how tough is polymer really


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lue_119
December 23, 2012, 11:47 PM
hi i am curious as to how tough polymer might be in warm versous cold conditions what happens if its cold and its droped or something falls on it? will it crack or break? im just curious im not vary familiar with it so any info would help thanks

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Cesiumsponge
December 24, 2012, 12:41 AM
Every polymer has different properties. Might as well ask "how tough is metal?"

The answer would be "which metal? And what kind of treatments and processes has it gone through?"

Some steels will crack and break if you drop it onto the floor.

hoghunting
December 24, 2012, 12:59 AM
The Alaska State Police use Glocks as duty weapons and they aren't carried under a uniform jacket, they're exposed. Don't believe they would still carry Glocks if the polymer frames cracked in cold weather.

481
December 24, 2012, 01:55 AM
hi i am curious as to how tough polymer might be in warm versous cold conditions what happens if its cold and its droped or something falls on it? will it crack or break? im just curious im not vary familiar with it so any info would help thanks
Depends on the polymer.

If it is the Nylon 6 hybrid that Glock uses, it is pretty tough and has a higher melting point than the average user. It also performs better under severe cold conditions than flesh and is a lot stronger, too.

I'd imagine that any of the engineering polymers being used by the major firearms manufacturers are also more than acceptable to the task they are employed in and of course there'll be variance among the field with differing materials being used.

bds
December 24, 2012, 10:37 AM
This is from the unofficial Glock page of what Chuck Taylor wrote after 100,000 round torture test of his Glock - http://www.volny.cz/glock/html/tested.htm
I carried it in the rain, snow, dust and mud. I carried it when the temperatures were over 100 degrees and when they were 40 below ... after having fired a total of 100,000 rounds of virtually all kinds of ammunition ... Nothing has changed! The gun looks the same, feels the same, functions the same as it did before. I've done everything within reason to this gun. I've carried it all over the world, quite literally in every environmental condition known to man-- the steaming jungles of Latin America, the windblown deserts of the southwestern U.S., the 40-below zero tundra of Alaska in the winter.

After 300,000 rounds by Chuck Taylor - http://www.tactical-life.com/online/combat-handguns/glock-17-9mm-torture-test/


If you Google Glock Torture Test (http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Glock+torture+test), you'll see the results of many endurance/torture tests.

Here's one of them - http://theprepared.com/content/view/90//administrator/

Derek Zeanah
December 24, 2012, 10:40 AM
Well, Glocks have been around for over 20 years, and I'm sure they've been maintained to varying levels.

How many reports of cracked polymer pistols are we seeing? I've not seen one, so apparently they do OK.

Archangel14
December 24, 2012, 11:29 AM
Less tough than steel...........

jmr40
December 24, 2012, 01:54 PM
Much stronger than the aluminum framed guns such as Sig, Beretta, etc. About the same overall as steel. While steel will beat plastic in some ways, plastic is better in other ways. In some cases damage will bend or break steel where the plastic will flex and return to it's original shape and still be useable where the steel gun is not.

A steel or aluminum gun would never function after this

http://theprepared.com/content/view/90//administrator/

Jim K
December 24, 2012, 03:29 PM
Some of those concerns are a holdover from the use of poor plastics years ago for shotgun stocks. They left a residue of broken and cracked plastic all over hunting country and also left a generation of folks who vowed that they would never have a piece of plastic in any gun, ever.

The first gun to raise doubts about that was the Remington Nylon 66, which was one tough and reliable little rifle. Then came other nylon stock rifles and later the polymer Glock.

Believe me, there is no need to worry about the toughness of the Glock or its imitators. They will take abuse as well or better than a steel gun.

Jim

hentown
December 24, 2012, 03:33 PM
When I blew up my first Glock, a G21, shooting .400 Cor-Bons, the KB was so dramatic that the barrel was split through the locking lugs almost to the muzzle. Also, there was another split through the ejection port side of the chamber that went 2/3 to the muzzle. Additionally, the barrel hood was forced into the slide with such force that the slide was split on both sides of the barrel hood.

The polymer frame protected me from injury; wasn't cracked or broken, and vented the gasses through the mag well and trigger hole.

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m294/Walteridus/Port.jpg

Chuck R.
December 24, 2012, 03:36 PM
Besides the Glocks, just think of all the military rifles made with polymers in existence. The H&K G36 for instance is issued to multiple countries that have cold temps. Iceland and Finland issue the G36 to some of their units.

Chuck

481
December 24, 2012, 05:25 PM
When I blew up my first Glock, a G21, shooting .400 Cor-Bons, the KB was so dramatic that the barrel was split through the locking lugs almost to the muzzle. Also, there was another split through the ejection port side of the chamber that went 2/3 to the muzzle. Additionally, the barrel hood was forced into the slide with such force that the slide was split on both sides of the barrel hood.

