Are non-plastic guns becomming extinct?


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rajb123
August 14, 2012, 07:12 PM
Why are the materials used to make guns such as steel and wood no longer so popular?

I don't have the sales figures on the plastic guns but I would guess that they dominate by a wide margin.

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wep45
August 14, 2012, 07:24 PM
i havent had a plastic gun since i was 6 years old;)

foghornl
August 14, 2012, 07:43 PM
Just a guess, but I am thinking that it is less expensive to mold polymer than it is to cast/forge/machine steel and cut/checker/finish wood.

jmr40
August 14, 2012, 08:13 PM
I think the day will come in my lifetime when aluminum alloy guns are no longer made. There will always be a place for the classic steel framed guns such as the 1911, BHP and a few others.

Aluminum is only used to save weight, and their long term durability has always been far less than steel. The plastic guns are cheaper to make, lighter, and are proving to last at least as long as steel.

None of the aluminum guns hold anymore special sentimental value than plastic. They are all simple tools just like plastic so their passing will not be a big deal.

Fatelvis
August 14, 2012, 08:23 PM
Not as long as I keep buying all steel ones!

Auto426
August 14, 2012, 08:27 PM
Steel hasn't disappeared from gun making, as most of the major components of poly framed guns are made from it (slide, barrel, slide rails, pins, etc.). However since the frames of guns take relatively little stress, and molding a polymer frame is much cheaper than forging and milling steel or aluminum, I doubt we will see many new steel framed handguns. Even companies like Sig, which built their reputations on Aluminum framed guns have Shifted to polymer for their latest designs.

Fastcast
August 14, 2012, 08:31 PM
None of the aluminum guns hold anymore special sentimental value than plastic. They are all simple tools just like plastic so their passing will not be a big deal.

OK! :scrutiny:

Sentimental - Heirloom value....Nope, no more here than a black plastic pistol. lol

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y62/fastcast/FS-84abstract.jpg

jimbo555
August 14, 2012, 08:36 PM
Except for water pistols,all my toy guns were metal!:D

The Man With No Name
August 14, 2012, 10:02 PM
I think the day will come in my lifetime when aluminum alloy guns are no longer made. There will always be a place for the classic steel framed guns such as the 1911, BHP and a few others.

Aluminum is only used to save weight, and their long term durability has always been far less than steel. The plastic guns are cheaper to make, lighter, and are proving to last at least as long as steel.

None of the aluminum guns hold anymore special sentimental value than plastic. They are all simple tools just like plastic so their passing will not be a big deal.
Grades of aircraft aluminum exist that could be formed to make cutting tools that could turn the average steel frame gun into dust. Not ideal material to make a gun frame out of though.

On topic, I think their will always be a place for steel and wood. At some point it is cheaper for a maker to make small runs of steel frames as for many small makers the cost of building a mold is very prohibitive vs. just hiring tool makers or machinists to mass produce on cnc machinery.

WoodchuckAssassin
August 14, 2012, 10:34 PM
God I love Metal. Haha. Iíve owned only one polymer pistol (SR9c), and while it was a great pistol, I just love to feel the steel in my hand (traded it for a SR1911). Personally, the added weight of metal is worth the psychological bump I get from knowing my gun is ďsolid.Ē It might all be in my head, but Iíve never been let down by the feeling. I had an all steel/American made NAA Guardian in .380, and when it came time to sell it, the highest anyone would pay for it was $200. I just kept getting the same line, ďEveryone wants a pistol in the same caliber, but at a ľ the weight.Ē Sounded like a crock of s**t, but I suppose I should let the whole ordeal go. I just canít wrap my mind around why more people donít want steel in their hands.

sigarms228
August 14, 2012, 10:41 PM
Poly guns are cheaper yet most of them are also very well built, accurate, and reliable. I own a few myself - Glock 19 Gen 2, SIG SP2022, and Walther PPQ.

However I also own more than a few metal frame SIGs that are my all time favorite pistols and IMO well worth the extra investment.

I expect metal frame pistols to be around for a long long time yet.

C0untZer0
August 14, 2012, 11:36 PM
Not for micro-matics and pocket pistols.

Maybe the DB9 has proved that polymer doesn't hold up that well when polymer pistols get below 5Ĺ"

It looks like Aluminum and Titanium will still be used for pocket pistols.

Tex4426
August 14, 2012, 11:43 PM
Polymer is cheaper its lighter and its pretty strong as well but metal guns are going nowhere

barnbwt
August 14, 2012, 11:52 PM
Why are the materials used to make guns such as steel and wood no longer so popular?

