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  #1  
Old 02-18-2012, 01:52 PM
The Viking The Viking is offline
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Aluminum Frame 1911's

I have three aluminum frame 1911's ( a Kimber and two Wilsons - one in 9mm and one in 45). They are definitely a joy to carry, combining the slimness of a 1911 with light weight. I do not shoot them a whole lot ( the 9mm Wilson gets shot the most). The 45's are a bit punishing to shoot.
Kimber put on their website they fired their aluminum frame 45 20,000 times then took it apart and saw no appreciable wear on it. (Remember we make aircraft out of aluminum.) I rather doubt I will ever fire one of my pistols that much in my lifetime.
Anyway, I have often wondered how durable these pistols are. Anyone have any information on that?
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  #2  
Old 02-18-2012, 02:37 PM
Tenringx2 Tenringx2 is offline
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I have owned a few, still own one and will not buy anymore. Anyone who says aluminum holds up to steel as well as steel holds up to steel is in error.
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  #3  
Old 02-18-2012, 02:57 PM
facilitator facilitator is offline
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I have a Kimber PRO CDP II 4" (aluminum frame) .45 ACP currently with just over 5000 rounds through it with no appreciable wear at all that I can detect. It's 100% reliable and in my carry rotation. I really appreciate it's lighter carry weight and four inch length especially in the summer time.

It's just about six years old and I'll have to admit when I first got it I shot the heck out of it. For the last several years I've only put several hundred rounds through it each year. I've tapered down the round usage because of what I've read about alum vs. steel frames long term.

It's definitely not one of my primary range guns for the same reason. The somewhat snappier felt recoil isn't an issue with me either.

Looking ahead, I'm probably going to put just several hundred rounds through it per year in the future and just watch closely for any frame problems that might occur.

OTOH, if a problem should develop, I'm sure Kimber will step up and make it right.
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  #4  
Old 02-18-2012, 03:11 PM
twistedtippet twistedtippet is offline
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I just sold a 10yr old ProCarry with appx. 8-10k rounds thru it and it is just about as tight as it was when new. Always use mags with skirted followers and the feed ramp
won't get dinged up.
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  #5  
Old 02-18-2012, 04:27 PM
DirtyRod DirtyRod is offline
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I shoot the crap out of mine. 10k and counting through my 4 year old Kimber Pro, 6k through my SA LW, and 40-50k through the LW SA I sold my neighbor. If the frame wears out I'll buy another frame. Like my steel range runs but love a LW for carry.
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  #6  
Old 02-18-2012, 05:28 PM
The Viking The Viking is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tenringx2 View Post
I have owned a few, still own one and will not buy anymore. Anyone who says aluminum holds up to steel as well as steel holds up to steel is in error.
Even Ed Brown says if you plan to shoot a lot then use his all stell Kobra carry. If not, then the aluminum frame ( which is air craft aluminum) should do just fine.
I do get amused when I tell people aircraft are not made of steel. I have not heard of anyone who has managed to shoot a aluminum frame to pieces in normal usage.
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  #7  
Old 02-18-2012, 05:33 PM
tgunner tgunner is offline
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I had an Ultra Carry II that cracked the frame just forward of the slide stop pivot after around 1200 rounds-on BOTH sides. They replaced it and 800 rounds later on the second frame, the same crack showed up on the right side. I fixed the problem on the third frame-thank God & Greyhound-it took a trip to someone else. Overall I wasn't real happy.
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  #8  
Old 02-18-2012, 06:03 PM
stellite stellite is offline
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I broke two aluminum frames in my life time and a friend broke one. All the frames failed in under 10k rounds, the sig 226, baretta92f, taurus pt99. I know of agencies that saw aluminum frame failures in the 13k round average on the same guns. The Navy being one. All this is well documented. I would say that this is expected wear and tear.

having said all that I also own a Ruger P90 from the mid 90's that has easily over 10k rounds and it still looks new. I doubt that frame will ever fail. I am pretty sure Ruger uses magic dust in their aluminum. And if they ever make an aluminum frame 1911 it will be my first one.

If I owned an aluminum framed 1911 these days, I would probably get a sprinco shock buffer for it or at the very least a slightly higher spring rate to dampen the hammering of the frame and slide.
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  #9  
Old 02-18-2012, 06:22 PM
iShoot iShoot is offline
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My Fusion aluminum framed 1911 should last forever!



..........that's a Kimber .22 conversion on top

Last edited by iShoot; 10-10-2012 at 07:37 PM.
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  #10  
Old 02-18-2012, 06:33 PM
john1badass45 john1badass45 is offline
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I have 2 alloy framed 1911's- kimber cpII pro and DW guardian and will shoot the crap out of them since they are part of my carry rotation and I believe you should practice with what you carry.With todays advances in metallurgy the aluminum frame guns should hold up well.
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  #11  
Old 02-18-2012, 06:53 PM
Cumminsman76 Cumminsman76 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herbert Cannon View Post
I do get amused when I tell people aircraft are not made of steel. I have not heard of anyone who has managed to shoot a aluminum frame to pieces in normal usage.
The critical parts are titanium.
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  #12  
Old 02-18-2012, 07:25 PM
iShoot iShoot is offline
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Originally Posted by Cumminsman76 View Post
The critical parts are titanium.


