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Old December 13, 2005, 12:58 PM   #26
mfree
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Good lord. I forget I'm not talking to those used to dealing with mechanical properties.

Anyways, all the slide does on a hi-point is hold the striker, connect the breech face with the recoil spring, keep the sights in line with the barrel, and operate the disconnector. That's *it*.

The worst stress it'll see is when the bullet fires, then you've got the force from the bullet pressing on the breech face and putting the slide in tension against the recoil spring. You could do that with *wood* if you wanted too, it'd just fatigue faster.

Wear points would be the rails, the disconnector bar, and the "barrel bushing" where it rides on the fixed barrel. If they have sufficient bearing surface and enough lube, well, they *won't wear quickly*.

The 32,000psi 0.2% yield strength doesn't have a darned thing to do with the cartridge. It only means that it takes 32,000 pounds of force to deform a one square inch section of Zamak 0.2% dimensionally. That's actually a useless number since that's not even a force found in a hi-point, not to anywhere near that degree anyways. It's ultimate tensile strength, which is 41,000psi, and I'll bet you there's at least .75 sq.in section in the minimum dimension around the ejection port.

You could probably attach hooks to either end of a hi-point slide and use it to hang a car off the ground, so long as you don't jerk it around too much (instantaneous forces).

With a fixed barrel the hi-point wouldn't even lose much accuracy with wear... the barrel will always be pointed the same in regards to your hand, just the point of aim could change from slide or bushing wear, and with the layout it's pretty sure that even with big tolerances the sights are going to end up in nearly the same place after every shot.

it's just... *sigh* it doesn't take very much to make a workable weapon, believe it or not, and hi-point proves it. It's a minimalist handgun.
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Old December 13, 2005, 01:09 PM   #27
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Mfree,

The breechface, even in blowback autos, takes a considerable amount of force. It wouldn't if the slide had minimal mass, but the very heavy slide of the Hipoint means that breechface must resist that force for a period at least long enough for chamber pressures to fall below the failure point of the brass casing BEFORE the case has extracted itself very far.

So saying that the slide is simply a locator for internal parts complete ignores the physics of blowback operation in high pressure calibers.
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Old December 13, 2005, 01:14 PM   #28
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Yeah, but the breechface is also a massive chunk of Zamak too. Can anyone who's opened one up tell me that, or if, the area of the slide from the breechface rearward only has the hole/channel for the striker mechanism, i.e. it's not hollow?

Again, the forces to worry about are the tensile forces on the slide around the ejection port. Zamax is brittle, meaning it resists compressive loads... it's not like powdered Zamax is going to squirt out from around the case head anytime soon.
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Old December 13, 2005, 01:20 PM   #29
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I'm not being clear:

There are considerable forces on the breech face - which get distributed throughout the slide. If, for instance, the ejection port area is weak, the forces on the breech could cause the slide to part down the middle. This is similar to what happened to those M9s in the '80s and you do see cracks in other pistol slides. And while those are locked breech guns, the fact of the Hipoint's slide mass and it's resistance to opening put it in the same boat. The tensile strength of a zinc slide is just as important as in any other gun, blowback or not.
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Old December 13, 2005, 01:35 PM   #30
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So, we're in agreement that the tensile forced applied to the area adjacent to the ejection port is the one to "worry" most about.

That area's tensile strength is likely adequate by a double-digit safety factor.
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Old December 13, 2005, 01:42 PM   #31
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If you say so. I have no idea how thick that area would have to be mimic forged steel.
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Old December 13, 2005, 02:27 PM   #32
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Handy hit the magic word: Toughness.

Zamak and the "ZA" family of alloys have had issues with brittleness that would cause some of us old-timers to hyperventilate thinking about its use in a slide.

Allow me a some speculation - I'm at lunch so no time to Google or crack the ASM manuals. Locksmith and I have similar experiences - our zamak was mostly in grade 3 bored locks and bath accessories. The stuff would occasionally shatter when dropped on the floor.

The aluminum content was a little tricky - if too much, the stuff was brittle, too little and you got voids. The magnesium was to inhibit intergranular corrosion - a spiffy problem not associated with most alloys due to the low melting point needed for the process.

That said (c), some people credit ACDI's (American Die Casting Institute) quality certification program with largely getting most vendors on board with a degree of QC. This was back in the 70's and 80's. The stuff is better than it was. However, we've got several decades of really dubious product hanging on like baggage. The industry is slow to forget. It's been a long time since one of our grade 3 locks broke.

