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Old April 5, 2015, 04:17 PM   #1
tdgator
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All metal reliability

Went to a course this weekend and the instructor mentioned he would never fully trust an all metal firearm for his home defense gun. He said with metal on metal everything has to be running perfectly, lubed perfectly, cleaned perfectly etc or else the possibility of failure is dramatically increased. He obviously is a big fan of polymer guns, particularly the M&P and glock. I currently have a 1911 as my defense gun but was thinking before the course about moving to a CZ 75 for the increased rounds. I just like the feel of all metal but if there is any truth to what he is saying I guess I will need to make a change. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
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Old April 5, 2015, 04:19 PM   #2
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Even polymer guns run metal on metal.
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Old April 5, 2015, 04:23 PM   #3
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Sounds like he's full of it.
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Old April 5, 2015, 04:25 PM   #4
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Hope he knows more about using guns than he does about the guns.
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Old April 5, 2015, 04:30 PM   #5
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I have two CZ75 P-01 and will never get rid of them. They're NATO approved. I have most of the major brands (HK, Sig, Glock, S&W, Ruger, Beretta, etc... and of course the 2x CZ P-01). Ask him to school those 1911 owners about full metal guns.

Go get yourself a CZ and enjoy it.

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Last edited by YoungGun; April 5, 2015 at 09:03 PM.
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Old April 5, 2015, 04:33 PM   #6
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Does he think that a polymer gun is plastic running on plastic?

What he said makes no sense. Either from the mechanical perspective or the historical. I think I know what he's trying to get at but even then he's wrong.

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Old April 5, 2015, 04:35 PM   #7
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Sounds like time to be shopping around for another instructor.
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Old April 5, 2015, 04:38 PM   #8
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As noted, polymer pistols run metal-on-metal. As much as I like them, you're not getting around the metal contact issue by going to polymer guns.

Concur with saleen - find another instructor who doesn't talk out of his 4th POC.
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Old April 5, 2015, 05:43 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by g.willikers View Post
Hope he knows more about using guns than he does about the guns.

I thought the same thing as I was reading the op.
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Old April 5, 2015, 05:59 PM   #10
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The Ruger P95 and P97 did not use metal inserts in the frames. I don't know about the new SR series, but Ruger proved that the metal in the frame wasn't always needed.

In my experience the more modern plastic guns are more reliable, certainly more durable than aluminum framed guns and at least the equal of steel framed guns. But not for the reasons cited.
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Old April 5, 2015, 06:05 PM   #11
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Some of the XDs (i know the Mod 2 does) run metal on metal in the front but plastic on the rear portion that contacts the slide. I have both kinds but give me my metal Sig all day, everday if my life depends on it.
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Old April 5, 2015, 06:05 PM   #12
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I can't imagine any gun to be more reliable and longer lasting than an al steel cz 75. even my cheap Turkish clones are simply amazing. eats thousands upon thousands of rounds and never even the tiniest of hiccups. it doesn't care the bullet weight, heavy charge/light charge/, point, flat or round profile. it amazes me week after week, I keep waiting for my first malfunction and it just hasn't happened.

all of my polymer guns have had at least one failure, even if it has been because it's a profile it didn't like or a charge it didn't like, but they have failed at least once under some kind of circumstance(even if it has been after 2000 or more rounds). I am not saying that doesn't mean they aren't reliable, I just think the CZ has them all beat, it's reliable 100% period for 5k or 6k, maybe even getting up to 7k. it doesn't care what kind of weird cast handload I am feeding it, it's going to feed, chamber and fire reliably every time. and do it more accurately on top of it. get that CZ and let people have their differing, albeit incorrect, opinions on the "best" kind of firearms
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Old April 5, 2015, 07:18 PM   #13
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Wonder where he got his mechanical engineering degree from.

What a goofy -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED-.
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Old April 5, 2015, 07:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
the instructor mentioned he would never fully trust an all metal firearm
I would never fully trust that instructor.
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Old April 5, 2015, 07:54 PM   #15
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Went to a course this weekend and the instructor mentioned he would never fully trust an all metal firearm for his home defense gun. He said with metal on metal everything has to be running perfectly, lubed perfectly, cleaned perfectly etc or else the possibility of failure is dramatically increased.
Nobody started laughing uncontrollably after he said this? I'm surprised.

I'm certainly glad the U.S. Armed Forces have never used an all metal gun...
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Old April 5, 2015, 07:59 PM   #16
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Quote:
Went to a course this weekend and the instructor mentioned he would never fully trust an all metal firearm for his home defense gun. He said with metal on metal everything has to be running perfectly, lubed perfectly, cleaned perfectly etc or else the possibility of failure is dramatically increased.
"And lo, there was great darkness for many decades, until the coming of the Blessed Gaston Glock..."

I don't think so. Go ahead and get your metal frame gun. You should be fine.
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Old April 5, 2015, 08:00 PM   #17
Walt Sherrill
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Originally Posted by buckhorn cortez
Nobody started laughing uncontrollably after he said this? I'm surprised.
They had already paid for the course. An instructor that opinionated would probably kick anyone out of the class who disagreed with him, or make his "learning" experience painful.

