Polymers for Firearms

Are you looking for high-performance polymers and elastomers to produce your firearm components? With our broad product portfolio and our experience in firearms components, we can help you select the best material for your specific needs and applications.

Engineering polymers and elastomers are the perfect solution for use in firearm components. They provide lightweight, high strength, high stiffness, dimensional stability and excellent chemical resistance to meet the most demanding requirements. There are a wide variety of different types of polymers that offer specific benefits, and these polymers can be easily modified to meet almost any performance requirement. Engineering polymers have been successfully used in firearm components for many years because of the many benefits they bring.

Why polymers for firearm components? Polymers can offer multiple advantages in firearm components including:

  • High Dimensional Stability
  • Excellent Chemical & Stress Cracking Resistance
  • Excellent Fatigue Resistance
  • Lower Overall System Costs
  • Reduced Weight
  • Improved Performance
  • Design Freedom
  • Product Differentiation
  • Reduced Recoil
  • Resistance to Moisture / Corrosion

Typical firearm components that can be produced from polymers are:

  • Grips
  • Magazines
  • Butt Stocks
  • Recoil Pads
  • Handguards
  • Trigger Guards
  • Pistol Frames
  • Lower Receivers
  • Optic Mounts
  • Picatinny Rails

Each of these applications have different requirements. Some need high strength or high stiffness; others may need vibration damping; others may need softness or a tactile feel, while others may need high dimensional stability or specific chemical resistance. Because of this, multiple polymer types are used depending on the specific needs of each component. Common polymer types used for firearm components are various types of nylons (nylon 6, nylon 66, nylon copolymers and specialty nylons), polyesters, acetals, polycarbonates, thermoplastic elastomers, thermoplastic polyurethane, and high-performance polymers like polysulfone, PPS and PPA. Many of these polymers will be reinforced with glass fiber or carbon fiber for high strength and stiffness.

TABLE 1. Firearm Component & Polymer / Elastomer Types




Stocks, Frames, Receivers

Glass reinforced nylon, polyester, polypropylene, polycarbonate

Handguards, Forearms, Picatinny Rails, Magazines

Glass reinforced nylon, polyester, polypropylene; may also contain special lubricants

Vibration damping thermoplastic elastomers, soft-touch thermoplastic elastomers

Recoil Pads

Vibration damping thermoplastic elastomers


Glass reinforced nylon, polyester, polypropylene

Vibration damping thermoplastic elastomers, soft-touch thermoplastic elastomers


Lead replacement with nylon or other polymer types

Thermoplastic polyurethane

Shotgun Shells, Wads, Buffers

Non-reinforced polyethylene

Table 2. Common Firearm Components & Requirements





Pistol Grip

Stiffness, Strength, Chemical Resistance



Dimensional Stability, Stiffness, Impact Resistance


Butt Stock

Energy Absorption, Lightweight



Stiffness, Strength, Chemical Resistance


Trigger Guard

Stiffness, Strength



Extreme Strength, Stiffness, Dimensional Stability


Lower Receiver

Extreme Strength, Stiffness, Heat Resistance, Dimensional Stability


Optic Mount

Stiffness, Strength, Creep Resistance