Now, what could be simpler than putting a new guide rod in the pistol, right? Right. Some of you might be aware of a manufacturing phenomenon called "tolerance stacking"; if you are, bear with me while I explain for the kids in the back...
See, all mass-produced parts are not really exactly the same size; there is an allowable range of size, ranging from a few hojillionths (in the case of hard disc read/write heads and mechanical artificial heart valves) to a couple tenths of an inch (really big nails or two-by-fours). These are called "manufacturing tolerances". The problem can arise when you have a situation like, oh, I don't know, say an Ed Brown 1911 guide rod with a head that is out near the maximum spec and a ParaUSA cast frame and slide that are way at the other end of the scale, vis a vis their interior dimensions.
So I'll be taking a stone to my guide rod head and mumbling imprecations about cast frames and slides under my breath while doing so...
Anyhow, this seems like a splendid time to bring up some handy dandy rules of gun mechanics, with a quick translation from catalogspeak into English:
- "Drop In" Installation: Some fitting required.
- Some Fitting Required: Better take it to a good gunsmith.
- Gunsmith Installation Recommended: ...and bring money.
The upside to the whole drama of messing with the gun is that you get to keep the old parts that come off it. It was some time ago that I realized I had a complete 1911 bottom end, less a hammer strut and the actual, you know, frame in my spare parts box. I've arranged to get my hands on those two missing parts, and soon my Ciener .22 conversion kit will have a permanent home and I'll have a dedicated .22LR training 1911.