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Guide rods

Discussion in 'Beginner's Corner' started by jericho76, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. jericho76

    jericho76 New Member

    Sep 14, 2011
    I see a lot of talk about replacing FLGR for all sorts of other variations. Whats the deal with the different guide rod configurations? pros/cons...please
  2. Kokopelli

    Kokopelli Schütze

    Aug 17, 2011
    More of a preference I think.. Some will say they don't like having to have a tool to field strip the pistol, others will say a FLGR is not required and still others will say that a FLGR doesn't look as good and/or they just don't like them. All true enough, but not reason enough for me to switch one out.. Ron

  3. Sir Guy

    Sir Guy Sharpening Ockham's Razor Supporting Addict

    Aug 20, 2011
    The original setup is the so-called "GI" configuration. It's a short guide rod and a plug; the spring rides between them, and is captured by the slide when the gun's assembled. Arguable "con" is that the spring may kink. Browning is reported to have said, "I designed it to kink." Disassembly is done without tools. The gun can also be charged by pushing the lower portion of the slide against a hard surface. It is worth noting that the vast majority of guns built for "hard use" use the traditional and tested GI setup.

    Full-length guide rods are common and popular, though I think many who have them haven't considered an alternative. Arguable benefits are that it helps keep the spring in line and consistent throughout its compression cycles. Weighted guide rods can be handy in competition to drive the gun faster. A downside is that the bushing has to be turned when the gun is in battery with this setup; some folks who have guns with properly-fitted bushings don't care for it, as it can possibly wear down the fit over time.

    Full-length guide rods come in two flavors: one- and two-piece. Two-piece guide rods offer some flexibility in takedown, and arguably bridge the gap between the GI setup and the standard one-piece full-length guide rod. A downside to the two-piece system is that because it's meant to be taken apart, it's more likely to separate in recoil. Some pieces have interference fits for the last quarter-turn of the threads, and some are Loctited.

    Some people switch the recoil system on a new gun before even shooting it. Regardless of your decision, make sure you know what you want, and more importantly, why you want it.

  4. knedrgr

    knedrgr Low capacity, low tech...

    Aug 15, 2011
    GI is just the way JMB designed the gun to gun. It has been working, so I don't see a reason to change it. I'm not saying everything JMB designed should stay the same, but this particular option works, and I like the look the best. But on an officer size 1911, you don't have an option.
    ek42 likes this.
  5. jericho76

    jericho76 New Member

    Sep 14, 2011
    Thanks gents for the clarification.:thumb:
  6. Melter942

    Melter942 Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2011
    IMO, Hilton Yam and the members of the 10-8 Forums know Waaaaaay more about the 1911 platform than I'll ever hope to know. Here's the reason I changed the FLGR on my TRP to the GI setup.

    Guide rods:

    No full-length guide rods. Period. They add nothing to function, make takedown more difficult, add useless weight, and reduce options for one handed cycling. For stock format guide rods, the stock Colt is the best, with the Ed Brown units being a very good choice for kit guns.
    ek42 likes this.
  7. claire

    claire Anger Management Graduate

    Sep 22, 2011
    I also changed out the FLGR on my TRP. I did it because my range had to do a full cease fire when my 2 piece came apart and shot ten feet down range. To add to the insult, I had never packed an allen wrench for the guide rog so I had to borrow one to put my gun together. I bought a Wilson plug and Ed Brown GI rod.


    Since then, I've also changed out the 2 piece rod on my DW PM9. Much easier to take everything down.

    ek42 likes this.
  8. jst1tym

    jst1tym What No Delete Button? Supporting Addict

    Aug 23, 2011
    Well said Andy, very accurate...nothing to add there :thumb:
  9. Earlsbud

    Earlsbud Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Aug 28, 2011
    My .02 cents

    There are only two reasons for an FLGR other than those mentioned that I would ad. I have seen the dust tunnel on an alloy frame worn thin from spring contact from kinking and dragging. Was it rare? I don't know, probably very rare. To keep the frame from further wear an FLGR was a cheap fix. The other reason is convenience for changing top ends. With a FLGR the slide assembly slides off easily and stays together when changing to another caliber like a .22LR conversion kit. I find it interesting that most of the shooters that opt to change back to a GI rod and plug say it's because they want to eliminate the allen wrench but need one to remove their grip panels.
  10. AustinTx

    AustinTx New Member

    Sep 23, 2011
    The wear on an alloy frame is a point that I had never considered, but it makes perfect sense. I prefer the 2 piece original GR, myself. Most come with the full length guide rod now and I don't usually change them to the 2 piece original.

    I have a Colt from 1967 that has a "captured" 2 piece guide rod. There are 2 small parallel slits at the very front, of the front plug and the metal between them is punched in. The recoil spring is inserted and while against the end, turned CW and the spring end will go through the opening to "capture" it. It's the only one that I have ever seen and I can't find a source for one like it. Maybe I'm the last to know, you guys probably know about that. It was probable made during WWII, by some unknown contractor.

    Edit: Hello all, this looks good here.
  11. Earlsbud

    Earlsbud Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Aug 28, 2011
    "captured" 2 piece guide rod. Please post a pic. Betcha someone can ID it.
  12. Pappy

    Pappy New Member

    Sep 19, 2011
    FLGR are to extract money from your pocket and into the manufacturers pocket. I agree some may want them for various reasons, but they are not necessary for most shooters.
  13. Earlsbud

    Earlsbud Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Aug 28, 2011
    $$$ Pappy I agree. $$$ When they first appeared they told us we had to have one. That'$ how I got mine. Fixing guns that weren't broken. Now that manufacturers provide them, we are told we need to chuck 'em and buy the GI rod and plug. It's come full circle and the $extraction$ is made possible by people following a "fashion trend."
  14. AustinTx

    AustinTx New Member

    Sep 23, 2011
    I don't need an ID, I know what it is. It's really very simple. The recoil spring is just cut off (raw end), on the front and smaller ID, on the rear, to have a force fit, to the rear half of the guide rod. The muzzle plug, end (front), has a small hole 90 degrees to the bore line, that holds the front of the recoil spring, when it's pushed in and rotated CW. The barrel bushing can be rotated, for removal without the front half of the recoil guide flying off. Rotate the recoil spring CCW and you can remove it. It's really a nice system and came from Colt that way. I can't figure why they aren't more common.

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