Heavy Metal Guns? Yes, Please!

In the video below, the Military Arms channel reviews the stainless steel Smith & Wesson 4006 TSW California Highway Patrol pistol. I like it! But then I like metal guns.

Sure, I pocket carry a Ruger LCP II when ultimate discretion in the better part of ballistic valor. But my EDC is a heavy-ass all-metal Wilson Combat EDC X9 in 9mm. Which replaced an even heavier Wilson Combat X-TAC .45. Not to mention my Kahr car gun (MK9).

I find that I shoot heavier metal guns more accurately and more rapidly (accurately) than polymer pistols, what with the weight producing relatively little muzzle flip compared to plastic fantastic firearms. But it’s not all about the shooting.

For me, a metal gun just looks and feels more like a “real” gun .

I know: an LCP or GLOCK 19 is every bit as much a “real” gun as any heavy metal firearm you can name. Polymer pistols do the same thing as a metal gats, with (frequently) increased reliability and less maintenance. And less weight.

Hence their market dominance. But handguns aren’t purely practical. They also provide psychological reassurance. A metal gun feels somehow right in my hand. Solid. Dependable (yeah, I know). And it looks way cooler.

Yes, there is that. I’m not talking about how other people see my gun. I’m talking about how I see it. With metal guns, I like what I see. You?

comments

  1. avatar Texheim says:

    I carry an M11a1 WITH an extra 18 rounds. Good belt and holster and don’t even notice it.

  2. avatar Jon in CO says:

    I like them, but it wouldn’t be a choice to carry everyday. Most of the time, heavier all metal guns don’t hold nearly the same amount of rounds and a fantastic plastic.

  3. avatar Darkman says:

    I sometimes carry my Ruger P89 OWB that I bought in 1994. It holds 15 rounds of 147+P. Big old heavy tank but it sure feels nice in the hand and is reliable as hell. So Yes to to metal guns. Ya just gotta man up.

    1. avatar Anonymous says:

      I’ve got a p94 that has never jammed. The idea that plastic guns are more reliable than a metal gun is silly. Metal guns can be made every bit as reliable. Glock didn’t make a plastic gun to improve reliability, he made it because it was cheaper, and put more money in his pocket.

      1. avatar Mikial says:

        Whether the lower of a gun is metal or polymer has no effect on reliability. As long as the magazine seats like it should, reliability is a function of the upper, which in all the guns I’m familiar with, is metal. The entire purpose of a polymer lower is weight reduction.

  4. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

    The more I look at and handle my polymer gun the less I like it (though it still is my primary carry gun). The more I handle my all steel guns the more I like them. The picture makes me wonder when and how I got rid of my 6906, I had a lot of affection for that gun even though at the same time (late 80’s through the ’90s) I also had a P226 and a P7M8.

    1. avatar Frank says:

      I find that everything about all-metal guns is more pleasing to the senses, until it comes time to carry it all day. Then I remember why I like polymer.

  5. avatar PDW says:

    Wish I still had my 4516-1.

    1. avatar James says:

      I have a 4516TSW Georgia State Patrol trade-in. I hope to never get rid of it. I still shoot it in IDPA in CDP division.

      Also still have my 4006. Except for the limitation of 11+1 capacity, it rocks in limited 10 division USPSA above major power factor.

      Heavy guns for action pistol are hard to beat. As carry, not so much.

    2. avatar Jericho 941 says:

      I had a 4516 too. I miss it and still cannot figure out why I sold it. Stupid move on my part.

    3. avatar Mark says:

      Oh yes! I still have my 4516-2. Never gonna part with it, as it has served me well on 2 occasions.

  6. avatar PeterK says:

    I do like metal guns. They just feel right. I did buy a glock as my first handgun, though. So what’s that say?

  7. avatar Joe R. says:

    Ya, much rather a metal frame, hammer, slide mounted de-cock safety.

    Beretta 92/96 or (without the de-cock) Sig Sauer P226 Tacops

    I once lost (in a firery boat wreck at sea) a ZASTAVA EZ40 – kinda like a regular Sig P226 except with a bit more beaver tail. I wouldn’t have even bought it if it wasn’t all metal.

  8. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    “… a metal gun just looks and feels more like a “real” gun.”

