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I asked about this question in another thread earlier in sept. but I wasn't able to follow up on it and see what anyone had to say. The question is, what kind of service life does the hk polymer have and what kinds of chemicals would attack this plastic. I've been using birchwood casey's synthetic gun cleaner, the aerosol based one. Some solvents and cleaning chemicals have warnings about certain kinds of plastics. A friend used the regular birchwood spray on another firearm and it attacked a crinkle finish on the gun very badly and removed a good deal of it in the process. Does anyone have an experience with a certain product attacking the hk polymers? My prior question is in regards to the plastic's durability/lifespan..you VP70 owners may be able to give better insight on this question since the guns are all pushing 30 years of age now, how are they holding up? In my profession I use various polymer-plastic parts like pulleys and valve shroud bodies etc. and while I'm fully aware of the strengths of fiber impregnated polymers I have seen these parts shattered under beyond-human-strength stresses and while I'm confident a human grip won't break a usp frame, I wanted to know what possible reactions the plastic could have with exposure to like UV radiation over prolonged periods of time, or certain solvents which could in turn compromise the plastic's integrity. Some plastics I work with will crumble and dry-rot when exposed to UV, others will warp and melt when exposed to certain chemicals. SO, that being the case, does anyone have any insight or experience with the USP/p2000 polymers in those regards?
 

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All polymer will age under UV light, that's just the way it is. Supposedly modern polymer should not degrade from its set property significantly within a 100yr time frame. But they do age, and eventually they will crack up. It's all a matter of trade off, steel is heavy and durable but rusts, alloy is lighter but can't take the flex as well, and polymer is lighter still but is poor on abrasion and will eventually degrade. The best thing to do is to keep polymer out of sunlight when possible and I'm sure it'll last more than a human life time.

It wouldn't be fair to use VP70 to demonstrate HK's polymer durability. It's been 30 years and I'm sure HK is using the latest in polymer technology. I really doubt anyone here has the insight into the chemical make up of the HK trade secret. Personally I don't think HK plastic is any magic. It's probably more or less the same thing that Glock uses, which also same thing that S&W, Walther, and Beretta uses. All these firearm manufacturers have their own recipe for cooking up polymer frames (and metal for that matter), but in the end, they all go for the polymer with the best cost benefit ratio. Which means they'll probably use the same type of polymer.
 

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I once read somewhere that Glock uses Nylon #66. HK, SIG, and Walther all use a glass fiber reinforced plastic, unlike Glock. Makes them stiffer and stronger. I thought Ruger used Zytel. Don't know much more than that.

Tim
 

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Interesting question on the UV part. So, does it make sense to use a UV protectant like 303 if you are out in the sun with your weapon?
 

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Interesting question on the UV part. So, does it make sense to use a UV protectant like 303 if you are out in the sun with your weapon?
While 303 is incredible stuff, it will make your weapon super slippery ... NOT a good thing.

I think the main thing is to stay far away from all the chlorinated cleaners which would include almost all brake cleaners and parts cleaners that do not specifically say "non-chlorinated". Personally I dont see the need for these strong solvents at all; some time spent with the Cleaner/Lubricant that HK provided with the Expert is all that is needed IMHO. HTH.
 

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I do not have a direct answer to your question. But I can come at it from an oblique angle. I would think that HK's engineering and R&D teams would match the lifespan of the frame to at least the lifespan of the most critical component: the barrel/chamber assembly. Given that the recoil assembly is designed to last well into the 10's of 1,000's of rounds, the barrel should last through at least several recoil assemblies. Very likely, into the 100,000 range. I've gotta think that this is easily doable for the frame. Do the math to figure out how long you would need to shoot 100,000 rounds...!
 

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The service life of the pistol is around 30,000 rounds. That doesn't mean it won't last longer than 30,000 rounds.
 

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Again, my HK has well over 100k on it with no degredation of the frame. The mags are a completely other matter though. Not complaining too much as they lasted all those 100k rounds but never the less, gotta have something to complain about.
 

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What you guys bring up in the # of rounds that may be true, but I would still argue that leaving the polymer frame out in a baking sun for a year would degrade the frame - possibly encountered with guys on patrol near the texas/mexico border. However, if the plastic is UV stablized, all bets are off.
 

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Merchant of Death (Admin)
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I would be placing money on the UV stabilized feature versus not.
 

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Degredation over time will always be an issue with any plastic/polymer item. And the more UV it is exposed to, the more rapid the degredation.

With that said, I doubt any gun will be outside and exposed the sun (without the carrier withering up from sun cancer or having a face like Clint Eastwood's by the time they are 40) to create a meaningful degredation of the frame of the pistol.

If they did, however.....how would HK's customer service handle that ?
 
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