Steel vs. Polymer Handguns

This is a discussion on Steel vs. Polymer Handguns within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I purchased my first few handguns primarily for concealed carry reasons. As a result, I focused on the lighter, more compact models made of polymer ...

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Thread: Steel vs. Polymer Handguns

  1. #1
    Member Array jayhawk's Avatar
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    Steel vs. Polymer Handguns

    I purchased my first few handguns primarily for concealed carry reasons. As a result, I focused on the lighter, more compact models made of polymer - Kahr CW-9, Taurus Mil Pro PT-145 and the Kel-Tec P3-AT. However, as I became a more avid shooter, I added a number of steel handguns to my inventory - Sig P239, CZ P-01, Beretta 92FS, Beretta Cougar and a Springfield 1911.

    When I now go to the range I find myself spending at least 75% of my time shooting the steel guns and the remaining balance shooting my polymer handguns.

    The steel handguns generate less recoil and seem to be more natural shooters that the polymer models; and I just find the steel guns more enjoyable to practice with.

    Am I in the majority or minority of shooters on this board?
    • Beretta 92 fs
    • Beretta 8000 Cougar
    • Bushmaster M4
    • CZ P-01
    • Kahr CW9
    • Kel-Tec P3-AT
    • Sig 239
    • Smith & Wesson M&P 9c
    • Smith & Wesson 646 .357 mag
    • Springfield Milspec 1911
    • Springfield XD-9
    • Taurus PT-145
    • Walther P22

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  3. #2
    Member Array 18DAI's Avatar
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    I have found the same thing. I don't know if that puts us in the majority or minority though. Polymer handguns, especially those with the ubiquitous rail, are all the rage.

    Personally, I prefer full size, or compact aluminum framed semi auto's to both steel, and polymer frames.

    My regular carry is an aluminum framed S&W 3913. IMHO it is the best single stack CCW 9mm going. I have a scandium framed S&W 4040PD which is still undergoing reliability testing before I carry it. Both have all the best qualities of the steel and the polymer CCW guns. Light weight while strong, good capacity, easily concealed, accurate and reliable.

    My steel framed S&W's and Colt 1911 still make every range trip. Regards 18DAI.

  4. #3
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    Less recoil = more time shooting

    More time shooting = more fun

    I find that I like shooting my full size pistols more than my compact/snubnose ones.

    I also like shooting my .22 more than my 7mm Rem Mag
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

  5. #4
    Senior Member Array Andy W.'s Avatar
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    All but one of mine are steel, the exception is an alloy commander. I haven't been bitten by the polymer bug yet.
    America: Your government is not ignoring you, it's insulting you.

    The Bill of Rights: Void where prohibited by law.

  6. #5
    Member Array Curtis27's Avatar
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    Well, I have grown up with Glocks, therefore they fit me perfectly, and have my entire "gun ownership" era. I currently carry a S&W 442 (only due to size and power) in the office, but I carry my G19 everywhere else. I think that when looking at recoil, "power", or items such as stell vs. polymer, you need to understand one thing. Individual comfort. My wife has steel guns (CZ P-01, and Sig P232), whereas I prefer the durability, light weight, and comfort of the Glock.

    IMHO, it's all personal preference. I think the equation should be:

    Personal Preference = more use
    More use = More comfort
    More comfort = More willing to carry
    More willing to carry = Less chance of being a victim...

    My 2 cents...
    NRA Member

    "...the Constitution does not say Government shall decree the right to keep and bear arms. The Constitution says ‘the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.’” - Ronald Reagan

  7. #6
    VIP Member Array sass20485's Avatar
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    The laws of physics dictate that A heavier gun ( all steel ) will generate less recoil than its lighter weight ( poly framed ) counterparts. Of course the lighter guns lend themselves better to cc, as they are not such a load to tote around on your hip. Too shoot all day at the range, I too prefer to use my heavier steel guns. Same would be true of rifles, most folks would like a heavyweight rifle to use from the bench, but a lighter weight rifle to carry around for hours in the field.

    That's why we need so many guns, each with a certain and useful purpose ( or at least that's the logic we try to use when making purchase after purchase )

    SO enjoy all your guns. My Glocks and Keltecs usually are with me in a holster or pocket, they get plenty of range time. My Colts, Rugers, S&W's and others usually spend most of their time at the range and rarely ride in a holster.

