In my experience, the main problem with steel guide rods, is folks start messing with the spring weights, trying to "improve" over the stock rod and spring. Then they start getting stoppages, and complain about other things (like the ammo or lubricant) until they change back to a stock spring and all their problems go away. As is often said, if it ain't broke, don't "fix" it.
Originally Posted by jakeleinen1
However, in your case, it IS broke, so you want to replace it. The various steel rods will work okay, but I'd recommend getting one that will use the factory spring, if there's one available. If not, stick to as close to the factory spring weight as possible for reliable functioning.
Right now, a couple hundred competition shooters who read the above are saying "That's a bunch of BS! I've been running a (insert ridiculously light spring weight here) pound spring for years, and I've never had a bit of trouble!" And that's probably true, once they got their mouse-fart target loads tuned to match the spring. For most everyone else, varying spring weights in an otherwise stock gun seems to cause more problems than it solves.
I've owned a bunch of Glocks, new and used, over the last 20+ years, and I've never chipped/cracked/broke a factory recoil spring assembly. I've been told that chipping the rod rim usually happens when someone removes the slide, and then immediately re-installs it without adjusting the way the recoil spring assembly is sitting in the half-moon cutout under the barrel. When you reassemble it from scratch, like when you're done cleaning the weapon, the manual warns to make sure the rod's rim is fully seated in the half-moon cutout before replacing the slide on the frame. However, when you first remove the slide assembly from the frame in normal disassembly, the rod is only partially seated in the cutout. If the slide is then replaced on the frame without re-seating the rod's rim fully into the cutout, the rim catches on something during assembly or when the slide is first retracted, and it chips the rod rim. Most folks don't connect the act of removing the slide, and then immediately putting it back on the frame, as something that might damage a part, but apparently, it can.
Personally, I don't think the Glock factory recoil spring assemblies are very expensive, so I just keep a spare of each size in my gun bag. I've never needed one, but if I ever do, I'm good-to-go. I've also been told that if you break one, Glock will sometimes mail you one for free, if you call the right number in their telephone maze (Tech Services maybe? I'm not sure). If there is a Glock Sport Shooting Foundation (GSSF) competition in your area, one of the perks of being a GSSF member and attending the match is a Glock armorer is available to look-over your gun for free, and replace and worn or broken parts at no charge. I did this once at a GSSF match, but everything was fine on my guns, so nothing was replaced.
Please be aware that some of the metal rod assemblies don't capture the spring (so it's easy to change spring weights), so if the rod gets away from you during takedown or reassembly, it can fly a surprising distance. If you want a captured spring assembly, look for this in the product description.
Hope this was helpful.
"Placement is power" -- seen in an article by Stephen A. Camp
(RIP, Mr. Camp; you will be remembered, and missed)