Are all steel handguns passe?


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GunTech
October 26, 2010, 09:33 PM
I'll preface this to say that I think there will always be a demand for all steel guns, particularly classics like the 1911.

But looking at all the guns being marketed and introduced, it seems like the vast majority are to a large degree polymer. Indeed, when I speak to younger shooters, they typically gravitate to polymer guns, complaining that all steel guns are too heavy.

I can't help wondering if the all steel auto is going to become like the blued full sized revolver: favored by a few diehards, but only a small portion of the guns made and sold.

What do you say?

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Zerodefect
October 26, 2010, 10:16 PM
No way.

The lite polymer guns have too much muzzle flip and recoil. The only really good ones are the ones that allow you to grip them really high with the bore as low over your hand as possible. Like Glocks and the M&P.

I think the Glock 23 is a good example. Not nearly as comfortable to shoot as the 19, or an all steel 1911.

All steel guns weigh more and are easy to shoot. Great for women or big calibers like .45.

A 1911 seems to weigh exactly what it needs to weigh. We've tried lighter al frames, and heavier ful length dust cover models. But we allways come back to the standard 5" Goverment model.

It's a phase we're going through. We are going towards lightweight, tiny, pocket guns and wonder 9's quickly. It's only a matter of time before folks remember what a heavier pistol felt like to shoot and come back.

Just wait till someone comes out with an all steel M&P or Glock or a Highcap SA 1911 type thing. I'll bet the next big thing will be steel guns. We've been through these phases before........one big swing towards little guns followed by a big swing towards bigger guns.

bds
October 26, 2010, 10:32 PM
I started out with 1911/Sig226/CZ75.

What I appreciated about polymer pistols (mainly Glocks and lately M&Ps) was that after 500-1000+ round range practice session, there was a lot less shock/trauma to my hands/arms as much of the shock/vibration was dissipated by the polymer frames. With metal framed pistols, your hands/arms/bones/joints absorb all the shock/vibration.

With metal framed pistols shooting full power 40S&W/45ACP loads, you feel the hard "THUMP" when the pistol fires. Newer polymer pistol models like Gen3/Gen4 Glocks, M&Ps, XDs also have stiffer recoil springs so there is less slide slapping of the frame. With metal framed pistols, this adds more stress to the wrists.

For a new, YOUNGER shooter who hasn't developed sufficient hand/wrist/arm strength to apply proper two hand grip on a pistol will find the lighter and often softer recoiling polymer pistols more attractive and may conclude that polymer pistols must be better. I have helped many new shooters select a pistol for SD/HD purposes and let them shoot a wide assortment of pistols. They tend to get better groupings with lighter Glock triggers that does not need to be "broken in" over most other pistols - the ease of getting smaller accurate shot groups first time speaks volumes to them and gives them confidence. Also, we now have a new generation of younger buyers who grew up watching movies and TV shows that glorified Glocks. Put yourself in their shoes, "If the police carry Glocks, they must be good?" Many idolize law enforcement and the military. When they shoot the Glock 17 and Beretta 92FS side-by-side, there is no comparison for a new shooter, Glock 17 wins hands down mostly due to lighter weight, smaller size and cheaper price tag. Yes, they don't make that much money either, for now.

Most will agree that Glock's introduction has raised the bar for the semi-auto pistol manufacturing world-wide and the competition among the manufacturers have produced better and better pistols for us shooters. I think most major pistol manufacturers are spending their R&D money on polymer framed pistols and not on metal framed pistols due to customer demand and lower manufacturing costs (if you only knew what the cost to produce a Glock is :eek:).

I do not believe "metal" framed pistols are dead. It's just that lower priced polymer framed pistols that shoot well outsell in overwhelming numbers because of word-of-mouth recommendations like, "Trust me, buy a Glock/M&P/XD and you won't be sorry". How can you argue with that? I have made that comment many times when someone asked they can only afford to buy one pistol for SD/HD. When you are comparing prices, new buyers also say, "And they cost less too?" - it becomes a no-brainer.

I would be very happy to see metal pistols make a comeback though.

REAPER4206969
October 26, 2010, 10:54 PM
While the steel framed classics that we all know and love will always be around, steel as a material for service pistol frames (and compact revolvers) is obsolete and has been since the end of the second world war.

JQP
October 26, 2010, 11:26 PM
I still have serious doubts about long term viability/durability of polymer frame handguns, maybe with the possible exception of Glock 9mms, in a truly SHTF global scenario.

Long live the CZ 75, which could probably fire until eternity without being worse off for the wear.

Casefull
October 26, 2010, 11:48 PM
I hate plastic...it decomposes over time, it flexes, it is weak compared to steel. It lasts a long time but I bet it will not be viable after 100 years. My steel firearms will be fine when my great grandchildren are shooting them. Ha!

meytind
October 26, 2010, 11:54 PM
I hear that concern a lot actually and it makes no sense to me. There are tons of 60 year old .22 rifles with polymer stocks that still function fine. AR-15s from 50 years ago still have their original polymer furniture.

We're concerned with plastic Poland Spring bottles lasting for centuries in our landfills, yet the polymers in weapons are many, many times stronger and more resilient than those in our water bottles. Most likely, polymer pistols made this year will still be functional by the time their all steel counterparts are rusted to dust.

The flex of polymer is actually what makes it much more durable than steel in handgun frames. Just look at the Glocks with over 100k rounds through them, or the pistol-training.com torture tests. Try to fire that many rounds in a steel framed pistol in such a short amount of time and the frame will be destroyed MUCH sooner than the 90k+ rounds it took to shave a small sliver off of the P30 frame.

Walkalong
October 26, 2010, 11:58 PM
Heck no.

Most likely, polymer pistols made this year will still be functional by the time their all steel counterparts are rusted to dust.I have to strongly disagree, especially if both are cared for.

TexasGunbie
October 27, 2010, 12:09 AM
I have to strongly disagree, especially if both are cared for.

If everything is cared for then there would be no debate. I trade guns a lot and most guns I run into is lacking some TLC. Polymer rarely gives out even under much abuse, but metal starts pitting and rust if not oiled.

TexasGunbie
October 27, 2010, 12:13 AM
I had a CZ 75 P01 that I sold a few weeks ago. I got rid of it because even though it's all metal, it was very snappy when I shot it. I feel that the tupperguns are not bad at all when you are shooting 9mm.

Ragnar Danneskjold
October 27, 2010, 12:25 AM
It's kind of funny watching people make statements in absolute terms as if what we know now has any bearing on what we will know 200+ years from now. "Steel pistols will always be around" "plastic is weak compared to steel". This discussion is equivalent to arguing about flint-locks vs. match locks. Centuries from now none of this will matter. Probably not even that long. Even 50 years from now, the types of new polymers and alloys we will know about and use for firearms will blow our current understanding out of the water. Have the debate, but leave terms like "always" and "never" in their correct place. In the year 2210, no one will be using the 1911 or the Glock 19.

In 200 years, projectile weapons themselves might very well have gone the way of the sword and sling. Novelties for collectors.

Ridgerunner665
October 27, 2010, 12:31 AM
In the year 2210, no one will be using the 1911 or the Glock 19.

Speak for yourself...I'll be long gone by the year 2210, but if I was still here...the last thing I'd want is some electronic gizmo that could be switched "off" right when I needed it the most by a signal sent from a satellite (think "OnStar").

sprice
October 27, 2010, 12:39 AM
The beretta and 1911, as well as a few others; will always be around. I do think the way of the future is polymer though. They are cheaper and lighter (wich I personally don't really care about) and a lot of them are more reliable than the steel auto's of old too. I have recently converted to glock so of course I am only drinking their cool aid. After glocks I do love a good single action revolver though; and the 1911 is a close third. I have owned all three of those pistols and a few more too.

REAPER4206969
October 27, 2010, 12:45 AM
The Beretta is aluminum.

W.E.G.
October 27, 2010, 12:52 AM
Steel guns of good quality will continue to be much more expensive than plastic guns.

Although I do not buy into the internet myth that plastic-framed guns will suddenly turn to dust, I feel no obligation to warehouse guns for the next generation. They can buy their own guns, and they can fight the fight to keep them, or they will get exactly what they deserve.

I won't be around to shed a tear for them.

sleepyone
October 27, 2010, 01:13 AM
I find it hard to believe that a polymer gun will absorb recoil better than a heavy steel gun; especially after experiencing the difference myself. I was looking for my first autoloader in a long time a couple of years back and went with an XD .40 in the 4" model. The recoil was really bad for me. I have had several surgeries for carpal and cubital tunnel syndromes. I ended up selling it and renting two XDs to compare recoil between the 9mm and .45 ACP. I bought the 9mm but still was not happy with the recoil. A met a guy who has a bunch of full size 1911s in .45 ACP. The first time I shot one I was really dreading the recoil because of the .45 ACP polymer XD I had shot at the range. I was blown away by the lack of recoil the 1911 had. Since then I have become a .45 ACP nut but ONLY in steel guns. The weight of an all steel pistol absorbs more recoil than a lightweight polymer gun can ever hope to.

MattTheHat
October 27, 2010, 01:17 AM
Are steel guns passe'?

Let's see, I've got about 15 steel pistols and 2 plastic ones. So, not for me.


-matt

Onward Allusion
October 27, 2010, 01:20 AM
Should have open a poll on this. I'd be interested in the tally.

There will always be steel guns but it will likely service a niche like revolvers. Polymers serve a broader need, especially for those who carry all the time, those who are cost sensitive, or those who don't care as much about aesthetics.

An all steel piece will get heavy after a while. However, for durability sake, there is no comparison. You're talking about steel inserts -vs- a hunk of metal. For range and competition, there's no better feeling than a solid steel pistol.

Besides, how can you properly pistol-whip someone with a poly? :D



GunTech (http://www.thehighroad.org/member.php?u=45003)
Are all steel handguns passe?
I'll preface this to say that I think there will always be a demand for all steel guns, particularly classics like the 1911.

But looking at all the guns being marketed and introduced, it seems like the vast majority are to a large degree polymer. Indeed, when I speak to younger shooters, they typically gravitate to polymer guns, complaining that all steel guns are too heavy.

I can't help wondering if the all steel auto is going to become like the blued full sized revolver: favored by a few diehards, but only a small portion of the guns made and sold.

What do you say?

JQP
October 27, 2010, 01:26 AM
Steel guns of good quality will continue to be much more expensive than plastic guns.

Although I do not buy into the internet myth that plastic-framed guns will suddenly turn to dust, I feel no obligation to warehouse guns for the next generation. They can buy their own guns, and they can fight the fight to keep them, or they will get exactly what they deserve.

I won't be around to shed a tear for them.

Damn skippy. :)

Clarence
October 27, 2010, 01:29 AM
Is this a joke? Steel guns passe?

It must be a joke.

Ragnar Danneskjold
October 27, 2010, 02:06 AM
Speak for yourself...I'll be long gone by the year 2210, but if I was still here...the last thing I'd want is some electronic gizmo that could be switched "off" right when I needed it the most by a signal sent from a satellite (think "OnStar").

"The last thing I would want is some sort of new-fangled musket that uses "cased" ammunition I have to purchase from someone else instead of being able to mix my own powder and cast my own shot." - Around the time black powder guns were being phased out for guns that use cartridges.

You may feel that way, but you're right; you won't be around. And attitudes will change. History is not sentimental. The passing decades and centuries do not care about one individual's feelings of being tied emotionally to one design over another. At some point in the future, whether near or distant, the 1911, the Beretta 92, the Glock 19, and all the rest will be as popular and common as an 1805 Harper's Ferry Pistol: a novelty for collectors and museums. And forgotten by everyone else.

The beretta and 1911, as well as a few others; will always be around.

True, in the sense that the Roman Gladius sword and the Brown Bess musket are technically still around.

I wonder if there will be "lasers vs. plasma" arguments 500 years from now, and with same devotion and fervor. ;)

okespe04
October 27, 2010, 02:19 AM
no not at all

GLOOB
October 27, 2010, 02:24 AM
In a word, yes.

Remember when power tools used to be made with an all-steel housing? Well, they were at one point, in case you're too young to know this. :) Take a look in your toolbox and imagine one single power tool you would rather be made from all steel. And you probably don't even carry those around on your belt.

engineer88
October 27, 2010, 10:25 AM
Sleepyone, you should have tried a glock30. I am not at all exaggerating when I tell you it is the softest shooting 45 I have ever fired and yes I have fired full size all steel 1911's.

I have polymer and all steel personally in almost an equal ammount. Give or take maybe one pistol. To give you an idea I carry a P32 as bug to an SP101 during the week. On the weekends a glock26 or 30 goes iwb and an aluminum jframe goes in the pocket. For the gym a P32, P3AT, or mini magnum goes along for the trip. When bumming about the house or being lazy walter ppk/s is usually in the pocket.

Ultimately all steel is generally not an issue with the right belt. Belt, then holster (in that order) make carrying easy. I have a 5.11 tac belt that ran me 30 bucks. It is some of the best 30 bucks I ever spent. ij my opinion people who think steel is going away are not underestimating nostalgia, they are underestimating individual choice. Everyone has a firearm (or three) that just fit. It hits on all the levels a person considers important. I am a good example. I have polymers that carry twice the number of rounds as my SP101, weigh less, are flatter, and can be reloaded more swiftly. But I still carry it every day. It just suits me. What can I say?

Finally, what great call above, pistol whipping wins the argument in my opinion. ;)

HisSoldier
October 27, 2010, 09:35 PM
Polymer triggers made for Colt Mustangs and variants made 30 years ago are already starting to fail, which doesn't surprise me in the least. Plastics are not gun making materials for any other reason than that of increasing profits. Young people typically don't know any better and blindly assume plastics are equal, and the brainwashing continues.

I've had people in these forums argue that aluminum alloys are good replacements for steel, even though common sense tells us that it has only one superior property, weight.

People buy guns made of inferior materials and then argue that the materials are as good or better than gunmaking steels. Not a big surprise.

MaterDei
October 27, 2010, 09:46 PM
I don't buy any of the arguments that polymer framed firearms will weaken or decay with age.

With that said, it's still plastic. Yuck. Give me a heavy manly metal gun. :)

EddieNFL
October 27, 2010, 09:58 PM
Indeed, when I speak to younger shooters, they typically gravitate to polymer guns, complaining that all steel guns are too heavy.

Shrug...

REAPER4206969
October 27, 2010, 10:07 PM
Polymer triggers made for Colt Mustangs and variants made 30 years ago are already starting to fail, which doesn't surprise me in the least. Plastics are not gun making materials for any other reason than that of increasing profits. Young people typically don't know any better and blindly assume plastics are equal, and the brainwashing continues.

It is conceivable that the young could be convinced that some new variation of paper is actually superior to steel by greedy manufacturers. Why not? They overwhelmingly voted for Obama!

I've had people in these forums argue that aluminum alloys are good replacements for steel, even though common sense tells us that it has only one superior property, weight.

People buy guns made of inferior materials and then argue that the materials are as good or better than gunmaking steels. Not a big surprise.
This is, by far, the most uninformed post I've ever read on this forum.

ScratchnDent
October 27, 2010, 10:18 PM
Not to me. I tried a polymer pistol for a few years. While I didn't hate it, I didn't love it like I do my steel handguns.

Walkalong
October 27, 2010, 10:49 PM
Shrug...Yep..... They can have all the plastic guns they want. Leaves more steel guns for those that appreciate them. Steel is caressable. Plastic? Nah.

REAPER4206969
October 27, 2010, 10:57 PM
Do you steel lovers actually carry?

And by "carry" I don't mean throwing it in your glove box or strapping it on for a trip through the "bad areas." I mean eight hours minimum while doing everyday tasks.

wanderinwalker
October 27, 2010, 11:07 PM
Steel is not passe, but I personally don't think we're going to see anything truly revolutionary in handgun design in a steel frame in the future. I also have my doubts about seeing something revolutionary in alloy. Polymer is the direction the industry and market are going, and I believe that is where the advances will be made.

Having fired a CZ-75 back-to-back with my Glock 17, I can honestly say the difference in felt recoil between the two wasn't enough to excite me. I will also say a steel-framed 1911 in .45 ACP is far from the vicious-kicking "man's" gun some believe it to be. I haven't had a chance to try out a poly .45, though a Glock 21SF or M&P .45 is on my short list. The .40s I have tried, a Browning Hi-Power, a Glock 27 and a USP Compact, didn't leave a "gotta have this" impression, and I can't say one platform was noticeably more unpleasant than the others.

But I think picking a firearm based solely on its frame material is borderline silliness.

