View Full Version : Colt Commander XSE Full Length Guide Rod

September 17, 2006, 06:04 AM
I searched and saw that there has been some previous discussions about FLGR's, but I can't find an answer to my specific question.

I bought a brand new Colt 4860XSE Commander LW last month, and it has a full length, one piece, guide rod, standard from the factory (I know it's one piece because the end has no provision for unscrewing it).

I attempted to field strip it the usual way for a 1911 other than that I had to press down on just the edge of the retainer with the end of a tooth brush.

Here's the problem I could use some help with:

First, the retainer seems to bottom out before it will clear the bushing so that prevents me from even getting as far as swinging the bushing out of the way.

Second, I can see that even if the retainer did clear the bushing, it is obvious that the bushing would hang up on the end of the solid guide rod itself.

I don't care to cloud up my question with comments about whether a FLGR is a good thing or not (my searched found LOTS of those comments). I just want to get some advice on how to get this darn thing apart without hurting or scratching anything. From what I can see, even if I had a barrel wrench, I'd end up forcing the bushing to scape over both the retainer and/on the end of the guide rod itself.


September 17, 2006, 06:28 AM
Carter, lock the slide back and look at the guide rod. Does it have a hole in it? If it does, straighten a paper clip out, put a 90* bend in one end that is as long as the diameter of the guide rod. Put the bend into the guide rod, hold it there, and carefully let the slide down on the paper clip. Retract the slide, push out the slide stop pin, slide the top end off. Lock the barrel into battery, fold the link back toward the breechface and slide the guide rod out. Continue with disassembly normally.

If it doesn't have a hole in it I would make it that way or replace it with a guiderod with a takedown hole.

Harry Bonar
September 17, 2006, 08:47 AM
Dear Sir:
HSMITH is right on - the only addition I'd make is on the rear of guide rod I'd use a 3M wheel and just break the sharp factory edges,
Harry B.

September 17, 2006, 09:00 AM
Nope, no hole in the guide rod.

Tell me if I understand this right; what I'm trying to do is to try to get the spring pressure off of the barrel's retaining link in order for the slide release lever to be able to come out. Is that right?
And then I carefully take the slide off thereby removing the slide and releasing the spring pressure at the same time?

As far as a hole in the guide rod goes, how far back from the barrel end of it should the hole normally be?
If I can drill a clean hole in it myself, I'd see no reason to replace the guide rod for one with a hole drilled it when I can do it myself.

And how in the world did Colt assemble this thing? Special tools?
I don't really care if the FLGR requires a little more finagleing to get it apart, but I don't want to have to damage anything in order to do it.


September 17, 2006, 09:02 AM
HSMITH is right on - the only addition I'd make is on the rear of guide rod I'd use a 3M wheel and just break the sharp factory edges.

If by the rear of the guide rod you mean the end that's back near the chamber, what's the purpose of softening the factory edges?


September 18, 2006, 07:09 AM
Carter, hook your thumb under the grip safety, your fingers over the top of the slide at the chamber, with the right hand. Squeeze your hand retracting the slide. This gives you about as much control of the motion as you can get with a sprung gun. Retract the slide until the slide stop lines up with the take down notch, press out the slide stop. Gently release your grip and let the slide go forward under control. The top end will slide right off. Now you can disassemble as in my earlier post.

If you want to drill the hole lock the slide back before disassembly, make a mark about an 8th of an inch forward of the end of the slide on the guide rod. Release the slide, line up the front of the slide and the mark, look at the take down notch and make sure it is still behind the slide stop. When you release the slide against the paper clip you want no spring pressure on the guide rod.

To put it back together without the hole drilled put the barrel in, full battery, put the plug in, put the spring on the rod, and finagle the rod and spring into position. It should catch on the barrel lower lugs and stay in position.

Harry told you to break the edges to prevent breakage firstly, secondly it won't have a chance to nick the frame, barrel or dust cover of the slide if the edges are all broken.

September 18, 2006, 07:37 AM
OK, I get it. I had trouble conceptualizing the takedown without FIRST removing the spring retainer to take the pressure off the slide spring as is done with most 1911's.
I am trying very hard to be careful and avoid any "idiot" damage while doing something as simple as disassembling it for cleaning, so perhaps I'm being overly cautious.

I think I must have taken apart so many standard 1911's that my mindset was pretty much locked into wanting to do it the way I've always done it (this is my first FLGR 1911, and since it came that way from the factory, I'd just as soon leave it that way).

I appreciate the more detailed explanation and I'll try that when I get home tonight.


September 18, 2006, 08:34 PM
Ok HSSmith, here's what happened:

I pulled the slide back like you said to remove the slide lock lever. Worked like a charm.

Then the slide came off easily to the front as an assembly.

You said to then make sure to lock the barrel into battery (diddit), put the link to the rear (diddit), and then remove the guide rod (can't do it). The guide rod wouldn't lift high enough to the rear to clear the barrel lug with the barrel bushing and spring retainer in their normal positions.

So I scratched my head a bit and went ahead and carefully tried again to push in the slide spring retainer from the front in order to try to remove the barrel bushing "normally".
That seemed to work, probably because with the entire slide assembly off the frame, the FLGR can ride up a little and to the rear from where it normally stops against the barrel lug (about 1/16" which is what did the trick), thus allowing the slide spring to compress just a little more which in turn FINALLY allowed me to turn the barrel bushing and remove it.

At that point, the spring slides out the front, the FLGR will then come out as expected, and the barrel slides out the front.

So, I seem to have sort of a plan that works. It's not really that difficult other than that I was totally determined to NOT do any damage or scratch anything. I accomplished that so now that I have a method that works, I'm sure that I'll find it a LOT easier to field strip the more I do it.

This FLGR thing turns out to be no big deal once I got the way I've "always done it" out of my head.

Thanks for the coaching and handholding.


September 20, 2006, 08:02 AM
Glad it worked out for you Carter!