Hope the instruction was better than the opinions about what guns work best.
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Old April 5, 2015, 08:48 PM   #18
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I was thinking my H&K's were running metal to plastic. Then, I remembered the four little silver colored tabs on the frame. They actually look more like the foil in cigarette packages. But, I suppose H&K engineers know what they're doing.
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Old April 5, 2015, 09:00 PM   #19
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I have more than a few metal frame and poly frame pistols from SIG, HK, and Walther that have all run flawlessly for me through several thousand rounds between them.

I do however keep all my pistols well maintained especially in regards to proper lubing which IMHO is not all that hard with modern synthetic lubricants (Weaponshield, M-Pro 7 LPX, etc) both oils and grease that do not run off, burn off, or evaporate like older lubes may have.

I will say however that in my experience a metal frame pistol may be less reliable than a poly frame pistol if both are allowed to go almost bone dry as far as lube, but that would be stupid on the firearm owners part.

However over that last year I did go shooting with people who had problems with their metal frame pistols, a 1911 and Beretta 92F. When I examined each they were both bone dry. I always have lube in my range bag. A drop rubbed on the barrel exterior and a drop on each frame rails and then both ran perfect. Both however were very inexperienced and knew next to nothing about firearm maintenance.
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Old April 5, 2015, 10:16 PM   #20
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Amazing statement by that instructor. I can see a metal-framed pistol needing more maintenance than a polymer-framed counterpart, but not much more given that the home environment, with the exception of high humidity in the absence of air conditioning, is not exactly harsh.

Polymer frames flex when the pistol fires. I imagine enough firing cycles could result in a frame failure, but probably only long after the barrel and other metal parts wore out. Polymers can be degraded by exposure to UV radiation, but I can't envision a handgun seeing much sunlight. Even one that is carried openly daily in a sunny climate is going to have mostly just its grip exposed -- ever part of the frame that touches moving metal during the firing cycle is shaded by the slide or holster.

I'm willing to give the edge to a polymer-framed pistol needing less meticulous maintenance, but any instructor unwilling or unable to perform the minimum effort to maintain an all-metal home-defense pistol is someone who likely hasn't expended much effort in developing a philosophy of self defense worth emulating.
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Old April 5, 2015, 10:25 PM   #21
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To play devils advocate... he's not entirely off-base on all counts.
Steel guns tend to have somewhat full-length slide-to-frame contact, and that presents a much larger surface area for something to cause drag and slow the slide.

The advantages of the poly guns is that their rail contacts are usually short/small... like Glocks four little tabs.
If there is crud in the rails it only drags on the small contact areas instead of along the entire length of the rails.

Specifically, there are two ways his comments can make sense:
A very tight (safe queen variety) thats not broken in and/or clean and oiled correctly.
or
A full-contact inner or outer rail that is gunked up with lube, lint, power grit and dirt... think: dry sticky paste.

Both conditions will slow a slide considerably...
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Old April 5, 2015, 10:34 PM   #22
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That's.... just silly. I can kinda understand where he was possibly going with (Dashunde explains it pretty well) but still. Silly, and bad advice.

There are reasons to not love all-metal guns, weight, width (grip panels can make the grip wider), a tendency to DA/SA or SAO in all metal framed guns... but reliability is not one of em.

At least IMO.
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Old April 5, 2015, 11:06 PM   #23
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I don't like all metal guns, I prefer my grips to be wood, plastic, or rubber. THE REST OF THE GUN BETTER BE ALL METAL, or I'm not buying it. (but that's just me)

Likewise I'm not buying what that instructor was selling, and its a pity you paid good money for bad opinions.

Considering that several "all metal" handguns have a century or more of constant use and production (including that fossil, the revolver), I'd tend to think that a lot of folks consider them trustworthy enough....
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Old April 6, 2015, 02:02 AM   #24
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Sounds like he's full of it.
Yup. Trainer got his info from some LGS operator.
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Old April 6, 2015, 02:26 AM   #25
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The advantages of the poly guns is that their rail contacts are usually short/small... like Glocks four little tabs.
If there is crud in the rails it only drags on the small contact areas instead of along the entire length of the rails.
This is not correct. The longer slide contact of a Sig P226, M9, 1911, BHP, CZ75, etc. has never been a common factor that caused a slide to slow down due to "crud". not even significant amounts of mud, sand, ice, rain, etc. All the above mentioned guns and others have long records of service and use in rough conditions and the amount of crud to effect them would have to be extraordinary to effect them. There is no evidence that polymer framed guns are better or worse in this regard.

There is a good amount of evidence that full rail contact (a tighter slide to frame fit) can be a factor in enhancing accuracy in steel framed guns. Polymer frames get around this by generally having a good barrel to slide lock up. Generally you can't tighten their (poly guns) slide to frame fit.

The instructor was wrong or mis-quoted. There's no reason to go looking for "the logic" in what he said. He was just wrong.

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