What Big Time Gun makers Use MIM parts in there firearms?


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possum
April 29, 2007, 11:00 PM
i know Taurus does, but was told today that kimber is using them, i don't believe that about the kimber, it is really hard for me to believe that a company like kimber would use mim parts. especially in thier higher end guns that cost so much.

any other companys use the mim process that ya'll know of ? thanks!

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cslinger
April 29, 2007, 11:04 PM
Kimber, Smith, SIG, Taurus, Springfield (AFAIK), those are a few that I know of.

3 gun
April 29, 2007, 11:10 PM
Truth is I don't know of a maker who doesn't use MIM. The second truth is when done right it doesn't matter. The biggest question for me is the QA that is done by the company. Out of spec is out of spec no matter how it's made.

Guzzizzit
April 29, 2007, 11:17 PM
Ok, call me Dumb if ya like, But what is a MIM part?

TexasP226
April 29, 2007, 11:21 PM
Ok, call me Dumb if ya like, But what is a MIM part?

This should help:
http://www.kimberamerica.com/knowledgebase/index.php?ToDo=view&catId=12&questId=8

Don't feel bad; I have been into firearms for 4 or 5 years and didn't know what it meant until a few weeks ago when I started looking seriously into a new 1911. Seems to be a big deal among the 1911 crowd (negatively).

daysleeprx
April 29, 2007, 11:21 PM
was told today that kimber is using them, i don't believe that about the kimber, it is really hard for me to believe that a company like kimber would use mim parts. especially in thier higher end guns that cost so much.

Believe it...in fact the only major 1911 maker that I know of right now that doesn't is MIM are Sig, and the semi-custom jobs. But even the semi-customs are not free of MIM...I think Wilson Combat uses MIM in a few of their models now. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong).

Guzzizzit
April 29, 2007, 11:24 PM
Thank you TexasP226, That helps alot, seams simmilar to the Preassure die casting we use in the factory i work in.

Sorry to side track the thread.

evan price
April 29, 2007, 11:29 PM
The MIM process in and of itself is not the problem; the problem is using MIM parts in applications for which their strength is insufficient. There's stuff that can be MIM with no real problems. There's parts that shouldn't be to ensure long life. I worked at a plant that made auto engines from aluminum using high-pressure injection molding of molten aluminum. These motors go in cars that last over 250,000 miles with decent care.

For example the Walther P22 entire slide is MIM. But thanks to the low pressures of the .22LR there's little chance of a failure.
However I would not want a MIM hammer in a 1911.

As far as 1911 snobbery goes, if you don't have a 1911 that cost more than your car you're using junk. (according to some 1911 snobs)

I solve that problem by using a SIG 220.

conan
April 29, 2007, 11:31 PM
Detonics does not use Mim, nor did Wilson Combat I thought.

Mim is a way to make the part cheaper, but the cost savings may not get passed on to the consumer. I think it is a bad idea.

daysleeprx
April 30, 2007, 12:00 AM
Wilson used to have MIM in their CQB I think...although that may not be the case anymore.

possum
April 30, 2007, 12:03 AM
wow ok that is a real eye opener. i have no problem with mim, i have read some good things about it and read that it is used in many different fields, not just gun making. it makes for a more cost effective way of producing weapons and jeeps the cost down for us that spend our hard earned money. thanks for all the replies.

shotgunkevin
April 30, 2007, 12:16 AM
I know Kahr does. I had an ejector break, though the gun still functioned for a long time until I replaced it. I don't know how many parts are MIM though.

Cacique500
April 30, 2007, 12:17 AM
My Kimber CDP had three MIM "failures" - ambi safety broke off and fell to the floor...single side safety had a big crack in it and was about to fail (checked after ambi fell off)...and then my disconnect broke and fell out of the gun. This was in a gun that had about 5000 rounds through it and was well taken care of.

I still take my Kimber to the range but it is no longer my carry gun - (lost faith in it) switched to a Nighthawk (no MIM) and couldn't be happier.

never_retreat
April 30, 2007, 12:22 AM
Metal injection molding.
I think there is another way using powdered metal.
Investment casting I think. Correct me if i'm wrong.:confused:

.cheese.
April 30, 2007, 12:23 AM
what does Glock use? Not MIM?

