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Never understood that either

Sheriff Jim Wilson on the full length guide rod:

Somewhere along the line, however, some 1911 manufacturers decided including a full-length guide rod on their pistols gave them a “custom” look. Put three-dot sights and a full-length guide rod on the gun, and you can charge more for it. It’s almost like, if you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s even more important to look cool. For goodness sakes, don’t ever ask why.

16 Responses to “Never understood that either”

  1. The Duck Says:

    Just switched the Kimber stainless to a std recoil rod, Smith Pro is next

  2. MHinGA Says:

    That, and recoil buffers on 1911s: “Hey,here’s an idea:– let’s add something that does little or nothing, but might make the gun less reliable.”

  3. Canthros Says:

    I’ve seen one that’s dumber, which is the full-length plastic guide rod used in the CZ-75 SP-01. At least the cheap thing is too flimsy to cause the slide to bind, but the original CZ-75 didn’t have a hole in the slide for a full-length guide rod in the first place. Dumb with a capital duh.

    (Still dumber: I replaced the plastic rod with a stainless steel one. In addition to looking nice, it adds a little weight to the front of the gun, which I think improves shootability, and it hasn’t caused any reliability problems that I’ve noticed. But, if it weren’t for the hole in the slide, I’d replace it with a standard-length guide rod in a New York minute.)

  4. Weer'd Beard Says:

    Yep, replaced both my S&W1911 rods with drop-in Wilson ones.

    They ran reliably with the FLGR, now they run reliably AND are easier to strip.

  5. Nick Says:

    As a new guy, I figured I must be missing Something Important by finding full-length guide rods pointless and annoying. I’ve been much happier with mine since I “de-upgraded” to a standard rod and plug.

  6. Jack Says:

    How’s the original rod style give easier take down?

    I have a full lenght guide rod and I just press down on the spring plug with the base of a magazine, rotate the bushing, and take off the spring pressure.

    That being said, I got my goverment model for a steal because the previous owner stuck in a buffer and the damn thing wouldn’t cycle or even relase when you pulled back the slide from slide-lock.

    Easy fix.

  7. Rivrdog Says:

    I got a Colt Government Model .380 as a steal for $150 because it’s cheapo guide rod wouldn’t keep the recoil spring in line, and it would knot and jam the gun after a few rounds.

    I went to Steve Bedair, and for $75, got his full-length guide rod and drilled bushing to accept it, then to Wolff for a decent spring ($12), so for $237, I have an excellent 1911 pistol in a small pocket size that will handle the stoutest .380 ammo with ease, and in any position.

    BTW, these pistols can go for $600…

  8. Weer'd Beard Says:

    “How’s the original rod style give easier take down?”

    Just use your thumb. Also I got a NASTY laceration on my thumb from the rod-through plug when I lost control of it once.

    Also the Knurled rod is easier to control.

  9. chris Says:

    I certainly prefer the GI plug, as does Les Baer on its 1911s (I believe).

    And I also concur with Sheriff Jim on the 3 dot sights.

    I am at the age where having normal black rear sights (Bomars, Novaks, etc.) and a gold bead front sight gives me the best sight picture.

  10. Steve Says:

    Also absolutly required is the flat mainspring housing.

    This is a must even on many 1911’s that are supposedly “G.I.” configured.

    UP! the arched mainsproing housing!

  11. DirtCrashr Says:

    We have been taught since grade-school that “Cool” is the most important thing in Teh World that you can buy and use to upgrade your personality – and Tactical is Ulltra-cool so tactical sells really well too.
    Cool sells like James DEAN, AND mARLON bRANDO

  12. DirtCrashr Says:

    WTF – why did that just post by itself? I was gonna say Cool-Icons sell nostalgia (thus the popularity of Dean and such) – but a WWII B-17 is totally cool all by itself, unless you’re an anti-war idiot.

  13. DirtCrashr Says:

    My 1943 GI 1911A1 has the short plug and the arched housing (and early wide-hammer). It needs better sights but it’s a crime to f* with it now that it’s a Sacred Relic of Coolness and when I show it around I get extra Cool Points from the Cool Dudes. 🙂

  14. ben Says:

    Not sure I follow this thread. I have a full length guide rod in my TRP. Doesn’t cause any problems. Not sure if it solves any either. What’s the big deal? Here’s what Ed Brown’s website says about them:

    Our Classic Custom pistols are furnished with two-piece guide rods. They smooth out the cycling slightly, add a bit of weight to the muzzle, and may increase the life of the recoil spring. They do not enhance the accuracy or reliability of the gun, therefore we do not include one with the Executive series or Kobra series. If you would like to have a guide rod, they are a simple part to install as they drop right in. The two piece design is recommended, because it is so easy to disassemble and reassemble.

  15. Roger Says:

    FLGR and straight mainspring housings do have some utility. I built one of my 1911 .45s as a Bullseye target pistol. Frame & slide from Caspian, Barrel bushing & link supplied by and fitted by Irv Stone himself of Bar-sto, Hammer & sear from Austin Behlert, BoMar sights and a full length guide rod. It has the old straight mainspring housing because that’s what points best for me and the way I shoot & matches the feel of my M41 Smith.
    Originally, I had filled the hollow standard spring guide with lead to add weight, then installed the FLGR to add even more weight up forward. When the competition is REALLY good, you need every tiny little bit going for you with your pistol. (And they are spending huge $, even then for their ‘special’ target pistols)
    That pistol was good enough to get me to master classification. Today, 30+ years after it was built, it still will shoot 1 5/8″ groups from a rest with good ammo. I can’t shoot it anywhere near that well anymore, but – – – -.
    Therefore, I decree that there IS a valid use for a FLGR, and that is to add weight up forward on a target pistol. Beyond that I have no reason for using one as that 1911 was and is stone cold reliable with or without the FLGR. (And I still have the lead filled standard guide rod in my 1911 parts bin)


  16. Paul Says:

    My Kimber Gold Match Mk I has a rod. Works fine. My DW C-Bob doesn’t. Works fine to.

    Both shoot like rifles.

    So it’s more of the fit of barrel-to-slide and slide-to-frame that matters, not the recoil spring or guide rod.