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Old February 2, 2011, 03:48 PM   #1
Ambidextrous
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4140 vs. Stainless Steel

Is this (found on the web) True, please?

Firearms
This steel is used by some firearm manufacturers for revolver frames, barrels, actions and pistol frames. Gun barrels made of 4140 steel wear longer than those made of stainless steel. When oil quenched and tempered, 4140 steel becomes even stronger, about 180,000 psi.

http://www.ehow.com/list_7242476_4140-steel-uses.html

PS ~ Hoping (believing) that I have followed proper conduct/protocol for posting www info> - in other words: NOT "infringed" on a copyright...?
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Old February 2, 2011, 04:49 PM   #2
brickeyee
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Hardness is not the only desirable property.
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Old February 2, 2011, 05:32 PM   #3
Jim Watson
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Most target shooters, who have a vested interest in long barrel life for guns shot frequently, favor stainless. But the difference is small and will not likely matter on a hunting rifle or service pistol.
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Old February 2, 2011, 10:44 PM   #4
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Hello, Ambidextrous. While stainless resists erosion better than Chrome-Moly, as Jim Watson said, it is a bit softer & it tends to be a "gummy" steel..you can tell the difference when milling or turning. The trigger pulls of stainless guns don't quite match up to a well tuned C.M. because of this lack of hardness. Also, while there are true "stainless" steels, these are for the most part too hard to machine for firearm use..so the stainless that is used can and does rust.
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Old February 3, 2011, 06:00 AM   #5
Bill DeShivs
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Without knowing what stainless steel, the question is moot.
BTW-true stainless is softer than stainless used in guns. It is not hardenable because of low carbon content. Carbon allows stainess to be hardened, but it also allows it to rust, to some degree.
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Old February 3, 2011, 06:22 AM   #6
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Visit the Jarvis and Kart and Scheumann sites.
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Old February 3, 2011, 09:51 AM   #7
dahermit
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Quote:
Without knowing what stainless steel, the question is moot.
BTW-true stainless is softer than stainless used in guns. It is not hardenable because of low carbon content. Carbon allows stainess to be hardened, but it also allows it to rust, to some degree.
There are three classes of stainless steels: Ferritic, Martinsetic, Austenetic. Within those three classes, there are more than 30 alloys specified by AISI (American Iron and Steel Institute). All are "true stainless steels"...what ever that means. All have sufficient Chromium to resist rusting. The stainlesses used in firearms are Martinsetic stainless. The Carbon content of a steel does not have anything to do with rust...rust is Iron Oxide (Fe3O4, a product of Iron (Fe) and Oxygen (O2).
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Old February 3, 2011, 10:55 AM   #8
Jim Watson
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Most US stainless gun barrels and other large parts are made out of type 416R stainless. It has a good compromise of rust resistance, erosion resistance, tensile strength, hardness, and machinability. You can look up the analysis and physical characteristics without having to generalize with things that apply to the metal used in knives, pipes, or skillets.

There are some exceptions. Wilson uses 17-4 PH stainless for gun barrels but I do not know what they make slides and frames out of. I think the Freedom Arms guns are 17-4, and the Automag and Hardballer were.
At one time Krieger would make a special order barrel out of type 410 stainless which is somewhat stronger and less sensitive to sub-zero temperatures than 416. I recall an old article by a gunsmith specializing in 9mm Major bemoaning Barsto's change from 410 to 416, reducing the safety margin in his overloaded pistols.

Who knows what you might get from abroad. Lothar Walther says their LW 50 steel is superior to 416 but they do not give out actual composition or properties.
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Old February 3, 2011, 03:20 PM   #9
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"The LW50 Lothar Walther Steel for stainless Barrels is 1.4021 martensit Chrome steel. The Difference from of the Shelf 1.4021to LW 50 are the Manufacturing of the Blanks and the Heat treatment, which is not disclosed."

from http://lutz-moeller-jagd.de/

seems to be a 420 in the US.
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Old February 3, 2011, 05:01 PM   #10
mete
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There is a noticeable difference between 416 and 416R .These are free machining stainless steels with high sulfur content for this. The specs for 416 have no upper limit for sulfur !!!! Crucible industries makes 416R no one else .It has upper sulfur limits and is good for - 40 F .
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Old February 5, 2011, 03:07 AM   #11
Clark
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This handbook page was written in 1968.

180 ksi would be about RC40.
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File Type: jpg Pesco handbook strengh of steel 4140.jpg (193.0 KB, 32 views)
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