MarshallDodge
April 30, 2007, 12:30 AM
Like others have stated, there is nothing wrong with MIM as long as you have a good quality control department. Forged or heat treated parts can have the same issues if the QC is poor.
I own Springfields and Kimbers and have never had any issues with MIM.

conan
April 30, 2007, 12:39 AM
Wilson used to have MIM in their CQB I think...although that may not be the case anymore.

Bummer. Do you know which parts? That is not a inexpensive firearm.

Guzzizzit
April 30, 2007, 12:54 AM
Metal injection molding.
I think there is another way using powdered metal.
Investment casting I think. Correct me if i'm wrong

Generaly Investment casting involves useing a wax or strofoam model of the part to be produced. The model is them coated in a ceramic slurry and when its dried, its packed into foundry sand and heated so the wax or foam burns/melts away. the cavity is then filled with molton metal.

We use this process to produce engine blocks for or 300hp + supercharged out boards.

hankdatank1362
April 30, 2007, 01:00 AM
Believe it...in fact the only major 1911 maker that I know of right now that doesn't is MIM are Sig,

Don't buy the hype. SIG says that "all key parts are made of hardened steel." And they leave it at that. No discussion of if MIM parts are used, or where.

That said, the SIG GSR 1911 is probably my most favorite production 1911 out there.

daysleeprx
April 30, 2007, 01:03 AM
Don't buy the hype. SIG says that "all key parts are made of hardened steel." And they leave it at that. No discussion of if MIM parts are used, or where.


EGW does/used to supply Sig with sears. EGW is quality stuff.

trbon8r
April 30, 2007, 01:08 AM
No MIM in a Les Baer pistol. :)

Of the more "mainstream" 1911 manufacturers Colt uses the least amount of MIM in their guns. Colt only uses 3 MIM parts: sear, mag catch, disconnector.

lawdogso
April 30, 2007, 01:11 AM
My Kimber Gold combat had the hammer break off after two hundred rounds thru it. MIM at it's best. :cuss:
lawdogso

default
April 30, 2007, 01:14 AM
I couldn't say to what degree MIM is used in many more recent designs, such as various GLOCK, HK, and SIG-SAUER pistols, but none of those are famous for MIM parts breakage, although they presumably use MIM in non-critical (at least as far as the specific properties of MIM go) parts as a cost-saving measure. This is apparently not necessarily the case with many popular modern 1911s.

As I understand it, the issue has to do with both the quality of manufacture of the MIM parts and their specific application in the pistol. MIM grip safety? Who cares - it's not going to break under normal usage, nor are there any special metallurgical properties required of the part. On the other hand - a MIM extractor? Not so good.

bogie
April 30, 2007, 01:18 AM
For example the Walther P22 entire slide is MIM. But thanks to the low pressures of the .22LR there's little chance of a failure.
However I would not want a MIM hammer in a 1911.

Slide don't mean squat regarding pressure.

HAMMER don't mean squat regarding pressure.

Barrel means squat. As long as everything else is within tolerance, and is of sufficient strength, you're good.

tommys
April 30, 2007, 01:29 AM
I believe that Dan Wesson Doesn't use MIM parts in their 1911 pistols.

4v50 Gary
April 30, 2007, 01:51 AM
Most of Sig internal parts are stampings. I doubt if the locking block is since probably won't stand up the the pounding. Hammer maybe, but that takes a lot of pounding too. I can see the firing pin block being MIM since it takes no pounding.

Old Fuff
April 30, 2007, 02:24 AM
Two domestic companies that don't use MIM parts are Ruger and Detonics. After that it will be a very short list. Investment castings, such as are used by Ruger, do not use any powdered metal technology. Their parts are "real steel." ;)

Without exception, those companies that use MIM parts do so to reduce their manufacturing costs. In some cases this doesn't seem to matter. In others it does. A review of past threads on The High Road as well as other forums will soon reveal who the problem children are. It is not the technology that's at fault as much as the penny-pinching desire to save a little money at the expense of critical quality - especially so if we are talking about personal weapons. :scrutiny:

bogie
April 30, 2007, 03:02 AM
Two words...

