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Old March 4, 2013, 02:27 PM   #1
BoogieMan
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MIM/Cast Part

I bought a Kimber and many mentioned all of the MIM parts and how horrible it is. Recently I ordered a new slide lock from Wilson. Guess how its made? If you said MIM you would be on the money. It does say on the package that it is from bar stock. So im sending it back, I feel rather cheated. Anyone else notice the same? Could also be cast, no diference in quality.
Parting line a little tough to see.
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Old March 4, 2013, 02:41 PM   #2
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Thats no good!
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Old March 4, 2013, 02:50 PM   #3
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Just to make sure I'm not missing something:

"Bar stock" and "cast/MIM" are mutually-exclusive, aren't they? So either WC put the wrong slide stop in the package, or they're fibbing on their packaging?
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Old March 4, 2013, 03:22 PM   #4
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I think at one time that Wilson offered two grades of parts. the high grade was barstock and the lower grade was MIM. I don't know if tis is still the case. I have never had a problem with MIM parts so I don't worry about it. if you want to hear about the barstock part problems that I had in a colt that is another story
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Old March 4, 2013, 03:40 PM   #5
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This is the lower grade Wilson part. I dont think it will fail because of its construction, I also dont think that other MIM/Cast parts will fail because of there construction. I guess the main point is that the label is misleading. And what is arguably one of the top 5 manufacturers *(Wilson) uses the same parts as one (Kimber) who takes an extreme amount of flak here.
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Old March 4, 2013, 04:35 PM   #6
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You'd like to think that they just put the wrong part in the bag, and they'll be happy to give you the correct part in exchange.
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Old March 5, 2013, 01:44 PM   #7
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Are there any documented failures with MIM parts?
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Old March 5, 2013, 02:01 PM   #8
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If I told you I'd had a failure, what sort of "documentation" would you want?
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Old March 5, 2013, 02:15 PM   #9
buck460XVR
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Quote:
Are there any documented failures with MIM parts?

I'm bettin' there are thousands of documented cases of MIM parts failures.....just as there are thousands of documented cases of non-MIM part failures. Parts fail, that's why they make "replacement parts". After years of folks whinnin' about MIM parts there never has been any evidence that they have any higher or lower failure rate than non-MIM parts.......still folks whine.

Quote:
If I told you I'd had a failure, what sort of "documentation" would you want?
Since this is the internet and it's full of posers that always "know of" or have a "friend" that had this or that happen, most folks don't take thread posters on their word. Tell folks you just bought a LNIB Python at a pawn shop for $250 and they'll want pics or "it didn't happen". I'm one of those folks that don't believe something just cause they read it on the interweb.
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Old March 5, 2013, 02:34 PM   #10
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I should clarify. The only reason im sending it back is because its no diferent than the OEM Kimber lock. I dont really care either way if its MIM or not except I paid for a billet part. I was kind of curious how they made a slide lock billet/bar unless it was fabricated. The Kimber lock had become a bit rough on the edge that the plunger rides on. China stone, 5 mins and its good.
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Old March 5, 2013, 02:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Are there any documented failures with MIM parts?
What do you want? A police report? I had a MIM slide stop fail on a Kimber, so what, I replaced it with an Ed Brown.
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Old March 5, 2013, 03:13 PM   #12
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Wilson Combat has (or used to have) two product lines: They had their bar stock or tool steel parts, and then they had their "Value Line" parts, which are (or were) MIM. The Value Line parts typically sold for just about half the price of the comparable tool steel parts.

Boogieman, my guess is that someone at Wilson put a value Line part of the wrong package. If that's the case, even if it works, you didn't get what you paid for and it should be returned for that reason alone. Either that, or Wilson should refund half of what you paid.
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Old March 5, 2013, 04:22 PM   #13
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Nope,don't need a Police report but a pic would be nice.
I've never had a part fail that wasn't abused, that I can remember.

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Old March 5, 2013, 05:03 PM   #14
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Could it be Investment and not MIM??? Just ask'en because I find seams on
some of Rugers stuff.
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Old March 5, 2013, 06:51 PM   #15
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I've been in this game for over a half century, this is just my opinion and I don't expect or care if any one else shares it or disagrees with it. Just a simple statement. I really believe all this talk about mim parts is nothing more that that. Much a do about nothing. Jet Fighters and transports use mim parts, in both critical and non critical parts , Nascar uses mim parts in their engines. I bet there isn't a gun manufacture in the work that doesn't use some mim parts ( other than a few custom makers, and that just for bragging rights}, I really don 't think you can find a peice of equipment made to day that doesn't use some mim parts.. Mim parts have no higher breakage records than any other type of manufactured part, be it machined or stamped. Of course that is just my opinion and every one has their own, some opinions are based on fact and experience , some on bath room rumors and some from so called gun rag pistoleros. But then again , this world would be a dull place if every one thought alike
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Old March 5, 2013, 06:59 PM   #16
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My opinion is that MIM parts are used instead of forged or barstock parts because they are cheaper, and some people don't want to buy a product, upon which their life may depend, that has parts chosen because they are cheaper.
The MIM trigger on my new S&W revolver cracked, visibly emanating from up inside the frame, after only some hundreds of rounds. I have a photocopy of the letter I sent to S&W, and the return shipping label that they sent as a result, if anyone wants that minimal level of documentation. It was repaired under warranty.
I have more than a few MIM parts in various 1911s, and have never had any trouble with them.
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Old March 5, 2013, 09:06 PM   #17
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I have an old 1911 Llama I purchased in 1969. After 42 years the pin where the thumb safety pivots broke. I know the part was not MIM because MIM parts only started to be used in the 80’s. My point being that regardless if you have MIM, cast, forged or machined from bar stock you will always have the possibility of a flaw in the metal that will cause the part to break.
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Old March 6, 2013, 08:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
But then again , this world would be a dull place if every one thought alike
Eh, we'll always have "9mm v. .45" to fall back on for an argument. It has been a good excuse for near a century so it oughtta be good for at least another 50 years.

