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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The other day I noticed a lightweight SA which seemed to have an old-style GI plug instead of the standard SA guide rod. Owner confirmed that he'd had the shop switch to the older short-plug design, just like the one I trained with almost 50 years ago. It's so much easier to field-strip the GI style; is there ANY benefit to keeping the full-length guide rod, or should I accept a blued plug in my SA Stainless Loaded?
 

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did you a favor

It has been my experience that the full length guide rod is the greatest marketing ploy ever dumped on the 1911 market. This is closely followed by a bunch of bunk recoil reducerers that don't work. The full length guide rod gets number 1 because of volume of sales.

It by a very small margin increases accuracy, maybe less than 1%. Good barrel, bushing, and lockup do way more.

It is less reliable, never my first choice on a carry gun.

They are much harder to disassemble than stock plugs. But I put match bushings on my guns and that is a pain also, but I get a lot more accuracy in the trade so I figure its worth it.

Just my two cents worth...a smith that I respect his work a lot described a full length guide rod as a money transfer device. It transfer dollars out of my pocket into his.
 

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If you do a search on guide rod or FLGR you will fine a wealth of information on this topic as it is an often debated topic.
 

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"...is there ANY benefit to keeping the full-length guide rod?"

No.

But try a Search, you'll see lots of varied opinions!
 

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I like full length rods because they keep the sping straighter under compression, and They add weight.. I never knew ppl thought they made a gun more accurate.. I don't see how thats really possible.. There was nothing wrong with the GI system, I just like FLGR's especially the harts mercury filled ones.. :)
 

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Charlie Petty did a test in last month's Handgunner, and the gun shot groups something like .1" smaller with the FLGR; he did a similar test on barrels, and when he ran the tests on a different day, the results were different, so don't attach any significance to the .1"; on another day, the short rod would have been .1" better.
 

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The standard guide rod shot better groups in Petty's article, but you are right, the difference was not significant.

--tdow
 

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OK, my $.02: I have no real preference either way. I think the only advantage to the FLGR is the added weight up front, but also feel that this added weight is negligible. With regards to two piece guide rods, I don't like 'em because I need an allen wrench to disassemble, and I've had them begin to unscrew while shooting. I don't mind the one piece rods at all, and I also like the GI set-up.
 

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i like the flgr because it allows me to remove the slide, barrel, recoil spring, guid rod and bushing as one unit.
 

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Gunsite Raven said:
i like the flgr because it allows me to remove the slide, barrel, recoil spring, guid rod and bushing as one unit.
Me too !
 

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A wise man (me) once said that the FLGR aids in extraction - the extraction of money from your pocket and into the pocket of the FLGR maker. That, IMHO, is its only real purpose.

Jim
 

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AZ Husker said:
I went GI plug in my new Ed Brown.
I just replaced the guide rod that came stock in my SA Loaded model with a GI set from Brownell's.

Now, in addition to not needing a tool to field strip the weapon, there is no more hard evidence that I was conned into buying a weapon with a FLGR! :cool:
 

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I TESTED MESELF

Thanks to freebies from some fine folks I tested rods in me Caspian 1911.
FOR ME, I prefer the up-front weight of a steel full-length; I use an Ed Brown NP3'd. Discernable difference to me.
For non-toy use I put the 'standard' parts in so I can use the front of the gun for feed/clear ability; know what I mean?
 

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The extra weight is the main benefit and when they first came out everyone said they could tell a small difference. They were touted for competition guns at the time, lately they've showed up on nearly every new 1911 and every other new pistol design. Now someone decided they weren't any good and everyone's agreeing with him. See the pattern here? Going back to the GI style is just as much of a fad as putting them in there was to start with.

+ Adds weight to front of gun
+ Prevents the gun from being knocked out of battery by a
blow to the front of the slide
+ Can pull slide, barrel , assy off in one piece
+ Looks cool
+ Available in tungsten which adds 3 oz if you want
+ Makes a fine Kuboton


- Makes takedown different and more difficult for some
- Harder to do the press check so popular in movies
- Uncool to have one in your " fighting " gun right now.
 

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Re: I TESTED MESELF

WESHOOT2 said:
FOR ME, I prefer the up-front weight of a steel full-length; I use an Ed Brown NP3'd. Discernable difference to me.
Are you claiming that if I took two identical guns, one with and one without, you could tell the difference by shooting it, without looking at the muzzle?

Or if I handed a weapon to you with a guide rod, you shot it, and then I took the guide rod out, you would be able to tell me which shots you took with it installed?

And that if I made a mistake, and put two weapons out with no guide rod in either one, you wouldn't say "this is the one with the guide rod"?

And if I put a false hex nut in the cap of a weapon with no guide rod, you would take a couple shots, and say "this weapon has no guide rod in it"?

Now, that's a claim that I'd be willing to put some money up against...

Of course, if you can't, my counter claim is that FOR YOU, it's all in your head.
 

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m1911vs911 said:
Going back to the GI style is just as much of a fad as putting them in there was to start with.
We have a winner. :D

If whatever is in your gun works, other people have no basis for criticizing how your gun is set up, except their need to inflate their egos at your expense.

I've had both types in my gun with no ill effects.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
This thread has gotten a bit heated and contentious, but it's taught me that my question wasn't so simple after all. It's not even easy to test which setup is best.

I consider my original question answered with lots of useful info, but let's keep going by all means!
 

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Here we go again. :rolleyes:

Whatever makes you happy.
 
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