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Thread: CW 380 Guide Rods

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Default CW 380 Guide Rods

    I see talk on here about stainless recoil guide rods. Is it really a function upgrade, or is it just a mental thing. I have the same question about the striker spring guide rod. I have not seen any posts on here about problems with either one.

  2. #2
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    It's mostly a mental thing, and an aesthetics thing. Some people just like as much metal as they can get...................

  3. #3
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    I only days ago heard of a stainless striker spring guide. Never heard of issues with those before.

    Some say the guns run a little smoother with the stainless recoil guide rods. I know the stock ones do get worn and a bit rough. I don't think it causes malfunctions and they are easily cleaned up. I put a stainless in my K40, don't know that I noticed any big difference.

    Steel is good though, maybe some logic in as much metal as we can get?
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    Guessing you're referring to something I posted...

    I replaced the guide rod in my CW380 with a Lakeline stainless one at the 100 round mark. It felt smoother at the time, but I thought it was my imagination, and was just due to the gun loosening up as it broke in.

    Now that I'm breaking in another CW380, I have something to compare it to. Replacing just the guide rod and keeping the same springs, there is a noticeable difference in smoothness. The Lakeline guide rod is smoother. I polished up the original guide rod from my first CW380, and it didn't make a difference in smoothness. I've greased both springs and guide rods from day one, so that didn't matter. Lakeline states that the steel is harder in their guide rods compared to the factory ones, and my experience has supported this claim. The factory guide rod finish was pretty worn after 100 rounds - about half of the blued finish was gone.

    Both guide rods function fine, but the Lakeline one looks better and feels smoother.

  5. #5

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    The principal benefit of a steel or tungsten guide rod is the added weight at the front for muzzle rise and recoil reduction. These benefits are probably greatest in competition that involve fast shooting. (Most competitions do not allow using tungsten, which is considerably heavier and more expensive than stainless steel.) The biggest improvements likely occur in lightweight pistols where the changes are from a polymer guide rod, due to the relatively bigger weight increase at the front. I believe in replacing polymer rods with steel, but I am not sure it makes much difference in normal real life, just slightly better. Glocks, which are notably robust, use polymer rods, as do some Sig and CZ models and I have not heard of failures. Some very good 1911 pistols use the original Browning design without a guide rod at all.
    Now that we can mostly legally carry pistols, the lightness of polymer, along with its ease of manufacture, will likely eliminate all-metal use outside of competition and home defense, even though all-metal pistols likely shoot better.
    It is so easy to polish a guide rod that it seems negligent not to do it, if you want the best performance. I insert them into an electric drill and spin them against very fine emery paper, making a special effort to slightly round the front end, which can make reassembling the pistol easier. Any polishing method would likely help. While polishing the rod, it makes sense to dress the recoil spring, which is often rough from the manufacturing process. I insert a cone shaped Dremel head into the ends and spin it to clear any sharp edges that would scratch the guide rod. (Dremel heads do not have to be in a Dremel tool. These can be held in a pin vice and just turned by hand.) I also rub the spring ends on a sharpening stone to slightly flatten the spring against both the rod and front of the pistol. Some of this may not be really necessary, but it seems logical and doesn't take much time.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the replays. I think I will do what finpro does and leave it at that.
    Last edited by dustnchips; 07-14-2017 at 05:10 PM. Reason: Mis spell

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