Aluminium frames [Archive] - Glock Talk

PDA

View Full Version : Aluminium frames


CA_DUDE
05-17-2010, 18:34
Hey all,
I'm hoping to get a little feed-back regarding Sig frames. I'm very close to pulling the trigger and getting a new P22R. I keep getting hung up on the aluminium frames though. I've been stigmatized over the horror stories I heard when I was younger about the aluminium frames on Commanders. I had gotten to the point where I figured that if militaries felt aluminium framed guns such as the Beretta and Sig were durable enough to field there shouldn't be a problem. I then made the mistake of coming across a post on Sigforum that had a guys CPO 226 with rails that split right off the top of the frame.

I keep reminding myself that there are always exceptions. Any gun regardless of manufacturer had the potential to fail catastrophically. I understand that a normal shooter such as myself may never come close to reaching the service life of a 226. But what keeps me hesitant is how frame wear has been explained to me. That is that a steel frame will wear and wear until it is just no longer usable, but an aluminium frame will wear to certain point but when it fails, it fails big.

I've pondered getting a stainless 226, in which case it wouldn't matter. I'm just not a stainless person I guess.

So I need input. I'm having a brain crisis over this. On the one hand I know they've only gotten their reputation as great guns because they've earned it, but I also have an ingrained fear of aluminium frames.

Help me!!!

Cobra64
05-17-2010, 22:36
Hey all,
I'm hoping to get a little feed-back regarding Sig frames. I'm very close to pulling the trigger and getting a new P22R. I keep getting hung up on the aluminium frames though. I've been stigmatized over the horror stories I heard when I was younger about the aluminium frames on Commanders. I had gotten to the point where I figured that if militaries felt aluminium framed guns such as the Beretta and Sig were durable enough to field there shouldn't be a problem. I then made the mistake of coming across a post on Sigforum that had a guys CPO 226 with rails that split right off the top of the frame.

I keep reminding myself that there are always exceptions. Any gun regardless of manufacturer had the potential to fail catastrophically. I understand that a normal shooter such as myself may never come close to reaching the service life of a 226. But what keeps me hesitant is how frame wear has been explained to me. That is that a steel frame will wear and wear until it is just no longer usable, but an aluminium frame will wear to certain point but when it fails, it fails big.

I've pondered getting a stainless 226, in which case it wouldn't matter. I'm just not a stainless person I guess.

So I need input. I'm having a brain crisis over this. On the one hand I know they've only gotten their reputation as great guns because they've earned it, but I also have an ingrained fear of aluminium frames.

Help me!!!

There are dozens of threads on this topic over on Sig Forum; one of which deals with anodizing being worn through and damage to the aluminum frame.

Personally, I prefer stainless steel for longevity and weight.


http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c2/Davis1950/Weapons/Sig%20Sauer%20Guns/Marks%20Sigs/P1000553-Rotated.jpg



P220ST
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c2/Davis1950/Weapons/Sig%20Sauer%20Guns/Marks%20Sigs/P220/P1000576.jpg



P226ST
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c2/Davis1950/Weapons/Sig%20Sauer%20Guns/Marks%20Sigs/P226/P1000564.jpg




Same P226ST with rails removed and finished in Superblack

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c2/Davis1950/Weapons/Sig%20Sauer%20Guns/Marks%20Sigs/P226/P1020528.jpg



P229ST
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c2/Davis1950/Weapons/Sig%20Sauer%20Guns/Marks%20Sigs/P229/P1010212.jpg


P232SL
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c2/Davis1950/Weapons/Sig%20Sauer%20Guns/Marks%20Sigs/P232/P1000590.jpg



.

Larry V
05-18-2010, 07:32
I have a 220 226 and 229 And have no problems at all , I love them!!!!

Warhorse
05-18-2010, 18:24
I have three Sig classics with aluminum frames. Just keep the rails greased, and your good to go.

backbore
05-19-2010, 05:27
No problems with the aluminum rails. Purchase with confidence.

Flipz
05-19-2010, 12:50
Plenty of guns today use aluminium frames. Even a lot of .45 1911's use aluminium. The strength and durability of todays aluminium is much better then it was 20, or even 10 years ago. Buy with confidence. I love my Sigs.

Keep in mind that even steel frames have their problems also. Without proper lubrication steel frames can be more prone to gauling then aluminium frames.

Whichever one you choose just use common sense. Proper cleaning and lubrication is all that is needed to ensure a long life for your pistol.

bac1023
05-20-2010, 15:25
I own a P220 with an aluminum frame, but I much prefer all steel.

