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Stainless steel considerations with the 1911

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by Curare, Nov 17, 2007.

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  1. Curare

    Curare Member

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    What are the down sides to building a stainless 1911 from a metallurgic standpoint? Are there increased wear concerns with a stainless frame and carbon steel slide?
     
  2. pinotguy

    pinotguy Member

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    I built a CCO using a stainless frame and carbon slide. I chose this primarily so that I could blue the slide and go with a two-tone appearance. So far, I've experienced no unusual or accelerated wear with this combination at all. In fact, I've heard from several credible sources that this set-up is considered favorable as it tends not gall as much as all stainless.
     
  3. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

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    Only the early cast stainless steel 1911's as made by now defunct companies like Crown City, Vega, AMT, and others had galling problems.

    By the time mainstream companies like Colt began making stainless 1911 pistols, the reasons for the galling and the "fix" were well-understood.
    They discovered that making the slide and frame from different alloys of stainless, and giving the parts slightly different heat treating eliminated the galling problem.

    Today, stainless guns are no more prone to galling than ordinary carbon steel, and it's not an issue.
     
  4. Curare

    Curare Member

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    How would the hardness of a Caspian frame/slide compare with respect to carbon vs. stainless steel?
     
  5. jeepmor

    jeepmor Member

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    You are going to need to know what each steel is. There are as many types of stainless and carbon steels as there are flavors of ice cream at Baskin Robins, actually, there's more.

    Once you know this information, it should be a simple matter of looking up the material properties of each. However, the heat treating tosses in another variable and you'll likely need to contact the manufacturer(s) for specifics. Regardless, the makers of said products will have shaken out all these details over the years and it should not be a concern. I would mention it to your builder or supplier just to be sure, but I wouldn't lose any sleep over the matter, engineers have already done that for you.

    Trust me, I work in an engineering environment (not firearms specific) and these guys (and gals) go into such minutiae of detail that it truly boggles the mind on some occasions. Anal retentive is an understatement.
     
  6. fletcher

    fletcher Member

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    There will be little to no difference. While a carbon steel *could* be treated to a higher hardness, it's unlikely that the stainless is incapable of reaching the hardness desired.

    When properly alloyed/treated, a stainless steel will give nothing for this application.
     
  7. ktd

    ktd Member

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    back before all stainless was worked out, it was fairly common to put a blued slide on a stainless frame so you at least had some increased corrosion resistance on the part you grabbed with your grubby little paws. They were decently reliable it seemed to me. I think that even with the stainless back then you did not get increased wear, the galling was a kind of welding so I was told.
     
  8. rodinal220

    rodinal220 Member

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