    Yep. Especially when it’s pulling your pants down.

    Great guns to shoot. Not so great guns to carry.

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      A shoulder holster can also be used to help hold your pants up.

  9. avatar Art out West says:

    I think you are actually talking about “steel” guns. My 642 and SR22 are “metal guns – aluminum”, but are still quite lightweight.

    Frankly, I like almost all guns, polymer framed like my LCP and G19, aluminum like the 642 and SR22, and steel framed like my Security Six, and CZ82.

    I do agree that there is something special about the steel framed handguns. They just feel better, and more substantial.

    I love to shoot them, but don’t generally carry them.

  10. avatar VerendusAudeo says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I have a S&W 5906, and I love it.

  11. avatar TommyJay says:

    I’ve got two .22 cal pistols, one aluminum framed and one plastic. Also two 9mm’s, one steel framed and one plastic.

    The all steel CZ-75B is my latest and I’m still getting used to it. At 2.2 lbs. it’s not that heavy for a full size double stack pistol. The wall thickness of the steel frame is really amazingly thin in places. I like it more than the plastic 9 and I shoot it better, though not quite as well as I’d hoped. I still shoot the little Walther P22 better from a standing position than anything else.

  12. avatar Don says:

    I have some of both. Like ’em all.

  13. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Slight compromise. My 1911 lightweight commander.

    1. avatar tmm says:

      It’s still all metal.

      Besides, you need metal to handle the recoil of a…say, 40mm gun.

      Saw one just yesterday. Tag originally said 9mm, which was crossed out and corrected to say 40mm. Yes, the correction, in pen, was for “40mm”, all four letters written in pen.

  14. avatar Specialist38 says:

    Most everything is lighter than my first centerfire carry-gun. A Smith and Wesson Model 28 Highway Patrolman.

    It was carried in a shoulder holster and was hot to conceal.

    I graduated to smaller revolvers since most small automatics were not as reliable as a revolver.

    I still like alloy-and-steel pistols. I have a Beretta 92 that is hard to beat for shooting.

    Thought about getting one of the Sig 40 226 DAK pistols so I can have a 40.

    There is definately a different “feel” to a metal pistol and I don’t feel like a have to work as hard to be accurate with them. One-handed shooting is much easier for me with a metal pistol.

    That weight we don’t want to carry comes in handy sometimes.

    1. avatar Hoosier Budget Gun Guy says:

      Man, my first carry gun was also a Model 28 Highway Patrolman. Then I got a 686. From there it was a series of Ruger P series, 85, 89, 90, 94 and a whole bunch of different pistols, including polymer striker fired pistols. Now I have a Stoeger .45 ACP. I wish I could have found the Stoeger in 9mm.

  15. avatar Mark N. says:

    I had a Springfield XD and carry a Kahr CW9m (which weighs all of 16 oz. unloaded). All of my other guns are steel except for an aluminum framed Kimber. the Kimber weights in around 30 oz or so loaded, but it seems so much heavier than my Kahr. I was in a LGS over the weekend and handled the steel P series version of my CW, and it was very nice. Excellent grips, well balanced–and over twice what I paid for my plastic fantastic pistol.

    that’s the thing about metal guns–price–and why so many people, in addition tot he size and cncealability factors–choose plastic pistols.

  16. avatar CEricks says:

    All 3 of my carry guns are all metal framed. Didn’t plan it that way, just happened. I keep meaning to get a polymer gun, but haven’t really felt the need, as what I have have been working for me. SP101, P7M8, and Kimber super carry pro. That Kimber steel frame is no lightweight, open carry only with that one.

  17. avatar jwm says:

    I have one polymer framed wonder 9. The rest of my pistols are metal. I prefer metal. But there’s no denying that polymer is easier to carry all day.

  18. avatar GS650G says:

    I’ve a Astra A100 that is a nice metal gun.

  19. avatar Ansel Hazen says:

    Nothing wrong with a metal gun but I EDC a Steyr L9-A1. TTAG has it at 2 lb 3.25 oz loaded so I’m just shrugging here.

    http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2016/08/daniel-zimmerman/gun-review-steyr-l9-a1-9mm-pistol/

  20. avatar Frank says:

    With all the classic revolver S&W sells based largely on nostalgia, I would think they could still sell these if they resurrected certain choice models. Any model Crockett carried on Miami Vice, for starters.

