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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Cut and pasted from Ruger website Q&A section

"I have heard that Ruger has changed the 10/22 carbine trigger group components from aluminum to polymer. Is this true and, if so, why was this change made?

Yes, it is true that we have updated the 10/22 trigger group components and that they are now made of glass-filled polymer instead of the die cast aluminum parts. Ruger engineers are always looking for ways to improve our products, including evaluating new and evolving technologies and materials. The benefits of polymers are many, including improved impact resistance, an unmatched ability to withstand the elements, and of course weight savings. Accordingly, polymers are routinely used in firearms that are subjected to heavy use in harsh conditions, law enforcement and military applications in particular. The new trigger group features injection molded components of high tech polymer for an improved product with closer manufacturing tolerances. The firearm is as reliable and, because the color is incorporated into the polymer of the injection molded components, the finish will never wear off due to normal use or unexpected abrasion. Also, the heat stabilized, glass-filled polymer will withstand impacts that would bend or even break the die cast aluminum parts previously used in Ruger 10/22's."
 
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I've yet to see all this disproved.

I know Kidd has designed their trigger kit around the polymer housing due to it's tighter tolerances. The polymer parts are lighter and based on what I've seen, more durable.

Rather than disproven, I hear more opinions and "facts" than anything.
 

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All I can say about it is my brother got a new 10/22 with the polymer trigger group components and I had an older one with the aluminum trigger group. We both did drop in trigger jobs with the same quality parts and his is a bit nicer then mine.

He can't tell a difference but I can. I have pulled a lot of quality triggers in my time, some measured in ounces pull weight. I see no bad with the polymer trigger group but only time will tell.
 

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Polymers are just fine

Most of the perceptions come from when you pull the trigger. The stock 10-22 triggers come in about 8 lbs with creepy slack and a rough reset. This has nothing to do with the polymer housings, it's the components inside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There is a video on Ruger website showing a weight being dropped on both the aluminum trigger group and the polymer. The aluminum shattered, with the polymer the weight just bounced off. I tried to link to it but all it goes to is the video menu and not a particular video.

With either aluminum or polymer in either trigger group or receiver the 10/22 becomes a throw away gun at best. My new one (polymer trigger) will last my time anyway. Made to last forever is not in Rugers plans for most of their products, as it is with most things made today.
 
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There's alot of good things being made from polymers these days. The Ruger 10/22 trigger group in just one of them. To the 10/22 enthusiest who enjoys the older models it's a big deal. To the rest of us who just want to enjoy our 10/22's I believe it's a non issue, and is quite possibly be and improvement. I certainly have no negative feelings towards the poly trigger group.
 

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Probably a bit of each - here's what I mean.
1. Glock started it all when they introduced a gun wherein the most expensive part on the gun suddenly became one of the cheapest - its just plain cheap 'n easy to mold nylon around a stamped set of rails. Even with zero advantages to the polymer (which is not true) the lower cost is decisive in the market place. S&W, Ruger, etc. have all had to follow suit to compete. Think I'm kidding? Browning Hi Powers cost $900 new. Beautiful gun, made the old fashioned way. I want one. Hell, I want two! But I can't afford 'em nearly as well as I can a Glock or S&W M&P. The only thing keeping the Beretta in the running is the size of military contracts and the insertion of composite polymer parts into the existing design that helps Beretta keep the cost of 92FS pistols only a little higher than the Glocks, et al. Bet Beretta's profit margin is lower too.
2. Once manufacturers saw that they could lower production cost with the selective insertion of polymer parts into existing designs with little to no loss in functionality, the rules of economics dominated the marketplace and polymer FCG housings and small parts are becoming the norm in the industry. 10/22's, 870's, 1911 mainspring housings, etc.
3. Are there impact resistance advantages to the polymers? Yes.
4. Are there corrosion resistance advantages to the polymers? Yes.
5. Are there disadvantages? Yes.
a. UV light attacks plastics. This can be slowed by using a "carbon black" in the polymer but be aware that all of the hydrocarbon chain compounds have a degree of vulnerability to UV. That's why kevlar rappelling ropes must be kept in a light proof container prior to use; you don't want your line to part 100' in the air!
b. Polymers can be attacked by some chemicals that you may find surprising. Nylon 66 (what the Glock is made of as well as the Remington Nylon 66) is vulnerable to "hydrolysis" (literally "water dissolving") in hot water. Don't really use a dishwasher to clean your Glock, because you are minutely weakening the frame over time. I have seen Glock magazines split lengthwise when stored in a hot damp attic. My belief is that this was hydrolytic failure based on the material properties.
c. Inability to repair stress cracks and fractures. When a steel or alloy frame cracks it is possible to tig weld it. Once upon a time I had a P1 frame tig welded and it was stronger than when new. This is not possible with polymer frames.
d. Vulnerability to "non-traditional" threats. Consider what happens if Fido gets hold of your pretty new Glock. Instant chew toy.