Because gun buyers are cheap SOB's :D. And also because plastics, epoxies, fancy alloys, and coatings often perform better in practice (not beauty contests) than traditional materials.

-How often does an injection molded plastic (or metal) part have to be scrapped because it was cast out of spec (compared to machined)?

-My TRR8 revolver weighs as much as a snubby L-frame, but is an N-frame with a 5" barrel.

-My Remington 700 SPS plastic stock will last until the end of time (or until I replace it :)), whether I beat it up, lose it in a swamp, or whatever.

"One word, just one word; Plastics."

That said, I doubt any of those will be displayed in the Louvre alongside Tut's mask one day...

TCB

None of the aluminum guns hold anymore special sentimental value than plastic. They are all simple tools just like plastic so their passing will not be a big deal.

I take exception to that! If both guns are desinged properly, the only thing steel has over aluminum is the ability to be buffed and made all pretty for a longer time. Aluminum has to be coated or anodized, both of which show wear more readily than a polished or (maintained) blued steel finish. The material isn't what causes a slide to peen out too early, it's poor design! Unless you treat weight as "quality," one metal is not inherently superior to another.

Cokeman
August 15, 2012, 12:04 AM
Not for micro-matics and pocket pistols.

Maybe the DB9 has proved that polymer doesn't hold up that well when polymer pistols get below 5Ĺ"

It looks like Aluminum and Titanium will still be used for pocket pistols.

There are several that are polymer that seem to do fine. I figure you are referring to Seecamps, Baby Browning, Rohrbaughs, etc. What about the Taurus 738, Kahr P380, S&W Bodyguard, and Ruger LCP? Those seem to work just fine.

tarosean
August 15, 2012, 12:18 AM
ex∑tinct
1. no longer in existence; that has ended or died out:
When you can no longer purchase a SSA, 1911 or BlackPowder weapon we will revive the discussion.

2. no longer in use; obsolete: an extinct custom.
Military's around the world still use metal/alloy guns.



Are they a viable option? Sure.
Are they for everyone? Nope

One_Jackal
August 15, 2012, 12:58 AM
Plastic isn't being welcomed by the revolver crowd. I think we will see metal revolvers for a long time to come.

JohnBT
August 15, 2012, 08:52 AM
"I don't have the sales figures on the plastic guns "

I've never seen a plastic gun. I had a P-32 and it had a metal slide. I have an FNP-45 USG and it has a huge metal slide. I had a Ruger 22/45 and the top half was mostly metal. Glocks? Metal slide and parts.

Some years back I bought my uncle a Remington Nylon 76 lever action. All metal except for the stock.

John

skt239
August 15, 2012, 08:55 AM
Plastic isn't being welcomed by the revolver crowd. I think we will see metal revolvers for a long time to come.

I don't like them but Ruger and S&W don't seem to be having much trouble selling their poly revolvers.

Skribs
August 15, 2012, 01:00 PM
My music is metal, my guns are plastic.

mgmorden
August 15, 2012, 01:14 PM
1911's are all steel and seeing very nice sales figures.

Overall though, aside from sentimental reasons, polymer (plastic) is cheaper to produce and makes guns that are just as reliable. It also doesn't rust, tarnish, or otherwise need any special attention.

In general, for a WORKING gun, polymer just makes more sense. Now, there will always be guns make for other purposes, and there will always be older designs like the 1911 that started with one material and will keep it, but overall the move to polymer frames isn't really a bad thing. Its just technology evolving.

I'm sure there were folks back in the day who were wondering if percussion muzzleloaders would go extinct once cartridges were invented. As you can tell well over 100 years later they still haven't gone away, but they're now relegated to specialty items.

ny32182
August 15, 2012, 01:51 PM
Most pistols sold are for "carry/duty" type requirements, and plastic has all the advantages for that type of use. Cheaper, lighter, more durable/impervious to the elements. Market will continue to trend in that direction as it has been for 30 years now.

Guns never become extinct. You can still buy everything from M14 types and 1911s, to Blackpowder, etc. There will always be some demand for any generation of technology in history.

TennJed
August 15, 2012, 02:33 PM
I own 20 handguns, 17 are steel and 3 are poly

CWL
August 15, 2012, 02:49 PM
The Marines just purchased $22mill worth of Colt 1911s.

Somebody should call the Commandant and tell him that all steel is becoming extinct!

