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Old January 28, 2019, 11:48 AM   #101
Fishbed77
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We shall see in about 80 to 100 years if polymer guns, manufactured today, or within the last 15 years, will last as long as metal guns, which have been around for over 300 years. It is not so much about reliability or quality. I think its the notion that anything plastic is cheap or cheap looking, and not as durable as metal. The only reason manufacturers went to plastic, IMO, is because it is cheaper to manufacture.
It's amazing to see how many folks chime in without even reading the previous posts that tear down some of these arguments/misconceptions with rationality and historical evidence.

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Folks, plastic guns are cheaper....
HK MK.23 says otherwise!

Of course, my opinion on the subject of personal preference is still just an opinion - my most recent handgun purchase was a Webley Mk. IV!
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Old January 28, 2019, 06:05 PM   #102
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Folks, plastic guns are cheaper....
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Originally Posted by Fishbed77
HK MK. 23 says otherwise
Do you REALLY think that MK. 23 would be cheaper if it had a metal frame?
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Old January 28, 2019, 09:19 PM   #103
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When the AR was introduced in the 1960s plenty of folks disparaged the extensive use of aluminum and plastic in critical parts of the gun. They were proved wrong. Turns out those rifles and carbines have served the U.S. military longer than any other service long gun.

Same here with polymer framed pistols.

Glock revolutionized manufacturing techniques for pistols.

The Mk 23 is an exception to the general trend. You can produce a very accurate gun with polymer frames that is not inexpensive to manufacture.

Earlier when I said "Bring back a gun in 30 years and let's see" it was a joke because that's already happened. Also most of us won't be around in 30 years.

The idea that guns with steel or alloy frames are collector pieces or kin to a steel toothbrush is both ignorant and insulting.

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Old January 29, 2019, 01:12 AM   #104
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Yes, I unloaded the .38 prior to pistol whipping the Bass.
Loaded or unloaded, the idea of using a pistol to whip a fish to death seems, well, a little extreme if not weird to me. I've caught and dispatched thousands of fish in my lifetime, from bluegills to muskies, and I've never had the occasion to draw a gun to put one down. But I wasn't there; maybe your bass had much bigger teeth than the ones I'm accustomed to...
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Old January 29, 2019, 06:19 AM   #105
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Dgludwig, under Maine State law, any game fish caught must be either immediately released or dispatched. I was at a power dam, on a grassy banking, with no sticks or small rocks handy.
"Weird", or not (and you are certainly entitled to your opinion), my point is (and was, pertaining to my fish story), aluminum frame revolvers don't carry the heft of a steel one, "if" it were to be used as an impact weapon.
When I go to the ocean surf casting, I have an old billy club I keep in my bucket, to use for Bluefish, to dispatch them and pry open their jaws to remove my lure. To me, it's more humane if keeping the fish, to put them out of their misery with a blow to the head, rather than allow them to suffer, gasping for water. The day in question, all I carried was a small tackle box, rod and snub .38. When I caught the aforementioned bass, in my opinion it would have been "extreme & weird", (and also illegal), to allow the fish to suffer and NOT club it.
If you travel the Gun show circuit, occassionally you will find a used revolver, often a mid to large (K or N), frame S&W, with a brass plate bolted on the base of its grip. Back in the late 80's and early 90's, in Maine and NH I came across quite a few of them, all used Police revolvers. There are still a few out there. Back then, I owned 2, a S&W 28 and a 19, .357 Magnums, both previously owned by LEO's and traded in towards the latest and greatest wondernines. The brass plates were added as extra insurance for the officer, should he require a last ditch impact weapon in a use of deadly force situation. Certainly not politically correct or approved gear by most Departments, even 3 decades ago, but quite effective should the need arise. I carried the 19 off duty as a truck gun for many years. Had I kept the 19 (or 28), it would have been a good addition to my tackle box, far better than the aluminum .38 Charter Arms for clubbing bass.

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Old January 29, 2019, 04:38 PM   #106
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If a MK 3 was totally steel, it would be a lot more comfortable to shoot. In fact, all the plastic firearms would be a lot easier to shoot with a steel receiver.

Several manufactures of plastic pistols have prices set at $1,000.00 dollars and above. All you have do is look around. No thank you, sir.