Mil-spec. If it works, and keeps on working, then it works for me.

Old Fuff
April 30, 2007, 03:18 AM
The word, "Mil-Spec" (meaning Militaty Specification) gets tossed around a lot, but very few companies make handguns to true military specifications, and so far as 1911 style pistols are concerned, none of them do. They may be made to look like the USGI 1911A1, but they are a far cry from the real thing.

The Old Fuff knows because he has a full set of blueprints... ;)

NukemJim
April 30, 2007, 08:09 AM
The consenesous seems to be MIM is OK if done correctly. Problem is how can we the consumer tell if it is done correctly?

Not being sarcastic. Just concerned after having a safety and a rear sight fail on a Kimber.

NukemJim
PS When did MIM become common in firearms?:confused:

Geno
April 30, 2007, 08:23 AM
These MIM parts open the door to people buying replacement parts known as "bullet-proof". Wilson that makes the following four parts in a bullet proof version (links provided):

Bulletproof slide release:
http://www.wilsoncombat.com/a_slide_releases_bp.asp

Bulletproof extractors:
http://www.wilsoncombat.com/a_extractors_bp.asp

Bulletproof firing pins:
http://www.wilsoncombat.com/a_firing_pins.asp

Bulletproof firing pin stops:
http://www.wilsoncombat.com/a_firing_pin_stops.asp

Old Fuff
April 30, 2007, 11:03 AM
The consenesous seems to be MIM is OK if done correctly. Problem is how can we the consumer tell if it is done correctly?

Following along the threads and posts about different manufacturers should soon reveal who is having problem, as members report their experiences. Most of the problem children seem to be pistols built on the 1911 pattern. Revolvers and other autoloaders come up far less often.

Not being sarcastic. Just concerned after having a safety and a rear sight fail on a Kimber.

I think you just answered your first question. :uhoh: :rolleyes:

hankdatank1362
April 30, 2007, 11:33 AM
Hearing a lot of bad things lately about Kimber... and after seeing some mag release problems with some guy who bought a brand new eclipse the other day in the gun store, that's a little scary.

JohnBT
April 30, 2007, 11:41 AM
Keep in mind that Kimber made 44,806 pistols in 2004 which increases the odds on hearing about problems compared to lower volume makers.

Ruger made about double that.
Sig made 36,241.
Wilson made 1500.

John

Radjxf
April 30, 2007, 12:37 PM
Many will state that there is no problem with MIM if it's done "right" using excellent QC. Problem is, MIM is almost exclusively used as a cost-cutting material, therefore the QC won't be there. Kimber seems to have the worst MIM reputation that I've heard of and from personal experience. Maybe if they cut some funding from their relentless ad campaign and spent a bit more on quality internals and better fitment?

Old Fuff
April 30, 2007, 01:01 PM
Many will state that there is no problem with MIM if it's done "right" using excellent QC. Problem is, MIM is almost exclusively used as a cost-cutting material, therefore the QC won't be there.

That's part of it. The other side of the coin is that components that are made using MIM should be designed to take advantage of the technology. The 1911 pistol makers are duplicating parts that were designed to be made using an entirely different method. Sometimes this works, but sometimes it doesn't.

Correia
April 30, 2007, 01:24 PM
it is really hard for me to believe that a company like kimber would use mim parts. especially in thier higher end guns that cost so much.

:D The same Kimber which adds weird checkering, different color grips, calls it something like the Deluxe Royal Ultra Falcon and raises the price $300? :D

I really liked the originals, heck, have one on now. But I do believe they've slipped over time as they've ramped up production.

Pretty much everybody uses MIM now. That said, I quit selling Kimber unless somebody wants to special order one. I've seen too many broken parts. I sell other 1911 brands that also use MIM, but haven't had any of them break yet.

evan price
May 1, 2007, 06:40 AM
@bogie:

Re: Slides and pressures:
A slide absorbs the force of the recoil. A .45-cal slide has more force acting on it than a .22LR slide will. Would you like to see someone try a MIM slide on a .45?

