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Old October 1, 2012, 08:31 PM   #1
thecelt
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Sig p226 alloy frame vs ss frame?

How does the life expectancy of a alloy sig frame compare to a stainless steel frame?
im looking at the sig p226 extreme (alloy frame) or the p226 black ss (ss frame with black finish). Im curious how much more "abuse" the ss frame could tolerate.
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Old October 1, 2012, 08:47 PM   #2
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As a Life Member of SNM-Sons of Neanderthal Man-I am convinced that steel will outlast aluminum every time and that aluminum is only good for "carried much-shot little". When I shot IPSC back in 1979 nobody used an aluminum frame and AFAIK aluminum and other "exotic" frames have never been used by 2700 shooters. Also, think not in terms of "abuse"-no good firearm should ever be abused-but in how much more use a steel frame will give, how much it will hold hold up to steady shooting.
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Old October 1, 2012, 09:04 PM   #3
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No one knows for sure.

However well mainainted meaning that the frame rails are well lubed with many of use using grease, and the recoil springs are changed every 5000 rounds an alloy P series SIG such as the P226 will last a very very long time. I would think 60,000 rounds could be expected and there have been numerous reports from reliable sources of alloy frame P series SIG pistols frames lasting past 100,000 rounds.

My SIG P series are all alloy frame because I appreciate the lighter weight though I probably will buy a P226 X-Five Allround at some point for a HD/range pistol.

If I ever wear a frame out on one of my alloy frame SIGs I will have spend probably close to $15,000 on ammo by then to put through that pistol.

Good luck with your choice!

Last edited by sigarms228; October 2, 2012 at 06:44 PM.
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Old October 1, 2012, 10:33 PM   #4
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Will a stainless last longer? Probably. Do I really worry about that? No. I've had a number of SIGs, all alloy frames. Some new, some from the 90s, and some from the 80s. They've all been fine. As has been said by the time you "wear it out" from shooting you'll have spent more than ten times its value in ammo. I do recommend a good grease on the rails.
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Old October 2, 2012, 12:02 AM   #5
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I had a p228 that I bought well used, I had it for 5 years and put 4 or 5 thousand rounds through it. Then I sold it to my brother who is not a gun guy. He has had it for 10 years or so and has put 7000 rounds through it. It is still going and he does not clean it very often because he is not good at taking things apart and putting them back together. A few years back he sent it to Sig because they were having a special on an overhaul. They cleaned it new springs, etc etc, sent a note back saying the barrel was shot, with excessive pitting, it still keeps them in the 10 ring at 50feet. It just keeps on ticking!
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Last edited by comn-cents; October 2, 2012 at 09:52 AM.
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Old October 2, 2012, 07:17 AM   #6
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thanks for the replies all. it is fact that good quality stainless steel will outlast an alloy, even with a hard anodized coating (although how good is this coating?). and when I say "abuse" its not to mean I abuse my guns, but i like to shoot my guns "alot", and ive never typically minded a fire arm being heavier for the sake of durability (i own many rugers). in the case of this particular piece i was considering the alloy framed model due to weight (and i love the grip on the extreme as well and really dont want to buy it separate as they are costly), but i always get hung up on extreme (no pun intended) durability/reliability. so, with the sig's alloy frame is it a matter of routinely keeping the frame "greased" to prevent premature wear?
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Old October 2, 2012, 07:21 AM   #7
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great looking tools here.



Attached Images
File Type: jpg 226-SBSS-Detail-Hero.jpg (54.7 KB, 181 views)
File Type: jpg P226-Extreme-Hero-Detail.jpg (55.3 KB, 186 views)
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Old October 2, 2012, 09:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
so, with the sig's alloy frame is it a matter of routinely keeping the frame "greased" to prevent premature wear?
It certainly helps when you're dealing with metals of two different strengths to have a lubrication to mitigate wear on the frame. Personally I use a grease on rails regardless out of habit these days. You don't have to be fanatical about it, just replace when cleaning. Lots of options out there too. I like Shooter's Choice.
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Old October 2, 2012, 10:24 AM   #9
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I had an alloy frame P226 in 40 S&W; after about 3K rounds you could see a little wear but not much.

I have a P229 Stainless Elite in 9MM, after about 2K rounds it still looks like it just came out of the box. Unless you play to carry it every day the P226/9 Stainless Elite is probably the (IN MY OPINION) best Sig on the market.
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Old October 2, 2012, 10:52 AM   #10
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I have alloy frame sigs in 239 models ....and stainless in 226 models...and there is a little more wear showing on the alloy frames....but I don't think its significant.

I am typically biased toward steel frames ...and more toward polished stainless than blued steel...because I like the look better...