Personally, even though I know it can be decent, it still gives me the heebie jeebies in an application such as a slide. I speculate HP's design and the "maturation", if you will, of the process was likely serendipitous but not totally without pain, hence the warrantee. I would guess the slide is the primary force behind the cost structure.

More speculation is that the relatively high density of Zamak is actually helpful as, in 9mm and up, we have no locked breech and a little extra mass is part of the design.

One should always be circumspect in posting ad copy as analysis of suitability for purpose.

'course the things work these days and continue to sell. Nobody that I know of has lost an eyebrow to a ballistic slide and is unlikely to do so. But I remember the old stuff and, to me, that makes the Hi-Point a marvel. Somebody else's marvel, but a marvel nonetheless.

And, speaking of ad copy: "rated for +p+" ?
Is there such a thing? I may be wrong but I thought SAAMI quit at +p. I guess this could be forgiven since at least one ammo monger was yipping about +p+ and HP could be assumed to be rating their weapon for whatever in creation that stuff is... marketing guys, gotta love 'em.
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Old December 14, 2005, 10:40 AM   #33
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Handy,
the High Point fan base isn't interested in facts or truth, you are just wasting your time pointing out the TRUTH about Zamak to them....
It IS pot metal.
No reputable maker of decent guns uses it today.
High Pont admirers don't care. They can't admit that they got skinned so the skulk around online boasting about what a great gun they bought......
When those of us who have been shooting for a decade or two know better.
Older shooters have seen these and other makers of junk guns come and go over the years and while they all produced cheap guns, none of them were even worth owning.

Those industrial quotes about Zamak dont' impress anybody much when you realize what they are talking about. They are referring its use for things like mirror frames, candleabras and decorative sword hilts, not gun parts....
If its that great to make gun parts, why doesn't Ruger, Colt, Smith, Sig, etc. use it?
Glock and Smith are always looking for ways to cut expenses and even they dont use it.....
Fact is only one legit gunmaker ever used it (Smith) and they dropped it fast when they realized it did not make much sense to produce a .380 (Sigma) with a 3,500 lifespan. The guns began breaking and gave them a bad rep. So they stopped making them. The bad reputation hurt their sales on BETTER GUNS to the point that it did not make sense to compete with the Zamakamatic Junkmakers.

And remember, that was a low pressure .380. I really doubt a 9 or 40 with a zamak slide is gonna make it that far....Too much pressure for the pot metal slide, no matter how thick or heavy you make it...


Bronze would be a better choice for a slide than Zinc or Zamak. Bronze was the original gun material, after all. Even brass would be better. Replica black powder gunmakers have used brass as a substitute for years. Or pig iron or mild steel, for that matter.

Its' no secret that the only people using Zamak for gun components are making junk guns. Hi Point, Lorcyn, Bryco, Jennings, Raven etc... Are all of them still even in business?
The only "quality" of Zamak and other zinc alloys these makers are interested is that its CHEAP.
Any gun made of it is JUNK.
I handled two NIB Hi Points lately. Neither would even function. I guess it doesnt matter that the service life is so low when the peice don't function.
If some people don't care about quality, reliability, safety or durability in their firearms and only give a crap about it being CHEAP more power to them and their polymer and pot metal plinkers.
But nobody who really does care about a good gun or self defense would be caught dead with a Hi Point if they could get ANYTHING better.
And you can, in the same price range, if you know where to look.
There is a reason why NO law enforcement or military agency in North America issues these things. They are junk.
All the wishful thinking, fantasies, boasts and flat out lies in the world won't change that.
If the most important factor to a gun is that it's cheap, why did so many makers of junk guns go out of business? The RG and the Rohm were even CHEAPER than the Hi Point after all. Where are they now?
Anybody serious about buying a gun needs to think about value for the dollar over cheapness.....

I've been shooting my Kimber compact since it came out with its MIM parts and its still going strong and looks and handles like it did when it was new...
And if I sell it, I can get a lot more than $30-$50 out of it. Or I can hand it down to my descendants who will still be able to use it 90 years from now. No Hi Point owner can make those claims with a straight face....

>>ZAMAK alloys are the standard general purpose die casting alloys, exhibiting an excellent combination of cost, strength, ductility, impact strength and finishing characteristics. They are the designer's first choice when considering die casting. <<
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Old December 14, 2005, 11:30 AM   #34
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Quote:
And if I sell it, I can get a lot more than $30-$50 out of it. Or I can hand it down to my descendants who will still be able to use it 90 years from now.
As long as its cheaply made MIM parts are still available to replace the ones that fail without warning.
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Old December 14, 2005, 11:33 AM   #35
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Jack,

I think you overstate the case. First, Walther (the former first rate firearms maker) is also using Zamak for their P22 - but they are overcharging for that gun.