BlayGlock
October 27, 2010, 11:12 PM
While the steel framed classics that we all know and love will always be around, steel as a material for service pistol frames (and compact revolvers) is obsolete and has been since the end of the second world war.

This. This thread could have ended at post #4

Guy de Loimbard
October 27, 2010, 11:13 PM
I'm a steel lover, and I carry. P64, CZ-82 in town, Ruger Blackhawk out in the woods. I don't think steel is passe. My dad on the other hand carries a Sigma everywhere.

At the local indoor range, among those who bring guns it seems to be a 50/50 split between poly and steel framed autos+revolvers. As far as rentals go, the range usually sells out of .45 Auto and .357 magnum (and .38 special) faster than 9mm, because thos guns are usually the ones in use.

ScratchnDent
October 27, 2010, 11:33 PM
Do you steel lovers actually carry?

And by "carry" I don't mean throwing it in your glove box or strapping it on for a trip through the "bad areas." I mean eight hours minimum while doing everyday tasks.

All day, every day.

If an extra 6 ounces around my waist was bothering me, I'd skip a cheeseburger. :D

hardworker
October 27, 2010, 11:42 PM
As long as people are buying steel guns, they will be produced. Polymer is the way of the future though, as the trend towards lighter and smaller continues.

REAPER4206969
October 28, 2010, 12:05 AM
If an extra 6 ounces around my waist was bothering me
A Glock 23 w/o mag is 21oz., loaded with 14rds. of 180gr. cartridges it weighs 31oz. A 1911 weighs 38-42oz. w/o mag and ~45-~48oz. loaded with 9rds.

ProCarryNAustin
October 28, 2010, 12:12 AM
Do you steel lovers actually carry?

And by "carry" I don't mean throwing it in your glove box or strapping it on for a trip through the "bad areas." I mean eight hours minimum while doing everyday tasks.
At least 8-10 hours a day, every day. Good belt, good holster... carries as easily as my Glocks did. It is not like it is that much more weight. I probably packed more down in dinner tonight than the difference in weight between my G23 and my steel framed STI 1911. I'm 6' and 210. My pistol's weight is not really that much of a concern. YMMV.

ProCarryNAustin
October 28, 2010, 12:15 AM
All day, every day.

If an extra 6 ounces around my waist was bothering me, I'd skip a cheeseburger. :D
LOL... or workout more. Even at 2 lbs heavier... get a weight set!

REAPER4206969
October 28, 2010, 12:15 AM
I carried a government 1911 for years before I seen the light. Never again for an EDC.

ProCarryNAustin
October 28, 2010, 12:18 AM
I carried a government 1911 for years before I seen the light. Never again for an EDC.
And I carried plastic for years and find I shoot 1911's better. Have carried both and really don't find that much difference. Have a steel framed 1911 on my hip that has been there since 8am this morning in a Galco NSA holster. No problems here.

DonRon
October 28, 2010, 12:25 AM
I carried a government 1911 for years before I seen the light. Never again for an EDC.
Amen, my aching back more than once!

engineer88
October 28, 2010, 12:59 AM
Hahaha! Wow, some of us would have had to be royalty in medieval times. Heck a long knife back then weighed what a 1911 weighs today, let alone a full on sword or hammer, mace, etc. God forbid even thinking about a shield or armor. We really do have it good now. Don't get me wrong polymer is awesome. I appreciate my polymer guns for different reasons and weight is one of them.

However, I pass up my excellent Smith and Wesson airweight at 15oz every day and the SP101 at 24oz ends up iwb. Yes, I love the airweight, I just like the lockless, solidly built, 357 capable Ruger better. It is just a personal choice and one that is easy to live with. I have done 12 hour days on my feet with a 28oz+ gun on the hip and was fine. A good stiff, wide belt is the answer. It really makes ccw easy.

REAPER4206969
October 28, 2010, 01:06 AM
Sub 28oz. is perfectly reasonable. 40oz.+ is not.

ElectrikKoolAid
October 28, 2010, 01:38 AM
Intended use needs to be considered here.

In my life I have owned a Mustang and an F-150 that both had 5.0 liter motors, but they are vehicles with very different purposes.

The XD45 I carry has a different purpose than the high-end 1911 I lust after, though both have the same "motor".

A polymer pistol is lighter, dissipates recoil (somewhat) and has corrosion-resistance that make it an excellent choice for EDC purposes. It will never pass as a work of mechanical art, even though many steel guns have satisfying aesthetics that add nothing to their durability or shootability.

I can put a trailer hitch on the Mustang, but towing a boat is best done with the F-150. (OTOH, trolling for blondes was better in the Mustang IIRC.)

Few tools fit every scenario, and guns are no different.

~Boomslang~
October 28, 2010, 01:42 AM
Nothing refinishes like steel. Alluminiun frame guns are a pain in the ass when they wear, slide never matches the frame. Unless of course you go the dura?ceracoat route.

hemiram
October 28, 2010, 03:55 AM
For the life of me, I have never understood the complaints about steel guns being too heavy to carry all day. I carried a 6" Dan Wesson 15-2 heavy barreled gun, handcuffs, a nightstick a speedloader, and mace 5 days a week for about 4 years, and the weight of the gun never a concern. I wasn't even aware of it. How a pound or so less weight on someone who weighs more than 125 pounds is a concern is just odd to me.

Fastcast
October 28, 2010, 08:38 AM
Do you steel lovers actually carry?

And by "carry" I don't mean throwing it in your glove box or strapping it on for a trip through the "bad areas." I mean eight hours minimum while doing everyday tasks.

Ah, yea.....We're not all soft. :rolleyes:

When men were made of steel and ships were made of wood.

Amen, my aching back more than once!

