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Aluminum v. Steel

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by funnelcake, Mar 24, 2013.

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  1. funnelcake

    funnelcake Member

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    Anyone know off-hand the weight difference between a 1911-type Officers frame in steel vs. aluminum?

    Thanks...Funnel
     
  2. creeper1956

    creeper1956 Member

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    An empty aluminum framed Officers size gun runs about 22-24 oz. while an all steel gun comes in about 10 oz. heavier. This will vary a bit with a 9mm being a bit heavier than the .45 due to the thicker barrel.

    C
     
  3. funnelcake

    funnelcake Member

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    Thanks Creeper...10oz seems like a lot.

    Funnel
     
  4. creeper1956

    creeper1956 Member

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    I'm not weighing any guns side by side. I've not owned a steel Officers in years, so I got the steel weight info from a 1993 Colt brochure I have in my library. It does seem like a lot, but I suspect around a 10 oz. difference is pretty accurate.

    Perhaps someone with both steel and alloy guns can weigh them and post an actual value. Wait awhile... I'm sure someone here has both on the shelf.

    C
     
  5. funnelcake

    funnelcake Member

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    Agreed - it was more than just the frame difference. The LW guns had aluminum mainspring housings as well, etc. (though at some point I think both started shipping with nylon MSH).

    Best I can tell, bare frame difference may be around 6oz. give or take a few 1/10th's. I'm trying to make a decision between the two for a CCO-style build.

    Thanks...Funnel
     
  6. creeper1956

    creeper1956 Member

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    Good point. A steel MSH must be at least a few ounces heavier than a ally or plastic one. A steel vs. ally GS as well.

    I personally have no fears with aluminum for a everyday CC gun. The small potential for greater wear vs. a steel gun is more than offset by the superior ease of carry. After carrying full size steel guns at least 12 hrs. a day for years, carrying a smaller ally gun is a true revelation.
    If you practice with it frequently, you may find recoil to be a bit sharp... if you're recoil sensitive that is, but most folks may only run a box through a CC gun maybe once a month. At that rate, an ally gun will last forever.

    Even if you found a way, over time, to batter the feed ramp enough to damage it, EGW makes a steel ramp insert that gives new life to ally frame guns.

    Post pics of your build... love to see 'em going together. :D

    C
     
  7. funnelcake

    funnelcake Member

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    Thanks - will do. Just (finally) completed a 5" build so might be a bit. CCO is tentatively slated as a .38 Super.

    Funnel
     
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