Full Length Guide Rod and the 1911
A question came up about full length guide rods’ function is preventing spring “kink” or flexion. This old fluroscope photograph of a 1911 caught at the instant of firing shows that it can’t happen with the original guide rod…with only 5 or 6 unsupported coils. The spring’s OD is supported by the plug and its ID by the guide. By the time the slide has moved a half inch, it’s completely supported, and at full slide travel, the spring is encapsulated by the plug, supported by the guide.
It also ends the old argument over whether the slide moves before the bullet exits. Look closely at the link and the slide to frame alignment at the rear. Here, the slide appears to have moved about .075 inch with the bullet’s base roughly an inch from the muzzle.
Also take note of the horizontal engagement of the upper barrel lugs and their relationship to the slide’s lugs. The slide is taking the barrel backward with it as the bullet’s frictional contact tries to hold the barrel forward…with the lugs locked in opposition under high shearing forces.
So, yes. The slide is moving before the bullet leaves.