CA_DUDE
05-20-2010, 15:32
I guess it's a mental hang up. I know they are in widespread use, and they must be durable because lots of military and LE agencies use them. And the funny thing is I really want one. I'm just concerned that if I get one I'll have that feeling in the back of my mind that it's somehow "handicapped" because it is aluminium framed. It's absurd I know, but I tend to obsess especially when it comes to guns. What's even more absurd is that I keep feeling like there is someway I can convince myself it'll be ok. Do I have a problem? :therapy:

stopatrain
05-20-2010, 15:43
Aluminum frame is ok up to 9mm, but steel is better after that. IMO.

Flipz
05-21-2010, 09:17
I guess it's a mental hang up. I know they are in widespread use, and they must be durable because lots of military and LE agencies use them. And the funny thing is I really want one. I'm just concerned that if I get one I'll have that feeling in the back of my mind that it's somehow "handicapped" because it is aluminium framed. It's absurd I know, but I tend to obsess especially when it comes to guns. What's even more absurd is that I keep feeling like there is someway I can convince myself it'll be ok. Do I have a problem? :therapy:
Dont forget that Glocks, XD's, HK's, and many others use a Polymer frame. And they are some of the most reliable handguns out there. Just because something isnt made of Steel doesnt mean its handycapped. There will always be people who say "Its steel or nothing for me". To me those people are just missing out on some amazing firearms.

Also remember that when youre taking a vacation and youre on the flight to your destination, your flying in a plane mainly made up of aluminium. If you trust it with your life while youre at 30,000 feet, why not trust it while youre on solid ground. Just a thought.

All Sig P226's, made of Aluminium or Steel, are fantastic guns. Buy with confidence. Sig stands behind their product 100% with a lifetime warranty to the original owner.

Flipz
05-21-2010, 09:19
Aluminum frame is ok up to 9mm, but steel is better after that. IMO.
Thats one of the most untrue statements Ive ever read. I know its your opinion but I think its wrong, thats my opinion.

CA_DUDE
05-21-2010, 10:33
Dont forget that Glocks, XD's, HK's, and many others use a Polymer frame. And they are some of the most reliable handguns out there. Just because something isnt made of Steel doesnt mean its handycapped. There will always be people who say "Its steel or nothing for me". To me those people are just missing out on some amazing firearms.

Also remember that when youre taking a vacation and youre on the flight to your destination, your flying in a plane mainly made up of aluminium. If you trust it with your life while youre at 30,000 feet, why not trust it while youre on solid ground. Just a thought.

All Sig P226's, made of Aluminium or Steel, are fantastic guns. Buy with confidence. Sig stands behind their product 100% with a lifetime warranty to the original owner.

It's the fact that aluminium is a fairly soft metal. The anodizing does harden it but the hardness is pretty much just on the surface. So when the anodizing is worn through it goes to hell relatively fast. Aluminum is a great material, but it's frictional wear property isn't even close to steel. And as far as polymer goes, the rails are still made of steel, so you have steel sliding against steel. I have no problem with polymer frames. If the aluminium framed guns had steel rails, I'd do it in a second.

Cobra64
05-21-2010, 17:33
Thats one of the most untrue statements Ive ever read. I know its your opinion but I think its wrong, thats my opinion.

Along with the aircraft analogy...

babarracing
05-21-2010, 19:25
:wow: Sig Nitron coating is not just old fashioned anodizing. Gun Comes with small tube of miltec not the grease. use it first 2, 3 times and your good to go. My Sig P220C3 has never had a failure of any kind. Dirty as H#@& or not. The only reason to buy all SSTL gun is for extra weight and better second shot follow up. I Bearcoated my SSTL SIG GSR Compact's Frame only and will never need to Lube again. My BUG is my P220C3 and my Primary weapon is my Sig GSR Compact al SSTL. Reason; I can't reach the P220C3 in DA good enough to assure a win with first shot. Ideal would be to have a bug with same magazines but they SIG don't make an aluminum frame compact 1911 that I am aware of. But as caution my 1911 chamber was a min spec match chamber (O.E.M.) and would fail to go into full battery with out of spec too big reloads. So I had Bearcoat ream chamber to combat specs like my P220 chamber which is 0.0025 bigger, Now I trust it no matter how dirty chamber is and how oversize cartridge dimension is.

