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Thread: Polymer Frame: What does it mean?

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    Hauptmann's Avatar
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    Polymer Frame: What does it mean?

    I don't know much about polymer pistol frames (yet), but I do know a bit about polymers. When a manufacturer says "polymer frame", what do they mean? What polymer? Some are more suitable for this particular application than others. If the polymer is polyethylene or polypropylene), solvents can't do much to harm it. Want proof? Concentrated acids (H2SO4, etc.) are shipped in polyethylene bottles--just check at your local Ace Hardware store. These are low cost, light weight, high performance thermoplastics with a range of physical properties which can be altered to an amazing degree by the mixing in of additives (talc, glass beads, etc., which makes them tougher and further lowers the cost.) Probably the only reason we don't see polymer slides is that they don't take heat well (so far).

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    TomR is offline Junior Member
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    "Polymer Frame: What does it mean? "

    To me it means plastic gun. I do NOT do plastic guns!

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    pic is online now Senior Member HGF Gold Member
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    Polymer is a sufficient , lightweight material for its intended purpose.

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    GCBHM is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomR View Post
    "Polymer Frame: What does it mean? "

    To me it means plastic gun. I do NOT do plastic guns!
    Why not?

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    GCBHM is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hauptmann View Post
    I don't know much about polymer pistol frames (yet), but I do know a bit about polymers. When a manufacturer says "polymer frame", what do they mean? What polymer? Some are more suitable for this particular application than others. If the polymer is polyethylene or polypropylene), solvents can't do much to harm it. Want proof? Concentrated acids (H2SO4, etc.) are shipped in polyethylene bottles--just check at your local Ace Hardware store. These are low cost, light weight, high performance thermoplastics with a range of physical properties which can be altered to an amazing degree by the mixing in of additives (talc, glass beads, etc., which makes them tougher and further lowers the cost.) Probably the only reason we don't see polymer slides is that they don't take heat well (so far).
    I don't know about all that, but I do know that Glocks work, and that a whole host of major gun manufacturers now make and sell "plastic" guns bc they are safe, reliable and accurate firearms that are cheaper to produce and often out perform the more traditional "steel" guns some old timers swear are better. Goes back to an old quote I read from Mark Twain. "Ignorance ain't what you don't know, it's what you do know that ain't so."

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    I suspect that Glock uses a glass-filled polypropylene, but I don't know for sure. Hence the question--what DO they use?

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    Secret recipe.... like KFC.
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    I don't know for sure. But Bob Vogel sure makes it look good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TAPnRACK View Post
    Secret recipe.... like KFC.
    It's one of those things that any competitor can easily determine. Chances are they all use essentially the same formula. Hauptman, you'll have to ask someone who knows, eh?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GCBHM View Post
    Why not?
    Simply because the idea of holding a piece of plastic with a detonating explosive charge setting on top of it, isn't appealing to me and I think a stupid idea!

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    rustygun is offline Member HGF Gold Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomR View Post
    Simply because the idea of holding a piece of plastic with a detonating explosive charge setting on top of it, isn't appealing to me and I think a stupid idea!
    That is one of my favorite things to do. Plenty of people with thousands of rounds through their glocks without an issue including myself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomR View Post
    Simply because the idea of holding a piece of plastic with a detonating explosive charge setting on top of it, isn't appealing to me and I think a stupid idea!
    I could understand that thought process over 20 years ago when Glock first came on the scene, but I have fired literally THOUSANDS of rounds through these plastic guns, and I have never had one explode in my hand. I have read articles where stainless steel pistols have cracked under the pressure of the 10MM round, but the Glock plastic gun is still holding it together. Thousands of others have done the same, but don't take my word for it. Just ask the 65% of law enforcement that currently use a Glock. Of course, I really don't care one way or the other if you ever take to shooting the most reliable pistols on the market! To each his own, but you're missing out on some of the finest pistols on the market which are REALLY reliable and fun to shoot. It's just funny to see someone still holding on to that "I think plastic guns are stupid" line today. Clearly these guns work, and if it works, it isn't stupid. Which begs the question...what is stupid?

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    Read my statement that you quoted.

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    GCBHM is online now Senior Member
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    I did. So are you saying your statement is stupid?

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    Polymer framed pistols are just as safe as metal frames... i've never heard of anyone having an issue/problem with a frame simply because it was polymer (and not due to some other issue). I understand that some have not warmed up to the idea of polymer pistols... and may never. Some people still use a weaver stance and do the tea cup & saucer grip as well. To each their own I guess... some adapt and change as we make advances in training and construction materials and others stay stuck in a certain place in time... refusing to accept progress or new ideas.

    Don't get me wrong... more than half my guns are all metal (Sig/Beretta/CZ to name a few), but polymere is strong, light and durable.... they've been around long enough and used in the field long enough that that FACT is hard to dispute...it is not a passing fad.

    I love my Kahr CM9 and M&P Pro (polymer frames)... and rely on a Glock 22 to protect myself or others on duty. So far no issues since the mid 90's when most departments started utilizing em'.

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    GCBHM is online now Senior Member
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    Speaking of the Kahr, have you had any issues with it?

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    Nope... smoothest double action i've felt on a subcompact yet. It's more difficult to break down than a Sig, M&P or Glock... but it's not like I plan on field stripping it on the street in a hurry. Small, reliable and light... and 9mm... just what I want.

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    GCBHM is online now Senior Member
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    OK...I've been looking at them for a placement gun, per se...you know, have a weapon where you need it kind of thing. Tea pot, etc, but don't want junk.

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    Btw, polymer and plastic aren't the same material. Anyone who calls polymer frame guns "plastic" really do themselves an injustice.

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