Than, you're out of shape! :scrutiny:

jmr40
October 28, 2010, 10:24 AM
Steel framed pistols have been on life support for decades, some guys just haven't figured it out yet. They will always have a place for guys who play games with their guns at the range and in magnum revolvers, but their day is over for serious SD, military and law enforcement use.

I'm sure if they had the internet in the 1870's some guys would have been whining about how superior their trusty black powder revolvers were and how they would never be replaced either.

M-Cameron
October 28, 2010, 10:35 AM
im a wood/leather/steel guy personally.......

i mean, plastics are great.......but they just dont acquire "character" ......

personally i think a well used all metal gun looks really nice.......where as a well used polymer gun just looks.......well dull and used.

Guy de Loimbard
October 28, 2010, 10:59 AM
Maybe the military and law enforcement no longer issue them but I doubt that their day is over for SD use. There are too many old sticks in the mud (like me) out there. Steel is what I own, steel is what I carry. I also happen to be pretty good with it.

easyg
October 28, 2010, 12:05 PM
I can't help wondering if the all steel auto is going to become like the blued full sized revolver: favored by a few diehards, but only a small portion of the guns made and sold.
Yep.

devildave31
October 28, 2010, 01:21 PM
I personally prefer steel, nothing against plastic, just a matter of preference.

To those who say steel is on life support or on it's way out the door, I heartily disagree. How long have polymers been available? steel is still going strong because someone, somewhere wants it. Basic Economics.

Case in Point, the argument about the black powder vs. cased ammo back in the day, keep in mind, you can still buy black powder guns today.

Paul7
October 28, 2010, 02:30 PM
Since I wouldn't carry any full size gun, the lighter polymer weight isn't an asset for me. My CZ-75b with factory rubber grips has little recoil. A thing I don't like about the hi-cap polymers is that gun weight seems to change as you run through the magazine. IMHO, plastic triggers aren't the greatest either.

Furncliff
October 28, 2010, 02:42 PM
Maybe my daughter who is mid twenties and shoots with me often, is old fashioned. Her comment while we were in a gun shop recently...

"polymer guns are soul-less".

As carry guns they have their place, but it seems to me that a steel gun is more fun at the range. I doubt that steel guns are on the way out. They just feel right to too many people.

Fastcast
October 28, 2010, 03:40 PM
Steel framed pistols have been on life support for decades, some guys just haven't figured it out yet. They will always have a place for guys who play games with their guns at the range and in magnum revolvers, but their day is over for serious SD, military and law enforcement use.



You wish!....I don't think CZ, Colt or Beretta will stop making steel & aluminum handguns anytime soon.

So what if they're not the cats meow of the modern day. :rolleyes: ....... Which I'll remind you usually means made cheaper/junkier but just as expensive to purchase based on marketing hype.

To insinuate that steel pistols are somehow inferior for "serious" SD or military and police is ridiculous! Besides a few extra onces of weight, how are they not serious?

Lets see what steel can do that plastic can't:

Crack skulls.
Be ran over by a Humvee etc, picked back up and fired.
I've lost my footing, slipped and crashed into a large rock. I can still get up and fight but my polymer framed pistol is ah broke. :eek:
Steel, endure extreme heat.....polymer melt.

Do I have polymers, yes, do I like them as well NO......It's kind of like a Chevette or Corvette.....They'll both get you around town but one does it with sophistication, class and style and the other does it with no feeling of pride.

Whatever trips your trigger is fine with me but don't claim they're not up to the task of serious work. :rolleyes:

Danneskjold
October 28, 2010, 03:50 PM
They both have their place to me, and whether the frame is steel, polymer, or what have you, isn't usually a selling point for me. The exception is with high pressure rounds like the 10mm. In most cases, it comes down to the question or performance and ergonomics for me.

GunTech
October 28, 2010, 04:08 PM
You fell and broke a polymer frame pistol? Pics please.

Rail Driver
October 28, 2010, 04:09 PM
I like the polymer guns well enough, but I'll stick with my 1911, thanks all the same.

GunTech
October 28, 2010, 04:19 PM
While I am a fan of steel pistols, the suggestion that polymer frame guns are somehow less durable is pretty hard to buy, considering the verified round counts in polymer guns versus steel and alloy frame guns.

Do this with your steel 1911:

http://www.theprepared.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=90

Lets see what steel can do that plastic can't:
Crack skulls.
Be ran over by a Humvee etc, picked back up and fired.
I've lost my footing, slipped and crashed into a large rock. I can still get up and fight but my polymer framed pistol is ah broke.
Steel, endure extreme heat.....polymer melt.


Most polymer pistols have plenty of steel - enough to use as a bludgeon. Though perhaps not as heavy as an all steel gun

As noted, show me a polymer gun where the frame broke because someone fell. The link above shows a polymer gun being thrown out of an airplane and still operating fine.

Extreme heat? Are you going to bake your pistol in the oven? A polymer framed pistol can survive any heat that the user can. Get a steel frame too hot and you'll ruin the heat treat an render it unsafe.

Fastcast
October 28, 2010, 04:48 PM
Lay one on concrete and smack the frame real good with a hammer and then do the same with a steel frame......Then will discuss durability. Not just round count.

Marshall
October 28, 2010, 04:54 PM
I can't help wondering if the all steel auto is going to become like the blued full sized revolver: favored by a few diehards, but only a small portion of the guns made and sold.

IMO, unfortunately yes, we could see that day.

DonRon
October 28, 2010, 05:01 PM
Polymer is the future, I tried to hate Glock for 15 years. Now it's my main carry gun. Go Figure.

