Category Archives: Pistol Guide Rods

Sprinco Recoil Guide Rod in a Sig 229 Elite

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Sprinco has been making recoil management guide rods for semi auto pistols for decades.  They started out back in the early days of IPSC and USPSA practical shooting competitions making recoil guide rods for 1911s.  Over the years they have upgraded the design and manufacturing methods to make it a very refined system and expanded the product line to include a wide array of pistol models.  Sprinco is also an industry leader in spring technology for handgun recoil springs, AR-15 buffer springs, extractor springs and even magazine springs.

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The advantage to a Sprinco recoil guide rod is reducing recoil and muzzle flip by reducing the slide to frame impact.  At the end of the recoil cycle of a semi auto handgun, the slide impacts the frame to stop it’s rearward travel and then the recoil spring pushes it back into battery loading the next round on the way.  The Sprinco guide rod has a secondary spring that is engaged during the last quarter inch or so of rearward travel.  The primary recoil spring slows the slide to some degree and the secondary spring slows it even further prior to impacting the frame.  This happens after extraction and ejection has already happened and when things need to slow down.  Normally the slide impacts the frame pretty hard resulting in part of the recoil and muzzle flip felt by the shooter.  Having this secondary spring decelerate the slide faster just prior to impact makes things feel smoother and results in less muzzle flip and faster follow up shots.

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Some shooters have concerns that this will interrupt normal cycling and manipulation of the pistol.  But unlike synthetic buffer inserts that actually shorten the overall travel of the slide, the Sprinco recoil guide rods allow the slide to travel it’s full distance which is definitely the superior approach.  The last quarter inch of travel does have more spring tension, so when manually cycling the action it will take slightly more effort to lock open the action, but you get used to it very quickly and it then feels normal to you.  Furthermore, when you are cycling the action to load and unload without locking the slide open you won’t notice any increase in spring tension at all since it doesn’t need to travel the full distance to do those functions.  The strength of the secondary spring on a standard guide rod model is based on standard power practice and self defense loads for each gun and caliber but will work fine with +P loads as well.  If you plan on shooting a steady diet of +P or heavy recoiling loads in your pistol, then you may want to select what they call their COR-BON models which have a heavier secondary spring.  But if you want it to cycle properly with standard loads, then you’ll need to stick with a standard model.  Some of their models include primary recoil springs with the guide rod such as with Beretta and Glock pistol models.  While others use the factory recoil spring with the Sprinco guide rod such as with Sigs.

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In Sig P220, P226 and P229 pistols, the factory braded wire recoil spring is used with the Sprinco Recoil Guide Rod.  The guide rod comes with a stainless steel bushing for the front of the side to actuate the secondary spring.  One thing you notice as you first open the package is the highly polished finish of the guide rod.  It looks like a chrome finish, but is actually hand polished stainless steel.  Installation is simple and obvious and only takes seconds.  Once you reassemble the pistol and cycle it you feel the increased spring tension in the last quarter inch of slide travel.  Once you cycle it a few times you get start getting used to the feel of it and it seems to break in pretty quickly.  When shooting it, you do experience less muzzle flip which is especially helpful on a Sig with their high bore axis.  Accuracy and reliability remains excellent characteristic of Sig pistols.  What I like most is knowing that the aluminum frame is not taking near the impact it used to take, thus increasing service life.  All in all, an excellent product.

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