Polymer Colors = Frame Weakness

This is a discussion on Polymer Colors = Frame Weakness within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; A Glock Rep. came to my Police Department yesterday and met with me regarding our duty issued weapons. Cool guy, down to earth fella. After ...

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Thread: Polymer Colors = Frame Weakness

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    Member Array Devil026's Avatar
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    Polymer Colors = Frame Weakness

    A Glock Rep. came to my Police Department yesterday and met with me regarding our duty issued weapons. Cool guy, down to earth fella. After about a hour of back in forth about what our PD should do with our out dated 22's, he was about to leave so I asked. Whats up with the new Flat Dark Earth Glocks and where can I get one for personal use. He tells me something that had me scratching my head, he told me that when color gets mixed into the polymer it actually weakens the frame of the pistol. Some of you guys probably already knew that but I was like ........wwwwhhhhattttt? According to him though, unless you shoot about 30,000 rounds or something crazy you shouldn't worry about it, also said that black was the strongest frame they had......which led me into my next question.....isn't black a color?
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    VIP Member Array SmokinFool's Avatar
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    Good to know. I wouldn't have thought adding color would make a difference. Of course, as you said isn't black a color?

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    Member Array Devil026's Avatar
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    Yeah, I haven't ever heard of it until then. I don't understand why it would matter what color the frame is. I don't know, he also did say though that the new night sights that Glock installs on the Gen 4's have about a 15 year life-span on them.

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    I thought I read Magpul had some issues with coloring p mags and durability at one point as well.
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    Member Array Devil026's Avatar
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    Possibly, he said that all colored polymer framed firearms are actually weaker, didn't matter who produced them, FNX, Glock, S&W etc. I guess the same for mags and add-ons. I told him I had a O.D. Glock 23 Gen 3 and that I've had 0 issues with the frame. He told me to keep a check under the breech, this seems to be the area they all crack at. Of course he threw in the don't worry, we'll fix you up for free.

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devil026 View Post
    Yeah, I haven't ever heard of it until then. I don't understand why it would matter what color the frame is.
    It's not the color, per se, obviously. "Color" additive is just a chemical like anything else. The color's irrelevant, but chemicals can alter how the composites cure, same as temperature, presence of impurities, etc. Apparently, some of the commonly-added ones make a marked difference in durability of the material.

    Something to keep in mind when any different chemical blend is used in these polymers. Unless they specifically test such variants to the degree they test the "plain/black" formulas, they're rolling the dice with assumptions. As is apparently the case, here. Not unsurprising, really, except for the fact it's Glock. One would think they'd be beyond that, with the reputation they've built.
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    VIP Member Array maxwell97's Avatar
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    Sounds like a chem nerd to me. Just ignore him and get the color you like.

    Additive Effects in Polymers
    Pigmenting additives can be used to alter the color of a polymer material, which is beneficial for a range of consumer products. However, some pigments can increase a polymer’s susceptibility to chemical reactions, making careful selection an important step in the pigmentation process. Pigments such as carbon black do not react to corrosives, but clay and other hydrophilic additives are water absorbent, which may harm certain polymers. Likewise, carbonate pigments, such as limestone, can make material susceptible to corrosion from inorganic acids. These effects can be mitigated with the addition of bonding agents, such as organosilane, which helps compensate for a lack of bonds between the pigment and the polymer molecules.
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    Member Array kmagnuss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devil026 View Post
    .....which led me into my next question.....isn't black a color?
    Technically, black is the absence of light (color). Irrelevant to this conversation but yeah, now you know.

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    "... and Yellow Dye #5 ... everything a growin' boy needs." - Sgt. Powell in Die Hard, 1988.
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    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

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    Hmmm...

    103 years old. Rode hard and put up wet, yet no frame weakness to date. Steel'll do that for ya'.


    Seriously though, I've never heard this before now. Having a hard time swallowing that one.

    But, if the Glock rep said it ...
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    VIP Member Array GhostMaker's Avatar
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    Wow....hadn't heard that before. Thanks for putting the information out here for us.
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    Never heard that before but after thinking about it and reading some of the replies here, it does make sense.
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    Member Array Rattlehead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmagnuss View Post
    Technically, black is the absence of light (color). Irrelevant to this conversation but yeah, now you know.
    ... And knowing is half the battle.

    (Sorry, had to do it)

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    Distinguished Member Array phreddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmagnuss View Post
    Technically, black is the absence of light (color). Irrelevant to this conversation but yeah, now you know.
    Light and pigment behave differently.

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    I have noticed with Kydex, the lighter the color, the softer the material. For use on holsters it doesn't really make a difference, but I can tell a difference between sanding lighter colors and black.

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