1911 guide rod


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BP Hunter
May 8, 2013, 02:08 PM
I have a question on the 1911 guide rod. My Taurus has a full length guide rod and I have been eyeing the Remington R1, but has a short guide rod. Does it make any difference at all in the function of the pistol, accuracy, and/or reliability?

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Nowhere Man
May 8, 2013, 02:20 PM
None what so ever.

Psst. Don't tell anybody but, Les Baer sends out 1911's with 2 piece guide rods.


Dave

cavman
May 8, 2013, 02:22 PM
I changed my full length rods out of my 1911s. I am unaware of any real benefit from the full lengths.

I think they were to give greater stability for Bullseye 1911s, but I don't think they have been shown to be any better.

Regular GI rods are fine ( I see them all the time in Bullseye guns ) and they are 50 times easier to break down than guns with full length rods

Greg528iT
May 8, 2013, 02:58 PM
The idea IS ---- to better stabilize the spring by controlling it from the inside. How much better it stabilizes it versus the dust shield enclosure?????? A little for sure. does it really effect function? Probably NOT..
If Professional race gun shooters are anything like professional race car or motorcycle drivers... There is NOTHING on there equipment that not there to make them go faster.

As for take down.. it's NOT 50 times harder. In some cases it's actually EASIER.. I can pop the slide off my STI commander with full length guide rod faster than I can my 5" Springfield with standard guide rod.

RainDodger
May 8, 2013, 05:44 PM
You're going to get every answer under the sun on this topic. I run full length, one-piece rods in my 1911s. Do I think they're more accurate? Nope. Do I think they are maybe more reliable? Nope, probably not.

It comes down to me thinking that I like the IDEA of a full length guide rod. It just seems to me that it is more "precision" that a spring of that size has a nice smooth rod to slide on. No side to side motion, no problems anywhere. And before you ask, no I never had any problems without the guide rods either! :) I just LIKE them. It's a very subjective thing.

I can't cite any study or scientific reason why a guide rod is a good thing. I simply like them... and Greg528it is right. Your pistol is NOT harder to take apart. Anyone who has owned a 1911 for a little while will be able to take it apart just fine.

I only have ONE conclusion based on personal experience regarding guide rods... a 2-piece guide rod CAN unscrew itself while shooting. It has happened to me. It loosened a couple of turns - it never fully came apart. So... I only run one-piece guide rods.

Now, the $64,000 question... do you put a shock buff on there too? :)

I do, and they work just fine too.

BP Hunter
May 8, 2013, 05:48 PM
Thanks for your answers. So, the R1, hmm....

cavman
May 8, 2013, 06:16 PM
Perhaps I misspoke. The full length ( but 2- piece) rods for me were 50 times harder to take apart. Having to break out the Allen wrench was becoming a pain for me and I didn't see any gain in performance. So i switched to GI.

The Lone Haranguer
May 8, 2013, 06:19 PM
I wouldn't want any two-piece guide rod. Anywhere there are threaded joints, there is the possibility of them loosening or breaking.

BYJO4
May 8, 2013, 08:31 PM
It is just a matter of personal preference.

jfrey
May 9, 2013, 10:33 PM
This thing has been discussed many, many times and no real conscience about it. I like 'em in my guns and it's a personal decision.

There are many other guns with the same guide rod set up and we never even think about it. Glock, BHP, S&W, Sig to name a few. All come with full length rods and no one says a word. Why?

g_one
May 9, 2013, 10:49 PM
I've only owned a one-piece, full-length style rod, and I prefer it over the short guide rod style. I can say though, that it's purely preference. There isn't any advantage unless you like the way the guide rod looks below the barrel when the slide is racked. Others prefer to be able to use a plug/cap with a design or checkering on the front.

The only thing I would stay away from is the two-piece guide rod assembly, just because they're unnecessarily complex.

rgwalt
May 10, 2013, 12:03 AM
I have one 2 piece guide rod in an officer's model. Otherwise, I run 1 piece guide rods. I like the idea of a rod guiding the spring rather than having it ride on the frame. I don't think the 1 piece guide makes field stripping significantly more difficult. Also, keep in mind that if you buy a gun without a full length guide rod, it is about the easiest part there is to replace...

