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Old 07-13-2017, 06:00 AM
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What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide?  
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Default What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide?

I want to replace my full length recoil spting rod on my S&W1911 with the traditional just because I like the looks of it better. Am I giving up anything on reliability or performance? Is this just a swap out thing or is there some kind of 1911 gremlin i need to be aware of?
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Old 07-13-2017, 06:14 AM
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What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide?  
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I have changed to a standard setup in the past with no problems.
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Old 07-13-2017, 06:29 AM
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What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide?  
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Making the change is quite easy and straightforward. For most applications (short range shooting, non-competitive uses) there will probably be no readily obvious differences in performance.

It will certainly make routine field stripping and cleaning faster and easier.
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Old 07-13-2017, 07:03 AM
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What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide?  
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Default Not losing, but gaining

If the purpose and use of the gun is just competition such as bullseye or IDPA then a full length guide rod (FLGR) is fine. But if the gun is EVER going to be used for self defense then the original setup is much preferred. It is just as reliable as the FLGR and has the added benefit of helping manipulate the gun if you only have one hand working. You can rack the slide just by putting the front of the slide against a hard edge (door, desk, table) and push the slide to the rear to eject a round or load a round in the chamber. With a FLGR, this capability is lost. Instead you have to rack the slide using the rear sight, a much more difficult maneuver unless you have one of those big rear sights with a square face. A standard Novak for example will just not cut it.
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Old 07-13-2017, 07:15 AM
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What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide?  
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Have tried both on a number of guns and never saw enough difference to matter. Original design is easier to deal with for sure!
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Old 07-13-2017, 07:15 AM
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I have purchased several 1911s that came with a FLGR. One of the first things I did was replace it with a standard short guide rod.
As near as I can tell, in a 1911, its only purpose is to make field stripping more difficult.
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Old 07-13-2017, 07:25 AM
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What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide?  
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Full Length Guide Rods are, like Colonel Jeff said about DA autos, "an ingenious solution to a non-existent problem".

They showed up what - in the 70s? The 80s? Gun'd been around for 60 years or more. Fought in four wars. And SUDDENLY it was discovered that to be reliable it needed that thing.

All it does is make disassembly a pain in the butt. You'll be much happier if you replace it.

But, then, you either have to change the plug, or put up with a hole in the end of your gun.
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Old 07-13-2017, 08:58 AM
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What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide?  
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I have both, makes no difference, but it is easier to break down.
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Old 07-13-2017, 09:37 AM
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What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide?  
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Replacing full length rods is the first thing I do on a new 1911.
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Old 07-13-2017, 10:17 AM
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What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide?  
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Wilson Combat makes a nice GI guide rod. There is a point when the full length guide rod becomes nicer...in 10mm when you get above a 22# recoil spring. I am running a 28# spring and it has a noticeable bend from a time when it got away. I think at that weight the spring is just more efficient working on a guide rod.
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Old 07-13-2017, 10:58 AM
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What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide?  
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Full length guide rod is a solution in search of a non-existant problem . ALL my 1911's be they Bullseye , NM Hardball or uninvited guest guns have the 2 piece GI style guide rods & spring caps. As mentioned above you can press cock the weapon if you lose use of one arm ,not possible with a FLGR .
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Old 07-13-2017, 12:15 PM
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What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide?  
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Either/or. FLGR isn't really necessary, but it doesn't hurt anything, either. Well, one-piece FLGRs. I'd be worried about two-piece FLGRs coming unscrewed. No, you can't use the one-handed racking method by pushing on the front of the slide, but if you have a blocky rear sight you can cycle off of that.

My own personal preference is for the short GI-style rod. The 1911s I've owned had GI rods. Any 1911 I'd buy in the future would get a GI rod if it didn't come with one. FLGRs aren't needed to keep the recoil spring from kinking inside the slide because it doesn't happen.

FYI, I'm talking about Government Model and Commander Model size guns; I don't know if this applies to Officer Model guns.
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Old 07-13-2017, 12:23 PM
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What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide?  
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I won't have a 1911 with a full length guide rod.

They serve no purpose other than to look cool to the novice.

They interfere with proper handling of a 1911 (e.g.: can't do a press check with one of the things installed).

