what is the best frame and slide material for semi auto handguns?
with all the semi-automatic handguns on the market with , polymer/plastic frames with forged or cast steel slides with aluminum frames, cast steel slides and frames, cast steel frames with forged slides and finally forged steel slides and frames--so many types of parts out there and the combos are nearly endless.
i have a very early USA made m9/92 with the alloy frame from the mid 80s--shot unknown amounts of rounds--but in the thousands++++
this pistol also served as a host for a 40s&w slide and eventually 357sig barrel and slide. in the first few years of the m9s adoption there were a number of frame failures in normal use. but mine got treated like a redheaded stepchild. and so far nothing has cracked.
EAA witness has some bad frames and slides not too long ago don't know if they were cast or not but they were steel. strangely the very early examples of the witness and later versions didn't seem to have the problem nor did the match guns that i know of . all the cracked frame and slide witnesses i have herd of were 45 and 10mm.
i don't know if any of the witness polymer guns cracked or broke??
i have a few glocks i have a old model 22 that i converted over to 357sig a number of years back. so far no problems. yet with the more heavy 357sig loads you can feel the frame flex a little. same with the 31--maybe a little less flex. i had a 10mm glock , i sold it and bought a witness match in 10mm
one of my pals still has a glock in 20mm --he ain't worried much about the plastic frame --although he does have some concerns about the glock barrel!
back in the day i built a few pontiac powered hot-rods. the poncho V-8 mostly had cast iron rods. and back in the day everyone said the iron rods were a no-no and would fail. a really built up motor might get the cast-steel rods. anyway to make a long story short NONE of the pontiac mills died from rod failure --and some of the cast steel 455s were turning 7200RPM frequently. i think we were running the cast rod motors at a 6400 red-line. in those manual shift cars though rarely shifted at the right time sometimes going way into the red.
a properly cast part COULD be very good although a poorly cast part with flaws could be very very BAD!
what about the forgings? i have seen some outside produced forged steel that was very poor quality.
what about those south american and spanish semi autos of years ago? some of them i know were pretty good. but i do remember some from the 80s that had very soft forgings--IIRC