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Old November 22, 2008, 09:06 PM   #1
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Is my caspian slide stainless steel?

Attached pic is the underside showing the batch number I think, there is no S mark for stainless, but the seller said it is stainless.

Anyways for me to know if it is stainless?
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Old November 22, 2008, 09:29 PM   #2
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Austenitic stainless steels don't attract a magnet. Other grades have enough chrome an nickel that they don't attract a magnet as well as carbon steel, so you can use a magnet to compare the two. Otherwise, if it has no finish, you will find acid acts a good deal more slowly on stainless than on regular carbon steel. It shouldn't have any rusty fingerprints on it, either. A good test liquid would be a rust bluing solution. It will raise fine rust over a day on conventional carbon steels, but not on stainless in any significant degree.
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Old November 23, 2008, 12:34 PM   #3
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Why not call and ask?
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Old November 23, 2008, 06:49 PM   #4
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I test supposedly stainless steel parts with cold blue. It won't darken stainless steel.

Why not call and ask?
Good idea. Call Caspian.
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Old November 23, 2008, 08:02 PM   #5
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Original S&W stailness steel revolvers wouls not attract a magnet....
but those days are gone. All of todays stainless will attract a magnet
AND will rust !

There is absolutely no reason to buy stainless today unless you like the look !
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Old November 23, 2008, 08:07 PM   #6
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Original S&W guns would rust, too.
Stainless is not rust proof, but it resists rust much better than carbon steel. Even if it does rust, it is not usually bad enough to hurt function.
Stainless requires minimal surface care.
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Old November 24, 2008, 02:00 AM   #7
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The tool maker where I worked in the 70's used to distinguish what he called "true" stainless from the other alloys. He said true stainless was one particular alloy, used mainly in surgical instruments and implants, but which was not tough enough for many applications, guns and hunting knives, included. It was an austenitic stainless in the 300 series, IIRC. Today there are both austenitic and martensitic stainless alloys for medical applications. I guarantee they don't want someone with a knee replacement either rusting out or attracting the magnet in the MRI machine.

The stainless Buck hunting knife sitting on my workshop table attracts a magnet and will rust a little, but it does neither as well as conventional carbon steel. It's the comparison you want to look for. The cold blue test is a good one. They do make cold blue for stainless, but it really doesn't work as fast as cold blues for regular steel, nor is the result as dark, being more like a charcoal gray.
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Old November 26, 2008, 12:11 PM   #8
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300 grades of stainless (austenitic) steel are considered to be "faintly" magnetic, that is they will be attracted to a magnet very little. 400 grade stainless steel (Martensitic) is definitely magnetic and will be attracted by a magnet.
The difference is in the Nickel content in 300 grade versus little or none in 400 400 is also heat treatable which is why is used in firearms.
304 grade, the old reliable 18 & 8 (approximately 18% chromium & 8% Nickel, balance carbon steel.) with varying amounts of carbon mainly for post weld corrosion prevention.

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