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Old January 27, 2020, 12:42 PM   #1
Recoil spring
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Aluminum in slides and frame rails with Rugers?

I recently bought a Ruger EC-9 compact pistol (9mm) and it has aluminum frame rails, this is not an issue with me as I am focused on concealed carry and want all unnecessary weight reduced, also I don't shoot my carry guns much anyways.

Was surprised to see that Ruger is also using aluminum on the frame rails for their Security 9 semi-auto and an aluminum slide on their small SR-22. Seems that the Sec. 9 and SR-22 would likely be shot a lot by many shooters, is aluminum that tough now compared to steel components?

When I first got into handguns in the 1970's it was well known that steel was better if you shoot a lot, but if carry was your thing, then aluminum was the way to go.
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Old January 27, 2020, 01:14 PM   #2
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The frame rails in the old metal frame Ruger P series guns were aluminum. I never heard of that being a problem.
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Old January 27, 2020, 01:28 PM   #3
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Aluminum will likely be an issue with the slide lock notch on the slide. This has been noted in a thread years ago.
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Old January 27, 2020, 01:31 PM   #4
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Al is an alloy. Alloys can be made very hard like the Al armour plate used in a lot of military vehicles(the LAV is one of those.). Or soft like an Al cooking pot.
It won't be just the rails that are Al either.
"...don't shoot my carry guns much anyways..." You should be practicing with it, using the ammo you use in it, regularly.
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Old January 27, 2020, 02:43 PM   #5
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The old P95 was plastic, molded in rails, no metal at all. Lots of guns including Beretta 92FS that have aluminum frames, shoot thousands and thousands of rounds in them. I don't know how well the aluminum slides will do.
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Old January 27, 2020, 04:22 PM   #6
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Wouldn't the aluminum slide in the .22LR be to lighten it enough to cycle with the light ammo?
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Old January 27, 2020, 06:35 PM   #7
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A steel or plastic frame will outlast aluminum. But you'll spend $6,000-$10,000 for the ammo to wear out an aluminum frame. If you can afford to shoot that much you can afford to replace the pistol.
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Old January 27, 2020, 09:53 PM   #8
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They use aluminum because it works.

Will it hold up to 10,000,000 rounds? No, but it will last plenty long enough, and Ruger will replace it for you when/if the rails do wear out.

The only reports of aluminum frame rails failing on Rugers were the old Gen 1 LCPs, which have been out of production since 2013 when Ruger introduced the Gen 2 models with better sights, lighter triggers, and by all accounts more durable frames. But like most things on the internet, reports of slide rails failing get perpetually repeated several years after the fact, and what's old is no again because somebody always knows somebody else who's father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate owned one and something went spectacularly wrong with it, regardless of whether or not the story can be verified or how long ago it allegedly occured.
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Old January 28, 2020, 09:15 AM   #9
Walt Sherrill
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 745SW
Aluminum will likely be an issue with the slide lock notch on the slide. This has been noted in a thread years ago.
The notch is in the steel slide.

I don't know of any center-fire semi-autos that use aluminum slides; there might be some out there, but using aluminum slides for anything but a .22 is certainly not a common practice.

I'm pretty sure that the slide stop/release is steel, too -- so it would be steel against steel, as with any other gun.

I've never heard of any of the alloy-framed guns (which includes many Berettas, SIGs, S&W, etc.) using steel rails.

As noted above, the P95 (and, I think, the P97) didn't use metal rails at all!

Last edited by Walt Sherrill; January 28, 2020 at 09:11 PM.
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Old January 28, 2020, 04:44 PM   #10
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The metal chassis inside the Ruger SR series plastic frame is stainless steel.
They can be bought now for prices that are the same or lower than the Security 9 series.
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Old January 28, 2020, 07:36 PM   #11
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Not interested in any aluminum frame/Chassis firearm. Especially from Ruger. I have my share of experiences with them. I will stick to steel. They do not make them any more like the SR9 or SR9C (other than the American and SR1911)

SR9C.

You be the judge.

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Old January 28, 2020, 09:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
The frame rails in the old metal frame Ruger P series guns were aluminum. I never heard of that being a problem.
The Ruger P95 didn't even use metal. The guides/rails are part of the polymer frame.

Quote:
SR9C.

You be the judge.
What's your point?
The post is non sequitur.
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Old January 29, 2020, 01:15 AM   #13
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Quote:
What's your point?
The post is non sequitur.
If I had to guess, I think his point had to do with highlighting how beefy the front rail/block is on the SR9c. It does seem a bit longer than the front rails on my early Gen 3 Glock frame.

I'm always surprised by how little most people shoot (as in rarely) whenever I meet a fellow pistol owner. People get busy. Most with the EC-9 and Security 9 will probably never wear out their pistol.

The rails don't get much of a direct impact as the backwards movement of the slide should be stopped by other means. So it would have to wear out mostly due to abrasion.