Re: hammers and pressures:
Of course, a 1911 Hammer is not under pressure. It IS, however, under continuous repeated impact from the action of firing. If you beat on a weak part enough it will break off.

Mil-spec don't automatically mean its the bees' knees. Mark-14 torpedos sounded great in 1940. They sucked royally in combat.

230RN
May 1, 2007, 08:49 AM
Random comments from a coffee-deprived (5:30 AM here) brain:

Hey, Old Fuff! Wanna sell those blueprints or copies of them? I wouldn't mind having a set for the nostalgia value.

I didn't know about MIM parts. I thought a lot of those parts were lost-wax investment castings, where every molecule is joined to another molecule. As opposed to any form of sintering, where the parts are just heated compressed dust.

I bought an inexpesive Rock Island Arsenal (Phillippines) 1911 and found it would double-tap.

Scary!

Diagnosed the problem down to a rough disconnector, where the parting lines of the "casting" were hanging up in the disconnector hole. Deburred it, polished the ramp where the three-leaf spring is supposed to push it back up into the disconnector groove in the slide, works fine now. (Also polished the edge of the three-leafed spring.)

But this gun was only about $300, an "afford to lose" gun, and I expected some problems.

So this kind of crap happens with $900 guns, too? The more I read about "K"-mart guns on various forums, the less I like the idea of spending 90% of a grand for one.

And someone mentioned their "ejector" breaking but I think they meant the "extractor." I had a 1911 Commercial Colt where the (internal) extractor broke and the gun functioned normally all day long, except for the danger of expecting it to extract the last round when clearing it by racking the slide.

Whereas, in actual firing, residual pressure blew out the empties quite efficiently.

I now regard the extractor as a consumable item and keep a spare around. But of course the spare is a real metal part.

Where every molecule is joined to every other molecule.

Old Fuff
May 1, 2007, 11:00 AM
Hey, Old Fuff! Wanna sell those blueprints or copies of them? I wouldn't mind having a set for the nostalgia value.

No... but for my usual $200,000 fee :evil: :what: I'll tell where you can buy a set, and for a much lower cost then my fee. :D

Nicolaus Associates
P.O. Box 875
Jefferson, GA. 30549
(706) 367-1002
www.nicolausassociates.com

I had a 1911 Commercial Colt where the (internal) extractor broke and the gun functioned normally all day long, except for the danger of expecting it to extract the last round when clearing it by racking the slide.

Whereas, in actual firing, residual pressure blew out the empties quite efficiently.

This will work with some pistols - usually older Colt's. But it doesn't take much to leave you with a case in the chamber and the nose of the next cartridge up against its base. I strongly suggest that you get a new extractor fitted. If it does jam in the manner described it won't be easy (or quick) to clear it.

Hawk
May 1, 2007, 12:44 PM
The extent to which small parts are shifted to MIM fabrication can also vary from one place to the next.

I believe there's at least one 1911 pattern manufacturer that uses MIM that nevertheless uses EDM cut tool steel for the hammer and sear and "spring steel" for the extractor.

If one is using MIM, there's no rule that says one must "go hog wild" and scatter it everywhere.

Nevertheless the assumption is sometimes made that if one firm manages to turn 95% of the 1911 "small parts bag" into MIM that everyone using MIM will follow suit - t'aint so.

Chui
May 1, 2007, 12:59 PM
One can keep all of the MIM internal parts on a 1911 as well as the external safeties and slide stops. Why? It's simple, really. The MIM parts do not have the refined grain structure of machined forgings and they are only 90% as dense. Therefore, we see the fatigue failures that are not uncommon. If one were to use a less dense, larger grain structured material the cross sectional areas would have to be larger to accommodate the weaker material. The larger grain structure is problematic with fatigue.

Also, Sig's new management is looking to reduce costs and it's been rumored to me by one who would know that the extractors are now MIM on the P229 .357 Sig (and probably on all of the classis P-Series) and FAM is seeing a higher than normal failure rate compared to several years ago.

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