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1911 guide rod

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by TexasGunbie, Aug 25, 2010.

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  1. TexasGunbie

    TexasGunbie Member

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    Hi,

    Just took apart my gun and realize the guide rod is quite short. I have seen on youtube that other people have longer guide rod on their 1911.

    So what is the difference between the two? are there pros and cons to each type of guide rod??

    -Gunbie!
     
  2. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    The short G.I. guide rod is part of the original design and is all you need for a functional 1911.

    The full length guide rod (FLGR) makes the gun a bit more difficult to assemble and disassemble. it adds a bit of weight to the front of the gun and it seems to make the travel of the slide smoother when manually retracted
     
  3. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    When I get a 1911 with a full-length rod, I switch it back to G.I. style. I have never been able to discern a difference in how they shoot, I have never had any problems with springs twisting or binding, and like the man says, stripping is easier with the old-style plug. I can't tell if it makes the slide motion smoother or just a little quieter.
     
  4. Full Metal Jacket

    Full Metal Jacket member

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    full length guide rods work great at lightening your wallet :D
     
  5. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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  6. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    A full length guide rod does somewhat regulate the motion of the barrel as the slide retracts, making it more consistent each time. In this way, it can make feeding more reliable. Less play means fewer things to go wrong. I installed a Dwyer Group Gripper from Wilson Combat in my father's old Colt Combat Commander. This, combined with a new Wilson bushing, made the gun much more reliable and accurate. I still have the original parts to convert it back, but it works much better now so I have no reason to.
     
  7. Full Metal Jacket

    Full Metal Jacket member

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    i installed a wilson group gripper guide rod years ago, and all it did was make takedown a serious PITA.

    other than that, it made no difference in groups or otherwise.
     
  8. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    Well, I didn't find it made takedown that much harder. Granted, I have the tools to make it easy. I have an entire hex driver / screwgun bit set full of specialty bits, including star and allen head (Boxer makes it, and I consider it a real must-have). It's no problem for me to quickly undo the screw for the front part of the guide rod, then field strip normally. I find it does make a difference in how that old gun shoots and how reliable it is.

    I suspect it does, in fact, make a difference if you have a gun with loose tolerances. However, for a modern, well-manufactured 1911, it probably won't make any difference at all. Modern 1911's have better tolerances, better feed ramps, etc., and it's fairly hard to improve on that with a part like this. For older guns, particularly those made in the 1970s, there's a lot to be improved upon, and a part like this can make the difference between $400 to have a new barrel fitted to make it shoot and feed well. It's a good investment if it means you can fix your gun without breaking the bank.
     
  9. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    If a FLGH was necessary in a 1911, I would suspect that Mr. Browing would have added one.
     
  10. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    :scrutiny:

    Nahhhh....
     
  11. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    I must agree with Tuner, it sounds to me like something made up by the companies who sell them. If it's loose, it will still be loose. If it's tight, this won't make it tighter.
     
  12. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Member

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    A full length guide rod helps in feeding and extraction. It feeds manufactures with cash extracted from your wallet, basically they serve the same purpose as recoil buffers.:scrutiny:
     
  13. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Once the barrel has been completely disconnected from the slide...at roughly 1/4th inch of slide travel...it's loose, vertically. It's supposed to be loose at that point. In order for the guide rod to have an effect on the barrel, it would have to physically touch the barrel...and it doesn't touch the barrel unless something is wrong...and the only place that it could touch the barrel is at the flange, and only if the flange is out of spec.

    Horizontal play in a linked down barrel is controlled by close fitting between the lower lug and its drop clearance recess in the frame...and usually only happens with an oversized/fitted barrel lug. That has nothing to do with the guide rod, however.

    If the barrel contacts the flange, it has to contact it when it drops...and if it does that, the barrel can't drop all the way to the frame bed. If the flange is out of spec and holds the barrel off the bed, either the upper lugs crash, or the bottom of the barrel ramp is struck by the incoming round, and jams up the works.

    Yep. It epitomizes one of the oldest marketing strategies in existence. First, convince the potential buyer that he needs it...and then sell it to him. At one time, it was known as "Snake Oil."

    Here endeth the lesson.
     
  14. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    It was originally designed to not need any tools to field strip it, something desirable for a soldier in the field. (I will grant that most civilians have the luxury of time and a warm house for gun maintenance.) A two-piece design introduces the additional risk of coming apart in the middle.
     