After dabbling in AR's, my mind asks: 6061 or 7075 aluminum?
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Old January 29, 2020, 02:06 AM   #14
Carl the Floor Walker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dyl View Post
If I had to guess, I think his point had to do with highlighting how beefy the front rail/block is on the SR9c. It does seem a bit longer than the front rails on my early Gen 3 Glock frame.

I'm always surprised by how little most people shoot (as in rarely) whenever I meet a fellow pistol owner. People get busy. Most with the EC-9 and Security 9 will probably never wear out their pistol.

The rails don't get much of a direct impact as the backwards movement of the slide should be stopped by other means. So it would have to wear out mostly due to abrasion.

After dabbling in AR's, my mind asks: 6061 or 7075 aluminum?
You hit it, that is the point.
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Old January 29, 2020, 02:35 AM   #15
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Yes, I thought the point would be obvious but you hit it. I do not think the average shooter makes it to the range very often. And I think Ruger knows this. Therefore why spend the money in a gun like the SR9C when you can make a cheaper gun for less money and sell it for the same price.
Which gun would you buy if you shot often? The SR9C or the SecurSity 9 for example. Even the little Kahr 380 has steel put into the grip at the stress points.

Regardless, if a person feels aluminum will be fine for them that is all that matters. I will choose steel. Nice to have choices.





Kahr


security 9 on left- SR9C Right


Last edited by Carl the Floor Walker; January 29, 2020 at 02:52 AM.
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Old January 29, 2020, 11:47 AM   #16
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Much ado about nothing.

If you wear out a "lowly" aluminum rail pistol by shooting it to death, good for you. The average gun enthusiast (not just gun owner, but the average gun nut that does make a point to shoot frequently) won't be able to in their lifetime, if the pistol is properly maintained.

Cherry-picking isolated incidents and presenting them as if common doesn't change anything, either. That's one internet habit that needs to die, but never will. If you take a look at the interwebs right now, for example, you'll find that EVERY Glock 44 in the world has a cracked slide and/or missing extractor, because they have fired out of battery. In reality, only two incidents have been well documented, and photos and videos from those incidents are being spread all over the place, misrepresented, presented as additional failures, and turned into a pandemic.


I've never seen aluminum guides/rails fail unless the pistol was poorly designed or used outside of its design intent. -- Like Ruger admitting that the LC and EC series were never meant to be weekend plinkers, but people try putting thousands of rounds through them anyway and throw a fit when something breaks.

There's also the issue of people running steady diets of +P and/or +P+ ammo through firearms not designed or rated for it. Want to ruin a gun quickly, whether aluminum or steel? Feed it a constant diet of ammunition that the manufacturer specifically warns against.


One and a half small data points from my own collection:
I have an aluminum frame pistol with a round count over 133,000. The aluminum is fine. But the steel parts are starting to fail. Ironic.
Its non-identical twin has about 80k rounds through it. It's doing just fine.
With what has been spent on ammunition for those pistols, they could have been replaced with new pistols 29 times. ...But they weren't, because the aluminum frames are doing just fine.


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Old January 30, 2020, 02:02 AM   #17
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by 745SW
Aluminum will likely be an issue with the slide lock notch on the slide. This has been noted in a thread years ago.
The notch is in the steel slide.
I believe the reference was intended to apply to the SR22 which has an aluminum slide. There have been some reference of the slide notches wearing in the SR22.
Quote:
As noted above, the P95 (and, I think, the P97) didn't use metal rails at all!
Yup, I had a friend who owned a range and when he started it, he bought a half dozen or so Ruger P95 pistols for range rentals. By the time he retired and closed the range, years later, he had sold all of them but one to people who rented them and wanted to buy them. He took the last one home to use as a home defense gun. It was still going strong.
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Old January 30, 2020, 06:38 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnKSa
I believe the reference was intended to apply to the SR22 which has an aluminum slide. There have been some reference of the slide notches wearing in the SR22.
Perhaps.

The response by 745SW was about an aluminum frame in the 9mm gun, and an aluminum slide in the .22 version. Because he didn't specify WHICH gun was the subject, I wrote the following in that same response:

Quote:
I don't know of any center-fire semi-autos that use aluminum slides; there might be some out there, but using aluminum slides for anything but a .22 is certainly not a common practice.
I have not heard of any slide notch issues with the SR22, so if that IS a problem it will interesting to know more.
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Old January 30, 2020, 07:42 PM   #19
Carl the Floor Walker
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Good point, I thing the thread got turned around from the 22.cal to the centerfire. Of which I was guilty. No I will agreee with Frank on the 22.cal on the aluminum slide being quite worthy, however I did have my SR22 returned twice for the same rail issue and finally replaced.

Last edited by Carl the Floor Walker; January 31, 2020 at 04:33 AM.
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Old January 31, 2020, 04:33 AM   #20
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This particular pic is not bad, but the first one was really coming apart and had to be replaced.

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Old January 31, 2020, 12:24 PM   #21
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I love it when folks start posting pictures of damaged firearms as if it means anything.

