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Old 11-29-2001, 06:29 PM   #1
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Is there any advantage of one over the other as far as durability/workability of the metal? I've read that some smiths prefer to work with blued steel over stainless. Is this true and, if true, why is that? I'm about to spring for a new 1911 and, although I prefer the looks of a stainless over blue, but if there is some advantage of the blued steel over the stainless, then I think I'll go with the blue. Coments appreciated and thanks.
 
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Old 11-29-2001, 09:39 PM   #2
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I prefer Stainless. I have a fear of rust living here in the land of high humidity.
Scratches can be buffed out much more easily.
 
Old 11-29-2001, 09:56 PM   #3
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I perfer Stainless just because it is much easier to take care of. I do have two tone pistols ( Stainless Frame and Satin blue slide, Armor Tuff or like finish ETC.) this makes a nice combo due to the fact that my preference is a dark sight plane.
 
Old 11-29-2001, 10:03 PM   #4
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I love the look of a nicely finished, blued gun with polished flats on the frame and slide.

If someone could make a "Boron Carbide Duramonium Glossadurium Slickadabestimatic" scratchproof, wearproof coating that looked just like bluing, I'd want that.

I'm still looking.
 
Old 11-30-2001, 07:58 AM   #5
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Carbon steel is far preferred as far as I am concerned.... Much more suitable as far as metallurgy goes (trigger jobs last longer, holds all critical tolerances better, less prone to crack ), then hard chrome it if you want the ultimate in durability and cosmetics (if you like a sliver gun). Stainless is cheaper, and ok for a gun that you don’t plan on shooting much I suppose
 
Old 11-30-2001, 09:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
On 2001-11-30 08:58, Roverman wrote:
Stainless is cheaper, and ok for a gun that you don’t plan on shooting much I suppose
...ummmm......no.
 
Old 11-30-2001, 10:15 PM   #7
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Stainless Steels run from 2 to 4 times the cost of most carbon steels. The 400 series Heat Treatable Stainless Steels used to manufacture firearms are more than suitable to handle the job. As far as trigger jobs go, pick the right stainless and heat treat it propperly, and they last just fine, but most dont use stainless, they use tool steels.

The term Carbon Steels usually refers to 1020, 1040/1045, 1050,1060,1090 steels. I dont know about the rest of you but thats the last stuff I'd want a gun made from.

Now get to the 4100 series of Alloy Steels and were talking gun steel. Additives like molybdenum, vanadium , chromium, lead, and some other elements take it way out of the realm of simple Carbon Steel.

Carpenter Steel has made a Stainless Steel alloy that is used in one famous gun makers 454 Casull chambered guns.And guess what? You can shoot the hell out of this gun for years and years. Ever take a look at what pressures full house 454 casull loads produce? Think rifle pressures in the range of 54,000.

If you prefer blued alloy steel guns, thats fine. The problem I have is that your knowledge of Stainless Steel is so limited you really shouldnt offer an opinion on it to someone who is asking for knowledgable advice.

Crawdad,

Forget everything bad you ever heard about stainless steel in guns. If you like a stainless gun by all means go and get one. It will shoot as long as any alloy steel gun, maybe longer in Georgia.

As far as advantages or disadvantages goes your probably like many of the people here on the forum. Your biggest bitch is going to be the bluing wear and rusting possibility in Georgia. Hell, if I lived in Georgia I'd do everything i could to mitigate the rusting potential, and that puts Stainless Steel at the top of the heap. But remember, its "stain LESS" steel, not "stain IMPOSSIBLE" steel.
 
Old 12-01-2001, 07:11 AM   #8
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Aren't most Carbon steel guns actually Chrome Moly. When I read through the Frame and slide makers lit, they seem to all use Chrome Moly of some sort,whether it be forged or cast.
 
Old 12-01-2001, 12:08 PM   #9
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Chrome-moly is a common reference to chromium-molybdenum alloy steels, i.e. 4100 series alloys. 4130,4140/4142/4140/4150. To say this is a carbon steel gun is a misuse of the term "carbon steel". It's an alloy steel gun.

Then you get to the nickel/chrome/molybdenum
4340. The richer alloy content gives this steel much deeper hardenability than the 4100 series.

Next comes 5160 Spring Steel, carbon/chrome

Then 6150 chromium/vanadium

The common names refer mostly to the predominant alloying elements used in the steels makeup. It's these alloying elements that make steels suitable for varying applications and heat treatments.

Chromium is present in much greater proportions than carbon in these steels. As an example, 4140 has .38% to .43% carbon, .80% to 1.1% chromium, and .15% to .25% molybdenum. The chromium content provides for good hardness penetration, and the molybdenum imparts uniformity of the hardness and high strength. Note that when the carbon content of these steels goes beyond .28 to .33(4130), the alloy steels become increasingly difficult to weld.

Typical carbon steels have no alloying elements, containing mainly carbon at .18% to .44%, manganese at .60% to 1.3%, phosphorous at .04% max., and sulphur at .05% max. Nothing in here to help with extra ordinary strength or heat treatability.

About as good as it gets strengthwise with carbon steel is 1045. The last two digits refers to the carbon content in the steel. Tensile in the normalized condition is about 87,000psi and yield is about 58,000psi for a 1" round. Hardness is restricted to about 190 Brinell, pretty soft.

Alloys however have some real range you can play with. 4142 can give you tensile and yields as low as 100,000 psi and go as high as 250,000psi yield and 290,000 tensile, depending on the tempering temperature, with hardnesses ranging from 57 Rc down to 22 Rc.

