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Old 03-01-2013, 01:13 PM   #31
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what has changed from the wood spoke wheel to the aluminum wheel?

the design has changed, albeit slight.

wood wheel...you have several individual wooden dowels used as spokes. attached to a seperate hub, with some sort of rim attached to the dowels.

it's made up of several small parts attached together somehow.


aluminum wheels are put into a mold and cast as one solid continuous piece. Or, they are forged from one solid continuous piece, and then CNC machined to final size/shape.


so yes, the design LOOKS similar, but it is NOT exactly the same. That argument would only work if they whittled a wheel out of one solid cut from a tree instead of constructing it from several smaller separate pieces of wood

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Old 03-01-2013, 02:51 PM   #32
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GP, you have the poly lower and love it, well that's nice. But do you know for a fact that it will hold up like a milspec lower? If not I wouldn't be telling new people who're looking for advice that poly lowers are "as good as". We know 7075T6 works in AR receivers so I'd rather advise new folks of that fact and let the new materials sort themself out over time.

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Old 03-01-2013, 03:42 PM   #33
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Can't we all just get along? I personally just built my AR. I could have gone with a poly lower and it might have been fine. However after speaking with multiple gunsmiths, i was informed that the poly lowers just weren't as reliable as the aluminum ones. Does that mean one is better than the other? I think it's all personal preference.

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Old 03-01-2013, 05:06 PM   #34
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I just finished a build and I used for the first time a poly lower from FMK the fit is excellent I actually sanded it down and painted it and made it as smoothe as a baby's but you can't tell the difference between it and an aluminum by looking at it . Really impressed with the fit no gap or slack . I've put about a 100 rds thru it so far with no complaints yet . We will see after a thousand .

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Old 03-01-2013, 07:21 PM   #35
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Mine fits a little too snug on my stag upper. I gotta do a little sanding to make it fit right

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Old 03-02-2013, 12:04 AM   #36
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This proves only that you like to argue, but proves nothing about your knowledge of the subject at hand.
Actually, if you had any knowledge on the format, you cannot simply make up what you wish as you go. If you have no understanding of the topic, no matter how smart you sound you still loose. I said debater, not lawyer.

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When going from wood to steel, designers went from a marginally adequate material to one that was well suited for the task. Steel being stronger than wood allowed manufacturers to stamp out STRONGER wheels at a faster pace than a wooden wheel could be made. The spokes could actually be flat and still handle the forces, although a solid center disk to was faster produce and was the standard for many years. Next came aluminum. While aluminum is a weaker metal than steel, it is lighter. Its ability to be drawn more easily than steel made it very attractive as a replacement in applications where steel was too heavy or simply over engineered. Where a steel rim is somewhere around 1/8th of an inch thick an aluminum rim must be thicker (twice as much in some areas) to be as strong but is still lighter.
Wood was far from "marginally adequate," having been the standard until the late 1920's (which was the entire lifespan of the Model T) Calling what was available "marginally adequate" is like saying because they didn't use titanium drill bits in the 1930's the ones they used were substandard and anything they produced therefore must have been as well. It actually took longer to make a steel wheel than the wooden one, given the wonders of the assembly line production model Henry Ford had streamlined. Wooden wheels, when experiencing shrinkage, would simply be driven "through the creek" and the wood after getting wet would swell from the moisture and be good to go again.

I'm not sure I see what you are trying to get at saying the solid center disc was the standard for many years. All production wheels still have a solid center disc where it is bolted to the hub assembly. As a matter of a fact, I cannot ever recollect a wheel that mounted in any other way in production.

