Full length guide rods
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Old 09-30-2009, 12:02 PM   #1
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Default Full length guide rods

This is a subject that can be confusing to the 1911 newcomer. These FLGRs are available from many vendors and a lot of manufacturers include them as standard equipment. There are 2 basic types of FLGRs - 2 piece and 1 piece.

The 2 piece rods require you to remove the front section (using an allen wrench) prior to breaking down your 1911 for cleaning or maintenance. This type is standard equipment on Springer Loaded's - among others.

The 1 piece rods do not require any tools or extra steps during disassembly as the bushing will swing past the installed rod. My Dan Wesson and Kimber came equipped this way.

In addition to needing tools to break down the gun, the 2 piece rods can also "shoot loose" which can cause problems for you. At the last pin match I shot, 2 people using Springer Loadeds had the guide rods come loose - requiring some range maintenance (had my 1911 "wonder tool" in my range bag - lucky for them).

Now the real question - are either of the FLGR's superior to the JMB designed short rod and plug? Personal opinion here is NO. I have guns equipped both ways and I've also tested the same gun using both types - and I have seen absolutely no difference in function and accuracy. It's possible (I can't prove it as I don't shoot that good) that a FLGR could add a tiny bit to mechanical accuracy as it might improve lockup alignment.

My recommendation is not to waste money on these and if you have a 2 piece rod you may just want to go with the short rod & plug or a 1 piece FLGR (Wilson has one for $25)...

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Old 09-30-2009, 02:12 PM   #2
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I have found the FLGR's to be less reliable. My guns all have short guides in them.

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Old 10-02-2009, 09:32 PM   #3
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I have 1911's with all the guide rods you mentioned. I don't think any of the three is any better than the other from a functioning/accuracy stand point. To me the main advantage of the FLGR is that it puts a little extra weight up front. The gun "feels" like it runs smoother with a FLGR, but I can't quantify a "feel" with any data.
I have heard stories of two piece FLGR's coming loose, but I have never seen it first hand nor have I had a two piece come loose even during extended firing sessions (1,000 plus rounds). Now I must admit that I screw the pieces together firmly, but not excessively so.
The GI or "short" guide rod makes the gun easier to do one handed malfunction drills with, but you can still get it done if the gun has a FLGR.

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Old 10-07-2009, 04:33 PM   #4
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When I first started in IPSC, I went with the FLGR (Heinie) because of the weight up front. Double taps in limited class will improve with a weighted guide rod. The goal is to get them in the A zone as fast as possible. I run them in all my 5" pistols for this one reason only.

I agree a service pistol should not be equipped with a FLGR. There is simply no purpose served in this application, IMHO. There are some "scientists" out there that will argue about uniform recoil spring compression etc., but in practical applications those comments fade away.

There really isn't anything else to say. I have a two piece that actually tightens under recoil. When I remove it there is always a little "snap" when I twist the Allen Key. Thousands of rounds in competition without a "loosening issue". Just lucky I guess.

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Old 10-07-2009, 05:41 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by crockett007 View Post
When I first started in IPSC, I went with the FLGR (Heinie) because of the weight up front. Double taps in limited class will improve with a weighted guide rod. The goal is to get them in the A zone as fast as possible. I run them in all my 5" pistols for this one reason only.

I agree a service pistol should not be equipped with a FLGR. There is simply no purpose served in this application, IMHO. There are some "scientists" out there that will argue about uniform recoil spring compression etc., but in practical applications those comments fade away.



There really isn't anything else to say. I have a two piece that actually tightens under recoil. When I remove it there is always a little "snap" when I twist the Allen Key. Thousands of rounds in competition without a "loosening issue". Just lucky I guess.
I use full length guides in my 1911s only for one reason. They eliminate spring binding. I have never had any reliability issues with them sense I machined my first one for one of my comp 1911s back in 1970. Shure, you will find tungstin rods for additional weight, etc. But they were originally designed to eliminate spring bind in the tunnel, which improves functional reliability and nothing more, except fore the Dwyer....

Jim.......................
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Old 10-07-2009, 06:11 PM   #6
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Question for you Jim (and Bear). My new Springer long slide will of course come with the 2 piece guide rod I dislike. I know in a 5 inch gun, there is very little space between the short rod and the installed plug - there would be much more in a 6 inch gun. Would you expect spring bind if I replaced the 2 piece rod with a shorty & plug?

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Old 10-07-2009, 09:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NGIB View Post
This is a subject that can be confusing to the 1911 newcomer. These FLGRs are available from many vendors and a lot of manufacturers include them as standard equipment. There are 2 basic types of FLGRs - 2 piece and 1 piece.

The 2 piece rods require you to remove the front section (using an allen wrench) prior to breaking down your 1911 for cleaning or maintenance. This type is standard equipment on Springer Loaded's - among others.

The 1 piece rods do not require any tools or extra steps during disassembly as the bushing will swing past the installed rod. My Dan Wesson and Kimber came equipped this way.

In addition to needing tools to break down the gun, the 2 piece rods can also "shoot loose" which can cause problems for you. At the last pin match I shot, 2 people using Springer Loadeds had the guide rods come loose - requiring some range maintenance (had my 1911 "wonder tool" in my range bag - lucky for them).

Now the real question - are either of the FLGR's superior to the JMB designed short rod and plug? Personal opinion here is NO. I have guns equipped both ways and I've also tested the same gun using both types - and I have seen absolutely no difference in function and accuracy. It's possible (I can't prove it as I don't shoot that good) that a FLGR could add a tiny bit to mechanical accuracy as it might improve lockup alignment.

My recommendation is not to waste money on these and if you have a 2 piece rod you may just want to go with the short rod & plug or a 1 piece FLGR (Wilson has one for $25)...
Have you personally had a 2-piece come loose on your Springer? The reason I ask is because my EB Classic Custom has the same system and I need to know if I need to carry the Allen wrench to the range with me....I guess I answered my own question...how much room can it take up in my range bag? Jeezus.
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:57 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by lonyaeger View Post
Have you personally had a 2-piece come loose on your Springer? The reason I ask is because my EB Classic Custom has the same system and I need to know if I need to carry the Allen wrench to the range with me....I guess I answered my own question...how much room can it take up in my range bag? Jeezus.
Shot against 2 Springers at the last pin match (1 long slide) and both folks had theirs shoot loose. I had my wonder tool in my range back and fixed them up...
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Old 10-08-2009, 01:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NGIB View Post
Question for you Jim (and Bear). My new Springer long slide will of course come with the 2 piece guide rod I dislike. I know in a 5 inch gun, there is very little space between the short rod and the installed plug - there would be much more in a 6 inch gun. Would you expect spring bind if I replaced the 2 piece rod with a shorty & plug?
If you don't like the full length rod, go ahead and try the shorty, it can't hurt. Hand operate the slide with both the full length rod and the the shorty. You will be able to feel and hear the difference between the two. The gritty or grinding sound you hear with the shorty is spring bind. What you use then, will be up to you.

Jim...............
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Old 10-08-2009, 04:48 AM   #10
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I think the FLGR was designed in the "Fishing Lure School of Design"!

You know, where the lure (FLGR) is designed to catch the fisherman, not the fish!

It's a solution to a non-problem.

If the 1911 pattern pistol needed a FLGR, John M. Browning would have put on in the M1911.

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