I'm not sure exactly what you're asking, but I think you're talking about a captive guide rod being one where the recoil spring is held on the rod without it being "owner removable" as in most Glocks. Also, on some guns, the guide rod itself is attached to the frame of the gun.
Non-captive would be like an original Government Model .45ACP guide rod, where the guide rod can be taken out and the spring can be removed from the rod for cleaning or replacement by the owner.
At least, that would be my definition of the two terms.
Captive guide rod has the rod and the spring attached to one another. Example Glock. (early Glocks did not have this,Hence my first thread)
Non captive, the guide rod is seperate from the spring. 2 pieces your rod and the spring goes over the rod (slides over) Example of this is like your traditional steel .45s Colt etc...
Both are doing the same job. But the non captive one has a tendecy to fly across the room, during field stripping a tradional 1911. When you come to the part of sliding the barrel bushing to the left. During normal takedown procedure. In actuality it is the cup (tube) that goes over the end of the spring, that flys across the room. Or what Doc said.
Hope that helps, Jack
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