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Are all steel handguns passe?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by GunTech, Oct 26, 2010.

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  1. GunTech

    GunTech Member

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    I'll preface this to say that I think there will always be a demand for all steel guns, particularly classics like the 1911.

    But looking at all the guns being marketed and introduced, it seems like the vast majority are to a large degree polymer. Indeed, when I speak to younger shooters, they typically gravitate to polymer guns, complaining that all steel guns are too heavy.

    I can't help wondering if the all steel auto is going to become like the blued full sized revolver: favored by a few diehards, but only a small portion of the guns made and sold.

    What do you say?
     
  2. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    No way.

    The lite polymer guns have too much muzzle flip and recoil. The only really good ones are the ones that allow you to grip them really high with the bore as low over your hand as possible. Like Glocks and the M&P.

    I think the Glock 23 is a good example. Not nearly as comfortable to shoot as the 19, or an all steel 1911.

    All steel guns weigh more and are easy to shoot. Great for women or big calibers like .45.

    A 1911 seems to weigh exactly what it needs to weigh. We've tried lighter al frames, and heavier ful length dust cover models. But we allways come back to the standard 5" Goverment model.

    It's a phase we're going through. We are going towards lightweight, tiny, pocket guns and wonder 9's quickly. It's only a matter of time before folks remember what a heavier pistol felt like to shoot and come back.

    Just wait till someone comes out with an all steel M&P or Glock or a Highcap SA 1911 type thing. I'll bet the next big thing will be steel guns. We've been through these phases before........one big swing towards little guns followed by a big swing towards bigger guns.
     
  3. bds

    bds Member

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    I started out with 1911/Sig226/CZ75.

    What I appreciated about polymer pistols (mainly Glocks and lately M&Ps) was that after 500-1000+ round range practice session, there was a lot less shock/trauma to my hands/arms as much of the shock/vibration was dissipated by the polymer frames. With metal framed pistols, your hands/arms/bones/joints absorb all the shock/vibration.

    With metal framed pistols shooting full power 40S&W/45ACP loads, you feel the hard "THUMP" when the pistol fires. Newer polymer pistol models like Gen3/Gen4 Glocks, M&Ps, XDs also have stiffer recoil springs so there is less slide slapping of the frame. With metal framed pistols, this adds more stress to the wrists.

    For a new, YOUNGER shooter who hasn't developed sufficient hand/wrist/arm strength to apply proper two hand grip on a pistol will find the lighter and often softer recoiling polymer pistols more attractive and may conclude that polymer pistols must be better. I have helped many new shooters select a pistol for SD/HD purposes and let them shoot a wide assortment of pistols. They tend to get better groupings with lighter Glock triggers that does not need to be "broken in" over most other pistols - the ease of getting smaller accurate shot groups first time speaks volumes to them and gives them confidence. Also, we now have a new generation of younger buyers who grew up watching movies and TV shows that glorified Glocks. Put yourself in their shoes, "If the police carry Glocks, they must be good?" Many idolize law enforcement and the military. When they shoot the Glock 17 and Beretta 92FS side-by-side, there is no comparison for a new shooter, Glock 17 wins hands down mostly due to lighter weight, smaller size and cheaper price tag. Yes, they don't make that much money either, for now.

    Most will agree that Glock's introduction has raised the bar for the semi-auto pistol manufacturing world-wide and the competition among the manufacturers have produced better and better pistols for us shooters. I think most major pistol manufacturers are spending their R&D money on polymer framed pistols and not on metal framed pistols due to customer demand and lower manufacturing costs (if you only knew what the cost to produce a Glock is :eek:).

    I do not believe "metal" framed pistols are dead. It's just that lower priced polymer framed pistols that shoot well outsell in overwhelming numbers because of word-of-mouth recommendations like, "Trust me, buy a Glock/M&P/XD and you won't be sorry". How can you argue with that? I have made that comment many times when someone asked they can only afford to buy one pistol for SD/HD. When you are comparing prices, new buyers also say, "And they cost less too?" - it becomes a no-brainer.

    I would be very happy to see metal pistols make a comeback though.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2010
  4. REAPER4206969

    REAPER4206969 Member

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    While the steel framed classics that we all know and love will always be around, steel as a material for service pistol frames (and compact revolvers) is obsolete and has been since the end of the second world war.
     