I have a pair of all polished stainless 226's ...one in .40S&W and one in 9mm ...and they're great guns / not my primary guns ...but they probably have 5,000 - 10,000 rds thru them, not a lot, but enough to see a little bit of wear...my 239's ( one in 9mm and one in .40S&W as well ) have maybe 5,000 - 10,000 rds thru them as well ...mostly with the grandkids ...and while there are scratches on the rails on the frame...nothing deep and nothing significant...and I primarily use CLP Break Free...and its heavy enough vs grease on the rails in my view.
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Old October 2, 2012, 11:01 AM   #11
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Longevity is a non issue with either. The quality of aluminum is a factor. You wont wear out a Sig. I dont care what and how much you shoot.
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Old October 2, 2012, 02:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
It certainly helps when you're dealing with metals of two different strengths to have a lubrication to mitigate wear on the frame.
But wouldn't it also be true for an all stainless gun to prevent galling? I bought a used P226S Sport Stock that is all stainless, but returned it because of galling in the rails, probably caused by shooting the gun dry according to my FFL/SIG armorer.
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Old October 2, 2012, 02:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
But wouldn't it also be true for an all stainless gun to prevent galling?
I know galling was a real concern with early stainless guns when the rubbing surfaces were of the same heat treatment.

I thought it had mostly become a non issue of late. I really like the feel of the all stainless guns and I run grease on mine.

I can see some bright spots where surfaces have had contact but I do not see any evidence of galling.
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Old October 2, 2012, 06:42 PM   #14
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Its certainly logical to maintain some level of lubrication between moving metal parts whether they are dissimilar or not. I suppose a better question (or more specific) would be is how durable is the hard anodizing on the alloy frame? And why not use a coating like a teflon (perhaps it has horrible wear characteristics)?
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Old October 2, 2012, 06:50 PM   #15
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Most any annodized finish is relatively soft....but I think the Sig alloy frames hold up as well as any of them out there...

The only coating that I've seen wear really well ...is Wilson Combat's Armor Tuff coating...even on guns in and out of holsters all the time....its pretty amazing.

But all of my alloy frame sigs ( all 239's ) ....show some holster wear around the muzzle / and on the rails....and I only carry them in model specific horsehide holsters from Kramer leather ...- that are known to be relatively kind to gun finishes.
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Old October 2, 2012, 07:47 PM   #16
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What kind of "hard anodizing" is on the sig alloy frame? I just did some google searching and a NP3 plus coating sounds like just the thing im loooking for. http://www.robarguns.com/np3%20plus.html
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Old October 3, 2012, 01:13 AM   #17
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partial

I'm partial to the alloy guns, due their lighter weight. I shoot as much as I can, but I still carry a pistol a whole lot more than I shoot one. The milled slide, steel framed pistols are w/o doubt heavier.
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Old October 3, 2012, 09:07 AM   #18
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As said many times here already, stainless will hold up better, but you will probalbly never shoot enough to wear it out. Or the alloy framed ones for that matter. Just lubricate the rails properly. Check out Sigforum and look for the sticky titled something like Flork's lube reccomendations. Good luck and have fun.
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Old October 3, 2012, 09:47 AM   #19
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This question reminds me of my neighbor a few years back. He wanted a SUV to drive up to his cabin that was on a public dirt road. He also wanted to a vehicle to drive in the snow on rare occasions. His choice.......a Hummer H2.
He will never drive the Hummer as it was built or intended. This can be said for the Sig Sauer. The P series aluminum frame is a hardcore combat gun designed for conditions you will never ever put it in even in your worst case scenarios.
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Old October 3, 2012, 09:55 AM   #20
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so short of any special coatings; what is considered the best frame lube product to use that doesnt hold grit and grime, doesnt build up a mil thickness that could affect smooth operation, and is long lasting. ive heard good stuff about Frog Lube, but it looks like a more involved process to apply, although im not sure of how often you have to apply it.

also, after posting this thread i started doing some searching and apparently this is a common question pertaining to sigs which I didnt realize, I merely posted it on my own observations of the material differences. there is quite a bit of information on this topic on google.
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Old October 3, 2012, 09:56 AM   #21
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Quote:
so short of any special coatings; what is considered the best frame lube product to use that doesnt hold grit and grime, doesnt build up a mil thickness that could affect smooth operation, and is long lasting.
Lol, seriously? Ask 10 people and get 10 different answers.
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Old October 3, 2012, 10:12 AM   #22
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TW25B Mil-Comm lube / protectant for the aluminum framed P226
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Old October 3, 2012, 12:50 PM   #23
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Sig seems to recommend the TW25B as it is included with their pistols. Haven't used it as of yet. Currently use Slide Glide, giving good results so far. As when to apply, I do it after ever cleaning, as the lube and grease are gone afterwards of course. How often between cleaning, well that you will get alot of different opinions on.
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Old October 3, 2012, 11:40 PM   #24
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Quote:
TW25B Mil-Comm lube / protectant for the aluminum framed P226
I would not say Sig recommends, the TW25B is what Sig sends with the Pistol and tells you to use it!

Methinks if its good enough for Sig its good enough for me. Saves a lot of debate (grin)
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Old October 4, 2012, 07:47 AM   #25
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Can't speak to the Sigs, but my son's Beretta 92 has had over 5000 rounds of factory and handloads through it with no degradation in accuracy. I'd never have believed it had I not done the reloading for it as well. Kept lubed, I think modern aluminium alloys are pretty tough. Rod
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