I just bought a Kimber Eclipse II, folks are telling me to have the full length guide rod replaced with a short, so that I can field strip easier and use shock buffs more reliably. Is this a good idea?
There are tons of opinions floating around about FLGR's. In fact, depending upon where and who you ask you'll hear a large collective groan emit from the forum to the effect of "not this again...." It's right up there with the dreaded "should I be using a shock buffer" question. Both these issues have been addressed many times over and you should be able to find threads on them through a search.
I think the consensus is that they are NOT necessary for reliability. Some people just feel better with or without them.
I prefer short guide rods. But, if I were to have a FLGR in my pistol, it would be a one piece. I had a two piece and it *can* loosen up. I would never trust a two piece FLGR in a defensive pistol.