Make your best case why todays firearms are better...


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Rembrandt
March 10, 2011, 08:59 PM
Many things I appreciate about today's technology, materials, and machining methods. But haven't gone gaga over the current firearm offerings being served up. With the current economic stress, I'm starting to think manufactures are more fixated about meeting a price point than giving gun buyers quality products.

After looking over much of what's on the market, I'm more convinced than ever to buy the quality of yesteryear....where fit and finish were something to be proud of.

Exhibit "A"......This is not a significant collectible, it's a Ortgies 7.65mm (32 ACP) pocket pistol. Gave about $100 for it some years ago. Upon closer inspection the tolerances are far better than my Gold Cup and other firearms that have a reputation for quality. Sure you can find quality today at the higher end of the market.....but this used to be standard fare for run of the mill guns.

Note the fit between the slide and frame, gotta be less than .001"....yet this was achieved on what may have been belt driven machinery from the 1920's. Clearance between the trigger and frame are tighter than most modern mass produced pistols today. Magazine is a nice snug fit, (I know, I know, we want them to drop free for faster reloading today) yet this is remarkable fitting for parts made nearly 100 years ago. Note how the front and rear sights are machined as part of the slide....no solder or staked on later to reduce costs.

Wish everyone seeing this could physically inspect this gun to see what we are missing today.....instead here's a few pics to make the point.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/Firearms/IMG_0193.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/Firearms/IMG_0173.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/Firearms/IMG_0185.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/Firearms/IMG_0187.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/Firearms/IMG_0189.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/Firearms/IMG_0191.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/Firearms/IMG_0192.jpg

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earlthegoat2
March 10, 2011, 09:20 PM
The generalization, "older is better" is not so much a generalization as everyone likes to believe.

I wont be caught dead buying a Smith from after 2000. Usually it is from before 1980 even. New stuff really is useless. The evidence is overwhelming.

speedway
March 10, 2011, 09:24 PM
No case to be made. Older is usually better in my book (when it comes to quality firearms).

That said, my daily carry is a G26, but I prefer to collect, and fire older handguns.

kingpin008
March 10, 2011, 09:32 PM
New stuff really is useless. The evidence is overwhelming.

A couple problems with your statement.

1. Define "new stuff".

2. Modern guns are hardly "useless". Hundreds of thousands of people use modern-design firearms every day for fun, work, defense and more. Therefore by definition this bit of your statement is nonsense.

I'd love to see some of this overwhelming evidence as well.

nwilliams
March 10, 2011, 09:34 PM
The old phrase "they don't make 'em like they used to" is often the case in regards to firearms, although this is not always the case.

Some gun today are better than guns of the past and some guns of the past are better than some guns of today, it really depends on the gun in question and how it compares to similar guns today.

I still think that there are plenty of gun companies out there today that are making firearms of fine quality and easily as good as anything of the past. I still think (in no particular order) that S&W, Colt, HK, FN, Springfield Armory, Ruger, Remington and Beretta make very high quality products and every company has had it's ups and downs over the years. What's also true is that some companies still make certain types of guns as good as they ever did in the past, Colt AR's haven't gone down in quality, Ruger and S&W revolvers are still extremely well made, Beretta still makes top quality handguns and shotguns, FN gives us civilian versions of their military weapons that are basically identical with exception of barrel length and being semi-auto, HK may be expensive and I might suck and they may hate mate but they still make firearms of outstanding quality.

menacingsquirrel
March 10, 2011, 09:45 PM
I wonder when we (myself included) talk about older firearms versus modern, that we're not comparing apples to oranges. With the affordability of modern firearms, I think sometimes we compare today's lower end to yesteryear's better quality. If we crunched the numbers, would a Remington 700 today cost the same relative to one back in the day? Most would agree the fit and finish on an older Remington surpasses a new one today. We can still get quality, we just have to pay for it.

earlthegoat2
March 10, 2011, 09:51 PM
Yeah yeah, I know they are not "useless"(unless you are talking resale value) but quit taking everything so literally.

Take a Model 38 and a new model 638 side by side and tell me what you think.

Take all of the old model K frames and compare them to the pathetically few new model K frames which is by and large on of the most loved revolver platforms ever. Good job S&W on axing nearly ALL of them and putting lock on them to boot.

Even Taurus revolvers from the eighties had the feel of a real gun in your hand unlike today how the things are rattle traps at best. Well them and S&Ws.

I see Colt still makes firearms.....barely.

The only company still making real guns is Ruger and they have their own skeletons they are still paying for. They also like ripping off designs like the P3AT.

Sure Glocks are great but they came on the scene way too short of a time ago.

There HAVE been recent advances in pocketguns lately. I am happy for all those who care.

New 1911s are great. Just fork out 2000 or more bones.

Remington is my favorite.......I dont need to go into that. Lets just say I have a Wingmaster from 1971 and have no plans on "upgrading" to a new one.

Mmmmmm, I sure love synthetic stocks. You better because you sure dont get wood anymore.

Nice matte finish. Perfect for collecting rust. I bet shiny bluing would be better at corrosion resistance.

For some MIM parts are the second coming of Satan. Im indifferent on their qualities as a material.

What the heck is that finish on new non stainless Smith revolvers anyway?

Would you like that part forged, sir? No thank you, I will take pot metal.

Make your best case why todays firearms are better...

Sorry I did not answer your question Rembrandt. Perhaps the fellow who refuted my statement would like to.

Larry Ashcraft
March 10, 2011, 09:54 PM
"they don't make 'em like they used to"
And there's a reason for that.