    1. avatar DrewN says:

      Bren 10, yeah? Basically a 10mm CZ75. They bring a pretty penny now, although mine is (and pretty much always was) a total POS.

      1. avatar justin says:

        Think he carries a 4506 after the Bren 10.

      2. avatar justin says:

        Think he carries a 4506 after the Bren 10. Need to check IMFDB to be sure.

      3. avatar Frank says:

        Crockett’s went through several gun changes as the show progressed. As for S&Ws, at various points he carried a 645 and a 4506. Tubbs carried a model 36 in the pilot and a model 38 bodyguard after that, although those were his backup guns. Various short barreled shotguns were his preference.

        1. avatar DrewN says:

          Wow, I bow down to your guys knowledge. I actually rarely watched the show, my Bren-10 was pushed on me by my local FFL who was a Cooper acolyte, because I was obsessed with getting a .44 Automag at the time.

      4. avatar Frank says:

        …and Crockett was also seen ankle holstering a CS45 in one episode. So at least three S&W semis altogether for him.

  21. avatar Joe in NC says:

    And people think Glocks look ugly? Maybe if it came in black, the ugly wouldn’t burn my retnas so bad.

  22. avatar Ralph says:

    Steel is real. Wood is good. Plastic is spastic.

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      aluminum is all humanum.

  23. avatar Shwiggie says:

    I EDC a CZ P-01. All-metal (not all-steel), and only 5oz more than the Glock 19. The only real disadvantage to all-metal in my estimation is if you have to leave it in a hot car and then put it in a IWB holster…which is why I typically carry it in a N82 Tactical.

  24. avatar Alan Esworthy says:

    On those rare occasions when I can open carry (I’m a Floridian) I love the feel of my Browning Hi-Power on my hip or in my hand. Concealed carry is a whole different thing, and I carry a Ruger LC9S Pro in a pocket holster with an extra 9 round mag on the weak side. I wish the Browning would work for me for concealed carry, but it simply doesn’t, especially not with normal Florida clothes.

    1. avatar Klause Von Schmitto says:

      I hear you. Went to the grocery Monday afternoon after the storm blew through and it was 90 and just miserable. I had the SW Shield and that felt like too much to carry.

  25. avatar Ironhead says:

    3 revolvers , 2 1911’s, and only one plastic fantastic.
    I love revolvers and 1911’s. Just old school i guess.

  26. avatar PROUD chicano says:

    A polymers role is an edc where it can get bumped, scratched and generally beat up with no tears. But there is something about that all steel full size peice where you can hit bull’s-eye’s all day.

  27. avatar tmm says:

    Gotta love it. Another MAC attack.

  28. avatar joe3 says:

    Is anyone feeling discriminated against here?

    BLACK GUNS MATTER!

    /s

  29. avatar John in AK says:

    Yes, steel or aluminum guns DO ‘feel better,’ more substantial, more ‘gun-like’ and less like some kind of toy. However, there is a price to be paid for carting around an unnecessarily-heavy gun, a physical price.
    Human bodies aren’t designed to pack around added non-body weight in odd places for long periods of time. Shoulders that take the burden of a heavy gun and holster eventually get injured (soft-tissue damage, compressed nerves); Hips that carry heavy guns for hours on end every day eventually become damaged, as do the lower backs that support those hips.
    Cops that wear body armor day-in and day-out end up with nerve damage in their necks and shoulders; Cops that wear duty belts eventually suffer lower-back pain and literally dislocated pelvic bits.
    Admittedly, that’s extreme; However, why speed up the process by hanging a heavy gun and ammunition off just one side of your belt, or hanging a heavy gun under one shoulder with nowhere NEAR as much weight on the other side?
    Ever notice how cops no longer wear HEAVY armor on duty? And, how cop belts are no longer heavy leather, but are lightweight fabrics instead?
    It’s not just cost; It’s weight. And injuries from weight.
    California (yeah, I know, but still. . .) has a rule that grants disability to long-service cops who get back and pelvic injuries from gun-belt use–with little arguments, as the problem is that bad.
    if you really want, and must have, a heavy firearm, I recommend a crew-served weapon of some sort. Spread the load out a bit.
    For me, give me the lightest, most compact gun that’ll do the job, and I’m happy. I don’t care what it looks like; The people who I might shoot with it will be unconcerned with looks, and most likely will not be insulted that they were shot with an ugly plastic gun. They’ll get over it.

