Polymer pistol snaps at handle during fall.


PDA






FireInCairo
August 15, 2012, 06:13 PM
http://loadoutroom.com/3817/when-polymer-guns-fail-hk-p2000/

If you enjoyed reading about "Polymer pistol snaps at handle during fall." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Thompsoncustom
August 15, 2012, 06:48 PM
polymer pistol have there place but you have to remember that there still plastic.

Ash
August 15, 2012, 06:58 PM
Wouldn't have happened with a metal-framed pistol. It's a pretty unlikely thing to happen all the same though.

glove
August 15, 2012, 08:55 PM
Should a had a Glock.:)

Skylerbone
August 15, 2012, 09:20 PM
Yes we all know Glocks are indestructible, infallible and love being run full of dirt sans lubrication.

Sometimes 4-wheeling accidents involve more than a 3 foot tumble to the ground. Witness my Winchester Model 70 vs. Yamaha Rhino vs. tree:

http://forums.1911forum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=72311&d=1320959303

jmr40
August 15, 2012, 09:45 PM
A steel framed gun would have done better, but aluminum alloy would have likely been ruined just the same. While it might not have broken, it would likely have been deformed enough to be unusable.

mgmorden
August 15, 2012, 10:08 PM
The steel framed gun might have bent too. All a matter of the stresses. You see the same with bicycles. On some high class bikes carbon fiber forks have become a major thing. They're lighter than aluminum and stronger than steel. Thing is, while its stronger, when carbon fiber fails, it really, really fails. Where a metal fork would bend at a certain point the carbon fiber once it reaches its limit it just shatters. Plastic fails similarly.

foghornl
August 15, 2012, 10:13 PM
A metal frame, either steel or aluminum would probably have been warped to the point of being not useable.

Interesting though...a "SNAP" failure vs. "Ka-Boom!"

Weevil
August 16, 2012, 01:59 AM
Meh....HKs are overrated and overpriced get a Glock.

MarshallDodge
August 16, 2012, 02:12 AM
Crazy. I would think that any handgun would have suffered serious damage from that kind of fall.

Meh....HKs are overrated and overpriced get a Glock.

I own both and find the HK to be well worth the extra dollars. Reliable AND accurate.

Dr.Rob
August 16, 2012, 03:16 AM
Ouch. I flipped a three wheeler or two several times wearing an all stell gun and the worst I did was knock the front sight loose. That had to be one heck of a crash.

FYI there is NOTHING around Lordsburg.

malo
August 16, 2012, 05:53 AM
Spit and polish and a 1911 would be good as new and you could plant a decent crop in the furrow it had ploughed...

The Man With No Name
August 16, 2012, 08:07 AM
1. Should have bought a Glock? Probably right. :)
2. HK's are overrated? I agree. I've owned quite a few and overrated by most is a statement I'd agree with but the same could be said of many guns makes. Have you priced a Sig lately? Any Ruger semi? Benelli shotguns?
3. Without knowing what kind of damage he took and the particulars who can really say what their particular favorite would have taken in damage. No gun is indestructible.

del4
August 16, 2012, 08:16 AM
It's because he was using a serpa holster. We all know the problems they cause. A lot of your big name gun schools forbid them for that reason.:rolleyes:

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I997 using Tapatalk 2

19-3Ben
August 16, 2012, 08:29 AM
I love steel framed guns as much as anybody, but I don't really think this is fair guys.

First, this is not just a fall. When I read the thread title, i thought a gun fell off a table or something and broke. This was a four wheeling accident that sent a man to the hospital.

Second, BPAs carry lots of stuff on their belts, like cops. Who knows if the gun hit a rock on one side when he landed, and a baton or cuffs or some other hard thing directly on the other side of the grip causing an extreme amount of force and hard-on-hard contact.

Third, it could very well be that while the gun broke it absorbed energy that otherwise would have been transferred into the officer's body had be been carrying a metal framed gun. For all we know, this saved him from worse injury and is the reason why his hospital stay was short.

Fourth, as some others pointed out, I have no idea if a steel gun would have come through unscathed either.