However, manufacturers want to talk up the advantage and pretend that cost savings were not part of the decision process. Its just a marketing thing, but they all want us to believe we're buying the best possible piece of equipment, not the best possible piece of equipment within the economic constraints of meeting a price point.

If you like the alloy FCG, they're out there. If you don't care about polymer, you just saved some $$$ (if not for the polymer FCG, the cost would probably be $20 or more higher).

Sorry this is waaay long winded.
Grumpy
PS Here's some more wind - consider the advantage of the pistol grip on a rifle like a MP44 from a cost perspective. Prior to the MP44, the Germans had to use either plywood sheets (which they were running short on when the allies bombed a chemical plant that made the glue) or solid hardwood. Solid hardwood stocks the length of a Kar 98 K are $$$$. There is a significant cost savings going to the "modern" configuration of a short scrap of wood as the stock with a cast or stamped pistol grip and forearm that over-rode any thought of its being "better" ergonomically in the minds of the designers. Of course that's not what they told the soldiers, since you always want them to think they have the best its possible to make, not the best you can afford to make.....
 

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Not winded at all. Thanks for your complete thoughts on this Grumpy! I remember when Ruger started the plastic stuff. Folks were lining up for the last of the aluminum issue. (2007)
Like most everything else in consumables we get used to or conditioned to the so called more cost efficient issue. It seems more apparent that when Old Bill passed the bean counters got more control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
People standing in line to buy a gun with an aluminum receiver and trigger group, notwithstanding polymer tells me we come to accept items manufactured by companies that produce inferior products at the peril of quality. Machined steel would never be considered. If it were most of us could not afford it.
 
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People standing in line to buy a gun with an aluminum receiver and trigger group, notwithstanding polymer tells me we come to accept items manufactured by companies that produce inferior products at the peril of quality. Machined steel would never be considered. If it were most of us could not afford it.
Steel and wood is still available.

Look to the Browning SA22: Browning Semi-Auto 22

They have one in our LGS. It is more than $600 and the price is not the result of the panic. That gun has been gathering dust for a while. BTW, it is the cheap version, with the lowest grade of wood that Browning sells.

My M1A's are all steel and wood. Unfortunately SAI uses an investment cast receiver as a cost cutter, but over the 42 years since the first M1A was made they thickened the receiver at the stress points (about 1.5x as thick IIRC) and that is why they hold up in use now. Want one made the old fashioned way? You're buying a $2500-$3000 LRB not a $1800 SAI.

And people think the Army changed from the M14 to the M16 because "its better" or "its deadlier". No, the Army changed from a rifle where the nearest civilian equivalent today costs $2500-$3000 compared to a rifle where the nearest civilian equivalent costs $900 (non panic priced). Similar cost savings are present in the ammo, and less practice is required on the M16 than would be the case if the M14 was made universal issue once again. Of course there are other advantages to the '16. Its a good deal lighter weight, but armies have this way of piling extra equipment on you if part of your burden has been removed.

Its that way with everything, I'm afraid.

Best,
Grumpy
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
In 1949 I got a Remington 514 single shot .22 for Christmas. I still have it, its all machined with a walnut stock. It was in my parents closet for years after I went in to the service in 1960. I dug it out a few years later, had it professionally reblued last summer and rubbed a little Tru Oil on the stock to blend in some of the scratches. For many years I thought the only way to make a gun was as the little Remington was made. I don't think that-a-way anymore.

I consider plastic/cast aluminum guns to be throwaways, machined steel and walnut guns to be heirlooms.
 