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    Member Array MIKEV's Avatar
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    I honestly percieve no difference in weight when wearing either my 4"XD40 or my DW CBOB 4.25" .45acp. That said, when held, esp when empty, I can tell that the XD is noticably lighter. I haven't put them on the scale but in my mind the additional 5 rounds tends to even them up as far as weight.

    It my all be phsycological but they feel the same on my hip and I seem to actually shoot the .45 better (probably due to better recoil management)

    omo ymmv

    MikeV

  9. #8
    Senior Member Array fatboy97's Avatar
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    I find myself shooting my Glocks primarily because they are my primary carry weapons, but I do enjoy shooting my SIG P226 and my Ruger GP100. I usually find I bring one of these guns along with me on every gun range trip in addition to my Glocks.
    Be Observant and Be Safe.

    Current: S&W 442, Springfield XD9sc, XDm9, and Glock G26, G19, G23C,
    and SIG P226-40 TT, and Ruger GP-100, and Beretta 92FS
    Former: Taurus 92SS, SIG P220 TT, S&W 360, SIG P239-40, Ruger 22/45 MKII

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    Member Array P345's Avatar
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    I have never had a problem with big kikers, shoot IHMSA for 10 yrs. I like my ruger P 345 to carry, it's lite, shoots real good, and did not have to sell the house to get it.

  11. #10
    Member Array chenemf's Avatar
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    Plastic, steel, aluminum... Tried them all and have at least one of each. Most fun to shoot is my plastic Sig Pro. For a lot of thump, I like my Redhawk in .41 mag. Can't beat the plastic for light weight carry.

  12. #11
    Ex Member Array fludy12's Avatar
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    The best polymer "carry" 9mm I've ever come across is the Kahr PM9.

    I know the Kahr bashers will show up soon, but ALL gun manufacturers have problems from time to time.

    Mine's had thousands of rounds through it and been completely reliable after the 200 rd break-in. In fact, I've never had a FTFire, FTE, FTX ever! The only thing was when it was new and stiff, I couldn't 100% slingshot the slide to load the first round of a full magazine. But, in Kahr's defense, the manual does say to load the first round by dropping the slide from lock. However, I can slingshot any round and that "problem" disappeared very quickly as the gun broke in.

  13. #12
    Lead Moderator
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    I shoot what I carry. Polymer or alum. frame guns.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


    Nemo Me Impune Lacesset

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    Senior Member Array imthduke's Avatar
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    Yes, when I was a child, I spoke as a child and shot as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things and guns

    Now, don't start with the verbal slaps....just kiddin

    Yep, I seem to enjoy the real steel in the ole mit. There is something primal and business like bout it. The plastic just doesn't do it like the heavy artillary for me. But that's just me. If you rather have plastic; enjoy.
    http://www.treasureislandbedandbreakfast.com
    Ed Brown Kobra Carry | HK P7M8, P2000sk, P30s | Sig P238, P239SAS, 1911 C3, P232, P938 | Colt Defender, Mustang Pocketlite, 1911 | Rohrbaugh R9 | Kimber Covert Ultra II | Browning HP, Buckmark 22LR(suppressed| Walter PPK(1966) | Kahr PM9 Black Rose |

  15. #14
    Member Array dauff's Avatar
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    I agree,

    I recently did a 250rd reliability test on my G-26. The second half of the box was definitely more work than fun.

    After I shoot 250rds through my steel 1911, I'm digging in the range bag to find more .45s!

    Dauff

  16. #15
    Senior Member Array imthduke's Avatar
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    Many like the steel frames and many just can't get their post to post. Thanks admin.
    http://www.treasureislandbedandbreakfast.com
    Ed Brown Kobra Carry | HK P7M8, P2000sk, P30s | Sig P238, P239SAS, 1911 C3, P232, P938 | Colt Defender, Mustang Pocketlite, 1911 | Rohrbaugh R9 | Kimber Covert Ultra II | Browning HP, Buckmark 22LR(suppressed| Walter PPK(1966) | Kahr PM9 Black Rose |

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