I do have a USP in .45 ACP, so I have some experience with HK products.
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Old January 29, 2019, 07:58 PM   #107
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When I caught the aforementioned bass, in my opinion it would have been "extreme & weird", (and also illegal), to allow the fish to suffer and NOT club it.
Of course, if you really cared about the unfortunate fish's pain and suffering, you could have shopped at Krogers in the first place and probably saved some money to boot. Or you could have (and I'm not necessarily advocating this, especially in the cases of walleye and perch ) did what I do for the most part anymore in the case of catching bass, released it, free to swim again.

"Weird" or not, if anyone catches me beating a bass to death with a handgun to keep it from suffering, even if under the penalty of law, I'd not be surprised to find myself locked in a rubber room the next day where I couldn't hurt myself; let alone beat the brains out of a fish with the butt of a gun again. Just my opinion, of course...
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Old January 29, 2019, 08:40 PM   #108
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Once a neighbor gifted a frozen pike after he came back from ice fishing. It thawed and came back to life in the kitchen sink. Not thinking about clubbing it to death with a pistol, used a knife. Pike have teeth, lots of em.

Not quite sure what that has to do with plastic or steel, but following the direction of the thread.
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Old January 29, 2019, 10:41 PM   #109
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In retrospect, perhaps I should have just shot the bass, therefore utilizing the weapon in full accordance with the Manufacturers intended purpose. Head shot of course, to minimize any chance of damaging the fillets and to properly euthanize the fish. .38 158 LSWC would have worked well. Of course, that might be hard to explain to a game warden should they happen upon the scene.
Getting off track here... LOL!
I also prefer steel framed guns for the reduction in recoil, as well as the added durability. I agree with others that long term, 40 years or more in the future, the plastic won't fare as well as steel. And I'm partial to steel guns as I grew up shooting them. Plastic guns remind me of Legos and Hasbro toys.
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Old January 30, 2019, 12:49 AM   #110
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I think we can be done with the side discussion about the lethality of guns as impact weapons against water breathing animals...
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Old January 30, 2019, 02:25 AM   #111
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Y'all can keep your plastic guns. I don't want'em. My choice. You go get what you want.
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Old January 30, 2019, 10:20 AM   #112
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Do you REALLY think that MK. 23 would be cheaper if it had a metal frame?
No. I think it would likely not have met the requirements set out by USSOCOM.
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Old January 30, 2019, 10:45 AM   #113
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If a MK 3 was totally steel, it would be a lot more comfortable to shoot. In fact, all the plastic firearms would be a lot easier to shoot with a steel receiver.
Please provide empirical evidence to support this claim.

You mention comfort, but perhaps you intended to say felt recoil? There are many factors that contribute to felt recoil, including weight, configuration, ergonomics, operating systems, and the user.

The Glock 19 is a good example of a polymer-framed pistol that is very soft-shooting, exhibiting little muzzle rise and felt recoil. On the other hand, the all-steel CZ82, with similar overall dimensions, heavier weight, and a less powerful cartridge, actually has much harsher recoil due to the operating system.

Some users find a lighter handgun easier (and thus more comfortable) to hold on target. Also, few steel-framed service-style handguns offer much grip customization beyond side grip panels used, while the nature of polymer allows much more complex shapes and options for interchangeable backstraps/beavertails and side panels, thus allowing for increased user comfort that is just not possible or economically practical with steel (outside of a few designs like the 1911, in which the backstap is a separate part for mechanical reasons).

You also mention the Mk. 3 (presumably Ruger Mk. III?). There is an all-steel version. There is also a polymer-framed version (the Mk. III 22/45), which many users find more comfortable to shoot due to its 1911ish grip angle, so this is not a very good example.

