scandium metal

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scandium metal

Post by kson on Tue May 21, 2013 11:24 am

i looked at a smith & wesson 1911 made with scandium. anybody out there familiar with this? it is much lighter than other .45's!

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Re: scandium metal

Post by DBChaffin on Tue May 21, 2013 12:34 pm

kson wrote:i looked at a smith & wesson 1911 made with scandium. anybody out there familiar with this? it is much lighter than other .45's!
It's largely an aluminum allow frame which is why it is lighter than steel frame .45's. Yes, there is Scandium in it which improves the properties of the aluminum, at least according to S&W (I have read good things, too), but according to the patent S&W has the percentage of scandium in the alloy is "0.05% - 0.15%". That isn't much. There is more zinc (7.5% to 8.3%), magnesium (1.6% to 2.2%), and copper (1.6% to 2.0%) than scandium, equivalent amounts of zirconium (0.05% to 0.15%), a slightly smaller percentage of chromium (0.02% to 0.04%), and it is 87 to 90% aluminum. patent info here

I'm sure they decided to call it a "scandium" frame because it sounded cool or better and "newer" than "aluminum alloy", a term that has been widely used of course.

It will be similar in weight to other aluminum frame .45's. Although some aluminum frames have had longevity issues in the past and are generally poorly thought of for durability, some, Kimbers for example, have a pretty good track record of frame longevity now. Nevertheless, S&W claims their scandium alloy is stronger and will last longer. Do some research and decide for yourself. If used as a carry gun and shot occasionally, I'd bet it would last a lifetime. I still don't think I would pick it for a hard use range or competition gun though. My $.02.


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Re: scandium metal

Post by Caleb C on Tue May 21, 2013 4:56 pm

I knew it was an aluminum alloy but I didn't know it contained that much aluminum. That's concerning. I've had my eye on the scandium 44 magnums for some time but it may not hold up. A light weight big boomer handgun is a handy thing to have around but not at the expense of quality and longevity.

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Re: scandium metal

Post by Reloader on Tue May 21, 2013 5:06 pm

I had the S&W 1911 PD in that scandium frame. I used it some in IDPA and could tell it was taking a toll on the frame. Great for carry and occasional use but not for everyday shooting. That was after about a thousand rounds also.

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Re: scandium metal

Post by DBChaffin on Tue May 21, 2013 5:37 pm

Reloader wrote:I had the S&W 1911 PD in that scandium frame. I used it some in IDPA and could tell it was taking a toll on the frame. Great for carry and occasional use but not for everyday shooting. That was after about a thousand rounds also.
Wow, that's quick. Kimber claims their aluminum frames have been "tested to over 20,000 rounds without evidence of meaningful wear". See here: http://www.kimberamerica.com/uploads/product-spec/compactiiprocarryii/stainlessprocarryii.pdf
I don't know that I believe it or would count on one doing that for me though, but there are some positive reports out there. Steel (or even polymer) is so proven for hard use/high round count applications.

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