    1. avatar Snatchums says:

      Yes, steel or aluminum guns DO ‘feel better,’ more substantial, more ‘gun-like’ and less like some kind of toy. However, there is a price to be paid for carting around an unnecessarily-heavy gun, a physical price.
      Human bodies aren’t designed to pack around added non-body weight in odd places for long periods of time. Shoulders that take the burden of a heavy gun and holster eventually get injured (soft-tissue damage, compressed nerves); Hips that carry heavy guns for hours on end every day eventually become damaged, as do the lower backs that support those hips.
      Cops that wear body armor day-in and day-out end up with nerve damage in their necks and shoulders; Cops that wear duty belts eventually suffer lower-back pain and literally dislocated pelvic bits.
      Admittedly, that’s extreme; However, why speed up the process by hanging a heavy gun and ammunition off just one side of your belt, or hanging a heavy gun under one shoulder with nowhere NEAR as much weight on the other side?

      I solve that by carrying 2 guns!

      1. avatar John in AK says:

        Touche’, Mon Vieux.

  30. avatar lupinsea says:

    One of the reasons I love my Beretta M9 (92FS) . . . the feel of a metal gun.

    And I came about this after owning a Walther P99 since ~1999. Love the way the Walther fits my hand and it’s ergonomics.

    But I love the way the M9 simply feels.

    And the M9 is also the pistol I’m most accurate with outside of a semi-auto .22lr target pistol. No idea why, maybe the slightly longer sight radius?

  31. avatar Pawl from Florida says:

    My EDC is a Sig P239 in 9mm. That is the most that I can conceal in Florida climate. It just so happens to be a very reliable and accurate shooter.

  32. avatar Anonymous says:

    POS? I’ll buy it from you. Real cheap.

  33. avatar tdiinva says:

    I can take my 1911 out of the safe, load it up with Hornady Critical Duty +p ammo and qualify with it. Can’t do that with my 5″ XD. If you shoot 40 or 45 you need the weight of metal to do it effectively. I am go going back to HST for my XD. There is a reason why the 1911 is still a good option after 100 years.

    1. avatar tiger says:

      Hey even the 1911 is in polymer now.

      1. avatar tdiinva says:

        Which will change its weight and balance. Polymer frame guns are top heavy so they have a high CG. This is why polymer guns have a lot of muzzle flip.

  34. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    like lovey smith’s defense, designed to bend, not break. and possibly willing to endure more stress cycles than steel or alloys.
    if they weren’t so damn gay i’d buy one.

  35. avatar little horn says:

    p226 all day baby

  36. avatar Turd Furgeson says:

    Kahr T40

  37. avatar Docduracoat says:

    Another vote for the Sig 938!
    Steel slide and aluminum frame
    I carry my Bersa Thunder cc ( also steel and aluminum) when I know I have to leave my gun in the car when entering a gun free zone
    The Bersa was exactly one half the price of the Sig
    My wife carries a Walther PPK/s
    That is a heavy little gun!

  38. avatar tiger says:

    I wish Taurus would bring back the Total Titanium series. Metal does not have to be heavy or steel. S&W’s work with Scandium is another example.

  39. avatar MattJ says:

    Yes, my day to day carry is a sig p229 legion w/ 15 rds – love the trigger. weight is fine with a fat boy belt! But around the house I do carry a G43 with gym shorts or pajamas.

  40. avatar Ricky Spanish says:

    I love the feel of cold steel on my skin when I arm myself every morning.

  41. avatar james says:

    Oh yes, Ruger P89DC, solid 9mm pistol, S&W 4906 9MM, hefty hefty hefty and the Beretta 92S.
    Pleasure to shoot them.

  42. avatar Russ H. says:

    I love them (all steel guns) but too heavy for everyday carry. I can shoot poly or alum framed pistols just as well as steel.

  43. avatar M.Atkinson says:

    Please stop calling firearms “GATS”, your reading audience is not a bunch of gangbanging homey’s.

    1. avatar CentralIL says:

      This.

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