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In 1949 I got a Remington 514 single shot .22 for Christmas. I still have it, its all machined with a walnut stock. It was in my parents closet for years after I went in to the service in 1960. I dug it out a few years later, had it professionally reblued last summer and rubbed a little Tru Oil on the stock to blend in some of the scratches. For many years I thought the only way to make a gun was as the little Remington was made. I don't think that-a-way anymore.

I consider plastic/cast aluminum guns to be throwaways, machined steel and walnut guns to be heirlooms.
No disagreement here. Glad to read about your fine Rem. 514. That's a classic!

Aluminum for one thing has a finite fatigue life, thus does not have a well defined fatigue limit. i.e. if you take an aluminum bar and subject it to low level stresses that are within its normal strength limit it will eventually fail due to the formation of microscopic cracks. That's one part of why Aloha Airlines Flight 243 lost about 20' of cabin roof (corrosion in the aluminum was also a significant issue - yes aluminum corrodes in the correct salt water environment).

OTOH, a properly built alloy/plastic gun can last a good long time and for most people's uses is "good enough". But I like wood and steel on my guns, even at the loss of some impact resistance when new.

Best,
Grumpy
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I bought the 10/22 for its ability to take a scope. I'll not drill holes in the Remington making a $150 gun (guess) into a $50 gun. The value to me of the Rem. is not monetary however it is sentimental and it causes me to be proud of at least one .22 that I own.

After countless rounds shot through it it still shoots straight. With my aging eyes its difficult for me to focus on front and rear sight and target. That's where the scope come in.
 

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I also prefer wood and steel.






However I do not see the Poly trigger group on a 10/22 a negative, Just because it's new, in a small caliber rifle like the 10/22 doesn't mean it's not better or at least equal to the original part. I think Mr Stoner and Mr Glock and a few others did a pretty good job at showing the world that polymers can stand up to some pretty harsh conditions. As I mentioned I prefer wood and Steel but I'm not going to be close minded by saying that polymer parts in some cases are not at least equal to there steel counter parts.
 

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I broke a wood Mini 14 stock in the forearm area just below the gas block when I hit a mean ass steer in the head with it as he was chasing me around the jeep for the third time. I doubt a Choate or other synthetic stock would have split like that. It wasn't even that hard of a hit.
 

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I believe that the polymer parts are more durable than the aluminum ones. Not a doubt in my mind about that.

I'll be the first to admit that I dislike the polymer trigger housings on stainless rifles for no reason other than it's ugly.

When I got my stainless/synthetic carbine home, the first thing I did was pony up $29.99 to get an original aluminum trigger housing from Clark. Nothing to do with durability -- black polymer in a black synthetic stock with a silver action and stainless barrel looks like dog sh¡t to me...

I also purchased a NOS aluminum barrel band for exactly the same reason. ;)

EDIT: Tell me what you think...


vs.

 

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I believe that the polymer parts are more durable than the aluminum ones. Not a doubt in my mind about that.
Hi COBrien;

I absolutely agree that the better polymers are more durable in impact testing when new.

After 20+ years of UV and chemical exposure that's not necessarily true. Only time will tell on some of these parts, but as I buried in my overly long post I have actually seen Glock mags split lengthwise without any mechanical stress being present at all. They all had the partially lined interiors, meaning that the polymer was under some stress when loaded. The interesting thing to me is that the mags that failed did so after prolonged storage unloaded (i.e. not under any stress). I have also seen documented cases of Glock frames failing when stored in hot damp environments (lock box in the back of a pickup truck). Cracking of the frame was extensive on that one and the gun was effectively a paperweight.

OTOH, I've seen plenty of cracked and broken wood stocks. The M14 wood stocks were notorious for swelling and splitting due to waterlogging.

So, you pays your money and takes your chances. FWIW, I think that if I wanted an "eternal" gun it would be a hard chromed S&W M15 Combat Masterpiece - a beefy K frame firing a modest powered .38spl. Hard chrome over good carbon steel will not only keep it from rusting, but also keep the barrel from wearing excessively with heavy use.

All the best,
Grumpy
 

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Grumpy --

I wasn't speaking generally. :lol: I believe the 10/22 polymer trigger housings are more break-resistant then the aluminum ones. As far as the rest of the polymer gun parts, I agree with you. It depends.

For the record, I dislike Glocks generally, and prefer a 1911. :D
 
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