Fastcast
August 15, 2012, 03:50 PM
I have yet to see any plastic/polymer in my line of work that is "impervious" to photodegradation, industrial solvents or even low temp heat. I think some people confuse no rust to mean impervious.

ny32182
August 15, 2012, 04:42 PM
In what line of work are your handguns melting?

kerreckt
August 15, 2012, 05:32 PM
I don't care for tupperguns. Don't like the way they feel in my hand. They never feel balanced and instinctively point able. I like the mass of a steel handgun. I do own one. It's a PT3A that I use for back up carry. It does what it is supposed to do. All the expectation I have of it is for it to go bang when I pull the trigger. That is all a "belly gun" needs to do.

Ash
August 15, 2012, 05:54 PM
Fastcast is right. Exposure to sunlight causes a molecular breakdown of polymers resulting in frames that, while able to sustain high round counts in the relative short term, will not have longevity after a certain point becoming brittle. It would not surprise me that early Glocks, while built of better polymers than tupperware, will reach a point where they are not recommended for shooting due to frame fatigue. Plastic degrades like other materials just fine. It degrades differently from steel or aluminum, but it degrades all the same.

That polymer pistols have been on the market in any real sense for three decades (there are precious few Hk VP's out there to test), with the largest bulk of them coming onto the market only within the last decade and a half, provides no evidence of polymer frame longevity among the elements.

And when polymers go, they really go. I would hate to have a Glock frame fail because of the effects of ultraviolet light and get a slide in the forehead. Likely? Probably not, but the frame started to degrade the moment it cooled from the molding process.

Skribs
August 15, 2012, 06:06 PM
Ash, I'm pretty sure someone who uses their gun enough for it to degrade that much is going to notice a problem before they suddenly get a square black eye. Someone who's gun stays under the shirt or in a safe all day isn't going to have a UV problem.

bluethunder1962
August 15, 2012, 08:29 PM
I have a five seven and that is the only plastic gun I have.

Ash
August 15, 2012, 08:45 PM
How do you know it has gotten brittle until it breaks? Often darker polymers don't change color as they degrade. In truth, major cracks would be more likely, but the fact has always remained that polymers have had issues with degredation of their own kind.

But the shoe goes with the other foot. Properly-maintained steel arms don't degrade at all.

In fairness, in terms of use, poly guns hold up nicely. But we are nowhere near an army carrying, say, a Glock, for the length of time armies carried 1911's or Hi Powers - ditto for police and S&W Model 10 revolvers. The jury is out on this issue and while I won't make predictions, it may lead to a view of poly guns being disposable by military forces (a problem that already exists to an extent with any kind of pistol in some armies, such as ours).

12131
August 16, 2012, 01:38 AM
Metal guns will never go away.

The Man With No Name
August 16, 2012, 06:52 AM
Plastic isn't being welcomed by the revolver crowd. I think we will see metal revolvers for a long time to come.
Actually aren't there quite a few polymer frame revolvers out now? The LCR in 38 and 357 is hard to find locally. I know quite a few locally that are selling all they can get their hands on.

hentown
August 16, 2012, 08:31 AM
I'm not a polymer chemist like ol' Ash, but I have put a few hundred thousand rounds through my Glocks over the past 20+ years. As somebody else so astutely observed, most Glocks aren't exposed to much UV radiation. I believe I'd be able to discern, in that I do shoot my Glocks a lot, that a frame was degrading. I own both 1911s and Glocks. One thing's for sure, the 1911s will never suffer from UV radiation degradation, as there's not too much UV in my safe!

I'm of the opinion that authoritative-sounding opinions about the degradation of polymer is largely irrelevant to discussions of the longevity and reliability of handguns. If a polymer frame fails, another frame is available pretty inexpensively, and a gunsmith isn't required to "fit" the frame to the slide. ;)

ny32182
August 16, 2012, 09:23 AM
The one thing missing from any and all "your plastic handgun will melt in the desert/car/sunlight/Martian surface" threads is any actual evidence that it has ever happened, to any of them, ever.

Show me a 30 year old Glock or equivalent that failed in the course of normal use. Just one. I'm sure someone out there has left their Glock out in the sun a time or two without so much as giving it a hat and sunscreen to wear. I know I have. Slide yet to hit me in the forehead.

tarosean
August 16, 2012, 09:41 AM
The one thing missing from any and all "your plastic handgun will melt in the desert/car/sunlight/Martian surface" threads is any actual evidence that it has ever happened, to any of them, ever.

Show me a 30 year old Glock or equivalent that failed in the course of normal use. Just one. I'm sure someone out there has left their Glock out in the sun a time or two without so much as giving it a hat and sunscreen to wear. I know I have. Slide yet to hit me in the forehead.

