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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I remember a few years ago having LarryCCF asking what kind of metal USP frames we'd like to see, and if there was interest. It looks like he ended up making metal Glock frames.

http://www.ccfraceframes.com/

Who would like to see a metal USP frame, and what would be some advantages to it? Would you go with aluminum or stainless? Rumor has it that there will be a Titanium frame also...what about one of those? Take a look and tell me what you think.
 
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I'd like a titanium USP frame. But what about the internal components? Would I have to take them out of the polymer frame and put them in the metal one?

And not to sound like a killjoy, but what about the serial number? That has to be on the frame of handguns, does it not?

I'd like to see this happen, but I want to know everything that's involved with it.
 

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Guess I am an old fuddy-duddy but I like the USP frames the way they are. I thought the whole point of going to a polymer frame in the first place was to make the guns lighter and safer in the event of a KB. And we have seen over and over again that the polymer frame blows in such a way to prevent serious injury to the shooter. Why is there a move to go backwards? It is not like the polymer frames are not lasting long enough or any other short-coming so I really don't see the point.
 

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I would love a titanium frame for my Mark23. it would have to be the same shape though.... i dont know how it would respond to the inserts, you can't exactly take them out of the frame and transfer them (dont know how they would respond to the different metals rubbing during cycles). Plus, again, you would need serial numbers etc...
 

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Big Bore, that's not entirely true. A plastic frame does not handle KB better than a steel frame. Some KB will blow up the barrel and the slide, plastic frame won't help it any. Ones where the cartridge detonates partly out of battery where the pressure is vented downward, on a plastic frame, typically the mag will get blown down and the frame will crack sending the rest of the energy into your hand. If you have a steel frame, the steel frame won't crack, the mag will get blown down. If you have openings on the frame and wood grips, the wood will splinter into your hand. If the openings weren't there, your hands won't feel a thing. Even with the openings, you aren't any worse than having a plastic gun.

There's only a few reasons to make a gun out of plastic in the end users' perspective, one is weight. Plastic is lighter than metal. The other is the frame will flex making the recoil impulse longer which will feel softer to the shooter.

There are plenty of reasons for a manufactures to make guns out of plastic and that's MONEY. Plastic guns are cheap to make. You do have a high initial start up fee. You need to have dies made to make the steel inserts that go in the frame. Once the die is made, you can crank them out in the millions. Also a mold for the frame is needed, which will cost over $100K for a good one. But after the mold is made, you can crank out frames like crazy. Let say you have 6 frames per mold, most injection molding cycles will run less than 1 minute. That's 6 frames per minute. Times 60 minutes/hr, 24hr/day, well you get the idea.

On the other hand, let's take a metal frame. No one makes one out of billet because doing it that way is very expensive and not cost effective, and also does not result in a better part. Frames are usually made from castings and sometimes from forgings. So now you need to have plugs made for making the casting molds or dies made for forging. So that just gets you the raw frame. Next you have to go through many machining processes. Essentially each side of the gun will require a separate step and will require a separate fixture to mount the frame to machine. This all takes time and time is money. Robots cut down on a lot of the time, but it still takes time. After all that is done, it will need to go through heat treatment which can take several hours up to a day or two. Then it goes through the finishing process which can take several hours. So even if you have everyone ready to go to make 1 frame as fast as possible, you are talking about a few days worth of work to get one frame, vs. a few minutes to make a plastic frame.

If you look at the sheet metal receivers in HK rifles like the MP5. From start to finish where it begins as a flat sheet and ends up an unfinished receiver takes an entire day and that's just for one. It's no wonder why HK won't make any more metal frame guns, unless you pay them to.

Don't even get me started on the plastic mags costing $40.

Titanium is actually a really poor material to use if you have moving parts. It has a tendency to gall.

The frames Larry is selling are new frames with it's own manufacture and serial number. They are not replacements for your own frame. It is treated like a new gun purchase.
 

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Color me polymer. I'm more than happy with the feel of the polyamide frames. And the whole weight issue is important to me. My USP is the best handgun I've ever owned and the best I've ever shot /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have nothing against the polymer. In fact, I like it. But, I think a metal frame is nice too. It would be nice to have all of the same options as Glocks have...if not more.
 

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[ QUOTE ]
It would be nice to have all of the same options as Glocks have...if not more.

