Corrosion Resistance of Nitride vs Chrome Lined Barrels

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Swampman, Nov 22, 2019.

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  1. Swampman

    Swampman Old Fart

    Oct 15, 2011
    East Texas
    Specifically, which one is likely to be better for use with corrosive primed ammunition?

    First off, I have no illusions that either one is going to be a "shoot it and forget about it" proposition. East Texas summers are very hot and humid and I'll sometimes get a little red on the first patch through my 59/66 SKS only a few hours after I finish shooting.

    I've never had that problem with my chrome lined WASR 10 and was wondering if a nitride treated barrel would give better or worse protection than chrome lining?

    I'm thinking about building an AR in 7.62x39 and since I've got several cases of old Yugoslavian M-67 ball, corrosion resistance will be a factor in barrel choice.

    I did a search and couldn't find anything that addressed this.

  2. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

    Nov 12, 2018
    People's Republic of California, Central Valley
    This video should go some way to answer the pros/cons of chrome lined bores vs. nitride processes.

    As I understand it, the main problem with corrosive priming has to do with the hygroscopic salts remaining on the bore's surface. To me, that sounds as if the standard salt spray test would serve as a valid gauge of the comparative performance of the two treatments. It is my understanding that, all else being equal, a proper nitride treatment can be expected to provide superior corrosion protection over hard chrome under salt spray testing. If I understand this correctly, the nitriding processes alter the physical and chemical properties of the steel surface while chrome forms a layer around it.

    In short, unless you are regularly exposing the bore to high temperatures from lengthy full auto strings, a properly applied nitride process by from a reputable company is supposed to be the better way to go today. However, either method will do the job.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2019
    Demi-human, js8588 and rust collector like this.
  3. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

    Aug 1, 2005
    Small bores and high velocities kill barrels. Just switching from 556 to 7.62x39 will give you dramatically longer barrel life.

    One big advantage of nitride is corrosion resistance. Guy I know had shot his Sig Swiss rifle in 7.62x39 with corrosive ammo and didn't clean it before he loaned it to me a month later. The hard chromed gas piston was rusty with hard chrome flacking off, the stainless steel gas block was rusty, and the recoil spring was rusted almost through. The nitrided barrel was completely untouched inside and out.

    gotboostvr, boom boom and js8588 like this.
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