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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

I know that zamark doesn't rust but has some form of long term degradation. That's about all I know.

Can any of you old hands tell me more? Why does it happen, can steps be taken to mitigate it, does this have any real impact on the longevity of any of the beefier SNS (think hi points, ravens, etc.)?

Thanks for the help.

Regards,
Foolsgold39
 

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There is a thing called zinc pest, it can affect badly made Zamak with poor alloys.

That hasn’t really been a problem since the end of the ‘60’s. Water and humidity over 60-some odd percent can make that worse, but again, most modern decently made Zamak is not prone to it.
 

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I've seen some really $hitty looking zamack in German SNS - notably in RG25. Nothing in any of my Hi-Points.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks ajole!

That's very helpful, appreciate it.

Follow up question, any guess how the material holds up in the very long term? Something like a hundred years? I geek out on gun construction and history. Its endlessly fascinating to me that I can hold and shoot an antique firearm, something that in some small part helped shape the world as it is today. Clearly I'll be long dead so it wont affect me lol, but do you think zamark based pistols will still be shootable in such a time frame?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks adam!

I believe that. Ive never got my hands on an rg, but it's one of my grail guns. Really not sure what that says about me lol.

Do you think the rg #$&!!# zamark was bad from the get go? Gotten worse over time with age? Both?
 

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Zamak (in its various compositions) is in a lot more guns that people think.
 

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Like ajole said...the more impurities in the metal the more zinc pest will occur.

A lot of model trains are made from Zamak, I have seen some things crumble just from touch, others have lasted for 30+ years so far.

I have a couple of guns that have Zamak parts on them and so far they've been fine. I would think the formulas used for model trains and guns would be a bit different, meaning the guns would/should be made with more quality control. The guns from GSG/ATI are usually made from ZAMAK, but the 3 I have are holding up fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Good stuff guys, thanks.

Yeah, its interesting how much zamark ends up in other firearms. Off hand I believe the henry 22 lever rifles have a zamark reciever. Didn't know that about the model trains, interesting.

Ultimately, I'm not anti zamark by any stretch. Appreciate the help learning more about the material

Regards,
Foolsgold39
 

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Thanks ajole!

That's very helpful, appreciate it.

Follow up question, any guess how the material holds up in the very long term? Something like a hundred years? I geek out on gun construction and history. Its endlessly fascinating to me that I can hold and shoot an antique firearm, something that in some small part helped shape the world as it is today. Clearly I'll be long dead so it wont affect me lol, but do you think zamark based pistols will still be shootable in such a time frame?
When I researched it (going from memory here so you should as well) I found Zamak kind of corodes from within and gasses out over time. Environment deffinitly plays a role from what I have found. You will see a lot of zamak pistols bubble up underneath the chrome or pit on painted Zamak. Something like the hi-point chrome slides can peal/flake because they never used a copper base coat like many other SNS guns used. Chrome or nickel plating directly on zamak doesnt work very well. I think the copper base with the chome/nickel overcoat is probably the best finish for zamak in terms of longevity as it tends to seel the zamak. You still will have internal corrosion but its probably the best you can do. Most of my nicer more rare zamaks that I dont really shoot get waxed and vacume packed.

The euro zamaks get fragile because they have a lot of thin spots. Zamak need mass and girth to be durable. Its a great material when done right but when you go to regular steel dimensions it doesnt hold up real well. You also have different kinds of zamak. Most american sems to be zamak3. I question lorcin a good bit because they crack slides a lot which should not happen given their weight and contruction. Euro zamak???? I have no idea what zamak formula they used but its not as durable as zamak3 from my experience.

Another thing you have to consider is cleaners and Lube. Ballistol will eat zamak over time. A few of them will but I am a big ballistol fan so its a No No on my zamak pistols. I dont use harsh cleaners on firearms ...typically its just rubbing alcohol along with soap and water. Lube is typically TW25 (milspec grease), silicone, sewing machine oil etc. External is renisance wax. Real firearms I use eezox, ballistol, TW25.

