Metal to use?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing Forum' started by GunsmithCat, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. GunsmithCat

    GunsmithCat New Member

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    Hey everyone,
    I do a bunch of my own machining and whatnot and make my own gun bits from time to time.

    I'd like to hear from the other machinists what types of metals you guys have had success with when making gun parts and what you prefer to work with.

    Thanks
     
  2. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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    I use mostly mystery metal. Though I do buy hot rolled and cold rolled. I mostly just make sights now so the steel does not need to be hardened.
     

  3. masterPsmith

    masterPsmith New Member

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    It all depends on the part that you want to make.. You also need to familiarize yourself with hardening and tempering processes.

    Jim...........
     
  4. GunsmithCat

    GunsmithCat New Member

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    I appreciate the input! I'll be learning heat-treating and metal hardening techniques next semester and I'm looking forward to it!
     
  5. jwalsh66

    jwalsh66 New Member

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    Depending on what I'm doing I like to use a high grade stainless like 303 or 316. I have easy access to this though because I am a machinist by trade and we have heat treating capabilities at work. Then I brush or polish depending on the situation. I like high grade stainless because of its extreme resistance to rust. It can be a b**** to work with sometimes though
     
  6. primer1

    primer1 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Stainless is "sticky" when machining. But I love stainless!
     
  7. jwalsh66

    jwalsh66 New Member

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    I got to say after working with stainless for awhile you get used to the issues that come along with it. I also love aluminum but it is gummy also I hate how much of a pain in the a$$ it can be. We used to have problems with it building up between the flutes on the endmills But I love how easy it is to work with after the machining process. I was thinking about making some accessories for ar out of aluminum or composite to keep it light. We have been working with some incanel. Spell? And hasteloy. That stuff is a real pain you burn up tooling so fast. But its light and its good enough for aero space its good enough for me lol
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
  8. GunsmithCat

    GunsmithCat New Member

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    Haha good times! Again, thanks everyone for the input! I do love working with aluminium as it is one of the "butters" of metals.

    I have yet to work with stainless. from what I've heard the main thing to watch out for is the work-hardening?
     
  9. jwalsh66

    jwalsh66 New Member

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    Yeah work hardening is pain. What kind of machine are you working on?
     
  10. primer1

    primer1 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Work hardening can happen with any carbon steel or tool steel. Just don't let it get too hot. Stainless is "sticky", it has a habit of sticking to drills, endmills, etc.
     
  11. regload

    regload Member

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    Wait until you have learned some more, next semester (?). Hopefully you will be taught about different steels and their characteristics. You may choose from air-hardening, oil-hardening, surface-hardening and other alternatives. In each category are many sub-categories, depending on your application. Sometimes I get the shivvers after reading what "gunsmiths" recommend for general use. These forums are not the place for specific advice.
     
    SWSinTN likes this.
  12. jwalsh66

    jwalsh66 New Member

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    If you need any help with anything metal and their properties let me know. I reciently took some metallurgy classes classes for work so I'm pretty up to date on that topic
     
  13. primer1

    primer1 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I love the smell of spheroidizing in the morning.
     
  14. Awsar711

    Awsar711 New Member

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    all depends on what your making hard vs soft
    ive had good luck using kasenit to harden parts