1911Tuner
May 10, 2013, 06:34 AM
I have one 2 piece guide rod in an officer's model. Otherwise, I run 1 piece guide rods. I like the idea of a rod guiding the spring rather than having it ride on the frame.

Look carefully. There are only five unsupported coils with about a tenth-inch of space between them. By the time the slide has moved a half-inch, the spring is contained on the inside by the guide and on the outside by the plug. At full slide travel, the spring is completely encapsulated on its OD and ID. It can't deflect or "ride the frame."

Sometimes what we believe isn't the reality.



http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e243/1911Tuner/Gun20Fired.jpg

OilyPablo
May 10, 2013, 06:53 AM
Accuracy? I doubt it makes any difference.

More mass up front? Slightly.

The feeling that you built an ultra target 1911? Priceless.

I bought a Wilson Combat 1 piece full length guide rod. It is one well machines piece of alloy steel for $30. I've run it mainly in my Sig Target and my Colt Rail. It does make it seem like I'm back on target a lot quicker. Probably 100% mental and 10% feelings.

Nicky Santoro
May 10, 2013, 08:14 AM
OP,
I have an FLGR in my 1911 and it does make it rack a bit more smoothly and I think I perceive a bit less felt recoil. I'll leave it in the gun but I wouldn't buy it again if I had it to do over.
FWIW
YMMV

CAR
May 10, 2013, 09:51 AM
My experience, the full length guide rod gives slightly smoother operation than the GI setup, it's very subtle, but noticeable.

I do think a full length guide rod helps a 'loose' gun return the slide into battery more consistently.

At any rate, I use full length rods on target guns and the two piece on combat weapons.

Greg528iT
May 10, 2013, 10:12 AM
I have a Wilson 2 piece guide rod on my 5" Springfield. To date it's never loosened during a range visit. Even if it had, the thread engagement is so long that I'd notice it backing out LONG before it was even close to falling out. It'd be sticking out nearly a half inch before it fell off the last thread.. I'd notice at 1/32" or 1/16" cause I tend to look at my gun between mag changes, or at least every 4-5 mag changes if running thru 4-5 in succession, but that's just me. If the end did unscrew, the portion remaining in the gun is the same length as a standard guide rod and would act just like it.

Some guys will complain about having to have an allen wrench on hand to remove it, but don't seem to complain about having to reach for a bushing wrench. I carry the allen wrench in my range bag, just as if I would carry a bushing wrench if I had a gun so tight it needed one. I think it's the same guys who go on about how JMB designed the grip screws with flat screws specifically so you could strip it with a brass case (oh by the way, allen and phillip head fasteners where not invented until 20-40 years AFTER 1911) but ONLY use gun smith screw drivers they store at home to remove the grips. :)

moxie
May 10, 2013, 10:41 AM
The real difficulty factor is actually 36.028 times harder, not 50. On the Persiflage Modified scale.

BigG
May 10, 2013, 01:29 PM
If the pistol has a full length guide rod, it ain't a 1911. It's a somepin else. Maybe call it a clone or a pseudo-Colt-Browning but 1911 it ain't.

cavman
May 10, 2013, 07:45 PM
(I had to look up Persiflage)

but now that I know that I know it is French in Origin. And that i also know that Moxie is a Maine invented soda ( filled with French-Canadians), I must assume that 36.028 actually means 36 Thousand times more difficult.

(As we all know, the Euros use decimal points as we use commas ) :)

moxie
May 10, 2013, 09:41 PM
:what::what:

shooter60
May 10, 2013, 10:07 PM
I have one of each and really cant tell much difference and Moxie my son is in the U.S. Air Force working in Munitions in Hurlburt Field Fl. been in for 6 yrs. and thank you for your service

moxie
May 10, 2013, 10:29 PM
shooter60,
You are very welcome. Be proud of your son. He's doing a tough and important job. And by the way, you know that without Munitions, the Air Force is just another unscheduled airline!

GLI45
May 10, 2013, 11:11 PM
I've had full length, two piece, and STI recoil masters and can't tell the difference when shooting. Maybe an IPSC GM can tell, but I can't. What I do know is that I like something that is simple and works. Because of that I've really come to love the Dawson Tool Less guide rod. A little pricey at about $80, but worth every penny.

VetPsychWars
May 10, 2013, 11:40 PM
I don't know about you guys, but I've always thought that rods not to GI spec were a solution looking for a problem.

