Are Steel/Alloy 1911's less Durable... [Archive] - Glock Talk

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deeHKman
11-10-2010, 19:19
I want get into much detail. My neck and lower back have several Bad Discs. I would like to know are the all steel 1911's more durable or just better than the Steel Uppers and Alloy bottoms. I need the lower weight due to my disc.
Now CZ's alloy and steel guns are as strong as any on the planet. I want a small carry 1911 and a full size 1911 for the range. See Glocks i shoot actually very well(alot of dry firing +shooting) has greatly decreased my groups. But i've sold most of my all steel guns because of this.

To compensate i need some good ideas from whatever you guys think. Some Manufactures would be nice i could look up the specs. on them. All i see local are Kimber's which i want other avenues to explore. Thanks all for any help.

At one time in my life i would have chopped my leg off before i bought anything other than an all steel gun. But life and situations in life change. I bought a Glock 34 yesterday now it feels much better than any of my other Glocks.
I'm having my Armorer build me some Custom guns also.

bac1023
11-10-2010, 19:51
I would say yes, but aluminum alloy framed 1911s have improved over time.

Steel is still stronger though.

CAcop
11-10-2010, 19:55
Probably in theory yes aluminum frame guns are weaker. In practice unless you shoot a lot or are hard on your guns you will probably never know.

I have a nice little aluminum frame 1911 that I carry nearly every day. I only shoot it a couple of times a year. When it was new I put a thousand or so rounds through it to make sure it worked right. I also have steel guns for the range or duty use when I plan on running them harder.

deeHKman
11-10-2010, 20:26
I'm really intrigued by the NightHawks, Browns and Wilson's at the moment.
All i seem to find at local shops are Kimber's, a few Smith's and Springfields.
i might drive to a larger city just to check out there.

I hear Kimber's are a little off quality wise at the moment.I would like to know the truth so i could look into some of those. Thanks bac and other's replies.

Oh the Dan Wesson's have my attention. I think their all steel but i can look at the weights. I know Columbia has some big gunshops i have a meeting with my someone there thats a oppurtunity there.

I would love to have a look into my shop owner's vault. He passed some years ago but when alive he would let me go in his vault wow i have never seen so many guns brand new in boxes many from the 50's and 60's and probably much earlier.
His wife still runs the feed and seed shop with her daughter. They will not let no one in there even tho they have known me for many years. Once his wife passes i'm sure there will be a massive Estate sale in this little town. I might go before her never know. But she has to be in her late 90's.

knedrgr
11-10-2010, 20:41
I carry a Springfield Ultra Compact and it does get a bit heavy at times. But a nice pistol belt and quality holster will help to distribute the weight.

Here's my DW CCO that has an alloy frame. I'm still amaze how light it is, fully loaded, even when compared against my Ultra Compact.

http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e121/fourstardrift/Guns%20stuff/DW_CCO_1.jpg

knedrgr
11-10-2010, 20:45
Just to name a few:
Nighthawk has few alloy 1911's. Springfield EMP 9mm is a small, alloy frame, officer. They also have a few alloy 45's as well. Ed Brown is finally putting out an alloy 1911. The Wilson Ultralight Carry has an alloy frame.

sns3guppy
11-10-2010, 21:19
While aluminum is lighter, not as hard, and wears more than steel, one would be misplaced to suggest it's not as good or as "strong." It has superior properties in some cases and in some applications, weight not being the least of them. 7075-T6 aluminum is comparable, even superior in tensile strength, to some steel alloys. This alloy is used in some weapon frames, including the AR series of rifles.

Numerous handguns use aluminum frames, notably production models such as Berettas and Sigs. Frame failures do occur, but are few, and far between. Simply because a handgun is lighter, doesn't mean it's not strong enough. Certainly polymer frames aren't as "strong," but are considerably more resiliant, and tend to hold up very well. In most cases, while steel is reassuring, it may be "overbuilding," and redundant.

I like steel pistols. I shot revolvers before autos, and most revolvers I grew up shooting were steel framed. Never the less, I own a number of alloy and polymer handguns, with which I'm very pleased. Like another poster above, I own a Dan Wesson CCO. It's a very light, very comfortable pistol to wear, and it's well made. I've owned other lightweight 1911's, and have never had a frame issue with the aluminum alloys.

cole
11-10-2010, 22:43
For a shooter, I'd choose a steel frame. If the barrel is ramped, I worry less. But, I prefer the traditional barrel ramp, so, again, steel for a shooter. For carry, with limited range time, aluminum no doubt. That's not me, so all my 1911s have been steel. The Kimber CDP would be near/at the top of my carry-only 1911 list.

bac1023
11-10-2010, 22:52
For a shooter, I'd choose a steel frame. If the barrel is ramped, I worry less. But, I prefer the traditional barrel ramp, so, again, steel for a shooter. For carry, with limited range time, aluminum no doubt. That's not me, so all my 1911s have been steel. The Kimber CDP would be near/at the top of my carry-only 1911 list.

