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Old 02-19-2024, 05:36 PM
Jon651 Jon651 is offline
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CS45 Recoil Rod Plastic Tip??? CS45 Recoil Rod Plastic Tip??? CS45 Recoil Rod Plastic Tip??? CS45 Recoil Rod Plastic Tip??? CS45 Recoil Rod Plastic Tip???  
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Default CS45 Recoil Rod Plastic Tip???

I recently purchased a CS45D from another forum member here and really love carrying it as my CCW. The .45 cartridge really speaks to me.

I have several other S&W 3rd Gen semi-auto pistols in different calibers, but my CS45D has one very unusual feature - the spring-loaded retractable tip of the recoil spring guide rod is plastic. On all of my other 3rd Gens this tip is metal - including on the all stainless steel replacement rods I purchased from another forum member here over the years - so I was rather surprised to find this part in plastic on the CS45D. It's just the tip that is plastic, not the entire rod.

Can anyone shed any light on why S&W made this materials choice? I really doubt it was to save money... Is there any specific reason why the tip must be plastic, or can I safely have an all-stainless rod and tip made as a replacement?

Thanks for any info!
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Old 02-19-2024, 06:07 PM
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They made those in both steel and nylon for Chiefs. I have both, and have run both types hard. Toss up.

The steel one can develop a burred edge at the shoulder (with enough disassembly & reassembly), and the nylon one can develop a scarred tip and sometimes bits of loose flashing. I've dressed both conditions with a red stone after a while. I stopped worrying about which one was in my CS9 & CS45 many years ago.



On the plus side of the coin, the nylon one seems to reduce the friction and effort needed to install the slide stop lever assembly.
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Old 02-19-2024, 06:15 PM
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Previous discussion - CS recoil guide rod questions
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Old 02-21-2024, 10:29 PM
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Default 18DAI

Our departed comrade 18DAI whom I find myself missing again today, he commented on this issue. He said that he never worried about it and never had any trouble with the polymer tip on any of his guns for any number of rounds even tens of thousands.
I thought about this same question with my 457, but then I forgot it.
I concur with the comment expressed by fastbolt.
My understanding is that the first attempt to compete with Glock was the "American Pride Series" which includes my Model 411. Love that gun! I am tickled at that name, American Pride instead of Austrian Disgrace, Haha!
Ah but those pistols were still too expensive hence the new series called the "Value Series". Those guns, including the Model 410, have a lot more plastic in them. Don't call it plastic when it is used in a firearm, it must be called polymer, dontcha know?

Kind Regards!
BrianD
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Old 02-21-2024, 10:41 PM
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Our departed comrade 18DAI whom I find myself missing again today, he commented on this issue. He said that he never worried about it and never had any trouble with the polymer tip on any of his guns for any number of rounds even tens of thousands.
I thought about this same question with my 457, but then I forgot it. ...
Yeah, I really miss John, too.

He and I did talk about the recoil guide rods and plungers at one time or another, as well as many other things. Shared a lot of backroom stories, info and trivia I picked up from a lot of my armorer classes and phone calls to the factory over the years. A lot of gracious guys & gals who worked at S&W and seemingly were never too busy to answer the endless questions of a simple agency armorer. Even the head engineer was gracious in handling some questions that were kicked upstairs from the LE CS or Repair guys.

Most of the people I used to know there are either retired, or passed. I think a couple of the 'newer' guys may still be there, but last I knew they'd moved either higher up the slopes of Mount Olympus, or worked where they have to sign NDA's about what they're doing.

I miss John (18DAI), and I miss all those armorer classes (even the ones at other gun companies ), and I miss those days of having many people back at the S&W factory on my own speed-dial.

Like the 3rd gen guns, I guess I'm pretty much obsolete nowadays.
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Old 02-22-2024, 03:43 PM
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Thanks for all the input, everyone. I guess it's not worth worrying about as far a functionality goes, but I'm sure there is a reason WHY they chose to use nylon at the time. I guess I'll just have to file that away along with never knowing why some people like asparagus or Brussels sprouts...
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Old 02-22-2024, 08:59 PM
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Nylon was and is a less expensive material to purchase and less expensive to manufacture finished parts than aluminum, carbon steel, or stainless steel.
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Old 02-22-2024, 10:12 PM
HOUSTON RICK HOUSTON RICK is offline
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I have had a few Cs Smiths for decades without an issue. I am too old to be in the Navy Seals or Green Beret, so either plastic, nylon or metal work fine.
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Old 02-23-2024, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon651 View Post
Thanks for all the input, everyone. I guess it's not worth worrying about as far a functionality goes, but I'm sure there is a reason WHY they chose to use nylon at the time. I guess I'll just have to file that away along with never knowing why some people like asparagus or Brussels sprouts...
They were researching, and then using, other nylon parts at roughly the same time, like the mainspring plunger and the disconnector.

FWIW, we were told in the late 90's that their in-house R&D had revealed that the then-new nylon disconnector was at least as durable as the steel one in endurance testing. It was easier to make, and make to exacting tolerances. (The 'long tail' disconnector repair disappeared from the armorer manual a little later.) It was also smoother, and had increased lubricity (tail moved better and with less friction against the drawbar's disconnector tab).

We were told that the only threat to the plastic disconnector was ... armorers. If an armorer was inattentive or sloppy during frame disassembly, usually meaning prying on the disconnector tail to shift it around the drawbar tab for removal, the tail could be snapped off. That didn't happen during shooting, though.

The mainspring plunger becoming plastic solved the problem of exactness of tolerances, as well as 'smoothing' the passing of the spring coils past the edge of the mouth of the plunger (cup). In older days when metal plunger ups were used, the sharp edges were sometimes said to 'bump' against each of the spring coils during compression. I remember reading where sometimes a smith listed smoothing the inside of the leading edges of the metal plunger cups to make spring compression 'easier'. The plastic ones eliminated that 'need'.

S&W reportedly always had a close association with the plastic factory down the road from them, but they eventually bought it and folded it into their company.
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