Much like the auctioneer's proclamation; "They don't make these anymore". There's a reason for that also.

belercous
March 10, 2011, 11:39 PM
My Para .45 1911 shoots 2" groups at 25 yds. with factory (not match) ammo. It cost me less, today, than an equivalent 1911 did in 1975.

There is a very good reason they don't make guns like they used to, and I'm glad they don't. Same with cars. A 1975 ford would be worn out after 120,000 miles. A 2010 Ford with 180,000 miles is worth repairng. And newer cars require far less maintenance than older ones.

Modern machining techniques (CNC) permit closer tolerances than before, thus reducing the need for hand-fitting, which commensurately lowers the price while keeping (and often improving) the longevity of the manufactured article.

One can still purchase fine hand crafted guns, but the price tends to keep many out of the game. And I don't care as much about craftsmanship as function.

JohnBiltz
March 11, 2011, 02:57 AM
I think memories get pretty selective. How many automatic handguns out of the box in the 50s or 60s could fire a thousand JHPs with out jamming? 1911s couldn't. There are reasons cops stuck to wheel guns back then.

Gun finishes get brought up. Today's finishes are better. At least better at protecting against rust which is what finishes are supposed to do. People complain loudly if they see rust on a gun nowadays. I've never seen rust on a Glock.

Pot metal got brought up. It used to be a Colt 1911 hammer was case hardened because that was the best way to make them now the whole thing is machined out of modern steel.

I remember when stocks were made out of wood and then the new artificial stocks came out and the gun magazines loved them. No longer did you have to worry about them swelling due to moisture and they were lighter.

I've said it before I'll say it again, We live in a golden age of firearms. Never before have we had such a wide selection of really great affordable firearms.

leadcounsel
March 11, 2011, 04:59 AM
Without a doubt the quality of handmade items was better in the past. However, the improvements in metalurgy and ergonics, and the sheer affordability make todays guns better.

For instance, a Glock may not be the prettiest girl at the ball, but a Glock is predicted outlast - in durability and reliability, any historic handgun (given the same variables/treatment, etc).

I suspect that historically guns were so expensive and the offerings so non-diverse that one might own only a few varieties. However, now, there is such a diverse variety and they are so affordable, it's not difficult for the average person to own say 20-50 guns.

While nostalgic, few guns of yesteryear meet the criteria for reliability and durability that they are selected over todays guns for similar roles. I tip my hat to a few noteworthy designs and models that still are called upon for duty. Of course the 1911 and lever guns for carry and hunting respectively; the Makarovs, CZ82s, Radoms, etc. are commonly carried; etc.

I have a pure appreciation for, and collect, C&Rs, but by and large, my vote goes for modern...

earlthegoat2
March 11, 2011, 07:34 AM
I think there is just going to have to be a lot of agreeing to disagree in this thread.

My bias is obvious. I have been very impressed with the older guns and not so impressed with much of anything new.

Older automatics were not designed to fire hollow point ammunition because HPs are a fairly recent development in terms of overall firearms history.

It would be nice if some examples were made as well. In my previous post my examples were vague but they were still examples of how the newer products leave a lot to be desired.

If we wanted to hash out 1911s specifically or S&W revolvers or some other more specific comparison between today and yesterday you will get various levels of "better here, better there" but the question pertains to the level of quality of guns in general.

Rembrandt
March 11, 2011, 07:48 AM
One thing that rarely gets mentioned is the thermal variances in materials.....polymers tend to grow and shrink with temperature changes as well as some light weight alloys, which explains greater tolerances.

Granted the two part catalyzed paints are superior to paint of the past, but a nice paint job on a gun doesn't say quality like a plated or blued finish does.

PercyShelley
March 11, 2011, 08:36 AM
If you shoot for accuracy there's simply no comparison. There are firearms today that can shoot more accurately than was possible several decades ago and there are firearms for off the shelf prices that can shoot just as accurately as custom rifles from a few decades ago.

If you shoot in volume there's simply no comparison. I did a cost comparison of rifles from about a century ago, and my conclusion was that adjusted for inflation rifles today aren't dramatically more or less expensive than they were a century ago when adjusted for inflation. The ammo, however, is drastically less expensive and is made to much better standards. There are stories about WWI fighter pilots individually measuring all their ammunition with micrometers to make sure it wouldn't cause stoppages during combat. Today? Just not something you worry about as much.

If you like pieces that show craftsmanship and the human touch, well, there's no comparison. Outside of custom jobs it's just too expensive to make firearms really pretty given early 21st century skilled labor costs.

bigalexe
March 11, 2011, 09:09 AM
I see the same thing in reference to tools and it is usually phrased something like 'Darn new craftsman crap from china!'

Here's the deal:
Some of the newer stuff is going to be manufactured overseas and moved to cheaper facilities because it can be. However the thing is that today we see AR-15's machined with CNC Mills to very exacting tolerances that were not possible some decades ago, and they are done so En Masse.

Also another complaint is increased use of Polymers (Plastics). Most people including myself seem to hold this belief that if you want something done right, do it in metal. The fact is that even though I like metal, I did learn in my Engineering materials courses that Polymers today can be made to have the same durable qualities as metals and in some manners are superior, heck if you have a polymer barrel (no they don't exist yet) then the barrel would never burn your hand because polymer is an insulator and wouldn't heat up! Oh and polymer won't rust.

Alot of things appear cheaper, but the fact is that if you look in the right places. Things are always moving forward.

