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Thread: Polymer Pistols........how long ?

  1. #1
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    Default Polymer Pistols........how long ?

    My Colt Gov't 1911 ia 92 years old and my Colt Combat Commander is 35 years old and they both run like watches.......my question is, what could someone expect the longevity to be on the new polymer guns. I believe over a period of time plastics / polymers break down due to factors such as continued use of solvents, UV rays, chemicals found in powder residues, cracking, etc. Could someone expect to see the years of longevity from these new pistols like we have witnessed from the steel frames of yesteryear.........?

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    Default Re: Polymer Pistols........how long ?

    Quote Originally Posted by xXxplosive View Post
    My Colt Gov't 1911 ia 92 years old and my Colt Combat Commander is 35 years old and they both run like watches.......my question is, what could someone expect the longevity to be on the new polymer guns. I believe over a period of time plastics / polymers break down due to factors such as continued use of solvents, UV rays, chemicals found in powder residues, cracking, etc. Could someone expect to see the years of longevity from these new pistols like we have witnessed from the steel frames of yesteryear.........?
    First generation Glock pistols are pushing 30 years old. They seem to have done fine from what I hear. I guess the next 70 years will tell.
    Jules

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    Default Re: Polymer Pistols........how long ?

    I use polymer safe gun scrubber.

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    Default Re: Polymer Pistols........how long ?

    Quote Originally Posted by CHEMICAL View Post
    I use polymer safe gun scrubber.
    Wait, what?

    Everyone knows you don't have to clean a Glock!

    Now, my 1911's? They're spotless - almost to the point of sterilized.
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    Default Re: Polymer Pistols........how long ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skullz View Post
    Wait, what?

    Everyone knows you don't have to clean a Glock!

    Now, my 1911's? They're spotless - almost to the point of sterilized.
    All my guns are spotless...and I use it on the HK too.

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    Default Re: Polymer Pistols........how long ?

    I would imagine it will have to do more with the way it was used, cleaned and stored than what it is made of.
    The same holds true for metal guns.
    A steel framed 1911 that is fired in the rain or desert will be subject to water/sand that can affect the steel. Improper cleaning can lead to rust, corrosion and erosion or metals or all sorts. Storage would only further accelerate the process if put away while still dirty/wet, ect...

    The same pollutants would affect poly, but some like water may not be so bad on poly, but something like sand may be worse...

    As far as UV rays on a polymer gun, unless it is stored on a dashboard or a window sill in Florida or Texas, I don't figure that would really come into play. Most guns ride in a holster out of the light or in a drawer/safe. Even a gun carried by most police are not subject to direct sunlight all shift.
    Ozone possibly could start working on plastic I suppose, but look how long they say it takes for plastic shopping bags and pop bottles to degrade.

    There are still old phonographs and early plastics out there that are fully functional. Even old Bakelite is still found to be in excellent condition if it was stored properly.
    I would guess that the modern polymers should at least have the same life span and I would say we should be able to expect much more from them than their early ancestors.

    As for solvents, I have to think that most gun owners are field stripping their poly guns before cleaning the bores, ect... At least I do since I prefer to clean from the chamber.

    But now that my gunsmith has gotten an ultrasonic cleaning system, all of my guns have been going into that. 180 degree cleaning solution followed up with a 180 degree oil bath that is also ultrasonic.
    I just cleaned my HK a few weeks ago in it and before cleaning I was thinking of picking up a new set of nitesights, after cleaning it all of the invisible crud that must have been built up on the dots was gone and I swear they are like new.
    I'm taking my AR over in the next few days and dropping it in, plastic and all.

    To me it's a toss up, I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens to the ploy guns, but I honestly suspect that there won't be much to see.
    Not something that will be keeping me up at night, but an interesting thing to contemplate.

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    Default Re: Polymer Pistols........how long ?

    I can see no reason why polymer framed pistols wouldn't hold up for decades, assuming they are properly cared for and not abused--just like anything else.

    Look at vinyl record albums as an example. I have records in my collection that are well over 50 years old and they still function perfectly. Remember that for a vinyl record to play, it's surface is grooved with microscopic bumps that create sound. These must be in reasonable condition to continue operating as they were intended.

    Vinyl is a polymer material that is nowhere even remotely close to as durable as what pistols like Glocks or Springfield XD's are made from. The chemical composition is quite different, while still originating from the same idea. If the easily fragile surfaces of vinyl records can hold up for 50+ years, there is no reason to think that the super-durable polymers used to make pistol frames can't hold their own for easily as long.

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    Default Re: Polymer Pistols........how long ?

    Glock models are made form nylon 6 so look that up for longevity... if you recall, nylon was first made in the mid 1930s... and some of those parts are still around of course.

    check nylon on wikipedia for more info
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    Default Re: Polymer Pistols........how long ?

    glocks are made from ladies undergarments? do they come in an egg too?
    it's only metal, we can out think it....

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    Default Re: Polymer Pistols........how long ?

    Good one, Brian!

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