If you have a full length guide rod in a 1911 change it out!
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Old 07-13-2017, 12:33 PM
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What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide?  
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Full length guide rod offers no asset and several liabilities. NO enhancement to accuracy. Easily proved on an RR. As some have suggested also, the mark of a novice.
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Old 07-13-2017, 12:35 PM
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What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide?  
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I've never understood the claim that you can't do a press check on a 1911 with a FLGR. How do you do press checks on Glocks, Beretta 92s, Sigs, etc., which all have FLGRs?
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Old 07-13-2017, 12:46 PM
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What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide?  
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Another vote for the GI rod. Tried a full length rod back when they were all the rage and was underwhelmed. As others have pointed out, not worth the aggravation and the inability to rack the slide against a fixed object.

Last edited by old tanker; 07-13-2017 at 01:00 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 07-13-2017, 12:56 PM
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What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide?  
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WOW... no love here for a FLGR. I have them & to me they don't make it any harder to field strip, (one piece rods) I don't get that point. To me they do seem to make the gun "feel" a bit smoother when racking the slide. If the slide to frame fit is a bit loose, it will lessen the "1911 rattle". But no, there's no difference in felt recoil or accuracy that I've noticed.
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Old 07-13-2017, 02:33 PM
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WOW... no love here for a FLGR.
Yeah, it's nearly as much a hot button subject as owning a Garand containing parts from different factories. Both subjects are "nothing to see here, move on" for me.
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Old 07-13-2017, 03:02 PM
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What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide?  
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Quote:
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Yeah, it's nearly as much a hot button subject as owning a Garand containing parts from different factories.
Hmm.... I own 8 Garands, all but 1 have parts.... "from different factories". I Love 'em all
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Old 07-13-2017, 03:12 PM
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What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide?  
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FLGR is a problem looking for a solution. I never use them on 1911s. If I have a gun with one I swap it out.
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Old 07-13-2017, 03:32 PM
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Hmm.... I own 8 Garands, all but 1 have parts.... "from different factories". I Love 'em all
You, Sir, are the exception to prove the rule. Most of the Garand collecting fraternity I have met get the bad fit of the vapors on discovering a gun with varying parts. They are known to spontaneously combust if you suggest that "it's OK, it's all part of the gun's history".

The subject of "how many are as issued" came up on an Enfield forum recently. The answer is "not many". The Brits and the Indians reworked many of them to varying degrees, and those in the US often suffered from the US habit of requiring a length of pull into the next zipcode so their butts were replaced by surplus "long" items. Learned something new during the debate. All the Maltby built rifles were issued with un-numbered wood, but most got numbered at some point during later inspections and refurbs.
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Old 07-13-2017, 04:02 PM
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What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide?  
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In the 80's I built some where around 25 1911 parts guns. To keep costs down I use de-milled slides (Slide that were cut up and then 2 pieced were welder together). Some of the slides were less than perfect but you couldn't see any "bend". These slides always seemed to bind on the Fed-Ordinance frames I used. A full length guide rod was a simple and affordable solution. However, on my personal 1911, also built from parts the Essex steel frame and a re-weld slide work fine together. It has to with parts quality and price.

BTW: When my 1911 were sold nobody complained...because they were sold for $125 and later $140! I guaranteed them to go Feed and GO Bang! I fired every one, they kept 7 rounds on a paper plate at 25 yards. At the time, some factory Colt guns didn't feed reliably or hit a paper plate!
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Old 07-13-2017, 06:00 PM
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What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide?  
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BTW: on a full size, steel framed 1911 it is a moot point, but a full length guide rod adds about 3/4 ounce more to the total weight!

My tiny 3.25" LDA 1911 has a full length system, I think it weighs less than a traditional system would! Hard to compare.

Ivan
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Old 07-13-2017, 07:37 PM
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Not at all, the short ones will work just fine.
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Old 07-13-2017, 08:33 PM
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What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide?  
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I installed the FLGR in my norinco build. First I installed the shorter spring guide with the 18# recoil spring and heard it binding and coiling as I ran the slide back by hand. With the FLGR no more noises. I have less recoil, faster cycling, less wasted cycling time, faster second shot.

What's the short spring rod do? Oh disassembly is easier.
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Old 07-13-2017, 09:36 PM
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The FLGR has not and never will do anything to enhance the reliability or accuracy of the 1911.

Invented and patented in the early 60's the claim was to improve accuracy and reliability. Then it was almost forgotten until competition shooting became popular. Even then the only benefit was to reduce recoil but only if you used a heavier tungsten FLGR.

I've seen them break in competition. And seen two piece guide rods loosen while shooting. Seems as though manufacturers don't know any better to use loc tite.

