February 19, 2011, 11:23 AM
Curious about the durability of scandium framed 1911s. Want a LW 1911 for carry. I have owned a few 1911s in the past but am no expert. I understand there is something about the LW alluminum feed ramps being beat up (to what extent i am also curious).

How is this new fangled scandium holding up for people?

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February 19, 2011, 01:05 PM
I dont know about the scandium, but my father carried an aluminum frame colt officers model for around ten years, never had any issues with it at all, still has it and carries it as his CCW from time to time. From what I understand of the newer alloy, it is just as light, but supposed to be more durrable.

February 19, 2011, 07:27 PM
The alloy Scandium is stronger than aluminum and lighter than titanium. It's a great alloy for pistols and the S&W 1911s with scandium frames are a great compromise in weight. The one I'm familiar with is the commander size and it is comfortable to shoot and accurate.;)

February 20, 2011, 02:26 PM
I believe the Smith&Wesson 4040PD was made out of Scandium too, at least the frame was and they have been around for years with no complaints. As a matter of fact, they are looked upon as a great CCW gun due to the light weight and powerful cartridge they fire.:cool:

February 20, 2011, 08:12 PM
Scandium is a metallic element that is alloyed with aluminum in small amounts, less than 1%, to stabilise the grain structure of the aluminum for heat treating. Scandium is actually is bit heavier than aluminum, but the weight difference in the part is negligable due to the amount present. It is good to see a firearms manufacturer use some of the newer metallurgical developments.

Ala Dan
February 21, 2011, 08:16 AM
S&W 1911PD comes to mind; a quality firearm for sure. :scrutiny: ;) :D

February 21, 2011, 08:28 AM
+1 on the 1911PD! Darn good gun!

February 21, 2011, 12:52 PM
I always make sure my LW 1911s come with ramped barrels, so the soft frame is not an issue in the feed ramp area.

February 21, 2011, 01:21 PM
The S&W will be covered for life, if that makes you feel better about it. Seems a while back I read a post elsewhere about a cracked frame at 25k and it was indeed replaced under warranty. I believe there was also some info on using particular magazines to keep from biffing the feed ramp constantly as one poster had noted peening on his.

February 21, 2011, 07:20 PM
Sc is between Al and Ti on the periodic table. It is very rare and expensive, but they don't really use much when they alloy it with the Al for the frames...I have the 1911Sc that predated the 1911PD.

The weight is not much different than the Colt Commander I used to carry. I talked to a cuple of gunsmiths about Sc and their take on it was that the frames were just slightly more elastic. Mine never had a problem with excess wear on the ramp. It fed fine with the Act-Mags it came with, but I usually used the Chip McComick(CMC) PowerMags with mine

Dill Man
February 21, 2011, 08:00 PM
Never had any issues with my 1911PD. The feed ramp and rails look almost as fresh today as when I took it from the box, over 4.000 rounds ago.

February 22, 2011, 01:01 AM
Scandium frames should hold up better than aluminum frames.

One of the first widespread commercial uses of scandium was in high end bicycle frames. I was running bike shops when they started to hit the market.

Scandium frames are stronger but also have a better fatigue life than Aluminum with the same or lighter weight. Scandium can flex some without developing stress fractures like aluminum; so Aluminum frames have to be stiffer to resist flexing. This lets Scandium frames be built lighter than Aluminum ones (I'm not sure of the weights of S&W frames though) or stronger if the same weight.

I believe that Scandium alloys end up being roughly 20-30% stronger than conventional Aluminum with roughly 50% better fatigue resistance. (It has been a while so this may not be correct)

February 22, 2011, 01:33 AM
Very interesting atlp99

It sounds like the use of it in the S&W Gen 3 compact .40 really benefited from the properties...allowing them to be built on a smaller frame than that of the compact .45 frames

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