Friday, 08 February 2013 06:40

SeeCamp's wonderful captive dual-spring recoil system & how everyone copied it...

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Glock Gen4s get a lot of flack for using a captive dual-recoil spring.
Ironically, Gen3s used them also but they were limited to their subcompact line: 26/27/etc. and also the much larger (although still called sub-compact) 29/30, etc. Other companies have quietly adopted them too, including S&W. I wonder how long until other companies adopt them for their full size pistols?

Now there have been some problems with the Gen4s dual-springs when used in the full-size pistols. It appears it has more to do with trying to use the same spring for multiple calibers. Something that Glock is famous for - instead of another part they slightly vary the mass/weight of their slides and use the same Recoil Spring Assembly (I will use Glock's acronym "RSA" here out).

The fix? A new recoil spring. According to Glock this was to reduce perceived/transmitted recoil to the shooter but also to reduce "battering" to their pistols. During their Armorer's course they specifically listed the 40 S&W as hard on pistols. They didn't say it but they implied that law enforcement guns had to be replaced/rebuilt mroe frequently than they would like.

You may have seen me refer to this captive system as the SeeCamp recoil system. SeeCamp was a pioneer in sub-compact pistols. They built a pistol and the dual-recoil system that actually works. I have attached their patent 4201113 from 1980. LINK to PDF: US4201113. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any actual pics.


The Glock 26 RSA from

But Glock isn't the only one. Let's take a look at a few others in no particular order...

Colt Defender from:

Kimber (Aeigis, CDP, etc):


S&W 659:


S&W Shield:

Springfield XDS:

I include the S&W 3rd non-captive but still dual spring because it is similar (secondary spring is used as a buffer):

Along somewhat similar notes Colt has been using dual springs for a while. Both the Delta Elite, Officers, and Mustang use dual springs of different weights and circumference so that one fits inside the other.
Colt Delta Elite:

Colt Mustang:

ParaOrdnance P10:

So you can see that Glock is not alone in using the SeeCamp as "inspiration." All from a design and a sub-compact pistol made over 30 years ago! Glock, AFAIK is one of the few to put them into a mass production full size pistol. One has to wonder too...the S&W M&P Compact uses a standard single spring RSA. However, the Shield as we can see uses a dual-spring. hmm..

Read 1282 times Last modified on Tuesday, 16 February 2016 19:46


# Terry Harttzell 2013-06-16 00:15
You skipped the Detonics Combat Master from the 70s. They use not two but three springs. I have shot the Combat Master side by side with the Pera P10 and the Colt Defender; the Detonics is the one I chose to shoot. It seams to be less fatiguing after 200-250 rounds at the range. The 30 oz weight(7.5 oz more then the colt) might be part of the reason.
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# remat457 2013-06-16 14:48
Thanks for the post! I must admit my Detonics experience is virtually non-existent- so I had no idea Detonics had been using a multi-spring setup since the 70s! A quick Google didn't reveal much insight on how they are set up, or even the fact they used 3 springs. If you have any pics, I would be appreciative.
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