Yeah, that's the one I carry.

Hokie1911
11-10-2010, 23:05
Yeah, that's the one I carry.

Still not carrying the EGW?

deeHKman
11-10-2010, 23:13
Yeah, that's the one I carry.

I just looked at that exact gun on Buds web and thought it would be a excellent carry,now i see some 1911's guys whom carry it so this will be my next purchase. I am probably going with a Dan Wesson for the full size range fun. Thanks guys you helped me alot, the price was just over a $1000 seems a good price. I'll check with my friend where i found the OD34 yesterday. He had a case full of Kimbers.:thumbsup:

Bob45acp
11-10-2010, 23:32
I've wondered the same thing. Anyone own a Colt Wiley Clapp Commander? I'm considering buying one.

ArmoryDoc
11-10-2010, 23:33
Let me approach your question from the other end of the spectrum. All steel guns are more durable. You have to put them into perspective though and ask yourself "how much more ?" Can you wear out an aluminum framed 1911, say a Colt or Dan Wesson ? Probably. But I would bet the cost for ammo would be crazy.

I own steel framed 1911's but I also own three aluminum framed 1911's and I wouldn't trade them.
http://www.kscch.com/Colt_LW_Officers_Enhanced.jpg
http://www.kscch.com/DW1.jpg
http://www.kscch.com/KimberPro.jpg

Quack
11-11-2010, 05:37
IIRC, 50k is the round count i've read for some mfg's alloy frame lasting.
you should also to into account the mfg's warranty, such as Wilson and Springfield in the event you should ever have a problem with the alloy framed gun. Brown has their alloy Kobra Carry and they have some available for shipping. It is also suspected the DW will have a .45ACP Guardian coming out in 2011.

2 of my 3 carry guns are alloy.

http://photosbydon.smugmug.com/photos/1009301811_fyEgU-L.jpg

http://photosbydon.smugmug.com/photos/1004748393_vcNh2-L-2.jpg

and my 3rd carry is stainless steel.
http://photosbydon.smugmug.com/photos/1004742889_CeZRP-L-1.jpg

PlasticGuy
11-11-2010, 11:51
I only own one alloy framed 1911, and I chose the S&W PD series for mine. In all other aluminum alloy 1911's, the frame is anodized. That surface hardens it, but as soon as that thin outer surface is worn down you get to the much softer inner material and it will begin to wear much faster. People notice this first on the feed ramp, and later on the other wear areas. That's not to say that alloy framed 1911's wear out quickly. I know the instructors at Tacoma PD, and got some of my instructor certs at their range. They issue alloy framed Kimbers and have seen excellent durability from them. Still, there is what I consider to be a better alternative now.

The S&W 1911's with alloy frames use trace amounts of Scandium. Scandium through-hardens aluminum, basically having the same effect as anodizing the alloy all the way to the core. Wear is slow, and stays slow for the life of the pistol. It also allows you to polish the feed ramp or make other modifications without having to worry about re-anodizing afterward. That's not to say the SW1911's are better built than other 1911's in that price range, but the frames are stronger.

chakup
11-11-2010, 12:05
I only own one alloy framed 1911, and I chose the S&W PD series for mine. In all other aluminum alloy 1911's, the frame is anodized. That surface hardens it, but as soon as that thin outer surface is worn down you get to the much softer inner material and it will begin to wear much faster. People notice this first on the feed ramp, and later on the other wear areas. That's not to say that alloy framed 1911's wear out quickly. I know the instructors at Tacoma PD, and got some of my instructor certs at their range. They issue alloy framed Kimbers and have seen excellent durability from them. Still, there is what I consider to be a better alternative now.

The S&W 1911's with alloy frames use trace amounts of Scandium. Scandium through-hardens aluminum, basically having the same effect as anodizing the alloy all the way to the core. Wear is slow, and stays slow for the life of the pistol. It also allows you to polish the feed ramp or make other modifications without having to worry about re-anodizing afterward. That's not to say the SW1911's are better built than other 1911's in that price range, but the frames are stronger.

Only problem on this is SA uses ramped barrels to address this, bullets hit steel not AL frame.

PlasticGuy
11-11-2010, 13:13
Only problem on this is SA uses ramped barrels to address this, bullets hit steel not AL frame.
Some companies do, but most don't. Even the ones that do have ramped barrels are still going to see more wear on the frame rails and all other wear/impact points.

Again, I'm not saying it's a huge difference. The modern alloys and anodizing are very good. There is a difference though.

mrsurfboard
11-11-2010, 13:42
If aluminum is strong enough for aircraft and the space shuttle, I think it's strong enough for a gun.

