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jmreagan
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Posted: 7/17/2011 12:04:45 PM
I'm eying the PSA M4 carbine upper for $399, to share time on my Spikes Recce builds lower. I'm looking over the specs and the one they have in stock is the one 4140 steel as opposed to the one with 4150 steel that out of stock. Is it really that much of an issue? Should I wait until the 4150 barreled upper is in stock? Are their any downsides to 4140 steel? I'm just looking for the facts. Thanks for helping me understand this better.
mathecb
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Posted: 7/17/2011 12:09:13 PM
There is a difference. I seriously doubt you would ever notice it though.
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Garandboy
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Posted: 7/17/2011 12:12:49 PM
4140 Will and has worked just fine for years. The chrome is harder than the barrel steel and you will never notice the difference.
Handy little carbine. The M44 is a combination flash bang grenade, flame thrower, rifle and spear all in one.
pun
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Posted: 7/17/2011 12:31:46 PM
Not gonna matter in semi auto use.
ar911d
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Posted: 7/17/2011 1:56:58 PM
If you will be using your AR as a squad automatic weapon you might notice a difference, but in a civilian application it really isn't an issue.
tatsngats
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Posted: 7/17/2011 2:23:23 PM
[Last Edit: 7/17/2011 2:24:00 PM by tatsngats]
The difference that it will make is that you will always think about it and wonder if you should have gotten the 4150 barrel. This is the way with all AR components and accessories. It will eat away at you and eventually you will "upgrade" and it will cost you more money down the line.

Ask me how I know.
SA80Dan
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Posted: 7/17/2011 4:22:26 PM
Its perfectly fine for semi auto use...even hard use, especially if chrome lined or nitrided.
owtlaw
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Posted: 7/17/2011 5:47:17 PM
My experience has been that 4140 is a bit more thermally stable than 4150.
Ironmaker
I used to make 4140 & 4150, now I make Cu alloys.
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Posted: 7/17/2011 6:34:18 PM
Once again:

The AISI-SAE 4140 upper carbon spec is 0.43 and the 4150 lower spec is 0.48.

For barrel applications 0.05 C is insignificant.
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Shizzlemah
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Posted: 7/17/2011 6:53:32 PM
Originally Posted By jmreagan:
I'm eying the PSA M4 carbine upper for $399, to share time on my Spikes Recce builds lower. I'm looking over the specs and the one they have in stock is the one 4140 steel as opposed to the one with 4150 steel that out of stock. Is it really that much of an issue? Should I wait until the 4150 barreled upper is in stock? Are their any downsides to 4140 steel? I'm just looking for the facts. Thanks for helping me understand this better.


ideally, the difference is a tiny percentage of carbon. in the real world the manufacturing tolerances overlap that tiny percentage difference.

You couldn't tell the difference between a 4140 and 4150.
nhp1127
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Posted: 7/17/2011 6:57:53 PM
For $100 more PSA has the top of the line cold steel upper....
ronnl001
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Posted: 7/18/2011 11:15:05 AM
Originally Posted By nhp1127:
For $100 more PSA has the top of the line cold steel upper....


Do we have any way to compare the accuracy and/or durability of these two in the real world? I am curious as to this myself.
pun
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Posted: 7/18/2011 11:45:17 AM
Bigbore from ADCO I bielieve did a comparison awhile ago with the 4140 unlined barrel he uses in FA and SA firing maybe someone can dig that out of the archives.
Gregory_K
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Posted: 7/18/2011 12:09:34 PM
no issue.
jmreagan
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Posted: 7/18/2011 12:16:33 PM
Thank you for the responses. It will be for semi-auto only. The hardest use would be a carbin course. If its fine for that then the 4140 will be just fine for me.
UBB
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Posted: 7/18/2011 12:48:20 PM

Originally Posted By jmreagan:
Thank you for the responses. It will be for semi-auto only. The hardest use would be a carbin course. If its fine for that then the 4140 will be just fine for me.

the barrel will live longer then you.
og107
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Posted: 7/18/2011 1:07:25 PM
Originally Posted By tatsngats:
The difference that it will make is that you will always think about it and wonder if you should have gotten the 4150 barrel. This is the way with all AR components and accessories. It will eat away at you and eventually you will "upgrade" and it will cost you more money down the line.

Ask me how I know.


So true.
jmreagan
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Posted: 7/18/2011 3:36:21 PM
Originally Posted By og107:
Originally Posted By tatsngats:
The difference that it will make is that you will always think about it and wonder if you should have gotten the 4150 barrel. This is the way with all AR components and accessories. It will eat away at you and eventually you will "upgrade" and it will cost you more money down the line.

Ask me how I know.


So true.


Both of you might be right, but for my needs, I've accepted that 4140 will suffice for semi-auto fire based on the replies of our fellow members above. I'll never own a class III weapons license because I am very private and don't want the ATF in my life. Semi-auto is fine by me. Another poster above who said he made barrels stated the difference between 4140 and 4150 is so minute you wouldn't ever know it. Which is suffice to me. Now, what about the difference between 4150, Vanadium, or CHF? For all I know two of those I just listed could be the same thing so go easy on me. I've built my Recce rifle myself but to be honest, I don't know much about the different barrel materials. I just chose mil-spec stuff from manufacturers like Spikes, BCM, and Troy, read the torque specs and put everything together.
beltfed74
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Posted: 7/18/2011 6:08:08 PM
4150 has more carbon in it, which makes its have a better potential for hardness. The government determined through its testing that it resists damage from heat and pressure better than 4140.