The polymer frame protected me from injury; wasn't cracked or broken, and vented the gasses through the mag well and trigger hole.

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m294/Walteridus/Port.jpg

Wow. :what:

That's quite a failure! Glad to hear that you came through it OK.

Were you ever able to determine the cause?

Thompsoncustom
December 24, 2012, 05:51 PM
Not tough as steel but tough enough from most conditions I would think.

Walking Dead
December 24, 2012, 06:00 PM
Well, Tupperware is microwave and freezer safe.

chris in va
December 24, 2012, 07:33 PM
You know the black plastic behind the fuel nozzle at the gas station? Used in many firearms, namely Ruger.

Were you ever able to determine the cause?

Yeah, he used a 40S&W CorBon in a 45acp pistol.

SpentCasing
December 24, 2012, 07:41 PM
How many reports of cracked polymer pistols are we seeing? I've not seen one, so apparently they do OK.

;)

http://loadoutroom.com/3817/when-polymer-guns-fail-hk-p2000/


http://loadoutroom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/loadout-room-p2000-4-660x320.jpg

rcmodel
December 24, 2012, 10:02 PM
Less tough than steel........... But more resilient.

I have seen a whole lot more cracked steel & alloy frames in the last 50+ years then I have seen cracked plastic frames.

But the truth won't be really known until we see how many 1980'ish Glocks are still in one piece & working in 2080.

The long-term effects of ozone and sunlight on the most modern plastics are unknown at this point in time.

Because they haven't been around nearly that long yet.

rc

56hawk
December 24, 2012, 10:03 PM
;)

If driving an ATV off a cliff is what it takes to break a polymer frame I'm not too worried. A lot of steel frame guns crack just from being shot. Google 1911 frame cracks to see just how common it is.

hentown
December 24, 2012, 10:24 PM
Wow.

That's quite a failure! Glad to hear that you came through it OK.

Were you ever able to determine the cause?

I knew the cause the instant I pulled the trigger, which, btw, felt like somebody had smashed my trigger finger with a hammer. I was afraid to look down, for fear that I'd have half-a-finger. When I did look down, my finger was black. I was afraid to clean the black off, as I just knew I'd see bone. Truth was, my finger wasn't even bruised and it didn't hurt at all.

I made several mistakes, both in the load/bullet weight and just by what was going on while I was shooting. FWIW, I could NEVER get .400 Cor-Bon to feed reliably from double-stack Glock mags. The rounds would nose-dive into the feedramp, usually causing a serious setback. It was hot, I was frustrated, and just let one of those feedramp-jam-setbacks get by me. To exacerbate the problem, I was using a powder that was too fast for .400 Cor-Bon , along with a 180gr. bullet.

After consulting with Peter Pi, Prez of Cor-Bon, I, of course, used a slower powder and cannelured all my bullets for .400 Cor-Bon reloading, roll-crimping into the cannelure.

Tirod
December 24, 2012, 10:52 PM
Those of us who have beat on our M16's for months in training don't have a problem with composites or polymers. Anything can break, wood and steel didn't make the grade and got replaced 40 years ago. Composites and polymers have become the defacto standard in knife grips, too. If you want tough, G10 or Micarta is the choice for hard duty, not wood.

Most of the modern field equipment cases are composites and polymers, plywood has gone away, with just the common footlocker about all that's left. All the modern sniper rifles are in composite and polymer, too. Can't have your zero shift in a hide with hours of drizzle soaking into it.

Polymer? Tough enough to replace the old stuff and raise the bar. After 45 years of service and just as many in use with civilian arms, it's not even a question now.

Dirtpile
December 24, 2012, 11:27 PM
Besides the Glocks, just think of all the military rifles made with polymers in existence. The H&K G36 for instance is issued to multiple countries that have cold temps. Iceland and Finland issue the G36 to some of their units.

Chuck
Didn't the G36 have problems with the heat of sustained rapid fire though?

Very hard to get a pistol that hot. I once fired 500 rds. in my G34 in half an hour. Burned all the lubrication off but didn't even damage the guide rod.

481
December 24, 2012, 11:36 PM
I knew the cause the instant I pulled the trigger, which, btw, felt like somebody had smashed my trigger finger with a hammer. I was afraid to look down, for fear that I'd have half-a-finger. When I did look down, my finger was black. I was afraid to clean the black off, as I just knew I'd see bone. Truth was, my finger wasn't even bruised and it didn't hurt at all.

I made several mistakes, both in the load/bullet weight and just by what was going on while I was shooting. FWIW, I could NEVER get .400 Cor-Bon to feed reliably from double-stack Glock mags. The rounds would nose-dive into the feedramp, usually causing a serious setback. It was hot, I was frustrated, and just let one of those feedramp-jam-setbacks get by me. To exacerbate the problem, I was using a powder that was too fast for .400 Cor-Bon , along with a 180gr. bullet.

