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Are non-plastic guns becomming extinct?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by rajb123, Aug 14, 2012.

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  1. rajb123

    rajb123 member

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    Why are the materials used to make guns such as steel and wood no longer so popular?

    I don't have the sales figures on the plastic guns but I would guess that they dominate by a wide margin.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2012
  2. wep45

    wep45 Member

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    i havent had a plastic gun since i was 6 years old;)
     
  3. foghornl

    foghornl Member

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    Just a guess, but I am thinking that it is less expensive to mold polymer than it is to cast/forge/machine steel and cut/checker/finish wood.
     
  4. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I think the day will come in my lifetime when aluminum alloy guns are no longer made. There will always be a place for the classic steel framed guns such as the 1911, BHP and a few others.

    Aluminum is only used to save weight, and their long term durability has always been far less than steel. The plastic guns are cheaper to make, lighter, and are proving to last at least as long as steel.

    None of the aluminum guns hold anymore special sentimental value than plastic. They are all simple tools just like plastic so their passing will not be a big deal.
     
  5. Fatelvis

    Fatelvis Member

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    Not as long as I keep buying all steel ones!
     
  6. Auto426

    Auto426 Member

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    Steel hasn't disappeared from gun making, as most of the major components of poly framed guns are made from it (slide, barrel, slide rails, pins, etc.). However since the frames of guns take relatively little stress, and molding a polymer frame is much cheaper than forging and milling steel or aluminum, I doubt we will see many new steel framed handguns. Even companies like Sig, which built their reputations on Aluminum framed guns have Shifted to polymer for their latest designs.
     
  7. Fastcast

    Fastcast Member

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    OK! :scrutiny:

    Sentimental - Heirloom value....Nope, no more here than a black plastic pistol. lol

    [​IMG]
     
  8. jimbo555

    jimbo555 Member

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    Except for water pistols,all my toy guns were metal!:D
     
  9. The Man With No Name

    The Man With No Name Member

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    Grades of aircraft aluminum exist that could be formed to make cutting tools that could turn the average steel frame gun into dust. Not ideal material to make a gun frame out of though.

    On topic, I think their will always be a place for steel and wood. At some point it is cheaper for a maker to make small runs of steel frames as for many small makers the cost of building a mold is very prohibitive vs. just hiring tool makers or machinists to mass produce on cnc machinery.
     
  10. WoodchuckAssassin

    WoodchuckAssassin Member

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    God I love Metal. Haha. I’ve owned only one polymer pistol (SR9c), and while it was a great pistol, I just love to feel the steel in my hand (traded it for a SR1911). Personally, the added weight of metal is worth the psychological bump I get from knowing my gun is “solid.” It might all be in my head, but I’ve never been let down by the feeling. I had an all steel/American made NAA Guardian in .380, and when it came time to sell it, the highest anyone would pay for it was $200. I just kept getting the same line, “Everyone wants a pistol in the same caliber, but at a ¼ the weight.” Sounded like a crock of s**t, but I suppose I should let the whole ordeal go. I just can’t wrap my mind around why more people don’t want steel in their hands.
     
  11. sigarms228

    sigarms228 Member

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    Poly guns are cheaper yet most of them are also very well built, accurate, and reliable. I own a few myself - Glock 19 Gen 2, SIG SP2022, and Walther PPQ.

    However I also own more than a few metal frame SIGs that are my all time favorite pistols and IMO well worth the extra investment.

    I expect metal frame pistols to be around for a long long time yet.
     
  12. C0untZer0

    C0untZer0 Member

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    Not for micro-matics and pocket pistols.

    Maybe the DB9 has proved that polymer doesn't hold up that well when polymer pistols get below 5½"

    It looks like Aluminum and Titanium will still be used for pocket pistols.
     
  13. Tex4426

    Tex4426 Member

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    Polymer is cheaper its lighter and its pretty strong as well but metal guns are going nowhere
     
  14. barnbwt

    barnbwt Member

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    Because gun buyers are cheap SOB's :D. And also because plastics, epoxies, fancy alloys, and coatings often perform better in practice (not beauty contests) than traditional materials.