I think zamak can hold up for quite a while given the right conditions. A lot of it has to do with construction but the material itself should stay pretty stable if its stored in an environment that doesnt promote corrosion/humidity. I vacume seal along with anti corrosion paper but its probably overkill. Its cheap to do though so what the heck. My shooters just get gun rugs or silicone socks I make.

Personally I stay away from pretty much all the euro zamak and SNS stuff. They are some neat looking ones but they have way too many thin spots and smallparts. Most of the american stuff is just a different variation of the raven. As long as the caliber to build ratio is right they typically hold up. Highpoints are overbuilt to the extreme and the newer polymer framed ones are kind of a hybrid anyways. The older aluminum and very early zamak frames hi-points can crack. Hi-point is able to venture into larger calibers simple because the overbuild and overmass them to the extreme.

Most of the other american SNS zamak guns top out at 32acp before things start getting shakey. Cobra FS380 is probably the most durable 380acp all zamak pistol (they actually tested them in 9mm and the slides seem to hold up from what the techs told me). I think it was the frames that started to have problems. Cobra FS380 has other issues that are a problem though in terms of function.... durability is great though. If Cobra beefed up the extraction system a good bit and used better barrels they would be real winners. The company suffers a lot of logistical problems though in terms of quality parts suppliers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks magnut!

Awesome post, lots of good stuff. I appreciate your and everyone else's replies.

The cleaning info is interesting. Makes total sense but I sure never thought of it. I to like ballistol so appreciate the heads up. Found something the German wundur lube cant do, lol.

Yeah, I really appreciate the simplicity of the americian sns. I'm like a monkey #$&*ing a football with a wrench, so simplicity, and over built are qualities I admire. Damn shame though, i love the lines of many of the weaker sns, both eru pews and americian muscle. I know he j9 is the a road to frustration and madness, but I love its lines. 1980s cyberpunk for the win. Same with many of the eru gats, just great looking guns.

Any tips on applying wax? Iv never done that to a gun.

Regards,
Foolsgold39
 

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Here's a tip:

You should probably learn how to use a search engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi Rachgier,

Copy. Shockingly, I do know how to use a search engine in the year of lord, 2020.

Just trying to keep the conversations going in a section of the forum that doesn't seem to get a lot posts, and some stuff I find interesting.

Regards,
Foolsgold39
 

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Thanks magnut!

Awesome post, lots of good stuff. I appreciate your and everyone else's replies.

The cleaning info is interesting. Makes total sense but I sure never thought of it. I to like ballistol so appreciate the heads up. Found something the German wundur lube cant do, lol.

Yeah, I really appreciate the simplicity of the americian sns. I'm like a monkey #$&*ing a football with a wrench, so simplicity, and over built are qualities I admire. Damn shame though, i love the lines of many of the weaker sns, both eru pews and americian muscle. I know he j9 is the a road to frustration and madness, but I love its lines. 1980s cyberpunk for the win. Same with many of the eru gats, just great looking guns.

Any tips on applying wax? Iv never done that to a gun.

Regards,
Foolsgold39
J9s are solid guns. The frames just are not as durable as the new polymer hi-point. I would not stear you from a J9 aluminum frame. Just dont shoot nuclear ammo though it. Standard pressure target ammo they hold up pretty well. Its probably my favorite hi-point because they were still made simple back then before they started adding all the newer features.

I would steer you away from a maverick or early JS9 zamak frame 9mm.... unless your just getting one to collect. The mavericks are deceptive... they weigh a ton and feel like they could never break but there is one weak spot in the frame...behind the trigger at the top of the mag well on the right side. It typically cracks in the area right there. The aluminum ones can as well but it takes a bit longer. I have two cracked maverick frames in the cracked frame box now.

I dont know how fast Ballistol eats zamak I just remember reading it on the specs sheet somewhere when I was researching it.