XD 45acp
August 16, 2012, 08:43 AM
A metal frame, either steel or aluminum would probably have been warped to the point of being not useable.

Interesting though...a "SNAP" failure vs. "Ka-Boom!"

I agree Fog... I would rather a clean snap and KNOW its broke, than a frame bend you can't see and not know it, then later have a weapon that don't work correctly when I need it.

hentown
August 16, 2012, 09:36 AM
The frame was designed to absorb energy and snap like that, in that kind of fall, in order to save the bone of the guy whose bone caused the frame to snap. Better to snap a frame than a bone! :cool:

All modern polymer-framed handguns are subjected to the "rolled-over-all-terrain-vehicle test." :rolleyes:

SharpsDressedMan
August 16, 2012, 09:54 AM
Is it possible some plastics used in gun maunfacturing are more prone to cracking than those used in other makes? I seem to recall some extreme tests, like throwning a Glock from an airplane at 500 feet, and having it still intact. Maybe Glocks and HK's ARE different.

del4
August 16, 2012, 10:29 AM
Polymer framed pistols have a lot of positives , that's one of the negatives.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I997 using Tapatalk 2

Onmilo
August 16, 2012, 10:49 AM
And the real Moral of this story,,,,
ALWAYS carry a back up gun!

Skylerbone
August 16, 2012, 12:18 PM
My Winchester was tucked away in a Kolpin scabbard (bolted to the rollcage) while traversing a beaverdam. As it was not entirely frozen and there was a large pool to the right the guide steered left. A small line of trees bordered that side, the stock was about 3" wide of the rollcage and it caught. It was my back-up and I took a moose later that week with my 700.

My replacement stock finally arrived last week and I'm nearly finished fitting it. It is walnut and I guarantee it would not have survived that accident. Had my 700 been in that scabbard with its HS Precision stock I may have been minus a rifle.

Skylerbone
August 16, 2012, 12:19 PM
...

Mikey Idaho
August 16, 2012, 02:10 PM
I'd be ready for this, $40 and I can buy a replacement grip frame for my Beretta Nano, haha.

Sent from my T-Mobile G2 using Tapatalk 2

coolluke01
August 16, 2012, 02:15 PM
Now that's a pocket pistol!

Skribs
August 16, 2012, 02:34 PM
Onmilo, good point. A spare magazine wouldn't fix this malfunction.

GLOOB
August 16, 2012, 02:48 PM
I'd be ready for this, $40 and I can buy a replacement grip frame for my Beretta Nano, haha.
I believe Glock will usually replace a broken or worn out frame for $150.00, as long as you didn't alter it intentionally.

I wonder what HK will do.

Skribs
August 16, 2012, 03:06 PM
Gloob...$550.

(Not sure if that's accurate, just HKs are expensive)

Nushif
August 16, 2012, 03:09 PM
I kinda find this remarkable.

So, what we have is a crash that left an officer "broke" for all intents and purposes. Out, done gone, inop, whatever you want to call it. And we're sitting here putting forth the point that it's a liability that the pistol broke, since it's his main means of defense? Defense while ... incapacitated?

I think at a certain point the iron versus plastic debate is moot. Any gun this officer was carrying would have been no good afterwards. Whether it breaks at the grip or warps it, or loses its blackpowder, or bends a pencil barrel or breaks a flint holder or loses its energy cell is immaterial. Poor sucker probably landed on it ... and it broke. Along with him.

Fastcast
August 16, 2012, 07:19 PM
If this unfortunate fellow would be up for just one more test run, we could put this to rest....My money is going on the steel pistol being banged and tattered but still operable! :)

coalman
August 16, 2012, 09:00 PM
Yep, plastic can break. IMO this is why all metal handguns are a better general issue choice for troops. I'm a big Glock fan for LE and CCW, but, in service, I do not believe a plastic gun would last 20+ years like the 92fs has or 40+ years like some 1911s did. Flamesuit on.

XD 45acp
August 16, 2012, 09:33 PM
Well you can bank on one thing... the manufacturer will darn sure want it back to study it. Things like this is how we learn where improvements are needed.