Hipoints are made of substandard materials and have a really questionable safety system, but are priced accordingly. If you feared for your life, had almost no money and no access to used guns, the Hipoint would make an acceptable purchace. (I just have no idea why people who can afford better bother.)

The Walther, on the other hand, is priced like it was built of steel, and that is unacceptable. I would be far more inclined to recommend a Hipoint than a P22 for that reason.


Te, you know as well as anyone that there are plenty of inexpensive non-MIM parts out there for his Kimber, should they prove a problem. But chances are that MIM parts that don't break immediately, never will.
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Old December 14, 2005, 11:41 AM   #36
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No reputable maker of decent guns uses it today.
http://www.waltheramerica.com/p22.htm
Handy beat me to it,and the Walther isnt a piece of junk because of its slide material.Its a piece of junk because its a Walther.
Quote:
Te, you know as well as anyone that there are plenty of inexpensive non-MIM parts out there for his Kimber, should they prove a problem. But chances are that MIM parts that don't break immediately, never will.
This doesnt mean that Kimber isnt "cheaping out" and skimping wherever they can.They are.
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Old December 14, 2005, 11:53 AM   #37
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They certainly are "cheaping out", which is why their guns start for no more than a half plastic German gun, despite forged frames, barrels and slides that are among the best available today. A Sig GSR costs a little more, has no MIM, but has a cast frame - pick your poison.

Really, no 1911 should be less than $1200, if compared to the price of other guns.
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Old December 14, 2005, 01:49 PM   #38
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why did so many makers of junk guns go out of business?
I could be wrong as I wasn't paying attention to RKBA in 1992, but I thought part of the reason was litigation. There was certainly enough smoke in the early '90's judging by this VPC/PBS hit piece.

I wouldn't like to see the entire low end of the market disappear. It wouldn't do any of us any good. Hi Point would appear to be carrying the banner pretty much alone these days. Even if I wouldn't buy one, I can give 'em an "attaboy".

That plus my small background in metals and materials lends a degree of fascination to the fact that somebody managed to make a working firearm out of pot metal parts. The fact that they charge appropriately goes a long way. Although Handy summed it up far better than I could.

And, at the risk of having to suggest I'm older than Jack, the stuff has gotten better. ASTM B86-04 and all that. I'll even bet some of those guys are ISO9001. Maybe even Hi-Point's supplier. Who knows? I love speculation.
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Old December 15, 2005, 09:28 AM   #39
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Any gun that is made of substandard materials (Zamak), won't last at least 7000-10,000 rounds with standard velocity ammunition and has such poor worksmanship that routine examples break, jam or fall apart is junk.

I would lob the Walther P-22 into that category based upon it's Zamak slide. Otherwise, it would be a fairly decent gun, with an odd safety (it looks like a decocker, but its a cocked and locked type safety).

Based on my definition of junk, RG, Rohm, Lorcin, Bryco, Jennings, Raven and the infamous Hi Point are junk.

Handy, there is an older thread on here with numerous examples of better pistols and revolvers that can be found used for the same price of a new Hi Point -- Including Hungarian pistols, military surplus autos and police trade in wheelguns.
I would argue that nobody in their right mind can afford a disposable gun like a Zamakamatic when better guns are available used.
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Old December 15, 2005, 10:54 AM   #40
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Has anyone pinged on their hi-point with a hammer and punch, to see how hard or easy it is to make a mark?

I can actually see some limited advantages of a more fluid metal. In the event of a kb, you'd have more deformation, and less explosiveness of hard parts flying, it seems to me. Also less brittleness - less chance of cracks and such, it would seem, if it's more fluid and able to 'roll with the punches'. Downside is wear and deformation over time with use, such as deformation of the feed ramp or other parts that get rubbed with every shot - slide rails, etc. That is very important re longevity. Also, obviously, less resistance to deformation if you drive your car over it, drop it or otherwise cause a strong impact or torquing of it.

Quote:
Zamakamatic
LOL. You guys starting hi-point threads remind me of little boys teasing an animal in a cage vis a vis Jack. Not saying that you're wrong Jack, just that it seems like they might be doing it just to harass you than for the actual substance of the issue.
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Old December 15, 2005, 11:01 AM   #41
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Mr. Malloy,

You reflect that I'm not interested in facts or the truth. Nothing could be further from the truth. I've gone to *length* to get a factually based argument going here rather than rants and raves and personal anecdote. What it's boiling down to, I believe, is that I'm simply no longer interested in your *opinion* so I'm trying to balance it out with a little *truth*.