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Next came aluminum. While aluminum is a weaker metal than steel, it is lighter
That is a whole nother debate in and of itself, however your statement there is not really true. There are certain ALLOYS that are stronger than others in both those metals. If you wish to delve into that, I will be more than happy do such elsewhere. However, for the sake of length of post, I'll just say that the choice of steel or aluminum for a particular application requires engineering scrutiny beyond the misleading "aluminum is lighter" assumption. (This is because Aluminum is roughtly 1/3 the density)

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Its ability to be drawn more easily than steel made it very attractive as a replacement in applications where steel was too heavy or simply over engineered. Where a steel rim is somewhere around 1/8th of an inch thick an aluminum rim must be thicker (twice as much in some areas) to be as strong but is still lighter.
That is true. It does have a lower melting temperature, making it less difficult to work with. But again, you fall into the belief of the myth that Aluminum is lighter and weaker.....again, this is highly dependent on the alloy used. And aluminum has to be 3x as thick to create an equal level of stiffness.

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The hollow spokes that you refer to are actually "C" channels. Which gives the ,weaker aluminum, almost the same strength as if it were solid yet still saving weight. Notice if you will how "the engineered structure" of the spoke has changed yet it remains visually the same.
I know they are C channels. The weight saving from the machined backside is negligible at best. The truth behind those channels is they are cast wheels and it's cheaper to use less material. Those who really have a concern to that extent for saving weight and increasing performance use Carbon Fiber wheels (which is yet another whole other topic and the last time I was involved in a discussion about them, were some stupid ridiculous price like $5k each, granted that was many years ago) The engineered structure is the exact same in wood, aluminum, and mag spoke wheels like Daytons......a center mount with spokes extending to the outer edge to support the basic function.

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To summarize, when going from one material (WOOD) to one with superior strength (STEEL) things can be made thinner at the expense of it maybe being heavier. When going from strong heavy steel to lighter not quite as strong aluminum, things had to get thicker to make up for the weakness of aluminum.
We can agree that both steel and aluminum are stronger than wood, that's just a simple fact. However, steel is itself an alloy of iron and something like 15 other elements, including a small percentage of aluminum. Aluminum is itself an element, though extremely rarely found outside of oxidized form. When alloyed with other metals in the same ways that steel is created, it is possible to create a product that is in some cases as strong as certain steels. We can see this in 6061-T6 and 7075-T6 used quite frequently in the AR platform because these alloys perform nearly as well as structural steel.

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New Frontier made an almost exact copy of an AR 15 lower.
Now back to the topic at hand. Polymer. Now, we've all heard the argument for polymer and the Glock......and somehow it's always short changed because "Glock designed their handgun around polymer." While Glock may have, what about H&K S&W Springfield Jericho Ruger and Steyr? Can that many different designs have been engineered all the way around the issue of poly? No, and none of them have suffered from any polymer failures that everyone said they would, all the while becoming some of the most popular model handguns on the market. Just for ****z and giggles, I found an article for you from a couple years ago on the topic of these poly pistols:
http://www.handgunsmag.com/2010/09/24/featured_handguns_polysh_032707/ 4 poly frame guns were tested, and 1 all steel just for a comparison. After all the rounds for the test were expended, there was but 1 single failure the entire time......and it happened to the steel frame gun.

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Okay so next you will reference their torture test video where they put their lower in a press and compress it and they make a big deal about how their lower bounced back from x amount of deflection and that the aluminum lower did not. What they do not show is the force required to produce the deflection in the two test lowers. I GUARANTEE the force required to deflect the aluminum was greater than the force required to deflect the polymer. All they proved in that video is that their lower is flexible. Since when has physical flexibility been considered a good thing in a firearm?
Actually, I've said in other threads I give no merit to those tests. They aren't real world tests. I don't know anyone who goes out and throws their AR around in the desert for any reason....I found the tests they performed more of a detraction than anything. Besides some Hollywood scenario where all the folks fighting one another are in a factory which is mysteriously running without human intervention, and I've never seen a gun fall into a press. (and if it did I dam sure wouldn't pick it up and use it)

