After much urging from my buddies who said; "You just ain't a shooter without a 1911 in your collection", I have bought my first 1911. It's a Rock Island Armory single-stack 1911A-1 with an extended beaver-tail, skeletonized-trigger, combat hammer, and dove-tailed, non-adjustable sights. I have spent a few days getting the feel of it (my other big-bore is a Glock 22C so there is a difference) and letting my hand get used to the control positions. I've also field-stripped it to clean and lube the thing and that brings up my problem and question. My pistol has an open-ended guide spring plug that is captured by the barrel bushing. Trying to push that plug in to revolve the barrel bushing is just plain painful to my thumbs and when I try to put it back in capture with the bushing the thing launches like a mortar shell on meth! (I now keep an extensible magnet as part of my gun-work tools.) I have noticed that other 1911's have the end of this plug closed with cross-hatching for traction and think that such a thing would be much easier for me to control (I have arthritis in my thumb joints which makes them kinda puny these days). My gun has a full-length, chromed guide rod which obviously wouldn't work with such a plug but is there some other kind of rod that would? I know that some 1911's have a shorter guide-rod with an unsupported spring, but I don't now if that would be applicable to my full-sized pistol. If a change is not feasible, is there some kind of tool that I could use to help corral that spring and plug so I stand less chance of losing the dang thing? Any suggestions would be appreciated very much.