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so, im going to order a 1911

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by MJRW, Apr 16, 2003.

  1. MJRW

    MJRW Well-Known Member

    But I think I am going to send it off to get hard chromed like right away. Is it better to get it blued and then hard chrome or stainless and then hard chrome?
  2. DeltaElite

    DeltaElite Well-Known Member

    I dunno, but hard chrome is not the best finish available.
    I personally like NP3 much better.

    Your gun will be purdy with either finish. :D
  3. Stainless Steel

    Stainless Steel Active Member


    Why not get the stainless gun and forget the hard

    Stainless Steel.

  4. MJRW

    MJRW Well-Known Member

    Its complicated. The only 1911 that looks and has the features I want is the Dan Wesson Panther: no front cocking serrations and it has an external extractor. Unfortunately, the frame in stainless is blasted and I don't like the finish. So to accomplish my ends cosmetically, I'm going to get it hard chromed. I was just wondering if hard chrome takes better to blue or stainless steel. If it doesn't make a difference, then I'm going to get the blue one to save some bucks.
  5. Stainless Steel

    Stainless Steel Active Member


    I think that hard chrome over stainless would be
    the ultimate. Hard chrome is pretty rust and
    corrosion resistant under most circumstances, but
    people who carry next to the body in humid
    climates occasionally have some problems. If you
    used a stainless gun you would have the ultimate
    in oxidation resistance.

    By the way, all things considered, in my opinion
    hard chrome is still the best gun finish. I also
    agree that it looks COOL!


  6. Pendragon

    Pendragon Well-Known Member

    Carbon Steel is tougher than SS - the newer SS is way better than it used to be - but carbon steel is still way harder.

    I am going HC on my Valtro when I can afford it.
  7. Ramshackle

    Ramshackle Member

    Hardchrome is better under carbon steel (blue). But, why hard chrome stainless? Why not get the stainless re-blasted to fit your idea of cosmetic?
  8. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Well-Known Member

    Depends on the steel alloy, depends on the hardening and the heat treatment.

    Guns are usually hardened to 44-48 Rockwell, where as cutting tools may be hardened to 59-63 RC, the harder you get the more brittle. Toughness/ elastcicity is an importand feature in gun parts
    so the steel used stainless or carbon is not hardened to the maximum hardness that can be obtained with that particular alloy.

    A stainless or carbon gun have the same hardness, and it depends on the manufacturers specifications.

    Many highpower rifle shooters find that stainless is more wear resistant and so that is what is used for match grade rifle barrrels these days.

    MJRW is going for the look and it sounds like he's on the right track. I would ask the Co. doing the refinishing what they prefer to work with. The blued may require more prep work and negate the cost advantage up front.

  9. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Well-Known Member

    Hard chrome is just fine over either carbon steel or stainless steel... from a plating point of view there is no difference at all.

    IMHO hard chrome is the best all-around finish. NP3 is more slick and rust resistant, but it is also softer and less wear resistant.
  10. C. H. Luke

    C. H. Luke Well-Known Member

    "I think I am going to send it off to get hard chromed like right away..."

    You're walking into a Huge trap. No matter what you think you want it's gonna change after X amout of rounds & in-hand experience especially if it's your 1st. 1911.

    You'll probably change someting, have it de-horned, ambi, contour safety, etc.

    Recently had one built to my own specs and still forgot about some changes needed.
  11. PCRCCW

    PCRCCW Well-Known Member

    You know...its true.
    SS and Carbon based steels will not give you any different performance/life span than each other.

    The most common used are 4140 HT/Chromoly/High ordinance steel (carbon)...usually at around 40-44 Rc. and 416 Stainless Steel . Usually gun frames and slides, barrels and controls also....its excellent material and its finished at the same Rc as carbon.

    Rc=Rockwell is a hardness rating after HT thats all....not tensile strength, handling heat cycling, heat dissapation and so on.
    Hardness is hardness....44 Rc on SS is just as hard as 44 Rc on 4140. Same thing.

    People say SS galls easily if used with other stainless parts. But I have to disagree. 20 years ago..maybe. Machining tolerances and methods, improved SS "cake mixes" and other factors have made this almost impossible to do......even if you shoot it dry its not likely to happen.

    Some people do have a body chemisty war with SS....hi acidic levels in perspiration can react with certain "cake mixes" of SS...and oxidize the guns rather quickly. A gun with a finish will do well with these people

    I have guns of Alloy, 4140, 416 and so on....the all shoot and wear perfectly.

    The only place I hesitate using SS is in the trigger/action pcs. For the mere fact tool steel is easier to machine and heat treat than other carbon based or Stainless steels.

    You can machine it and then heat treat it..easily and it changes very little dimensionally. Two steps and your done, with better results usually.

    SS and others will grow/shrink/tweak as they are heat treated...requiring a small amount of material for "finish cutting" to make sure its just the right size. This second machining process can "work harden"= making hard/soft/inconsitancies in the part, as its "finished". Make sense?

    Plus you can start with great tool steel at 20 Rc and machine it like butter and then make it TOUGH later..your done. Perfect.

    Or I could be wrong. :D Shoot well

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