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Poly-Framed guns melting?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Blarelli, May 20, 2008.

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  1. Blarelli

    Blarelli Member

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    I just had a guy tell me that two years ago he left his gun in his car with some stuff on top of it, and when he came back the grip had warped and sunk in so much that a mag couldn't be inserted. Is this possible, or is he BSing me?
     
  2. fletcher

    fletcher Member

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    I would call BS. I don't know which polymer they're made from, but I think if that was true, we'd be hearing a lot more reports about it. If the polymer is a thermoset, it's certainly not true.
     
  3. Blarelli

    Blarelli Member

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    If it helps, the guy is from Phoenix, and says it was a glock 23. It does get pretty hot there. How hot would it have to be to melt a glock frame, or at least make it soft enough that a spare mag or something could put a dent in it?
     
  4. Halo

    Halo Member

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    Glock frames are made from Nylon 6, which has a melting point above 400 degrees Fahrenheit. He's either BSing or it gets way hotter in Arizona than I realized!
     
  5. bakert

    bakert Member

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    Maybe his car caught on fire??:D
     
  6. CountGlockula

    CountGlockula Member

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    What Halo said.
     
  7. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    It is possible.

    Especialy if one of the items in direct contact with it was a piece of metal in the sun.
    The wieght of items on top of it, and a piece of metal around a couple hundred degrees combined could be enough to reshape the material.

    The melting point is different than the temperature at which the material loses some of its strength. Most plastics have properties that are on a curve that changes with temperature.

    So yes several pounds of force pushing on a few hundred degree piece of metal in contact with the frame could definately change the shape, especialy over a period of hours.

    I don't think many people realize just how hot a piece of metal in the AZ sun, protected from any wind in a vehicle can get.
    So the inside temperature of the vehicle may only get around 140 or so during a 110 day in the sun ( in a part of the world with one of the highest UV indexes), but pieces of metal directly in the sun's rays can go much higher.

    I have melted my shoes in a matter of seconds just by standing on a metal grate step that was sitting in the sun to enter an RV. Metal sitting in the sun there can get very hot on some days.
    I have no doubt a piece of metal that hot with pounds of force on it could warp a Glock over a period of time.
     
  8. Ankeny

    Ankeny Member

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    I wouldn't call BS. In fact, it's entirely possible. The last Glock grip reduction I did (on a G19) started out by heating the backstrap and reforming.
     
  9. Halo

    Halo Member

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    The softening point of Nylon 6 is 190 C (374 F). I still find it unlikely to reach that temperature in a car.
     
  10. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    Agreed, this is plausible. But, OTOH, someone told me he could reach for and disassemble a Glock in my hands, too. :rolleyes: I would also guess that any large dog could make short work of the grip section as a chew toy. ;)
     
  11. Comanche180

    Comanche180 Member

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    Heat

    So, what else melted in his car? The steering wheel, dashboard, shifter knob?
    Put out the BS flag!
     
  12. beemerphile

    beemerphile Member

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    What you said. The heat deflection temperature is about 350 degrees and the vicat softening point is 374. Gaston says don't worry because the melting temperature of the gun is much higher than the melting temperature of the person holding it. The vinyl on the dash would be rolling off onto the carpet first.
     
  13. Thernlund

    Thernlund Member

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    +100

    I've lived in Phoenix all my life. On the hottest day on record here (122 deg) I was out in it (waiting in line at emmisions in a car with no A/C of all places). My shoes did not melt on metal grates, concrete, or anything else.

    NO WAY the interior of a car could get hot enough to melt a polymer-framed pistol. As said above, the dashboard would be in a pool on the floorboards. As well, no metal sitting in the sun would melt it either. If that were true, any exposed metal in the car would melt anything it came in contact with. The metal seatbelt buckle would never stay in one piece. Screws holding plastic parts on would just fall out.

    No way. Can't happen.

    :rolleyes:


    -T.
     
  14. gcrookston

    gcrookston member

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    and the dash, steering wheel, door inserts all melted, too....
     
  15. TAB

    TAB Member

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    I would not call BS on it just yet, we have no idea what else was in that car... I can think of atleast a half dozen solvents that will damage a glock. All of which are very easy to get ahold of.
     
  16. moooose102

    moooose102 Member

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    well, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE, the REAL question, is how likely is it? i think it would be VERY HIGHLY UNLIKELY that a brand name plastic pistol would melt like that. glock, and all the other major pistol manufacturers do have a reputation to uphold. i think there is a very high probability this guy is pulling your leg on this one. j.m.o.
     