22-rimfire
March 11, 2011, 09:13 AM
I do think memory is very selective. People complained 30 years ago about Smiths and Colts and they talked about how good the old ones are or were. Ruger... I wouldn't even consider buying one then. Now... according to some, they are the greatest thing since apple pie. I don't see it personally. Ruger's .... they work most of the time..... yep. Being functional isn't enough. Ruger needs to spend just a bit more time on their fit and finish to make me happy. In particular, I would eliminate most of the sharp edges.

I find the currently made revolvers from Smith & Wesson far from "useless". I would not hesitate to buy one if it met my intended purpose.

Bubba613
March 11, 2011, 09:37 AM
Exhibit "A"......This is not a significant collectible, it's a Ortgies 7.65mm (32 ACP) pocket pistol. Gave about $100 for it some years ago. Upon closer inspection the tolerances are far better than my Gold Cup and other firearms that have a reputation for quality. Sure you can find quality today at the higher end of the market.....but this used to be standard fare for run of the mill guns.


All nonsense.
Your Ortgies is a cheap pocket pistol. It is large and heavy given the caliber, the man-stopping .32ACP. The steel in it is far inferior to what is used today. The finish you see is largely the result of much softer material that is easier to work with.
That is across the board the case. Today's Smith revolvers have much better actions than the guns of the 1970s. Today's Colt 1911s will actually feed a magazine of hardball without stopping, unlike the 1970s versions.
Materials are longer-lasting, stronger, and cheaper. Compare a Walther P38 to a Glock 17. Which one would you rather carry for defense?
And they are more affordable. I have a new CZ75B in the shop tagged at under $500. It is in every way comparable to a Hi Power, except being easier to use. The comparable Hi Power is over $800.
There were no pistols chambered for 10mm, .40S&W, 454Casul or .357SIG prior to 1960. Nor could there be.
Older guns are art objects, collectibles, curios and objects of sentimentality. They are not working tools.

Zanad
March 11, 2011, 10:21 AM
a lot of people say that older was better but I would wonder how many people would actually buy a newly made, (with the the quality and precise tolerances) and pay $3000 for something that might be inferior in function compared to today's guns. With inflation and and average pay, that the K-smith "back in the day" would be a hard swallow financially for most of the people complaining about today's quality.

never in the history of man has there ever been a time when consistency was better.

how often in the fifty's was a rifle guaranteed/expected to shoot under 2" groups @ 100 yards and only pay less than a weeks pay?

In my opinion, it is because of surviving "relics" we see today in the internet age that a lot of pistols of old gain almost supernatural fame(colt python anyone?). The bad examples of the "golden years" are neigh to be found unless you look in lots of parts bins.

Sky
March 11, 2011, 10:24 AM
Better anti rust finish, less weight, and in many cases better metalurgey. Generalized statement of course

oneounceload
March 11, 2011, 11:07 AM
I'm starting to think manufactures are more fixated about meeting a price point than giving gun buyers quality products.

When huge quantities of cheap modern imports started making inroads here due to only their price, US companies had to respond - they did that by making guns as inexpensively as they could in order to compete. Many folks here and on similar forums are after one thing only - the cheapest "buy" price they can find.

I prefer to follow my sig line whenever possible with ANY product I am buying - it is cheaper to but once and cry once, then to buy cheap over and over

leadcounsel
March 11, 2011, 11:30 AM
I'll also add the following:
$100.00 in 1930 had the same buying power as $1,255.52 in 2010.

Annual inflation over this period was 3.21%.

This is according to an inflation calculator found on the web.


I don't know when that pistol was made, but you could probably buy two or possibly three Glocks, or two XDs, etc. for the price of one of those pistols, given the value at the time...

Sam1911
March 11, 2011, 12:04 PM
When huge quantities of cheap modern imports started making inroads here due to only their price, US companies had to respond - they did that by making guns as inexpensively as they could in order to compete. Many folks here and on similar forums are after one thing only - the cheapest "buy" price they can find.

But that's not the whole picture. When the "cheap modern imports" and the US-made semi-clones of them (I assume we're talking about Glocks, xDs, M&Ps, and the like?) start dominating the test bed of competition, and when the relatively well-off American consumer decides that the features he/she are getting (weight, durability of finish, capacity, etc.) from the 'cheap' modern guns are actually more appealing than what's available from older and/or more expensive designs, you can't claim that cost is the deciding factor. It isn't.

I post this regularly, but I watched Dave Olhasso win Division Champion in CDP -- that's the .45 1911 class -- at 2008 IDPA Nationals. He beat all those "Custom Defensive" 1911s with a .45 M&P. Cost had nothing to do with that. He just shot it faster and more accurately than the other Masters could shoot their Gov't models.

To put another fine point on it: There are lots of modern import (and similar) handguns. Some are expensive. Some are not terribly expensive.

But those who don't choose Sigs or H&Ks (especially in competitive circles) aren't doing so because those guns are more expensive. They've found something else that works better for them, and it happens to be cheaper, too.

Justin
March 11, 2011, 12:15 PM
Generally speaking modern guns are more accurate, less prone to malfunction, available at a lower price-point once inflation is accounted for, require less maintenance, and will run many more rounds before requiring work than old guns.

Sure, there are quality firearms that were made in the quote-unquote good ol' days, but that doesn't change the fact that you can walk into nearly any gun shop in this country and buy a handgun capable of going for 50,000 rounds, or a rifle capable of minute-of-angle accuracy right out of the box.

CoRoMo
March 11, 2011, 12:42 PM
Note how the front and rear sights are machined as part of...
http://pics.gunbroker.com/GB/204426000/204426960/pix976264993.jpg

You see that? Now that's the type of sugar that Daddy likes! :D

Remo223
March 11, 2011, 12:59 PM
The 100 year old firearms floating around still in use will still be around 100 years from now assuming they aren't unprotected from moisture. The newly minted plastic stuff will crumble to pieces in 100 years. Plastic does not stand up to age, but it does stand up to moisture.

