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Old August 15, 2017, 12:29 PM   #1
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Will we ever see a resurgence in steel??

I am gun guy. Not a weapon guy. So take this question with that in mind.

I have lots of tactical Tupperware and all of it extremely well made and durable. It shoots well and provides a myriad of advantages as far as capacity, weight, maintenance etc. all of these things are for all practical purposes the better "weapon".

That being said nothing shoots like a full size steel pistol or revolver. They just feel good, look good, offer easy ways to customize etc. again I am saying this as a guy who has no aspirations of being a cop or door kicker or any fantasy of ever using violent force of any kind. So shooting to me is very much for pleasure.

So with a generation or so of new shooters brought up with Glock and the myriad of Glock clones do we think any of them will sort of ever go full circle/retro if you will driving some demand of new steel framed guns or has that shipped sailed forever? I mean who would have predicted a polymer revolver???

I mean DA/SA seems to be undergoing a bit of a resurgence so I wonder if steel will too at some point.

Now if you are reading this and all you are looking for is a weapon to protect your family or for your job etc. get a Glock 19 and be happy(or any of the other perfectly wonderful other options). If you are a newish shooter who just enjoys shooting do yourself a favor and branch out a little. Try a big ole' shoot in' iron or wheel gun sometime. You may be surprised at how different (not necessarily better) then polymer is and how enjoyable it may be to shoot.

I am really hoping the Hudsen H9 is a success for this reason.
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Old August 15, 2017, 12:57 PM   #2
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I don't know about a 'resurgence' of steel framed pistols, mostly because everyone lately seems to like the lighter polys and micro-9mm's. Several companies still have aluminum/steel framed pistols like Sig, beretta, and CZ. Not to mention all the 1911s on the market. I agree 100% that I prefer an all steel pistol for a nice long range trip pistol, like my Browning hi power. More and more people are getting their CCW permits, and full size steel guns arent super comfortable for all day carrying(hush you 1911 lovers). Luckily majority of revolvers are still all steel minus a few like the LCR. Everyone has a favorite, from glocks to .44 magnum wheel guns. I'm just happy the shooting community is alive and thriving.
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Old August 15, 2017, 01:30 PM   #3
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Probably about the same time we see a resurgence in wooden car wheels and boats. The classic guns like the 1911 will be made from steel for as long as they are in production. Probably most revolvers as well. Those designs will be with us for many more generations. But I don't expect to see any new designs made from steel.

In the very near future there are no new production aluminum alloy pistols being manufactured. Plastics of some sort are the handgun frame material of the present and future.
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Old August 15, 2017, 01:37 PM   #4
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I think for carry guns, we will see polymer guns continue to dominate the market due the benefits of weight and corrosion resistance. There will still be a market for steel and aluminum framed guns for competition and "fun guns", though there are great polymer guns for competition too. Everyone who has shot my Les Baer Thunder Ranch Special is absolutely amazed by it. It is an absolute tack driver and has a phenomenal trigger. There is no way I can carry it though due to weight and size. That is why I carry a Kahr PM9 or Glock 43.
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Old August 15, 2017, 02:17 PM   #5
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Steel is expensive to work with and requires highly skilled and experienced machinists who no longer exist. That latter part is the fault of the manufacturers(not just firearms makers either)who have refused to run apprenticeship programs for eons(they were told 35 + years ago that us Boomers will be retiring. And they did nothing.) and are still looking for people with 5 or 10 years of experience. And they still refuse to train new guys.
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Old August 15, 2017, 02:41 PM   #6
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Brother Im with ya, Im all about the metal.. But sadly I don't see it happening.

The classics that are still produced will probably remain metal.. although when I see companies retro fitting guns in poly, It brings a tear.

Other then revolvers I think NEW design guns are going to be polymer.. Maybe the odd 1 may slip out every few years but.. ya, It's a plastic fantastic world.

Poly guns are fine for tools but I doubt anyone is making glock 19's into family heirlooms.
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Old August 15, 2017, 03:35 PM   #7
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I was told by a rep for a company that made all-metal pistols, in reference to their inability to get police contracts, "Glock can sell their guns at a profit for less than it costs us to make our guns."

As long as people are willing to pay $500 for a plastic gun that cost $200 to make, because an all-steel gun is "too expensive", you're probably not going to see a resurgence in metal pistols.
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Old August 15, 2017, 03:46 PM   #8
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As long as people are willing to pay $500 for a plastic gun that cost $200 to make, because an all-steel gun is "too expensive", you're probably not going to see a resurgence in metal pistols.
But the "too expensive" all steel gun that costs $500 to make sells for $800-$1000!
So don't use that as a slam against modern technology and materials used in guns now.
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Old August 15, 2017, 03:53 PM   #9
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No they don't, If you're paying 800-1000 just cause the gun is metal you're paying for the name.. not the material cost.

same as the 200/500 plastic gun Rick was talking about.

