Carbon steel better to fit than 416 stainless?
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  1. #1
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    Caspian offers 416 stainless or 4140 lower with 4340 upper.

    While I am planning on picking a well-known 'smith to build two 1911s, I also am going to build a third myself to learn.

    My local gunsmith advised me to get carbon steel Caspian frame and slides instead of 416 stainless for a project. He said they can be made to shoot more accurately because you can closer-fit them. He was on the US olympic pistol team a few times and shoots 300.

    He is going to help me build up a .45 to learn how to make one and I was thinking of stainless because I can let it sit around in the raw and when I get it working I can let it break in and when I am happy with how it works and how the surface finish looks, I could get it hard chromed or I can moly coat it myself.

    What do you all think? Is carbon able to be fit better?

    [This message has been edited by rsilvers (edited 06-20-2004).]

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    I'am no 45 builder but the reason could be that stainless can gaul.

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    I did ask him to clarify, and he said because of potential galling it would have to be fit with greater clearance than if it was carbon steel. I cannot argue with this, even if 416 has good anti-galling characteristics, it will still gall more than carbon.

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    Hi,

    416 is one of the best machining stainless steels. Don't count on it for corrosion resistance. I have just machined some trick bearing tracks out of this material. The freshly machined surfaces rust quickly in the presence of water. The way to prevent 416SS from corroding is thru a chemical passivation process to form a patina of oxide on the surface of the metal.

    Cheers
    Ray

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    What kind of chemicals?

    I am likely to just Moly it when I am happy with it anyway. I already decided to get a carbon slide, so that will need a finish and I am set up to do Gun Kote or Norrell Moly Resin.

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    rsilvers

    Here are a couple of link that give info on the topic of passivation of SS.

    http://www.azom.com/details.asp?ArticleID=1142

    www.azom.com/details.asp?ArticleID=1182

    www.mmsonline.com/articles/100304.html

    Hope this helps
    Ray

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    Same Nitric acid as for picking, and says can result in dimentional change. So I assume we don't really want to do this. After all, if rust forms from the iron content, you can just hit it with phosphoric acid and remove that and be no worse off (I assume).

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    When I went to gunsmithing school in Colorado for 1911 training, the instructor said that for stainless frame to stainless slide clearance, you should go with a .001" clearance (to help prevent galling). However, with a carbon steel frame/slide you can go to .0005"

    And when you lap the frame to the slide after peening the rails, you'll want to use Aluminum Oxide lapping compound. Do not use Silicon Carbide, it will embed in the softer of the two members... Then you've got yourself a lap!

    _kevin archibald

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    What is the obsession with using 416 (in annealed condition) in the gun industry, even in the heat-treated condition it lacks far behind 4140 and has no other benefits.

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    Al, in our (myself and colleagues) experience, we've found that in NRA highpower rifles (100 - 1000 yard competition), 416 SS barrels provide more consistent precision and accuracy towards the end of the barrel's shooting life, than chrome-moly. Stating this another way, both barrels start out the same, but at about mid-life the CM barrel begins degrading gracefully, while the SS barrel will continue shooting. Near the end though, the SS barrel catches up very quickly. I'm referring to high end match grade CM or SS barrels. For rifles, I suppose the only reason to go with SS is so it will match the shiny barrel you plan to put on.

    Jeff

    [This message has been edited by mendoje1 (edited 06-22-2004).]


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