As for the MIM arguments, they just supplant the old arguments for "cast v. forged".

If it is done correctly, MIM is suitable for gun parts. Cobra even uses it for the barrel of their Shadow .38 Spec. revolver. I found that surprising.

An earlier thread: http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=386344
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Old March 7, 2013, 01:16 PM   #19
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Quote:
My opinion is that MIM parts are used instead of forged or barstock parts because they are cheaper, and some people don't want to buy a product, upon which their life may depend, that has parts chosen because they are cheaper.
This is where many folks are wrong. MIM parts are NOT cheaper to produce than forged or milled. Manufacture cost for the MIM parts themselves are higher. But, because every piece is exactly the same when produced, they do not need to be hand fit/adjusted when assembling the firearm. This is where the cost savings to the manufacturer comes in. Some may argue that this change means less skilled labor assembling the firearms thus giving one a firearm of lesser quality. For SD/HD, I use Colts and S&Ws that both use MIM parts and have shot thousands of rounds thru each for accuracy and to make sure the firearms are reliable. MIM parts have yet to make an impact on either.
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Old March 7, 2013, 01:49 PM   #20
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Exactly - some people don't realize that in many cases, hand-filing and fitting can increase the expense for a particular part without increasing its value.

If I were to show you two metal cubes, with each one being 1" on a side, plus or minus 0.001", and then told you that one cube came out of the mold in the exact condition it's in now, while the other was rough-cast and then lovingly filed into shape over the course of several hours by highly-paid master craftsman, does that make the second cube any more valuable? Of course not.
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Old March 7, 2013, 02:11 PM   #21
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If I were to show you two metal cubes, with each one being 1" on a side, plus or minus 0.001", and then told you that one cube came out of the mold in the exact condition it's in now, while the other was rough-cast and then lovingly filed into shape over the course of several hours by highly-paid master craftsman, does that make the second cube any more valuable? Of course not.
Actually, it depends on the loads that you are going to be applying to the cubes.

A 1" MIM cube would be difficult to remove the binder from without internally damaging the part. As long as you're just making them for looks, you'll be fine. But if it's something you're going to bet your life on, the second cube would be MUCH more valuable assuming you used a documented casting process.

Some basic guidelines for MIM parts here:

http://www.ssisintered.com/metal-injection-molding.html
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Old March 7, 2013, 02:31 PM   #22
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FWIW, the wording on the box sounds funny. It says that the part is "manufactured from bar stock steel." It does not say "made from bar stock" or "machined from bar stock", which would be the normal way of saying that it was made by milling from bar stock.

I suspect word play here and some intentional deception. "Bar stock steel" can be any kind of steel alloy that is available in round or square bars, which really means about any steel, say 1040 steel. 1040 steel can be available in bar stock, so it could be called "bar stock steel." But that steel can also be forged and machined, cast and machined, or formed by MIM. So, if 1040 is available as "bar stock steel" then an MIM part made from 1040 steel is "manufactured from bar stock steel."

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Old March 7, 2013, 04:42 PM   #23
RickB
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This is where many folks are wrong. MIM parts are NOT cheaper to produce than forged or milled.
Hmmm, really? So the forged and barstock hammers, which cost $40-$50 each are not more expensive to make than the $15 MIM hammers?
$100+ barstock ambidextrous safeties are not more expensive than $30 MIM ambis?
So, if the MIM parts are not cheaper to make, how can they be priced so much less than parts made via the other processes?
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Old March 7, 2013, 04:53 PM   #24
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It depends on which steps you include in the "making" of the part. The materials and equipment for making MIM parts might not be any cheaper than for other processes, but when an MIM part comes out of the mold, quite often that's the end of the process - it's finished, and already within specs.

With other processes, there are additional labor-intensive steps, and that's what drives the price up. But the MIM part isn't necessarily "lower quality" just because of the fact that it doesn't require the additional steps.

To use an analogy - let's say you have two types of automotive paint, and the cost-per-gallon and cost to apply them are the same for both. But with paint 'A', as soon as it dries, you're done - the finish is slick, glossy and perfect. With paint 'B', you have to do extensive wet-sanding and polishing to get the same slick finish. It's going to cost more to paint a car using paint 'B', but that doesn't mean that it's "better" than paint 'A'. It's also not incorrect to say that paint 'A' costs as much as paint 'B', if you're just talking about the materials and application cost, not the labor-intensive follow-on steps.
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Old March 7, 2013, 05:45 PM   #25
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I didn't address "better", only cheaper, in my comments. A $15 hammer IS cheaper than a $50 hammer.
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