Full Length Guide Rods
"I just bought a new 1911, and my friend told me I should put a full length guide rod in it. Nobody can tell me why."Nobody can tell you why because there is not a good reason to do so.
Some shooters who advocate full length guide rods cite recoil spring binding as a reason, as well as the increased weight at the muzzle that a FLGR provides. Those against the FLGR list increased difficulty of field stripping and fewer options for clearing malfunctions as reasons to avoid them. Those that like them find a reason for them. Those who despise them find reasons as well.
On both my Gold Cup and Combat Elite I run a solid full length guide rod. I think they were made by Ed Brown or maybe EGW. One of my SW1911s has a FLGR as well. The common thread between these three 1911s is they all have adjustable sights. They are range guns.
I have not noticed any difference in cycling, in accuracy, in reliability, or the weather when I shoot these pistols. They are all more accurate than me, and stone reliable. Women still find me charming, my dog still loves me, and the milk in the refrigerator has not gone sour. However, the air conditioner in my house went kaput for two Summers in a row, and the air conditioner in my Grand Cherokee had to be repaired as well.
I run a GI set up in all my other 1911s, except the Kimber Pro Carry which is bushingless, and the Colt New Agent and Colt Compact. The GI set-up guns run reliably and accurately.
I've found that I need a bushing wrench (I use a Kings wrench) to strip the FLGR guns. The edge of the recoil plug hole is just too narrow to comfortably press it back to turn the bushing for me.
Some folks have asked me why, if I do not advocate FLGRs, do I run them in my three target 1911s. The answer is quite simple. The pistols came to me that way, and I see no reason to change the FLGR out.
Out of curiosity, on each pistol with a FLGR, I swapped in a GI set-up from another gun. I saw no difference in the pistol's performance, or in my own. I saw no reason to order a GI set-up for the FLGR guns, or a FLGR for the GI set-up guns. The FLGRs went back into the target guns. Perhaps I'm just not shooting at the level that a FLGR makes a difference, but that was what I found.
If you want a full length guide rod, Nighthawk Custom makes a good one for a 1911. They are $36.95. Ed Brown makes GI style recoil guides and plugs are a fair price. $23-$24 for the swap. Buy what you like and install it. Or, you could just spend your money on ammunition.
Chris Byrne's Thoughts
Labels: 1911 Basics