FLIPPER 348
11-11-2010, 14:30
I would say yes, but aluminum alloy framed 1911s have improved over time.

Steel is still stronger though.


The only improvement in aluminum alloy frames has been the recent introduction of Scandinum by S&W. It does not make the aluminum any stronger but rather allows the frame to return to it's original shape after flexing/stress. It is $$$ though!!

ontarget1911@gmail.c
11-11-2010, 15:03
No one seems to have mentioned the S&W Scandium 1911's. I do bobtails on them and they are one of the nicer lighter stronger 1911s out there.

Jess
OnTarget Custom Gunworks

FLIPPER 348
11-11-2010, 15:29
someone did I think

bac1023
11-11-2010, 15:40
The only improvement in aluminum alloy frames has been the recent introduction of Scandinum by S&W. It does not make the aluminum any stronger but rather allows the frame to return to it's original shape after flexing/stress. It is $$$ though!!

I didn't really say they were stronger.

I said they have improved.

deeHKman
11-11-2010, 16:03
I agree with bac, the P-01 is a compact steel/alloy gun.

Here is a NATO and Czech Police requirements for the P-01. As you can see the Police requirements were much more aggressive than the NATO. I did this sort of testing in Electonics for 22 years best job i ever had. Military Contracts in electronics are so strict and costly its not really worth it.
http://cz-usa.com/press-releases/102/ (http://cz-usa.com/press-releases/102/)

I just put this link to show how durable some guns are. Certainly i'm sure some 1911's alloy are as durable as a CZ.
<!-- / message -->

deeHKman
11-11-2010, 16:05
No one seems to have mentioned the S&W Scandium 1911's. I do bobtails on them and they are one of the nicer lighter stronger 1911s out there.

Jess
OnTarget Custom Gunworks

Is this the same metal in the lite weight Smith .44mag revolvers?

FLIPPER 348
11-11-2010, 16:35
only if it says Scadnium





I said they have improved.

other than the Sc alloy, how so??

W Turner
11-11-2010, 16:52
I posed this question to my local gunwrench when I was debating buying my Springfield Lightweight Loaded model.

His response pretty much was that the fitting of that particular pistol was just as if not more important than if the reciever was alloy or steel.

He also said the biggest difference all things being equal was a service life of 15K rounds +/- for the alloy versus 20-25K for the steel frame. I'll probably never put 15k rounds thru one gun in my life so I was confident in going for the alloy model.

JK-linux
11-11-2010, 16:53
Aluminum has been used on .45ACP automatics for quite some time now, as was noted before in the thread. The Sig-P220 springs to mind as an alloy .45ACP with a long history of performing well. I'd have no qualms in carrying an alloy 1911 and shooting the heck out of it. Personally, I feel a good holster and belt, pant's that aren't too snug and proper placement of the holster at a comfortable "clock" position on the waist can accommodate most pistols to fit most users.

deeHKman
11-11-2010, 17:29
Aluminum has been used on .45ACP automatics for quite some time now, as was noted before in the thread. The Sig-P220 springs to mind as an alloy .45ACP with a long history of performing well. I'd have no qualms in carrying an alloy 1911 and shooting the heck out of it. Personally, I feel a good holster and belt, pant's that aren't too snug and proper placement of the holster at a comfortable "clock" position on the waist can accommodate most pistols to fit most users.
Good Post i agree. I find the correct holster cant and i can carry some compact and full size guns without any problems.

Cobra64
11-11-2010, 21:44
:upeyes:

I'm always amused by the steel versus aluminum strength/durability discussion.

I've yet to see bulldozer grader blades, military tanks, files, crane cable, or gun barrels made of aluminum.


http://www.fwallpapers.net/pics/other/m1a1-abrams-tank/m1a1-abrams-tank_6.jpg



.

ArmoryDoc
11-11-2010, 21:47
Aside from the M-113 ?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M113_armored_personnel_carrier

knedrgr
11-11-2010, 22:00
I'm always amused by the steel versus aluminum strength/durability discussion.

I've yet to see bulldozer grader blades, military tanks, files, crane cable, or gun barrels made of aluminum.

And we're discussing about a frame of a gun here, not the gun's barrel. So it should be a logical debate. :whistling:

If the tolerance is correct, then the slide and frame rails should last longer than a loose slide and frame fitting, since there will be less parts being rattle around each time the slide cycles.

You don't hear people debating about making crane cables out of spider web strains. It's weight to tensile strength completely put steel cables to shame. But the technology to produce such cable is just too ridiculous...:wow:

GVFlyer
11-11-2010, 22:20
The problem I have with alloy framed 1911s is that unless you have a ramped barrel, if you shoot it much, hollow points will tear up the feed ramp. I swapped out a Wilson Combat Professional for this reason. If you catch John at WC in a candid moment, he'll tell you that it's an issue.

