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Posted: 12/10/2003 4:04:49 AM EDT
Can anyone direct me to a website which has actual experimental data which evaluates the pros and cons between stainless steel and carbon steel as used in firearms construction?
Early on (in the early 70s) there were definately issues with the first stainless steel guns. It's my understanding that this is one reason that Colt (among others) was late to jump on the stainless steel bandwagon. Now a days, if you look at, say, the catalogs issued by Smith & Wesson over the past number of years, you'd have to use a microscope to find any blued carbon steel guns. I own a number of stainless guns and haven't run into any particular problems, but I was just wondering. Exactly what is the data? I know I'll get lots of opinions. Please try to supply supporting data.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 4:10:29 AM EDT
As I understand the issue with SS, there were problems with galling between two moving parts of the same types of SS. This was no biggie as they quickly found that by adding some compounds to SS prevented this. Galling is no longer a problem with SS used in ordanace construction today. Another problem with SS was it was tougher on tools used in the manufacture process, again , this has been conquered and is no longer a problem with stainless steels used in firearm construction.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 4:10:55 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Coolio: Now a days, if you look at, say, the catalogs issued by Smith & Wesson over the past number of years, you'd have to use a microscope to find any blued carbon steel guns.
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Been reading Guns and Ammo? [:D]
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 5:12:14 AM EDT
Real Stainless steel does not attract magnets, this is the stuff that had the galling issues. The stuff they use in guns is far from pure stainless
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 5:20:32 AM EDT
Originally Posted By David_Hineline: Real Stainless steel does not attract magnets, this is the stuff that had the galling issues. The stuff they use in guns is far from pure stainless
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Some stainless steels don't attract magnets. The amount of chromium (chromium content determines how corrosion resistant the alloy will be)differs in stainless steels as does other metals. Pure stainless steel? Never heard of it and I have been in the industry for 25 years. Not flaming you David_Hineline. Just passing along information you might be able to use.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 5:28:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/10/2003 5:43:05 AM EDT by G-CODE]
Originally Posted By David_Hineline: Real Stainless steel does not attract magnets, this is the stuff that had the galling issues. The stuff they use in guns is far from pure stainless
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? 2 and 3 series stainless steels (ex. 203S, 301, 302,304 etc) are non magnetic in the annealed condition and non-hardenable by heat treatment (can be cold worked). Probably not a good idea for working gun parts. This stuff for the most part is a PITA to work with, too much nickel. 4 series stainless steels (ex. 410, 416,418) are magnetic in all conditions and respond well to conventional heat treating methods. IIRC 416R stainless steel is used in alot of factory gun barrels. edited to add a link I just googled up [url]http://yarchive.net/gun/barrel/barrel_steel.html[/url]
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 5:41:21 AM EDT
It is very apparent that he meant typical or common stainless alloys. More so for someone who has been in the business for many years. Of course...not flaming you... just passing along information you might be able to use.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 5:43:54 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 6:19:55 AM EDT
Also note how SS (as used in weapons) slowly killed nickel plating in general, as stainless was phased in. It just seems like nobody missed nickel plated guns. I think there were heat expansion problems for a while too, besides the galling. I had an early AMT Hardballer which needed two kinds of lubrication to prevent galling, but have had the SS fetish ever since.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 8:18:08 AM EDT
Metallurigally speaking - stainless steel is harder to mill because of the nickel content. There's a lot more nickel than chromium in SS. It's popular because of corrosion resistance and the 'bling' factor. The problems with early SS guns was probably due to wrong materials choices and improper cutting tools/processes. Carbon steel is easier to mill and is more readily heat treated. However, it requires some form of surface finish to keep from rusting. SS replaced nickel plating because plating can wear off. Any place where there is sliding contact between two identical metals is a candidate for galling. Ideally, a carbon steel frame with a stainless slide (or vice versa) would be ideal to minimize the risk of galling wear.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 8:24:06 AM EDT
Originally Posted By anothergene: It just seems like nobody missed nickel plated guns.
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Oh, come on. I'm sure there's a lot of pimps out there who miss them.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 8:26:36 AM EDT
Originally Posted By RichinCM: However, it requires some form of surface finish to keep from rusting. SS replaced nickel plating because plating can wear off.
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Why is then that the most corrosion resistant of all firearms, the marine shotgun, are plated carbon guns? If the plating was as easly worn off, why would they have chosen it? Are they plated differently? This is a serious question by the way...
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 8:27:39 AM EDT
Thanks guys, The galling issue was raised in a conversation I had at the firing range the other month, but there were no conclusions offered as to whether or not solutions had been found, so I had been wondering about that. Also, the Ed Harris info was informative. I printed that out. Back when I was in college I worked during the Summers for a small manufacturing company. One Summer I helped out in the puchasing department purchasing stuff for the machine shop. I bought steels and such but never learned much about it. I just followed the purchasing specs laid out by the engineering staff. It's an interesting subject, particularly as it all relates to firearms.
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