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Why are people so worried about aluminum 1911 frames??

I was checking out a new PRO Carry II w/ night sights the other day a could not help but think of all the "worrysome" comments I've seen and heard over the years.

We fly on 25+ year-old aluminum frame/skin jets eveyday.

I've known many "old-school" 1911 owners/shooters who would'nt give up their Lightwieght Commanders and Officer Models for a million bucks (ok, maybe a million).

It's seems that with reasonable care, a well built aluminum frame 1911 should last as long as a steel framed one.

OK... I think I've talked myself into it.... I'll pick up the Pro Carry II/night-sites next week!!

SkunkApe
 

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they arent scared of them perse...but an aluminum frame will NEVER last as long as a PROPERLY made steel frame. It has to do with the properties of the metal. An alloy frame will get worn out and need to be replaced sooner than a steel framed gun. Also if the gun doesnt have a steel feed ramp, the battering of JHP's into an aluminum feed ramp will eventually destroy it (from what i umderstand). also when fitting steel to aluminum its harder to get the tight fit found on many comp guns due to the softer nature of the aluminum. so the gun will become loose and need refitting much more often/quicker

That being said, there is nothing wrong with a aluminum carry gun...but if its a gun thats gonna be shot ALOT or a comp gun...i would strongly recoomend steel.



*Sits back and waits to be flamed*
 

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NJKimberSS said:
they arent scared of them perse...but an aluminum frame will NEVER last as long as a PROPERLY made steel frame. It has to do with the properties of the metal. An alloy frame will get worn out and need to be replaced sooner than a steel framed gun. Also if the gun doesnt have a steel feed ramp, the battering of JHP's into an aluminum feed ramp will eventually destroy it (from what i umderstand).


*Sits back and waits to be flamed*
Not flaming, just one thing ... Even though the aluminium frame will not last as long as good steel frame, It may last for a very long time ... Actually, nobody knows for sure how the aluminium/steel will hold. You can be lucky and shoot many thousands rounds out of your Ultra sized aluminium frame gun. Or you can be unlucky and have your stainless steel slide crack after about 500 rounds ... So, I agree that steel may hold better in the long run, but there is absolutely no problem with aluminium ...
 

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I have the Pro CDP, it has an aluminum frame and so far I have not seen any excessive wear on the CDP aluminum frame that would lead me to believe it won't last as long as my other guns.

I beat it just like I beat my other steel and polymer framed guns.

If for some reason it breaks, I'll buy another.

Guns are ment to be shot and I intend to shoot the piss out of mine.
 

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i think my post may have come across as anti aluminum...that was not my intention. aluminum framed guns DEFINANTLY have a place in the shooting community. My point was that the logevity/fitability (is that even a word??) of the aluminum isnt as good as steel due to properties of the metal...this statement assumes all else being equal...a great aluminum frame will outlast a horrid steel frame.


IMO aluminum/titanium frames cant be beat for a carry gun...light weight yet strong.
 

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I am still wanting one of the Kimber Tactical 1911s with the aluminum frame and I can't help but come to this conclusion: By the time that the aluminum frame is worn out, the pistol intself, steel parts included should be worn to the point that it is not a carry gun anymore. Suposedly the alum guns can go 30k without any problems and that is a ton of rounds, despite what many gun guys claim on the internet. If you are shooting 30k rounds of 45, you are shooting a LOT of rounds and shooting at least once a week. Even if you shot two hundread rounds a week for 52 weeks a year and never missed a range day, that would still only be 10,400 rounds a year. At that rate, the gun should last at least three years and probably more. I am not seeing the problem with aluminum frames.
 