Wax... you dont have to use renasaunce wax (its expensive). I just use it because it doesnt stink up the house. Clear shoe polish and Johnson Murphy NON ABRASIVE paste wax works as well. Soft bristle tooth brush to put it on and buff it off with a cloth is how I do it. Wax is kind of old school on firearms... Lot of the old timers did it instead of oil because it stays put. Museums typically use it as well on metal, leather, wood etc.
 

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Hi Rachgier,

Copy. Shockingly, I do know how to use a search engine in the year of lord, 2020.

Just trying to keep the conversations going in a section of the forum that doesn't seem to get a lot posts, and some stuff I find interesting.

Regards,
Foolsgold39
THAT section of the forum is brand new and was created as a courtesy to the BJJA forum members who suddenly found themselves homeless. I find it highly unlikely that it will ever move the way the rest of the forum does.

THIS section of the forum is the General Firearms Discussion area, and it moves along just fine. You posted a thread about all Zamak firearms in the SNS section, which was the wrong place, so I moved it. I have also deleted your collective safety tip thread because it was redundant and didn't belong in the SNS section and because it was about all handguns. If firearms owners aren't aware of how to safely operate their firearms, they probably shouldn't be. The reason I say that is because we have dozens of pinned posts covering a plethora of subjects that we have seen pop up from beginner to "expert" shooters. Yet nobody seems to read them. They all go to you tube and jack their firearms up, then come running to us. Even then, quite a few still try to blame us for their ignorance. "Well I tried to search but nothing came up! This gun sucks and you're all mean."

Might I suggest you familiarize yourself with the rules of the forum and the TOS/TOU since it would appear that you have neglected to read them during your lurker phase.

Also, if you find a certain subject interesting, but can't find a lot about it here, perhaps you should do your own research. Then you can write up an article and have it published right here on HPFF, with full credit given to you. See we have an article management system in our software that gives us priority listing as part of an agreement with Google Safe Search. @lklawson runs the article section around here. I'm sure he can give you a few tips.
 

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When I researched it (going from memory here so you should as well) I found Zamak kind of corodes from within and gasses out over time. Environment deffinitly plays a role from what I have found. You will see a lot of zamak pistols bubble up underneath the chrome or pit on painted Zamak. Something like the hi-point chrome slides can peal/flake because they never used a copper base coat like many other SNS guns used. Chrome or nickel plating directly on zamak doesnt work very well. I think the copper base with the chome/nickel overcoat is probably the best finish for zamak in terms of longevity as it tends to seel the zamak. You still will have internal corrosion but its probably the best you can do. Most of my nicer more rare zamaks that I dont really shoot get waxed and vacume packed.

The euro zamaks get fragile because they have a lot of thin spots. Zamak need mass and girth to be durable. Its a great material when done right but when you go to regular steel dimensions it doesnt hold up real well. You also have different kinds of zamak. Most american sems to be zamak3. I question lorcin a good bit because they crack slides a lot which should not happen given their weight and contruction. Euro zamak???? I have no idea what zamak formula they used but its not as durable as zamak3 from my experience.

Another thing you have to consider is cleaners and Lube. Ballistol will eat zamak over time. A few of them will but I am a big ballistol fan so its a No No on my zamak pistols. I dont use harsh cleaners on firearms ...typically its just rubbing alcohol along with soap and water. Lube is typically TW25 (milspec grease), silicone, sewing machine oil etc. External is renisance wax. Real firearms I use eezox, ballistol, TW25.

I think zamak can hold up for quite a while given the right conditions. A lot of it has to do with construction but the material itself should stay pretty stable if its stored in an environment that doesnt promote corrosion/humidity. I vacume seal along with anti corrosion paper but its probably overkill. Its cheap to do though so what the heck. My shooters just get gun rugs or silicone socks I make.