I know it might seem that Im picking nits here, but im not. If you say carbon steel, that means the predominant element is carbon. Alloy gun steels dont have carbon as the predominant element. You have to make this distinction because the 400 series stainless steels also have carbon in them. Why not call them carbon steel then as well?

OK so im an anal enginner, bigger assholes than me agree with me on this one. LMAO



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if it flies it dies, if it runs it's done

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Peter Zahn on 2001-12-01 13:27 ]</font>
 
Old 12-01-2001, 04:05 PM   #10
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...Uhhh...what hoppen....somebody bring a broken machine in for ya' to play with over the weekend??? :wink: LOL...remind me to never talk about steel with you...How 'bout that snow?

LOL...
 
Old 12-01-2001, 05:15 PM   #11
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Well, I've certainly gotten more here than I expected. Peter, I had to read your post over several times before I digested it all (although still not sure if I got it all). Appreciate the education. HOWEVER, let's break this down into simpler terms. Let's say I have a stainless Springfield that I want to put a bever tail grip safety on which will require milling or dehorning the frame. Will the stainless be as easy to work with as the blued/chromium/ (the other) steel, as far as machining or filing off the excess metal? Or is the stainless harder to cut? Skip the text book version and tell me in layman's terms my ole cracker ass can understand :smile:. Thanks much fellas.
 
Old 12-01-2001, 06:38 PM   #12
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Let me help my buddy Peter out here :grin: Yes stainless in any form on a 1911 is easier to work with using hand tools. OK, just so I don't get in trouble, "that is my experience".
 
Old 12-02-2001, 01:21 AM   #13
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Crawdad,

Thats the problem with my soap box, its so damn high the air gets a bit thin up here. Sorry for technical overkill.

To add a bit further to Danes comments, the stainless used in guns even cuts easier in machine tools than alloys like 4140. The stuff takes a real nice finish, and its not too bad on tooling either.

Oh and Gyp_c2:

It was far worse than anyone bringing a broken machine to me. My very own machine was broken. It took 10 days to get the damn glass scale to fix it too. Ticked me right off.





<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Peter Zahn on 2001-12-02 02:26 ]</font>
 
Old 12-02-2001, 06:12 AM   #14
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The nice thing about stainless is if you fit a new grip safety(which might reqire frame grinding) or checker the front strap you won't have to worry about re-blueing or re-chroming the frame. Just polish or bead blast and go.
 
Old 12-02-2001, 09:39 AM   #15
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Its all good. I prefer stainless myself.
I also prefer the techno-textbook explanations offered. :wink:
 
Old 12-02-2001, 12:14 PM   #16
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Thanks to everyone for your comments. Any uncertainties I had about stainless have been allayed. Isn't it strange how things work out, though. I was in the gun shop yesterday morning and saw a beautiful "blued" Springfield 1911 Loaded that someone had bought the week before and had returned for another pistol. I got a fantastic deal on a pistol that had only been shot about 25 times. And then yesterday afternoon, I was at the range shooting that pistol when a fellow came over and we were talking. He saw the pistol I was shooting and then walked over to his truck and came back with a Springfield Stainless Match 1911. He didn't like it at all because the hammer kept falling after each shot. It was about three years old, very little wear. I made him an offer and, well, let's just say I'm still having guilty feelings of having taken advantage of someone. HOWEVER, I'm verrry happy :smile:. I'll get the hammer problem worked out this week. Hey! It's Christmas, right?
 
Old 12-02-2001, 06:48 PM   #17
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Quote:
On 2001-12-02 02:21, Peter Zahn wrote:
Crawdad,

Thats the problem with my soap box, its so damn high the air gets a bit thin up here. Sorry for technical overkill.
What do you think of Aluminum?
:smile:
 
Old 12-02-2001, 07:47 PM   #18
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Makes great beer cans. Now thats some testimonial for a metal I think.
 
Old 12-02-2001, 08:25 PM   #19
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Well Peter, I prefer my beer in a bottle...

...but aluminum sure can be shaped into some really wicked fast rolling sculptures.


Ferrari 360 Modena

BTW, does it crack anyone else up, to hear Europeans refer to the material as AL-Loo-min-e-um? I always wonder if they aren't talking about some new type of lightweight urban housing. :lol:
 
Old 12-03-2001, 01:22 AM   #20
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Gee, DD, the last coupla' Euro-types we had visit at the "mushroom factory" pronounced it "Al-You-min-ee-um" or something like that...kinda' hard for an ol' Southern Boy to keep up with 'em on some subjects, after all...but wood, metal, cars, guns...we kept up jus' fine, thankee!!!....mikey357

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: mikey357 on 2001-12-03 02:24 ]</font>
 
Old 12-03-2001, 02:09 AM   #21
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Well DD if I had my druthers I prefer my beer "vom Fass". But , in a pickup, scouting the back 40,000 on a hot day, a cold aluminum can between the legs is hard to beat. Has to do with the thermal conductivity over glass. <)
 
Old 12-03-2001, 08:18 AM   #22
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Mikey,

I think your phonetic translation would be the more usual one. At least for the Brits. The last time I heard my version, it was from Austrian chef Wolfgang Puck. It was right after he gave instructions to use a THAR-mo-meter. :grin:

Peter,

"Vom Fass"... ah, yet another good use for aluminum. :smile: Thermal conductivity is not much of a factor for me, as the contents rarely stay in the container long enough to matter.

Seriously, I enjoyed your "techo-textbook" metallurgical discussion. Thanks!


DD
 
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