1911 question


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gburner
July 1, 2003, 10:49 PM
In terms of frames and slides, what is the difference between cast and forged
pieces. Are castings weaker? What is an 'investment casting'? Do most of the higher end 1911's use forged slides and frames? How do I tell what is a higher strength casting? Thanks.

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Kruzr
July 1, 2003, 11:18 PM
I'll give it a crack (so to speak.) A cast part is made from molten metal poured into a mold or shell. The investment part of investment casting has to do with the way the shell is built up. It can be made to be very precise to the part being cast. A forging is a piece of hot steel that is hammered into shape and then heat treated to relieve the stresses. The advantage of manufacturing with investment casting is that less secondary fitting is required so its less expensive (that's why Rugers are good values). A forged part will require much more machining and fitting since the "hammer" can't be as precise to make a part. This leads to a more expensive product. Given the same alloy, a casting is less dense than a forging so its not as strong. The important part is that the alloy and process are strong enough for their intent.

Most of the higher end and "Big 3" 1911 makers used forged frames and slides. Some parts are cast and some are MIM. When you want to know what MIM is......do a Google search for metal injection molding. :D

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