Personally I stay away from pretty much all the euro zamak and SNS stuff. They are some neat looking ones but they have way too many thin spots and smallparts. Most of the american stuff is just a different variation of the raven. As long as the caliber to build ratio is right they typically hold up. Highpoints are overbuilt to the extreme and the newer polymer framed ones are kind of a hybrid anyways. The older aluminum and very early zamak frames hi-points can crack. Hi-point is able to venture into larger calibers simple because the overbuild and overmass them to the extreme.

Most of the other american SNS zamak guns top out at 32acp before things start getting shakey. Cobra FS380 is probably the most durable 380acp all zamak pistol (they actually tested them in 9mm and the slides seem to hold up from what the techs told me). I think it was the frames that started to have problems. Cobra FS380 has other issues that are a problem though in terms of function.... durability is great though. If Cobra beefed up the extraction system a good bit and used better barrels they would be real winners. The company suffers a lot of logistical problems though in terms of quality parts suppliers.
Ive seen that tale about Ballistol over the years and the company even came out with a response that its not a real issue over time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Rachgier,

Your house, your rules. I'm not trying to start any drama, just looking to learn and talk to other people that get excited about the same weird $%& I do. In the fire arms world hi point and sns enthusiasts are definitely the odd balls, lol. Got to stick together!

It's a paradox of forums and every forum is different. If you dig and necro, you get called on it. Start a new thread your told everything has been covered before and to search newb. It seems self defeating, the point of a forum is to share information. Even old topics get new insights.

I'm sure you guys have had a lot of drive bys, folks starting #%#@ or blaming others. I get it. But that's not what I'm trying to do.

I dont know why you deleted the saftey thread, but like I said your house. To me it makes sense to try to collect the information scattered out there into a single spot.
THAT section of the forum is brand new and was created as a courtesy to the BJJA forum members who suddenly found themselves homeless. I find it highly unlikely that it will ever move the way the rest of the forum does.

THIS section of the forum is the General Firearms Discussion area, and it moves along just fine. You posted a thread about all Zamak firearms in the SNS section, which was the wrong place, so I moved it. I have also deleted your collective safety tip thread because it was redundant and didn't belong in the SNS section and because it was about all handguns. If firearms owners aren't aware of how to safely operate their firearms, they probably shouldn't be. The reason I say that is because we have dozens of pinned posts covering a plethora of subjects that we have seen pop up from beginner to "expert" shooters. Yet nobody seems to read them. They all go to you tube and jack their firearms up, then come running to us. Even then, quite a few still try to blame us for their ignorance. "Well I tried to search but nothing came up! This gun sucks and you're all mean."

Might I suggest you familiarize yourself with the rules of the forum and the TOS/TOU since it would appear that you have neglected to read them during your lurker phase.

Also, if you find a certain subject interesting, but can't find a lot about it here, perhaps you should do your own research. Then you can write up an article and have it published right here on HPFF, with full credit given to you. See we have an article management system in our software that gives us priority listing as part of an agreement with Google Safe Search. @lklawson runs the article section around here. I'm sure he can give you a few tips.
Sure, idiots shouldn't handle firearms, but I would respectfully submit its counterproductive to say if you dont understand a gun dont own it, but discourage discussion on understanding the guns in question.

I scanned the toc, but I'll look em over again.

Interesting idea on the articles, thanks.

Regards,
Foolsgold39
 

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Rachgier,

Your house, your rules. I'm not trying to start any drama, just looking to learn and talk to other people that get excited about the same weird $%& I do. In the fire arms world hi point and sns enthusiasts are definitely the odd balls, lol. Got to stick together!

It's a paradox of forums and every forum is different. If you dig and necro, you get called on it. Start a new thread your told everything has been covered before and to search newb. It seems self defeating, the point of a forum is to share information. Even old topics get new insights.

I'm sure you guys have had a lot of drive bys, folks starting #%#@ or blaming others. I get it. But that's not what I'm trying to do.

