View Full Version : What kind of steel do you prefer in your "tack driver" rifle?

Sgt. Mike
April 25, 2010, 03:07 PM
If you were building a gun would you select Stainless Steel, Chromemoly, or???? This is strictly information for accuracy.

I realize that some metals are more sensative to temperature and each material has it's quirks. Some quirks are good and some are bad. All recommendations are appreciated. Thank You, Michael

April 25, 2010, 03:10 PM
There are no serious target shooters using anything other than stainless barrels. With the actions it does not seem to matter much.

April 25, 2010, 03:16 PM
I would choose stainless

April 25, 2010, 03:44 PM
In benchrest competition, a 0.10" group wins and a 0.20" group loses. They use nothing other than stainless steel barrels.

April 26, 2010, 06:33 PM
target shooting in controlled conditions, stainless... hunting or wartime ops in any thing from +130 to -30 degrees f - chrome moly:)

April 26, 2010, 07:25 PM

April 26, 2010, 08:31 PM
I prefer stainless. Unfortunately, my three true tack drivers are all Anschutz with blued steel barrels. Also have Anschutz models 64MPR and 1517 with stainless barrels and they shoot great. The bench rest crowd are all using stainless.

April 26, 2010, 08:51 PM
Stainless is a favorite of back yard mechanics. The outstanding feature of stainless is rust resistance. So, are you going to be operating your rifle in salt water?

For barrels, stainless is fine. Seems to clean up faster, and I don't know why. Both stainless and chrome moly barrels are very soft, and it turns out there is no measurable difference in barrel life between the two.

If you are going to replace barrels, stainless barrels do not require a $75.00 blue job. So the total cost of installing a stainless barrel versus a chrome moly is almost a wash. Since stainless cleans up quick, I have been choosing stainless for my match barrels.

But for actions. I found out the hard way that stainless on stainless may not be a great idea. The lugs on my stainless M70 classic gall. Maybe there was a surface coating, but that got removed when the gunsmith trued the lugs.

For a receiver I want deep surface hardness, strength, and wear resistance. I don't need corrosion resistance and I don't want galling.

I was told by a metals expert that stainless steels are shallow hardening compared to chrome moly. I have not checked on the strength of stainless, and I don't know the heat treat they use, but 4140 is an excellent receiver steel. And on my replacement M70 classic, I got a chrome moly receiver.

April 27, 2010, 05:10 PM
here is a good quick read http://www.finishing.com/225/86.shtml

known many a machinist and tool&die maker over the years... and this topic has come up several times while discussing our passion for firearms... 4140 is harder and more expensive to machine into a barrel than stainless and considered "through hardened", so you will see less of them overall... stainless has a tendency to become brittle from impurities and/or if it is not tempered properly...

have heard rumors of stainless barrels splitting in severe cold, although i wouldnt believe it unless i seen it, they were probably using hot loads if it did happen...

just to be sure i'll stick with the 4140s for the custom stuff...