But I think that about most 1911 mods.

Tom

1911Tuner
May 11, 2013, 05:23 AM
Some guys will complain about having to have an allen wrench on hand to remove it, but don't seem to complain about having to reach for a bushing wrench.

Speak for yourself. If a bushing is that tight, it needs to be corrected...and I don't want to have to use any sort of tool to field-strip a duty pistol.

I think it's the same guys who go on about how JMB designed the grip screws with flat screws specifically so you could strip it with a brass case

I don't think I've heard anybody "go on" about that feature, other than as a point of historical interest to illustrate the careful attention to detail. One of the 1911 pistol's main selling points during the field trials was its ability to be detail stripped for service without the need for tools. In fact, that was what sounded the final death knell for the Savage.

Browning stepped up to the table and, without using hand tools, took the Colt apart and put it back together before the Savage rep could get his apart. Up to that point, the people who still wanted the Savage...despite its problems...knew that it was all over with.

The Lone Haranguer
May 11, 2013, 07:37 AM
A substantial amount of 1911 functioning problems are from tampering with the original design. If it ain't broke, keep "fixing" it until it is.

huntershooter
May 11, 2013, 07:51 AM
FLGR= "an ingenious solution to a non-existent problem".
The FLGR's were necessary on cone barrel/bushingless, compensated 1911's, but are simply a PITA on a "stock" gun.

OilyPablo
May 11, 2013, 08:21 AM
People are odd. Buddy at work, Glock guy. Somehow he got the 1911 bug (I think the Marine Corp purchase put him over the top). So he starts looking - trust me, this took awhile......so he researches a few months, then he starts asking me questions, researches some more.

Many moons later he decides on Springfield, because he wants the purest 1911 and doesn't want Series 80, external extractor, etc.

Buys a "loaded" one with a two piece full guide rod. Complains about having to wrench it. :banghead: He does like the Wilson Combat rod and will swap.

Greg528iT
May 11, 2013, 11:55 PM
If a bushing is that tight, it needs to be corrected I agree. but more than once, here you here of those needing / wanting bushing wrenches.

careful attention to detail. What you call carefull attention to detail, I call "using the only style screw available in 1911" As I said and feel free to look it up, the Philips and Allen style screws were NOT invented until decades later.

bluekouki86
May 12, 2013, 03:10 AM
I personally dislike and don't use FLGR for one reason. In a combat/defensive situation you may need to reload and chamber a fresh round with one hand if you are wounded. You can take the muzzle and push it against a table or other flat object and cycle the action. I know it is a stretch to ever need to do that, but a good buddy of mine was Marine Force Recon and taught me the trick. He lived by it in Iraq, so I will live by it here.

1911Tuner
May 12, 2013, 02:33 PM
What you call carefull attention to detail, I call "using the only style screw available in 1911"

The original grip screws for the 1911 had dished slots for better purchase by the case rims...and they matched the case rim radius. They weren't standard. That's the attention to detail I was referring to...and one that many people aren't even aware of because few manufacturers bother to make them like that any more.

Another one is the sear and hammer pins that don't sit flush with the frame. I've heard reference to "poor quality control" on this, but what the complainers don't understand is that the pins are supposed to stand about .003 inch above the frame to give the thumb safety something to ride on...reducing both friction and eliminating scratching and marring of the frame.

Ditto for the small fillet at the junction of the slidestop crosspin and arm...so that a very small gap is maintained between the slidestop and the frame.

The small punch cut in the spring plug that allows the plug to be threaded onto the open end of the recoil spring to prevent launching to parts unknown.

Then there's the left side grip panel that supports the plunger tube at the bottom and on the outside...fitting it closely when it's made to correct spec...keeping it from loosening and keeping it nailed tightly to the frame in case it does.

So many little things that once were a part of making the 1911 what it was that are overlooked or skipped today for reasons of cutting corners or increasing the bottom line..or simply because they don't look closely or consider the reasons for them.

Shall I continue?

Details. The devil's in the details.

Zach S
May 13, 2013, 01:05 AM
The only reason I would have a FLGR is if I used the frame to host a .22 conversion. A FLGR makes the recoil spring captive, so you can swap slides without having to keep up with (and possibly lose) parts. I have my conversion on a dedicated frame, so its not an issue for me.

