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Stainless

IdahoroeIdahoroe Member Posts: 8 ✭✭
edited April 2016 in Ask the Experts
Never thought of it before but are stainless steel rifle receivers casehardened to prevent setback or is the steel already hard enough that it's not necessary. Just a newby question. Thx

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    Hawk CarseHawk Carse Member Posts: 4,376 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Most stainless firearms are made out of Type 416 which is heat treatable to good working hardness. Not case hardened.
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    MG1890MG1890 Member Posts: 4,649
    edited November -1
    The receivers are heat treated to the proper hardness and ductility. The mechanical properties of the material is much more complex than just "hardness".
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    IdahoroeIdahoroe Member Posts: 8 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thx for the info guys.
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    v35v35 Member Posts: 12,710 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    They may not be stainless steels in the 400 series (which are heat treatable for greater physical properties) but 17-4 PH.
    This is a superior animal :strongest of gunmaking metals.
    Many so called stainless steels have no iron or steel in them and the physics of hardening differ from carbon and alloy steel.

    On case hardening: This process was not for decoration but to give low carbon stl and malleable iron a hard durable surface. Soft, easily to machine, low carbon stl and malleable iron could be accurately machined and not be distorted by quenching from recrystallization temps. Only in more recent years have cutting tool alloys been developed to handle hardened products.
    Higher carbon and alloy steels distort from the hardening process requiring finish machining in the hardened state a costlier deal.
    Note the nicely finished case hardened hammers, triggers and interior parts of S&W revolvers.
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    Hawk CarseHawk Carse Member Posts: 4,376 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Many so called stainless steels have no iron or steel in them

    Could you provide some examples? I know of a number of nonferrous alloys, but I don't call them stainless steel.

    I am somewhat acquainted with Inconel, also Tantalum and Zirconium which are shiny corrosion resistant metals. But I don't call them "stainless steel" because they are not.

    Agree, 17-4 PH is good stuff, if you can arrange for your gunmaker to use it. It has the advantage of being an air cooled heat treatable alloy.

    Automags were largely if not entirely 17-4 PH. I have a Wilson 1911 barrel from when they were using it, too.

    Stainless does not seem to take to historical forms of case hardening like pack hardening in bone charcoal that gives the blotchy colors so admired by some, or the rippling pattern of what the British call cyanide mottling.
    But it can be surface hardened by one or another of the nitriding processes lumped together under Tenifer and Melonite.
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    v35v35 Member Posts: 12,710 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    S590 Refractaloy, inconel, S816, HS25 Waspaloy, Incoloy,inconel,TH1050, Ca15,40,CB30CC50,Cf3-16F.
    There are many.
    If I had a choice for a high pressure gun receiver it'd be 17-4PH.
    I believe Freedom Arms used it for their single action revolvers.
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    charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 6,579 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    There are several types of case hardening. All are surface treatments.
    I have never seen it done to stainless.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Case-hardening.

    The 17-4PH looks interesting.
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