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Polymer handgun frames: "As strong as steel" or ..

4433 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  SpEcTeR
Greetings everyone. May your hands be steady and groups tight, people:) Im Russian, so please excuse my English.
The topic name is not-so-self-explaining, so let me get little more deep into the subject. Widespread service pistols in RA and Russian police (that is, PM and APS) have steel frames, most samples in testing also have them. So i hadnt used any polymer-framed handgun in my whole serice experience.
The question itself is: how actually strong polymer parts of modern firearms ( particulary, handgun frames and rifle stocks) are? There are at least one polymer-framed handgun of widespread use (i mean Glock, of course), and as far as i know, USP series are also proven. Most sources agree that polymer frames are decently durable and strong IF ammo is not overcharged. I, however, met other opinions about using polymer in stocks and handgun frames. So i'd like to know your opinion on following statements:
- Some sources say Glock and USP polyamide frames could be probably broken when firing overcharged ammo.
- Some sources say that glass fibre reinforcements of polymer parts decrease their strength when those parts are exposed to extremely cold temperatures (-40 C or like that), while nylon-famile polyamides are extremely strong in such conditions.
Comments and opinions are definitely welcome!
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Well-made polymer frames have no problems with firing ammunition with higher pressure. Likewise, a badly made steel-frame pistol will have problems firing ammunition with higher pressure. Many modern polymers are far stronger than steel and are less brittle in extreme cold(Steel becomes extremely brittle in temperatures below -35 degrees celsius. One of the problem with vehicles in the Antarctic is that the metal becomes as brittle as glass and develops fractures easily). As for the Glock, they've worked well for Sweden, Norway, Austria and the British SBS, summer and winter. No problems with cold or hot rounds.

Pistols with polymer frames such as the Glock or the HK USP have had great success in various extreme conditions and as Nek has already stated they are in heavy use by operators from all over the world.

I'm not here to convince you one way or another however polymer framed handguns such as Glocks have many advantages over metal framed pistols. They are lighter in total weight, easy to field strip and clean, they hold up as well or better than many metal framed pistols and they are usually more reliable. At least Glocks are.

You could drive yourself crazy with "what if" scenerios however you should ask yourself what you are "actually" going to use it for, what type of conditions are "actually" possible in your enviroment and what type of ammunition you are "actually" going to use and then and only then will your choices narrow significantly. Hope this helps. Good luck.
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