Some guys will complain about having to have an allen wrench on hand to remove it, but don't seem to complain about having to reach for a bushing wrench.Speak for yourself. If a bushing is that tight, it needs to be corrected...and I don't want to have to use any sort of tool to field-strip a duty pistol.
I agree with 1911Tuner. My FLGRs are either replaced or get cut down to GI length, and all of my bushing wrenches are still in the boxes the pistols came in.

The FLGR's were necessary on cone barrel/bushingless, compensated 1911'sNo, they aren't, not on the ones I've handled anyway. The FLGR in my 4" Kimber lasted until the first time I put a new recoil spring in it - then I swapped it out for a short one. My 3.5" Para also got a short guide rod, out of necessity and laziness. It unscrewed and fell out at the range, I didn't feel like digging through the brass to find it.

They did look a little weird with the open spring plugs...

Greg528iT
May 13, 2013, 12:58 PM
The original grip screws for the 1911 had dished slots for better purchase by the case rims...

I did not know. I bet 99% here didn't. I was looking for a picture, and unfortunately by the 1930s, it looks like the Army dropped the dished screws

http://i1177.photobucket.com/albums/x349/jaggoett1/1911sectionview_zps1bb82308.jpg (http://s1177.photobucket.com/user/jaggoett1/media/1911sectionview_zps1bb82308.jpg.html)

I TOTALLY agree, JMB did some AMAZING things when designing the 1911.. I love them, I own 4..

So to address those that say it's not a 1911 if it's not per JMBs original design, we had better include any 1911 clone built after the 1930s since they obviously dropped the dished flat screw. :D :D

moxie
May 13, 2013, 02:14 PM
I've always used a case head to remove grip screws from 1911s. Learned that many moons ago. Why anyone would want a screw requiring them to bring an Allen or Torx wrench to the gunfight is beyond me.

jmr40
May 13, 2013, 02:18 PM
I have guns with both types. The guns I have with a FLGR don't need any special tools to fieldstrip them. As long as that is the case I could care less. I have purchased used 1911's in the past with aftermarket FLGR's that needed tools to fieldstrip the guns. I replaced those with a short GI type rod.

Greg528iT
May 13, 2013, 02:26 PM
Who would want to replace grip panels in the middle of a gun fight???????????? If a grip panel came a tad loose I'd probably not even bother to snug it with a thumbnail in the middle of a fire fight. Most grips do not cover the MSH pin, but.. if I was worried about having to take that out during a gun fight, I'd not put grips on that covered it anyway. :D :D

md2lgyk
May 14, 2013, 08:54 AM
I've had a 2-piece guide rod in my bullseye softball gun for over 20 years. It has never once started to come unscrewed. A solution looking for a problem? Perhaps. But competitive shooting (especially bullseye) is mostly a mind game. If you think something will make you shoot better, it just might.

1911Tuner
May 14, 2013, 03:03 PM
, it looks like the Army dropped the dished screws

Nope. My Remington Rand and the Union Switch twins have dished grip screws.

I've heard a rumor...unsubstantiated...that Colt is going to use them on the new USMC pistol. I should know by this weekend unless Hunter catches a red-eye to California to go visit with the love of his life. I'll make a note of it if I find'em.

I've also found dished screws on some 50s and early 60s commercial Government Models...likely leftover stock from the anticipated contract that never came.

EDIT TO ADD:

Out of curiosity, I just went and checked my 1973 production Combat Commander. The screw slots are dished.

Greg528iT
May 14, 2013, 03:18 PM
I just went by the drawing.. dated 1936,, it shows a regular screw. I was not able to pull up the Screw - B19023 drawing to verify it's exact shape. Given the attention to detail JMB gave things, I was expecting the drawings to match.

Out of curiosity, I just went and checked my 1973 production Combat Commander. The screw slots are dished.

Nice.. I've still not seen one. :)

1911Tuner
May 14, 2013, 03:18 PM
So to address those that say it's not a 1911 if it's not per JMBs original design, we had better include any 1911 clone built after the 1930s since they obviously dropped the dished flat screw.