Beretta 92's can be had for 500 new.
Even cheaper I can show you a Taurus for around 330
RIA 1911's 350

Glock is a giant in LE sector.. they don't sell them the guns for 500.. I don't know what they sell them in hard numbers but It's significantly less from what Im told.

Although I must admit I think I see more M&P's then anything in police holsters.
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Old August 15, 2017, 05:05 PM   #10
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I was actually looking at the Taurus PT92 in stainless. Pretty solid gun for under $400.
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Old August 15, 2017, 09:24 PM   #11
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Will we ever see a resugence in steel?

Hogan's Alley. Yes I do think that we may (hopefully) see a resurgence in steel. Remember everyone went to & wanted a 40 S&W? And now its back to the 9mm. I am & always will be from the steel is real camp. I just don't like combat Tupperware plastic/polymer frame gun. I just don't get why a few more oz's is a big deal? Is everyone a wimp? A steel/alloy frame gun will always handle better. I carry a full size CZ,75 (all steel2.2lb) CZ,75compact(steel2.0lb) or my Sig,226(40S7W/357sig alloy frame) all day long. No big deal. Or my CZ,p-01(alloy frame1.7lb). Now are they to heavy? Not for me & they shoot great. When the 40S&W came out all I was hearing was this "snappy recoil" of the 40S&W.My first 40 was a CZ,40B alloy frame. Well I go the range guess what? No "snappy recoil"! Then about a year later I shot a friends Glock 22 full size 40. Now I feel the "snappy recoil". Are the CZ'S & Sig's to heavy to carry? I don't think so.Not even my full size all steel gun's. I just use a good belt. One more plus if I run out of ammo & it gets hand to hand I can still use it to hit them over the head.LOL. Try that with combat Tupperware! LOL.
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Old August 15, 2017, 09:36 PM   #12
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I don't even think it's so much about consumer demand..

I agree with ya it does seem like every one is super wimpy about weight these days.
But it's more then that... Polymer has proven to be a suitable material for gun frames, Whether it's better or worse.. it's at least "good enough".

It's hellishly cheap compared to machining metal not only is the material cheaper but it's also a lot faster to just injection mold a frame then it is to machine out a block of metal.

If there was a big demand for metal guns I think we would maybe see them at the high end but for mainstream.. it's just cheaper to produce it in poly.

The problem is quite often that cost savings is NOT passed on to you.
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Old August 15, 2017, 09:55 PM   #13
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I perform much better with a steel verses a polymer pistol. There are plenty of all metal pistols which are easy to conceal and carry. If I have a bad day, I want to have the best tool available that I can comfortability carry. There are no second chances in that event.

Polymer guns are much cheaper to manufacturer, hence their appeal. I don't have an issue spending more for quality when it will last a decade plus.
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Old August 15, 2017, 10:48 PM   #14
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Well since most polymer guns have lots of 'steel', I think steel guns will be around for a while. I sure don't see 1911s going away anytime soon. Heck even Ruger all steel guns sell very well.

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Old August 15, 2017, 11:58 PM   #15
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I'm of the opinion that steel has its place...1911's, revolvers, etc...and I think the market for companies like Wilson Combat ( who's guns I shoot and carry every week ) will continue to have a niche in the higher end market presence..../ ...they will continue to focus on quality and customer service that will develop loyal customers ...but they don't want to compete in the very crowded under $2,500 market.

I think the handgun market has some niches under $1,000 ..../ $1,000 - maybe
$ 1,750 / $1,750 - $2,500 / $ 2,500 - $ 8,000......Glock and many poly guns are beating each other up in that lower end and making solid guns ( not to my personal taste, but not bad guns ) / some models of the better production guns are in the next 2 tiers ( Sig, H&K, Springfield , etc / the semi custom ( all steel that I know of --- like Wilson, Freedom Arms, Korth, Ed Brown, Cabot etc ) fight it out in that higher end group.

The higher end guys will develop guns and they probably want to sell 2 or 3 guns to a good customer....kind of like higher end cars or tools...they have smaller shops, smaller distribution channels, etc..../ ...they don't have a desire to compete in that under $2,500 market, police contracts, etc...but they will remain strong in their own right.

