Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Is a zinc alloy frame as strong as polymer?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by mf-dif, Nov 26, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. mr.trooper

    mr.trooper Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Messages:
    1,829
    Location:
    Midwest
    The ZAMAK alloy used in firearms is far from mystery "pot metal". It is a very consistant and carefully formulated metal, with a yield strength over 30,000 psi.
     
  2. Kiln

    Kiln Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2,465
    This.

    Zamak isn't the same as your average "pot metal" which most ignorant (not stupid, there is a difference) people seem to believe. It is a decent material when used within its limits. Hi Point even makes a .45acp that while definitely ugly and huge, seems to work pretty well for alot of people.
     
  3. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Messages:
    14,458
    Location:
    Elbert County, CO
    Yes, it is. But probably not the reason you're trying to assert.

    "Ring of fire" had nothing to do with imported guns. It refers to a half dozen manufacturers in California.
     
  4. Kiln

    Kiln Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2,465
    Meh I'm done trying to explain because I'm having trouble articulating what I actually mean. I was trying to explain that the Brady Campaign was instrumental in labeling any zamak pistol as a dangerous Saturday Night Special that was only useful in crime.

    They used to be on the news all the time raving about how they were so scary because anyone can afford one and even the gun loving crowd ate it up at the time. The rumors that a Hi Point will blow off your hand didn't even go away until a few years back.

    I am aware that the original term was coined before the ROF was even thought of and have been since before I posted anything here. Anyways I'm going to go away now because I know what I mean but can't put it into words.
     
  5. ku4hx

    ku4hx Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2009
    Messages:
    2,794
    Given the multitude of posts on the subject, it's exactly as I'm trying to assert. Now if you're asserting you probably can read my mind ...
     
  6. RedAlert

    RedAlert Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Messages:
    678
    Location:
    Silverdale, WA
    The sad thing about this thread is that somewhere out there is a clueless individual who will make this conversion. The only hope is that it happens before he contributes to the gene pool. Stupidity like this should be eliminated.

    I am glad; however, that the OP asked rather than experimented. Smart move.
     
  7. mf-dif

    mf-dif Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Messages:
    321
    Location:
    Georgia
    No harm in asking. Was curious as these guns where marketed as being basically interchangeable with most standard 1911 parts. Recently saw that they started selling the GSG .22 slides, barrel and mags as a package for .45 1911 so i just had to ask. Pieces looked identical.
     
  8. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Messages:
    4,570
    Location:
    Charleston, South Carolina
    Actually not all of them do. The Ruger P95 's frame has no inserts and the slide rides right on the polymer. I'm pretty sure the same is true of the S&W Sigma.
     
  9. Kiln

    Kiln Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2,465
    Hi Point C9 also. The difference is that those guns were designed to ride on polymer rails. The zamak frame was designed for low powered rounds, swapping a large caliber slide would make it pretty unsafe given that it wasn't designed to handle it.
     
  10. Jaymo

    Jaymo Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Messages:
    3,530
    Where are you getting that the glass filled nylon has such a high yield strength? I've never seen anything showing more than a tensile strength of 30,000 psi.
     
  11. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Messages:
    14,458
    Location:
    Elbert County, CO
    I'm pretty certain the block that incorporates the rear recoil spring housing and frame rails on a P95 is steel.

    The Sigma has steel inserts.
     
  12. Blue Brick

    Blue Brick Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,452
    Location:
    Pinal County, Arizona
    Ruger's .45 ACP Polymer Auto Pistol
    by Dick Metcalf
    Technical Editor
    Shooting Times
    Category: Gun Reviews

    August 24, 2001



     
  13. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Messages:
    4,570
    Location:
    Charleston, South Carolina
    Nope. All polymer. Looking at it in my hands right now ;).

    BTW I'm not in any way suggesting that the OP's idea is sound. Just stating that there are some polymer pistols out there designed such that the slide rides on the polymer frame and not steel inserts. I knew my M&P and Glock had steel inserts, but was pretty sure and just confirmed that my P95 did not.
     
  14. ceetee

    ceetee Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2003
    Messages:
    1,998
    As does the CZ-100 (and possibly the CZ-101, though we'll probably never see any 101's imported into these fine United States).
     
  15. TimboKhan

    TimboKhan Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2005
    Messages:
    8,108
    Location:
    Greeley, CO
    Crap.

    Seriously, I just spent an hour doing math and correcting my somewhat faulty post that I deleted for being inaccurate and it did not post. I am uttering some magnificent curse words at my iPad right now.

    Short answer, my numbers were off in my last post, but nylon 6 has a higher strength to weight ratio, thus making it the stronger material despite its slightly LOWER tensile yield strength compared to Zamak 3.

    So, my conclusion was correct, my data was not. I apologize.

    Here is a picture of my notes before I started doing math any tapping my ultimately useless post:mad:
     

    Attached Files:

  16. TimboKhan

    TimboKhan Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2005
    Messages:
    8,108
    Location:
    Greeley, CO
    Also, yes. I am at a hotel. Have been all week. It is the suck.
     