Cobra64
05-21-2010, 21:27
:wow: Sig Nitron coating is not just old fashioned anodizing. Gun Comes with small tube of miltec not the grease. use it first 2, 3 times and your good to go. My Sig P220C3 has never had a failure of any kind. Dirty as H#@& or not. The only reason to buy all SSTL gun is for extra weight and better second shot follow up. I Bearcoated my SSTL SIG GSR Compact's Frame only and will never need to Lube again. My BUG is my P220C3 and my Primary weapon is my Sig GSR Compact al SSTL. Reason; I can't reach the P220C3 in DA good enough to assure a win with first shot. Ideal would be to have a bug with same magazines but they SIG don't make an aluminum frame compact 1911 that I am aware of. But as caution my 1911 chamber was a min spec match chamber (O.E.M.) and would fail to go into full battery with out of spec too big reloads. So I had Bearcoat ream chamber to combat specs like my P220 chamber which is 0.0025 bigger, Now I trust it no matter how dirty chamber is and how oversize cartridge dimension is.

You may want to do a little more research. :)

Flipz
05-21-2010, 22:20
Along with the aircraft analogy...

Ever heard of the phrase "aircraft grade aluminum"? If passenger planes were made mainly out of steel they would barely get off the ground and their fuel consumption would be astronomical. Its a fact that passenger planes have more aluminum in them then steel. The entire skin of most passenger planes is made of aluminum. Heck, theres more composite material in passenger planes these days then steel. I think youre the one that needs to do more research.

Cobra64
05-22-2010, 00:02
Ever heard of the phrase "aircraft grade aluminum"? If passenger planes were made mainly out of steel they would barely get off the ground and their fuel consumption would be astronomical. Its a fact that passenger planes have more aluminum in them then steel. The entire skin of most passenger planes is made of aluminum. Heck, theres more composite material in passenger planes these days then steel. I think youre the one that needs to do more research.

Actually, I was in the metals industry for 25 years.

Taking your sophomoric reasoning a step further, why not advocate aluminum barrels?

By the way, my P239 has an aluminum frame, the annodizing is wearing through to the base aluminum material.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c2/Davis1950/Weapons/Sig%20Sauer%20Guns/Marks%20Sigs/P239/P1000581.jpg



http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c2/Davis1950/Weapons/Sig%20Sauer%20Guns/Marks%20Sigs/P239/P1000586.jpg




These Sig 10mm P220s are built on the P220ST base.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c2/Davis1950/Weapons/Sig%20Sauer%20Guns/GRAYGUNSP22010MMCONVERSION.jpg



Furthermore, as I suggested in a previous thread, do your homework on Sig Forum.

Flipz
05-23-2010, 00:42
Actually, I was in the metals industry for 25 years.

Taking your sophomoric reasoning a step further, why not advocate aluminum barrels?

By the way, my P239 has an aluminum frame, the annodizing is wearing through to the base aluminum material.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c2/Davis1950/Weapons/Sig%20Sauer%20Guns/Marks%20Sigs/P239/P1000581.jpg



http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c2/Davis1950/Weapons/Sig%20Sauer%20Guns/Marks%20Sigs/P239/P1000586.jpg




These Sig 10mm P220s are built on the P220ST base.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c2/Davis1950/Weapons/Sig%20Sauer%20Guns/GRAYGUNSP22010MMCONVERSION.jpg



Furthermore, as I suggested in a previous thread, do your homework on Sig Forum.

Youre being unreasonable. And calling people names is pretty juvenile. Who would ever advocate for aluminum barrels, not me. I would never say or suggest something like that. Way to twist words there buddy.

And the anodizing wearing off your frame has absolutely nothing to do with the type of metal your frame is made of. Anodizing eventually starts wearing off. It has nothing to do with the material that the anodizing covers. If you were in metals for 25 years you would know that.

I guess all the gun manufacturers that use aluminum frames must be idiots. Maybe you could offer them your expertise. I mean, you were in metals for 25 years. You MUST know more than they do. :whistling:

cyberiad
05-23-2010, 08:26
I guess it's a mental hang up. I know they are in widespread use, and they must be durable because lots of military and LE agencies use them. And the funny thing is I really want one. I'm just concerned that if I get one I'll have that feeling in the back of my mind that it's somehow "handicapped" because it is aluminium framed. It's absurd I know, but I tend to obsess especially when it comes to guns. What's even more absurd is that I keep feeling like there is someway I can convince myself it'll be ok. Do I have a problem? :therapy:

Yes. If you're agonizing over it this much then even if you do buy a Sig you might not shoot it that much and what's the point in having a museum piece? You may as well get something else. Pistols are made to be used. Hell, the 'rear rails' on my XDM are polymer and I don't give it a second thought, I just shoot it.

Some people seem to be under the impression (not necessarily you) that if you can see a bit of silver under the anodizing the frame is ruined which of course is ridiculous.