FLIPPER 348
11-11-2010, 23:06
Aside from the M-113 ?




the Bradley??
....Marine LTVP7???

GVFlyer
11-11-2010, 23:43
I always enjoyed shooting lightly armored aluminum vehicles with flechette rockets - while designed as an anti-personel weapon they easily made it into the vehicle and tacked up the crew on the inside.

http://iidbs.com/hitech/1_5_inch_flechettes_l.jpg

http://viralfootage.com/?p=705

mrsurfboard
11-12-2010, 00:11
:upeyes:

I'm always amused by the steel versus aluminum strength/durability discussion.

I've yet to see bulldozer grader blades, military tanks, files, crane cable, or gun barrels made of aluminum.


http://www.fwallpapers.net/pics/other/m1a1-abrams-tank/m1a1-abrams-tank_6.jpg



.

Both the Apollo spacecraft and the spaceshuttle are both made of aluminum. I can't think of anything more stressful then being thrust into Earth's orbit.

GVFlyer
11-12-2010, 01:21
:upeyes:

I'm always amused by the steel versus aluminum strength/durability discussion.

I've yet to see bulldozer grader blades, military tanks, files, crane cable, or gun barrels made of aluminum.
.

We used to have the M551 Sheridan Armored Reconnaissance/Airborne Assault Vehicle, which was aluminum. I'm not sure when they left service, but I saw them during both Operation Just Cause and Desert Storm. We modified them by welding up a steel plate to their underside so an anti-personnel mine wouldn't take them out and with the ACAV set which allowed the TC to use his 50-cal with some protection against small arms.

DPris
11-12-2010, 02:14
It IS the feedramp that's the greatest worry. Watch the bullet nose type to reduce risk of cumulative damage.
Denis

sns3guppy
11-12-2010, 04:40
I've yet to see bulldozer grader blades, military tanks, files, crane cable, or gun barrels made of aluminum.

So what?

The M4 receiver is 7075-T6 aluminum...with superior strength to some steels.

You don't see aircraft or certain space craft made of steel, either...some very notable airframes in fact, are built of 7075-T6 aluminum. Go figure.

While the structure of a tank may be built of steel and other materials, it needs to resist shots fired at the tank by a variety of weapons, munitions, and mines. Your handgun, however, doens't necessarily need to deflect or stop incoming rounds aimed at the frame. Your comparison with files and tanks is really quite irrelevant, then. Unless you plan to use your pistol frame to grade a road, deflect incoming fire while attached to the outside of a tank, file horse hooves and shoes, lift heavy objects while suspended from a crane, or act as a gun barrel, then comparing an aluminum pistol frame to any of those things is a ridiculous comparison.

The fact is that some aluminum alloys, including some alloys used in small arms, are superior in strength and properties to some steels. This includes 7075 T-6, which finds application in aircraft and firearms.

GVFlyer
11-12-2010, 09:54
It IS the feedramp that's the greatest worry. Watch the bullet nose type to reduce risk of cumulative damage.
Denis

You are correct, Sir!

As I mentioned in a previous post, that's precisely the problem I encountered with my Wilson Combat Professional, hollow-point ammunition was damaging the feedramp.

DPris
11-12-2010, 12:30
If you're going to run HPs through one, choose bullet types with some sort of jacket "rollover" into the cavity nose.
Don't use an HP where the leading edge of the jacket strikes the alloy ramp right on that "cutting" edge.

It's not the frame rails you need to worry about.
Denis

MD357
11-12-2010, 14:38
You are correct, Sir!

As I mentioned in a previous post, that's precisely the problem I encountered with my Wilson Combat Professional, hollow-point ammunition was damaging the feedramp.


Unless you have your GS send it to Chuck Rogers and he welds in a steel insert like my carry gun. :supergrin:

woodrowNC
11-12-2010, 15:33
The problem I have with alloy framed 1911s is that unless you have a ramped barrel, if you shoot it much, hollow points will tear up the feed ramp. I swapped out a Wilson Combat Professional for this reason. If you catch John at WC in a candid moment, he'll tell you that it's an issue.

i agree. i've noticed it on every alloyed frame i've ever owned. it used to be that remington ammo had a more rounded ogive and was more forgiving on the feed ramp. i actually had a full size gm that would only feed rem hp's because of that. it's really noticably on my pro carry. that's why lately i've stuck with steel frames. except the new agent. couldn't help myself.

GVFlyer
11-12-2010, 21:08
Unless you have your GS send it to Chuck Rogers and he welds in a steel insert like my carry gun. :supergrin:

Roger that.

Next time. I swapped mine away for a steel gun.

DPris
11-13-2010, 00:48
There's always the option of installing a ramped barrel.
Denis