Stainless Steel versus Blued Barrels: Which is better?

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by TrueNorth, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. TrueNorth

    TrueNorth New Member

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    Anyone want to inform me on the differences and overall features of a blued barrel over a stainless steel.

    I've heard that the Stainless is less prone to corrosion/rusting, but that it heats up faster and can be less accurate in cold weather. It costs a bit more than blue too.

    That said Blued looks better, works better in cold weather and is less prone to splitting.

    Anyone care to confirm/dispell these ideas and let me know what your experiences have been?
     
  2. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    SS is more resistant to rust.

    I like the looks of SS barrels over blued barrels.

    Never heard the cold weather thing. My ar does just fin hot or cold my 308 works just fine in cold or hot weather.

    Not sure what barrel splitting. Unless you are talking about an obstruction in the barrel and trying to shoot it out.

    I think SS last a bit longer if treated right it will not foul as bad.
     

  3. TrueNorth

    TrueNorth New Member

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    Wow, thanks for the quick reply.

    I'm thinking that SS is the way to go, but I had heard someone say that more stainless ones split than blued. I'm not sure if that's just a rumour or happenstance or whatnot.
     
  4. M14sRock

    M14sRock New Member

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    Stainless is nice in bad weather. I changed a few years ago and have no regrets.

    Stainless "splitting more" sounds like internet chatter.
     
  5. CourtJester

    CourtJester Well-Known Member

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    I've never heard of that before.
    I always try to go for SS for what cpttango30 said.
     
  6. GNLaFrance

    GNLaFrance New Member

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    As a matter of fact, most barrels are made of some form of stainless steel. Stainless has qualities that usually make it the best choice for a barrel. The grade of stainless steel most commonly used for firearms barrels is AISI #416, which is a free machining variation of #410. The main constituent in this alloy is chromium. Chromium improves wear resistance, corrosion and scaling at high temperatures. The wear that degrades accuracy is the hot, burning powder gasses eroding the throat area, the spot in the barrel where the bullet enters the rifling.
     
  7. WhipLash

    WhipLash New Member

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    If you are going to have your gun out in wet weather then perhaps the stainless steel is the way to go. I have both kinds. I like the looks of a blued gun but some guns just look so much cooler in stainless steel. Get both and enjoy.
     
  8. 500mag_guy

    500mag_guy New Member

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    I love the look of stainless steel over blued but thats the personal opinion side of it.

    Some people say that a blued barrel is more accurate but i really dont think this is true because i have many stainless steel rifles and when you work the right load up you can get any rifle dialed in perfect. The cold/hot affecting the two i think is some B.S. Stainless will not rust where blued will rust quite easy if you get it wet. With both blued or stainless they are going to hot either way there is no going around that.

    If there is anything else let me know but id go with stainless. you cant hurt it:D
     
  9. Phadil

    Phadil New Member

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    I'm not sure about this but arent bluing is a rust preventive measure? I mean sometimes people blued stainless steel too.
     
  10. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    A "true" blue is a form of rust. I don't think that stainless will take the bluing process. There are other forms of coloration for stainless that get used.

    and remember, rust resistant is not the same as rust proof.
     
  11. TrueNorth

    TrueNorth New Member

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    Hey thanks for the info!

    So as for the barrel length then, longer makes it more accurate. I have two options close in price one's 18" the other 20". I figure I'll go with the 20, but is there a real difference for such a small calibre?
     
  12. TrueNorth

    TrueNorth New Member

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    OH I forgot.

    I also plan to pick up a few high-cap mags. I hear the butler creek steel lips 25rds are reliable. Has anyone had long-term experience? I don't like that they're made of plastic - seems weak to me. Does the Ruger factory make anything other than the 10rd rotating mags?

    PS long-gun registry abolishment vote happens today! May the conservatives win!
     
  13. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    I don't think you'll find any difference between the barrels as far as accuracy and function goes. Stainless is more resistant to corrosion(low grade stainless will rust) but does come with a price.
    Personally, I like stainless but I own both and both do the job.
     
  14. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    I am assuming that your talking about a 10/22. All mags for the 10/22 are plastic.

    I used to think that plastic mags were crap. That was till I order some Pmags for my AR. That is all I will use from now on. That fit great work even better and are tougher than metal mags big time.
     
  15. TrueNorth

    TrueNorth New Member

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    That's interesting, plastic being stronger than metal. My buddy had a bunch of 25rd hot lips mags and they went to sh!t quick, but I assume that that's because of the plastic rubbing against the cartridges. I hear the steel lips do better.

    Does the plastic hold up in cold weather. Some plastics get pretty brittle in the cold. I'll probably buy a few steel lips anyways and test 'em till I'm satisfied but I always like hearing others' experiences.
     
  16. Glasshartt

    Glasshartt New Member

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    I prefer SS over blued, but purely based on looks. I hate holster wear and that's why I go for SS handguns. Since my handguns are SS, I want my rifles to be SS also.
     
  17. freefall

    freefall New Member

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    I live where weather conditions can be unpleasant during hunting season. During my time as a guide I decided my business rifle should be stainless. It shone like a dollar so I had it bead blasted to a dull gray. It ain't pretty but it works well. I see no reason to change or regret my decision.
     
  18. FreedomFighter69

    FreedomFighter69 New Member

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    Stainless is more corrosion resistant and usually stronger than blued steel.
    Stainless wont fingerprint and you don't need a ton of oil on it.
    The downside is stainless actions can be stiffer and have longer break-in times, as said earlier blue shows holster wear a lot quicker, where stainless doesn't or very little,
    stainless will show the burn marks at the muzzle from firing the weapon , whereas a blue barrel hides it. