Aluminum Frames Cracking

Aluminum Frames Cracking

This is a discussion on Aluminum Frames Cracking within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I am trying to do research on this because I am really trying to chose between two kimbers, one made from all stainless steel, and ...

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Thread: Aluminum Frames Cracking

  1. #1
    Member Array pirate252's Avatar
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    Aluminum Frames Cracking

    I am trying to do research on this because I am really trying to chose between two kimbers, one made from all stainless steel, and one made from an aluminum frame and stainless slide.

    I keep hearing good and bad things about these aluminum frames, and I was just wondering if anyone could give me some advise.

    I plan on putting a few hundred ball rounds through the gun permonth, but I also plan on carrying it, so aluminum would be great, but some of these things I have been reading make me worried about it cracking if its aluminum. And the steel gun I want doesnt have all the features I would like, such as night sights and checkering, so not only would that have to be done but it would end up costing more than the more expensive aluminum gun...

    Anyone have some advice?


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    as long as you keep up on the springs and dont shoot a lot of +P it will probley be a non issue

    can happen on a steel frame also lots of times depends on how gun was fitted also

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    Aluminum is fine for frames

    I just counted and I have 6 guns with aluminum frames, including one Kimber 1911. I can only speak for these 6, but none of them have ever cracked. The oldest one I have is a S&W model 39 that I bought new about 40 years ago, and the frame is just fine after digesting quite a bit of 9mm. So I would buy additional aluminum frame guns and not worry about it, myself.


  4. #4
    Member Array docsludge's Avatar
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    I have a Kimber with the aluminum frame the only problem I have ever had is the thumb lever popping off, (it was a bad smithing job), I have put a couple of hundred rounds through it and I am the second owner, I don't know hom much the previous guy used it, but it is still in good shape.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array obxned's Avatar
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    I owned a Colt Light Weight Commander and shot thousands of very hot handloads without a problem, but I did have a heavier recoil spring. Never had a problem.
    "If we loose Freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the Last Place on Earth!" Ronald Reagan

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array artz's Avatar
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    wow...nice gun pogo2 !
    " Refuse to be a victim, make sure there is a round chambered ! "

    Just call me a pessimistic optimist !

    U.S. Navy vet 1981-1992

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array Shizzlemah's Avatar
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    I have 3 alumiunum framge guns, two .22s and a .357...

    Back to your other post, aluminum has a wide range too - can be hard, soft, etc.

    Aluminum has stood up well in many firearm platforms. Some people like it better as it has some "give" compared to a hard steel frame. This arguement is also used with running high-po cartridges in polymer frames - reports of steel .357sig frames cracking but polymer running fine.

    My bet is as this thread runs, you wont find a disproportionate amount of problems with aluminum frames.

  8. #8
    Member Array Whirlwind06's Avatar
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    I remember reading some where that with the aluminum frame 1911s you have to watch which mags you use.
    The ones with the open follower. Can chew up the feed ramp.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array kylebce's Avatar
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    I have owned guns with alunimum frames and I have never had a problem myself nor have any of my local shooting friends shared any horror stories.
    G-23, 27, 35 (all .40)
    G-29 10mm
    H&K 45c
    Les Baer Thunder Ranch 5"

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array peacefuljeffrey's Avatar
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    I'm not a gunsmith, and not an expert, but I would hesitate personally to get a .45 ACP that was not a steel frame.

    Steel will stand up to longer punishment than aluminum will; I don't think anyone will argue contrary to that.

    I have to imagine that even the aluminum framed guns are engineered to do the job, but perhaps they don't have the same expected lifespan in rounds fired?

    If you're going for a serious chunk of steel like a Kimber 1911, might as well go ALL steel, in my view. (Won't it help with recoil, too?)

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Aluminum frames are fine . The y will stand up to more rounds than the average gun owner will fire in a lifetime . They are a lot lighter for carry , and as such need a bit more practice to have an equal compitance . Unless your seriously into competition ( 1k rounds a month or so ) the aluminum frame will out last you . All of the above assumes you use good mags that preclude the possiblilty of the steel mag follower impacting the feed ramp of the frame . I have seen two " ruined " kimber frames online which were repaired by milling off the feedramp and " dovetailing in " a steel ramp at a high cost . Both were ruined by older mags or 8 round conversion kits of a specific brand ( no i wont name it lol ) . Just make shure the follower of your mag has no " points " and cannot shift beyond the body of the mag and all is well , if you feel better on it only use plastic follower mags for an aluminm frame .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
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  12. #12
    Member Array yugolovr's Avatar
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    All 1911 frames can crack steel or aluminum especially around the pin holes. Really I wouldn't worry about it. I have a 30 yr old commander that I got from my father no idea how many rounds the two of us have put through it. The frame has been bead blasted shot for years then it was polished too mirror finish and shot for years. When I rebuilt it while attending Colorado School of Trades the only thing they wouln't let me do to it was put in a fully supported ramped barrel because they felt that would weaken the frame too much. Now if you understand that is major surgery done to a 1911 and only then were my instructors worried about the gun I would have to say that aluminum frames are stronger than you might think. But you must also take in to consideration that springfield armory does make a lightweight government model with a fully supported barrel. I do Know however that lightweight 1911s have a looser slide to frame fit than steel ones . This is because the aluminum frames can crack if fitted the way steel is. But this is something to not worry about with a defensive firearm. If you were to want to get better accuracy from all you really have to look at is barrel to bushing fit bushing to slide fit and the barrel to slide fit. sorry so long hope it helps.

  13. #13
    Member Array res1b3uq's Avatar
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    aluminum

    I have had an old Star PD45, and presently have a LW Commander, and a P12 with alloy frame. None of these have given any problems. You will be carrying it a lot more than you will be shooting it, so I consider the lighter weight a definite advantage. That being said, I use a steel gun for most target practice, but always run a few thru the carry gun just to keep my ammunition fresh.

  14. #14
    Member Array Deputy1199's Avatar
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    I have to agree with Pogo2. My aluminum alloy frame S&W 39-2, circa 1971, has been well used over the years -- estimated 30,000 + rounds- and has stood up well. No visible wear at all, and certainly no cracks in the frame. The only maintenance, other than cleaning and lubrication, has been replacement of the trigger and recoil springs. If weight is a concern, don't worry about aluminum allot frames.

  15. #15
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    I had a very early aftermarket 1911 Aluminum frame that developed split rails while I was shooting the pistol.

    I smacked it with a hammer later on that day and cut it up into pieces since it was a serial #ed frame & registered to me.

    I still have it since even though it is totally destroyed - it counts as a firearm registered to yours truly. I figgered I had best hold onto it.

    Luckily there have been great advances in the manufacture of AL frames since then & I would trust any modern alloy framed high quality firearm to go many, many thousands of rounds with no special problems.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

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