I "obsess" and have a bit of OCD when it comes to some things but I buy pistols to shoot them and they get scratched and wear, I don't clean them as often as I should, and I think they look better with use.

Not to sound harsh, but the "analysis paralysis" isn't worth it. It's just a handgun.

CA_DUDE
05-23-2010, 08:54
Yes. If you're agonizing over it this much then even if you do buy a Sig you might not shoot it that much and what's the point in having a museum piece? You may as well get something else. Pistols are made to be used. Hell, the 'rear rails' on my XDM are polymer and I don't give it a second thought, I just shoot it.

Some people seem to be under the impression (not necessarily you) that if you can see a bit of silver under the anodizing the frame is ruined which of course is ridiculous.

I "obsess" and have a bit of OCD when it comes to some things but I buy pistols to shoot them and they get scratched and wear, I don't clean them as often as I should, and I think they look better with use.

Not to sound harsh, but the "analysis paralysis" isn't worth it. It's just a handgun.

I do see what your saying. Honestly the wear doesn't bother me. I'm like you I like guns that look used. It's just worrying if a frame or locking block will fail.

OXCOPS
05-23-2010, 11:59
An aluminum framed Sig will outshoot 99.9% of the people shooting them.

Cobra64
05-23-2010, 14:05
Yes. If you're agonizing over it this much then even if you do buy a Sig you might not shoot it that much and what's the point in having a museum piece? You may as well get something else. Pistols are made to be used. Hell, the 'rear rails' on my XDM are polymer and I don't give it a second thought, I just shoot it.

Some people seem to be under the impression (not necessarily you) that if you can see a bit of silver under the anodizing the frame is ruined which of course is ridiculous.

I "obsess" and have a bit of OCD when it comes to some things but I buy pistols to shoot them and they get scratched and wear, I don't clean them as often as I should, and I think they look better with use.

Not to sound harsh, but the "analysis paralysis" isn't worth it. It's just a handgun.
Joe, you're right of course. However, I'm sure you are aware that Scott's background comes from aerospace engineering and EDM with high tech alloys such as Hastelloy, Inconel and titanium. The article he posted last year was a big wake up call for Sigsters. http://sigforum.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/430601935/m/3951014551/p/1

And his lubrication recommendation post after having "worked on a couple thousand Sig pistols in the last 5 years"... http://sigforum.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/430601935/m/908103701/p/1

Perhaps none of us should pay attention to his comments. Regardless, when I posted my seven year old 226ST (you saw this in Boone back in the summer of '07) that Bruce converted to an SL, I mentioned that he said it could not have been done with an aluminum frame due to heat and annodizing issues involved. Furthermore, there appear to be ongoing concerns about re-annodizing in general. For a while, even Sig would not offer re-annodizing services. I'm not sure what their current policy is.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c2/Davis1950/Weapons/Sig%20Sauer%20Guns/Marks%20Sigs/P226/P1000564.jpg


http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c2/Davis1950/Weapons/Sig%20Sauer%20Guns/Marks%20Sigs/P226/P1020528.jpg


http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c2/Davis1950/Weapons/Sig%20Sauer%20Guns/Marks%20Sigs/P226/P1020549.jpg


http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c2/Davis1950/Weapons/Sig%20Sauer%20Guns/Marks%20Sigs/P226/P1020550.jpg

Finished in Superblack to cover up the shock lines.)




Personally, I don't care what others buy, but I listen and pay attention to the knowledge and experience shared by pistolsmiths and metallurgical engineers.

Finally, it's interesting that one poster here didn't even own a pistol until last Fall, and yet seems to be a handgun materials expert. :)

babarracing
05-24-2010, 16:44
:wow: Cobra Baby. If your sigs are so "FUBAR" how comes yer pictures of 'em are so pretty? Why don't you post a picture of one of your worn frames sans slide. And teach us all. Have owned SIG's since 1985 and perhaps I'm just lucky in addition to being D#% Good. But I would trust my life and do to any of them!

Longmont Guy

Flipz
05-25-2010, 11:32
You are correct, I did not own my first pistol until last fall. Why? Because I lived in DC for 10 years. Handguns were illegal to own in DC until recently. And even now, they are very hard to obtain there. I will not go into that as it is slightly complicated.

However, I have owned rifles for a very long time and have shot handguns since I was 12. My experience in gun ownership/marksmanship is most likely just as long as yours.

I no longer live in DC and own a variety of different weapons. I have nothing to prove to you or anyone else. I know what I know and I dont need someone on the internet to validate it when they have no idea of my backround.

