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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I don't know a lot about polymer, but I watched a few YouTube videos on polymer80 builds and Glocks. In more than one video, the person speaking says to wet sand the polymer frames, and they explain that polymer frames incorporate H2O into their material structure. They then go on to say that wet sanding is therefore important in keeping the frame hydrated. I'm assuming that was said as far as keeping it looking aesthetically pleasing rather than being imperative for functionality, because the wet sanding comments were mentioned when they were talking about how dry sanding makes the material look scratchy.

I started to look up more info on this, and found articles unrelated to polymer firearm frames specifically, but rather about certain types of polymers being water absorbent, which brings me to believe that there is truth about these frames incorporating water into their structure.

I know that there are many different types of polymers, and I'm assuming that these 80% polymer Glock-like receiver brands, as well as Glock frames, have their own unique proprietary polymer materials. However, despite proprietary differences, I assume the materials chosen by different manufacturers are very closely related, and if what was said in a few videos I've seen about polymer frames having H2O as part of the physical material structure, it got me to questioning the effects of below freezing temperatures on these frames.

When H2O freezes, intramolecular forces, hydrogen bonding forces, a lowering density, etc., all happens, and causes the water to expand. This creates enough force to crack concrete in the winter when temperatures freeze.

My question is, wouldn't freezing temperatures cause permanent damage to these frames just the same? Obviously there isn't a ton of water incorporated into the material, so it wouldn't cause noticeable damage if out in the cold once, but I'd think that even with a little bit of H2O absorbed into the material, with repeated freezing and warming, that overtime it could severely weaken/damage the frame.
 

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Yes. All Glocks quit working the first winter after they were invented. That's why the police and armies all over the world have not carried Glocks since the 80s.

Sure, they'll tell you the Alaska State Police and the Norwegian Army use Glocks, but I think that's just disinformation.

:upeyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Yes. All Glocks quit working the first winter after they were invented. That's why the police and armies all over the world have not carried Glocks since the 80s.

Sure, they'll tell you the Alaska State Police and the Norwegian Army use Glocks, but I think that's just disinformation.

:upeyes:
I mean, that's a valid point, but at the same time I didn't mention "after a winter." I was clearly talking about long term exposure to constantly changing temperature fluctuations.

You also mentioned Glock alone, and while I mentioned glock, I also mentioned other manufacturers of polymer frames, which haven't necessarily had a chance to stand the test of time as Glock has.

You also make an assumption as to the length of time I'm talking about. No doubt it will take time for hot/cold conditions to impact polymer. Military and law enforcement I would have no doubt don't have issues after a few years use in extreme conditions. Having said that, when they start to wear out those individuals typically just turn their service piece in for a new one without cost to themselves.

On the other hand, for a civilian who doesn't have that luxury, I'm wondering if say, storing it in a safe in the shed, where I have room for a safe, where it's not temperature controlled, and where it experiences 30+ degree temperature fluctuations daily, including below freezing temperatures, would it potentially reduce it's life from from 30 or more years to say a decade?
 

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The same YouTube that has videos of morons hitting themselves in the junk? That YouTube? Just cause some goober puts up a YouTube video doesn’t mean he knows his head from his ass.

Some polymers are water absorbing, some even allow water to get through it (given enough time)

Wet sanding isn’t done wet to hydrate the material. It’s done to allow particulates to float away leaving your item in contact with only the super fine stone or paper. You get a much smoother finish that way, but it’s not cause you’re hydrating the item.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The same YouTube that has videos of morons hitting themselves in the junk? That YouTube? Just cause some goober puts up a YouTube video doesn’t mean he knows his head from his ass.

Some polymers are water absorbing, some even allow water to get through it (given enough time)

Wet sanding isn’t done wet to hydrate the material. It’s done to allow particulates to float away leaving your item in contact with only the super fine stone or paper. You get a much smoother finish that way, but it’s not cause you’re hydrating the item.
Yeah, it's the same YouTube. Here is one of the videos that I'm making reference to (starting at about 4 min 15 seconds), but it's not the only one. What you said makes sense though.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZN-3_-YmeY
 

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I can tell you my experience from designing injection molded parts for 20 odd years.

Nylon is a hygroscopic material, meaning it absorbs water until it hits an equilibrium percentage, around 2-3% from memory.