There are just too many factors in play to make such a generalized statement.
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Old January 30, 2019, 05:24 PM   #114
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I see that that Walther has a PPQ steel receiver now. It appears that the goal was to have a really accurate firearm to compete in the shooting contests. What will happen next?
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Old January 30, 2019, 05:33 PM   #115
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I will never own a plastic/polymer gun because they are aesthetically displeasing to me. I do not have any doubt about their reliability and longevity.
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Old January 30, 2019, 07:43 PM   #116
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I am amazed at the continued commenting on this site. I thought it would have died long ago. I did not know steel vs polymer was such a big biased issue. WOW! I am glad I started it however. It lets us all know out likes, dislikes, prejudices on materials and where the good old "don't mess with my metal gun" folks are. Great thing about this is we still have the choice in the good ole USA!! Thanks all for contributing. I was just interested in how many people thought polymer was ok or a good idea but i got a whole lot more education than that!!
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Old January 30, 2019, 07:44 PM   #117
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Originally Posted by Iron bottom
I see that that Walther has a PPQ steel receiver now. It appears that the goal was to have a really accurate firearm to compete in the shooting contests. What will happen next?
Is that your assessment, or is that comment based on some other sources?

There is no reason to assume that a polymer-framed gun must be less accurate than a steel-framed gun. But because so many people believe that polymer-framed guns don't have the same accuracy potential as steel-framed guns, it may be that Walther is just "preaching to the choir." If there's a demand for a product feature, it can make sense to offer a product with that feature. If it will sell.

A few years back, you could get a steel frame for Glocks (maybe you still can), and users found that the steel-framed guns, when they were set up properly, were very reliable and very accurate. But there were some functional and accuracy issues.

The problem was that the polymer-framed frames seemed to be much more flexible (in every sense of the term) than metal-framed guns and the poly-guns were more tolerant of after-market parts than were the metal-framed guns. This was a problem for the firms making steel Glock frames, because shooters who "hot-rod" their Glocks live and die (are dependent upon) with the use of after-market parts. Those shooters began to get unpredictable results when those parts were used in a metal frame.

The firms making the steel Glock frames, after a lot of analysis and testing, found hat many of the after-market parts were not made to stringent standards. They learned, for example, that a part ordered from a given vendor one month might be shipped with slightly different specs the next month. Quality control among some after-market part makers was not what what it should be.

I think nearly all of the firms making those steel Glock frames are no longer in business. Had Glock been making the "hot rod" parts, howver, the results might've been different.

How about Ransom Rest tests of steel and polymer guns to prove the superiority of steel frames?

Ransom Rest tests are designed to assess that mechanical accuracy of a gun, and to remove the human element, such as pushing or pulling on the trigger, which can push or pull the gun off target as the trigger is pressed; just jerking the trigger can cause problems, too. For metal-framed guns using a Ransom Rest can also measure whether the play between the frame and slide affects accuracy in the Rest -- and aiming the gun is not necessary.

While steel frames flex a bit when the gun is fired, the frame typically returns to the same starting point; polymer-frames don't always return to the same starting point. That means that if you're not using the sights, a steel gun will be have more consistent groupings than a polymer-framed gun. Gun designers and gunsmiths using Ransom Rests must, therefore, aim each shot with polymer-framed guns because of the flexible frame, but they still find it very necessary to use the Ransom Rest to fire the gun.

The TOP (slide, barrel and sights) of the gun is the most critical part, and if the rest of the gun is designed so that the slide and barrel line up consistently from shot to shot -- which can certainly be done if the gun has a metal sub-frame. If the shooter of a polymer-framed gun uses the sights (or a slide-mounted optical system), the gun's performance can match steel-framed guns, if the other related parts are well-fit

Last edited by Walt Sherrill; January 31, 2019 at 08:46 AM.
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Old January 31, 2019, 10:05 AM   #118
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I saw a video with the Walther rep and some reporter discussing the steel PPQ.

If I remember correctly, a steel guide rod would wreck a steel Glock receiver. I looked into getting one of those steel receivers but for some forgotten reason I never did. Maybe only aluminum being available at the time was the reason.

I don't think any of the plastic guns I have seen and handled have a decent trigger. The slide to receiver fit is too loose for me. I can't remember any small groups shot with the plastic pistols.

I remember someone fitting a 10mm barrel to a HK USP (or some HK model) years ago. I am thinking that the USP receiver was destroyed in short order.

