Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Cowboybebop, Jun 1, 2014.
Stop the Insanity!
What possesses people to continue to do these stupid tests. If you don't like "plastic" guns don't buy them if you don't like "heavy old steel guns" don't buy them. Police agencies world wide adopted "plastic guns" decades ago and they actually shoot them a lot. If they were junk I think they might have switched back.
I agree with Blackshirt and, by the way, welcome aboard.
I fall into that camp. I am not a big fan of polymer frames. I do own a couple but just like the heavier steel and wood. Having said that, I would trust my life with my springfields or, heaven help me, even a Glock. I don't like they way they look or feel but no amount of testing will be able to determine whether bullet holes were made by a steel or polymer framed gun.
I'm sure all the polymer gun makers are looking forward to more of this.
Then again I just might keep shooting it just to see how dirty it can get and keep working.
To make this a valid test, you should hang it by a rope on your porch and wack it a good one with a baseball bat first.
I'm of the opinion that one should shoot the bad guy holding his Glock and see if that causes his Glock not to fire back.
Most Military and LE guns that are issued are expected to be expendable at some point, which includes aluminum 1911's and AR15's. These servicemen are the ones who really see damage to these guns that are used for decades, dropped from vehicles, and abused unlike civilian-owned guns.
For the most part, polymer guns are ok in the Civilian world.
Leave the abusing of firearms to M&P's!
Most polymer guns flex a bit with every shot -- but I have yet to see the colored flash marks you describe on the grip frames -- even on weapons that have been fired many thousands of time. Metal frames bent too far, on the other hand, won't return to their original positions -- it'll take a new form or break. But I would argue that it's in our best interest to prevent that sort of damage by not letting ourselves or our weapons get into situations where that can happen!
To further complicate the debate is the fact that many, perhaps most, of the polymer-framed guns, have metal INSERTS inside the polymer frame to which other critical components are attached. These metal components would generally prevent or minimize the sort of deformation described above. Repeat damage through rebending or subsequent slams isn't likely to be an issue with any gun -- unless you make a point of using your weapon as a shield rather than as a handgun.
If your gun is out of your control and has been smashed by a baseball bat or has been exposed to similar forces, I doubt that you'll really care whether it's functional later -- as you'll have other bigger issues to contend with if you're still alive.
The difference is the amount of stress required to cause that deformation. Steel will be highest, aluminum takes second, and polymer takes third.
Flip back up to response #3 and look at the photo of the smashed gun. No stretch marks are visible and there are no signs of bending, etc. Just clean breaks. ("Shattered" seems more descriptive of the damaged material than "bent" or "stretched".) One Glock I examined after a catstrophic KABOOM looked much the same, but that was years ago and there may have been some "bending" there, somewhere. The shooter had used reloads bought at a gun show, and while his Glock died, he only experienced a badly numbed right hand. (He doesn't buy reloads at the gun show any more.) I suspect the "stretch" or flash marks won't show unless the transfer of force is done more slowly than was the case with the baseball bat strike. I also suspect that making stretch marks takes more time than kabooms or baseball bat slams allow -- those are truly explosive encounters.
But I would argue that all of this is essentially meaningless...
What does such an test (like smashing a gun with a baseball bat) tell us about the normal or even abnormal use of a weapon? I don't think the U.S. Department of Defense uses sledge hammers or baseball bats in their evaluations, nor do most police departments. That's probably because if that sort of force is encountered while someone is holding or carrying the weapon, it's not going to matter whether it was steel, aluminum, or polymer.
They might have tried a blowtorch, too, while they were at it -- and that wouldn't have told us anything more useful than the baseball bat strike.
More common abuse may be from being dropped by hand/vehicle, run over by vehicle, submerged in water/dirt/snow, and blown up by ordnance at the extreme. Most modern polymer guns will pass these tests save the explosion which a metal gun won't survive either.
I really don't know what the "bat test" proves if any...
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