Here is one.

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

ny32182
August 16, 2012, 09:52 AM
Is that somehow supposed to be linked to sunlight even though it was in a box the whole time?

tarosean
August 16, 2012, 10:04 AM
^Did you not read what you wrote?

desert/car/sunlight/Martian surface"

So it was a van and not a car... Regardless it's possibly degradation throu heating. You asked and were provided with "actual evidence".

Fastcast
August 16, 2012, 10:05 AM
Someone said plastic/polymer was "impervious to the elements".....Anyone who truly believes that, either lives on the Martian planet or drinks Martian Kool-aid. :p

It is however impervious to rust...To keep it into perspective.

ny32182
August 16, 2012, 10:07 AM
It was me. I believe it. You got me.

Man that gunzone has me convinced with all that evidence; someone should issue a recall! Millions of police should stop shooting their Glocks immediately.

MachIVshooter
August 16, 2012, 10:25 AM
I have yet to see any plastic/polymer in my line of work that is "impervious" to photodegradation, industrial solvents or even low temp heat. I think some people confuse no rust to mean impervious.

You forgot canines:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ck73qA4t2dc/TW_1zWyWfTI/AAAAAAAAD9c/2aGRuGhZzG4/s400/px4dogeat1.jpg

Fastcast
August 16, 2012, 10:27 AM
No one is saying millions of police should stop carrying Glocks or that they're not a quality tool....Just saying polymer frames are NOT indestructible (or impervious to many common earthly elements) as some believe. Nor are they as strong as a properly tempered steel frame, that is regularly & properly maintained.

Fastcast
August 16, 2012, 10:29 AM
Now it looks like we can include canines to the list of things polymer is NOT impervious to. :o

460Kodiak
August 16, 2012, 10:36 AM
No. Thay aren't going extinct. As long as people are willing to pay for them, someone will make them.

ny32182
August 16, 2012, 10:39 AM
I do not worry about regularly and properly maintaining a polymer frame. Internal metal parts, occassionaly. Frame, no. I leave the Glock in environments for extended periods of time that quickly rusted other gun for me in the past. Glock... no worries.

coolluke01
August 16, 2012, 11:11 AM
"One word, just one word; Plastics." Great movie reference.

As a plumber I work with PEX tubing. This is a cross linked poly that is very susceptible to UV light. In one instance a line was exposed to direct UV light for about 2 years when it started to fail. It cracked all over. If you would bend it it would crack more. But! It held its shape and wouldn't fall to pieces, it just had small cracks.

This is a ploy that is not designed to resist UV at all. It lasted two years and didn't really fall apart. Poly handguns are made to be UV resistant. Not totally impervious to UV, but resistant. I see no reason to think that poly handguns won't last a 100 years with the amount of UV they will see.

jungle
August 16, 2012, 11:28 AM
Extinct? No, but almost every new design is based on polymer frames today.
Weight, cost, durability and ease of manufacture play a big part in this, rarely is a new all steel design introduced.

Polymers degrading? Remington made the Nylon 66 starting in 1959 and those are not crumbling apart in their owners hands-many of them still look very good.

Fastcast
August 16, 2012, 12:22 PM
I do not worry about regularly and properly maintaining a polymer frame. Internal metal parts, occassionaly. Frame, no. I leave the Glock in environments for extended periods of time that quickly rusted other gun for me in the past. Glock... no worries.

Exactly, polymer is perfect for people who don't maintain their tools....:)

ny32182
August 16, 2012, 01:49 PM
My point exactly. More durable (and lighter, and cheaper) = better for a carry gun that will be getting constantly exposed to sweat, humidity, rain, hot temps along with the above, etc...

Shipwreck
August 16, 2012, 02:02 PM
Damn, I hate metal guns. Just hate them!

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g320/mistershipwreck/9-wheel-o-berettacopy.jpg

ghitch75
August 16, 2012, 02:06 PM
Are non-plastic guns becomming extinct?

not in my safe....

http://i42.tinypic.com/5x09ok.jpg

Nushif
August 16, 2012, 02:12 PM
Nor are they as strong as a properly tempered steel frame, that is regularly & properly maintained.

So what you're saying is a gun that gets chewed on by a dog, dropped repeatedly, left to rust or photodegrade and is ill maintained maintained can break earlier than a well maintained one sitting in a safe or at the range?

Fastcast
August 16, 2012, 02:20 PM
My point exactly. More durable (and lighter, and cheaper) = better for a carry gun that will be getting constantly exposed to sweat, humidity, rain, hot temps along with the above, etc...

