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Old July 18, 2013, 07:49 AM   #1
odugrad
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SIG frames

I have a couple SIG 226s and MK25s. I haven't had them very long, a few months. I noticed on a couple of them that there is a lot of wear under the lip on the top rails. So I did a little research and found lots of people saying that the frames on SIGs crack. Does anyone have any experience with this?

I love my SIGs and am curious...

How durable are SIG frames?
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Old July 18, 2013, 08:09 AM   #2
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Are you talking about alloy frames or steel frames?
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Old July 18, 2013, 08:11 AM   #3
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I'm assuming they are alloy.
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Old July 18, 2013, 08:33 AM   #4
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I have a couple of Sigs with alloy frames. The rest are steel or SS. I am not a real fan of the alloy frames but I don't see unusual wear on them. The high spots tend to wear through the anodize coating pretty quickly and then pretty much stops. Keep the gun clean and for me, I prefer grease on the rails.

Early alloy guns had issues with galling but the newer ones seem to run fine.

I remember an early test of a Smith and Wesson model 59 that ran something like 10K rounds before a piece of the frame broke off. That was not enough to cause the gun to malfunction.

There is just something that just feels right with steel slides and frames. I doubt that I will ever buy another alloy frame gun. YMMV.
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Old July 18, 2013, 09:19 AM   #5
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I think that's what it is-the coating wearing off. It's no longer black under the rail, now it shows the silver. Does this sound normal?
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Old July 18, 2013, 09:55 AM   #6
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Sounds about right. The anodize will wear through and you will see the bare metal. You would see the same thing on a steel frame gun where the high spots will show "bright" where there was metal to metal contact. On a cerakote frame or as Dan Wesson calls it a duty coat or Nitron finish on a Sig, any metal to metal contact will quickly reveal the base metal underneath.

Keep the gun lubricated and clean and you will be fine. Sig makes some very nice guns and they are not junk.
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Old July 18, 2013, 11:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
t's no longer black under the rail, now it shows the silver. Does this sound normal?
It will happen, but I'm a bit alarmed at the rate you might be mentioning. How many rounds through them? Are you using a grease on the rails? It will wear but with proper care it should take a long time. I have a buddy with a 1992 SIG P228 and the frame rails are still black and he shoots it pretty regularly.
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Old July 18, 2013, 11:26 AM   #8
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I've had it about a month and shot around 500 rounds through it.
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Old July 18, 2013, 11:27 AM   #9
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Are you lubing the rails, and if so with what?
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Old July 18, 2013, 12:17 PM   #10
odugrad
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I do. I lube them every time I clean it (after every trip to the range). I use SNO gun grease on the rails.
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Old July 18, 2013, 12:26 PM   #11
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My alloy frame sigs ( 239's ) show a little bit of wear - but its the Nitron finish wearing off...around the rails../ but its not too bad - and my 239's have at least 10,000 rds thru them...

Personally, I think grease is a little too heavy on 9mm guns ...so I've been using CLP Break Free oil on the 9mm's ....and a little bit of Wilson Combat's ultima lube grease on the .40S&W versions / but the wear on both guns is about the same.

On my all stainless guns....226's ...in 9mm and .40S&W I've only used Break Free on them - and they're showing no signs of wear ...and they're all over 10,000 rds as well...

I clean every gun after I shoot it as well ...so I don't think it really matters much whether you're using oil or grease....
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Old July 18, 2013, 01:01 PM   #12
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I got off the phone with SIG and they said it's completely normal. They said because of the tighter tolerances there is much more friction on the metal-on-metal.

Do tight tolerances reduce the life of the gun/frame? What is the life of a SIG alloy frame?
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Old July 18, 2013, 01:12 PM   #13
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They said because of the tighter tolerances there is much more friction on the metal-on-metal.
Tight than what?

I'll let someone with more experience with SIGs sound off, like WVsig. He's talked about this before.
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Old July 18, 2013, 03:52 PM   #14
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In terms of slide to frame fit..( in my opinion ):

A gun needs to be tight enough to maintain its accuracy...
and it needs to be loose enough to run reliably...

