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So what is the practical lifespan of a polymer frame?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by cslinger, Oct 24, 2007.

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  1. cslinger

    cslinger Member

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    So what is the practical lifespan of plastic guns? Assuming normal use and care, say a few hundred rounds a year maximum and stored inside a safe of some kind, cleaned and oiled regularly.

    How have the earliest bakelite plastics held up? How about the VP70s? The earliest Glocks?

    I am curious as to whether or not a modern polymer pistol will still be robust enough to be viable in say fifty years, how about seventy. Obviously it will not last as long as steel but how long is the projected lifespan?

    Just curious.
     
  2. cslinger

    cslinger Member

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    Forgot to mention check your Glock vs. 1911, Forged vs. Cast, MIM vs. everybody else at the door.

    I am speaking of the average modern polymer framed pistol made by Ruger, Glock, HK, Smith, Walther etc. and only of the polymer frames not of the merits of one firearm vs. another.

    Thanks
    Chris
     
  3. jaysouth

    jaysouth Member

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    I have a M-19 that I bought in 1989. After about a thousand rounds per year, no problems. I clean it every other year and put in a new recoil spring. 119% stake your life on it reliable.

    Contrary to errornet BS or mainstream media misrepresentations, it is not full auto, will not go through metal detectors and has not KaBlowed up skeering the wimmin n childrun.
     
  4. sm

    sm member

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    Chris,

    I honestly do not know how long.
    It is my understanding the various companies have differing compositions for their polymers.

    I own one Polymer gun; Kel-Tec P-11.
    Honestly, I cannot recall how long I have had it, that information is not handy.
    I'm guessing 2000.

    This is the one I T&E-ed, no fluff, or buff, and tried to tear up.
    It has never missed a beat.
    I was asked to wring it out, and that I did.

    I used CRC Brakleen, Gasoline, Mineral Spirits, , left in the Sun, Meat Freezer, and exposed it to all sorts of stuff.
    I firgured this would take its toll...

    It has been my Niche Gun, and it has held up to all sorts of stuff.
    Others bought at the same time, have as well.
    Some are tractor tool boxes and get exposed to extreme temp variations.
    Some are carried by Painters, Drywall installers and such.

    WE know folks with Glocks, they too expose theirs to everyday, normal things, and with paint, chemicals, in and out of meat freezers, working in heat...

    We sorta expected to have these just go Ka-Put . :)

    117* F, plus heat index, plus heat of metal tool box, we sorta expected to see a Kel-Tec "blob" that day, and other hot, humid, summer days.


    I still see the old Rem Nylon 66's, and they seem to be holding up still...

    50 years? I really don't know.

    All I do know my P-11 has a high round count, and my take on inspect and maintain differs from many that "Clean" guns.

    We have one P-11 I might need share in another thread, we finally "Cleaned" it after a long, long long time.
     
  5. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Member

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    Let's see, I have 70,000 rounds through my USPs & about 12,000+ through my Glock -- I think these guns will be more robust than me in 50 years ;)
     
  6. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    hard to say........many generation I glock 17s from the 80's are still pumping slugs down range today....
     
  7. Autolycus

    Autolycus Member

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    I would not worry about it.
     
  8. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I have a Glock 17, purchased new in 1986. Everything is still original on it, including that fragile looking but still working just fine, rear sight. I cannot detect even the slightest change or variation in the polymer frame, even after countless rounds and numerous cleanings. We should all age so gracefully.
     
  9. nwilliams

    nwilliams Member

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    Its my understanding that plastic decays slower than metal erodes.:rolleyes:

    Of course its possible that over time like any mechanical thing it will begin to fall apart. However I don't see any reason why a plastic framed gun shouldn't outlast any of us. There are guns with original wood furniture that are over a century old and still function fine.
     
  10. RNB65

    RNB65 Member

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    1000 years. Trust me, I know. :)
     
  11. CountGlockula

    CountGlockula Member

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    Two words: Lifetime Warranty.
     
  12. possum

    possum Member

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    this isn't normal use for me, but for most people that own guns it is and i see what you mean, i think with the criteria above that a polymer gun should have no problem lasting the lifetime of the owner.
    +1
     
  13. Bob Hostetter

    Bob Hostetter Member

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    I have a Glock 17 purchased new in 1988 that has over 175,000 round's thru it and the frame still appears to be in perfectly serviceable condition. In fact I carry it most days.
     
  14. whited

    whited Member

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    .

    Me, either. Given the "few hundred rounds/year, cleaned and oiled, stored
    in safe" scenario, any quality modern polymer framed auto loading pistol will outlast
    you and your children and their children.
     
  15. jamesr

    jamesr Member

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    you will have no shortage of Glock 17 owners that have used them hard for over 20 years and they still are 100% If you take care of it, you will never have to buy another. ;)
     
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