PDA

View Full Version : Machining your own Brass Guide Rod


cuzmerica805
03-21-2014, 3:14 PM
I'm going to be machining my own guide rod to replace the stock plastic one in my Ruger LC9 and also the stainless rod in my Glock 34. Just wanted to reach out for some wisdom and see if anyone else had done this before? I did some searching and couldn't find anyone that specifically machining their own brass guide rods.

I decided on going with brass because 1. It will add more weight than my current stainless rod and obviously more than the plastic rod in the LC9, 2. Cause I think it'd look cool and 3. I have some spare rod stock, time to kill and figured why not.

I'll just cut the BS and say that I have some free time and figured it would be fun. The adding weight and strength is really just an after thought

Does anyone have suggestions on a better material? I didn't want to spend the money on tungsten to get more weight but I'm aware that brass, well the stock that I have, isn't the strongest so it'll probably get a bit beaten up over time.

Any ideas? I'm going to go ahead and make the brass ones for now, but if anyone has any better ideas, I'd be open to trying those as well.

I'll post up pics once I complete the machining and fitting.

Eagle Eyes
03-21-2014, 3:29 PM
You could also get steel guide rod that is closed on one end and hollow then melt and poor lead into it.

Definitely adds weight but also has the added benefit of reducing shock a little bit as well. If you are afraid of lead powder getting out you can machine a brass plug for it and tap it in tight or drill a hole and pin it in.

cuzmerica805
03-21-2014, 3:40 PM
You could also get steel guide rod that is closed on one end and hollow then melt and poor lead into it.

Definitely adds weight but also has the added benefit of reducing shock a little bit as well. If you are afraid of lead powder getting out you can machine a brass plug for it and tap it in tight or drill a hole and pin it in.

Good call, I didn't even think about that. The LC9's rod is soo small as is that it might be more trouble than it's worth to hollow it deep enough and fill it but I like the idea. Thanks :-)

kmca
03-21-2014, 4:44 PM
Do it with spent uranium or you're wasting your time :)

cuzmerica805
03-21-2014, 4:51 PM
Do it with spent uranium or you're wasting your time :)

DONE AND DONE. Should i just close the thread now? Or is it already on some NSA watch list because Uranium was mentioned....

I accept the fact that I'll get the occasion burr or cut while working on the lathe, that's just standard operating hazard, but I never though that my lathe would give me cancer someday haha.

Needless to say, yea the weight would be optimum but the whole hazardous/cancer thing turns me off a bit.

Twystd1
03-21-2014, 4:54 PM
Solid Tungsten or go home.

:)

kmca
03-21-2014, 5:02 PM
You're waaay too sensitive, we can't live forever :rofl:

BTW, sorry, I'm just having a little fun at your expense :)

tujungatoes
03-21-2014, 5:13 PM
...we can't live forever

Maybe YOU can't. :cool:

milotrain
03-21-2014, 7:31 PM
Tungsten with a steel cap silver soldered onto the end. You don't want to be grinding that much tungsten if you can avoid it. Find a blank bit or something that's already the diameter you need.

sealocan
03-21-2014, 7:42 PM
solid 24 karat Gold or go home!

you know the really soft stuff.


maybe practice on some wooden versions, perhaps a nice figured walnut so the people who like "wood and steel look" can have the best of both worlds.

just joking, I say go ahead and work with what you got.

and maybe
if you make some of those in brass versions those "steampunks " will come out of their closets (decorated closets mind you.)and buy them.

Eagle Eyes
03-21-2014, 9:04 PM
While Tungsten is nice it requires a lot of work and effort.

Melting lead can be done easy for a guide rod and like I said it help buffer the shock while Tungsten will not.

What you do is go find places that sell almost pure lead wire of a slightly smaller diameter of the hole in the guide rod (online, plumbing contractor suppliers etc.). Hang the guide rod in a oven with the open end up and crank it to 500 degrees for about 1 hour. Turn off the oven open the door and let cool for 15 minutes then pull it out to hang it and to continue to cool off, then you can plug the end if you want later if you afraid of lead dust.

Super easy as most standard steel guide rods are hollow so not to much work to do plus tungsten is harder than steel and can thin out the interior of steel springs as they rub on them during cycling, which will reduce their strength.

cuzmerica805
03-22-2014, 6:19 PM
**UPDATE**
Brass was a success, I made up 2 pretty quick, 1 for the LC380 and 1 for the LC9. Have yet to hit the range to compare performance but they look clean and added a decent amount of weight.

The stock plastic guide rods weighed 1.45 grams and the newly machined brass rods weight 9.3 grams. So i really only added a quarter ounce but it looks freakin sweet so I'm sticking with it. I'll have to try out the lead filling next if I can't source any tungsten for cheap.

Quick shot while turning the rod.
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/attachment.php?attachmentid=312632&d=1395537190

Comparing the finished rod to the stock plastic rod.
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/attachment.php?attachmentid=312634&d=1395537257

Shot of the new brass rod in the LC380.
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/attachment.php?attachmentid=312633&d=1395537243

cuzmerica805
03-29-2014, 8:02 PM
Alright so I had a chance to test out the guiderod a at the range. My glock 34 ran like a champ with the brass guiderod and looked good doin it. The LC9 however, ate the darn rod. It functioned well however, the rod is beat to hell and there are brass shavings and bits all inside the gun. Far more than normal that is. I put probably about 50 rounds through it with the brass guiderod and then swapped back to the plastic. The rod is still in functional shape however I would question how sound it would be after 300 rounds. Looks like I need to try stainless, or something harder that can take the beating.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

ar15barrels
03-29-2014, 8:50 PM
The LC9 however, ate the darn rod. It functioned well however, the rod is beat to hell and there are brass shavings and bits all inside the gun.

It sounds like they use a plastic guide rod SO THAT it can flex.
Find the point where the rod has all the wear and clearance that area of the rod so that it no longer binds.

As an example, here is a Ruger P series guide rod:

http://media.midwayusa.com/productimages/880x660/Primary/139/139169.jpg

cuzmerica805
03-29-2014, 10:12 PM
It sounds like they use a plastic guide rod SO THAT it can flex.
Find the point where the rod has all the wear and clearance that area of the rod so that it no longer binds.

As an example, here is a Ruger P series guide rod:

http://media.midwayusa.com/productimages/880x660/Primary/139/139169.jpg


Good call, I didn't even think of that. Thanks for the reply, I'll try and slim it down where the wear is and see if that help.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

bigbob76
03-29-2014, 11:29 PM
Maybe YOU can't. :cool:

Yeah, well, I figure I'm at the halfway point. Hey, it could happen...