GunTech
October 28, 2010, 05:22 PM
Did you read the link? Polymer framed gun dropped 500 feet from an airplane going 100 mph.

I've destroyed enough guns for the PD to know that steel frame guns will fail under a 2 pound sledge. Poly guns will too.If you'll provide the steel and polymer framed guns, I'll do the hammer test. :)

But really, how likely are you to have your gun attacked by someone wielding a hammer just heavy enough to damage a poly framed gun, but not a steel gun?

The reality is that in durability tests that are measuring typical types of wear and tear, steel framed guns just can't keep up. Try and find one recent competition where an all steel auto bested its polymer competitors.

But that is not what this thread was meant to be about. It's more about buying trends. At one point, revolvers were the standard and auto were considered by the firearms cognoscenti to be not as reliable or desirable.

Now, revolver sales make up a small percentage of all handguns sold. The current trends seem to favor polymer framed guns as well, and gunmakers are reacting to this by offering more and more polymer framed guns. 'Plastic' guns is no longer synonymous with cheap and unreliable.

The question is have we reached the point where to the typical gun buyer is all steel now retro? Is this just a trend, or have all steel guns taken a permanent back seat to their polymer brethren in terms of sales?

I'd also be interested to know the age of the posters - at least generally. I'd be willing to bet that the all steel crowd mostly falls on the far side of 40.

GunTech
October 28, 2010, 05:28 PM
Polymer is the future, I tried to hate Glock for 15 years. Now it's my main carry gun. Go Figure.

I am exactly the same. But the Glock still doesn't 'feel right' to me. In fact I have yet to find a polymer gun that feels like a proper gun to me. At the range, I love my CZs, Browning and 1911s. But when it comes to putting something in a holster, my G23 is still the standard carry. It's light, reliable and accurate. If feel about it what I feel about the AK - it lacks grace and character, but it performs it roles better than almost anything else.

My son, on the other hand, find poly guns completely natural, and my all steel guns heavy and with the wrong balance.

easyg
October 28, 2010, 07:13 PM
Maybe my daughter who is mid twenties and shoots with me often, is old fashioned. Her comment while we were in a gun shop recently...

"polymer guns are soul-less".
"soul-less"???

Really?


I weep for the future of this nation.

jimmyraythomason
October 28, 2010, 07:20 PM
Steel is what I own, steel is what I carry. Yep,me too.

Walkalong
October 28, 2010, 09:30 PM
I weep for the future of this nation. How melodramatic. :rolleyes:

EddieNFL
October 28, 2010, 09:38 PM
Do you steel lovers actually carry?

And by "carry" I don't mean throwing it in your glove box or strapping it on for a trip through the "bad areas." I mean eight hours minimum while doing everyday tasks.
My last boss asked me to carry at work. Government Model IWB 10 hours daily.

EddieNFL
October 28, 2010, 09:45 PM
A Glock 23 w/o mag is 21oz., loaded with 14rds. of 180gr. cartridges it weighs 31oz. A 1911 weighs 38-42oz. w/o mag and ~45-~48oz. loaded with 9rds.

Three pounds? My wife is snickering while pointing at her purse.

logical
October 28, 2010, 10:25 PM
The leap from heavy steel to polymer wasn't taken in one step. Most of my autos and several revolvers use lightweight metal alloys. The widespread use of plastic guns by law enforcement is more cost driven than anything else. If Sig sold P226s to agencys for $350 or whatever a Glock costs them things might be different.

Royalsalute
October 28, 2010, 11:50 PM
GunTech,
Wrong balance? You must have obtained the inexpensive all steel pistols.

JQP
October 29, 2010, 01:38 AM
Do this with your steel 1911:

http://www.theprepared.com/index.php...ask=view&id=90

Thanks for that link, Todd.

That's crazy!

I wonder how valid the claims made in it re the multiple and delicately prompted failure of the HK vs the Glock.

It is absolutely fascinating to see what horrendous abuse he put that Glock through.

Maximumbob54
October 29, 2010, 02:53 AM
I too went through the plastic fantastic phase. I couldn't wait to get a Glock back in the day. I'm 32 now and I have noticed that as often as I can afford to shoot it comes to an in the safe more and shoot less issue. I fight off rust issues, get mad at how soft and able to damage aluminum is, and the Glock just stays the same. But when I get to go shoot I don't care to shoot anything but the all steel 1911 or all steel revolver. I too have looked at the CZ75 family and I think it might be just the thing. That or a Hipower.

Snubshooter
October 29, 2010, 05:43 AM
I think the cost of steel will eventually make it far too expensive for the normal shooter to afford and thereby obsolete those weapons due to cost. The makers will follow the money and make more poly frames leaving the steel frames to high end custom shops. It is sad but true. That being said when I was a kid they called my 1911 "old slab sides" and the revolvers were a thing of beauty(they still are) I also think my old 1911 is still beautiful after 40 years.

19&41
October 29, 2010, 06:52 PM
I wonder how many people would have imagined before the interest took hold that an entire industry would have been established to manufacture reproduction blackpowder firearms. It is impossible to predict what will attract the interest of future shooters, nor to guess at what might spur that interest. But if there is a firearm industry, they will supply whatever the shooters fancy dictates, as that is where is the money is. Some movie cop with a fondness for metal frame pistols might reverse the turn to polymer. Whatever it has been called over the years, the "coolness factor" always holds sway, and can override practicality. I can remember a lot of .45's being shelved in the '80's in favor of the "wondernines". Now the tide turns again.

jeepguy
October 29, 2010, 07:04 PM
my first pistol was a xd .40 which was good. then sold that & i boughta alloy frame beretta 92fs, later a sig 226 .40, s&w 1911 5" pd, kimber pro carry .45, and for a backup carry a cz 82. now i want to sell my s&w 1911 & kimber pro carry 9mm and get a kimber pro carry .45 hd & cz 75 compact. i went the other way from polymer to alloy & finally to all steel. im not sure alloy will last forever but will still have a place in my stable along with some all steel pistols. i don't even look at polymer anymore, for me its steel without rails.

