stainless steel plated revolver????


August 17, 2003, 05:46 PM
The September issue of Guns magizine has an article by Dick Williams on the EMF Great Western II Stainless .45 Colt 1873 replica. In the article Williams states that "My Test gun was actually Stainless steel plated, but I'm told all -stainless steel guns are on the way"
I'm no metalurgist, but I've never heard of "Stainless steel plating" Am I just out of touch with the world of advanced metalurgy, or did EMF sell the writer a bill of goods by shipping him a nickel plated pistol under the guise of stainless steel plating.
For the sake of those that did not see the article, the revolver looks like solid stainless to me, and if it is plating, I'd like to hear more about it.
Regards, Stonecove

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August 17, 2003, 08:57 PM
Doesn't sound right to me.


August 17, 2003, 10:24 PM
Hmmm. Maybe I should blue one of my stainless revolvers....


Old Fuff
August 17, 2003, 10:47 PM
I would check with EMF and see. I know that one of they’re competitors has announced they will have an Italian-Single Action Army in stainless steel (not plated) so I suppose EMF might have too.

The writer could have also been sent a prototype that was satin nickel or chrome plated. But if this was the case he should have made that point very clear.

In any case, a true stainless S.A.A. is in the works - I believe in .45 Colt caliber only.

Old Fuff
August 17, 2003, 10:52 PM
I should add: Be aware that they're stainless-looking chrome plated finishes that are more rust resistant then the stainless alloys used to make guns.

Mike Irwin
August 18, 2003, 12:42 AM
You're right, Stone, you can't plate something with stainless steel.

If I remember my chemistry, only elements can be plated onto something. Gold, Silver, Copper, Nickel, Chromium...

Stainless steel is a compound, made of a number of elements. I think if you put stainless steel into a solution suitable for plating, it would break the bonds between the different elements and you'd be left with a soup of different elements that no longer are stainless steel.

August 18, 2003, 06:27 AM
I am a metallurgist and I have never heard of plating with stainless steel. It is of course an alloy not just one metal. There are actually alloys , at least binary (2 ) types , that can be plated but it's a rarity with very limited use. So what you heard is just misinformation ,don't worry about it.

August 18, 2003, 09:27 PM
Thanks guys for confirming what I thought. I am a bit dismayed that a professional writer familiar with the gun industry would not question such a statement from EMF--and that EMF would tell a gun writer such a tall tale.
I have always regardes GUNS as a reliable source, I wonder how this got by the editors????????? Am I expecting too much or is this type of propaganda done everyday

August 18, 2003, 09:51 PM
Stainless steel is a compound, made of a number of elements.

Well, let's be picky here, Mike. It's an alloy, not a compound.

But you're right about plating - at least electroplating. It works on an elemental level.

Hmmmm. Mebbe you could hot dip it? :D

Stonecove, two things:


2. I don't think confidence in any of the gun rags is a good thing. They earn their living pleaseing advertisers. Take 'em with a grain of salt.

Oh, and did I mentioin, WELCOME! :D

Mike Irwin
August 19, 2003, 01:05 AM
Let's be picky, Quartus. :)

Stainless steel is a compound...

From Merriman-Webster online...

"something formed by a union of elements or parts; especially : a distinct substance formed by chemical union of two or more ingredients in definite proportion by weight."

It is, however, also an alloy:

"a substance composed of two or more metals or of a metal and a nonmetal intimately united usually by being fused together and dissolving in each other when molten."

In other words, both definitions apply.

4v50 Gary
August 19, 2003, 01:17 AM
Stainless steel - the stuph that knives, forks, spoons and guns are made of. :)

August 19, 2003, 11:22 AM
Stainless steel...
The stuph that cheap utensils and restaurant sinks are made of. :D


August 19, 2003, 01:29 PM
Negative, Mike. It's not a CHEMICAL union. H2O is a chemical union. H2O2 is a chemical union, and a blonde's best friend. H2SO4 is a chemical union. NaCl is a chemical union. Stainless steel is not a chemical union.

Not a compound. Just an alloy.

(And if you are going to insist that it is, give me the chemical formula for it.)

What would a hot-dipped stainless gun look like, anyway?

Uglier than me, I'll bet! :D

Mike Irwin
August 19, 2003, 02:05 PM
I know we're getting to the point of arguing triviata, especially as it cuts across, and in and out of, the physical sciences, but here goes...

The definition I posted of Compound is NOT exclusive of alloy. It says "especially a distinct substance formed by a chemical union." It doesn't say ONLY a distinct substance.

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language is even less specific in its definition of a compound.

"To combine so as to form a whole, mix."

"Consisting of two or more substances...."

"A combination of two or more elements or parts."

Flipping over to alloy, we've got:

"A homogenous mixture or solid solution of two or more metals..."

"A mixture, an amalgam..."

This is a case of both words and definions fitting the situation and being correct descriptions of an object, but one is more specifically related to the particular object at hand. In that sense, it can be thought of as a heirarchical ordering of words that correctly describe the material.

Another example of this type of situation is how we can describe a fermented beverage made from grain, water, hops, etc., in other words beer.

Beer is beer, but beer is also liquid. Both are correct when used to describe beer.

Mike Irwin
August 19, 2003, 02:29 PM
Whoa. Here's some interesting information on the subject...

Here's someone's chemistry quiz using compound and alloy analagously. Look at question 2, and answer D...

To put it simply, though, I'm finding a LOT to support both of our contentions, even in chemistry documents...

August 19, 2003, 02:46 PM
Bizarre. Well, the dumbing down of America has penetrated ALL of the sciences. There's no arguing that.

The definition USED to be clear. There's a huge difference between an alloy and a chemical compound.

August 20, 2003, 02:31 AM
Amen Quartus!

Back in the dark ages when I was in high school (1970-73) if I had answered that Stainless Steel was a compound it would have been graded as a wrong answer.

I was taught that a compound has either a covalent or an ionic bond.

But then what do I know? I used to be a cop and now I am a musician.

August 20, 2003, 09:59 AM
But then what do I know? I used to be a cop and now I am a musician.

Well, to use a line from an old Doonesbury cartoon...

You is WEIRD, honey!


August 20, 2003, 10:22 AM
Have to side with Quartus on this one.

As an aside, Smith used to plate the trigger and hammer of its stainless revolvers. Problems with wear of the stainless parts?

August 20, 2003, 11:19 AM
Ron it's a matter of costs of manufacture and perfomance to pick plated for some of the parts. Now back to metallurgy - an alloy is not a compound !! There is no distinct relationship between the alloying elements as far as the number of atoms , but in compounds there is. For example carbon steel is still carbon steel whether you have .10% or 1.0 % carbon . When we have compounds in the steel they have a very definite ratios , for example iron carbide ( FeC) for every iron atom there is one carbon atom. Ask a metallurgist, I will give you the facts. When non technical types ( dictionary writers etc ) "define " technical things they often don't know what they are talking about .

August 20, 2003, 03:45 PM
Have to side with Quartus on this one.

[innocent mode]

On the alloy vs. compound question or the "You is weird!" comment?

[/innocent mode]


I'm winnin', Mike! :neener:

Now don't make me pull out the big guns - my chemist father in law and brother in law. ;)

August 20, 2003, 03:48 PM

Mike Irwin
August 20, 2003, 04:23 PM
"Chemist brother in law and father in law..."

What, you're going to go all sub-cultural jargonistic on me?

August 21, 2003, 12:27 AM
Whatever it takes, Mike. Whatever it takes.


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