I read something a month or so from some guy shooting a lot of 40 S&W in a plastic receiver. Gun was wrecked.
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Old January 31, 2019, 10:42 AM   #119
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Originally Posted by Iron bottom View Post
I see that that Walther has a PPQ steel receiver now. It appears that the goal was to have a really accurate firearm to compete in the shooting contests. What will happen next?
Everything I have read about the new SF Walther is that the steel frame was primarily developed for action shooting competition to reduce times by greatly improving recoil characteristics to get back on target much faster. The poly frame Q5 Match already had a reputation as an extremely accurate pistol.

This video covers that with literature from Walther starting at about 3:45. It specifically mentions that split times were reduced on average by 46 percent when tested by Walther Pro shooter Michal Riha.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raJOMDV1Eu8
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Old January 31, 2019, 11:13 AM   #120
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Are you saying that a plaskit gun is that slow getting on target? Are all of them that slow?

Who would want to carry something like that?
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Old January 31, 2019, 11:26 AM   #121
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Originally Posted by Iron bottom View Post
Are you saying that a plaskit gun is that slow getting on target? Are all of them that slow?

Who would want to carry something like that?
You are right as no one would want to conceal carry something as big and heavy as the Walther Q5 Match steel frame but for high level competition a steel frame provides an advantage especially for those that have skills similar to someone like Michal Riha where fractions of a second often determine the winner of a match.

I can shoot my old Gen 2 Glock plenty fast for my needs for self defense purposes but I would do horrible against Michal Riha using a Walther Q5 Match Steel Frame in competition.
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Old January 31, 2019, 02:47 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by Iron Bottom
I read something a month or so from some guy shooting a lot of 40 S&W in a plastic receiver. Gun was wrecked.
You must have an eclectic reading collection, or simply enjoy reading some really old stuff. While calling a polymer frame a receiver is technically correct -- that's where you'll find the serial number -- the part that handles all the pressure of a fired round isn't the frame, but the slide and barrel/chamber, when the slide is in battery.

I would note that Glock's problems with .40s had NOTHING to do with the weaknesses or strengths of polymer frames, but with a barrel design that had a chamber that didn't properly support the .40 casing.

Glock changed their chamber design for some of their models about 15 years ago, and you don't hear much about KABOOMS any more (the term used to describe case ruptures due to a lack of chamber support.)

On the other hand, Glock has been very successful with guns running the 10mm and .357 SIG rounds, and those two calibers have been problematic for other gun makers since they were first introduced. It was only relatively recently that SIG introduced its first 10mm handgun. And S&W has discontinued all of their .357 semi-autos, and long-ago discontinued all of their 10mm semi-autos (which had metal frames.)
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Old January 31, 2019, 04:58 PM   #123
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I will never own a plastic/polymer gun because they are aesthetically displeasing to me. I do not have any doubt about their reliability and longevity.
This is an honest take.

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I don't think any of the plastic guns I have seen and handled have a decent trigger.
The Walther P99AS says otherwise. But this is subjective, like so many other talking points in this debate.
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Old January 31, 2019, 05:27 PM   #124
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I wasn't talking about a Glock getting wrecked. You will probably have to spend a bit more to have the experience of wrecking the pistol I'm talking about.
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Old January 31, 2019, 07:08 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by Iron Bottom
I wasn't talking about a Glock getting wrecked. You will probably have to spend a bit more to have the experience of wrecking the pistol I'm talking about.
There aren't that many polymer-framed guns that are all THAT expensive (implicitly much more expensive than a Glock). A few like an H&K Mark 23 might have a price tag that is double or triple the price of a Glock, but they're still not terribly expensive.

You talked about a wrecked poly-framed gun, but what does "wrecked" mean? Was there damage to the frame? If the slide was damaged, that's not a "poly" pistol issue. A steel-framed gun's slide and frame can also be destroyed by bad ammo.

I've personally seen a number of guns that have been destroyed by bad ammo, and they've included Glocks and Berettas. The Glocks were generally damaged by bad hand-loads or remanufactured ammo. One Glock shooter's hand was numbed by the force of the discharge which vented DOWN the grip. The frame was damaged, but his hand was back to normal 3-4 days later.

The Berettas were badly damaged and couldn't be repaired, and the shooters, like the Glock shooter, had sore hands, but no other damage. They may have been very lucky. (The Berettas were duty guns for a local universities campus police, using factory ammo. The ammo manufacturer replaced those guns.)
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