TG13
August 17, 2012, 07:19 PM
eh.. some super glue and it will be just fine.. ;)

sargents1
August 17, 2012, 09:30 PM
You can break anything if you try hard enough.

With that said, I think HKs are junk:barf:. I have no facts or experience to back that up, I just think they are ugly, over priced and stupid. :neener:

Since I am always right, and I have stated that HKs are junk, this has now become FACT.

One_Jackal
August 18, 2012, 02:26 AM
The only pistol I can think of that might have survived is a Bond Arms derringer. Not that it's a better gun, barrels are harder to bend. The pistol prolly would have stabbed the driver. Better off with the HK. I have never bought any gun based on how it handles a header off a 4 wheeler. Well I did buy a hi point to beat up.

hentown
August 18, 2012, 09:22 AM
Chance are, Glock would replace that frame free, given the circumstances. (Well, if it were a Glock; they wouldn't replace the HK frame!) Writing off polymer for a military issue sidearm, because it "might" not last 20 years is absurd. Think!! Besides, there are lots of Glocks that are over 20-yrs-old, and they work just fine.

Skylerbone
August 18, 2012, 09:32 AM
It's been 30 years since Glock unleashed his polymer wonder on the masses and in that time eyes have been watching, nay sayers naying, critics applauding. If the concept didn't work, an entire industry would not have followed suit. Polymer works, it's durable and, this incident not withstanding, it is rugged.

Walking Dead
August 18, 2012, 01:25 PM
This accident also sent the BP agent to the hospital. Maybe we should stop making humans out of flesh and bone.

Don357
August 18, 2012, 01:45 PM
I can't believe there are so many "kool-aide" drinking, Glock fanboys that actually think that Glock pistols are indestructable. Are they good? Yes, they are. Are they accurate? again, yes. Are they reliable? Yes, again. Are they the great, 'all that'? No. Not by a long shot! Are they indestructable? By no means. Would I trust my life to one? As much as I would a S&W, 1911, Sig, Kel-Tec, Highpoint, Taurus, etc. You guys need to grow up and quit playing these child like "Mine is better than your's, because it's a ________ !" games.

Weevil
August 18, 2012, 03:03 PM
Well it is kinda interesting how everyone is talking about Glocks.

In case you guys hadn't noticed the pistol in question that actually broke is an HK, NOT a Glock.

Would a Glock have survived?

Who knows.

Does HK use the same polymer as Glock?

Does HK build their frames to exactly the same dimensions and thickness as Glock?

Yeah a polymer framed gun broke under extreme stress, but since it was NOT a Glock why is everyone arguing about the durability of Glocks???

When you have evidence of an actual Glock frame breaking apart then perhaps we can draw some actual and factual conclusions on the durability of Glock frames.

But an HK breaking tells us no more about a Glocks durability than it does about an XD, an M&P, Sig, Taurus , Ruger, Kel-Tec, or any other polymer frame.

They're all made by different companies with their own recipe for the polymer, their own dimensions and thickness for the frame, and none of them are exactly the same.


But yet the internet experts feel qualified to use one gun from one company failling under extreme conditions as proof of the inferiority of ALL polymer frames.

Kiln
August 19, 2012, 06:59 AM
I have little doubt that a fall that hard would have left even a steel gun damaged, obviously it wouldn't have snapped in half but it might have bent enough that it would be a single shot if not completely unsafe to fire.

SlamFire1
August 19, 2012, 10:56 AM
The author of that piece has a bias against polymer pistols. So what, the incident proves nothing other than you can roll an ATV on a person hard enough to kill the person (or in this case injury them) and bust their equipment.

Who can doubt that you can slam a Border Patrol agent with sufficient velocity against a hard barrier that will flatten both the agent and his all metal sidearm?

Fan boys love to take these isolated incidents to prove their prejudices. I remember going through the Cavalry Journals of the 1920’s. The US Army still had a large and vocal group of horse cavalry troopers determined to prove that horse cavalry was still not only relevant, but dominant, in the era of the combustion engine. I still remember one cover which showed a trooper and a horse tumbling down a sand dune precipice. The caption was “There will always be Cavalry”!

