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Common Misunderstanding about Springs

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by joe kuhn, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    A spring under compression will wear out. Right?

    Century Spring says: "If the spring is statically loaded (not cycling), a near-infinite life can be expected." These guys are spring experts. They say cycling springs wears them out, not leaving them cocked under compression.

    I held this common misunderstanding all my life until just recently during a discussion of the intelligent use of snap caps and accidents there with. I've since stopped releasing the hammer on my 870 and think back to my grandpa's Winchester 1897 that sat with the action open behind the freezer room door on our farm house porch. Having that hammer cocked all those years didn't seem to hurt that old gun, for good reason. Here's the relevant website page with wording highlighted. Thanks go to Keller for this.


    unknown1_2009_0511.jpg


    See full page of the website at the URL above.

    This was a tough one for me to let go of. I'm not sure where it came from; probably handed down from grandpa like that 1897.


    798px-Winchester_Model_1897_1490.jpg
     
  2. rpeerless

    rpeerless Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. That's totally contrary to what I've been told but when you think about it it does make sense.
     
  3. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    Yes, but there may be other factors involved, of course. If your compressed spring corrodes over many years, it may wear out and thus reinforce the misconception.
     
  4. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    Fancy html there my friend. Bet you don't use snap caps. Thankful I didn't waste any money on them.
     
  5. Hauser

    Hauser Member

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    I don't think that applies to flat springs.


    Jerry Hauser
     
  6. 7mag

    7mag Well-Known Member

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    If a spring corrodes when it is or isn't under tension it's wearing out.
     
  7. rpeerless

    rpeerless Well-Known Member

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    Condition i.e. checking for corrosion is a must on a lot of parts. Thanks. Got that. Don't expect peak performance from a compressed corroded spring. Got that too. Otherwise, a good spring can go the distance even if compressed for a long period of time. Got that now, too.
     
  8. dale58

    dale58 Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting. Thanks for posting it Joe. Dale
     
  9. Catpower

    Catpower Molon Labe TS Supporters

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    It makes sense, nobody jacks their car up to relieve the tension on the springs when there aren't driving it, and they survive, even the flat ones
     
  10. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    Good analogy with the car springs.

    Jerry, so flat springs do wear out under compression? I'd like to see some documentation on that. Isn't a spring a spring regardless of style?
     
  11. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Here's a spring test:

    http://www.trapshooters.com/noframes/cfpages/message_archive.cfm?messageid=842926

    It's important to remember what the article says doesn't change, Joe, - life before breakage - and what are they not talking about, namely spring collapse.

    The Perazzi springs I tested didn't either break (the article's criterion) or "weaken" (your criterion) but developed a "set", that is, got shorter. It's still "worn out" since it's effectively weaker, having lost a lot of its pre-load and so a lot of hammer-fall speed.

    Neil
     
  12. rpeerless

    rpeerless Well-Known Member

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    Maybe the quality or fabrication of the original spring is a factor as to whether it 'sets' or not?
     
  13. Hauser

    Hauser Member

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    Joe


    The only thing I know about both coil and flat springs is if they're not in compression their useful life is not affected.


    Jerry Hauser
     
  14. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    Good point Neil. Even automobile springs(including leaf style) develop a memory. Don't believe me, buy new ones for your vehicle. When you take the old ones out, lay them next to the new ones. Now you will see just how much performance you have lost. A spring doesn't have to break to warrant new ones. This goes for gun springs, engine valve springs etc etc
     
  15. HSLDS

    HSLDS Well-Known Member

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    I happen to live very near to both Wolff Springs and Vulcan Springs - both provide high quality springs for various industries.

    I was pointed by both towards Peterson Spring - who primarily produces for the auto racing world.

    Neil, while I cannot argue with your data there is a point that bears mentioning.

    Your observation of what one might call 'spring set' has been taken as a tool by modern spring manufacturers. With modern alloys (a BIG jump forward) and an understanding of how springs 'break in' they are now MADE with the shrinkage you mention as a known entity.

    Stated differently - the final profile of the spring is NOT the original profile - springs are OVERMADE with the idea that after a break in period they will set - somewhat compressed from the virgin state, but they will hold this set over the entire lifetime.

    This is a fairly recently discovered phenomena - it flies in the face of springs wearing out over time - they in fact take this set early on and hold it essentially to the point of failure.

    I believe this was discovered and researched by Peterson Springs.
     
  16. Avatar

    Avatar TS Member

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    Interesting. Also, even if compression had some small effect on spring life, things like corrosion that have a larger effect are still going to be issues. So, it's probably best to go with convenience and safety (i.e., no dry firing to relieve the spring) and not worry. Springs are also relatively cheap.

    Recently, with my 1100, I replaced the main action spring, since I had to take it out to replace the chewed up cup at the end that engages the link, and it had lost some length. The spring was probably the original 1978 item, and was still in pretty good shape, cycling the gun just fine. If we consider valve springs in car engines and things like that, some of these springs cycle an amazing number of times.
     
  17. FlaLagarto

    FlaLagarto Well-Known Member

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    Joe,

    Not to start a fight or argument.. but I used to tease my auto shop owner about the lube / oil he used in my truck. He swore it gave me the best protection and my truck would last forever. I often ask him how he made any money on repairs .. if indeed his suggestion/statement were true??

    Seems to me if a spring company wants to sell springs.. they would want your's to wear out. . .

    Just saying... LOL
     
  18. grunt

    grunt TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Interesting thread...
     
  19. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    Keller, The whole reason I'm looking at springs a little closer has to do with the related topic of snap caps. There was an accident at one of the clubs where I shoot and it involved snap caps. So I'm focused on the safety aspect and the reason for using them, which now seems to be disproved.
     
  20. crusha

    crusha TS Member

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    We should probably keep in mind, if we're going to make parallels with the leaf springs used on vehicles, that a "leaf" spring and a "folded leaf" spring are different things.
     
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