1911 full length guide rod or not? what's with 1 piece and 2 piece rods?


August 3, 2004, 12:17 AM
I'm still trying to make up my mind if full length guide rod is needed. and if so, if I should go with one piece or two piece design.

Poll doesn't work?

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August 3, 2004, 12:26 AM
No a Full Length Guide Rod is not needed, its for show only. I do have then on all my guns only because I want the spring to ride on something.

I've never had a problem with the two piece type, but have heard of them coming apart during firing, and then not getting them apart when needed.

If your going to go with a full length rod, a two piece makes it easier to take the gun apart.

That's about it...............happy choosing.

August 3, 2004, 02:09 AM
Choosing between a 1 or 2 piece guide rod depends on your preference for tools. :D If you really like allen wrenches, get a two piece. If you want to use a bushing wrench, get a one piece.

My two-piece came out about 2mm only the first time I took that gun to the range. I just give it a little extra torque when I reassemble my pistol now, hasn't happend since.

August 3, 2004, 07:16 AM
Full-length Guide Rods are an unnecessary affectation on most
1911s. They do help smooth out the cycle and keep the slide tracking straight on badly worn pistols...a little...and they prevent the spring coils
from making contact with the end of the stub guide rod on a gun that has vertical play that's off the scale...but that's about it, other than providing a more "finished" appearance.

There are some who can tell a difference in muzzle flip with a FLGR, but I've
never been able to feel it unless a heavy tungsten rod was used...and only
very little with those. I suppose if one is speed-shooting, every little bit helps get the gun back on target, but in a practical sense, they're not worth
the effort or expense.

One and two piece rods have a penchant for coming unglued/unscrewed
at inopportune moments...as in when you least expect or need it... and are better left to the range toys and gamers<----IMHO, of course....but the dictum that states: The more gadgety it is, the more Murphy it gets"
applies in full force.

Of course, a true one-piece solid FLGR won't give any more trouble than the standard "stub" type...but I've never seen one of those. Even a one-piece rod is two-piece. Look closely at the head, and you'll see that it's either pressed or threaded. If you simply must have one, I strongly suggest silver-soldering the rod to the head.



Jim K
August 3, 2004, 08:18 PM
Maybe time to repeat the statement that full length guide rods aid in extraction and ejection. They extract money from your pocket and eject it into the pocket of the guide rod maker. That is about their only purpose.


Dave Sample
August 3, 2004, 09:54 PM
Here we go again. I like them for the reasons Jim stated and because I just like the way they feel when I pull that slide back. I don't feel that I have to defend that position, so I won't. It is a no-brainer to me. Use what you like best in your 1911. I have them in some of my guns and not in others.

August 3, 2004, 10:37 PM
okay, the opinion seems to be divided. WHat I'd like to know is say, the 1911 comes with one, so the cost issue is moot, but the actual issue is if it induces any reliability problems to the gun itself that I should go to the traditional stuff.

Dave Sample
August 4, 2004, 12:26 AM
They have nothing to do with reliablity. They neither help it or hurt it. I believe that they keep "pinch checkers" from blowing their fingers off.

August 4, 2004, 12:32 AM
I will concede the one pc do make good hinge pins for farm/cattle gates tho'. :D

August 4, 2004, 01:44 AM
My Kimber came with one...I guess I can get used to using a plastic wrench....gonnna leave well enough alone...not changing a thing except the grips...


August 4, 2004, 02:17 AM
i just think it's pretty. black gun, silver guide rod. need a silver bushing, too. i don't carry this one, but it has never failed on me since i put it in, which incidentally coincided with a new set of mags that solved the only reliability problems i ever had.

got a one-piece from wilson and put it on mine. I can disassemble without the plastic wrench thingy with just a teeny bit of pain on the finger tip.

hadn't noticed the head was a second piece at one point in its life. need to look at that much much closer.

August 4, 2004, 08:37 AM
The full length makes my Colt rattle less, more consistent ejection pattern, smoother slide/frame feel, noticable difference in weight for me.

For a range gun I think they are a good tool overall.

August 4, 2004, 10:12 AM
I have an SW1911 with the FLGR. The takedown and reassembly is a little harder with the FLGR, but then the more you do it the easier it gets. I have a bigger problem with the fact that you have a spring retainer with the FLGR, and not a plug to contend with, so you need a bushing wrench to turn the bushing. Because of the sharp edge on that retainer, I wear my eye shields, and I put a plastic bag over the gun when I turn that bushing, so it don't go flying on me.

There is supposedly a little extra weight on the muzzle with the FLGR, which might be a good thing to control recoil. But I cannot really tell the difference between the recoil of this one, and the Mil Spec I used to shoot with the GI guide rod. I alway thought that the standard GI rod and plug is the way to go, but then this SW1911 cycles fine and the accuracy is real good with the FLGR, so I'm not gonna fix something that isn't broke (Yet). To each his own.

August 4, 2004, 10:28 AM
I use what comes with the 1911. If it ain't broke don't mess with it.

August 4, 2004, 12:50 PM
Ok, I've seen it a couple of times. What is "pinch checker"?

Mike :)

August 4, 2004, 01:02 PM
Pinch checking is where you put your thumb in the trigger guard and pull the slide back with your index and/or middle finger. :what:

August 4, 2004, 01:36 PM
I use what comes with the 1911. If it ain't broke don't mess with it.

This is about the best advise there is. I have a Kimber Classic Stainless Target that came with a one-piece FLGR. The gun shoots just fine so I have no need to remove it. Yes I have to use a bushing wrench to disassemble but I don't consider that big deal

I did have Springfield that I decided to install a FLGR. I could not tell any difference in the performance of the gun.

I do have one bit of advise as already stated:
One and two-piece rods have a penchant for coming unglued/unscrewed
This is true. The FLGR I added to the Springfield always came loose. Since you will need a tool to disassemble anyway, there is no reason or advantage to use a two-piece.

The concept of a FLGR in a 1911 will always be a debate. There is no right or wrong as long as functionality is not reduced.

At the end of the day it is your gun and your choice. Just make sure you use a one-piece FLGR.

Over the years I have really come to believe in the "IF IT AIN"T BROKE, DON"T FIX" concept. Just my personal belief that this should be considered before making mods.


August 4, 2004, 01:57 PM
I like the one piece FLGR, but just for muzzle weight.

I tried my Colt with the standard and with the FLGR, and I can feel the difference in muzzle flip, so all my range guns have or will have a FLGR.

For a field gun, I'd do without for ease of breakdown.

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