I've read all the posts in this thread and I've followed this debate for years. One side says that if it needed a full length rod, JMB would have designed it with one. The other side says it makes the slide move smoother and more linear on the frame. However, nobody mentioned the two-piece type FLGR with its own internal spring. I installed one of these in my Colt Combat Target Stainless (made in 1997 only) and it definately offers the benefit of reducing battering to the frame. When the slide moves back and reaches the last 1/2" of travel, the guide rod begins to compress against its internal spring to further slow down the slides rearward velocity. I'm convinced that this will greatly add to the longevity of the gun and it also reduces felt recoil in the hand.