S&W620
October 30, 2010, 12:03 AM
Did you read the link? Polymer framed gun dropped 500 feet from an airplane going 100 mph.

I've destroyed enough guns for the PD to know that steel frame guns will fail under a 2 pound sledge. Poly guns will too.If you'll provide the steel and polymer framed guns, I'll do the hammer test. :)

But really, how likely are you to have your gun attacked by someone wielding a hammer just heavy enough to damage a poly framed gun, but not a steel gun?

The reality is that in durability tests that are measuring typical types of wear and tear, steel framed guns just can't keep up. Try and find one recent competition where an all steel auto bested its polymer competitors.

But that is not what this thread was meant to be about. It's more about buying trends. At one point, revolvers were the standard and auto were considered by the firearms cognoscenti to be not as reliable or desirable.

Now, revolver sales make up a small percentage of all handguns sold. The current trends seem to favor polymer framed guns as well, and gunmakers are reacting to this by offering more and more polymer framed guns. 'Plastic' guns is no longer synonymous with cheap and unreliable.

The question is have we reached the point where to the typical gun buyer is all steel now retro? Is this just a trend, or have all steel guns taken a permanent back seat to their polymer brethren in terms of sales?

I'd also be interested to know the age of the posters - at least generally. I'd be willing to bet that the all steel crowd mostly falls on the far side of 40.
Guntech, you made some nice points in your previous post about the trends of guns over time and such, but I'm gonna have to disagree with one point, the durability of steel guns vs plastic.

Your quote: "The reality is that in durability tests that are measuring typical types of wear and tear, steel framed guns just can't keep up. Try and find one recent competition where an all steel auto bested its polymer competitors."

I wouldn't necessarily say this is "besting" but the metal CZ P-01 is the only pistol I know of to have passed the NATO testing. Not an easy test either. I'm sure you are familiar with it, but if not, check it out. The CZ tested awfully well.

Also, as far as "testing", anyone or any company can throw a gun in a bucket of sand, mud, water, etc., but the 1911 has lasted for 100 years in actual military use being used to defend life and limb in the most extreme environments on earth. If there is one handgun in the history of the world that can be considered "durable" or "battle tested", the all steel 1911 would surely be it.

Lastly, as far as the age of "steel guys", I'll ask this; what is the average age of a guy who owns a Ferrari? How about a vacation home? Custom motorcycle? Private hunting land? While polymer may be nice, they are also generally cheaper. Cheaper products tend to equal more sales. I think once gun guys get to a point in their life where they can afford the "finer things in life", a nice 1911 is typically preferred to a poly pistol. Thankfully, until they get to that point, there are plenty of great polymer options ;)

FWIW, I'm not even close to 40 yet and I only own steel guns. While I've enjoyed owning a few poly guns in the past, I like my guns to feel like guns, not my son's Supersoaker. This is of course just my opinion.

Poohgyrr
October 30, 2010, 02:34 AM
I prefer to carry what I do best with. That generally is a metal frame.

Instead of worrying about a few ounces of pistol, most of us would be better off losing a few pounds fom our guts. Hah, that seems like an ongoing battle for me. I like good food and have cut back, but still - five pounds off my gut beats one pound of pistol.

Besides, my family is worth one or two pounds of good pistol (plus gear).

I understand our troops can carry 60 to 160 pounds of gear into battle, in that 130+ degree heat. Guess they aren't so soft. While they fight the Islamic extremists over there, I guess I could stand by their families here - against our home grown thugs....

Some good things are done with polymer pistols. The metal pistols do as well as they always have. And it is a good thing each of us can choose how to spend our own money.

Sunray
October 30, 2010, 03:23 AM
"...all steel auto is going to become like the blued full sized revolver..." Have you seen the prices a vintage 1911 or Python command?

CYANIDEGENOCIDE
October 30, 2010, 11:59 AM
If poly is so wonderful why aren't slides and barrels made from it? On a serious note everything has it's place. Polymer frames are fine for taking out beating the snot out of it and forgetting about it until it's time for "work" again. Aside from the weight savings I prefer steel, and I'm even so picky as to prefer forged frames over cast frames. Steel frames don't stop at the 1911 either. There are plently of great weapons in mid-size to compact in steel.

jimmyraythomason
October 30, 2010, 12:14 PM
I find it quite funny that the major complaint AGAINST RG and similar guns (alloy frames) is now a PLUS for other brands.

Xfire68
October 30, 2010, 12:24 PM
I never really liked "Poly" guns mostly because of the looks and later on after I had a chance to handle a few and fire a few how light they were. They just did not feel right in my hand.

I even passed on a CZ 75 SP01 Phantom because I thought is was way to light empty at the gun shop. My brother later bought one and I had a chance to shoot it and I love that gun! I own a all metal CZ 75B and still like it more the the Phantom but, the Phantom is a great shooting gun!

smallbore
October 30, 2010, 12:54 PM
No. And I don't believe they will ever be.

GunTech
October 30, 2010, 06:24 PM
S&W620

The Glock passed the NATO testing. The G17 was tested and assigned NATO Stock Number (1005/25/133/6775). In fact, when tested it surpassed all prior NATO durability standards - and still holds the record to date.

