aluminum vs. stainless frames?

Discussion in '1911 Forum' started by Leatherneck1775, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. Leatherneck1775

    Leatherneck1775 New Member

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    I am making the up grade from my glock 22 to the 1911. about time I know.
    So I need the advice of people in the know. what are the pros and cons of aluminum frames against stainless steel. I have been looking at the
    Pro Carry HD II Kimber. I'm thinking this because of the stainless frame. I am only getting on shot at the gun I have dreamed of and have a limited budget. Any and all comments will help. Thanks guys.
     
  2. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    IMO, Aluminum frames should be carried a lot and shot a little, and stainless should be shot a lot and carried a lot.
     

  3. IGETEVEN

    IGETEVEN New Member

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    What he said. :cool:
     
  4. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    the lighter the gun the more felt recoil. true across all gun makes. weight can be a big factor for daily carry. soon as we get legal ccw in wi ill be using my new agent in 45acp. im not a kimber fan. external extractors are not on real 1911's. kimbers feel cheap to me not sure what metal they make them out of but they dont feel right.

    ccw aluminum
    full size steel
     
  5. Squirrel_Slayer

    Squirrel_Slayer New Member

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    Kimbers don't have external extractors. Well, the .22LR models do, but the rest have internal extractors. If they had external extractors, I wouldn't own one. The reason you may think they feel odd is probably because of the finish. Kimpro finish has a different feel to it.
     
  6. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    danf hit the nail on the head.

    I have both, carry the Defender and shoot the full-size steel guns.
     
  7. Squirrel_Slayer

    Squirrel_Slayer New Member

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    Hey Cane. I remember reading in a post some time back about Kimber using some "metal injected" parts I think it was. You'll have to firgive my memory if I'm off on the name. Something to the extent of the safeties being fragile? Can you ellaborate on that a bit?
     
  8. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    thanks must be confusing em with another brand i dont care for. that finish just doesnt feel right its weird to me.
     
  9. Squirrel_Slayer

    Squirrel_Slayer New Member

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    I think all of the Sigs have external extractors, so do Smith and Wessons.
     
  10. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    It's MIM, Metal Injection Molding. The process involves combining fine metal powders with plastic binders which allow the resulting metal powder and plastic mix to be injected as a liquid into a hollow mold using equipment similar to standard plastic injection molding machines.

    If you are shooting a current production (last 10 years) 1911 that you paid <$2K for, it more than likely has some MIM parts.

    But then if you are driving a car/truck built in the same time frame, it probably has MIM camshaft lobes.

    Colts have the least MIM, and Springfield's MIM parts hold up quite well. Kimbers are full of MIM and they seem to have the most complaints with parts breakage.
     
  11. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    I've got a Kimber Pro carry which has an aluminum frame. It was my first 1911 and I wanted to make it a carry gun. Now that I've had it for a little over a year and put well over 1000 rounds thru it, I know I need a steel gun to shoot. I'm going to continue to carry and shoot my kimber but a full sized steel gun would satisfy my range needs much better.

    I should mention that aluminum on aluminum doesn't wear any better. Aluminum is a great material but not the best wear metal. Steel on aluminum will actually wear better then aluminum on itself. Similar to stainless on stainless(unless it's a very mild stainless like those found in gun metals which is actually magnetic and will rust), it will gall and make a mess out of both surfaces.

    If you do end up going aluminum frame, a good lube will go a long way.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011
  12. Leatherneck1775

    Leatherneck1775 New Member

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    thanks everyone. I feel I made the right choice waiting for the gun I want.
     
  13. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    The classic Sig P series guns are steel slides on alloy frames. Many folks have many thousands of rounds thru them without problems. About the only disadvantage I see with an alloy frame is more recoil due to the lesser weight...
     
  14. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    For the most part you are correct, you aren't going to wear out an aluminum frame very easily. However, if I wanted a pistol for high round count and range use, I would want steel.
     
  15. parinoid54

    parinoid54 New Member

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    Well, I will no doubt catch hell over this, but consider the Smith & Wesson's with their scandium alloy frames. They are just as light as simple aluminum, but much stronger. Sadly, many curse the S&W's because of their external extractor, even though they are highly efficient; they require no retensioning/tuning of the extractor. I guess it is looks over what works best with the least amount of care.
     
  16. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    First, I need to state my public rant directed towards the S&W 1911 external extractor has nothing to do with its efficacy. The external extractor is a historically proven system that I trust my life to when carrying my Browning Hi-Power. Functionally there is nothing wrong with the S&W extraction system. It’s just ugly, plus it’s fun to stir up the S&W 1911 fan boys.

    My real dislike is the external extractor isn’t a JMB-original design in either the BHP or the 1911 pattern pistol. Don’t hate the hater. It is also a portal for the introduction of dirt to the unnecessary addition of moving parts. In the function of spent casing extraction, less is more and the genius of Mr. Browning is evident in his simple, one-piece extractor design.

    Now to your statement, "...they require no retensioning/tuning of the extractor." (sic) In my life long experience of shooting the original "true" JMB 1911 pattern pistol I have yet found the need to retention the extractor. I have found the tuning of the extractor to be a brilliant exercise in allowing you to drop your brass exactly where you want! Do that with your spring and moment arm.
     
  17. Leatherneck1775

    Leatherneck1775 New Member

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    well I have made the leap. I want to thank you all for the great advice. I have over shot my budget and bought a Kimber Super Carry Pro with the 4 inch barrel. I plan to carry this gun most of the time and hope to enjoy it on my range days as well. Ill post pics after I pick it up on Monday.
    Thanks again everyone. you were all most helpful.:D
     
  18. Leatherneck1775

    Leatherneck1775 New Member

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    Someone elses pic but it will show my new baby well.
     

    Attached Files:

  19. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    That my friend is one handsome Kimber!

    I found this article on the Super Carry Pro.

    KIMBER SUPER CARRY PRO .45 ACP

    This may be the first Kimber I'd be interested in.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2011
  20. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    That is a nice piece. I want to bob mine in the worst way.