Manco
August 19, 2012, 12:34 PM
Yep, plastic can break. IMO this is why all metal handguns are a better general issue choice for troops.

But metal frames can break, too, or warp enough to render the gun inoperable. Obviously it depends on the amount of force applied and its direction. And perhaps some polymer pistol frames could survive forces of greater magnitude than typical metal frames without undergoing permanent deformation--we can't know without destructive testing (under controlled conditions).

I'm a big Glock fan for LE and CCW, but, in service, I do not believe a plastic gun would last 20+ years like the 92fs has or 40+ years like some 1911s did.

Glocks seem pretty tough to me--I bet that some would. HKs seem pretty tough, too, so the same goes for them.

Does HK use the same polymer as Glock?

No, HK's "polymer" frames are made of a fiber-reinforced composite--I don't know what its constituent materials are, but they're probably glass fibers in a thermoplastic matrix (i.e. fiberglass).

But an HK breaking tells us no more about a Glocks durability than it does about an XD, an M&P, Sig, Taurus , Ruger, Kel-Tec, or any other polymer frame.

That's right, as they're all different designs that use different materials in their frames, as you said. We have no way of knowing for sure, but it is within the realm of possibility that a Glock frame could have survived this incident because the plastic its frame is made of is less or not reinforced, which means that it can bend (temporarily) more than a highly-reinforced HK frame can without shattering. Then again, maybe such bending would have deformed (permanently) the magazine or other internal metal parts, rendering the gun inoperable even if the frame didn't break.

The only things we're told by the incident in question are that "polymer" is not indestructible and that composite frames can fail catastrophically when overstressed. That's it, nothing else, really, and nothing that we shouldn't already have known beforehand. Without more information, this incident does not necessarily reflect poorly upon HK's polymer pistols, let alone Glocks and every other polymer pistol out there.

Skylerbone
August 19, 2012, 12:50 PM
I would suggest that anyone wishing to test their theories on the indestructible nature of any firearm first unload it then proceed to the driveway to pound it magwell-first into the concrete. My guess is neither pride nor pistol will survive.

dondavis3
August 19, 2012, 01:17 PM
To compare a Glock to a HK is a joke.

:cool:

del4
August 19, 2012, 07:00 PM
I don't have a lot of knowledge on metals but I know that frames on 1911's are fairly easily bent. a lot of care has to be taken when adjusting slide to frame fit and putting them in vices. I have seen them melt to foil just after a quick pass by a cutting torch.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I997 using Tapatalk 2

FireInCairo
August 19, 2012, 08:58 PM
I love steel framed guns as much as anybody, but I don't really think this is fair guys.

First, this is not just a fall. When I read the thread title, i thought a gun fell off a table or something and broke. This was a four wheeling accident that sent a man to the hospital.

Second, BPAs carry lots of stuff on their belts, like cops. Who knows if the gun hit a rock on one side when he landed, and a baton or cuffs or some other hard thing directly on the other side of the grip causing an extreme amount of force and hard-on-hard contact.

Third, it could very well be that while the gun broke it absorbed energy that otherwise would have been transferred into the officer's body had be been carrying a metal framed gun. For all we know, this saved him from worse injury and is the reason why his hospital stay was short.

Fourth, as some others pointed out, I have no idea if a steel gun would have come through unscathed either.
Fair enough, I should have been clearer when making the title. I don't know a ton about semiautos, and have a natural distrust of plastics due to the extent manufacturers have taken the term "non-durable." But I thought it was an interesting story for this forum to check into.

Really, I bet the gun endured a large amount of weight and pressure before it snapped. I bet a large man, backed by a heavy atv, at just the right point of pressure made it happen. Probably just a fluke.

I actually think that the fact that you can lighten up a weapon with polymer makes certain guns more attractive.

huntershooter
August 19, 2012, 09:29 PM
"Polymer"/plastic-whatever.....