  17. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Messages:
    4,225
    Location:
    Missouri
    And Walther/Umarex. The pk380 is zamak.
     
  18. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Messages:
    14,458
    Location:
    Elbert County, CO
    OK, I stand corrected. The only P-series I've owned was a P94 (Alloy frame), and it's been long time since looked at the frame of a P95 (A gun which has zero appeal to me, hence I've payed little attention to them)

    All the P-series guns feel like they're cycling in slow motion (especially the P90), which lends more to the already clunky feel of them. Reliable and reasonably accurate, but downright goofy guns in terms of handling.
     
  19. atblis

    atblis Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    Messages:
    4,531
    Location:
    Neither here nor there
    Nope. The P22 is a Zamak turd, but not the PK380. Slide is steel.

    Were the RG centerfire revolver frames made out of Zinc?
     
  20. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Messages:
    4,225
    Location:
    Missouri
    You're right about the slide. Apologies.

    The PK380, however, is a turd.
     
  21. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    7,645
    Location:
    Alabama


    That is not bad for a zinc based material but compare to historic materials used in 03 Springfields and to 4140.


    Receivers and bolts of SA, serial number 1,275,767
    Material WD 2340
    Treatment: Heat to 1425-1450 for five minutes in a salt bath, oil quench
    Temper at 700 F for one-half hour and air cool
    Hardness Rockwell C-40 to C-50.

    Source: July-Aug 1928 issue Army Ordnance, “Heat Treatment and Finish of Small Arms at Springfield Armory

    Mechanical Properties of AISI steels with various Heat-Treatments*

    AISI 2340 normalized at 1600 F, quenched in oil at 1425 F *

    Code:
    [SIZE="3"]Draw Temperature 	Tensile Strength 	Yield Point 	
    600 F	                    222 kpsi	      205 kpsi
    800 F	                   180 kpsi	      165 kpsi[/size]
    
    *Source Mark’s Mechanical Engineers’ Handbook, sixth edition


    Today’s receivers are often made of 4140. I picked a mid range heat treatment for comparison. For a 1 in round AISI 4140 Steel, Heat treatment normalized 870°C (1600°F), reheated 845°C (1550°F), oil quenched, tempered 595° (1100 F)

    Hardness, Rockwell C 34 Converted from Brinell hardness.
    Tensile Strength, Ultimate 148000 psi

    Tensile Strength, Yield 132000 psi

    Elongation at Break 19.0 %

    I was told this heat treatment of 4140 was too hard for firearms applications, but I am putting down for reference.

    For a 1 in round AISI 4140 Steel, normalized at 870°C (1600°F), reheated to 845°C (1550°F), oil quenched, 260°C (500°F) temper, ultimate strength 270,000 psi, yield 240,000 psi, elongation at break 11%, Rockwell C53.

    You have to look at the load path to determine just how much load the material is carrying. The receiver or frame of a blowback is not carrying much load which is why they can use such low grade materials.
     
  22. atblis

    atblis Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    Messages:
    4,531
    Location:
    Neither here nor there
    I wanted to say that, but resisted because I've never actually shot the PK380. P22 I have plenty of experience with its turdiness.
     
  23. Kiln

    Kiln Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2,465
    My Raven MP25 and Phoenix HP22 work better than my Walther P22 ever did and both costed 1/3 of the price.
     
  24. Jaymo

    Jaymo Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Messages:
    3,530
    Sorry, Tim, but ZA-27 has a yield strength of 55,000 psi.
    ZA-12, 46,000.
    ZA-8, 42,000.
    Where's this mystery Tupperware that's stronger than that? ;)

    That said, there's no way in hell I'd convert a ZA framed 1911 into a .45 cal. If I want to commit suicide, I'll point the muzzle at my head, not the rear of the slide. :)
    Recoil operation would be a lot harder on the frame than I'd be comfortable with.
    It could be done. Safely, even. That level of strength is plenty for the application.
    The problem is that it wouldn't last. It would fail, sooner or later. Probably sooner.
    How many rounds could you crank off before the frame or slide failed?

    Sounds like a great idea for some testing. My buddy has a Goobtube channel and wants me to make some vids with him.
    I'm thinking I should convert one to .45 and remote fire it, to see how long it lasts. (not long, I'd guess)

    In the words of the demo man on Team Fortress 2, KA-BEWM!!
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012
  25. Kiln

    Kiln Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2,465
    The issue is not zamak's strength but the fact that it is prone to cracking under stress from shock. A zamak framed gun will often crack after only a few hundred rounds of .380 acp but works fine for .22lr pistols as long as the design is correct.

    You couldn't pay me to slap a .45acp slide onto a frame designed to fire .22lr and shoot it. There is a good chance of a rail shearing off and allowing you to be struck in the face by the slide.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page