Every 1911 I ever owned, I removed the FLGD. I'm sure Mr Browning thought of a FLGR before anyone else and realized it wasn't needed.
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Old 07-14-2017, 03:04 AM
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Had 'em in my new Colts. Hate 'em. Replaced with new plug and GI guide.
And yes, I have been shootin 1911s since 1976.
The new Colts don't seem to know the difference.
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Old 07-14-2017, 07:07 AM
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I have several of both types. All work equally fine for range use. Can't say I even notice till cleaning time (and would have to go inspect them one by one to see which configuration each are in.) I just enjoy them the way they came. Guess I'm about as impartial and unexcited as a gun guy could be on the topic. :-)
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Old 07-14-2017, 07:41 AM
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I have a fulllength guide rod in my Mike Curtis built target pistol. There is a small hole drilled about half way along the rod that allows a small retainer to be placed in it so that with the slide off, you push the guide rod forward to compress the recoil spring and insert the retainer (little bent welding rod hook) which holds the recoil spring compressed and you can remove the whole assy, spring and guide rod from the rear without turning the barrel bushing. The only time I turn the bushing is when I have to clean the barrel, which isn't too often with soft shooting target loads. I like the FLGR just for this purpose.

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Old 07-14-2017, 09:15 AM
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Other than looks, I've not really seen any defining difference in performance. I keep whatever was factory on the gun.
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Old 07-14-2017, 09:57 AM
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I've used both, my preference is a GI style. Mostly for disassembly as others have stated. I didn't notice any difference in performance during shooting but I'm just a recreational shooter.
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Old 07-14-2017, 01:01 PM
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I've got them both on different 1911s, can't tell a lick of difference except when it comes to disassembly, big pain in the fanny with the FLGR. As Rusty would say, good to see you back around the old water cooler, Caj!
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Old 07-15-2017, 05:17 PM
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Tell me what causes the front frame rails and slide grooves to wear more horizontally in the well used 1911's? I notice this wear in every well used 1911 I look at. The rear frame rail to slide grooves remain pretty much the orginal fit while the front wears more.

No 1911 guru can answer me about this. I'm thinking it's the recoil spring putting the pressure horizontally on the front frame rails as the spring binds as it coils up. And probably your lube isn't working.

I'm a retired lead engineering tech for a engineering group in a r & d lab were we do product development and life testing, product reliability, why things broke in the field.

Seeing this wear in the front rail section on the 1911 throws a flag up as to what causes it? It's only in the well used 1911's?

My personal 1911's have the FLGR and are lubed with moly on the frame rails. No difference in wear since they were new. I lube every metal to metal contact moving part, recoil springs and guide rod too.
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Old 07-15-2017, 06:18 PM
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What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide?  
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As near as I can tell, in a 1911, its only purpose is to make field stripping more difficult.
There is nothing difficult about field stripping a 1911, full length or standard guide rod.
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Old 07-15-2017, 07:32 PM
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There is nothing difficult about field stripping a 1911, full length or standard guide rod.
Gotta be complaints from Glock owners.
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Old 07-17-2017, 12:56 AM
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What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide?  
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I've got decades of experience with the 1911, carry them on and off duty and shoot them in competition. I've found that they cycle more smoothly with a FLGR and have more 1911s with them than GI style guide rods. I use Wilson's one piece version because it still allows you to disassemble the gun as you normally would. So, if you use the right one, there aren't any negatives to having a FLGR in a 1911 and you gain the benefit of smoother cycling.

As far as the "press check" and one handed racking arguments, there are more ways than one way to do both of those things so those complaints don't hold any water. And the comments about novices were just ridiculous.
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:11 PM
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What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide?  
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Back in the 70's I had Jim Hoag customize my Colt MK IV, Series 70. He installed an S&W adjustable rear sight, a FLGR, and tuned it up. I also had it hard chromed by Armolloy. I like the FLGR. Unfortunately I sold the gun many, many years ago and wish I still had it. It was a tack driver.
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Old 07-17-2017, 10:02 PM
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What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide?  
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I've never understood the claim that you can't do a press check on a 1911 with a FLGR. How do you do press checks on Glocks, Beretta 92s, Sigs, etc., which all have FLGRs?
Drill a hole in the table.
OR
Shoot a hole in the table.

All following the practical logic of:
"Ram the bayonet into the enemy's chest and then shoot it out."
"If I had a bullet I wouldn't need the bayonet."
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Old 07-18-2017, 04:50 PM
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What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide? What is better on a 1911 full length or short recoil spring guide?  
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Cajun, Better, I don't know. I will say that I have changed any of my 1911s that came with full length guide rods to the GI type. Even the bull barreled guns.

I wonder if FLGRs are just something buyers expect, like 3-hole triggers, to show others they are real Kool, in-the-know, Gun Guys?
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