Recoil Spring Replacement


I love your site. It has so much information. Here is my situation:

I own a Browning Gold Hunter 3 1/2″ 12 gauge. I have owned it for 2 years now and it has about 1500-2000 rounds on it, if that many. I took the stock off and I took the recoil spring out and it was very dirty, but no rust on it. Some people told me I should replace it due to wear, even though it looks fine.

My question is should I replace now? Also, how often to you recommend replacing the recoil spring (rounds/years)?

Thanks for the time.


Dear James,

Yes, our site does have a whole bunch of information. About half of it is accurate. For the life of me, I can’t remember which half it is.

Over the years I have owned over a dozen gas guns and have shot a bunch of them to death. By “death” I mean until the receivers cracked or magazine tubes shot off. I used to only get about 40,000 rounds from an 1100 before something major and irreparable happened to the receiver. In retrospect, I feel that this was because I failed to change the mainspring. As the mainspring weakened, the bolt began to come back faster and faster. This led to the bolt striking the back of the receiver and also to (on the 1100) the heavy action bar collar hitting the front of the receiver where the magazine tube is soldered in.

I found that when I wised up and started to replace my mainspring every 10,000 rounds, my guns lasted longer. I have switched from the Remingtons to the more durable Beretta gas actions, but I continue to replace the mainspring every 10,000. When I change, it always comes out shorter than it went in.

I don’t think that you have to change the spring at 1,500 or 2,000 though. They do last longer than that. Still, it is an inexpensive part and you should at least have a spare one on hand so that you can swap it out when you feel energetic. You might just check the length of the old spring against that of a new spring and swap when the old one gets noticeably shorter. You should inspect the spring once a year anyway so that you can clean and regrease that area.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck

The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC

This entry was posted in Shotgun related, Shotguns and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Recoil Spring Replacement

  1. jon bastable says:

    Hi Bruce,

    I’ve owned a Browning Gold 20 GA for 18 years – replaced the recoil spring perhaps twice. And I shoot this gun for Sporting Clay’s, so lots of rounds through the gun. Other parts of the gun seem to cause misfire on occasion, but not the recoil spring.

    Getting ready for SD pheasants – looks like a better season this year!



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