  15. stork

    stork Member

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    Can't add anything more to whats been said other than DITTO.

    If JMB wanted one on the 1911, it would have been put there in the first place. The more I find out about JMB the more I am in awe of him. 4th grade education. Designed the 1911 and the Garand in his head. And when the military thought the Garand would be too expensive to mass produce(because of all the machined cuts the receiver required) he designed the machinery to mass produce it, again in his head.

    FWIW
     
  16. Joe Demko

    Joe Demko Member

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    Browning did design the 1911. The Garand was designed by John C. Garand.
     
  17. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Yep!

    John Browning died in 1926.
    The M1 Garand entered service in 1936.

    He had nothing to do with it, even if he had still been alive.

    rc
     
  18. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    Actually, the Group Gripper does include a replacement barrel link and does interface with said link. It claims it provides additional support for the barrel, and what I've observed tends to jive with that. The barrel seems much less loose during slide operation. I believe they can help in certain situations.

    If I had a brand new Springfield 1911, would I go out and install a full length guide rod on it? No. If it works fine, I'd leave it alone. His gun didn't work fine. It jammed regularly and was inaccurate as hell. Now, between that and the match-grade bushing, it shoots very well. It's fixed. It was either that or a brand new barrel that would have cost us $400 after fitting. I was able to do this entirely entirely with the tools at hand. All in all, it was a cheap fix.
     
  19. stork

    stork Member

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    Browning did design the 1911. The Garand was designed by John C. Garand.

    Duh, I'm never gonna live this one down. Running on too little sleep and too much coffee.
    Memo to me, sleep then post. But in justification I did just have my 3rd grandbaby yesterday and didn't do well on the 8 hours of sleep thing.

    Please forgive me ghost of John C.
    Stork
     
  20. Joe Demko

    Joe Demko Member

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    We all make mistakes. Some, like me, even make a career out of it.
     
  21. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    What the group gripper does is lift the barrel higher into the slide on a barrel with an undersized lower lug and cause it to return closer to the same place between shots when the slide goes to battery. Accuracy enhancement varies from a little better to a lot better...or it can make very little practical difference...or none. It's an expedient "fix" for a loosely fitted or out of spec lower barrel lug. Sometimes the slide and frame vertical dimensions result in a loose fit, even with a good barrel.

    And...once the link swings throgh its arc and links the barrel down, it has no more effect on the barrel.

    The only real advantage with a full-length guide rod is in the badly worn pistol with grossly excessive vertical play between slide and frame...so badthat the slide rises enough during the recoil phase to cause the rear face of the dust cover...the impact abutment...to put the spring in a bind and ding the end of the standard guide rod. I've seen that a lot with old WW1-era pistols that have been rode hard and put up wet. The proper fix is to peen the frame rails and refit the slide to reduce vertical play...or...if you're a high-end smith...weld and recut the frame rails, though not many waste their time and effort on a dead soft frame in that condition.
     
  22. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Feh...You just got your Johns confused. ;)

    Truth is that Browning didn't design the 1911 all by his lonesome. He had a lot of help, along with much input from the Army Ordnance Board. The pistol was essentially designed by a committee. Browning did a lot of the grunt work...along with a team of Colt's top engineers.
     
  23. FLAvalanche

    FLAvalanche Member

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    How?

    Don't feel bad, I'm calling everyone to task who makes this silly statement.
     
  24. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    Because it does. I have pock marks in my ceiling where I have lost my grip on the plug and shot it up. Guess how many times I have done this with the G.I. style plug? ZERO.

    The main reason I switched back, is because I often go out with my dad to the desert to piddle around, and I switch my carry gun to .22. I have come very close more than once to searching the sagebrush for it.

    And if you say; "just use the wrench", this means A: Another item you have to keep handy, and B: If you have to use a tool to do something you could otherwise do with bare hands, that means it is indeed MORE DIFFICULT.
     
  25. Butter

    Butter Member

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    I agree with most here. No difference. I generally replace a longer guide rod if it came with the gun. As for taking down a 1911, anyone ever try taking down a Les Baer for the first time without a bushing wrench? Damn near tore the bushing wrench apart the first time I tried. After about 500 rounds and doing it a couple of times it becomes easier, but sheesh!
     
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