Also, the modern metal methods are not as good as forged.

I've often thought about what it will be like in 50 years when all these glock frames will start to decompose and there will be a huge excess of slides and barrels. I suppose someone will invent a do it yourself home glock frame kit. Save your metal tag with the serial number on it and cast your own grip frame in fresh resin.

ny32182
March 11, 2011, 01:08 PM
We're going on 30 years for Glocks, no frames crumbling yet. If mine crumble in 50 years:

1) I'll be happy if I'm still functional enough to shoot them, and
2) I'll be happy to buy a new frame for 20 bucks. :rolleyes:

I think Justin summed it up nicely, and to expand on what Sam said, in competetive shooting, where people actually shoot their guns, the gun is the cheapest part of the entire equation. If 'old' guns were more durable, more accurate, more reliable, or more functional in any measureable way... everyone would be shooting them.

oneounceload
March 11, 2011, 01:10 PM
(I assume we're talking about Glocks, xDs, M&Ps, and the like?)

Actually, I was thinking more of the Chinese knock-offs of the 870 Wingmaster as an example leading Remington to produce the cheaper Express

I guess it comes down to how much "craftsmanship" you prefer in lieu of machine-done work. There are pros and cons to both. Modern processes are more repeatable, yet the workers appear to be mere assemblers, not craftsmen; sadly, it seems most modern gunsmiths are the same.

Don't get me wrong - I have both plastic and wood, steel and aluminum, polished blue and matte black. When it comes to the beauty and craftsmanship, I'll take the older stuff every time

Remo223
March 11, 2011, 01:27 PM
We're going on 30 years for Glocks, no frames crumbling yet. If mine crumble in 50 years:

1) I'll be happy if I'm still functional enough to shoot them, and
2) I'll be happy to buy a new frame for 20 bucks. :rolleyes:

I think Justin summed it up nicely, and to expand on what Sam said, in competetive shooting, where people actually shoot their guns, the gun is the cheapest part of the entire equation. If 'old' guns were more durable, more accurate, more reliable, or more functional in any measureable way... everyone would be shooting them.
I've seen a few first generation police issue glock 17 pistols that are pretty crumbly around the edges and on the outer surfaces. It is scientific fact that polymers degrade when exposed to sunlight. Plastic turns brittle and cracks and crumbles and fades. The outer surfaces turn to dust and slough off.

You don't know if there will be any glock frames produced in 50 years. I would say probably not. Things get redesigned and go obsolete faster than they used to.

CoRoMo
March 11, 2011, 01:28 PM
...glock frames produced in 50 years. I would say probably not.
LOL!! Are you a betting man?

tarosean
March 11, 2011, 01:36 PM
It is scientific fact that polymers degrade when exposed to sunlight.

Heat and salt also aid in degradation... All three variables are generally present when shooting a polymer gun.

ny32182
March 11, 2011, 01:39 PM
I would say there will be plenty of Glocks produced in 50 years. Anything that is NOT Glock or 1911, who knows, but those two platforms have defined their respective eras and will be around forever.

Robert
March 11, 2011, 01:44 PM
Cause they are :neener:

Remo223
March 11, 2011, 01:48 PM
You people are too simple minded. Sure the glock name will be around for 50 years. But a glock pistol in production that hasn't been redesigned? Probably not.

ny32182
March 11, 2011, 02:03 PM
Remo, it is not that the rest of us are simple minded, it is just that your mind is so expansive that the rest of us can't keep up!

Lets see a picture of those crumbling Glocks.

Pete D.
March 11, 2011, 02:09 PM
When, exactly does "old" end and "new" begin? What, exactly, are you comparing about the two - fit and finish, functionality, accuracy?
All of those? Some?
Consider Damascus barreled firearms.....what is the standard caution about using them? An old Damascus shotgun is a thing of beauty but that doesn't mean that corrosion hasn't set in somewhere that can't be seen. Is that better than a modern gun?
Better steels today.
Pete

Justin
March 11, 2011, 02:09 PM
The 100 year old firearms floating around still in use will still be around 100 years from now assuming they aren't unprotected from moisture. The newly minted plastic stuff will crumble to pieces in 100 years. Plastic does not stand up to age, but it does stand up to moisture.

HK started making the VP70 in the late '60s-early 70s, and plenty of them are still going strong. There has been no compelling evidence presented by people who dislike polymer-framed guns that they will degrade past the point of usability at any given point.

Frankly, it's been kind of hilarious watching the evolution of that argument. Shortly after Glocks hit it big, the haters were claiming the plastic frames wouldn't last ten years of heavy use.

Then it was twenty years.

Then thirty.

Then fifty.

Now, I guess we have to push the century mark for the argument that plastic is worse than metal to hold any water.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=29698&d=1128794076

Frankly, if the plastic guns don't hold, I have to wonder why they're so popular among competitive shooters who fire tens of thousands of rounds through them in a season.

Robert
March 11, 2011, 02:10 PM
You people are too simple minded.
Please enlighten us poor simple minded people. What source did you use to predict the demise of polymer pistols? Got pics of these crumbly Glocks? Please cite your source material.

If anything we will see more polymer parts being made tougher than the old steel that made up pistols in the last century. I am a fan of wood and steel but to say that polymer is somehow inferior is just silly. But then I guess I am just simple minded.

Justin
March 11, 2011, 02:15 PM
I've seen a few first generation police issue glock 17 pistols that are pretty crumbly around the edges and on the outer surfaces.