MarshallDodge
August 20, 2012, 12:12 AM
Just in case anybody needed any evidence that a steel frame gun would have faired better, I want to use this example (http://www.sightm1911.com/lib/tech/cockedandlocked.htm) as a reminder that all guns have their weaknesses:

“About ten years ago, I was working as an armed-plain clothed-security officer. During a struggle with an arrested subject the Combat Commander I was carrying cocked and locked, holstered in a Bianchi “Pancake” on my strong side hip, struck the center door jam of a set of double doors. The center door jam was knocked loose, and two belt loops were torn off of my jeans. The hammer was bent inward and the safety would not move. A gunsmith had to press out the safety, hammer pin, and sear pin. The edge of the sear had cracked off, and a piece of one hammer hook also cracked off. The gun did not discharge upon that impact. I have carried several Colt’s, including that repaired Commander for most of my adult life, and have never once worried about the weapon (myself or someone else is a different story, but not the gun).”

Take care of your gun and it will take care of you.

benzy2
August 20, 2012, 12:22 AM
Freak accidents can turn any firearm unusable. Maybe a steal or alloy frame would have survived, maybe not. Maim sure there are some specific situations where a quality polymer frame comes out fine and a metal framed pistol comes out busted and the opposite as well. To state a single incident as fact why one design or even polymer type is better than another is misleading at best.

dondavis3
August 20, 2012, 08:13 AM
@ benzy2

So true.

They must have a hidden agenda.

I personally think people should use what they want.

:cool:

Knockdownpower
August 21, 2012, 06:10 PM
If the space shuttle can fail so can a handgun, even H&K's. No fault of the firearm though,
4x4 crashes can by very nasty.

mljdeckard
August 21, 2012, 06:38 PM
I agree very much with posts 7 and 8. If something happens to a polymer gun that causes this, it would also damage any steel or aluminum framed gun to the point I wouldn't trust it.

Rob0321
August 21, 2012, 06:38 PM
Looking at the picture where it shows his whole duty rig it would appear that his baton acted as a fulcrum, if he landed with all or at least most of his weight on the grip of the pistol, with the baton situated behind the grip it would have put a tremendous amount of force onto the pistol. I'm going to say I agree with all of those who have stated that even a steel framed pistol would not have been serviceable after this crash.

http://cdn.loadoutroom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/loadoutroom-p2000-1.jpg

Fastcast
August 22, 2012, 12:22 AM
Hmmm....isn't it interesting that the thin steel magazine is not broke in half? :scrutiny:

benzy2
August 22, 2012, 12:27 AM
The rounds don't look deformed either, maybe we should push for more pistols made of brass.

Skylerbone
August 22, 2012, 01:37 AM
Drop a picture frame some time. Glass shatters, wood splits at the staples, picture made of paper survives (usually unscathed). What we expect doesn't always happen in the real world, Believe it...or Not!

FIVETWOSEVEN
August 22, 2012, 02:14 AM
If the space shuttle can fail so can a handgun, even H&K's. No fault of the firearm though,
4x4 crashes can by very nasty.

The space shuttle is complex, a handgun isn't.

Ben86
August 22, 2012, 12:02 PM
If it were a Glock that wouldn't have happened. ;) The Glock would have laughed it off and asked: "Can we do it again?!!"

Freak accidents like that aren't enough to make me want to carry a heavy metal framed gun.

Jim K
August 22, 2012, 12:16 PM
Any force that would break that gun would have seriously bent the frame of a 1911 or any other steel or alloy pistol.

But looking at that damage, I rather wonder if we have heard the whole story.

Jim

Fastcast
August 22, 2012, 12:39 PM
If it snapped from being bent or twisted beyond its breaking point than why isn't the thin steel mag twisted and bent much worse than it appears?

I'm guessing it snapped from sudden impact, stoppage. :banghead:

Manco
August 22, 2012, 02:24 PM
Hmmm....isn't it interesting that the thin steel magazine is not broke in half? :scrutiny:

One possible reason is that the steel used in the magazine is more flexible, and can deform to a greater extent without cracking. Another is that the frame took the brunt of a sudden impact, helping protect the magazine somewhat.