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So if we look at the wheel which you so often like to reference, if they took an aluminum rim and made a mold of it. Then without making any changes to the design they used it to injection mold a polymer exact copy of that rim. Would you be willing to put those rims on your car and let you wife drive that car with the kids in it across the country?
In order to answer that, you'd have to know that the aluminum wheel was XXX alloy, and assume in the same way the modern polymer was also created from materials that would make it stronger in the same way that was done to create the Aluminum wheel. The basic makeup of Carbon fiber is Carbon, the fine powder that when mixed together in the proper proportions of different elements creates a structure stronger than steel. If the situation was that polymer wheels were on the market, and in use by large numbers of people in the same way that polymer guns are on the market, then the answer would be yes I would. (by the way, an idea that has circulated with scientists for many years is a "space elevator" where a line is run from on the ground of earth to the space station or some sort of space "anchor." After multiple theoretical calculations, it was determined that Carbon Fiber would be the best option if this was ever attempted, given it's ultimate strength and light weight properties)

At the end of the day, no matter which way we argue this or what outcome we desire to see, polymer guns are here.....and here to stay. In the same way that the matchlock gave way to the wheellock, which bowed to the flint lock, which was left behind by the percussion cap, which was then followed by the cartridge, which will probably soon be surpassed by the cartridge free round (which technically already exists but has not yet become feasible for the mainstream) polymer guns arrived on scene and showed that they had what it takes to survive the abuse their owners can put them through. Dislike them if you wish, hate them if you like, but there is no reason to falsely tell others that they cannot do a job that they have successfully been doing for over 30 years in the hands of Police, Military, and Civilian users.
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:17 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Quentin View Post
GP, you have the poly lower and love it, well that's nice. But do you know for a fact that it will hold up like a milspec lower? If not I wouldn't be telling new people who're looking for advice that poly lowers are "as good as". We know 7075T6 works in AR receivers so I'd rather advise new folks of that fact and let the new materials sort themself out over time.
I'm not really arguing to that point Quen, I'm more looking to the point that he doesn't like it and judges it without ever having owned one and them ultimately dam's them in text to people looking for an option for their builds. I personally have yet to develop my personal opinion either way as to which is better. I've yet to have a failure with either type, nor have I seen in person a failure of either type. (I know you posted pictures, I took those into account....however I've seen aluminum fail to in very similar pictures) I read a large number of articles and posts that say they are trash, and rarely do I see any supporting evidence. I am a realist from every standpoint in life, and thus I require some form of tangible evidence before I will say something is a definite unworthy POS. Quite frankly, I have for a while been looking around waiting on a Spikes lower to have a reasonable price so that I can get my hands on one to build myself. In the meantime, as I have used the Poly, I have only found that I think the trigger is garbage, the lower itself has performed to expectations. So in all actuality, I'm neither arguing for or against either material, but the principle that one should have some experience with something that they find it necessary to slam at every turn.
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:20 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by 70cuda383 View Post
what has changed from the wood spoke wheel to the aluminum wheel?

the design has changed, albeit slight.

wood wheel...you have several individual wooden dowels used as spokes. attached to a seperate hub, with some sort of rim attached to the dowels.

it's made up of several small parts attached together somehow.


aluminum wheels are put into a mold and cast as one solid continuous piece. Or, they are forged from one solid continuous piece, and then CNC machined to final size/shape.


so yes, the design LOOKS similar, but it is NOT exactly the same. That argument would only work if they whittled a wheel out of one solid cut from a tree instead of constructing it from several smaller separate pieces of wood
The point is, the wheel is still round, it still has a design that didn't require any further design or engineering to recreate with the inclusion of new materials. They all still have a solid center with support to an outer mount that provides the ability to install and go. It wasn't a reinvention of the wheel, it was a simple change of manufacturing with the advancement of available technology.
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Old 03-02-2013, 02:24 PM   #39
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All this arguing about wheels is a waste of time since it doesn't prove that poly AR receivers are as good as aluminum alloy, a proven design for over 50 years.

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Old 03-03-2013, 04:16 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Quentin View Post
All this arguing about wheels is a waste of time since it doesn't prove that poly AR receivers are as good as aluminum alloy, a proven design for over 50 years.
You mean, your AR doesn't have 22's?
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