It all comes down to whether you think you need it. Im sure you will be fine using the 4140. Most people wont shoot 2500 rounds through an AR the entire time they own it.
jmreagan
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Posted: 7/19/2011 8:02:35 AM
Originally Posted By beltfed74:
4150 has more carbon in it, which makes its have a better potential for hardness. The government determined through its testing that it resists damage from heat and pressure better than 4140.

It all comes down to whether you think you need it. Im sure you will be fine using the 4140. Most people wont shoot 2500 rounds through an AR the entire time they own it.


Your right. Most people won't shoot 2.5K rounds their entire time the own the rifle. I only shoot about 2K rounds a year out of mine, and about the same out of my 1911 and two M&P's. Beltfed, can you tell me about the Vanadium barrels? Is that in fact 4150 steel or is it a totally different animal? My Recce rifle has one.
Ironmaker
I used to make 4140 & 4150, now I make Cu alloys.
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Posted: 7/19/2011 8:31:48 AM

Originally Posted By jmreagan:
Originally Posted By beltfed74:
4150 has more carbon in it, which makes its have a better potential for hardness. The government determined through its testing that it resists damage from heat and pressure better than 4140.

It all comes down to whether you think you need it. Im sure you will be fine using the 4140. Most people wont shoot 2500 rounds through an AR the entire time they own it.


Your right. Most people won't shoot 2.5K rounds their entire time the own the rifle. I only shoot about 2K rounds a year out of mine, and about the same out of my 1911 and two M&P's. Beltfed, can you tell me about the Vanadium barrels? Is that in fact 4150 steel or is it a totally different animal? My Recce rifle has one.


4140 and 4150 are the generic AISI nomenclature and there is not a detailed vanadium spec from AISI. When a customer is ordering steel for barrel making they typically specify the vanadium range. The steel producer may call the grades 41V40 and 41V50. Sometimes the steel producer will have an internal vanadium spec for all 41XX's so the steel can be applied across a wide range of orders. These may be called 41V40 and 41V50 or they may just call them 4140 and 4150 because all of their 41XX's contain vanadium.

As far as barrel metallurgy, the addition of vanadium in the steel is more important than the 0.05 to 0.10 carbon range is.

Once again, most civilians over think the 4140 vs 4150 issue.
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1811guy
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Posted: 7/19/2011 9:58:59 AM
Montana Rifleman makes custom barrels. The price difference between their 4140 and 4150 barrels is about $6. Some would argue that for such a small price difference there is little difference in the barrel. I submit that for such a small price difference why not get the one that is reputed to be better, even if only marginally so. If it were a kid's slip'n slide, I could see the logic behind the former. Given that it is a firearm, the logic behind the latter is much more compelling. Getting 4140 when 4150 is available is settling for less - even if only by a little bit. 4150 makes much more sense to me.
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Posted: 7/19/2011 10:15:57 AM
[Last Edit: 7/19/2011 10:18:37 AM by ricochet7]
Originally Posted By 1811guy:
Montana Rifleman makes custom barrels. The price difference between their 4140 and 4150 barrels is about $6. Some would argue that for such a small price difference there is little difference in the barrel. I submit that for such a small price difference why not get the one that is reputed to be better, even if only marginally so. If it were a kid's slip'n slide, I could see the logic behind the former. Given that it is a firearm, the logic behind the latter is much more compelling. Getting 4140 when 4150 is available is settling for less - even if only by a little bit. 4150 makes much more sense to me.


+1 This was said very well, but where does it end? I always tend to pay more for better, but the incremental steps keep going and going.
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Gregory_K
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Posted: 7/19/2011 12:12:38 PM
jmreagan
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Posted: 7/19/2011 8:35:08 PM
Originally Posted By Ironmaker:

Originally Posted By jmreagan:
Originally Posted By beltfed74:
4150 has more carbon in it, which makes its have a better potential for hardness. The government determined through its testing that it resists damage from heat and pressure better than 4140.

It all comes down to whether you think you need it. Im sure you will be fine using the 4140. Most people wont shoot 2500 rounds through an AR the entire time they own it.


Your right. Most people won't shoot 2.5K rounds their entire time the own the rifle. I only shoot about 2K rounds a year out of mine, and about the same out of my 1911 and two M&P's. Beltfed, can you tell me about the Vanadium barrels? Is that in fact 4150 steel or is it a totally different animal? My Recce rifle has one.


4140 and 4150 are the generic AISI nomenclature and there is not a detailed vanadium spec from AISI. When a customer is ordering steel for barrel making they typically specify the vanadium range. The steel producer may call the grades 41V40 and 41V50. Sometimes the steel producer will have an internal vanadium spec for all 41XX's so the steel can be applied across a wide range of orders. These may be called 41V40 and 41V50 or they may just call them 4140 and 4150 because all of their 41XX's contain vanadium.

As far as barrel metallurgy, the addition of vanadium in the steel is more important than the 0.05 to 0.10 carbon range is.

Once again, most civilians over think the 4140 vs 4150 issue.


Solid explanation, thank you.
jmreagan
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Posted: 7/19/2011 8:36:27 PM
Originally Posted By Gregory_K:
Have fun
http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_3_12/268098_index.html


Thanks for the link. And thanks to everyone who posted and enlightened me upon the subject of barrel composition.