With copper prices as high as they are these days, good brass is getting expensive to come by. Zamak is much less expensive, but doesn't stand up well to moisture exposure. Its ok as long as the plating remains intact . . . but let the plating get dinged and have moisture get underneath . . . it's gone in no time!
With brass shortages during World War II and the Korean Conflict, bakelite was used by Gillette for handles on the Tech razors. In the early 1950s, plastic TTO knobs were used along with aluminum and steel handles for the Black-Tip Super Speed. Some of the SS razors from that era also had steel base plates instead of brass. Every time I find a Black Tip I grab my magnet to see exactly what it is made of!
Brad - OGA
You must be willing to do the things today others won't do . . .
In order to have the things tomorrow others won't have. - Les Brown