View Full Version : Is a stainless steel barrel and action better?

October 22, 2004, 01:16 AM
I am wondering if a stainless steel barrel and action has a lot of advantages in a rifle? Is the alloy used in firearms rustproof? Does it stand up to chemicals like sweets 7.62 copper cleaner better? Is the composition of the metal able to withstand the stresses of shooting much better, or if you take care of a gun that is blued is it just the same? Is it a style thing, people like the look of stainless? Tia for any responses on this topic? And for the record is there a better copper cleaner than sweets. I have heard that a cleaner called MP-7 works well and doesn't smell. I have no idea if it works just heard the name, and the claim.

October 22, 2004, 01:58 AM
While no stainless steel is really rust proof, stainless is much more rust resistant than typical carbon steel.

The big advantage of a stainless barrel is that it withstands the erosion of the barrel caused by firing high-powered rifle rounds.

When the round is fired, the super-heated gas and burning powder particles literally erode the barrel just in front of the chamber.
Most Match rifle barrels that are shot out (worn out) often look like new bores everywhere but the throat in front of the chamber.

Stainless steel resists this erosion better, so it's often used for Match barrels.

The stainless receiver resists rust and corrosion better than blued carbon steel, and since there is no bluing to wear off, typically look better longer.
A stainless part WILL rust, but not in the same way that carbons steel does, and this takes more abuse.

For this reason, many people like stainless firearms for hunting in foul weather conditions.

As a "stainless" steel, it's less affected by cleaning chemicals.

Sweet's is VERY good as a copper remover, and is as good as anything, and better than most.

October 22, 2004, 07:31 AM
In my opinion Dfariswheel said what I would have said...except one thing, And I just learned this a few weeks ago...the best bore cleaner I have ever used is "Hunter's Copper melt"...I would recommend it to anyone...it smells strong, but cleans my bores of copper (restores accuracy) better than anything else I have ever tried...in only 5-10 minutes...(I have tried all the solvents and JB, Remington bore cleaner etc.) I use a nylon brush one size less than the caliber of the rifle, wrap a wet patch, and use wet patches until the barrel is clean...of course the more rounds through between cleanings affect the time required for complete copper removal...but I promise this stuff really works. Finish with a couple dry patches and I am ready to shoot again...FWIW I prefer stainless barrels for the enhanced duribility in bad weather...However I think the wood stocked deep blue finish rifles are more pleasing to the eye.

Smokey Joe
October 30, 2004, 04:59 PM
Keens, you're absolutely right! Blued steel is beautiful. "Stainless" steel is durable. There MIGHT be a compromise. Just got hold of a Ruger M77 MkII myself, it is SS action and bbl, but coated with some sort of dark gray matte finish. It looks strange, frankly, but not bad as such. Time will tell as to corrosion, wear, etc.

October 31, 2004, 09:18 AM
Recently used one of the new "foaming" bore cleaners...Was given a sample by gunshop...Have a Mauser that I sporterized (actually still fine tuning it) that, like most, had probably fired a few zillion rounds without being cleaned, was dark etc. although rifling was good (except at muzzle which I cut off and re-crowned). I had spent HOURS scrubbing down this bore with a couple different copper solvents, but was still getting "green stuff" on the patches, although I had finally gotten it looking at least reasonably good. Then I tried this foaming stuff....Just stuck the tube in from the action, with barrel pointed slightly downward and gave it a squirt....Blue foam out the muzzle...Let it sit for a few minutes, gave it another squirt...more blue stuff...I repeated this for about 2 hours, until foam started coming out white. Ran a patch through it to get residue (most had run out the muzzle eventually). Put the muzzle up to a bright light and looked down the bore... and it was like looking down a brand new barrel! Mirror bright, super shiny! Used the rest on an SMLE I had just bought...same result. Went back to the gunshop to get some more...And they didn't stock it! Turns out they had given me a sample, that a saleman had given them. My buddy and I hit a couple different gunshops each week, and nobody was carrying this stuff, until finally, last week we stopped at a place way out of town and they had JUST gotten some in...Which of course we snapped up a couple cans (beware its not cheap $12 for small can, but it goes a long ways, unless you've got one incredibly fouled like mine.)
In short, this stuff is amazing...No scrubbing, no brushes, no smell to speak of...truly very cool stuff... If you can find some (there's s couple different brands out now) try it out.

November 1, 2004, 12:39 AM
Whats the name of that stuff?

Smokey Joe
November 7, 2004, 05:44 PM
I can add--Was out @ the range w/the new Ruger (and it shoots NICE, but I don't have the load completely worked out for it yet) it is a public range and this close to deer season there are a lot more than the "usual suspects" there. As the line moved past me to go check their targets, somebody from down the line (hadn't talked to him or anything) volunteered, "Hey, nice looking rifle!" I managed some witty reply like "Um, oh, thank you."

I should mention that it has a matte gray coating on its SS bbl & action, a brown/black laminated stock, and a matte black 'scope. VERY non-traditional colors, although it has a traditional bolt rifle shape.

The line goes past me to check targets because I put multiple bulls on mine and use a spotting 'scope, rather than march down & back every 10 min. I use the break to relax, cool bbl, see what others are shooting, and scrounge brass.

Frankly I'm still getting used to the looks of the Ruger myself. But at least I know that it can elicit a favorable comment from at least one complete stranger.

Dfaugh--I too want the name of that foaming copper cleaner. PLEASE!