Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

"Melt" titanium?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Jim PHL, Aug 14, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Jim PHL

    Jim PHL Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2004
    Messages:
    704
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Not heat-melt, but I've heard the term "melted" to refer to smoothing the edges on a carry gun. The front end of the cylinder on my 342 actually has points/corners (end of the flutes) that will just about scratch my leg when carried in a pocket without a holster. Can these be worked over or is the titanium too tough?
     
  2. RooK

    RooK Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Messages:
    279
    Location:
    KY, USA
    Yes they can be smoothed, just like steel.

    As a side note, Titanium usually isn't as hard as steel at the highest levels. If you try and match titanium to steel in hardness, it becomes brittle and useless.
     
  3. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    Messages:
    11,717
    Location:
    Johnson City, TN
    I don't think I would recommend it. Not only is the titanium alloy in the cylinder very hard, but IIRC there is a special coating on it, which you would have to grind or cut through. No doubt someone with more knowledge will get in on this soon.

    In any case, I strongly recommend a pocket holster if you are to carry this way, at least for any extended period.
     
  4. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    Messages:
    7,672
    Location:
    The Great Pacific NorthWet
    De-horned is also used to describe the modification.

    Does the S&W coating do anything to enhance the strength or is it simply cosmetic?

    Titanium Taurus revolvers and Caspian frames don't have the coating.
     
  5. nyresq

    nyresq Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    Messages:
    543
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I don't know why, but S&W specificly tells you in the manuals with the Ti guns, not to use a bronze brush on the cylinder as it will remove the protective coating applied to the titanium.... it doesn't say what the coating does though...
     
  6. Jim PHL

    Jim PHL Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2004
    Messages:
    704
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Lone Haranguer:
    On a rare occasion I will carry in my pocket without a holster. This is usually for the quickest trips out or in my lightest-weight shorts. (Sometimes my Galco leather pocket holster (#PHI58) feels as big and heavy as the gun itself in summer weight cargo shorts or gym shorts.)
     
  7. JesseJames

    JesseJames Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    Messages:
    314
    Location:
    CT, it's expensive here
    Not to get all metallurgical on you guys but, titanium is an extremely strong and light metal, but, it is totally incompatible with other elements.
    Chlorine, fluorine, and cadmium.
    Chlorine-based ink in certain pens will etch through it like acid. Some tools are cadmium coated and will wreak havoc on titanium.
     
  8. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    5,928
    Location:
    Georgetown, TX
    The coating is a carburizing process, like case hardening, so grinding on it will change its properties.
     
  9. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    Messages:
    7,672
    Location:
    The Great Pacific NorthWet
    Terminology

    Melting usually referrs to sights that are recessed into the frame or slide for a lower profile. Usually described as "Melted Micro Sights" or some such.

    Smoothing and rounding the rough and sharp edges is commonly referred to as de-horning. Sometimes also referred to as a carry bevel.

    All of these modifications are easily done to stainless steel. Ditto for blued steel since it's relatively easy to touch up blued areas.

    Alloy guns pose a distinct problem since they are usually treated or coated.
    For instance Aluminium frames are usually anodized. That, like case hardened steel, means it's hard on the very surface but underneat it's still relatively soft. Dehorning usually cuts through the hardened layer, exposing the softer metal.

    Luckily with the plethora of "painted" finishes available today it is sometimes easy to refinish or touch-up alloy parts. Cosmetically that is.
     
  10. B36

    B36 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Messages:
    261
    Location:
    Indiana
    Not real complicated-:confused: -if it were mine, I would call S&W.
     
  11. rhubarb

    rhubarb Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Messages:
    765
    Location:
    South Texas
    While strong, titanium is more prone to cracking than steel. It is particularly susceptible to stress risers caused by an errant gouge or scratch while grinding. "Stress risers" are small imperfections in the finish from which a crack can develop. While I understand that the idea is to smooth rather than scratch the finish with a coarse finish, I would be wary of such modifications in titanium. Hard to beat steel for a gun.
     
  12. paul105

    paul105 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2003
    Messages:
    298
    Location:
    Montana
    NYRESQ

    Not trying to be argumentative, just don't want to screw up a Ti handgun, so:

    Could you direct me to the page in S&W manual that says not to use a bronze brush. The following was all I could find. Since a bronze brush is the most likely cleaning tool to be used on cyl charge holes, why is it not mentioned below (copied/pasted from S&W manual on S&W site).


    CAUTION:
    TITANIUM & SCANDIUM REVOLVERS
    The titanium cylinder used in your AirLite Ti and AirLite Sc revolvers
    weighs approximately 60% of what a similar stainless steel cylinder
    weighs and yet is able to withstand the same operating pressures.
    Care and cleaning of the revolver’s titanium cylinder consists of normal
    gun cleaning procedures using high quality gun oil and cleaning
    solvents when necessary. However, under NO circumstances should
    the cylinder’s chambers (charge holes) or front face be cleaned with
    an abrasive material such as sand paper, Scotch Brite™, Crocus
    Cloth, etc. To do so will disrupt it’s protective surface layer and greatly
    reduce the cylinder’s service life because of excessive erosion that will
    take place while firing and will void your revolver’s warranty.

    TIA,

    Paul
     
  13. HankB

    HankB Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Messages:
    5,226
    Location:
    Central Texas
    I emailed S&W about how to clean the Ti cylinder on my 340SC without damaging the coating. They recommended "Nevr-Dull" which is available at places like Wal-Mart. As far as I can determine, it's basically cotton batting soaked in mineral spirits.
     
  14. nyresq

    nyresq Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    Messages:
    543
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Paul, my Ti gun is a Pre-scandium airlight 342PD with the Ti cylinder and the manual states in the cleaning section, to use only a brush "inside the cylinder holes and never on the face as this can remove the protective coating on your Titanium cylinder..." the few times I really wanted to get all the fouling off the face I used a few patches soaked in hoppes and rubbed it by hand. a few times and it almost all comes off. I may try using a "lead away" cloth next time I clean it all the way down to the face.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page