When the part is first molded, all the water has been driven off and the part is called dry as molded (DAM). These material properties are very different from the desirable characteristics of nylon such as yield strength and ductility.

To change this, the part can either be sealed in a bag with water (typical for small fasteners or pins), or just left out in a humid environment. I've had to go into auto plants during shutdowns and seal all the nylon pins in watered bags or else when they start back up, all the pins start breaking and hysteria ensues. You can't tell by looking if a nylon part is properly saturated either so it's a bit of a whack-a-mole game.

Glocks are obviously not this sensitive to temps, probably because it is a PA alloy and likely also filled which both reduce the hygroscopic nature.

I'm a little fuzzy on this part but, water expands when it freezes (about 10%) because the molecules re-orient themselves and how they fit together.

The molecules that are absorbed into Nylon fit not with other water molecules, but with the nylon molecule, so there is no "reorienting" when they freeze. In other words the water is spaced out enough in the polymer to not be a problem.

This has something to do with hydrogen bonding and how molecules are attracted to each other, but it's been a long time since chemistry class for me.

Condensed version - freezing is unlikely to damage your Glock frame.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I can tell you my experience from designing injection molded parts for 20 odd years.

Nylon is a hygroscopic material, meaning it absorbs water until it hits an equilibrium percentage, around 2-3% from memory.

When the part is first molded, all the water has been driven off and the part is called dry as molded (DAM). These material properties are very different from the desirable characteristics of nylon such as yield strength and ductility.

To change this, the part can either be sealed in a bag with water (typical for small fasteners or pins), or just left out in a humid environment. I've had to go into auto plants during shutdowns and seal all the nylon pins in watered bags or else when they start back up, all the pins start breaking and hysteria ensues. You can't tell by looking if a nylon part is properly saturated either so it's a bit of a whack-a-mole game.

Glocks are obviously not this sensitive to temps, probably because it is a PA alloy and likely also filled which both reduce the hygroscopic nature.

I'm a little fuzzy on this part but, water expands when it freezes (about 10%) because the molecules re-orient themselves and how they fit together.

The molecules that are absorbed into Nylon fit not with other water molecules, but with the nylon molecule, so there is no "reorienting" when they freeze. In other words the water is spaced out enough in the polymer to not be a problem.

This has something to do with hydrogen bonding and how molecules are attracted to each other, but it's been a long time since chemistry class for me.

Condensed version - freezing is unlikely to damage your Glock frame.
Thank you for the knowledgeable response. You definitely answered my question, and you did so in a way that made you come across as knowledgeable and educated, which is in a manner that many others seem to not have the capacity for.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Retired Alaska cop. They work fine in the cold. Or going from warm to cold. Or cold to warm. Or staying very cold. (Below 0 for hours.) Don’t give it another thought. (Less is best at -10 when it comes to oil, though.)
Thanks for the input warbow150
 

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Yes. All Glocks quit working the first winter after they were invented. That's why the police and armies all over the world have not carried Glocks since the 80s
Sure, they'll tell you the Alaska State Police and the Norwegian Army use Glocks, but I think that's just disinformation..:upeyes:
He answered his own question with this; "I know that there are many different types of polymers, and I'm assuming that these 80% polymer Glock-like receiver brands, as well as Glock frames, have their own unique proprietary polymer materials."
I think the OP was severely over-analyzing the whole polymer thing. :animlol::animlol:
 

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So you keep your guns outside In the shed? I’d worry more about metal parts rusting than issues with polymer parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
He answered his own question with this; "I know that there are many different types of polymers, and I'm assuming that these 80% polymer Glock-like receiver brands, as well as Glock frames, have their own unique proprietary polymer materials."
I think the OP was severely over-analyzing the whole polymer thing. :animlol::animlol:
I probably was overthinking it, but someone posted somewhere else that cold can damage polymer. I didn't think much of it at first, I mean it's plastic, so forgot about that post. Then recently it dropped below freezing one night, and that week I went to use my hose and it sprung a leak from damage due to freezing (gets me every year). Then I saw a few videos mentioning these frames absorb water, remembered the post from a few months back, and started to question if maybe there was something to it, or if my initial assumption of that post was correct in that the person didn't know what he was talking about. Figured I'd ask.