Just like higher end cars ( Lexus, Tesla, etc...)...Wilson, Freedom Arms etc are worth every penny they cost in my view.../ ..not for everyone.../ ...but they aren't going away that I can see in the next 20 yrs...their innovations may be more subtle than some of the poly guys -- but they create a lot of buzz within some circles...
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Old August 16, 2017, 12:09 AM   #16
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Much like rifles getting cheaper and cheaper due to demand, handguns have also gotten cheaper and cheaper due to market demand. If there were no demand for their lower-priced guns, they would make high-priced ones because 10% profit on an expensive gun makes them more money than 10% on a cheap gun. You can't make a pistol the same way that great-granddaddy did and make money (and in case you're wondering, businesses are in business to make money), and major gun-makers don't. They use multi-million dollar CNC machines to make those guns without people (the expensive part of manufacturing), they use high-strength investment castings instead of machining the parts, they use alloy or MIM parts in non-critical areas. About the only people using steel plates and bars to make guns any more are custom, high-end manufacturers (think Nighthawk, Surgeon, Stiller, BAT, etc) who can and do demand the money for their products. And the current trends towards lighter weight carry guns pushes demand even farther away from steel frames and magazines.

So, long-winded way to say that no, steel guns will probably not make a comeback any time soon.
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Old August 16, 2017, 01:32 AM   #17
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To be king of the TactiHeep, you have to have a POLYSTROIKERNOINE. This is very important. All other handgun designs are obsolete on today's modern tactical warfighter battlezone.

And a TactiBeard, you absolutely must have a TactiBeard, that trumps everything. Remember as the old saying goes, "it's the indian with a TactiBeard, not the arrow".
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Old August 16, 2017, 05:35 AM   #18
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Sadly, I don't see there being a resurgence of steel pistols. I love steel, and I don't think they're going to disappear by any means, but polymer makes a whole lot of sense from a manufacturer's perspective.
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Old August 16, 2017, 06:53 AM   #19
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Steel is expensive to work with and requires highly skilled and experienced machinists who no longer exist.
Machinists were skilled at creating dies, jigs, fixtures that supported the machining process of the frames, slides, etc. The actual production of the guns was and is done with low/semi-skilled production workers who operate the CNC tools. Machinists did not make the guns. The only gun a machinist may make is a prototype...but once it goes into production, it is produced by common laborers/operators.
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Old August 16, 2017, 07:19 AM   #20
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I read a lot of people comments unwilling to dress around a gun carried IWB, examples (not me):
It's too hot to carry IWB, only want to pocket carry.
I'm going out to eat at ____ and want to tuck in my shirt, pocket carry.
For my low risk lifestyle in Ain't Gonna Happen Here USA a pocket gun meets my anticipated threat.
Most people (men) are not going to buy steel pocket pistols, so no resurgence in steel.

Another factor is women, my wife is not going to dress around a gun, purse carry or nothing (at least hers is a Beretta PX4 compact) most purse carrying women are going to want lightweight (polymer/aluminum).
Its lackadaisical to settle for "better than nothing" when something better could be carried.
A lethal threat merits the same ASAP stopping potential regardless of location, light.
"Wouldn't want to or Nobody volunteer to" get shot by _____ is not indicative of quickly incapacitating.
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Old August 16, 2017, 07:47 AM   #21
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My fiancé and I started with two 2 Walthers, a PPQ & a PPS. We've sold the PPS, had a P320 come and go and now have 6 pistols with the PPQ being the only polymer of the group. We've looked at other options and there are very few polymers that we want. Steel is just more fun to spend time on the range with for us.

Despite perseonal preferences, I think poly will remain the popular choice for majority of people. Poly has a siginificant weight advantage over steel and a weight and price advantage over the alloy framed options.
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Old August 16, 2017, 08:36 AM   #22
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Steel pistols never went away. Two big markets, pocket pistols and duty guns, have gone largely over to that ugly word for Dustin Hoffman's future. For me, that means there are lots of steel pocket pistols and duty guns on the used market. Don't see 1911s going away, and Colt just came out with a new Cobra that is getting good reviews. Ruger and S&W have a pretty good array of revolvers for sale. It's like everything, there is a lot more choice in materials today.
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Old August 16, 2017, 09:36 AM   #23
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Will muscle cars ever return? Why don't they make Pontiac 1969 GTO's that I lusted after when I was young?

If you differentiate between reasonable carry guns and fun guns, you know the answer? Yes, you can carry a big steel honker and drive a GTO to get a quart of milk.
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Old August 16, 2017, 09:49 AM   #24
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Will we ever see a resurgence in steel??

Doubt it, but in 30 or 40 years shooters who are young now will be waxing poetical about the good ol' days when "plastic was plastic, and not this new crap they've come out with."
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Old August 16, 2017, 10:50 AM   #25
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Guys just wait till we get startrek replicator technology then we can make what ever the hell we want.

Actually I kinda see 3d printing and table top CNC being like the proto replicator.
So who knows when 3d printing has advanced enough and gotten cheap enough in 5-10 we'll just be making our own guns from scratch.

(Ya Im aware people already do this but it's not mainstream or up to par yet)
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