All of which is why we clean and lube our weapons after we fire them - or most of us do. A little bit of wear is normal ....and if you take care of it / even if you shoot 5,000 rds a yr thru one gun...I have little doubt that a Sig Alloy frame will last a lifetime at least..../ and probably another generation or two or three.... ( 250,000 rounds, 500,000 rds ....I don't really know ....but I think those quantities are reasonable to expect in terms of the life of a Sig alloy frame)...

as long as you're not putting super hot loads thru the gun, don't monkey with the springs trying to lighten them up too much - causing any frame abuse...( and keep it clean and lubed )....
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Old July 18, 2013, 05:25 PM   #15
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The rail wear is normal. The frames are very rugged. Have no fears. The SIGs will outlast you.
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Old July 18, 2013, 05:48 PM   #16
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I would read this article and see how the wear on your pistol compares to Bruce Gray's comments.

http://grayguns.com/guide-to-sig-sau...ol-inspection/

Quote:
The first thing to look at is the frame rails. The rails will tell you everything that you need to know about how well the gun has been taken care of. The following is how the colors of the under side of the frame rails will change as your gun wears.
It is normal for the tops of the rails to wear like this. It is the wear on the underside of the rail that is the issue. Wear on the underside where the slide rides is the spot that can cause concern and shorten the life of the frame.








Here is a good write up on how to lube a Sig.

http://grayguns.com/lubrication-of-s...-pistol-rails/
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Old July 18, 2013, 09:49 PM   #17
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When they talk about the under side of the frame rails, what exactly are they talking about?

The part that is starting to get shiny silver is if you hold the frame upside down and look into the top part of the inside of the rail. It's kind of hard to explain and a picture won't do justice.
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Old July 19, 2013, 07:13 AM   #18
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The part of the rail they are talking about is the the channel where the slide rides.



Which is why Flork and Bruce Gray recommend lubing the pistol like this...



The other area to watch out for is the channel itself. This gun has a cracked frame and you can see that the anodizing in the channel of the frame rails has been compromised even in this poor picture. Most Sigs will show some initial wear even with proper lube and will stop. It is a good practice to inspect rails on a Sig each time you clean it. YMMV

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Old July 20, 2013, 10:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
So I did a little research and found lots of people saying that the frames on SIGs crack.




You'll run out of money long before wearing out a Sig frame. Put it this way, if you have $10,000 to spend on ammo to wear out a $800 pistol you certainly got your monies worth out of it. Not only that but you obviously can afford to replace it. Not to pick on you but I always laugh at threads where people talk about wearing out a modern pistol.
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Old July 21, 2013, 08:21 AM   #20
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I have seen many heavy use Sigs and there has been no cracking of the frame. I'm not saying it doesn't happen but I have twenty years of experience with Sigs being issued with hard use and no cracking. I do see Sigs that are not properly lubed, or lubed at all. Lack of lube and not replacing the rsa are the two biggest issues I see on a regular basis. You will beat up the guns when you fail to lube and replace springs.
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Old July 21, 2013, 10:44 AM   #21
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Have a Sig P220 with heel clip mags. Not sure when I got it new, but at least 30 years ago. Countless 1000's of rounds through it. Just checked the structure and no cracks I can find. Not a heck of a lot of wear marks other than holster burnishing. I'll let y'all know when it falls apart.

P.S. I was looking through my old loading journals, (you do have one, right?) Anyway, in the 80's I went through a pistol deer-hunting phase for several seasons and developed a 250 grain semi-wadcutter load with an unprintable load of Blue Dot that entered and exited several whitetails. Seems if anything would stress the alloy frame, that would be it. Still wondering as I'm wandering.

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Old July 21, 2013, 06:55 PM   #22
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hope I am still alive when you post that bit of info
I love my sigs
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Old July 21, 2013, 07:31 PM   #23
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What Rinspeed and WVsig said.

I love my SIG. I got my P226 brand new and it shows barely any wear after 3,000+ rounds. I clean and lube it extensively after every single use.

My P220 I bought second hand and I changed out all the springs in the gun (Thanks again Rinspeed). I noticed and was worried about seeing the purpleish wear on the slide. I think the owner before me ran it dry. It runs great. Love that darn thing. It's in my care now, and it'll be just fine.
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Old July 22, 2013, 03:41 PM   #24
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The only report of Sig frames cracking I am aware of were a batch of P226s around '86-'87(?), that had scalloped cut-outs in the rails (supposedly to facilitate the clearing of debris in the rails) that were called "mud-rails". Turned out the cut-outs weakened the frames and increased the possibility of the frame splitting at the rails.
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