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Yong 03-14-2010 01:47 AM

Opinions on a stainless and steel 1911
Opinions on a stainless and steel 1911. Someone told me that steel 1911 is better than a stainless steel 1911. Stainless steel easily cracked than steel. I will used the gun for carry, competition and self protection. cause if i carry stainless steel would not easily get rust specially if i carry this on waist.

Rick1967 03-14-2010 03:42 AM

I personally prefer a dark gun for carry. I like a blued or parkerized finish because you don't have to worry about a quick flash of light drawing someones attention. Perhaps it's not really an issue. But, I just like something dark under the shadow of my jacket.

JonM 03-14-2010 01:23 PM

stainless steel will still rust and it is not "stainless" as it will take a "stain" from lack of maintanence just like any other gun. stainless just means it rusts a little slower. what can help is a proper wear coating and attention to cleaning.

NGIB 03-14-2010 01:54 PM

Never seen any steel weakness problems from stainless and I've had a number of both...

superc 03-14-2010 05:37 PM

Stainless steel gives up a little ductility as the chrome content rises. Any metallurgist will attest it is a trade off, ductility for corrosion resistance. I personally have seen stainless .45s from multiple sources with cracked side rails and even once a snapped off hammer. To be fair, I have seen cracks in the carbon steel 1911 frames too, just not nearly as many.

Corrosion resistance... Which manufacturer's product, and in what year and month? The stainless used in guns is (sadly) not the stainless used in your kitchen butter knife. A decade or so ago some gun writer wag did a test where he took several manufacturers "stainless steel" pistols and hid them in the ocean pulling them out every few days to photograph the damage or lack of. One of his 'discoveries' was very, very, few springs were stainless in any way. [Making stainless steel springs is HARD, and most manufacturers won't spend the money to do so, and we probably couldn't afford them anyway.] The second discovery is the manufacturers have a very loose definition of what stainless means. And sooner or later they all corroded.

Further they don't make their own steel (those days ended around 1900 or so) and buy it in lots on bid. There is a range of steel formulas (they have numbers) considered acceptable for gun making. [The metal used in butter knives, and other things that go in your dishwasher, is not usually in that range.] As a manufacturer uses up a lot he bids on the next order. [Note: the use of the word bid. That means sometimes he gets outbid and must try again. Called, Commodities Trading. Steel is a commodity.] The end result? One week of one year a sear may be have been made of 440C steel, but next month it was 440A, or 410, etc. There are no binding rules on the manufacturers as the definition of stainless is the steel contains any percentage of chrome whatsoever. All that being said, some manufacturers have (privately) acknowledged early mistakes in steel selection and no longer use the same steel they did a decade ago. Or at least they try not to. 17-4 is a for instance. It used to be common, but it isn't used much anymore. There are also ease of machining and hardening considerations when choosing a stainless steel.

There is nothing wrong with a stainless pistol. You just need to understand it is not impervious. Acid, including the acids formed by powder combustion, leather holsters, and skin perspiration will etch out pits over time. So too can salt. With some steel formulations oxidation (i.e., rust) can still occur. It just takes a lot longer which gives you more time to clean the gun. Likewise blued steel looses the bluing over time due to wear. Stainless finishes will probably look (assuming some rational care) the same 140 years from now.

canebrake 03-14-2010 05:52 PM

I am a stainless fan. Never had a problem carrying down here in South Florida.

And that sudden flash of light from my carry gun isn't sunlight, its muzzle flash!

riggergreg 03-21-2010 07:50 PM

Another stainless fan here

canebrake 03-21-2010 08:08 PM


Originally Posted by riggergreg (Post 254144)

Gotta love those grips on the Kimber! You should get a second set for the Colt.

Mr. Bluesky 03-21-2010 08:47 PM

I like stainless, partly because of the look, partly for cleaning. It's easier to see when you've got all the powder marks off of stainless than off blued, but then again, stainless probably makes me that much more of a compulsive cleaner. =P

skullcrusher 03-21-2010 09:06 PM

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Fan of stainless here as well.

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