    -How often does an injection molded plastic (or metal) part have to be scrapped because it was cast out of spec (compared to machined)?

    -My TRR8 revolver weighs as much as a snubby L-frame, but is an N-frame with a 5" barrel.

    -My Remington 700 SPS plastic stock will last until the end of time (or until I replace it :)), whether I beat it up, lose it in a swamp, or whatever.

    "One word, just one word; Plastics."

    That said, I doubt any of those will be displayed in the Louvre alongside Tut's mask one day...

    TCB

    I take exception to that! If both guns are desinged properly, the only thing steel has over aluminum is the ability to be buffed and made all pretty for a longer time. Aluminum has to be coated or anodized, both of which show wear more readily than a polished or (maintained) blued steel finish. The material isn't what causes a slide to peen out too early, it's poor design! Unless you treat weight as "quality," one metal is not inherently superior to another.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2012
  15. Cokeman

    Cokeman Member

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    There are several that are polymer that seem to do fine. I figure you are referring to Seecamps, Baby Browning, Rohrbaughs, etc. What about the Taurus 738, Kahr P380, S&W Bodyguard, and Ruger LCP? Those seem to work just fine.
     
  16. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    ex·tinct
    1. no longer in existence; that has ended or died out:
    When you can no longer purchase a SSA, 1911 or BlackPowder weapon we will revive the discussion.

    2. no longer in use; obsolete: an extinct custom.
    Military's around the world still use metal/alloy guns.



    Are they a viable option? Sure.
    Are they for everyone? Nope
     
  17. One_Jackal

    One_Jackal member

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    Plastic isn't being welcomed by the revolver crowd. I think we will see metal revolvers for a long time to come.
     
  18. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    "I don't have the sales figures on the plastic guns "

    I've never seen a plastic gun. I had a P-32 and it had a metal slide. I have an FNP-45 USG and it has a huge metal slide. I had a Ruger 22/45 and the top half was mostly metal. Glocks? Metal slide and parts.

    Some years back I bought my uncle a Remington Nylon 76 lever action. All metal except for the stock.

    John
     
  19. skt239

    skt239 Member

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    I don't like them but Ruger and S&W don't seem to be having much trouble selling their poly revolvers.
     
  20. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    My music is metal, my guns are plastic.
     
  21. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    1911's are all steel and seeing very nice sales figures.

    Overall though, aside from sentimental reasons, polymer (plastic) is cheaper to produce and makes guns that are just as reliable. It also doesn't rust, tarnish, or otherwise need any special attention.

    In general, for a WORKING gun, polymer just makes more sense. Now, there will always be guns make for other purposes, and there will always be older designs like the 1911 that started with one material and will keep it, but overall the move to polymer frames isn't really a bad thing. Its just technology evolving.

    I'm sure there were folks back in the day who were wondering if percussion muzzleloaders would go extinct once cartridges were invented. As you can tell well over 100 years later they still haven't gone away, but they're now relegated to specialty items.
     
  22. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    Most pistols sold are for "carry/duty" type requirements, and plastic has all the advantages for that type of use. Cheaper, lighter, more durable/impervious to the elements. Market will continue to trend in that direction as it has been for 30 years now.

    Guns never become extinct. You can still buy everything from M14 types and 1911s, to Blackpowder, etc. There will always be some demand for any generation of technology in history.
     
  23. TennJed

    TennJed Member

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    I own 20 handguns, 17 are steel and 3 are poly
     
  24. CWL

    CWL Member

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    The Marines just purchased $22mill worth of Colt 1911s.

    Somebody should call the Commandant and tell him that all steel is becoming extinct!
     
  25. Fastcast

    Fastcast Member

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    I have yet to see any plastic/polymer in my line of work that is "impervious" to photodegradation, industrial solvents or even low temp heat. I think some people confuse no rust to mean impervious.
     
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