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spittinfire 07-26-2010 11:30 AM

Cyrogenic treatment for your firearms
I wasn't sure where else to put this because it applies to all firearms so if it needs to be moved feel free.

Does anyone here do this? I know it strengthens metal, we just had a set of gears done for a 5 speed that's going behind a big block. I've learned that it can give longer barrel life and better accuracy. It can also give the frame, slide and springs longer life due to the increased strength.
Does anyone here have any experience with this process on their weapons?

There is a shop just down the street that does it and it's not expensive at all. Complete handgun, $45, rifle barrel and reciever was $40.

Poink88 07-26-2010 11:45 AM

Cryogenic treatment IIRC changes the metal composition and I am not sure if that is good or bad. Harder is not always better when you combine it with something that explodes. Hardness usually goes with brittleness (not sure if this is the case here) but I won't do it without further studies esp. on springs and receiver.

I know it was the rave when it comes to cutting tools a few years back and still is.

spittinfire 07-26-2010 11:51 AM

It doesn't make the metal too brittle. Gears are similar in that they need some give so the teeth don't just round off. here is the website.

Lead Page

Dillinger 07-26-2010 02:44 PM

Spitty - We have one of the original Cryo places ( One Cryo ) just down the hill from our shop.

Cryogenic Tempering and Cryogenics Processing Locations of One Cryo

We have sent in some parts before by request, and have found that old, pre'-64 Winchester actions ( that are tough on tooling ) are easier to work if we get them treated first.

If my understanding is correct, it pulls impurities out of the metal, and thus makes it more uniform.

The big ticket item at One Cryo is, or used to be, aluminum softball bats. Something about getting them Cryo'd makes the ball pop off the bat like a shot. We used to get a deal on small parts if we waited for them to fire up the treatment for a load of bats and we got the extra space.

Several manufacturers ( like Kreiger & Lilja ) recommend against treating their barrels as it is not needed for accuracy & barrel life is still speculative.

Lilja Precision Rifle Barrels - FAQ

Some people swear by it. Some people think it's hogwash science. Somewhere in the middle is probably closer to the truth.

If you think it will help, go for it. If can spend the money another way and feel good about it, go that route.

Opinions on this subject are as vast as the world of firearms. You will find people swear by it and people hate it.

I don't know of any barrel getting 5000 rounds of extra barrel life out of it after having it treated. Out of all the records produced by rifles that have left the shop, probably 10% of them had ANY parts Cryo'd prior to installation.

We do have one guy who gets everything Cryo'd and he swears by it. He does a lot of hunting and a lot of traveling to exotic locales to shoot animals of mystery, so maybe he sees a benefit not readily apparent to the rest of working stiffs. :confused:

Benning Boy 07-26-2010 02:48 PM

Wouldn't the cryo process make more sense during manufacture?

freefall 07-26-2010 04:07 PM

Cryo is essential in hardening some stainless steels after heat treat, at least in knifemaking. What I was told as far as rifle barrels, it causes the molecules to align themselves more closely, making things smoother and less porous. Is all this true? I don't know.

spittinfire 07-29-2010 11:31 AM


Originally Posted by Benning Boy (Post 320491)
Wouldn't the cryo process make more sense during manufacture?

It would but it's done on the completed piece after all the machine work is done so if you do it after the fact it really has the same effect.

I mentioned we did it on a set of gears for a trans and the claim is that it allows the gears to handle nearly 100 ft/lbs of additional torque. I will test this as we're building a 445 FE Ford for in my Mustang that the trans is going behind.

I'm still playing/researching the gun thing. I'm really curious about it for my DPMS bull 20 due to it being 416 stainless and the fact I would like to ream the chamber to allow me to shoot 556. Why to these projects always go on and on? Does it never end?

saviorslegacy 07-29-2010 12:25 PM

Sounds like this would do amazing things to knives. It might also help strengthen something like a cylinder for a revolver or maybe even a firing pin.
Other than what has already been said (barrel and reciever), would it be worth doing this to anything else?

cpttango30 07-29-2010 12:47 PM

I am in the hogwash science group myself.

Steel or stainless steel are soilds and you can not alter their structure in any way.

If you have a good barrel that was machined right and heat treated right then you don't need to waste your money.

The button rifling method has to be stress relieved after rifling because that method causes added stress in the barrel. Cut rifling adds no stress and there for doesn't need the extra stress relief.

stalkingbear 07-29-2010 02:09 PM

I've had it done on several rifle barrels. What it effectively does for me is stress relief. That translates to a barrel that won't "walk" when it heats up. That's the main reason I use it. If you're planning on "getting happy" with rapid fire then it's for you. It's proven it to stop a barrel from walking as it heats up-at least to me. Sorry Tango-we'll have to disagree on this 1. On the other hand if you're never planning on getting the barrel very hot, it's probably a waste of money. I have had it done on most of my personal rifles if that tells you anything.

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