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Polymer Handles

This is a discussion on Polymer Handles within the Maintenance forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; I purchased a Ruger P95 in May of this year and have put roughly 300 rounds through it, I also cleaned it after each visit ...


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Old July 7th, 2009, 11:08 AM   #1
 
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Polymer Handles

I purchased a Ruger P95 in May of this year and have put roughly 300 rounds through it, I also cleaned it after each visit to the range. What I'm using to clean the gun is Break-Free Powder Blast Gun Cleaner, Outters Nitro Solvent, and Hoppes Elite Gun Oil. I've cleaned it three times now, the first time with a buddy that has some experience and all went well, the second time I was on my own and I think I may have ruined some of the handle. I sprayed the Break-Free Powder Blast Gun Cleaner on the handle thinking thats how I did it last time and know I have what seems to be a white residue on the polymer or it actually did something bad to it. I can post pictures if no one knows what I'm talking about. What can I do to take care of this? Maybe gun oil I've heard? I dont want to ruin it further. Thanks in advance.



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Old July 7th, 2009, 01:57 PM   #2
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jimmy07,

I have a P95 that has been fired and cleaned a few more times than yours. I do not use the specific products you have mentioned but I have been using the Breakfree CLP product to clean it with no problems. When it comes to plastics, polymers and composites there are distinct differences between residues and surface discoloration. If the white rubs off with gentle pressure it is a residue and discoloration if it appears to be permanent. The difference is important in treatment.

Is the problem all over the grip frame or just on the handle features? Do the parts containing the white appear to be distorted, melted or deformed in any way? Take a pin or other mildly sharp point and very gently touch one of the white areas pressing only hard enough to determine if the polymer has softened. If the polymer is soft but not deformed you may be able to heat it gently to expel the chemical that softened it and this should cause it to stabilize. Don’t let it get too hot for too long. A low gentle heat 100° F for an hour should be long enough to tell if it will restore.

If there are signs of actual damage to the grip frame you may have to live with it or replace it depending on the nature or extent of the damage. Do the magazines insert and extract easily and lock in place solidly? Is the slide operating properly and can you disassemble and reassemble the gun with no problems? Does the gun operate as expected when operated unloaded? If there are no signs of actual damage to the grip frame or handle it is possible that the product you used leached the color, leeched a component of the polymer or caused a discoloration of the polymer. One way to determine this is to spay some WD-40 (yes, WD-40) on a white area and gently rub it in with your finger. Then wipe it off with a clean rag and see if the color restores itself at all. If it works, do the whole handle that way. WD-40 is safe on Ruger polymers as I have used it to clean powder residues off of the grip frames on both of my polymer frame pistols. If it works, do the whole handle that way.

If the residue appears to wipe off then look closely to see if the residue comes from the solvent itself or if the grip frame appears to be losing material when the residue is removed. Remove the residue with a gentle solvent, gun oil or WD-40. If the residue reappears shortly after the liquid is removed then it would be safe to assume the polymer has been damaged or chemically altered.

If these ideas don’t work and there is no damage to the grip frame then you still have the choice to live with it or replace it. Send an e-mail to the Ruger tech support group and ask if there are ways to restore the color or fix the frame. You could call but I find they respond better to e-mails but that’s just my experiences.

Not add insult to injury or state the obvious but it is always best to test any and all chemical products you wish to use on the gun on an unexposed non-functional surface of the polymer grip frame prior to using it on the entire firearm. Any surface inside the magazine well that is not used to support or guide the magazine should work well. A small drop allowed to stand for up to ten minutes should leave no signs of attack when wiped away. If it does, don’t use that product on your gun.

I hope this helps but I would expect more inputs soon! Good luck!
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Old July 7th, 2009, 08:03 PM   #3
 
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no worries. if you just cleaned it with the mentioned products i highly doubt you did any damage to the polymer frame. the solvent and the gun cleaner mainly dissolves carbon build up from firing ammo. gun oil is a lubricant not a cleaner so that probably won't solve things.

posting some pics will help.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 08:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenwasabi View Post
posting some pics will help.
This is a true statement jimmy07! Can you do that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenwasabi View Post
no worries. if you just cleaned it with the mentioned products i highly doubt you did any damage to the polymer frame. the solvent and the gun cleaner mainly dissolves carbon build up from firing ammo. gun oil is a lubricant not a cleaner so that probably won't solve things.
greenwasabi,

You may well be correct there but the word “polymer” is a catch-all for a very large group of materials containing many plastics, elastomers and other materials including non-plastics. The Outers Nitro Solvent is a fairly aggressive solvent cleaner and the Break-Free Powder Blast Gun Cleaner contains the newer “orange” chemistry. It is very possible that the residue, if it truly is a residue, comes from the Break Free but without knowing the exact material/materials of the polymer there could be a reaction going on.

Ruger polymer materials are proprietary as far as I know. I have never seen the breakdown of material components in any articles nor have I asked Ruger (never had a reason to) but plastic materials can be susceptible to solvents so there is always some risk in using cleaning solvents on plastic.

If the polymer grip frame of jimmy07’s P95 has not been deformed or damaged and the discoloration will not come off then the problem may be strictly esthetic in nature. I do very little customization of my firearms but I do like to maintain the “new” or “factory” look so even slight imperfections tend to annoy me. So to j07 I recommend determining if there is damage and, if not, a coating with oil can help to restore some of the plastic appearance. If there was any stresses caused by the cleaning then heat can often relieve those stresses and is worth a try.

I would personally try to fix or replace the grip frame because I like to keep the look of my new guns pristine yet I have a second hand 1911 that looks like the original owner beat the s##t out of it but it works, is intended for home defense and it is not worth the effort of restoring the looks! The way it looks still annoys me though!
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Old July 8th, 2009, 08:44 AM   #5
 
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Hey guys thanks for the help! I will be posting pictures today when I get home from work. I think it's some kind of residue or stain, dont really think it damaged the plastic since I don't see any warping. I cleaned the gun before and this was not a problem, the white stains appeared on the second cleaning almost imediately after using Break-Free Powder Blast Gun Cleaner and I scrubbed away with a water damp napkin and after a silicone cloth which temporarily appeared to have taken care of it but it is still noticible and it's killing me.

BronxBoy you hit it right on the money
Quote:
even slight imperfections tend to annoy me
So I really want to make sure It doesant happen again. lol

By the way I also Oiled the handle to try and restore the plastic, however not sure if I did that right either. I apllied the oil all over and let it sit for approximately 10mins then wpied it all off. Is this the correct way or do I need to leave it on? Hopefully the pictures will help later. Thanks again guys.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 09:22 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by jimmy07 View Post
By the way I also Oiled the handle to try and restore the plastic, however not sure if I did that right either. I apllied the oil all over and let it sit for approximately 10mins then wpied it all off. Is this the correct way or do I need to leave it on? Hopefully the pictures will help later. Thanks again guys.
Just put in on, rub it in for a minute and wipe it off. What you did was fine but if it would have helped at all you would have noticed a difference immeidately.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 01:08 PM   #7
 
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Hey guys sorry it to long, busy with work. Here is what it looks like. , , I'm gonna try a couple of things you guys suggested. Or wait a few days to see what you guys think after looking at the pictures.
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Old March 14th, 2010, 10:43 AM   #8
 
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Was there ever a response to these pictures? Is there an easy fix for this?
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Old July 20th, 2011, 05:15 PM   #9
 
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pylomer frame retore

i picked up p345 not to long ago with the same white blemish as yours and i soaked it in synthetic transmission fluid and notice the color com back within 2 min of soaking it its been about a week and so far so good
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