Interesting, would you mind posting photos?

btg3
March 11, 2011, 02:15 PM
Good 'ol tight tolerances, clearances, fit-n-finish... yada-yada...

I was just reading about AK-47 reliability that is attributed to LOOSE tolerances.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder... or is there a better explanation?

DammitBoy
March 11, 2011, 02:18 PM
The old phrase "they don't make 'em like they used to" is often the case in regards to firearms, although this is not always the case.

Some gun today are better than guns of the past and some guns of the past are better than some guns of today, it really depends on the gun in question and how it compares to similar guns today.

I still think that there are plenty of gun companies out there today that are making firearms of fine quality and easily as good as anything of the past. I still think (in no particular order) that S&W, Colt, HK, FN, Springfield Armory, Ruger, Remington and Beretta make very high quality products and every company has had it's ups and downs over the years. What's also true is that some companies still make certain types of guns as good as they ever did in the past, Colt AR's haven't gone down in quality, Ruger and S&W revolvers are still extremely well made, Beretta still makes top quality handguns and shotguns, FN gives us civilian versions of their military weapons that are basically identical with exception of barrel length and being semi-auto, HK may be expensive and I might suck and they may hate me but they still make firearms of outstanding quality.

Best post in this thread thus far.

---

ps - My HK VP70z isn't crumbling at all... :neener:

Rembrandt
March 11, 2011, 02:26 PM
The impressive tight tolerances of the Ortgies prompted my question,....it would appear that to achieve reliability we must now accept generous tolerances.

Justin
March 11, 2011, 02:30 PM
Then how do you explain the common availability of MOA-accurate rifles in factory configuration?

Modern handguns are also quite accurate as well, with nearly all of the well-known name brands selling guns that are acceptably accurate for most applications short of Bullseye competition, and a number of manufacturers offering accuracy promises with the guns that they sell.

Remo223
March 11, 2011, 02:34 PM
Interesting, would you mind posting photos?
I didn't buy them because they were crumbly. Therefore I can't take any photos.

tarosean
March 11, 2011, 02:41 PM
Then how do you explain the common availability of MOA-accurate rifles in factory configuration?

milliradians are harder to explain to people???

Remo223
March 11, 2011, 02:41 PM
Please enlighten us poor simple minded people. What source did you use to predict the demise of polymer pistols? Got pics of these crumbly Glocks? Please cite your source material.

If anything we will see more polymer parts being made tougher than the old steel that made up pistols in the last century. I am a fan of wood and steel but to say that polymer is somehow inferior is just silly. But then I guess I am just simple minded.
I am shocked that there are still people in this day and age that are not aware of the weakness polymer(plastics) have with regard to UV rays and sunlight. Have you never seen a cracked and crumbly piece of plastic lying on the ground? Or a part of a yard implement? Have you never seen checking of old car tires?

Sheesh, this isn't rocket science. You'd think I was telling everyone the sky is green and grass is blue. Read a book people. educate yourselves. Either that or just open your eyes and look around.

CoRoMo
March 11, 2011, 02:43 PM
I didn't buy them because they were crumbly. Therefore I can't take any photos.
How convenient for what you claim to be fact.

Robert
March 11, 2011, 02:47 PM
I am shocked that some people seem to think that the polymer used in firearms is the same that is used in a lawn rake.

You have yet to cite your source or provide evidence of these crumbling Glocks. I bet next you will swear that leaving one in a car in direct sun light will cause it to melt too... :rolleyes:

CoRoMo
March 11, 2011, 02:50 PM
You have yet to cite your source or provide evidence of these crumbling Glocks.
Oh come on Gus... you can't expect someone to EARN their credibility, can you? It's so much easier to make a claim and tell others to disprove it, than to prove it yourself from the get-go.

Remo223
March 11, 2011, 02:50 PM
HK started making the VP70 in the late '60s-early 70s, and plenty of them are still going strong. There has been no compelling evidence presented by people who dislike polymer-framed guns that they will degrade past the point of usability at any given point.

Frankly, it's been kind of hilarious watching the evolution of that argument. Shortly after Glocks hit it big, the haters were claiming the plastic frames wouldn't last ten years of heavy use.

Then it was twenty years.

Then thirty.

Then fifty.

Now, I guess we have to push the century mark for the argument that plastic is worse than metal to hold any water.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=29698&d=1128794076

Frankly, if the plastic guns don't hold, I have to wonder why they're so popular among competitive shooters who fire tens of thousands of rounds through them in a season.
good lord. I expect more from a moderator. What a crying shame. tsk tsk and shame on you!

Robert
March 11, 2011, 02:51 PM
Oh come on Gus... you can't expect someone to earn their credibility, can you?
There I go being simple minded again.

good lord. I expect more from a moderator. What a crying shame. tsk tsk and shame on you!
For what exactly?

CoRoMo
March 11, 2011, 02:53 PM
For shame Justin, shame on you. How dare you question absurdity! You should be ashamed of yourself!

Remo223
March 11, 2011, 02:54 PM
I am shocked that some people seem to think that the polymer used in firearms is the same that is used in a lawn rake.

You have yet to cite your source or provide evidence of these crumbling Glocks. I bet next you will swear that leaving one in a car in direct sun light will cause it to melt too... :rolleyes:
polymer is polymer. It all has the weakness to UV rays. It doesn't all have the same melting point or the same tensile strength. You sir are being ridiculous and no longer worthy of serious replies.

ny32182
March 11, 2011, 03:09 PM
Not all metal is the same either. Some corrodes worse than others in different environments, and they all melt at different temps too... what is the point? Not all metals are the same; not all plastics are the same.