  5. JQP

    JQP Member

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    I still have serious doubts about long term viability/durability of polymer frame handguns, maybe with the possible exception of Glock 9mms, in a truly SHTF global scenario.

    Long live the CZ 75, which could probably fire until eternity without being worse off for the wear.
     
  6. Casefull

    Casefull Member

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    I hate plastic...it decomposes over time, it flexes, it is weak compared to steel. It lasts a long time but I bet it will not be viable after 100 years. My steel firearms will be fine when my great grandchildren are shooting them. Ha!
     
  7. meytind

    meytind Member

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    I hear that concern a lot actually and it makes no sense to me. There are tons of 60 year old .22 rifles with polymer stocks that still function fine. AR-15s from 50 years ago still have their original polymer furniture.

    We're concerned with plastic Poland Spring bottles lasting for centuries in our landfills, yet the polymers in weapons are many, many times stronger and more resilient than those in our water bottles. Most likely, polymer pistols made this year will still be functional by the time their all steel counterparts are rusted to dust.

    The flex of polymer is actually what makes it much more durable than steel in handgun frames. Just look at the Glocks with over 100k rounds through them, or the pistol-training.com torture tests. Try to fire that many rounds in a steel framed pistol in such a short amount of time and the frame will be destroyed MUCH sooner than the 90k+ rounds it took to shave a small sliver off of the P30 frame.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2010
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Heck no.

    I have to strongly disagree, especially if both are cared for.
     
  9. TexasGunbie

    TexasGunbie Member

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    If everything is cared for then there would be no debate. I trade guns a lot and most guns I run into is lacking some TLC. Polymer rarely gives out even under much abuse, but metal starts pitting and rust if not oiled.
     
  10. TexasGunbie

    TexasGunbie Member

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    I had a CZ 75 P01 that I sold a few weeks ago. I got rid of it because even though it's all metal, it was very snappy when I shot it. I feel that the tupperguns are not bad at all when you are shooting 9mm.
     
  11. Ragnar Danneskjold

    Ragnar Danneskjold Member

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    It's kind of funny watching people make statements in absolute terms as if what we know now has any bearing on what we will know 200+ years from now. "Steel pistols will always be around" "plastic is weak compared to steel". This discussion is equivalent to arguing about flint-locks vs. match locks. Centuries from now none of this will matter. Probably not even that long. Even 50 years from now, the types of new polymers and alloys we will know about and use for firearms will blow our current understanding out of the water. Have the debate, but leave terms like "always" and "never" in their correct place. In the year 2210, no one will be using the 1911 or the Glock 19.

    In 200 years, projectile weapons themselves might very well have gone the way of the sword and sling. Novelties for collectors.
     
  12. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Member

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    Speak for yourself...I'll be long gone by the year 2210, but if I was still here...the last thing I'd want is some electronic gizmo that could be switched "off" right when I needed it the most by a signal sent from a satellite (think "OnStar").
     
  13. sprice

    sprice Member

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    The beretta and 1911, as well as a few others; will always be around. I do think the way of the future is polymer though. They are cheaper and lighter (wich I personally don't really care about) and a lot of them are more reliable than the steel auto's of old too. I have recently converted to glock so of course I am only drinking their cool aid. After glocks I do love a good single action revolver though; and the 1911 is a close third. I have owned all three of those pistols and a few more too.
     
  14. REAPER4206969

    REAPER4206969 Member

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    The Beretta is aluminum.
     
  15. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    Steel guns of good quality will continue to be much more expensive than plastic guns.

    Although I do not buy into the internet myth that plastic-framed guns will suddenly turn to dust, I feel no obligation to warehouse guns for the next generation. They can buy their own guns, and they can fight the fight to keep them, or they will get exactly what they deserve.

    I won't be around to shed a tear for them.
     
  16. sleepyone

    sleepyone Member

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    I find it hard to believe that a polymer gun will absorb recoil better than a heavy steel gun; especially after experiencing the difference myself. I was looking for my first autoloader in a long time a couple of years back and went with an XD .40 in the 4" model. The recoil was really bad for me. I have had several surgeries for carpal and cubital tunnel syndromes. I ended up selling it and renting two XDs to compare recoil between the 9mm and .45 ACP. I bought the 9mm but still was not happy with the recoil. A met a guy who has a bunch of full size 1911s in .45 ACP. The first time I shot one I was really dreading the recoil because of the .45 ACP polymer XD I had shot at the range. I was blown away by the lack of recoil the 1911 had. Since then I have become a .45 ACP nut but ONLY in steel guns. The weight of an all steel pistol absorbs more recoil than a lightweight polymer gun can ever hope to.
     
