How to TEST the RECOIL SPRING Assembly

Discussion in 'Glock Forum' started by G-23, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. G-23

    G-23 Premium Member

    The Recoil Spring Assembly (RSA) on GLOCKS is a very important part of the operational chain that determines if the pistol fires or not. GLOCK highly reccommends replacing the RSA every 3 to 5 thousand rounds. Will the pistol operate longer on a worn spring, sure it will. Well, it might and maybe it won't when you need it the most.

    Obviously a clean pistol is going to offer less resistance if it is put together correctly and require little tension on the springs. But as it gets dirty and things like slide guides, chambers and firing pin components get sluggist the recoil spring has it's work cut out trying to return that slide to the battery position.

    I would like to offer this bit of advice, "Test your pistol when it is dirty." So, when is that or, what is dirty? Let's just say everyday you return from the range, wether you clean it or not. How's that? The test is simple and because it is simple, many people get it wrong.

    Let's try doing it the right way:

    -Point the pistol in a safe direction
    -Remove the magazine.
    -Eject any chambered ammo.
    -Lock the slide to the rear.
    -Physically check the chamber and mag well to ensure all ammo is removed.
    -Release the slide, point the pistol in a safe direction and
    -Pull the trigger.

    The RSA should be reasonably strong enough to move the slide forward and chamber a round even if the pistol is dirty, dry or, the ammo is not perfect.

    So, lets proceed with the test:

    * With an unloaded pistol,

    ***Point the pistol upright to about a 45 degree angle and keep it in that position during the test.

    ***Pull the trigger... Now while holding the trigger back pull the slide to the rear AND release the slide very (riding it forward with your hand) slowly. If you released the trigger you didn't perform the test. You have to hold the trigger to the rear during the whle test.

    ***The recoil spring assembly should be strong enough to return the slide completely forward and into battery.

    The test is designed to be quick and simple. It can be completed in seconds, wouldn't you agree? If your RSA passes then your test verifies RSA is strong enough to chamber ammo in less than ideal circumstances.

    Like I stated earlier, the RSA should be changed often. Heck if you can't remember when it was last changed, do it now. Yea, even if yours passes the test. Squirrel it away for a back up and start calulating when to order a couple more. They are CHEAP insurance to ensure you have a pistol that will carry you through the battle.

    In most cases that I have seen the RSA fail, the slide stopped just short of battery. Right around the time the barrel hood starts to enter the slide ejection port.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
  2. bhale187

    bhale187 New Member Supporter

    Great post, always good to share some knowledge with the Glock community

  3. RockDaGlock

    RockDaGlock New Member

    Real informative and thanks for the info. IMO 3,000 isn't a whole lot but oh well. So my question is do the more expensive stainless still ones have a greater life span, or do people just buy those over factory because they "look" better?
  4. bhale187

    bhale187 New Member Supporter

    I've always thought glock was being ultra conservative with the 3-5K replacement suggestion. I've put well over 10k rounds through glocks and not have a recoil spring weaken enough to fail the test, and I know guys who claim they are running original springs with 30K+ rounds.
  5. G-23

    G-23 Premium Member

    And I know guys like me that hammered the crap out of the frames until they broke. The RSA not only returns the slide to battery but it also buffers the front of the slide from banging into the frame stops just forward of the front rails.

    The springs are cheap and its just insurance IMO. I hated losing that frame as it was special.

    And it had a special marking, a "7" stamped inside by GLOCK. Probably not many around that even knows why it was stamped that way. All that remains of tha pistol today is the slide. And it is still my EDC during winter months.
  6. G-23

    G-23 Premium Member

    Some think they are stronger. Many do it for the added weight to help with recoil. OME RSA'a are cheap.
  7. sgtcowboyusmc

    sgtcowboyusmc New Member

    WOW my RSA with over 20,000 doesn't go back into battery!:eek: Guess I had better change it! It has never failed to go into battery when shooting, Clean or Dirty, but It is time to replace! BTW it is a G21 that I do not carry any more jt is just a shooter for me now!
  8. sgtcowboyusmc

    sgtcowboyusmc New Member

    OK Just put a new Stainless Steel RSA on the Oldest 21 and it didn't go back into battery! Any Ideas?
  9. My G21 doesn't go fully into battery either doing this test (not all the time anyway) - it's been like that since the day I bought it (Gen 3 SF model).

    When at a GSSF match this past August, the armorer there did the RSA test, and it failed. Then Scott (sorry forget his last name but he's from Glock and is on the GSSF board staff) mentioned that the 21 has a little slop when returning to battery, so it's actually possible to get it to not fully go into battery even with a good RSA.

    That said, Scott suggested that so long as you are under 5,000 rounds not to worry about it, but to replace it every 5,000 rounds even if you don't experience problems.

    Since you have 20,000 rounds maybe it's time for a new one, but since you have never had a problem with the current RSA you can just keep hold of it as a backup spare.
  10. G-23

    G-23 Premium Member

    Scott should know, and I'll ask Alan. But be sure replace it after the 5 grand mark like said earlier for the buffer effect though.

    Yes, in fact some of the later Gen 4's do have a problem and are borderline but that isn't to say that some of the Gen 3 subcompact won't have the same issue.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2012
  11. The_BORG

    The_BORG Junior Member

    Great info! I've saved it to review later and will test my RSA out when I have some free time.
  12. sgtcowboyusmc

    sgtcowboyusmc New Member

    All 3 of my Gen 2~ 21's won't do it with stock RSA's including one with less than 1,000 rnds. My 21 with just under 1,000 rnds will go into battery with new SS RSA. But the two other 21 that are a bit more used will not. I agree 20,000 is too long on an RSA but I think 5,000 is a bit cautious. I see no unusual wear on the one with the RSA over 20,000 but I will keep an eye on them now and get the MIC out and check for wear that might be unseen. I do appreciate the info and I know I really need to replace the one in my EDC G30 as it has more rounds through it than my oldest and most shot 21.:eek: BTW it does go back into battery with the original Duel Spring RSA. Crap and All this time I thought all I had to do was shoot and clean these beasts:D I have a G30 with few rounds shot through it and will pilfer the RSA out of it until I can get a replacement RSA for it! Thanks for the help and info!
  13. Glock22Gen3

    Glock22Gen3 New Member

    I just tested my g22 gen3. As I expected it's ok. I have two rsa replacements in my range bag. Along with other parts, springs extractor and ejector. I'd rather be at the range and have something go wrong and fix it there. I also try to remember to use one rsa for target, then put the one I ccw with in when I'm done.
  14. G-23

    G-23 Premium Member

    I would pull the firing pin and safety to check for cleanliness. I have found in some cases the vertcal extention can drag on the bottom of the slide (even brand new triggerbars) fo some reason. GLOCK has always just replaced them at no cost when that was the case.