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Old August 7, 2010, 06:03 PM   #1
.40 cal Krusty
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1911, full length guide rod vs traditional style

I am currently shopping around for my first 1911 and I just wondered is there really a difference between a full length and traditional guide rod, and what are the pluses and minuses to both. And just for the record I'm all about reliability over accuracy in a firearm. p.s. any recommendations on good reliable 1911 that will function in the dirt and mud and is ammo friendly let me know, thanks.
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Old August 7, 2010, 06:17 PM   #2
jmr40
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My personal opinion is that it matters little either way. I have had guns set up both ways and both have been equally accurate and reliable.

My only criteria with the FLGR's is that you are able to field strip the gun without tools. Some require special tools or a screw driver. I bought one 1911 used that had this type of guide rod. I replaced it with a GI type plug. It worked fine, I just didn't want the extra steps to take the gun apart. Or worry about the threads backing off during firing.
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Old August 7, 2010, 06:29 PM   #3
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for my race guns i go with the guide rod... the added weight brings me more accuracy with follow ups

-and i never go with the complicated guide rod that req a special tool.
!One piece design only!

if i carry full size, i go without.
but then i dont carry full size anymore
(Colt New Agent 3" .45)
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Old August 7, 2010, 06:37 PM   #4
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FLGR's do little except make money for the people selling them. they don't affect accuracy or reliability. They do add a small amount of weight to the front of the gun, and they can sometimes complicate dis-assembly.

I prefer the standard G.I. spring and plug setup. It's worked fine for almost 100 years now, and it's easy to disassemble. However, the next gun I plan on purchasing (a Colt XSE Government) comes with a FLGR. As long as it doesn't complicate the dis-assembly I will leave it alone.

As for a good 1911, that depends. What's you budget? What's the main purpose of the gun? My recommendation usually leans towards Colt. They are the original, and still one of the best production level 1911's out there. Colt uses better quality parts and they will hold their value better than just about any other brand out there today.
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Old August 7, 2010, 06:39 PM   #5
TylerD45ACP
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The full length guide rod is not necessary in my opinion. It may make the pistol a bit more reliable as some have said. However, I think it may make a little difference. That being said I have a S&W 1911 without a full length guide. It has been the best pistol I have ever owned and love it.
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Old August 7, 2010, 06:59 PM   #6
stevieboy
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I have a 1911 with a standard length guide rod (S & W) and I've never been able to figure out what advantage a full length rod offers. My standard length gun never jams, never fails to fire, never fails to eject, and is extraordinarily accurate.
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Old August 7, 2010, 07:09 PM   #7
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I haven't found any reason to have a FLGR besides they make taking the gun down harder. They make an interesting sales pitch, but they are a solution in search of a problem in my experience.

My Springfield TRP had a two piece FLGR that refused to stay tight at the range. It added an extra step to the take down process did nothing to improve the accuracy, follow up shots or reliablity of the gun. How do I know this? I replaced with it with an Ed Brown standard GI rod and plug and the gun performs exactly the same.

I pretty much chalk a FLGR up as a sales pitch without much merit.

Would I buy another gun with one? Yes. Would I replace it with a standard length? Yep.

Should a FLGR impact your decision on what gun to buy? No. Find a gun you like and buy it. If it has a FLGR, shoot it for a bit and if you don't like it replace it. If it doesn't have a FLGR, don't worry about it because you don't really need it.
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Old August 7, 2010, 07:10 PM   #8
TylerD45ACP
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Yep thats the way I feel. I never owned a full length so cant comment too much. But my Smith without a full length is an excellent 1911 and it eats all 45ACP.
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Old August 7, 2010, 09:03 PM   #9
.40 cal Krusty
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Auto426 "main purpose" reply

As far as my main purpose for the 1911, personal defense, either at home or outdoors, I live in Michigan where and do a lot of camping where conditions can be harsh, dirty and humid in the summer and cold and wet in the winter. I just want a good "combat reliable" 1911.
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Old August 7, 2010, 09:18 PM   #10
TylerD45ACP
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How much do you want to spend and what are you looking for in it. Give me an example 1911 and I'll try and recommend one.
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Old August 7, 2010, 09:37 PM   #11
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My custom (EGW) Springfield Armory 9x19 1911 does not function properly WITHOUT its FLGR.
My other 1911s do.