  17. MattTheHat

    MattTheHat Member

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    Are steel guns passe'?

    Let's see, I've got about 15 steel pistols and 2 plastic ones. So, not for me.


    -matt
     
  18. Onward Allusion

    Onward Allusion Member

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    Should have open a poll on this. I'd be interested in the tally.

    There will always be steel guns but it will likely service a niche like revolvers. Polymers serve a broader need, especially for those who carry all the time, those who are cost sensitive, or those who don't care as much about aesthetics.

    An all steel piece will get heavy after a while. However, for durability sake, there is no comparison. You're talking about steel inserts -vs- a hunk of metal. For range and competition, there's no better feeling than a solid steel pistol.

    Besides, how can you properly pistol-whip someone with a poly? :D



     
  19. JQP

    JQP Member

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    Damn skippy. :)
     
  20. Clarence

    Clarence Member

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    Is this a joke? Steel guns passe?

    It must be a joke.
     
  21. Ragnar Danneskjold

    Ragnar Danneskjold Member

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    "The last thing I would want is some sort of new-fangled musket that uses "cased" ammunition I have to purchase from someone else instead of being able to mix my own powder and cast my own shot." - Around the time black powder guns were being phased out for guns that use cartridges.

    You may feel that way, but you're right; you won't be around. And attitudes will change. History is not sentimental. The passing decades and centuries do not care about one individual's feelings of being tied emotionally to one design over another. At some point in the future, whether near or distant, the 1911, the Beretta 92, the Glock 19, and all the rest will be as popular and common as an 1805 Harper's Ferry Pistol: a novelty for collectors and museums. And forgotten by everyone else.

    True, in the sense that the Roman Gladius sword and the Brown Bess musket are technically still around.

    I wonder if there will be "lasers vs. plasma" arguments 500 years from now, and with same devotion and fervor. ;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2010
  22. okespe04

    okespe04 Member

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    no not at all
     
  23. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    In a word, yes.

    Remember when power tools used to be made with an all-steel housing? Well, they were at one point, in case you're too young to know this. :) Take a look in your toolbox and imagine one single power tool you would rather be made from all steel. And you probably don't even carry those around on your belt.
     
  24. engineer88

    engineer88 Member

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    Sleepyone, you should have tried a glock30. I am not at all exaggerating when I tell you it is the softest shooting 45 I have ever fired and yes I have fired full size all steel 1911's.

    I have polymer and all steel personally in almost an equal ammount. Give or take maybe one pistol. To give you an idea I carry a P32 as bug to an SP101 during the week. On the weekends a glock26 or 30 goes iwb and an aluminum jframe goes in the pocket. For the gym a P32, P3AT, or mini magnum goes along for the trip. When bumming about the house or being lazy walter ppk/s is usually in the pocket.

    Ultimately all steel is generally not an issue with the right belt. Belt, then holster (in that order) make carrying easy. I have a 5.11 tac belt that ran me 30 bucks. It is some of the best 30 bucks I ever spent. ij my opinion people who think steel is going away are not underestimating nostalgia, they are underestimating individual choice. Everyone has a firearm (or three) that just fit. It hits on all the levels a person considers important. I am a good example. I have polymers that carry twice the number of rounds as my SP101, weigh less, are flatter, and can be reloaded more swiftly. But I still carry it every day. It just suits me. What can I say?

    Finally, what great call above, pistol whipping wins the argument in my opinion. ;)
     
  25. HisSoldier

    HisSoldier Member

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    Polymer triggers made for Colt Mustangs and variants made 30 years ago are already starting to fail, which doesn't surprise me in the least. Plastics are not gun making materials for any other reason than that of increasing profits. Young people typically don't know any better and blindly assume plastics are equal, and the brainwashing continues.

    I've had people in these forums argue that aluminum alloys are good replacements for steel, even though common sense tells us that it has only one superior property, weight.

    People buy guns made of inferior materials and then argue that the materials are as good or better than gunmaking steels. Not a big surprise.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 27, 2010
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