Bubba613
March 11, 2011, 03:10 PM
You sir are being ridiculous and no longer worthy of serious replies.
translation: I have no evidence but it sounds like it ought to be true.

Plenty of ranges have Glocks on their rental program with 2-300,000 rounds through them. They run just fine. No crumbling frames. The PD here issued Glock 22s about 15 years ago and are just now trading them in. I have never heard anyone complain about a crumbling frame, despite the fact that these guns have been wet, dry, hot, cold etc etc.
In fact I have never see a Glock frame crumbling or deteriorating in any way.

Justin
March 11, 2011, 03:16 PM
I am shocked that there are still people in this day and age that are not aware of the weakness polymer(plastics) have with regard to UV rays and sunlight. Have you never seen a cracked and crumbly piece of plastic lying on the ground? Or a part of a yard implement? Have you never seen checking of old car tires?

Sheesh, this isn't rocket science. You'd think I was telling everyone the sky is green and grass is blue. Read a book people. educate yourselves. Either that or just open your eyes and look around.

You've made extraordinary claims about the durability of polymer-framed guns. Extraordinary claims require documentation and proof in order for them to be taken seriously.

You can finger-wag all you like, but without actual proof to back up your claims (all of which I've heard before, but have never seen verified) I'm going to have a hard time buying what you're trying to sell.

If polymer-framed guns are well and truly so inferior, then it should be no great feat to produce verifiable evidence of this claim.

Robert
March 11, 2011, 03:21 PM
You sir are being ridiculous and no longer worthy of serious replies.
Oh thanks for the laugh.

Still waiting for that source by the way...

Rembrandt
March 11, 2011, 03:21 PM
Found some interesting information concerning polymer degradation.....

http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Polymer_degradation

Justin
March 11, 2011, 03:24 PM
Possibly useful, but still not direct evidence of the degradation of polymer-framed guns.

tarosean
March 11, 2011, 03:39 PM
In fact I have never see a Glock frame crumbling or deteriorating in any way.

http://www.thegunzone.com/glock/g19_cracked.html#nb2

CoRoMo
March 11, 2011, 03:43 PM
I don't think he meant cracking. Cracks in polymer frames is not at all an unknown issue. I'll assume he's referring to degradation, i.e. DECAY... on a smaller scale.

tarosean
March 11, 2011, 03:43 PM
I am not against any polymer gun, some of them are great guns. However, I dont view them as possible heirlooms to hand down over time. They are a disposable item to me.

Justin
March 11, 2011, 03:44 PM
Ok, so that's a step in the right direction, at least.

Though the article makes it fairly plain that the failure was, in this case, due to a manufacturing defect that was presumably taken care of.

tarosean
March 11, 2011, 03:45 PM
I'll assume he's referring to degradation on a smaller scale.


The article was about possible heat degradation as a culprit. The gun was stored in a van during its life cycle.

CoRoMo
March 11, 2011, 03:49 PM
To be honest, I didn't read the article. Clearly I should have, but I saw the crack in the side and figured it didn't really apply here. But, as to the topic of this thread, it certainly does. Metal frames obviously don't fail like that. It's a good example for the thread, certainly.

But the quote from Bubba was one, that I thought, was referring to a form of decay.

Pete D.
March 11, 2011, 03:56 PM
Extraordinary claims require documentation and proof in order for them to be taken seriously.
+1
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

Pete

Bubba613
March 11, 2011, 03:59 PM
Metal frames obviously don't fail like that. It's a good example for the thread, certainly.
Metal frames certainly crack. The guns in the article were the result of a manufacturing defect, not an inherent characteristic of polymer frames.

CoRoMo
March 11, 2011, 04:10 PM
I certainly know that metal cracks. That's basically all I deal with in my industry. The qualifying words were "like that". A metal frame would not have cracked... like that... under those circumstance.

JoelSteinbach
March 11, 2011, 04:16 PM
My only answer is that todays fire arms are more readily available to me. I can drool over the old guns that are being collected, but I can purchase a Kimber or a Wilson or have a smith build me a 308 with a Panda action, . I believe that today we have a more diverse selection than we had years ago. apples to apples

Bloodysneeze
March 11, 2011, 05:17 PM
Modern plastics are usually formulated with UV stabilizers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UV_stabilizers_in_plastics

Of course if plastics are plastics then it would be fair to say metals are metals and we could toss 304 SS or A-6 steel under the bus because zinc is crap for frames.

XxWINxX94
March 11, 2011, 05:44 PM
I wont be caught dead buying a Smith from after 2000. Usually it is from before 1980 even. New stuff really is useless. The evidence is overwhelming.


+1 to that.
You won't catch me buying ANY gun newer than 1980, to say the least. I prefer my guns to be metal, not plastic. I do not care for items currently made from or imported from japan. Guns with chincy or cost-cutting features are unacceptable to me. I refuse to pay $1000+ for a piece of plastic, or $1000+ for a new Smith & Wesson when I pay half of that for a WWII era Smith that is much more durable, and whose value will only increase over time.

I'm not talking out of my rear end, because I inherited a few guns that were newer than 1980. I sold a few, and kept a few.
Not meaning to insult those who have newer guns, just saying that I am more of a collector and prefer my guns to be of a certain vintage.

merlinfire
March 11, 2011, 05:47 PM
Old is better because gun-nuts are typically conservative.

New is better because all the marketing guys say so.


No point in making generalizations here. This specific gun is either better than it used to be, or not. I don't think there's any debate, for instance, in whether the old mini-14's are more accurate than the new 580+ models. Sometimes though, old is good specifically for collector reasons, whether there's a mechanical reason for its price or not.