I don't "like" them, but I acknowledge their potential need.
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Old August 7, 2010, 09:43 PM   #12
.40 cal Krusty
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TylerD45ACP reply

Under $800 willing to go as high as $900.
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Old August 7, 2010, 10:56 PM   #13
WESHOOT2
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Best Buy

S&W carbon steel 5" 1911.

If you can find a Dan Wesson in your price range it, too, seems a Best Buy.
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Old August 7, 2010, 11:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
S&W carbon steel 5" 1911.
+1

My S&W1911 carbon steel 5" 1911 has been flawless; shoots anything I feed it and will run when dirty, BTW I'm in MI too and I've carried it in all of our seasons
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Old August 8, 2010, 12:39 AM   #15
.40 cal Krusty
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carbon steel

I do like the blackened look better but why carbon over stainless?
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Old August 8, 2010, 02:53 PM   #16
TylerD45ACP
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I recommend a S&W1911 as well because its in the price range. Reliable, super accurate, has a beavertail, novaks, extended saftey, polished ramp and throated barrel. Mine is an all steel full size 1911. It has been the best pistol I have owned. I dont know if you want anything used? STI Ranger II gets good reports and I am thinking about getting one to carry instead of a full size 1911.
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Old August 8, 2010, 09:33 PM   #17
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I prefer to stick with the original JMB design.
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Old August 8, 2010, 09:36 PM   #18
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I have also found that either way it makes no difference. I have changed to GI setups in the past, but now, if it comes with a FLGR it has a FLGR. If it comes GI it stays GI
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Old August 8, 2010, 10:51 PM   #19
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Quote:
As far as my main purpose for the 1911, personal defense, either at home or outdoors, I live in Michigan where and do a lot of camping where conditions can be harsh, dirty and humid in the summer and cold and wet in the winter. I just want a good "combat reliable" 1911.
get a Colt Government and a old GI flap holster Worked in several wars and will still work in the woods today
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Old August 9, 2010, 01:19 AM   #20
Auto426
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Quote:
I do like the blackened look better but why carbon over stainless?
I'm not sure why someone would recommend carbon steal for a gun that is going to see serious outdoor carry. Stainless will undoubtedly hold up better, and while not rust proof, it won't rust nearly as quick as a carbon steel gun.

Your best bet is to get yourself down to your local gun shop and see what feels best. I myself am partial to mil-spec type 1911's, like Colt's 1991 series. They are simple no frills but very functional 1911's, and can be had in stainless. They cost more than other companies G.I. spec 1911's, but they are much better built. If you like the "custom" features like beavertails and extended safeties, then look at Springfield's Loaded series and Colt's XSE series. Personally I would go for the Colt over the Springfield, but you need to do the research for yourself and make up your own mind.
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Old August 9, 2010, 12:59 PM   #21
BigJimP
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I'm the odd guy out here --- but I like the full length guide rod. I understand it takes a little more effort to break the gun down / but that's no issue to me. It does make sense to me that it makes the gun a little more reliable ...but I can't prove it either.

My best 1911's / and most reliable are Wilson Combat - like a CQB 5" - but that's out of your price range / so I would probably recommend the Springfield options around $1,000.
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Old August 9, 2010, 02:03 PM   #22
TylerD45ACP
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A Wilson Combat (CQB) in that price range would be excellent.
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Old August 9, 2010, 02:18 PM   #23
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In the $800 or less price range:
1. Kimber Custom II - the base pistol. I have one and I have been happy with it. Internal extractor. SS frame but has black finish. Carbon slide. Black finish on frame is not very durable but maybe because it is on the SS frame. I have heard that some were made with Carbon Frame and Slide and others has SS Frame and Carbon Slide but were sold as the same model.
2. Springfield Loaded - No experience but seems to be the same quality.

Any higher in price, I would start looking at STI or Dan Wesson.
Maybe a Used Dan Wesson CBOB.
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Old August 9, 2010, 02:25 PM   #24
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I've had both and shot both. I really can't tell the difference.
But I won't go near a 2 piece guide rod.

AFS
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Old August 9, 2010, 02:39 PM   #25
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I installed a FLGR in my 70's .45 ACP Combat Commander some years ago. My groups at the range seemed to tighten up a little, although I'd surely need team of Philadelphia lawyers to help me discern any practical difference for self-defense purposes. The FLGR does not seem to have affected reliability in any way; once the gun got broken in back in the day it's worked just fine, and still does.
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