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guide rods, keep em or lose em?

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What are they good for? Keep em or lose em? Pro's and con's please. Thanks for you help in advance.

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If you're talking about full length guide rods, I'd consider leaving whatever you have. There's no solid indication that they make the gun perform better or worse. I have 1911's with them, and without them. All the guns function like 1911's.
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Another member and I had a pretty healthy debate about those on this forum a few months ago. Personally I think they are a waste of money and merely complicate disassembly, but there are others who feel they smooth out the cycling and improve reliability.

D. Kamm
USGI M1911/M1911A1 Pistols Website
Originally posted by dsk:
...but there are others who feel they smooth out the cycling and improve reliability.

I'm one of those "others".
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I've tried with and without in the same guns, can't say that they made a bit of difference either way. They do look kind of neat with the slide locked back though. I currently have about 8 FLGR's that I have removed from used Colt's that I have purchased and 0 guns with them installed. oops! my XS has one and it will stay in cuz Mr Colt wanted it that way.
Lose them. GLV
If the gun comes with one, keep it. If it doesn't, don't put one in.
Six of one, half dozen of the other.

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Most of mine have a group gripper FLGR but I don't use the link that comes with it. I still get some additional upward pressure but no jamming issues. Has it improved accuracy? Maybe a very little bit in a gun or two.

I'll just claim the extra weight helps with rapid fire in competition since that's a pretty safe (and possibly the only) arguement for them.
I put them in all of mine--11 now--but I will share one story. I had a commander with an aluminum frame that was very old and very used. It had a FLGR in it when I purchased it. The gun was such that it would run with the rod but as soon as I removed the FLGR it would sputter and jam consistly. I do know that the frame to slide fit was bad--it just had too many rounds thru it but....having the FLGR in it would allow the slide to function much better. I believe in a gun that is properly set up it's up to the indiviual....but I still like them, especially the tunsten one piece for my IPSC Limited guns. Alvin
I had an experience similar to Alvin's a series 70 Colt that ran with the FLGR and would jam with stock guide and plug (same recoil spring). Have never had a case in reverse. Proof to me that they do something.

I am also one of the beleivers. For all of you non-beleivers, please send your defective and crappy FLGRs to me for proper disposal.
If the 1911 design had really need the extra weight and complexity of a full length guide rod. Don't you think that the greatest gun designers of all time would have added one? I have guns with and without them. I can tell no difference in the performance of them, except those with them are much harder to dissassemble. Those who advocate their use maintain that it keep the recoil spring from kinking, when the gun is in full recoil. I have never had a recoil sping to get kinked in guns without the FLGR, so much for that theory. I think that it is just a gadget that someone dreamed up to make a buck.


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Actually almost every single new firearm has a real guide rod instead of the silly 1911 plug.

With a guide rod, the recoil spring compresses and expands alot more uniformly than without one. Try to compress a spring by pushing on both ends and see for yourself. From a basic engineering point of view this can only be a good thing. As for complexity, how complex is making the chunk o steel longer? Especially with high-pressure cartridges like 10mm Auto, a FLGR and shok buff is the way to go.

Of course, shok buffs are probably a whole other argument...

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My combat competition Colts have them (extra weight, etc.). My carry guns don't (press check, one hand chambering, etc.)
Originally posted by 7th Fleet:
Those who advocate their use maintain that it keep the recoil spring from kinking, when the gun is in full recoil. I have never had a recoil sping to get kinked in guns without the FLGR, so much for that theory.
If your recoil spring doesn't roll anymore when you take it out or it leans to one side or the other, its kinked. Almost EVERY spring that has seen use that is taken out of a non FLGR gun has these kinks.

It's not theory
If you do not find the performance of your firearm or your own shooting skills to be deficient, then there's no strong reason to use one.

Though not often, some people have found that for some reason a gun that has functioning problem seem to smooth out with the addition of a FLGR.

Finally, some feel the added weight gives a slight improvement in their shot to shot recovery time and helps tame some of the recoil and muzzle flip.

I'm still trying to understand the comment about disassembly being "much more complicated" with a FLGR. Unless you go for the hokey two piece guide rod, disassembly is basically the same as with a standard plug. I just press the cap in, and rotate the bushing. How hard is that???
Some FLGRs are actually too long to allow rotating the bushing. My Kimber Custom Eclipse II has a FLGR that thankfully isn't too long, so it can be disassembled in the normal fashion.

D. Kamm
USGI M1911/M1911A1 Pistols Website
Taking a Kimber Custom CDP apart isn't a problem with the supplied plastic bushing wrench.

The problem comes with a tight bushing to barrel fit and compressing the recoil plug and spring and rotating the bushing on re-assembly. I've found that if you use an empty 45 casing and put it over the end of the recoil plug to use for compressing the spring, assembly becomes a snap. The cartridge will push the recoil plug down far enough for the bushing to engage the first lip of the plug. The recoil guide rod will extend into the casing. From that point the bushing wrench can be used to turn the bushing into final position.

The FLGR makes for more consistent, smooth cycling of the slide. I'm a believer.

Ahh the age old question rehashed again . I have mixed emotions . I like them for competition only guns but in my carry gun I dont have them , why because if needed I can rack the slide by pushing the bottom of the slide against any hard object thereby racking the slide . As for this difficulty in disassembly that everyone argues , I dont have any problems I just figured out my own way of pushing down the guide with the magazine to turn the bushing . No problem .
As for racking the slide onehanded you can use the old method of jamming the rear sight against your belt(or and other hard object) and rack the slide. FLGR wouldn't interfere with this. Alvin
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