metal or plastic guide rod

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by gbarber010, May 13, 2011.

  1. gbarber010

    gbarber010 New Member

    227
    Jun 21, 2005
    Prattville, AL
    My eariler model P-32 came with a plastic guide rod. My new PF9 also came with a plastic guide rod, but my P3AT has a metal Guide rod. Is there a reason for that or are some P3AT delivered with plastic guide rods. My P3AT is showing some wear after about 75 rounds. The wear is to the frame. Not a big issue, I don't shoot the P3AT that much. Just interested.
     
  2. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    yelp, the P3AT comes with a metal rod.

    I have the P32 and know its plastic rod is a tad too short for the P3AT.
    Will the PF9 rod work?
     

  3. gbarber010

    gbarber010 New Member

    227
    Jun 21, 2005
    Prattville, AL
    The PF9 rod is longer and thicker. again I don't shoot the 380 much and not to worried about it.
     
  4. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    Texas
    The P3AT calls for a metal rod.  You might consider polishing yours a little, particularly if it has any sharp edges or rough spots.
    [reason]keyboard malfunction[/reason]
     
  5. gbarber010

    gbarber010 New Member

    227
    Jun 21, 2005
    Prattville, AL
    Not a big issue, but I think I will polish it up a little.
     
  6. NorfPI

    NorfPI Member

    37
    Mar 15, 2019
    Hampton Roads, VA
    When did KT start shipping guns with plastic guide rods, that’s the most insane thing I have ever heard. Maybe I am on oldtimer but are other gun manufacturers also shipping guns with plastic guide rods? It seems to me from a performance perspective that plastic is not something you would want to have in a guiderod with the amount of force it receives during shooting. I am sure it is a cost saving measure for KT but there has to be something else they could sacrifice other than the metal guiderod. Perhaps shipping their guns in a cardboard case instead of a plastic one would negate the difference although both my P32 and P3AT came in cardboard boxes at the time.
     
  7. buzzsaw

    buzzsaw Grand Poobah Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    Georgia
    As far as I know, they have always shipped some models with plastic, err, I mean, polymer guide rods. P-11, and P-32 normally come with them, as does the PF-9. The P3AT and the P-40 (long discontinued) have steel guide rods. Steel guide rods are available for the P-11 and P-32 from Kel Tec. The PF-9 would use the same one as the P-11. I have seen mention of some P-11s coming with steel guide rods from the factory, and also that the PF-9 guide rod is stiffer and/or harder polymer than the P-11. I have never heard of any rash of guide rod failures necessitating replacing the polymer ones with steel.

    As I posted yesterday on the P-32 forum, it might be a good idea to use a steel guide rod when using extra strong recoil springs and hot loads, since the spring can mash or gouge its way into the guide rod and then through the hole in the slide. https://www.thektog.org/threads/a-f...ecoil-springs-guide-rods.270860/#post-2444884

    My Beretta 92 FS has a polymer guide rod as do my Glock 17 and 22. They seem to do just fine. Strangely, my Beretta 81 FS (.32 ACP) has a metal guide rod, though it seems to be coated with a polymer.

    One argument against "upgrading" to a steel guide rod and keeping the polymer one is that the hole in the slide will wear faster when a steel rod is used, eventually resulting in the spring coming through the hole and locking up the gun. At least one of my steel P-40 guide rods was very rough. I polished it down (and later replaced it) and use grease on them to reduce wear on the slide hole. Barring unusual circumstances, it is generally better to wear out the cheaper part than the more expensive slide.

    buzzsaw
     
    cc-hangfire and TxCajun like this.
  8. Gunsnjeeps

    Gunsnjeeps Well-Known Member

    124
    Nov 30, 2018
    Virginia
    In my P11 it is plastic.

    The biggest argument for plastic or steel is manufacturing cost or weight consideration.

    I swapped the plastic for steel in my Beretta 92, I think the steel rod puts a couple of ounces of weight in the muzzle that may reduce muzzle flip. It seems that it may have but I also made some changes in springs that may have changed ergonomics.
     
  9. NorfPI

    NorfPI Member

    37
    Mar 15, 2019
    Hampton Roads, VA
    I guess I have seen plastic guide rods, yet I have never seem them as flimsy as some I have seen posted in YouTube videos. I have been carrying my P3AT for so long with a metal guiderod, it never dawned on me that the others were polymer. I will have to check my P32 to see what the guiderod it made of, I was under the impression it was metal as well.

    Thanks for the updated clarification and re-education.

    Regards