  17. TAB

    TAB Member

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    the chances of a glock "melting" in my work truck is pretty high... then again I play with lots of solvents.
     
  18. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    You said the word Glock. That means from that point on all logic left the discussion, the cult will be coming out in defense of thier religion, all logic will be tossed aside. After all, blasphemy deserves no logical debate.

    Couldn't you at least lie and say it was some other polymer gun made from the same thing so we could have some logic in the discussion?

    I like some Glocks myself, but I swear...



    Glock frames are made from Nylon 6, with some variation.

    The melting point is very different than the softening point. The melting point is when the material turns practicly into a liquid, it can can be melted and shaped, but it can also be softened and merely distorted.

    Glass transition temperature of nylon 6 is around 50C, with slight variation in different studies of the material changing from the upper 40's to lower 50's.

    Take this link for example: http://www.polymerprocessing.com/polymers/PA6.html listing Glass Transitioning Temperature at 47C or 116.6F! It lists the melting point at 220C or 428F.
    So a very big difference between glass transitioning temperature range and melting temperature.

    More proof that it is changing at such temperatures is even hinted at in the GlockFAQ at http://www.glockfaq.com/generalinfo.htm :
    "Chemically stable in a majority of environments, attacked directly by strong acids and bases (better than steel actually). UV exposure results in degradation over an extended period of time. 2-3% carbon black virtually eliminates UV degradation and Carbon-Black does not become readily absorbed in Nylons offering higly increased useful life spans. Loss of mechanical properties with 2% Carbon-Black is less than 0.05% on an elevated UV exposure test equivalent to approximately 100 years. Hyrdolytically attacked by water in excess of 120 degrees. Basically, no hot-tubbing with your Glock and you will be fine."

    Now being attacked by water at ~120 degrees is a different point, but it is obvious changes are going on in the structure if that becomes possible then and not at lower temperatures. Funny how that temperature about coincides with the glass transitioning temperature isn't it?


    There is many other sources for properties on Nylon 6. If you are too stubborn to take my word for it, the terms to look for are "glass transitioning".
    You can research what that means, how it works, and what it means for a material.
     
  19. GaryP

    GaryP Member

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    What about all the plastic components inside the car --- steering wheel, dash, radio knobs, trim, etc? :scrutiny:


    :evil:
     
  20. Thernlund

    Thernlund Member

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    Are you kidding? Who said anything about solvents, or any other damaging element besides heat?? If we're going that way... I guess if there was a toaster oven in there set on high, and the pistol was stored in the oven, maybe it would melt. Or maybe if the car was in close orbit to the SUN. Ugh. :rolleyes:

    I'm not a Glock fanboy. I have a couple. They're just decent guns. No way they'll melt in a hot car. Nor will a Sig, Smith M&P, Kel-Tec, XD, or any other polymer pistol.


    -T.
     
  21. Ragnar Danneskjold

    Ragnar Danneskjold Member

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    BS. Halo is right. The temperature that is needed to melt the polymers used in modern pistols would also be hot enough to kill you.
     
  22. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    Plastic does not equal plastic. Plastic is about as much information as saying something is metal.
    There is many types of plastics, and the way heat transfers or effects different properties varies considerably.

    There is even people on Glocktalk who discuss reshaping thier firearm with boiling water in a short time, far shorter than the amount of time a pistol would sit in a car with pounds of force on top of it.
    Water boils at 212F.

    Here is such a thread:
    http://glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=860906

    The thin and relatively unsupported material that makes up the sides of the grip/magwell would be the most vulnerable to distortion. The exact place that was damaged in the OP's story.
     
  23. Thernlund

    Thernlund Member

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  24. hiccups

    hiccups Member

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    I put a Glock in a carbon fiber crucible and heated it to 2200C, turned into a lump of metal about the size of an egg. What's up wit dat?

    If the grip was hot enough to deform, why didn't the magazine that's under spring pressure, fly apart?
     
  25. possum

    possum Member

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    that is bs if you ask me, i have had my polymer guns inmy car, in georgia, and kansas, as well there are many govt contractors that have glocks here in iraq also the iraqi police and army and if they don't warp in the heat of a vehicle in iraq they won't do it any where else. yeah i am sure if you pushed the limits then it might happen, like put it in a insinurater and such, but under normal conditions and heat it will be fine.
     
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