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Polymer Framed pistols

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by whitedog, Aug 27, 2009.

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  1. whitedog

    whitedog Member

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    I'm in the market for a new 9mm pistol but have one nagging question. Just how long will a polymer frame hold up before the solvents leech out and the "plastic" becomes brittle?
     
  2. Ragnar Danneskjold

    Ragnar Danneskjold Member

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    Longer than you'll be a live more than likely.
     
  3. Lonestar49

    Lonestar49 Member

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    Other than..

    ...

    Hopefully, a lifetime.. I think, having a Beretta Px4 40, and they come in 9mm, that their soft recoil, with the rotating barrel, and mid price of around 550 - 650, that their, any plastic framed gun, only weakness is an over pressured round, direct sunlight or heat for long periods of exposure or, the worse case scenario, dropping it on its side or bottom, hitting something hard in any weather, especially cold weather.

    You can read testimony of many Glock owners of how long, and how many rounds, they have owned their guns with rounds fired, as too the durability of such plastic framed guns, over time.

    OMMV,

    Luck,


    Ls
     
  4. m47dragon

    m47dragon Member

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    I have had to return a few 1st Generation Glock 17s to the manufacturer due to minor chips around the magazine well. These firearms were around 20 years old and have fired many rounds. Glock customer service is superb...each frame was replaced with a new, current generation frame and all internal parts of the slide/bolt were updated and replaced (minus barrel.) Mind you, none of the damaged frames that were sent in had sufficient chips as to be detrimental to the safe or proper functioning of the weapon. These were weapons that have shot a lot of rounds, and are carried, loaded, unloaded and manipulated every day for nearly the past 20 years (ok, about 17-18 years.)
     
  5. CWL

    CWL Member

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    Well, there are M16s with plastic parts over 40 years old...

    Glocks from the 1980's still rocking away...

    HK VP 70 polymer pistols manufactured in 1970 still shooting bullets...

    How old are you?
     
  6. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    "Polymer"

    ROTFLMAO

    It's PLASTIC.

    I have a plastic .45 and I like it. But it is what it is.:)
     
  7. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Member

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    Google things like "XD torture test" and "Glock torture test" to find out how tough the polymer frames really are.
    This isn't melted-down milk-jugs we're talking about, poly pistols are here to stay, and have comparable durability to most metal-frame pistols, and BETTER durability than some older ones.
     
  8. possum

    possum Member

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    you will be good to go with a polymer gun for your lifetime, your kids and grand kids life time too. i have put over 16,000rds through my xd and i clean it probally more than i need, and there is all kinds of chemicals/ solvents that get all over it/ on it on a weekly basis and i have had no issues.
     
  9. weisse52

    weisse52 Member

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    I think that if you call them plastic or polymer it does not matter. They will be around for a very long time......
     
  10. Ragnar Danneskjold

    Ragnar Danneskjold Member

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    I'm guessing you're not aware that plastic is a type of polymer.

    [sarcasm]
    Remember, your barrel isn't metal, it's steel.
    [/sarcasm]
     
  11. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    I'm perfectly aware of that.

    However, pistol frames are plastic, a subset of "polymers".

    They're not elastomers, for example. They're not made of shellac. These are also polymers.

    The reason they're called "polymer" is because it sounds better than "plastic".
     
  12. Ragnar Danneskjold

    Ragnar Danneskjold Member

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  13. whitedog

    whitedog Member

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    Thanks gents, just asking. I already have a "plastic" framed pistol. A Ruger 22/45. Never thought twice about when I bought it 6 yrs ago. The one thing I don't like about it is the tendacy to be a little top heavy (bull barrel). I'm a blued steel and wood sort of fellow and just wondering about things.
     
  14. cchris

    cchris Member

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    As long as you don't throw it in the oven at 400 deg F, I think you'll be okay.
     
  15. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    Does that even happen? The type of plastic used in pistol frames is not the same as, say, the plastic interior of a new car, which outgasses for months (giving you the "new car smell"). I don't recall any odors from my plastic pistol frames.

    I do agree that "polymer" is often used as a euphemism for plastic.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2009
  16. Oaklands

    Oaklands Member

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    It seems I read somewhere that they would last 60 years in "Direct Sunlight." Pretty safe to say they should last a looonnnngggg time. New to the forum and just had to post.
     
  17. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    "Just how long will a polymer frame hold up before the solvents leech out and the "plastic" becomes brittle?"

    Check back in another 40, 60 or 100 years. At this point they haven't been around long enough for anybody to do anything but guess.

    John
     
  18. REAPER4206969

    REAPER4206969 Member

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    I read once that a simulated aging study had been done to the Glock frame and the results were that it would last approximately five hundred years with out serious degradation of the polymer. 2000 years from now archaeologists will be digging up polymer pistol frames from the fallen American Republic.
     
  19. tango3065

    tango3065 Member

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    The real answer = no one knows.
     
  20. cslinger

    cslinger Member

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    Nobody really knows. Chances are your lifetime at least but nobody absolutely knows for sure.

    So pick up a polymer frame handgun that you should be sure to last 30 years or so and a nice steel revolver that will last until the apocalypse to hedge your bets.

    I have handled a couple VP70s that were made way back in the day before Glock and they seemed pretty solid to me.

    At the end of the day, however, we won't really know until we know.
     
  21. Bentonville

    Bentonville Member

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    I know it's now the same material but the plastic grips on my 1942 Colt 1911A1 are in perfect shape. The gun hasn't been in a box all it's life but it hasn't been abused. I expect my HKs to last for many generations.
     
  22. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    I find it confusing that people somehow have the idea that polymer/plastic is this huge mystery to the scientific/technical world.

    Most polymer/plastic gun frames are made from a nylon variant. Nylon has been around for about 75 years and its aging properties are well understood. The long-term effects on nylon due to various common chemicals and UV light (sunlight) are easy to simulate and are similarly well understood.

    Another thing I find confusing is trying to determine when everyone made the switch from worrying that plastic garbage was going to last forever and cover the world with eternal and indestructible polymer clutter to worrying that our high-value polymer items would melt away in the sunlight if we weren't careful.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2009
  23. cchris

    cchris Member

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    :confused: that makes my head hurt
     
  24. SIGLBER

    SIGLBER Member

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    I don't know but I've never seen a single one "worn out". Actually a pretty tough substance. Like someone said it will probably be around alot longer than most of us.
     
  25. PandaBearBG

    PandaBearBG Member

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    That's a question for your grandchildren's children.
     
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