Now... with a brinell hardness of 85, if you ping your zamak you're likely to find it quite a bit softer than most steel alloys, but it's that granularity you've got to watch for. Properly made and cast, Zamak won't have large crystals to make stress points, which are failure points.

Anyhow, why zamak anyways? It's not so much the cheapness as it is that zamak is very dimensionally stable and flows extremely well. You can cast a part that is pretty much ready to go, with maybe a little touchup finishing on the rails.
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Old December 15, 2005, 11:10 AM   #42
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Jack Malloy,

Quote:
Any gun that is made of substandard materials (Zamak), won't last at least 7000-10,000 rounds with standard velocity ammunition and has such poor worksmanship that routine examples break, jam or fall apart is junk.
Without giving my opinions on the Hi Point one way or the other, I'd respectfully submit that:

1) The person who is likely to shoot (or can afford to shoot) 7k to 10k rounds out of anything is not Hi Point's target market.

2) Some people, however irrationally, don't want to buy a used or surplus gun.

3) Most handguns out there, from Hi Points to P-210s, will never have a whole case of ammo shot through them in their life.
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Old December 15, 2005, 11:24 AM   #43
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firstfreedom, you have to admit, poking a dog with a stick can be fun at times!
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Old December 15, 2005, 01:44 PM   #44
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So is there a actual documented record of Hi Points being dangerous? Seems it would not be difficult to sue the manufacturer if it were in fact hazardous to use, prone to blowing people's hands off, etc. Anecdotes are not good enough. I'm looking for documentable numbers.
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Old December 15, 2005, 03:10 PM   #45
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shecky, I think it is just Jack's friends.
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Old December 15, 2005, 03:53 PM   #46
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I had a little .25 auto with zinc slide blow up. just split the slide up the middle. dont trust zinc now
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Old December 15, 2005, 09:15 PM   #47
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I was just working with my Dillon SL900 and noticed what appears to be zinc alloy castings being used at the shot and powder drop assemblies.

It isn't clear what that observation has to do with this thread. However, I've posted it and there it is.

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Old December 16, 2005, 09:02 AM   #48
Jack Malloy
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I don't need a punch to know Zamak is a bad choice to make guns out of.
I have eyeballs.
Couple of years ago a guy I worked with bought a brand new one and I saw it fall apart while he was shooting it. It had less than 200 rounds through it. It worked okay for the first box of ammo (other than a few jams). Before it finished the fourth box, it literally fell apart.
I have seen other Zamak guns break too.
Its pot metal.
It may make great candleholders or picture frames, or pots, but the only reason to use it on a major stress part for a pistol is to save a buck. It has no advantage other than cheapness.
That somebody trusts his life to zamak and makes fun of injection molded steel sort of says something about that person's reasoning capabilities, doesn't it?
I guess the low durability doesn't matter as much these days. Last two brand NIB Hi Points i handled could not even be made to fire. Mebbe thats the makers way of adressing the durability issue?
LOL....

The only reason to use zamak instead of say, pig iron, bronze or even brass is to save a few dollars. Like $5, actualy.
I would not be surprised to see HP and other Zamakamatic makers switch to pewter or even lead for slide materials if the price is cheaper than Zinc.
It appears that there are people out there who'se only value judgement when it comes to buying a gun is how cheap is it? And High Point has that market locked up tight, now that RG and Rohm are outa biz-ness.....
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Old December 16, 2005, 09:52 AM   #49
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" Like $5, actualy. "

$5 x 100,000 production = $500,000. I can easily see why anyone with sane business sense would want to go with the cheapest WORKABLE material.

I'm going to give you the Hyundai argument. If the guns are such utter crap, then why have a lifetime, no questions asked warranty? If they all broke that frequently then Hi-point would go out of business in a flash.

Proper engineering includes matching the material to the stress involved plus a safety factor, with some economic factoring. If Zamak is strong enough to do the job, why the hell not? What if someone made a weighted fiberglass slide? Is that "garbage" as well, because it's not tempered high carbon steel? What about a reciever made of nylon, and I mean completely? Plastic frames? MIM parts?
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Old December 16, 2005, 10:57 AM   #50
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I've figured something out. You know how dogs can sense when someone is afraid of them or doesn't like them. Apparently some people gives off some kind of vibes that Hi-Points can sense, which causes them fall apart or otherwise malfunction when those people gets near them.
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