After consulting with Peter Pi, Prez of Cor-Bon, I, of course, used a slower powder and cannelured all my bullets for .400 Cor-Bon reloading, roll-crimping into the cannelure.

I've never had a gun spontaneously dis-assemble itself in my hand so I can only imagine how you felt :eek: after that happened, After that, I'd have been afraid to look at my hand also. :D

That you came through it without losing your hand or finger(s) speaks volumes as the strength of the polymer that Glock uses in their frames.

Glad that you are OK. :)

sawdeanz
December 24, 2012, 11:46 PM
I still wonder this sometimes as I marvel at the flexibility in my p07 duty. How much will it bend before it breaks? I don't want to try but one article author ran his over with a car and it survived.

What I really want to know is what is so special about polymer vs plastic. There are many variants of plastic so is polymer just a fancy name for a plastic or does it have something uniue about it

Mr.510
December 25, 2012, 12:35 AM
Polymer is just a fancy name for plastic. There are things that polymer framed handguns can withstand that steel or aluminum framed guns cannot. Likewise, there are things that a steel framed handgun can withstand that a polymer one cannot (fire comes to mind). Any of the things that can break a polymer handgun frame fall into the category of extreme abuse. It is my personal belief that polymer handgun frames are superior in survival situations as they can take more abuse due to the flexibility of the material. You can run a poly gun over with a truck and the frame springs back to shape where a steel framed gun may bend and an aluminum one will almost certainly be seriously damaged.

U-235
December 25, 2012, 01:01 AM
The word polymer encompasses a wide variety of materials. For cold weather use the manufacturer will add plasticizers to the polymer to make it less brittle. Polymers are used extensively on equipment used for winters sports. Think about ski boots, ski bindings, hockey helmets, snowmobile parts, ice-fishing equipment, etc...

Cheap polymer items such as a 5 gallon plastic bucket will get brittle and fracture easily in cold weather. Well designed and formulated polymers such as those used for pistol frames won't be bothered by it.

Sam Cade
December 25, 2012, 02:28 AM
Yeah, he used a 40S&W CorBon in a 45acp pistol.

He was shooting a G21 chambered in .400 Corbon and it went ka-blewy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.400_Corbon

The Lone Haranguer
December 25, 2012, 11:46 PM
Polymer isn't tough at all. It will melt on a hot stove, and a good-sized dog could likely make short work of at least the grip section. :evil:

buckhorn_cortez
December 25, 2012, 11:59 PM
Polymer isn't tough at all. It will melt on a hot stove, and a good-sized dog could likely make short work of at least the grip section

Yeah...and it's an inferior material for followers in pistol magazines according to the popular Internet gun forum meme - so how could it possibly work in an entire gun frame?

DeepSouth
December 26, 2012, 03:14 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4MdYrwUU0E&feature=youtube_gdata_player

meanmrmustard
December 26, 2012, 03:57 AM
Polymer isn't tough at all. It will melt on a hot stove, and a good-sized dog could likely make short work of at least the grip section. :evil:
Polymer doesn't melt. It crystallizes, which doesn't necessarily render a weapon useless in the field if it does.

aka108
December 26, 2012, 01:19 PM
Shot with a guy at the range a few years ago who was into polymer Glocks. Said he left one on a coffee table. His big ol' dog had plactic toys. Got ahold of the Glock and chewed it up to almost unrecognizeable mass. Seems like all the new pistols are part polymer of sometype and are quite popular with shooters. I just can't get away from all steel. Guess some of us old coots just resist change.

FIVETWOSEVEN
December 26, 2012, 09:32 PM
Someone posted a picture of their Glock after his big dog got a hold of it. I guess Glocks aren't dog proof. :uhoh:

mljdeckard
December 27, 2012, 12:44 AM
Polymer used in guns is more resilient than steel. Anything that happens to a polymer-frame that might make me question its integrity, would also make me question the integrity of a steel-framed gun.

481
December 27, 2012, 12:05 PM
Yeah...and it's an inferior material for followers in pistol magazines according to the popular Internet gun forum meme - so how could it possibly work in an entire gun frame?
That's funny. Subtle, too. :evil:

stubbicatt
December 27, 2012, 03:34 PM
I remember reading many years ago that the bullpup AUG issued to Australian troops would melt the polymer trigger pack after some extent of automatic fire. I don't know it to be true, but supposedly it was a well known defect.

Perhaps AUG has fixed this.

I appreciate the polymer in my Glock 19. Neat handgun which I do not anticipate ever wearing out.

FIVETWOSEVEN
December 27, 2012, 05:55 PM
Originally Posted by Derek Zeanah
How many reports of cracked polymer pistols are we seeing? I've not seen one, so apparently they do OK.

I believe I did see one Walther P99 with a cracked frame at one time. That's it for me though.

wickedsprint
December 27, 2012, 06:07 PM
I'd trust polymer from a high drop more than metal.

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