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Posted: 6/21/2015 11:04:58 AM EDT
I have an original "Model of 1911" GI slide that I'm going to use on a project gun. Although I've never cracked a slide on my early 1911's, I know that's a possibility since lack of modern heat treatment is an issue. Since the slide has to be refinished anyway, I'm thinking about having it QPQ'd to strengthen the slide. Any thoughts or ideas on this?

No matter what, the gun will not be a high volume shooter. Currently my other older 1911's wear shok buffs (range only) to help keep from beating them up.
Link Posted: 6/28/2015 10:47:53 AM EDT
[#1]
If the slide has no historic or restoration value, I would do it.   A Melonite/Salt Bath Nitride treatment will increase the hardness of the outer .008-.012 of the metal, somewhat like case hardening.   It also adds excellent corrosion resistance, and some lubricity.
Link Posted: 6/28/2015 11:10:57 AM EDT
[#2]
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Quoted:
If the slide has no historic or restoration value, I would do it.   A Melonite/Salt Bath Nitride treatment will increase the hardness of the outer .008-.012 of the metal, somewhat like case hardening.   It also adds excellent corrosion resistance, and some lubricity.
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Yeah, I'd pretty much decided to go that direction after contacting the provider. I suppose I could sell it to a restorer who needs a slide for a GI receiver, but I'd rather use it for my project. It's not an unusual or one-off slide, just a standard "Model of 1911 U.S. Army."
Link Posted: 6/28/2015 10:52:46 PM EDT
[#3]
If I was gonna spend the money to have a 1911 built, and then Melonited I'd start out with a new Caspian slide.  Not a 100 year old mil-surp piece.....
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 9:23:59 AM EDT
[#4]
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If I was gonna spend the money to have a 1911 built, and then Melonited I'd start out with a new Caspian slide.  Not a 100 year old mil-surp piece.....
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Then it's a good thing you're not me, and not spending your money.The fact that it's a "100 year old mil-surp piece" is exactly why it's being done. However, the frame will be a Caspian "Classic."
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 10:05:52 AM EDT
[#5]
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Then it's a good thing you're not me, and not spending your money.The fact that it's a "100 year old mil-surp piece" is exactly why it's being done. However, the frame will be a Caspian "Classic."
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Quoted:
Quoted:
If I was gonna spend the money to have a 1911 built, and then Melonited I'd start out with a new Caspian slide.  Not a 100 year old mil-surp piece.....


Then it's a good thing you're not me, and not spending your money.The fact that it's a "100 year old mil-surp piece" is exactly why it's being done. However, the frame will be a Caspian "Classic."


Then go build it however you want want and don't ask for thought or ideas on the internet.
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 12:06:19 PM EDT
[#6]
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Then go build it however you want want and don't ask for thought or ideas on the internet.
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
If I was gonna spend the money to have a 1911 built, and then Melonited I'd start out with a new Caspian slide.  Not a 100 year old mil-surp piece.....


Then it's a good thing you're not me, and not spending your money.The fact that it's a "100 year old mil-surp piece" is exactly why it's being done. However, the frame will be a Caspian "Classic."


Then go build it however you want want and don't ask for thought or ideas on the internet.


it was a technical question on the efficacy of using a metallurgical process to harden a slide, not a "what slide would you use" poll. The technical question has been answered, so there's no need for the thread to devolve into the realm of GD.
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 12:11:43 PM EDT
[#7]
If I was going to refinish what you got melonite or nitriding the metal would be my first option.
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 12:16:25 PM EDT
[#8]
Will the heat effect the tolerances?
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 3:19:07 AM EDT
[#9]
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Will the heat effect the tolerances?
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Shouldn't.  Unless subject to movement or pressure while under heat, it should measure out the same as it went in.

Melonite is a treatment, not a coating, so no material is added or removed from the process.
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 12:24:48 AM EDT
[#10]
Pretty much a fultile effort and waste of money to make anything more than a showpiece. Hardening the outer .08-.12 of the slide will do nothing to compensate for the quality of steel the early slides were made out of, and do nothing to stop the slide for cracking around the ejection port or peening at the slide stop. It'll handle casual shooting but not consistent pounding from hundreds or thousands of rounds. Use a fully heat treated WWII era 1911A1 slide or post war piece if you feel you must do this.  Even at that it still wouldn't be as strong as a modern slide.
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 1:10:49 AM EDT
[#11]
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Quoted:
Pretty much a fultile effort and waste of money to make anything more than a showpiece. Hardening the outer .08-.12 of the slide will do nothing to compensate for the quality of steel the early slides were made out of, and do nothing to stop the slide for cracking around the ejection port or peening at the slide stop. It'll handle casual shooting but not consistent pounding from hundreds or thousands of rounds. Use a fully heat treated WWII era 1911A1 slide or post war piece if you feel you must do this.  Even at that it still wouldn't be as strong as a modern slide.
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This.
In terms of metallurgy, it would be a better return on investment to do a retro version with a the markings you like - on a quality modern piece, like say a slide from a company like caspian

10-8 u notch rear made for the GI cut


My Miller custom 1911 wears a caspian slide, coated in melonite. I like your tastes in finishes brother
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 12:52:18 PM EDT
[#12]
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Quoted:
Pretty much a fultile effort and waste of money to make anything more than a showpiece. Hardening the outer .08-.12 of the slide will do nothing to compensate for the quality of steel the early slides were made out of, and do nothing to stop the slide for cracking around the ejection port or peening at the slide stop. It'll handle casual shooting but not consistent pounding from hundreds or thousands of rounds. Use a fully heat treated WWII era 1911A1 slide or post war piece if you feel you must do this.  Even at that it still wouldn't be as strong as a modern slide.
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You may have missed in the OP where I said this would not be the case. More like a hundred rounds a year, a couple of mags at a time. The same shooting schedule on my current 1911 (not A1) shooter has not caused any problems. As far as the "quality" of the steel, is there any difference in the type of steel used on the 1911's and A1's? I know the A1's were spot heat-treated in known wear areas. This is not like the low S/N issues with early 03's.

Is it a gamble? Yes, but one that I'm willing to make.
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 3:41:12 PM EDT
[#13]
Melonite is very shallow compared to actual heat treatment.
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 4:35:47 PM EDT
[#14]
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Quoted:


Shouldn't.  Unless subject to movement or pressure while under heat, it should measure out the same as it went in.

Melonite is a treatment, not a coating, so no material is added or removed from the process.
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Will the heat effect the tolerances?


Shouldn't.  Unless subject to movement or pressure while under heat, it should measure out the same as it went in.

Melonite is a treatment, not a coating, so no material is added or removed from the process.


I was thinking the heat might warp the metal. I am thinking of having my PSA frame and slide melonited.
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