Plastics, Polymers and Serious Rifles

By John Farnam

3D Printed AR-15 Lower Receiver
3D Printed AR-15 Lower Receiver img: Endo Tactical Inc
Defense Training International, Inc
Defense Training International, Inc

Ft Collins, CO --(Ammoland.com)- Plastics and serious rifles, from a friend and manufacturer:

“Use of polymers in firearms has become commonplace.

With serious rifles, plastic lower receivers may be arguable, but using plastic structural components to support the barrel is extremely unwise, yet both H&K and Beretta have done this.

Plastic is suitable for parts of a rifle that must be gripped by the hand or to which the cheek is pressed, because it does not heat-up as fast as steel or aluminum. However, plastic structural components will never be as durable as metal ones, and their use in inappropriate places will lead to rifles with short lives!

Metal rifles are heavier than plastic ones. No doubt! The judicious use of plastics/polymers can contribute to making the rifle less ponderous. Not in dispute.

Yet, in my opinion, critical, structural parts of serious rifles still need to be made of ordinance steel or aluminum. As such, the rifle will last a lifetime (pun intended).”

Comment: We all need to keep an open mind with regard to new manufacturing methods and materials. But, when our lives depend upon them, we need to stick with weapons and weapons technology with an established and respectable track-record.

New ideas and methods need to be constantly tested and retested. Some will prove worthy and be ultimately embraced. Most will not and will wither away.

It’s called “progress.”

“Don’t ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up.” ~ Robert Frost

/John

About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc
As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor John Farnam will urge you, based on your own beliefs, to make up your mind in advance as to what you would do when faced with an imminent and unlawful lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance, if any. Defense Training International wants to make sure that their students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or inactions.

It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to the Planet Earth. Mr Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit: www.defense-training.com

  • One thought on “Plastics, Polymers and Serious Rifles

    1. Here here. I never understood the allure of weaker materials for large structural AR parts?

      Now, carbon fiber? It’s got a track record we can measurably depend on, but it’s expensive.

      As far as polymer parts, a manufacture needs to show us some good old fashioned torture tests:)

      For the foreseeable future, I’m stickin with steel or aluminum.

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