Again, there were a lot of little things that were included in the original design that made up the whole package...and many of them are overlooked...either purposely or simply because their purpose is misunderstood and/or considered unnecessary. You can probably include the dished screw slots in that category, though I like having the ability to use case rims to remove the grips, even though I never do it except for demonstration.

A good example things forgotten is the left grip panel that supports the plunger tube on two axes. If that were still considered important and properly executed, reports of plunger tubes coming loose would be a rarity.

Greg528iT
May 14, 2013, 03:27 PM
I'm not really picking on you, I wouldn't really dare.. I'm just playing devils advocate over all the OTHER people who jump up and down about, "if it's not exactly how JMB designed it it's not a true 1911"

The wood grips I've made for my 1911 clones.. all cover the plunger tube. Not that I am worried it will come loose, but it just looks weird if I don't.

1911Tuner
May 14, 2013, 03:38 PM
The wood grips I've made for my 1911 clones.. all cover the plunger tube.

Ah! But do they solidly support it at the bottom and on the outside? Many new grips cover it, but don't support it.

Properly within spec, you should have to apply light prying force to get the left side panel off due to being captive by the bushings and the plunger tube.

Greg528iT
May 14, 2013, 03:46 PM
No they are close, a couple thousands away.. but again I don't do it to support the tube, I'm not worried the tube will pop off. AND.. I don't oversize the bushing holes like new production grips do. The grips I make slightly press fit onto the bushing.. but that's more a case of having found exactly the right sized bit to make the counter bore. If the nominal size bit was a tad looser, I'd have used it.

I expect that "if in the heat of a firefight" AND my grip screws came loose AND my plunger tube popped off. My slide may or may not lock back at the end of a magazine (clip :) ) but then I'd be out of ammo and either out of the fight anyway. If I survive, I'd return to my shop to re peen the tube back on and take off and return the grip screws with my either torq, allen or gun smith quality flat screw driver. :D

1911Tuner
May 14, 2013, 04:05 PM
Missed the point...

1911Tuner
May 15, 2013, 06:10 AM
Anyhoo...Back to the topic.

The conversation went a little like this:

"What's so bad about a FLGR?"

*shrug* "Nothin'."

"Well, then...What's so GOOD about a FLGR?"

*shrug* "Nothin'."

"Then what's it for?"

*shrug* "I dunno. To sell?"

Greg528iT
May 15, 2013, 10:15 AM
A little more like this

"What's so bad about a FLGR?"
Some say.. it's HARDER to field strip. Some say it's the same level of difficulty.
Some say.. I can't press it against a table edge to load a round single handed.
I say.. if you gotta do it one handed.. use the rear sight as the hook.

"Well, then...What's so GOOD about a FLGR?"
controlling the spring by the ID has more control. Yes the spring at full compression is fully contained by a short rod, but it's the initial 1/8" - 1/2" of travel that the dust shield can allow some buckling of the spring. Is it a big deal? Well probably not for us casual shooters. It certainly doesn't hurt anything.
A FLGR does add a tad of weight to the barrel end. We all know weight out front helps with getting back on target.

"Then what's it for?"
For FUN. For the heck of it. To make your gun more like the Pro Race gun drivers. Like NASCAR.. what wins on Sunday sells on Monday. Hype? maybe.. for us casual shooters sure.. I'll bet big bucks the Pro Race gun drivers put nothing on / in their gun that does not speed them up.

That's where I got off a little on the JMB track. So what if JMB didn't design it that way. He didn't design the Commander either. 2 of my FLGR are in Commander length guns.

BigG
May 20, 2013, 09:55 AM
Missed the point...
You said it, Tuner!

1911Tuner
May 21, 2013, 07:21 AM
The point isn't to remove the grip screws with the case rims. Nor is the purpose of the small pad thumb safety to open the tool box. Nor is it to rack the slide on a table or by hooking the rear sight on a belt.

The point is to have the ability to do so should it become necessary. Semper Paratus, I always say. With a range toy or a safe queen, it makes no never mind. If you take the pistol along on bumpy, dirty outings...it can make the difference between having a functional weapon and a dead weight to be dragged along for the ride. I give such things a lot of consideration. Sgt. Murphy has a way of spoiling the show at the worst possible times.

But...we pays our money and we makes our choices. It's what makes the world go 'round.

And, I've spent a lotta money on fun that I'd love to have back right now. Oh, yes! A lot of money.

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