Also, when I said that, I meant, I was assuming that polymer frames are similar in composition, but because they each have their own proprietary polymer material, I didn't know if my assumption was correct in that they are similar enough to break down at the same rate in response to different conditions, or if different proprietary polymers (Differences between Glock, vs LoneWolf equivalant, Polymer80, etc.) have any proven test comparisons as to how they hold up to extreme conditions relative to one another over time. Considering my frame has been subject to it for a few years already, with no noticeable negative impact, I didn't think it would be an issue, but wasn't sure if that would hold true say over a ten year period of time.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
So you keep your guns outside In the shed? I’d worry more about metal parts rusting than issues with polymer parts.
I moved from a house with a garage (kept my safe in the garage) to a house without a garage. The new house has a basement, and my plan was to put the safe in the basement. I ran into a problem though. I can't get the thing to the basement. It's too heavy, even with someone else helping me it wasn't happening. I had to improvise and put it in the shed. Had no other options aside from putting it in the middle of the kitchen or living room. It won't fit in the bedroom or the bathroom unfortunately. The wife wasn't going for it being in the kitchen or the living room, so.. It went in the shed. Also, I have kids, so all firearms stay in the safe... Meanwhile, metal parts are well oiled, and I keep desiccant packs in there until I can find a viable alternative as to where I can put the safe, which has unfortunately been something I've been looking for for two years...

The safe probably does help with temperature fluctuation though. Also, while the shed is not optimal, it is large and it is secure. More recently I have thought about getting into reloading and possibly setting up a bench for it in the shed... Don't know yet, but just thinking about it. It would be a great hobby and excuse to get away from the wife from time to time by being able to walk out of the house to go play around in the shed away from her for a few hours from time to time
 

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Glock’s started operating range is -40 to 122 Fahrenheit

This safe, simple, and fast system allows the user to concentrate fully on shooting without having any additional actions to disengage and reengage safeties. This means it is safe if it’s dropped, and additionally it functions at temperatures from -40° to 122° Fahrenheit.
If really worried about damaging a Glock, read this https://www.ballisticmag.com/2018/05/23/glock-17-torture-test-ocean/
 
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It’s not an unreasonable question. The cold up here is hard on equipment, especially up north or in the interior. -20 below for a week is nothing to laugh off. Though as someone pointed out the little metal bits are more of a worry than the polymer.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Glock’s started operating range is -40 to 122 Fahrenheit



If really worried about damaging a Glock, read this https://www.ballisticmag.com/2018/05/23/glock-17-torture-test-ocean/
I didn't grow up with them, so can't say I know/knew much about them, which is primarily the reason for my post. I thought it unlikely that cold weather would damage it, but wanted to be sure. The info in your post is impressive though. After reading that, and some of the other comments, I no longer have any concerns. Thanks again
 

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I moved from a house with a garage (kept my safe in the garage) to a house without a garage. The new house has a basement, and my plan was to put the safe in the basement. I ran into a problem though. I can't get the thing to the basement. It's too heavy, even with someone else helping me it wasn't happening. I had to improvise and put it in the shed. Had no other options aside from putting it in the middle of the kitchen or living room. It won't fit in the bedroom or the bathroom unfortunately. The wife wasn't going for it being in the kitchen or the living room, so.. It went in the shed. Also, I have kids, so all firearms stay in the safe... Meanwhile, metal parts are well oiled, and I keep desiccant packs in there until I can find a viable alternative as to where I can put the safe, which has unfortunately been something I've been looking for for two years...

The safe probably does help with temperature fluctuation though. Also, while the shed is not optimal, it is large and it is secure. More recently I have thought about getting into reloading and possibly setting up a bench for it in the shed... Don't know yet, but just thinking about it. It would be a great hobby and excuse to get away from the wife from time to time by being able to walk out of the house to go play around in the shed away from her for a few hours from time to time
Got it, yeah sometime you have to do what you have to. That and not all sheds are created equal. I’ve known a few people with semi heated or sometimes heated pole barns with a room that have done that.

Trouble is with severe fluctuations it’s hard to keep rust at bay. I’m in the upper Midwest, so it can get up to 100 degrees to -35 below. My dad sometime keeps an old well oiled single shot .22 in the barn for various varmints and it would still get some rusting. That and there’s places on the gun that may not get oiled. Besides my Glocks and a couple shotguns, all my serious hunting and backwoods guns are stainless steel.
 
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