10 Reasons to Buy a 1911 Aluminum Pistol vs Polymer Pistol

10 reasons to buy_aluminum vs. polymer

If you’re in the market for a new handgun, you’ve come to the right place. Doing your homework before you buy is one of the smartest things a future gun owner can do. Before you pick out a firearm, you’ll need to consider what frame you want.


Materials matter — plain and simple. When it comes to aluminum versus polymer-framed pistols, both have their trade-offs. The reason we’re here today is to show you that aluminum is the better buy.


Here are 10 reasons to buy aluminum over polymer.


  1. Gun Ergonomics: When you pick up a gun, you’ll first notice how it feels in your hand. Your pistol needs to essentially be an extension of your arm. For traditionalists, metal is the way to go.

  2. Grip: Like we mentioned above, a lot of shooters like the feel of a gun with some weight. Handling an aluminum firearm will give you comfort and control. Plus, you can’t beat G10 grips.

  3. Weight: You never want to carry more weight than necessary. And luckily, aluminum is lighter compared to steel. While polymer does weigh less than aluminum-framed pistols, too little weight may affect your shot.

  4. Recoil: Recoil can affect both the horizontal and vertical movement of your pistol when firing. A lighter pistol is going to inherently have more recoil, which usually makes it more difficult to land your shots. Nothing reduces recoil like a little extra weight, and that’s why aluminum is more practical. 10 reasons to buy_aluminum vs. polymer pinterest

  5. Control: Combined recoil from multiple shots in quick succession creates muzzle rise. Because of weight and design, muzzle rise is higher for polymer framed pistols. If you’re in a serious situation, you never want your firearm to “jump” unexpectedly. Aluminum framed pistols have better control.

  6. Strength: How much force can a material take before breaking? To state it simply, metal is stronger than plastic. Aluminum is in it for the long run.
  7. Durability: As long as you don’t cut corners and skip regular maintenance, an aluminum-framed pistol will give you longer and stronger durability. Polymer firearms may not have to deal with rust, but that doesn’t mean they’re free from problems. Heat corrosion, holster wear and tear and moisture exposure will damage polymer. Polymer guns are going to wear out quicker than a metal framed gun.
  8. Accuracy: Depending on the shooter and the firearm, a stronger, heavier frame is going to improve accuracy. We’re not saying that polymer firearms are inaccurate, but aluminum has the edge.
  9. Continuity: Polymer guns working with metal slides may result in a clash. Most polymer guns have shorter frame rails and less precise fitting, which can also result in lower accuracy.
  10. Warp: Do you know the movement of your pistol when it is fired? Polymer guns are softer and more flexible. For most shooters, you’re not going to want a frame that is flexing when you’re firing. You’ll want it smooth and firm.

Everyone wants to make sure their money is well spent on a quality, reliable gun. A firearm’s frame makes a big difference of how it operates. From steel to aluminum, Rock Island Armory continues to innovate and provide firearms that meet all the demands of their shooters.

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Beginner or advanced, you can always improve your shooting technique.