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MIM??

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by DeepSouth, Feb 10, 2010.

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  1. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Member

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    Why is it the only time you ever hear anything about MIM being a bad thing is when people are talking about a 1911? I'll be first to admit almost all mass produced 1911's have MIM in them, and I'll also agree the less MIM the better. But with that said I bet most massed produced handguns built to day have MIM in them. I took the MIM into concederation when buying my last CCW, a KAHR they have 1 MIM part if I remember correctly. It seems to me that no one else ever thinks about MIM unless they're talking about a 1911. When was the last time you heard an argument about which had more MIM a Glock or a XD? So my question is why do you never hear people complaining about MIM in a S&W, Ruger, Taurus,etc, etc? I can't be the only person to notice this.
     
  2. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    The makers of 1911s that use these parts frequently charge a premium price for the gun, despite the fact that MIM is a manufacturing process that is supposed to reduce cost.
     
  3. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    MIM is always brought up when present day Smith and Wessons are talked about as well. Pre lock and pre MIM.
     
  4. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Member

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    +1 about Smith hammers and triggers! I complain about em all the time :)

    The lock does not bother me as much as some...

    However, none of my Smiths have locks...

    Though, that could be because all of the lock guns have that dreaded MIM.
     
  5. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Member

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    Well I am almost relived to find out MIM is a problem in something other than a 1911. I guess some manufactures can keep it under wraps better than others, I just recently found out Sig was starting to use a little MIM here and there. It may well be that some company's just keep it "undercover"

    Did S&W start using MIM at the same time they started putting the locks on?
     
  6. DBR

    DBR Member

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    While I can't say this with certainty; looking at the parts, I think Glock and Sig use MIM for some parts and have for a long time. I don't hear wails about their use of the process.

    Like any other manufacturing process the suitability depends on the application, design and quality control. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with MIM if it is used properly.

    Unfortunately it has been used by the "bean counters" to cut costs without realizing it is a technically sophisticated process with a large up front cost and ongoing high QC requirement with no room for "good enough". It is less forgiving than other methods. Parts either work or they fail.
     
  7. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Member

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    Smith introduced MIM triggers on many models in 1997. I think the hammer followed a year or two later with the introduction of the transfer firing pin (nomenclature?)

    The lock did no appear until 2002 or so.

    If the back of the trigger has a void it is probably MIM-

    Many MIM parts will have a telltale faint circle or two- very common on 1911 disconnecters and sears...
     
  8. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    One thing to remember is that MIM can be done to produce very high quality parts. It is one of those things that you do not want to outsource to Malaysia if you want those quality parts though.
     
  9. gwnorth

    gwnorth Member

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    With the exception of Ruger, who as far as I know uses investment cast parts for their guns (makes sense), I'd love to hear about a manufacturer who does NOT use at least one MIM part these days. Seems to me that most auto loaders these days are at least using MIM in the extractor, hammer, trigger, sears, or all of these and more parts.

    If anyone knows of a gun manufacture who is not using any MIM parts at all in their products, please post them, I for one would like to know.
     
  10. atblis

    atblis Member

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    Glock doesn't seem to have many mim parts. :)
     
  11. gwnorth

    gwnorth Member

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    Actually, I'd read that Glock uses MIM extractors, and even one post that the locking block was an MIM fabricated part? Don't know if it is true or not, somebody confirm?

    I know SIG at one point said that their 1911's had no MIM in them, but it's been a few years now, and I know they are using MIM on other models in their lineup (extractors, hammers).

    P.S. I have nothing against MIM parts per se - have owned guns with them in it and never had a problem. As long as the QC is there in the production, just like cast or forged parts, they should be fine. It just seems to me that just about every gun manufacutrer is using them in at least some of their lines these days, so many folks may well be using them, and been using them for some time, without even being aware of it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2010
  12. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

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    Nighthawk will use MIM if a customer makes a specific request. Otherwise, no MIM.
     
  13. atblis

    atblis Member

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    I too also suspect the locking block and extractor are mim. The locking block has an injection sight mark if I remember correctly.

    However, what I was attempting to poke fun at was the reason that there aren't a bunch more mim parts is that everything else is either plastic or stamped sheet metal.
     
  14. 481

    481 Member

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    Per my last discussion with Glock's Technical Department (Smyrna) representatives, the locking block and extractor are indeed MIM parts. Give 'em a call, they seem to be happy to confirm this.

    Done properly, the MIM process can (and does) produce parts in excess of 98% the strength (density) of wrought (forged) components and makes it superior in strength (and density) to almost all "cast" parts. It is a well respected metallurgical process and I have no worries about parts so fabricated so long as it is used in the correct applications and done properly.
     
  15. Stophel

    Stophel Member

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    As much as I personally dislike MIM parts in S&W's, so far, I have heard NO problems with them in use. No undue amount of breakage, so I guess they're OK. (that lock, on the other hand, I cannot stomach....) :)

    It's just that they're so d--n UGLY. All the cutouts....VERY cheesy. They could at least make them look nicer.
     
  16. 481

    481 Member

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    Done improperly, any process (MIM, forgings, castings, stamped and welded) will turn out garbage.