XxWINxX94
March 11, 2011, 06:03 PM
The Effect of UV rays on polymer material explained. (http://www.coleparmer.com/techinfo/techinfo.asp?htmlfile=Zeus_UV_Properties.htm&ID=834)

Not trying to start an arguement, and I'm no scientist, but this contradicts the arguement that polymer is unaffected by UV ray damage.

BigN
March 11, 2011, 06:06 PM
because I can afford them now :-)

Robert
March 11, 2011, 06:15 PM
unaffected by sun damage
That was never the issue.

If one is going is going to make a claim, then it needs to be backed up. You have posted a very coherent looking, I have not read to whole thing, article that on the first skim looks very interesting. That is backing up your claim with a source. And a good one.

danprkr
March 11, 2011, 10:43 PM
One word - Precision

Just for fun at the range yesterday I swapped top ends on my pair of Glock 19s. I couldn't even tell a difference in point of impact. My 1911 though will require extensive fitting to have a new slide or barrel. Heck I had to spend an hour or so once when I had to replace the slide stop. Don't get me wrong I'll have that 1911 when I shuffle off this mortal coil. It will probably be the one they pry from cold dead hands, but technology has brought just such a degree of precision that it is simply hard to say that older is better.

Granted Glocks are ugly as home made sin, and my 1911 is work of art, but as to function and serviceability the newer design wins hands down.

Justin
March 11, 2011, 11:11 PM
Some plastics have been exposed to much harsher radiation levels than we experience on earth. Components in the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and the International Space Station (ISS) require plastics that can survive the demands of outer space. Fluoropolymers such as FEP and polyimides like Kapton are plastics which have been successfully used for the HST and ISS.

So, if there are polymers that have been made that can withstand the rigors of space travel and the high levels of solar radiation such craft are exposed to, it would stand to reason that it's well within the realm of possibility that a polymer can be fabricated that is able to withstand the much lower levels of UV rays and the like that actually make it to the surface of the earth.

Are Glocks made from the same plastics used for external parts of the International Space Station?

Probably not, however it's just as likely that they're made from something a bit more stout than your average garden rake.

In fact, the article that XxWinxX94 posted goes on to state several methods used to dope polymers to keep them from degrading when exposed to UV radiation.

ow to Avoid UV Degradation
There are several ways of avoiding UV degradation in plastics — by using stabilizers, absorbers or blockers. For many outdoor applications, the simple addition of carbon black at around a 2% level will provide the protection for the structure by the blocking process. Other pigments such as titanium dioxide can also be effective. Organic compounds such as benzophenones and benzotriazoles are typical absorbers which selectively absorb the UV and re-emit at a less harmful wavelength, mainly as heat. The benzotriazole type is good, as it has a low color and can be used at low dose rates below 0.5%.

The other main mechanism for protection is to add a stabilizer, the most common being a HALS (Hindered Amine Light Stabilizer). These absorb the excited groups and prevent the chemical reaction of the radicals.

That said, none of us know what sorts of polymers are used in these pistols, and even if we did, I doubt anyone here has enough of a background in materials science to be able to comment on it with any degree of authority.

However, that doesn't change the fact that those who are making extraordinary claims about plastic guns degrading of breaking due to UV exposure really ought to be able to back up those claims with at least some basic evidence understandable to the average layman.

oldfool
March 12, 2011, 02:42 AM
much as we all cherish the legendary reputation of all the great old stuff
it mostly was not
because there never really were all that many great old gunsmiths to hand fit them at the factory
the "best of the best" that were, really were great, but if you want that, don't bet on the luck of the draw, hire 'Grant Cunningham' (then or now)

but on average luck of the draw, dollar for (equivalent) dollar, bet on modern CNC to beat yesterday's average joe luck of the draw hand fitter, MIM parts or not
plastic or steel is pretty much irrelevant to that discussion
not every yesteryear gun was made of great steel either ('Damascus', anyone ??)

best always did carry a stiff price, part of why it gets labeled "best"

not at all hard to find and buy a one MOA rifle these days, etc., etc
nobody said it was going to be found in the bargain basement rack, but can be had without the expense of Grant Cunningham world class revolver tuning skills
and even an average joe who is willing to put a modest investment of time and dollars into an average rifle can have one MOA today
was not always so

you really think you could pick up a Hi-Point (equivalent) priced centerfire autoloader that would reliably go bang without blowing up in your hand yesteryear ?

you can have what you want these days, provided you are willing to pay for it, and it is a lot easier found now vs. then (it never was a free ride)

PS
my woobies, yeah, 30 year old stuff that cost thrice the price today, you know, like gasoline, bread, milk...
(and happy to pay twice the price when lucky enough to find used but not abused.. guns that is, not gas, milk, and bread)
but I never owned a rimfire rifle 30 years ago like any average off the shelf hummer today that will reliably punch one tiny ragged hole in paper at 60 yards every time
and even 22 rimfire ammo is easy 3 cents a shot in bulk now, not a penny a shot, but it's still the best deal in town, credit that to mass production, like it or not
make mine a horseless carriage, no pitchfork and hay required, but no free ride either
(and my truck can run farther faster than your horse, 300 mile race, no contest, with or without my 7 shot plastic/alloy derringer in my pocket)

earlthegoat2
March 12, 2011, 07:54 AM
I do tend to think that with modern CNC machining you can make parts that are "close enough" to work and in that do not require as much hand fitting. As was noted earlier parts can be made to tighter tolerances but those parts will usually interact with more clearance making for a looser fit in general on the modern CNC made guns. High end 1911s are made on CNC machines too but deliberately oversize to make way for more precise machining operations or hand fitting.