The CZ P-01 is rated for a frame life of 30,000 round of +P 9mm. There are many fully documented Glock with round counts over 150,000 rounds. The first well knonm Glock torture test was conducted by gun writer Chuck Taylor, a self described 1911 fan out to prove that the Glock was a plastic POS. The test pistol is now at almost 300,000 round as is the subject of an article to be publish in the Fen 2011 issue of Combat Handguns.

Finally, there are a large number of NATO tested and approved handguns, so the CZ marketing copy doesn't mean as much as people think.

Casefull
October 31, 2010, 12:08 AM
All mass produced firearms have steel barrels. Most slides are steel or full of steel parts wherever stress and large forces are concentrated. The fasteners are steel. Polymers do not have the density needed for many parts in firearms. We still have steel guns...just some of the low stress parts are made of plastic. Maybe the flexibility of the poly actually helps the pistol last longer by absorbing some of the shock of recoil. Plastic with metal tabs for slides on my glock, yuk, I know it works but seems weak and mickey mouse.

Ragnar Danneskjold
October 31, 2010, 07:37 PM
No. And I don't believe they will ever be.

Really? I would like to hear your thoughts on small arms in say, the year 2411.

jeepmor
November 1, 2010, 03:02 AM
I know it works but seems weak and mickey mouse.

Round count is the ultimate decision maker. I've had a CCW 45 compact for many years now and probably put 5k thru it. It hiccuped a few range sessions back and has me wondering if I didn't keep it clean enough or needed to replace it.

On that note, I'm considering an all steel micro-compact 1911 for just the wear considerations noted.

That said, as an engineer by trade, nothing beats steel for wear in the pricepoints we are discussing.

Fastcast
November 1, 2010, 11:10 AM
That said, as an engineer by trade, nothing beats steel for wear in the pricepoints we are discussing.

Exactly.....and as others stated, if polymer was as tough as steel, they'd make the barrels and slides out of poly also but they don't for reason......HERE'S YOUR SIGN......But the plastic gurus will always have some poly pistol (link) in a bucket of mud, being dropped from a plane, sprayed with salt water, yada, yada, yada, trying to convince others plastic is stronger than steel.....LMAO

It may not deteriorate like steel, when abused but stronger?....Please. :rolleyes:

easyg
November 1, 2010, 11:48 AM
but the 1911 has lasted for 100 years in actual military use being used to defend life and limb in the most extreme environments on earth. If there is one handgun in the history of the world that can be considered "durable" or "battle tested", the all steel 1911 would surely be it.
While there is a small grain of truth to this statement, remember this:

1) Very few soldiers ever carried the 1911 in battle. The typical grunt was never issued any handgun at all.
WWI was the last war where handguns made any significant difference at all.

2) The military spent millions of dollars and millions of man-hours maintaining those 1911 hanguns.
It's not that the 1911 is particularly durable, it's just that it was constantly cleaned, inspected, repaired, and serviced while in military service.

3) handguns in the military are actually fired very seldom....
During peacetime most 1911s seldom had more than 200 rounds shot per year.
And during times of war the 1911 still saw very few rounds fired.

I'm not a 1911 hater, but it never really made that big of a difference in warfare.

easyg
November 1, 2010, 11:57 AM
Plastic with metal tabs for slides on my glock, yuk, I know it works but seems weak and mickey mouse.
The very fact that it works so well should make it clear that an all steel frame with a full-length groove for the slide only offers unnecessary weight with no real gain in performance.

bds
November 1, 2010, 09:37 PM
The military spent millions of dollars and millions of man-hours maintaining those 1911 hanguns. It's not that the 1911 is particularly durable, it's just that it was constantly cleaned, inspected, repaired, and serviced while in military service.
When I was in the service during early 80s, I was one of several designated to our unit's armory to maintain them. When we got new 1911s, they were very very rough! We were tasked to make them function reliably before they got issued to the officers. Each pistol was completely disassembled and cleaned, polished, function checked and lubed. We also function checked issued pistols and performed maintenance cleaning on a regular basis.

handguns in the military are actually fired very seldom....
During peacetime most 1911s seldom had more than 200 rounds shot per year. And during times of war the 1911 still saw very few rounds fired.
Issued pistols got shot for range qualifications. That was the extent of typical use pistols experienced in our unit.

jad0110
November 1, 2010, 10:12 PM
Do you steel lovers actually carry?

And by "carry" I don't mean throwing it in your glove box or strapping it on for a trip through the "bad areas." I mean eight hours minimum while doing everyday tasks.

4" Ruger Police Service Six, most days all day long. Probably weighs about 37 to 40 oz loaded. No problems whatsover. A good belt and holster makes the weight completely disappear. Barely know it's there. I also carry a 4" S&W Model 28 now and then (all day long when I do carry it). It probably weight 45 to 48 oz loaded. Again, no issues with the weight, but it is a physically large gun and I do have to dress around it.

Still, if one has back problems, weight can certainly be an issue. Plus, as another person said, preference is a huge factor as well. I personally don't care for the way polymer handguns feel in my hand. That flexing sensation just feels junky to me (no, Glocks and XDs aren't junk - the feel of them just doesn't do it for me); think slamming the door on a 1986 Chevy Crapalier.

I will say that having a lightweight, pocketable gun is nice for BUG duty, or for tooling around the house on a rainy Sunday.

Indeed, when I speak to younger shooters, they typically gravitate to polymer guns, complaining that all steel guns are too heavy.

Babies. :D

I'd like to see them hump 80 lbs of gear over rough terrain in 90+ degree heat for 12 miles. :p

bds
November 1, 2010, 10:32 PM
I'd like to see them hump 80 lbs of gear over rough terrain in 90+ degree heat for 12 miles.
And try that while wearing a gas mask - fastest way to lose weight!

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