    I recently (on a whim) took a used (three pin) Glock locking block, and knowing it to be a MIM part placed it on a concrete surface where I applied a ballpeen hammer to it a number of times in order to see just how "tough" it was. :rolleyes:

    Hardly a "scientific endeavor" :D, I expected it to "fail" (shatter) at the first strike.

    It didn't.

    Lost count after twenty blows and one of the "legs" finally busted off at what might have been the 30th or 35th blow. The other "leg" just kinda bent a little. I got tired of beatin' on the danged thing after all it was doin' was leavin' marks in the concrete's surface and gave up.

    Curiosity satisfied, MIM is pretty tough stuff. :)
     
  17. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

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    That proves it: MIM is doesn't meet ball peen spec.

    I've convinced MIM is pretty strong, but I couldn't bring myself to use a MIM slide stop.
     
  18. 481

    481 Member

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    "ball peen spec." :D

    Ah, just buy two, beat the livin' crap outta the first one (it's therapeutic, yah'see) and install the second one knowing that if anyove takes a ballpeen hammer to your gun, the slide stop will take a beatin'. :)
     
  19. Confederate

    Confederate Member

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    The biggest gripe I have about MIM parts is that they're butt-ugly. They contrast poorly in stainless guns and presumably must remain in their manufactured condition without being altered except to be plated.

    If they have any other downsides, I'd like to hear about them, as sometimes gun enthusiasts overempasize the evils of gun locks and so forth. I'm much more concerned with S&W's lack of cosmetic appeal and craftsmanship -- and MIM pats detract from the former in a major way.

    With Ruger, S&W tried to make forged v. investment casting a big issue in the early 80s, but when people started analyzing the facts, investment casting turned out to be plenty strong. The downside was that parts tended to have burrs and need smoothing up in many cases. As strong as both the S&W 681/686s and Ruger GP-100s are, the Rugers are most likely still substantially stronger. Some of the Security-Sixes had in excess of 30,000 magnum rounds each through them with no parts replacements. That many hot rounds would have decimated any K-frame magnum (many of which would been thoroughly expired after 5,000 magnum rounds). Thus, forged steel offered little in respect to strength and durability.

    As far as MIM parts go, the worst part about them is that they're ugly. If S&W were to flash chrome them for their stainless guns, I wouldn't complain about them at all. Hard chroming would make them almost entirely resistant to wear.

    So again, if anyone knows of a non-cosmetic downside, I'd like to know.
     
  20. mec

    mec Member

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    I bough a smith 617 when MIM was new and nobody was talking about it. I noticed the hammer and trigger were shaped and colored differently than previously, had injection sites and looked very much like the old die cast plastic parts that used to come with plastic models of cars and airplanes. I asked S&W about it and was told that it was "just a different manufacturing process." I shot the 617 several thousand times double and single action with no problems. Around that time, I sent a 29-2 in for some work and it came back with a MIM trigger. That one has not be shot a whole lot but is working fine.

    At one time, the S&W revolvers were considered a marvel of design and workmanship. Even during periods when the workmanship faltered, the guns at least resembled the classic form and it was possible to find very fine individual guns or tune the examples that fell victim to indifferent quality control. S&W revolvers have long since evolved away from the classic handguns they once were.
    Some very experienced, quality 1911 smiths have had no problems with MIM parts. Other have had them fail. Most customers shy away from spending four figures for a custom 1911 containing parts selected to minimize expenses for the manufacturer even if those parts work perfectly well in mass produced pistols and have 98 percent of the strength of parts from the older processes.
     
  21. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

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    I agree properly manufactured MIM is very strong. Early on, the major problem was casting (or whatever the process is) flaws which led to breaks. For the most part, that is history, although now and again you hear of a failure.

    In a 1911 priced above 1600 -1800, I would not accept MIM. While a high stress part, say the slide stop, will probably last close to, if not as long as a bar stock part, chances of a flaw are a little greater with the MIM. For a range gun, no problem, but a shooter you hang on your hip...

    My nickel's worth, no more no less.
     
  22. mec

    mec Member

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    Well put and worth a good bit more than a nickel
     
  23. John Wayne

    John Wayne Member

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    I would wager that 1911 fans complain about MIM more for two reasons:

    Their guns are extremely expensive to begin with, and MIM is seen as a process used to save money (which implies cutting corners, to some).

    Also, the gun is all metal. You don't hear Glock fans complaining about MIM because MIM doesn't matter when the bottom half of your gun is plastic anyway.
     
  24. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Member

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    That is very good point that I had never thought of. You do hear a lot of 1911 owners complaining about their plastic main spring housings. It also raises the question.........Is MIM better than plastic? Somehow I bet that would be a different Can O' Worms. LOL
     
  25. Boats

    Boats member

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    MIMs bad rap in 1911s is due primarily to two things: 1) the parts look like ass, as mentioned before. 2) MIM has been used in less than ideal applications on 1911s. Moron executives and engineers tried to use MIM for parts that face lateral tension, like extractors, when on the vast majority of 1911s, the extractor IS its own spring. MIM cannot substitute for spring steel as its porosity makes it prone to failure in such applications.

    A modern manufacturer that uses no MIM in their handgun line up is Beretta. Polymer castings? Yes. Stamped parts? Yes. Machined parts? Still making lots of those, especially where critical strength is required. No MIM though.
     
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