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This is exactly why I'm wary of plastic guns.
#1
It appears my fears about plastic guns may have been confirmed. It appears that some 20 year old police issued glocks are becoming brittle and falling apart. Given, they're obviously beat to death on a daily basis, but I would wager a guess to say that in 2100 there will still be original 1911's floating out there in firing condition, but I doubt you'll see too many glocks, M&P's or SigPro's around anymore...

http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2015/...all-apart/
The forum poster formerly known as Emoticon...
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#2
Pictures or it didn't happen. I'm skeptical of the situation as described.

I mean, I'm sure there's something going on. But :poof!: one day all of the sudden half the department's gun have the same flaw that no one noticed before? There's something more than just "Tupperware sucks" at work. Lack of maintenance, improper cleaning solvents, maybe even sabotage?
I am not a lawyer.
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#3
Steel has a much shorter shelf life than plastic, because of oxidation. There are things that can cause polymers, thermoplastics, copolymers, and other similar compounds to degrade over time, but those are generally chemical reactions due to exposure.

I suspect that there may be a batch made from plohners that weren't cooked correctly, or may have cooled to fast after being processed through their extruder, but I don't think that it'll be a universal problem. I say this as an avowed 1911 enthusiast, and a guy not too fond of Glocks.
Unbanned since September 2012.
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#4
All a gun steel needs is a box with a desiccant pack and to be wiped down with oil every so often. They didn't have any magic mojo keeping the old 1700s and older muskets going until today, no stainless, just maintenance. I have no doubt that someone who knows next to nothing about guns beyond just keeping them wiped down could keep a steel gun in firing condition for 100 years or more with the only exception being the easily replaceable springs. Like I said in another post I have NEVER encountered a plastic that doesn't seriously degrade or lose structural integrity past the 30-40 year mark, the only exception I have ever seen with long life plastics is Bakelite, which is so brittle by default you could never make a gun out of it anyway. I'm not a 1911 fanboy either. I don't even own a .45 I'm just using it as an example because there are so many guns out there going on 100 years old and still going strong. I have no doubt most Beretta 92's, CZ's and steel SIGs etc will outlive their own stock grip panels by a long shot. Hell I'd say your average AK with wood furniture will probably outlive most AR's in the long run with minimal maintenance for the same reason too and I still prefer the AR platform personally.
The forum poster formerly known as Emoticon...
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#5
No, your fears aren't confirmed. Well, yes they are since they're your fears and you've found something to satisfy your confirmation bias.

I, for one, will keep my HKs and my Scorpion.

Justin
[Image: pafoasig.png]
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#6
Like I said find me a plastic that doesn't brittle with age. It is a known limitation of the material. Try to think of a single plastic anything that has been in your home since the 80s that hasn't been effected by age. They all dry out from exposure and crack aircraft in service from the 70s have issues with this too.
The forum poster formerly known as Emoticon...
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#7
I have toys from the 1970's that at still in tiptop shape.
Unbanned since September 2012.
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#8
Emoticon;165804 Wrote:Like I said find me a plastic that doesn't brittle with age. It is a known limitation of the material. Try to think of a single plastic anything that has been in your home since the 80s that hasn't been effected by age. They all dry out from exposure and crack aircraft in service from the 70s have issues with this too.

I love art deco and mid-century stuff so I have a lot of old plastic items around from as far back as the 1930s. I have seen a few items that that have degraded over time to become fragile but as a whole the plastics have held up well. To be fair, most of the stuff I have are old radios, lamps and clocks so they don't see the kind of physical abuse that a firearm dishes out. The closest I could come up with are some old analog synthesizers.

[Image: 2zefsrq.jpg]

I bought most of these back in the late 80s and early 90s in various states of repair. I would fix them up and get them back into playing condition (I can fix them a lot better than I can play them) and then sell or rent them out. The keyboard in the wooden case with the two rows of keys is a Hammond C3 made in 1954. I pulled this thing out of a church where it had been played week in and week out for 35+ years. It was my best money maker when it came to rentals so it saw a lot of abuse and some very physical playing at the hands of my customers. Why bring this up? All of the keys, drawbar stops, switches, footpedal caps, and many internal bits are made of plastic. Even now, when it's better than 60 years old, I would not hesitate to rent it again. All the other synths pictured have plastic keys as well and it was rare that I would see a broken one. When I did it was usually from something metal being dropped on them.

Everything degrades over time, physics demands it, but if the plastic is formulated right and the part is designed properly for it's intended use I don't see why something made of plastic can't last for centuries. Baring something catastrophic like fire or flood, I know that C3 will still be pumping out the jams on it's 100th birthday.
Ammunition, it's the new lead bullion. Buy it cheap and stack it deep.
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#9
Plastics are far more prone to prolonged exposure to light, which can break down the polycarbon chain (which is all a plastic is) that comprises the material. Nearly all plastics are prone to warping when under prolonged exposure to differential pressure as well, which makes even the strongest and most element-resistant plastics a difficult material to use for things like underground piping.

Different additives and formulae make plastics more resistant to light damage over time but they will all succumb to it over a long enough period of time to the point where the material will weaken and the molecule chains are far easier to break than when the mold was set.

Steel rusts but it's only the outer layer of the metal that oxidizes, the surface which is exposed to air. Galvanization introduces protective alloys that are allowed to "sacrifice" in oxidation but the remainder of the material is left unchanged so long as the steel was forged without significant bubble pockets that would permit air to permeate through the whole material.

If you look at railroad tracks, you'll always notice that the top layer that gets continued wear from steel wheels of cars rolling across it always has its nice pretty metallic sheen where wheels make contact. Oxidation is a very slow process on steel and as continued heavy contact is made, the oxidized rust is blown off as particulate mist which you can't see, but sticks to nearby surfaces along the railbed.

In skyscrapers, often steel columns are shipped with outer "pre-rust" layers which help retard serious corrosion so that connections and welds remain strong. On very tall skyscrapers the constant movement and bending of the building under wind loads can slightly warm-up the steel which softens it just ever so slightly and the crystal lattice that comprises steel cools and maintains its strength as the movement ceases. Repeated episodes of extreme bending though as during earthquakes usually cause too much warping at connection points and often requires that engineers go back and reinstall doubler plates where connections have weakened or if it's serious--dismantling of the building.

As Iron is one of the most abundant metals in the Universe, most of it was formed during Type I-A supernovas of binary stars, the Earth contains huge quantities of the stuff and it's a far more sustainable material than plastic is. The production of plastic yields many different toxic byproducts which can be nasty. For firearms, plastic composite have their advantages for a soldier with the lighter weight, but it's easier to service damaged equipment when it's made of metal than when it's made of plastic composite.


There are many original 1911-As that are in perfectly working order simply because you can easily pull this gun completely apart, replace the most vulnerable components like the hammer and spring and pin, whilst the muzzle, trigger and top rail just take a scrubdown. However on many decorative guns that got custom etching, this is highly undesirable so it's best to remove the firing pin and put it back together and keep it around as a valuable momento.

My dad has a 1911 from the 1930s that I've taken out to fire. It looks like it was just purchased. My brother wants it but I've already laid dibs on it.
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#10
^ I missed the point of all of that. Nothing in it suggested that my HKs won't last the rest of my life.

Justin
[Image: pafoasig.png]
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