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Old March 21, 2020, 10:51 PM   #26
HisSoldier
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since "alloy" covers everything from pot metal crap to high quality stuff
"Alloy", The misnomer common to gun groups, all my guns are alloy, STEEL ALLOY. cast lead bullets are mostly alloy, lead and tin. The cases are copper-zinc-iron alloy.

The word alloy by itself means nothing, it has to be part of another word to have any meaning. "carbon steel" "Chromolly steel" "aluminum alloy", "zinc alloy".

As a confirmed pedant the misuse of the word "alloy" bothers me almost as much as the word "Billet" when the correct word is almost 100% of the time "Barstock" for guns. Even manufacturers, knowing what ignorant buyers expect to hear, will use the word billet.

Again, this too needs to be attached to another identifier; "steel" barstock, "aluminum alloy" barstock, or forgings, which are usually made of barstock cut to length and forged after heating. The only thing I can think of that are made from billets are very large items like large aircraft landing gear and possibly aluminum alloy auto wheels.

But I've read that aluminum alloy frames are normally expected (in a 1911) to last about 2/3 to 1/2 as long as steel alloy frames, though retailers would rather that not be known.

The again the vast majority of shooters will never wear out an aluminum alloy frame, maybe their grandsons by the time it gets down to them.
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Old March 23, 2020, 06:30 AM   #27
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After wearing down the frame rails on the first version of a Colt 3 inch Defender, have checked each subsequent alloy frame 45 to ensure the steel slide rails edges are rounded over. Using a sharp edged slide on a softer frame can induce excessive wear on the frame prematurely. The Defender was still working, but really sloppy. Not a problem on newer Ruger lightweight commander, which has beveled edges.
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Old March 25, 2020, 02:52 PM   #28
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I cracked the frames on three Colt Commanders back when getting a steel frame was called the Combat Commander.

A good friend who had a custom, wide body 45 ACP built from an aluninum alloy Para Ord also cracked his frame.

In both cases the failures occurred between 6,000 and 7,000 rounds. As HisSoldier said, the gun manufacturers don't like that being common knowledge.

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Old March 25, 2020, 03:53 PM   #29
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I had a Kimber Ultra Carry that had the aluminum ramp. The steel follower in the factory mags tore the ramp up pretty good, pretty quick.

I switched the steel followers out for Wilson plastic followers and that seemed to cure things, but the damage was already done.
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Old March 25, 2020, 05:19 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Dave T
I cracked the frames on three Colt Commanders back when getting a steel frame was called the Combat Commander.

A good friend who had a custom, wide body 45 ACP built from an aluninum alloy Para Ord also cracked his frame.
Did they all crack in the same place? Where?

In retrospect, do you think the use of shick buffers might have prevented the cracks?
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Old March 25, 2020, 06:14 PM   #31
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I had a Kimber Ultra Carry that had the aluminum ramp. The steel follower in the factory mags tore the ramp up pretty good, pretty quick.
It boggles my mind HOW the magazine follower would ever contact the feed ramp portion of the 1911A1 frame,

Could you explain this, please??
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Old March 25, 2020, 06:22 PM   #32
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When the last round is chambered, the follower moves forward with the round and contacts the ramp. The factorty Kimber mags, had steel followers like this...



Those points quickly started wearing a nice groove into the ramp.
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Old March 25, 2020, 07:41 PM   #33
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When the last round is chambered, the follower moves forward with the round and contacts the ramp. The factorty Kimber mags, had steel followers like this...
This was even more of a problem with the Devel-style followers used by Chip McCormick, and the GI-type mags that had the vertical leg of the follower shortened to allow fitting 8 rounds into a 7-round magazine. This is why Check-Mate came out with their patented follower, which has a skirt on the fron to prevent follower nose dive.
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Old March 25, 2020, 09:54 PM   #34
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I understand what you are describing, and speaking only for myself I feel that is it something that should not happen, and a design that allows it is not any improvement and borders on defective in concept.

GI magazines don't do that in any 1911 /A1 that I've ever had or inspected, and it doesn't happen in any of my other dozens of semi autos, so I'd have to say bad idea, Kimber...
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Old March 25, 2020, 10:34 PM   #35
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I understand what you are describing, and speaking only for myself I feel that is it something that should not happen, and a design that allows it is not any improvement and borders on defective in concept.

GI magazines don't do that in any 1911 /A1 that I've ever had or inspected, and it doesn't happen in any of my other dozens of semi autos, so I'd have to say bad idea, Kimber...
Correct on both counts. I agree. But I don't know that we can blame it all on Kimber. I first encountered the short-leg followers in Springfield Armory magazines.

