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Polymer vs steel

1942 Views 15 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  kalboy26
Ok I was wondering what's the difference? Sorry for the stupid question bit new to guns.
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Ones plastic, ones metal?
So it's as simple as a trade off of weight for durability or is there something I'm missing?
What is your specific question? Some people like the plastic frame guns, others prefer steel. Plastic weighs less, I like steel. I've owned both and prefer the steel.
The plastic ones may be better in the long run. When they are deactivated by order of the President, you can still store yesterday's leftovers in them in the fridge.
the plastic ones may be better in the long run. When they are deactivated by order of the president, you can still store yesterday's leftovers in them in the fridge.
lol !!!!!
the plastic ones may be better in the long run. When they are deactivated by order of the president, you can still store yesterday's leftovers in them in the fridge.
Good one!!!!!

It's not only a means to reduce weight, but also a polymer frame drastically reduces the costs of manufacturing a gun. An all metal gun is more expensive not just because the material itself is more expensive but the machining/finishing process and all the overhead that comes with it adds to the final product price.
I may be a little old fashioned, but I like metal.

"let them try to pry this cold metal handgun out of my hands!" sounds better than "Yeah, it's plastic".
with plastic frame guns they only balance well with a full magazine. as the magazine empties they get really nose heavy lose balance and get more difficult to point quickly. all metal guns even aluminum frames lose very little in balance as the mag runs dry.
Just like has been said, polymer is going to weigh less and steel or aluminum will have the strength factor. What you need to ask yourself is what is the intended use of the firearms you want?
in terms of handguns, the polymer vs steel is a debate that will never go away, as both platforms have their pros and cons, and both have been proven as durable and reliable (what's more reliable, a glock or a 1911?), so in the end, it comes down to personal preference.

now when it comes to the polymer long guns like the AR-15 lowers that are out now, it's still a crap shoot. The original design of the AR was to be made of heat treated aluminum, and there are arguments that because it was designed to be built from aluminum, and that same design is now being made from the polymer material with different strength properties, that a Polymer AR is inferior to an aluminum one (much like if someone took the 1911 design and simply started molding the frames out of polymer)...these individuals do support the idea that a rifle receiver that was designed from day one to be built from polymer can be just as effective and reliable as a glock which was designed from day one to be polymer.

That said, I've seen the Youtube videos of torture tests, guys taking a polymer AR and doing stuff to it that I would NEVER do with my own weapons, and they never broke it, which would indicate that for the casual hobbyist shooter, a polymer AR will be just fine. However, I wouldn't take one into combat where there's always the possibility that your weapon ends up being used as a baseball bat, something that our soldiers in combat may face, but it's not something that you'll ever face when plinking out in your backyard.
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Their is no real advantage to either one over the other except personal taste.

Sixty percent of American law enforcement carry polymer Glocks. I do not know of a failure ever occurring because of the polymer.

My personal preference is the alloy frame, as used by SIG Saur.
Also lightweight.

Choose whatever fits your hand without regard to polymer/alloy/steel.

Any of them will last several life times.
Here's my take, for what it's worth...

For a CCW I prefer weight reduction. Now that doesn't exclude metal frame, there are plenty of alloy framed handguns out there that give you the rigidity of a metal with a much "better" weight for carrying. Personally I think you'd be hard pressed to find any facts or statistics that prove a steel frame will last so much longer than a polymer. Glock has been producing their plastic bricks for 30 years. Yes steel has been used in guns longer so it's easy to say you've got a 100 year old gun that still fires. Poly doesn't rust and takes abuse very well and that's all I need to find value in it.

For Home defense and plinking I want something large and heavy to absorb recoil and recover quickly.
I wouldn't take it into consideration when buying a gun, I would get what felt good in my hands. :) I think everyone else has covered the differences. I own both and am happy with both.
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