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FedDC said:
I am still wanting one of the Kimber Tactical 1911s with the aluminum frame and I can't help but come to this conclusion: By the time that the aluminum frame is worn out, the pistol intself, steel parts included should be worn to the point that it is not a carry gun anymore. Suposedly the alum guns can go 30k without any problems and that is a ton of rounds, despite what many gun guys claim on the internet. If you are shooting 30k rounds of 45, you are shooting a LOT of rounds and shooting at least once a week. Even if you shot two hundread rounds a week for 52 weeks a year and never missed a range day, that would still only be 10,400 rounds a year. At that rate, the gun should last at least three years and probably more. I am not seeing the problem with aluminum frames.
there isnt one...but alot of competition shooters shoot more than 10k rounds a year:D :p
 

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Yeah, I shoot a lot more than 10k bc of the various training courses taht my agency has, but it is not through any one of my personal weapons. The closest thing would be my sig which does get well more than 10k a year, but it is issued and I get free 9mm ammo for it. Beyond that, maybe our SMGs get that many rounds and more...but they are colt smgs and have those pesky aluminum frames...yet they have gone well over 70k before a rebuild...
 

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This subject has both intrigued and confused me for some time. Alloy frame pistols such as the Beretta 92 and nearly all Sig pistols have been used for many years without any significant wear issues. The Sig 220 is an alloy framed .45 pistol that has a stellar reputation for reliability and longevity even when used in tough use environments such as law enforcement agencies. Despite the favorable track record for such alloy framed pistols there are numerous documented cases of 1911 style alloy frame pistols from a variety of manufacturers experiencing problems such as rail wear, feed ramp gouging, and frame cracking. Is there something unique about the 1911 design that makes it more vulnerable to alloy frame wear? Other alloy frame pistols don't seem to seem to have as many reported cases of frame problems. Can anyone explain this? :confused:
 

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I'm no engineer, but the 1911 was designed around a steel frame, and the new guns were initially made for an aluminum setup.
 

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AZ Husker said:
I'm no engineer, but the 1911 was designed around a steel frame, and the new guns were initially made for an aluminum setup.
Bingo. Compare a Colt frame to an aluminum Beretta or Sig frame, and you will see that they are thicker in most high-stress areas to account for the fact that aluminum is a weaker material.
 

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Perhaps some information sourcing on the differences in the various alloys that are used in the manufacturing would be more telling.

I think your going to find that the wear and strength properies of heat treated alloy Al frames might be considerably more alike or in favor of the Al when compared to the "standard" steel alloy material.

Wes
 

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well i will throw in my .50 here. i like aluminum/plastic etc but not on a 1911. i guess i am old school for this only. but my 1911's are not my range workhorses. down the road i would like to start reloading .45's only. then i will determine my workhorse..like az said the 1911 was designed around a steel frame. and to me thats what makes the fire arms stand out from the rest.
 

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everyone believes what they want to believe, the only way for you to find out for sure is to get one and see for yourself, I have 4 aluminum framed 1911's, one I shoot every week when I am home, it is my other carry gun, and the black anodizing still shows very little wear.

If you can afford it buy more than one and shoot the hell out of them, then make up your mind, it is the only way you will be able to be comfortable with aluminum.
 

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The 7075 T7 Kimber uses makes a great frame. On average, not as long lasting as steel, but for the trade-off of light weight it is terrific.

Years ago I made aircraft parts machined out of 7075 T6 and loved the material as it was incredibly strong... almost like steel and so very very light. The frame of the Appollo command module that went to the moon was machined out of 7075 T6 Aluminum.

It is simply an issue of past association to most people. If you associate the frame of your 1911 with space craft and air craft and have some experience with its toughness, you say: 'so steel is a little harder, so what'. If you associate the frame of your 1911 with a soft screen door frame you will insist on steel frames.

The 7075 T7 is slightly softer than the T6 but has better fatique characteristics. It is a super material for pistol frames.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks to all for your comments, insight, opinions and discussion.

I think I'll pat myself on the back for starting such a great thread!!



SkunkApe
 

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FWIW, when I was looking for good cookware, I was evaluating hard anodized aluminum -vs- stainless steel.

In cookware, hard anodized aluminum is actually 30% HARDER and more scratch-resistant than stainless.

I know from knives, that harder doesn't mean stronger, but I still think the data-point is interesting.

Mike
 
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