The original, Browning-designed GI followers don't gouge the feed ramps. They can't tip far enough forward to make contact. The first attempt to fit 8 rounds into a 7-round mag tube was nothing more than shortening the rear leg of the follower to allow it to drop farther down in the tube. This required compromises in the spring, plus it didn't provide enough stability for the follower when the last round fed, so the follower could tip forward and gouge the feed ramp.

I have a drawer full of those followers. I buy GI followers from Check-Mate and, when I get a 1911 magazine with a short-leg follower, I replace it with a GI follower. (Thereby reverting from an 8-round magazine to a 7-round magazine ... just as God and His chosen apostle, John Moses Browning, intended.)
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Old March 26, 2020, 07:44 PM   #36
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Ok, I understand better now. Since I don't use 8 rnd mags I was unaware that this condition exists.

Someone's idea of an improvement allowing 8 rnds to be squeezed into the space meant for 7, creating a condition where the gun damages itself during operation..... how is that a smart move???
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Old March 26, 2020, 09:29 PM   #37
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Ok, I understand better now. Since I don't use 8 rnd mags I was unaware that this condition exists.

Someone's idea of an improvement allowing 8 rnds to be squeezed into the space meant for 7, creating a condition where the gun damages itself during operation..... how is that a smart move???
This is the inevitable result when people think they are smarter than the greatest firearms designer of all time.

If they would have thought about it for even a nanosecond, they might have realized that the reason Browning designed the magazine to hold seven rounds was that it wouldn't (reliably) hold eight. Seriously -- does anyone think that if Browning and Colt had brought the prototype 1911 to the test trials with 8-round mags the Ordnance Department would have said, "Well, that's a very nice pistol you have there, Mr. Browning, but could you please redesign it to hold seven rounds instead of eight?"

Didn't think so.
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Old Yesterday, 12:48 AM   #38
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they might have realized that the reason Browning designed the magazine to hold seven rounds was that it wouldn't (reliably) hold eight.
This is one of the things seldom thought about these days, Browning's DEDICATION to reliability. You can call it an obsession, or a dedication, a touchstone or something else, but if you really look at Brownings designs, guns AND ammo, the constant unvarying thing about them is that they WORK.

And, they rarely break or wear out during normal use, and have a deserved reputation for holding up and "delivering" during abnormal use and even under abuse.

Browning actually took a radical departure from his previous practice with the .45 Auto cartridge. Note that the .25, .32, and .38 Auto cases he designed have small rims. "semi rimmed" is the term used. The .45 Auto, does not. Why not?

The story I've always heard is simply because, Browning wasn't convinced a true rimless round would headspace reliably, and he knew a semi-rimmed case would. The .45 Auto was designed well after the earlier rounds and after the 9mm Luger had proved that a rimless round would headspace reliably. So, after the Luger showed the world rimless worked reliably enough, Browning adopted it for the .45 Auto.

By today's standards, Browning's guns are massively overbuilt. They're fairly big and heavy for the job, but they work, and they keep on working.

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't mean to imply that all his guns always work all the time no matter what, that's ridiculous. The 1911 got its reputation for reliability NOT because it never jammed, but because it jammed significantly less often than the other pistols of the day.

The 1911 stayed as first line issue for over 70 years. Browning's .50 cal machine gun will hit 100 years in service before too many more years pass. Same BASIC gun, think about that....Yes other designs have been tried, some even adopted, but none have replaced the M2 yet, and I doubt any will any time soon.

Browning designed rifles pistols shotguns and machine guns are still in production and use in the US and other places around the world. I don't think we could swing a holiday to honor his contribution to our lives and our freedom, but we should, people who have done far less have gotten a stamp, at least...

There are some places you can find to improve some things about some Browning designed guns. But every change isn't necessarily an improvement just because the fellow doing it thinks it is.
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Old Yesterday, 01:47 PM   #39
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Had a first version 3 in kimber. While the followers were split, they were like Mckormic style, pointed,sharper edges and could easily be pushed forward and scar up the alumnum framed ramp. I thought they looked strikingly/ very similar/exactly like the Mckormic version. First people were blaming feed ramp gouging on sharp edged hollow points, then mostly attributed to the mag followers. It was real and it happened a lot, which is another reason why bought a steel framed SA 3 in for practice. Finally got rid of the kimber and defender , and bought newer version kimber with ramped barrel. And rounded over the sharp slide edges, especially the leading ones.

Meggar made/makes a 6 round officers mag with differing style follower, which does not chew up the ramp. Some batches were not as well made as others. Also tried the earlier Wilson version 7 rounders, but if you released the slide on empty mag the plastic catch on follower got wore to not working quickly. In my experience they were also not as reliable as the meggars.

Am sown to 2 alumnum/alloy framed 45's and pleased with both. Especially the Ruger lwght commander that has a 5 in threaded barrel. Winter am carrying the Ruger, summer the Kimber.
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