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  1. #1
    gmaske's Avatar
    gmaske is offline Senior Member
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    Question Am I full of it?

    This subject has been touched on lightly in another thread but I thought it would be an interesting topic.
    It seems to me that a lot of companies are going out of their way to make blocky looking, and in some cases, space pistols. There is so much wasted space in a lot of the new pistols and a lot of them do look like bricks with handles on them. With the CNC machining and molded high strength plastics you'd think the new breed of wonder weapons would be sleek and streamlined. I've been leisurely looking with interest at all of the pistols with a concealed carry weapon in mind. A good number of the guns billed as concealable are just flat poorly designed from a consealable point of view. Square and blocky instead of tapered and rounded. Lord the 1911 is sleeker than a lot of newer guns with a hell of a lot less wasted space and it's 100 years old! Same with the old Walther's and other such guns. These old standbys were conceived and built when EVERYTHING had to be done by hand on a machine. Maybe it's just current fashion and I'm just not "Hip"! Form follows function but it doesn't have to be ugly.

    What say you?

  2. #2
    Jackle1886's Avatar
    Jackle1886 is offline Junior Member
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    Agreed and I am "young" and try to be "hip." I'm all bout function, so thin is IN.

  3. #3
    submoa is offline Member
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    Hey, I'm bewildered that 3" subcompact pistols are routinely equipped with accessory rails.

    PS. weight manages recoil

  4. #4
    JeffWard's Avatar
    JeffWard is offline Senior Member
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    It's a lot of reverse-engineering... manufacturing simplification... and copycat marketing...

    Sexy curves and precision tolerances require hand work. Hand work is big bucks. Stamp out tons of low tolerance straight lines and machined-from-square-block pieces, and you keep the price down, and competitive.

    Taurus is the best example... Name one original Taurus design... They make low-buck clones of other companies R&D. It's hard to tell a clone, I mean Taurus, from the original at a distance.

    One school of thought says... Well if it functuions the same, and they can make it cheaper...

    I think companies like Magpul, Kel-Tec, and a few others are going to start pushing the design envelope soon. There is a shift going on, from big bore 45s, to 9mm, and now BACK to 45... But the CC guns are getting smaller... I think the design limits are getting pushed, hense the lack of reliable 3" 45ACP guns.

    My guess, and hope, is that the space-age materials, carbon fiber and previously un-weldable/extrudable alloys, like aluminum blends and titanium, are going to show up more. They're now making golf shafts out of scandium... (about $80-100 each) The cost comes down as the volume goes up. Ceramic-metalic alloys are within a few years... and the advances in chemistry and military research should push powders.

    The gun industry is very traditional... it's going to be a culture change. Hell, the most commonly sold design today is almost 100 years old, as 1911 clones rival Glocks...

    A carbon-fiber framed, titanium alloy, biometrically safetied, 20-round, skeletonized slide, laser targeted, big bore (44-45 Cal), with a electromagnetic pulse impelled smart-projectile? No case, no powder, no boom, no flash. We can start or stop a passenger train with magnets. Why not accelerate a bullet to 1000fps? It's 8-10 years away... Under $1000? That's the key.

    Jeff Ward

  5. #5
    Spartan's Avatar
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    Simple is cost effective. As menitoned, you want a lot of detail and complex surfaces, you're going to pay for all that extra and complex machining.

    I am not sure how much hand machining would be needed; end mills are very accurate and can often machine metal to the half of thousandth of an inch. The company designs parts with such tolerances. However, be prepared to pay a lot more money

  6. #6
    gmaske's Avatar
    gmaske is offline Senior Member
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    Good points. I don't think the industry is really using CNC to it's fullest potential. They have the ability of very fine tolarances piece to piece without a humans constant attention. They can be self zeroing and spit out perfect parts 24-7. There is no real reason that the marketed guns have to be sloppy in design or tolarence. My Ruger P345 could be lighter and sleeker and of better quality with just a bit of a price increase. The Para that I just bought is far and away a much better product and is produced on CNC machines. Fit and finish is better in every area. Ruger's investment casting is good if the quality is kept high but I don't think that's the case. It doesn't take a lot of engineering to round off or create ergonomic and estheticly preasing lines. To pare a pistol down to it's leanest and meanest self with sensable and apealing lines in the mix. The milling material is recyclable and instead of say 10 cuts you're looking at maybe 15 or so. I really feel it could be done better with, like I said, only a modest increase in actual cost.

  7. #7
    Revolver's Avatar
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    Take an old and tired system that has been used over and over again and wrap it in some slightly different-shaped plastic and it's "new" and "state-of-the-art". It's not just happening with pistols but also with rifles.

  8. #8
    skyfire is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffWard View Post
    My guess, and hope, is that the space-age materials, carbon fiber and previously un-weldable/extrudable alloys, like aluminum blends and titanium, are going to show up more. They're now making golf shafts out of scandium... (about $80-100 each) The cost comes down as the volume goes up. Ceramic-metalic alloys are within a few years... and the advances in chemistry and military research should push powders.

    The gun industry is very traditional... it's going to be a culture change. Hell, the most commonly sold design today is almost 100 years old, as 1911 clones rival Glocks...

    A carbon-fiber framed, titanium alloy, biometrically safetied, 20-round, skeletonized slide, laser targeted, big bore (44-45 Cal), with a electromagnetic pulse impelled smart-projectile? No case, no powder, no boom, no flash. We can start or stop a passenger train with magnets. Why not accelerate a bullet to 1000fps? It's 8-10 years away... Under $1000? That's the key.
    Jeff Ward
    you couldn't have a power source that would fit in the pistol that would have the power to launch a bullet with electromagnetic force AND keep enough charge to be lethal in a practical application, it's just no competition for gunpowder when you scale it down to pistol size. i mean gunpowder doesn't lose "power", you can pull out a 5 yr old cartridge, throw it in your gun, and fire it as if it were brand new. try a 5yr old battery in the "electromagnetic" gun and it's gonna shoot weaker than an airsoft gun.

    as far as a propellant, gunpowder works great, no reason to fix it if it's not broken, but I do think electromagnetic fireing pins would work great for high rounds per minute machine guns, but you still have the problem of power supply, and well, ya can't beat a spring system, it's cheap, simple, reliable, and most importantly, it works.

    as far as those alloys and carbon fiber you were mentioning, you could definitely make a pistol a good bit lighter than today's subcompacts, but the problem you get there is more recoil. spending tons of money for more recoil doesn't seem worth it when they work fine, but i'm sure everythign we've discussed has already been tried somewhere, hit up the patent office, it's amazing all the things that've been attempted and failed or never used

    im not saying those ideas won't work, they just wouldn't be practical, so aside from shape changes, i don't see handgun engineering changing too much in the next 100yrs.

  9. #9
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    I suspect the next step will be some kind of caseless ammo, especially if the heat issue can be resolved.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

    Donate to the Christian and Stephanie Nielson Recovery fund: http://www.nierecovery.com/.

    All opinions, particularly those involving politics and Glocks, are mine and not Galco's.

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