (not the extractor) with a view to changing the ejector geometry a bit to alter the ejection trajectory rather than try heavier recoil springs.

    Jim R
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel New Member

    Feb 6, 2005
    Eastern Kansas
    IMO: You can't change the violent ejection with any amount of tinkering.

    A very strong recoil spring will very likely outrun the magazine spring and cause mis-feeds.

    Altering the ejector will not help, as a P3AT will throw brass into low earth orbit without an ejector in the gun.
    The case hits the frame with enough force to throw brass into the next county.

    I would suggest your best course of action would be to buy a big beach umbrella and do all your shooting under it.

    It will stop the brass overhead and knock it back down your shirt collar, where you can track it down by following the burn marks around your belt-line.

  6. tomwalshco

    tomwalshco New Member

    Aug 29, 2009
  7. PshootR

    PshootR Banned

    Apr 1, 2005
    I would not go more than 2 pounds over the factory spring. Fresh factory spring sets are fine too, and only cost about a buck I believe.
  8. TucsonMTB

    TucsonMTB New Member

    Sep 24, 2006
    Tucson Arizona
    ;D RC, you are a hoot!  And, my experience with the violent ejection matches yours.  

    With the pistol that is.  We probably frequent different bars.   ::)
  9. HOUSER52

    HOUSER52 Active Member

    Jun 17, 2010
    Thanks for all the replies.
    I might have to order the Wolff calibration pack and do some experimenting. If changing the weight doesn't have any effect on the ejected cases I can always go back to the factory spring.
  10. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    As has already been indicated, there is relatively little you can do to control the distance of ejection with this gun, other than physical barriers, etc. If you are shooting at a crowded public range you are probably going to loose a lot of P3AT brass. If you shoot on private property, spread out a tarp.
  11. jboze

    jboze New Member

    Jan 15, 2005
    Can you get a stronger spring from Keltec? It was suggested that I needed a stronger spring, because my brass is coming out dented and deformed.
  12. Static

    Static New Member

    Sep 23, 2010
    Being no expert, but still a very knowledgeable redneck... could you just find the average angle of ejection and make a trap? If you're doing fairly flat shooting, you could use a funnel type trap or a piece of plywood to knock the rounds closer to you. I'm sure you've thought of it, but just in case...

    Or, more extravagantly, try fastening a couple of wires around the base of the gun or through the frame pins, and making a basket out of net or mesh to catch your brass. What's doubling the gun's weight and profile compared to not having to walk fifteen feet? :p
  13. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    ;) you aint shot yours yet, they don't throw, they launch brass ;D

    some folks have even bought those screened in tents to shoot out of
  14. Jimbo_47

    Jimbo_47 New Member

    Sep 8, 2010
    Reminds me of when I took my concelled handgun qualification test, where the guy shooting next to me was showering me with his guns brass.

    Talk about being under pressure trying to concentrate on my target, while getting bopped upside the head by his spent brass. :eek:
  15. Static

    Static New Member

    Sep 23, 2010
    Hm... I'll have to keep an eye out for that. The only experience I have is in rifle calibers, .223 and above. Guess I'll just have to try and not land my brass down any collars today.
  16. HOUSER52

    HOUSER52 Active Member

    Jun 17, 2010
    I wanted to post an update on the recoil springs.

    I ordered the Wolf calibration springs and have the 13# recoil springs in my 3AT right now and have been using them for a couple weeks and 150+ rounds fired.
    The benefits have been, empty brass landing 8-10 feet away instead of 20-30 feet and positive feeding/chambering with all rounds.
    They have worked well for me and my gun.
  17. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    I'm beginning to wonder if the reason for me not to observe as much change in spent casing distance was how I measured that distance.  I held the pistol gansta stlye close to the ground to get measure total distance thrown.  maybe it is the arc narrower  :-?
  18. HOUSER52

    HOUSER52 Active Member

    Jun 17, 2010
    I was shooting in a normal manner with 2 hands while standing. Some of the brass was closer than 8-10 feet with some actually landing at my feet. The brass does not land in a neat pile but it is a lot easier to find. :)
  19. Static

    Static New Member

    Sep 23, 2010
    I checked out those replacement springs, and at the decent price, I think I'll get a set. My question is this: Obviously some people have gotten better "brass control" with these springs, but are there any negative effects, such as the slide moving forward too hard?

    Aside from the magazine not being able to catch up, are there any downsides to using a stronger recoil spring?
  20. HOUSER52

    HOUSER52 Active Member

    Jun 17, 2010
    With the 13# springs I haven't experienced any negative effects.
    I think that gun manufacturers use a spring weight that will function with all loads and that one might not actually be the best for a particular bullet weight or brand of cartridge.
    I have heard that using a heavier spring will help lessen felt recoil but I could tell no difference. Using a heavier spring keeps full power defense loads from beating up the gun as much. Using a lighter spring will allow you to shoot softer loads and still allow the gun to function.  
    You can use a spring that is too heavy for a particular load, causing the slide not to move far enough to the rear to strip a round from the magazine. When this happens I just try a weaker one and if the gun functions 100% that's the spring I go with.
    I have not tried the 15# or 16# springs yet but plan on trying them to see if the gun will still function.
    All this experimenting doesn't hurt the gun at all and I can go back to the original spring if I want to.