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Old February 3, 2013, 11:43 AM   #38
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Join Date: July 15, 2006
Location: Fern Creek ,KY and Metro Louisville at large
Posts: 329
Gun barrels steel is a alloy
A tool steel as you said 4140 or 416 stainless
It is not heat treated to hardness but normalized it is already has the charrestics needed to be a gun barrel, but if it was hard it could not be machined or drilled with a gun drill or a rifling button pushed or hammer forged.
The steel is malleable

Here is a article from a random google search

And wiki about Rockwell hardness

It is true that barrels can be hardend, they are made of a tooling steel
But TiG welding can be used to a controlled method by a good welder.
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