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alloys and metals used in gun manufacture?


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Old 04-09-2011, 06:10 AM   #11
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Default notes on testing metal

here are some notes on how to test metals:

Each metal/alloy has its own set of procedures known to work best. First step it to dissolve the sample. How depends on the composition.


More methods exist outside the chemistry lab. There is an instrument that creates sparks with the alloy and analyzes the spectrum, for instance.

Depending on need, there may be problems with some elements: carbon, silicon, boron, nitrogen - these two being intentional and very active in 0.1% concentration -, phosphorous... absolutely necessary to measure in most steels.

Normally, density (which is easily measured to 10-3 accuracy on a simple shape) gives you the main element and the main alloying element including its proportion.

Most analysis methods are incapable of measuring some of the elements present in the alloy. Dissolving in acid won't show the nitrogen contents, probably not the phosphorus nor silicon, and so on. Sparks-and-spectrum can't properly show light elements.

Some elements are desired in some steel, even in small amounts, like nitrogen in Duplex 2205 or boron in some turbine refractory steel.
Other elements are very detrimental, hence not intentional, and must be measured. Phosphorus makes steel brittle even in small amounts. So does carbon, which is why it is added.
Some alloys specify a very low guaranteed maximum of some elements, like 0.02% carbon in many stainless steels.



Last edited by prof-milton-fireballs; 04-09-2011 at 06:12 AM.
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Old 04-09-2011, 11:17 AM   #12
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There have been guns made of Tin, except the barrel and bolt, such as the old M3 grease gun and the WW2 liberator


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Old 04-09-2011, 07:49 PM   #13
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Look in the Yellow Pages for an inspection company, call and ask them if they have a Texas Nuclear Analyser, or equivalent. The TNA exposes the specimen to radiation from three radioisotopes and analyses the reflected spectrum to identify the elements present. The unit is programmed to give a direct identification for a number of AISI or ASTM specifications.

It is not as scary as it sounds as the isotopes are low strength and the unit is portable. A test takes only a minute or so. Some preparation of the surface is required, but the surfaces of most firearms should be suitable unless they are painted, parkerized, anodized or the like. If need be, one can remove the grips, prepare a surface, test, then touch it up afterwards. The test area is small, less than the size of a dime. I do not know what a test would cost, but if you are flexible you may get it for free if you know the right person and he is doing a job. The test is non-detructive so, apart from any surface preparation, the firearm will not be damaged.
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Old 04-09-2011, 07:55 PM   #14
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opaww,
Tin is too expensive and not suitable for making firearms. I believe you mean sheet steel which was use to make the M3 and Liberator. H&K used sheet steel to form parts for the G3 rifle and other firearms. Many AK 47s also are formed from sheet steel. The formed sheet is welded or rivitted to solid parts to make an assembly.
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