I dont know why you deleted the saftey thread, but like I said your house. To me it makes sense to try to collect the information scattered out there into a single spot.

Sure, idiots shouldn't handle firearms, but I would respectfully submit its counterproductive to say if you dont understand a gun dont own it, but discourage discussion on understanding the guns in question.

I scanned the toc, but I'll look em over again.

Interesting idea on the articles, thanks.

Regards,
Foolsgold39
Which is why our archives are still visible and are slowly being shifted back out to their appropriate forum sections. You'll also notice our necro threads get brought back up but there isn't a whole lot of shaming involved. I fully explained why I deleted your thread. If you look through the forum, you'll find dozens of safety threads, pinned or not. If we have enough threads about the same topic, we try to combine them to pool the information together for better cohesiveness.

Like you said, every forum is different. If you've lurked here for very long you would know that we're not like other forums and trying to come in here to reinvent the wheel, as it were, that you've seen on other forums actually tends to be counter productive. The forum itself IS the single gathering point for this information that is further broken down in to topic specific items. Hunting, archery, camping, survival, gear and equipment, C&R firearms, general firearms, HP's, SNS/ROF, etc. We have pinned threads for common topics in specific sections. Posting a communal thread for all safety tips and aspects of all firearms posted specifically in the ROF/SNS area is a hindrance.

Information is the opposite of a laser. By trying to condense all information down to a single location you inadvertently create a tedium. By keeping the information more diffuse, yet controlled, it allows people to make specific choices on the topics they wish to research. Like at a library or with a set of encyclopedias. When you're looking for safety tips on your Walther PPK, would you type "handgun safety tips"? No, because that is a general collection of knowledge that may or may not apply to any number of handguns. Would you click on a link to Hi Point Firearms Forum when you want specific information regarding your Walther? I'm going to go with probably not.

The point I'm trying to make is that your topic was too broad and non-specific to be useful by your own stated intent of "understanding the guns in question" due to it being an all-inclusive topic about all handguns.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Rachgier,

First of all thank you for your explanation. I appreciate it and can understand your thought process.

I think we can safetly chalk this up to different brains being wired differently. I'm a list guy, it helps me to gather related information in single spot. In my mind sns and milsups are commonly looked down upon/ misunderstood by a large part of the fire arms community (plus, many share similar quarks) so it made sense to me to try to start a thread there in the sns category. Your point about the forum being that collection point is a fair one. I think we just naturally organize information differently is all.

Hope you are having a good Christmas eve.

Regards,
Foolsgold39
 

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Rachgier,

First of all thank you for your explanation. I appreciate it and can understand your thought process.

I think we can safetly chalk this up to different brains being wired differently. I'm a list guy, it helps me to gather related information in single spot. In my mind sns and milsups are commonly looked down upon/ misunderstood by a large part of the fire arms community (plus, many share similar quarks) so it made sense to me to try to start a thread there in the sns category. Your point about the forum being that collection point is a fair one. I think we just naturally organize information differently is all.

Hope you are having a good Christmas eve.

Regards,
Foolsgold39
I'm a list guy too, but I have dozens of notebooks in my filing cabinet.

In my experience, Fuddery knows no bounds. Milsurp haters, SNS haters, Hi Point haters, AR haters, etc. It even extends to the accessories and parts manufacturers. My kids argue over who's inheriting my 4095 more than any of the other, much more capable firearms. My kids recognize that the (mostly) reliable, relatively inexpensive, fully capable, and most cost effective to operate firearm in my collection is their favorite. Their 2nd favorite is the AK. Go figure.

I personally believe that as metallurgy advances and we refine both the physical and chemical behaviors of alloys, and discover better alloys, that there will always be purists who hate on Zamak guns because of the inherent flaws in mixing alloys and their chemical interactions. Zamak will oxidize and corrode over time. I used to enjoy being the only competent welder in the fishing crew. It meant I got to replace the zinc anodes while everyone else scraped barnacles and painted.
 
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