....um, no
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  #13  
Old 02-18-2012, 07:29 PM
fadedsun fadedsun is offline
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My sig 226 has a tiny amount of sheen on the under side if the rails after 4k rounds but that's it. I used a lot of clp on it before I figured out grease was better.
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  #14  
Old 02-18-2012, 08:31 PM
kssig1 kssig1 is offline
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"When God carries concealed, he carries a Glock 19 – Paul A. Hotaling, Grey Group Training"?
Are you kidding? Gaston Glock is still alive. John Browning is in heaven and bet he built God the most awesome 1911 ever, that is if God forgave him for the High-Power sin...LMAO
Oh and my LWT Commander has several thousand rounds through it without any problems yet...
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  #15  
Old 02-18-2012, 08:42 PM
Mike S Mike S is offline
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I have a few non 1911 firearms with aluminum frame / steel slide. The aluminum is hard anodized and so far, no issues. (Sig P226 P228 S&W 3923NL) I do take great care to ensure that abrasives are removed and that the frame rails / slide are well lubed.
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  #16  
Old 02-19-2012, 12:03 AM
hdm25 hdm25 is offline
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Older aluminum-framed firearms gave lightweight frames a bad name. Newer metallurgical processes should really have taken care of a lot of this. I would still not shoot an aluminum-framed gun as much as a steel one but my 9mm Dan Wesson Guardian would take a diet of regular-power 9mm ammo pretty much until the cows came home, I would bet.
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  #17  
Old 02-19-2012, 12:35 AM
alexrex20 alexrex20 is offline
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I have a 78 colt and new we brown Kobra carry lightweight. Cnt way enough good things about aluminum frame [email protected]
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  #18  
Old 02-19-2012, 08:58 AM
devildog8774 devildog8774 is offline
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how are aluminum frames holding up with hollow points?
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:14 AM
devildog8774 devildog8774 is offline
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With a .45, you don't need hollow points, 230gr FMJ is good enough and is combat proven, whats uppp!
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  #20  
Old 02-19-2012, 09:22 AM
icecold icecold is offline
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i have been on the fence,i have no aluminum framed guns yet,i do have preorder in for a a dan wesson eco,it seems to cover all that is evil in a 1911,aluminum frame and short slide /barrel.hopefully dw has tested these well.
i ordered one in 45 and think that the ramped barrel should eliminate any ramp /feed issues from hollowpoints.so if the aluminum frame can hold up under use it will be a winner.i will likely not use my normal carry round the ranger +p instead i will just use regular rangers.
pete
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  #21  
Old 02-19-2012, 09:46 AM
DirtyRod DirtyRod is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devildog8774 View Post
how are aluminum frames holding up with hollow points?
Fine. Running 500 rounds of FMJ through mine first helped smooth out the feed ramp. After that it fed Hydras, Gold Dots, Hornady Taps, and several others and still gets a mag or two of HSTs every other month or so. Out of the 10k rounds I'd guess that 400 or so are HPs. My other alloy gun and my wifes EMP feed just fine.

I bought my SA LW dirt cheap from a guy that kept trying to ram HPs throught it when it was brand new so the ramp was goughed so bad it would barely feed FMJ. I used it as a range gun for several years and after several thousand rounds it will now feed HSTs.

Non issue for me.
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  #22  
Old 02-19-2012, 10:29 AM
devildog8774 devildog8774 is offline
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You have ramped barrel?
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  #23  
Old 02-19-2012, 10:43 AM
DirtyRod DirtyRod is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devildog8774 View Post
You have ramped barrel?
My Kimber Pro is not a ramped barrel. The LW Champion and wifes EMP are ramped. The 50k round Champion I sold my neighbor did not have a ramped barrel. Can't remember if Dad's Wilson is ramped. I don't think it is but I don't have it to look at.
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  #24  
Old 02-19-2012, 01:01 PM
sousana sousana is offline
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I have a Springfield Armory lightweight Champion GI that just went over the 44k round mark. After breakdown it shows no appreciable wear and tear. Once it hits the 60k round mark I'll send it off to Springfield for inspection. As to worry? If I buy a lightweight frame, it's from a company who offers lifetime warrantys so that should it need replacement, they'll do it free of charge, even should you shoot it down to bare reliability.
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  #25  
Old 02-19-2012, 02:43 PM
Tenringx2 Tenringx2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herbert Cannon View Post
Even Ed Brown says if you plan to shoot a lot then use his all stell Kobra carry. If not, then the aluminum frame ( which is air craft aluminum) should do just fine.
I do get amused when I tell people aircraft are not made of steel. I have not heard of anyone who has managed to shoot a aluminum frame to pieces in normal usage.

I remember posting that about Ed Brown, it was the first or second time you started a thread about this same topic.
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