The reason I am so in favor of the older firearms is really limited to S&W revolvers. There is a eye opening difference between the last decade and the 60 years prior if not more. Trigger action is smoother, bluing and nickel is shinier, checkering is sharp, and sights are regulated. Remington is my second beef. They are crunchy with their moving parts. The furniture and finish is horrendous. Apparently, accuracy is still there at least so that is promising.

Pilot
March 12, 2011, 08:46 AM
earthegoat wrote:

I see Colt still makes firearms.....barely.


Really? How about there military sales? Also, they sell every gun they make and are putting out a higher quality 1911 than ever. Colt is a niche player in the civilian market. They make well made, firearms at a fair price point.

I'll take the metalurgy, reliabiltiy, and increased firepower of today's Glocks, Sigs, HK's, CZ's, etc over older pistols that are restricted to lower pressure rounds due to the poorer metalurgy and frame strength.

Yes, some are works of art and I still enjoy and shoot a 70 year ole P-08 Luger, but in general guns are better in a more functional way today. Maybe not as aesthetic or "fitted" as well on average, but better functionally.

earlthegoat2
March 12, 2011, 03:37 PM
How about their military sales? That is what ruined them in my opinion.

They are no better than H und K and their military sales as far as Im concerned.

Bubba613
March 12, 2011, 08:21 PM
Also, they sell every gun they make and are putting out a higher quality 1911 than ever.

This past week I got in a Colt XSE and a Legacy Sports Citadel. They were the same size and almost the exact same configuration. The machining of the slide serrations on the Colt were better. The Citadel's trigger was far superior, its slide to frame fit was virtually the same. The Colt sold at about $865 and the Citadel at $465.

leadcounsel
March 12, 2011, 08:47 PM
There's some discussion about polymer framed guns being subjected to the elements such as UV, salts, etc. and failing. I think it is well settled that polymers used in firearms manufacturing, absent error in manufacturing, are very durable to elements that are common enemies to most machinery - water, abrasive dirts and soiling, sweat/oil, salt and rust, etc. Sure a daily carry polymer gun will be exposed to these and suffer some long term damages. Look at the plastics used in M16s from Vietnam. Still in good shape.

However, what is absent is the same discussion with regard to older metal and wooden guns. A daily carry metal, blued gun with wood accents subjected to the elements, snow, rain, saltwater mists, sweat/oils, sand and grit, etc. is going to require signifcantly more maintenance or have a very short lifespan. Anyone who has had metal machinery around these environments without caring for it properly knows that scratches and rust quickly destroy the equipment.

So, for long term durability, given the exact same rugged conditions, my money is on advanced polymers as found in Glocks. Now if we're talking routinely cared for safe queens, it's a different analysis and they'll both last centuries...

Dr.Rob
March 13, 2011, 04:19 AM
Glocks might be souless and ship in tupperware, but they DO go bang when you want them to and they are tough tough pistols.

One CAN argue I think about the relative strength of USGI 1911 parts made for WW2 vs. the early MIM stuff that was on the market. Those parts were made in a different time and place compared to today and many have argued that to 'make a 1911 the way they used to' would be cost prohibitive. Ditto for the long gone Python.

However, S&W long ago made an action that was less apt to go out of time with serious use, and managed to soldier on through today.

The AR of the early 60's is in NO way the high end commercial rifles of today. You get a lot more gun for your money in the computer age. We are going on what, 50+ years of improvements to the AR?

Pre WW2 military rifles weren't made of stamped parts or aluminum and ploymer. Now most are. Progress and tactics have changed the way we make rifles, doesn't matter if you are in Pershawar or Portland, the rifle has moved on.

All that said, your pocket pistol is still as useful as it ever was. that's a lovely thing about a well cared for tool, it can last you a lifetime.

Zoogster
March 13, 2011, 10:43 PM
I would say modular designs are a nice benefit in many modern designs.


This means your average person can adjust a firearm to suit many needs, or replace sections of the firearm with minimal skill.
A gunsmith might not see it as a good improvement because I am sure it hurts business, but most others benefit from it.


Similarly today with the internet people can offer aftermarket accessories of all sorts that fit existing firearm models. Including firearms that are not numerous enough at any local level to bother making accessories for.
This means a wider range of firearms have internal and external accessories.

Another benefit today is standardization. You can typically rely on a decent aftermarket part fitting because the dimensions it was made to work with are standard for a specific model.





As for polymers, they are good and bad. They were widely adopted because they were less expensive to make, melting plastic into shape is a lot cheaper than machining steel into the right dimensions.
They do have some added benefits. I certainly am in the camp that thinks they will not last anywhere near as long, and I like some.

I had a polymer gun partially melt on me when I overused some REMoil on the metal, planning to soak it and then wipe it clean.
I believe the solvent or propellant, not the oil itself, dissolved the plastic.
I realized it when some of the oil that dripped off of it was black in color, and the gun was clean prior.
I looked for the source.
The surface of the polymer had become tacky and could be shaped by anything that touched it.
This is the polymer responsible for holding the internals in place to specific tolerances.
After it dried it was hard again.
I never considered my gun could melt on me from over oiling it. Lesson learned.

They also don't use exotic space age plastics for polymer guns. They use things like Nylon with various additives to reduce its degradation. Those additives do a good job, but they can only do so much.
It certainly is better than many cheap plastic consumer products that fall apart after a year in the sun, like your typical bucket that will shatter into pieces, but it still degrades more than steel kept from rusting ever would.

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