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Can someone tell me the pros and cons...

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by crazydog, Oct 25, 2006.

  1. crazydog

    crazydog Well-Known Member

    ...of polymer frames vs. full metal frames, just want to understand why some people will choose polymer over metal.

  2. SoCalShooter

    SoCalShooter Well-Known Member

    Polymer frame weapons are usually lighter, my kimber 1911 steel frame weights 39oz my hk usp .45 only 24oz.
  3. MisterPX

    MisterPX Well-Known Member

    Well, beside being cheaper to manufacture...plastic weighs less, flexes = absorbs some recoil (not 100% sure about that one), and doesn't rust.

    In the grander scheme of things,most pistols with/without a plastic frame have no counterpart.
  4. SoCalShooter

    SoCalShooter Well-Known Member

    oh yeah the plastic is easier to make and cheaper than steel. I like both and it depends on the application, hunting I take my HK.
  5. Bazooka Joe71

    Bazooka Joe71 Well-Known Member

    Plastic obviously doesnt rust
    It weight quite a bit less, so its better for CCW
    It is cheaper to manufacture, which in turn makes it cheaper for you to buy
    It also feels better in your hand in the winter.

    On the other hand:

    Its not quite as durable
    Recoil is substantially greater(due to the lighter weight)
    And it just plain doesn't feel as good:D (My biased opinion)
  6. Hawk

    Hawk Well-Known Member

    I had read that the Poly and steel frame STI uses in the 2011 absorbs recoil.

    Now that I own one I still can't say that's accurate - it seems so, but it might just be the power of suggestion. My wild guess is that it absorbs about as much recoil as it adds by being lighter, hence a wash.

    It is marginally less likely to bring on a case of OCD for those of us prone to scratch and ding our weapons.
  7. GunNut

    GunNut Well-Known Member

    Polymer is usually also thinner than a steel frame with Grips.

    But to me there are really three reasons why I choose polymer(glock) over a steel framed gun.

    1. Weight
    2. Weight.
    3. You guessed it..........Weight.

    If i'm going to carry it has to be as light as possible. My Glock 30 w/10+1 rounds of 230gr HP's is lighter than my old Colt Combat Commander with 7+1 rounds by quite a bit.

  8. CWL

    CWL Well-Known Member

    Military preference of polymer resins over steel. Cheaper to manufacture, no need to machine like steel/alloy.

    Polymer also has higher resistance to corrosives(water) and extreme temperature/weather ranges than steel. Polymer firearms took-off in Austria (Steyr & Glock). -They remember what happened to steel guns on the Russian Front and in Arctic extremes.

    Having your steel gun shatter can ruin a war.
  9. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Well-Known Member

    I have steel guns & I have both poly guns...it took me a very long time to accept polyguns...This year, I've only bought steel guns.
    I prefer the polymer over alloy guns in terms of lightweight & for durability. And between my USPs & my 1911's I'm equally & completely satisfied w/ their performance :D
  10. gaven

    gaven Well-Known Member

  11. kokapelli

    kokapelli Well-Known Member

    Polymer has many advantages over steel, but I personally like the feel and weight of a steel pistol.
  12. Minator

    Minator Well-Known Member

    Lol:what: Polymer absorbs recoil hahhahahahaha....anyway the main difference between polymer and metalic framed pistols is the weight as others have mentioned. In my own experience Ive owned an equal amount of polymers and metalic framed guns and have settled on heavier metalic framed pistols.

    Due to the fact of the felt recoil you recieve. Firing with one hand using a glock 17 (which is a full size 9mm with a 5" barrel) highlights an example of how some polymer framed pistols recoil. Which when shooting with one hand with a glock I have found that they tourqe to the right , which with your support hand in place it still does this action only in a smaller rotation which doesnt really matter you can train with it to get descent grouping.

    Which I personally chose heavier metalic framed pistols mostly 1911 and sig style pistols a few BHP's. Due to the fact that the recoil that I have experienced with one of these types with the heavier frame is a straight back push rather then a rotation which is harder to control and compensate for at least for me. The funny thing is I can shoot my sig .45 acp better than a glock 17-19 with equal trigger time.

    Dont listen to the fairytales you here on the internet about polymers being better because they wont rust and are more reliable. Any gun will rust because they all have metal parts unless its an airsoft as long as you keep any gun oiled and clean you wont have any rust or reliability issues(of course if it isnt a taurus or S&W).
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2006
  13. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Well-Known Member

    This sentence is very difficult to understand, but I don't think I have ever experienced whatever it is that you are trying to say.
  14. Minator

    Minator Well-Known Member

    Every glock I have ever fired has had a hard tourqe to the right, which I thought it was me until I let quite a few people try it out and they experienced the same thing.
  15. Panthera Tigris

    Panthera Tigris Well-Known Member

    I've actually experienced less recoil with Glocks than any other handgun I've tried, and I've fired dozens and dozens of different handguns. Probably because Glocks fit me so well.
  16. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Well-Known Member

    If the gun, overall, works (i.e., is reliable, accurate, durable and has the shooting qualities I desire) for me, I am not overly concerned about what it is made of.

    That doesn't explain the price of H&K pistols. :p Although, they certainly are cheaper than the P7s.
  17. boldkharma

    boldkharma Well-Known Member

    Have to agree with Minator. My 17 will recoil like that one handed. My full size Springfield loaded(9mm) is a joy to shoot. Zero recoil.
  18. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Well-Known Member

    If it's that cold, you're no longer a combatant. You're a popsickle with a gun. And a simple fact: Cold temperatures adversely affect polymers long before steel. I own and shoot both and have full confidence in either, but steel feels better and is more durable. Why do you think polymer guns have steel inserts for the slide rails and other critical parts?
  19. Phil DeGraves

    Phil DeGraves Well-Known Member

    "Polymer" (plastic) guns are cheaper to manufacture so the makers have a higher profit margin. They are lighter and easier to carry, so LE likes them. They wear well and are not affected by adverse environmental conditions, and since the majority of LE are not gun people, they like them because they believe they don't have to take care of it. On the downside, unless it's gas operated, they recoil more because of their light weight; this is a fact of physics, not a subjective opinion. They blow up on occasion, more so than steel frame guns, which is to be expected since plastic is not as strong as steel. Due to the "flex" in the frame, they tend not to be as accurate as steel frame guns, but any of them will shoot more accurately than 99.99% of the shooters, so this really isn't much of an issue. Except for the "flex" you can say almost the same things about aluminum framed guns. Aluminum is lighter than the steel but wear out quicker with excessive use.

    Personally, I prefer steel framed guns.
  20. Phil DeGraves

    Phil DeGraves Well-Known Member

    "If i'm going to carry it has to be as light as possible. My Glock 30 w/10+1 rounds of 230gr HP's is lighter than my old Colt Combat Commander with 7+1 rounds by quite a bit."

    If I'm going to carry, I want to be able to hit with it. Heavier guns are easier to shoot accurately than lighter guns. The reason you carry a gun is to protect yourself when something really bad is about to happen. I shoot my steel frame guns better than any poly gun, so when my life and health are on the line, I want the gun I shoot best.

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