I once read an article online about squib loads in which multiple pictures of guns which had been either damaged or destroyed by squibs were showcased. Later that year, I happened upon a thread about how some firearm or another wasn't designed strong enough to hold up to a steady diet of hot loads in which one of the pictures I had seen in that article had been posted by the topic creator as "proof" of his assertions. I found the article, linked back to it, and confronted the topic creator about it, to which he had admitted to just using pictures he found using Google.

This is an extremely common issue here on the internet. People go on and on about how firearms they don't own have issued based on second-hand information, linking to pictures of other people's damaged firearms they found online as proof without actually knowing the content.

For example, I once saw a thread on the Ruger Pistol Forum regarding the use of Buffalo Bore .380 ACP +P out of an LCP in which somebody posted pictures of an LCP with cracked rails which he claimed were a result of shooting Buffalo Bore .380 ACP +P loads. Now I'm not entirely sure if they're the same, and I don't have the time to go searching the Ruger Pistol Forum for said thread to confirm it, but one of the pictures posted in this very thread showcasing an LCP with cracked rails looks like a picture from said thread.
For those who don't know, there's no such thing as an official SAAMI designation for .380 ACP +P loads, meaning Buffalo Bore and anyone else who claims to be selling ".380 ACP +P" ammo is selling unregulated overpressure loads.
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Old January 31, 2020, 04:53 PM   #22
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Cooked Photo's

Cooked Photo's: Thanks for pointing out pirated photo's. It brought to mind all the photo's of SIG's with wear of the aluminum frame rail anodizing. The pending doom of the handguns was a hot topic at one time. It was a cause of some concern. I let some SIG's handguns go then. That was a real error in judgement looking back on it. I do some better these days.
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Old January 31, 2020, 10:08 PM   #23
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Yet, some firearms are actually prone to cracks, split rails etc. Especially when you see many different pictures of a certain model. And then of course is you own experience. I try to stay away from any aluminum chassis firearm and will stick to steel. Yes, I do own a few that I do not shoot often but carry more. For instance, I train with a Ruger LCR9mm, but many times carry the 642 due to less weight. I will not own another LCP, I have much experience with them cracking. Just the way it is. Each to his own. And I have my own pics sent to ruger before sending the gun up for repair or replacement. Something I have always done with Rugers. Like this picture of my LCR9.


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Old February 1, 2020, 08:20 PM   #24
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So you're saying that those pictures of the cracked LCP you posted were of your own LCP?

Also, have you any experience with the Gen 2 LCPs or the LCP II cracking?
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Old February 2, 2020, 05:27 AM   #25
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I had many pictures over 10 years of my cracked LCP's. The top picture is not mine, but used it because it was more dramatic than the particular crack I had at the same location. The rest are mine and I have more. For instance, I had a crack all the way down the mag well. I had or may still have have some more pics of my rails splitting. The SR22 is my pic. That is the Pic of the second time it happened. Ruger replaced the gun after that. The first time I sent it in, it was really bad. Scratches all the way down the receiver. I owned the original LCP and sold it right after Ruger replaced it and own still own the Gen2's which has been replaced numerous times. I still have that gun, but retired it and shoot it on occasion with just a few rounds. I do not own or have owned a LCPll. I shot them, but determined right away that I did not want that trigger for a Pocket gun. Plus had no interest in owning another one since I had already moved on.

Do not know much about the LCPll anymore. Shot them when they first came out. Have not seen them in recent years. Perhaps they have changed them other than the new trigger and a raised sight.

Regardless of the LCP, sorry this thread got away from the SR22. I had some more problems with the gun years later, contacted Ruger. They told me since the gun was a older model I would have to pay to send it in and they would repair it and send it back for free. Or send me parts and I could replace them. I opted for the parts and so far the gun is running fine. (and great customer service). The LCR had the Problem reoccur. I sent it back in, and they completely took off the finish or replaced it with a new cylinder which does not have the matte finish, but a glossy finish like the SR22.

PS I never shot any ammo rated Plus P or hot load out of a Ruger LCP nor would I. I have never shot any Buffalo ammo out of any gun. However I would I would not hesitate to try it in other Pocket guns I own which the manufacturer states that it is Plus P rated. In fact I have shot plus P rated ammo out of them with no problems at all. Regardless of the fact that Sammi does not list the 380 is subject for a full debate of which there has been too many of already. Maybe Sammi should add them. Personally do not care one way or the other. And I do not reload 380 anyway. If I did reload 380 then yes, I would go by their standards.

This thread seem to have folks that believe the LCP will not split rails or have cracks. Ok, so then just buy one. If you believe that the pictures are lies then just disregard and buy one.

There is another forum that shows many cracks with a Smith 642. I saw the pics, did not want to go and debate if they were lies or reused pictures from other posters. I got it. Figured it out. Yet I still bought one. Why? because it is ligher than the LCR9mm which does not get cracks because of the upgraded steel frame. I use the LCR9mm for training and shooting very often with no fear of it failing. And yes I do carry that gun as well. I do not use the 642 to shoot often but actually carry more than the LCR9mm. Weight matters.


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