Courtesy of Tactical Life

I tend to shiver just a bit at the titillating sensation of steel against flesh just as much as the next rabid gun nerd. Believe me, I get it. I really do. Feeling the recoil of those fat .45 ACP rounds through the checkered mainspring housing of my favorite 1911 inevitably bumps my serum testosterone up a few points. However, clinging dogmatically to our steel and aluminum handguns in the Year of our Lord 2017 is starting to look just a little bit sad.

Even this deep into the Information Age you still bump into that rare Neanderthal who can’t download apps or program his microwave. Such unfortunate luddites are cursed to a lifetime of flip phones and incessantly blinking household appliances. Don’t be that guy.

I think we can safely say that polymer pistols are no passing fad. There are certainly still plenty of new-production heaters sporting steel or aluminum frames. Heck, 1911 pistols will still be rolling off the lines when the world’s last Glock finally gets recycled into Wal-Mart shopping bags, packing foam, or whatever it is recycled plastic actually gets recycled into. However, it’s time for us old farts to get with the program. Until they come up with something even snazzier, tomorrow’s cool new combat guns will inevitably be made out of plastic.

Semantics and the Inexorable Power of Progress

We use the terms plastic and polymer interchangeably at times, but the word plastic was initially an adjective, not a noun. Plastic deformation is what happens when a material deforms and then retains its deformed shape. The antonym is elastic. Elastic defines a material that, once deformed, springs back into its original configuration. As it relates to guns, plastic simply describes a synthetic material that can be molded into complex shapes. Early plastics were flimsy. Today’s advanced polymers are, by contrast, phenomenally robust.

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