[/ QUOTE ]

Why? I'm not trying to be argumentative. Glocks are great handguns but why do we need to have the same options as them? IMO I think H&K's are a cut above. It seems every manufacturer is jumping on the bandwagon to produce a polymer framed gun. H&K came out with a polymer frame pistol before Glock or any other manufacturer did, if my memory serves me right.
 

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HK might have come out with the first one, but you don't see anyone here rushing to buy one. I bet HK doesn't even come close to the number of plastic guns built by Glock, which is at 2.5 million.
 

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Personally, I think that a cast alloy frame would be a step backwards. As far as I know, all reputable gun maker that offers alloy-framed guns (i.e. Sig and Beretta) use forged barstock. Cast aluminum alloy does not have the tensile strength of the polyamide used by HK.
 

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[ QUOTE ]
HK might have come out with the first one, but you don't see anyone here rushing to buy one.

[/ QUOTE ]

I'm not saying that H&K made the best plastic pistol. I'm simply stating that they were innovative in pursuing that venture and because of their desire to do that, other manufacturers followed suit. Why are we concerned with how many pistols Glock produces anyway? And as far as "rushing out to buy one", although that specific model left little to be desired, there is a great desire to own USPs, P2000s, P3000s, and UMPs. Just my 2 cents.

To answer the original post: "No"
 

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[ QUOTE ]
As far as I know, all reputable gun maker that offers alloy-framed guns (i.e. Sig and Beretta) use forged barstock. Cast aluminum alloy does not have the tensile strength of the polyamide used by HK.

[/ QUOTE ]

Forged and barstock are two different things. You will not find a high volume manufacturer machining frames from barstock unless the price of the gun is really high. Essentially you are throwing away 90% of the raw material costs. Plus making a frame from barstock is weaker than a forged frame. Most frames are forged or cast. Ruger is one of the best companies at doing castings which is why they supply a lot of manufactures with cast frames.

The tensile strength of the best plastic that is fiber filled is only coming close to the yield strength of cast aluminum used in making frames.
 

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[ QUOTE ]
I'm simply stating that they were innovative in pursuing that venture and because of their desire to do that, other manufacturers followed suit.

[/ QUOTE ]

I decided to look up their patent on the VP70. Sure enough, their main reasoning in the patent for a plastic gun was as I stated above, MONEY. It is more economical to build a plastic gun than a steel gun.
 

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[ QUOTE ]
Forged and barstock are two different things. You will not find a high volume manufacturer machining frames from barstock unless the price of the gun is really high.

[/ QUOTE ]
According to Smith & Wesson, all of their handguns save for the new el cheapo .22 are milled from barstock (that was posted by a S&W manager on the S&W board). This is just one example.

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Plus making a frame from barstock is weaker than a forged frame.

[/ QUOTE ]
I'm not sure why a frame made from barstock would be weaker than a frame made from some other forged shape. A barstock is simply a solid chunk of forged steel. The term forged is used to refer to both, parts that have been milled from a solid forged form like barstock or billet (i.e. slides, slide stops, hammers, etc.) and parts that have been actually hammer or machine-forged to shape (i.e. hammer forged barrels).

A properly forged piece of steel or alloy will always be stronger than a properly cast piece of the same grade steel or alloy. That's why you never see cast barrels.

[ QUOTE ]
The tensile strength of the best plastic that is fiber filled is only coming close to the yield strength of cast aluminum used in making frames.

[/ QUOTE ]
Actually, injection molded polyamide used by HK has a higher tensile strength than aluminum.

Link
 

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Would any body like one made out of cast iron? If we are going retro, let's go all the way back.

I'll stick with plastic. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif
 

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Barstock is forged, but a forged frame is not made from barstock. Machining a frame from barstock has the grain oriented in one direction. Imagine carving a gun out of a 2x4. If you lay out a L shape, one side of the L will be really strong while the other weaker. A forged frame will take a piece of metal and force it into the general shape before it goes through the machining process.

Even the strongest plastic out there that is reinforced with 60% carbon fiber has a UTS around 37ksi, glass filled is around 30 ksi. 356 aluminum for casting used in firearms starts at 30 ksi. If you look at 6061-T6, the UTS is 45 ksi. Aircraft grade 2024-T6 is over 62 ksi.
 

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and aluminum has the added benifit of having a higher heat capacity. although it is a conductor meaning the frame will heat up faster, it will be able to take much more heat and wont warp or distort. remember that aluminum is the same volume in solid as it is in liquid form.
 
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