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Old 05-15-2013, 06:25 PM   #11
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I love the look of the original knurled recoil spring plug in an M1911A1, but doesn't it bother you that they don't have full guide rods? A section of spring just sort of free floating? I know it's not necessarily a known issue, but seems to me to be a set up for failures.
No it will not cause any issue. The recoil spring is in a tubular chamber/housing and has "no where to go" so to speak. It cannot kink or bind because it has to room to do so. It compresses in a relatively straight line. It was designed that way. Also, there was a guy on one forum who from time to time, to prove this point, would run his 1911 with just the recoil spring and the end-plug (but no guide rod at all - not even a GI-style). I forget who he was but he never experienced one malfunction to my knowledge.


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I know the new age 1911 and 2011 types tend to use full rods either with open ended plugs or no plug at all. Guess it depends if there's a barrel bushing or not.
My Springer came with a two-piece, full-length guide rod. It still had a barrell bushing too. The plug must be open ended so that the full length guide rod can be there. In other words, when the slide cycles the full length guide rod cannot compress and the guide rod would bust through the end of a closed end plug - a full length guide rod has to have an open end.

Either way works fine - just a matter of preference. After over 3K rounds in my Springer (when I needed a new recoil spring), I finally switched out to a standard/short/GI-style guide rod.
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:29 PM   #12
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I will search for and try to find the guy and threads concerning running the 1911 with no guide rod at all. I think it was on the 1911forum.com
(I am not advocating that and would not try it in my guns - but it was an interesting read & does bolster his point that a full-length GR is really not needed).

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Old 05-15-2013, 06:29 PM   #13
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I just find it easier to have a full length guide rod when taking apart and putting back together.

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Old 05-15-2013, 06:31 PM   #14
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I just find it easier to have a full length guide rod when taking apart and putting back together.
Now that is true and a very good point....
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:46 PM   #15
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Now that is true and a very good point....
Those Springs like to get wonky without something inside them, or so I've found. And they're too damn stiff to keep fully compressed and install then let go.
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:57 PM   #16
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I've had..... yep, zero problems. had to count an make sure. took a minute...

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Old 05-15-2013, 07:07 PM   #17
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I've had..... yep, zero problems. had to count an make sure. took a minute...
Lol you would!
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Old 05-17-2013, 08:55 PM   #18
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I will search for and try to find the guy and threads concerning running the 1911 with no guide rod at all. I think it was on the 1911forum.com
(I am not advocating that and would not try it in my guns - but it was an interesting read & does bolster his point that a full-length GR is really not needed).
Ok found what I was talking about.....
The guy's screen name is JLA and he is a moderator/host on 'thefirearmsforum.com' - the thread I am referring to is under the 'The 1911 Forum' subforum and it is entitled
"Full Length Guide Rod" (if you want to look it up). I am not going to link it here because I'm not sure if that violates any rules by linking a thread from another forum.

Anyway, JLA states/claims that he ran 2 full mags in his 1911 with no guide rod at all. He did say that that doing this in any prolonged manner would likely damage the end of the recoil spring. But he also said that 2 full mags with no ill effects "proves his point".

Just food for thought....
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:34 PM   #19
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Remember that the primary job of the recoil spring is to return the slide to battery.
The secondary job is to assist the hammer spring with recoil control.

If the hammer spring was strong enough to sustain the impact, one could shoot more that 2 magazines (but I would not want to manually return the slide to battery everytime.)

The plug (as demonstrated in the above example) protects the end of the spring and keeps the end from interferring with the link setup should it fail to maintain shape.

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