A surgical instrument for being endoscopically or laparoscopically inserted into a surgical site for simultaneous stapling and severing of tissue includes an elongate channel that is configured to operably support a staple cartridge therein. An anvil is operably coupled to the elongate channel and is selectively movable between open and closed positions. A closure tube assembly interfaces with the anvil to selectively apply a closing force thereto in response to a closing motion applied to the closure tube assembly. At least one force limiting member interacts with the closure tube assembly to limit an amount of the closing force applied to the anvil by the closure tube assembly in response to a resistive force experienced by the anvil when clamping tissue between the anvil and the elongate channel. The force limiting member may comprise one or more spring sections in the closure tube assembly or at least one leaf spring in the distal end of the closure tube assembly. Other embodiments may include steps formed in a ramp portion of the anvil for engaging the distal end of the closure tube assembly.