If it were a Glock that wouldn't have happened. ;) The Glock would have laughed it off and asked: "Can we do it again?!!"

I get what you're saying ;), but as I had pointed out in an earlier post, this is actually possible because Glock frames, which as far as I know are made of plain unreinforced plastic, are softer and more flexible (same goes for the M&P)--MAYBE a Glock would have survived this specific incident in one piece, or maybe not (and it would probably be weakened beyond repair, in any case). For all we know, highly reinforced HK frames could be stronger overall, but like all fiber-reinforced composite structures they are vulnerable to cracking or even shattering when their design limits are exceeded.

All of this is the result of the natures of the respective materials involved, which is based on physics rather than brand names, and one isolated (as far as we know, for now) example does not mean that a particular brand or model of pistol is of inadequate strength. Furthermore, it says nothing about who is "better" and other things of that nature--one incident that probably no pistol would have survived fully functional, for all we know, does not tell us much at all, really. We'd need more information, and in the long run, more examples. If HK frames were shown to crack apart repeatably at relatively low force levels, then we'd have a real issue, although I find it difficult to believe that this hasn't been tested, as the material involved has been around for decades and is well understood by engineers.

Freak accidents like that aren't enough to make me want to carry a heavy metal framed gun.

Various polymer pistols can be quite different from one another anyway, and a heavier steel-framed pistol would probably have been bent out of shape (literally) in any case.

If it snapped from being bent or twisted beyond its breaking point than why isn't the thin steel mag twisted and bent much worse than it appears?

This is because the fiberglass used in HK's "polymer" frames cannot take much bending. Normally this is not a problem because it's so stiff and difficult to bend, but obviously under the right conditions it can happen. Unless the material in question is defective in this case, then it probably doesn't matter because such force would have bent steel and plain plastic frames anyway, severely compromising them even if they wouldn't have cracked, rendering the pistols either unable or unsafe to fire.

Nushif
August 22, 2012, 02:33 PM
All of this is the result of the natures of the respective materials involved, which is based on physics rather than brand names, and one isolated (as far as we know, for now) example does not mean that a particular brand or model of pistol is of inadequate strength. Furthermore, it says nothing about who is better and other things of that nature--one incident that probably no pistol would have survived fully functional, for all we know, does not tell us much at all, really.

/win

Some of this is headed in some very serious "what if" territory.

But what happens if I fly my Cessna over bear territory and get jumped by three armored ex-Marine convict meth-head bears taking bathsalts, using ARs after I crashland and break both arms and a leg!??!?!?!?!?!??!!!!???!

At some point when you crash a vehicle to the point where you're most likely too incapacitated to lift the darned thing the condition and caliber, trigger pull or weight of your weapon really matters precious little.

45_auto
August 22, 2012, 04:01 PM
Hmmm....isn't it interesting that the thin steel magazine is not broke in half?

Yeah, and they're not any scratches on his hands either. Who falls off a four wheeler and doesn't put their hands out to break their fall? :rolleyes:

Ben86
August 23, 2012, 12:02 AM
I get what you're saying , but as I had pointed out in an earlier post, this is actually possible because Glock frames, which as far as I know are made of plain unreinforced plastic, are softer and more flexible (same goes for the M&P)--MAYBE a Glock would have survived this specific incident in one piece, or maybe not (and it would probably be weakened beyond repair, in any case). For all we know, highly reinforced HK frames could be stronger overall, but like all fiber-reinforced composite structures they are vulnerable to cracking or even shattering when their design limits are exceeded.

I was just being sarcastic. Some mock Glock Koolaid if you will. ;)

If you're theory is right perhaps a Glock or other similarly framed pistol may have had less damage. It's such a freak accident I don't think it reflects much of anything. I don't plan on testing it myself, so I'm fine with theories. I wonder if this will start a trend of "crash" tests with manufacturers. That'd be interesting.

If you enjoyed reading about "Polymer pistol snaps at handle during fall." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!