Unless your pistol is made entirely of plastic, those are still a concern.

Makes one wonder why all those mission critical parts are still made from the inferior, less durable compound, steel. :scrutiny:

Ash
August 16, 2012, 06:50 PM
Plastic must have an amazing feature that it causes all metal in which it contacts to not rust.

Or could it be the treatments offered a Glock can also be used on other pistols? I have pistols that have gone through the swamps in southern Louisiana, particularly a CZ-75, Tanfoglio, and Ruger Pollice Service Six. They've been through mud, crud, and salt-water brine.

No rust.

Odd, isn't it, that any rifle survived WWI? By evident Glock users, those steel-and-wood rifles should have been rusted hunks of junk after the first week.

el Godfather
August 16, 2012, 06:54 PM
No.
For collection and target/competition use I prefer all steel with 1911 as one of top three choices.

huntsman
August 16, 2012, 10:57 PM
You forgot canines:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ck73qA4t2dc/TW_1zWyWfTI/AAAAAAAAD9c/2aGRuGhZzG4/s400/px4dogeat1.jpg
" ah chief, I can't come to work today the dog ate my gun" :)

MachIVshooter
August 16, 2012, 11:15 PM
More durable (and lighter, and cheaper) = better for a carry gun that will be getting constantly exposed to sweat, humidity, rain, hot temps along with the above, etc...

Lighter? Check.

Cheaper? Check.

More Durable? Only in terms of corrosion resistance, and only compared to bare/untreated metals of certain types. Long chain polymers have amazing strength for their weight, but pale in comparison to metal alloys, especially high carbon steels. Polymers do not have good abrasion resistance (especially without lubrication), cannot withstand high temperatures, are degraded or destroyed by many chemicals, and, as mentioned, deteriorate from UV exposure. Steel can withstand very high temperature, is far more abrasion resistant, is completely unaffected by UV, and the only chemicals that can affect it are corrosive acids, and they act slowly.

Dunk your 1911 in brake cleaner for a couple hours, it will look lighter in color after it dries, until you wipe it with a silocon cloth. Dunk your polymer gun in brake clean for a couple hours, it will be all gooey and completely useless.

There is also a reason slides and barrels are still made of steel, and that polymer framed handguns use steel or alloy inserts for the frame rails.

Buy a polymer gun because it is lighter. Buy a polymer gun because it is cheaper. Buy a polymer gun because it feels better in your hand. But for Pete's sake, don't buy a polymer gun because you believe it is stronger/tougher/more durable than metal; It isn't. And all polymer guns still have plenty of metal parts, so it is foolish to think that a polymer frame = gun 100% impervious to corrosion.

ny32182
August 17, 2012, 10:07 AM
More durable in the environments in which they will actually be subjected to during the course of their actual use. I don't care what happens if you cook it at 400 degrees for 20 minutes like a pizza or dunk it in a bath of whatever chemicals for 2 hours, because neither of those things will ever happen. I care how it resists moisture, salty moisture, and moisture while subjected to realistic levels of heat (car in the summer). Plastic does the job better in every way as a frame material. Obviously it can't be a barrel/slide/trigger parts material.

I will say I've never had a bit of rust on Glocks or M&Ps slide/barrel finish. I had some rust on the rear sight of my M&P after it was in the car all day in very hot/humid conditions. So I think metal treatments now are good too, far better than some of the older ones (I'd never leave my older 228 in the car all day when the newer guns are available) but even if they made a metal frame and treated it in the same fashion, it might be almost as rust resistant as plastic, but would be heavier, for nothing gained.

Ash
August 18, 2012, 10:04 AM
So, were I to make a 1911 with the same surface treatment as a Glock, it wouldn't rust either, right?

So, it isn't the plastic that prevents corrosion but rather the surface treatment. That doesn't make polymer magic, and so is not exclusive to poly frame pistols.

sirgilligan
August 18, 2012, 10:38 AM
Too many all metal pistols that I haven't owned yet before I can warm up to polymer.

Smith357
August 18, 2012, 11:16 AM
Why are the materials used to make guns such as steel and wood no longer so popular?

Simple Economics and Marketing....


It's far cheaper for a manufacturer to inject some plastic in a mold than it is for them to forge a chunk of steel and then machine and finish it. The marketing dept along with gun rag writers come up with buzz words like new, lightweight, space age, and maintenance free to sell this low cost alternative to the masses who gobble it all up. The bean counters then add more plastic pistols in a manufactures product line to garner bigger profit margins for the shareholders.

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