Its always funny to see people who think they know more than the gun manufacturer does. If Sig or any of the many other manufacturers had any concerns in regards to using aluminum frames for the pistols they would not use them. They have done much more testing then anyone else ever could.

The saying "leave it to the professionals" fits in nicely here. I suggest we all do that. In this case Sig Sauer is the professional. They know more about their product then anyone else. Leave it to them. They obviously trust the materials they use. They give a lifetime warranty to the origial owner of any of their firearms. They do this for a reason. They trust their product and will stand behind it 100%.

CA_DUDE
05-25-2010, 12:26
I'm not doubting that they're hi quality, reliable arms. I'm just looking for opinions on the material used. It is a fact that different materials will have many different strength and wear characteristics. Every material is a tradeoff of these characteristics. Steel has been a standard gun material for a long time, but obviously weight can be an issue. Aluminium is a lighter material, and can be surface hardened with anodizing, has a higher likelyhood of failing if the anodizing wears through. It's simply a known limitation of the material. Weight isn't an issue for me but reliability and length of service are. As stated I know alot of the stigma against aluminium comes from the first Commanders. The old wisdom used to be carry often but shoot rarely. I know materials and engineering have improved alot over sixty years. Like I said I really think SIGs are great guns, I just wanted to make sure if it's conducive to lots and lots of shooting. Knowing there is a warranty is comforting in the event of a frame issue.

LEAD
05-25-2010, 12:57
Any downside to steel other than weight?

CA_DUDE
05-25-2010, 13:42
Any downside to steel other than weight?

Sure depending on the steel:galling, corrosion, too brittle, too soft. No material is perfect. I'm sure there are more.

LEAD
05-25-2010, 14:35
I don't know if this is what you're referring to or if you're talking steel in general, but I mean the downside to steel framed sigs, other than weight.

CA_DUDE
05-25-2010, 14:45
I don't know if this is what you're referring to or if you're talking steel in general, but I mean the downside to steel framed sigs, other than weight.

They only come in stainless, so I guess if you don't want a silver gun you then have to have a finish applied.

Cobra64
05-26-2010, 18:09
Sure depending on the steel:galling, corrosion, too brittle, too soft. No material is perfect. I'm sure there are more.

This old "FUBAR" 226ST with 20k on the meter must be defective....


http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c2/Davis1950/Weapons/Sig%20Sauer%20Guns/Marks%20Sigs/P226/P1010410.jpg


http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c2/Davis1950/Weapons/Sig%20Sauer%20Guns/Marks%20Sigs/P226/P1010404.jpg



http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c2/Davis1950/Weapons/Sig%20Sauer%20Guns/Marks%20Sigs/P226/P1010590.jpg








... that's why I have a spare.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c2/Davis1950/Happy%20Faces/3dsmiley2.gif

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c2/Davis1950/Weapons/Sig%20Sauer%20Guns/Marks%20Sigs/P226/P1010151.jpg




.

CA_DUDE
05-26-2010, 18:19
This old "FUBAR" 226ST with 20k on the meter must be defective....

... that's why I have a spare.



Yeah that is dangerously worn, you should send it to me to be disposed of! :wavey: I was just illustrating that no material is "perfect", but there are ways to make it work. I'm sure aluminium frames have improved greatly through engineering and treatment since the first Commanders. Just like it took a short while to figure out different stainless alloys were needed to prevent galling.

Cobra64
05-26-2010, 18:49
Yeah that is dangerously worn, you should send it to me to be disposed of! :wavey: I was just illustrating that no material is "perfect", but there are ways to make it work. I'm sure aluminium frames have improved greatly through engineering and treatment since the first Commanders. Just like it took a short while to figure out different stainless alloys were needed to prevent galling.

Sig figured out the stainless galling issue about 10 years ago by using slightly dissimilar stainless alloys.

Also, the reason why Sig does not feature the ST on their web site is because they get more money for the bling Elite STs. However, the last time I checked, the ST is still on the CA DOJ's approved roster, it is still in production for the CA market (CHP) whereas the the Elites are not.

I'll most likely sell the new, unfired spare ST and get the German production X-SIX that has a longer sight radius and weighs in at ~46 ounces. :supergrin:

http://sigsauer.com/upFiles/catalog/product/P226-X-6-detail-L.jpg


.

babarracing
05-27-2010, 20:29
:supergrin: Kudos to you Cobra for posting your worn SIG frame photo's! I still can't see the wear. But maybe it's my old Compac from '85. That's taking the Schiltz taste challenge test.
Really Cranky old Guy from Longmont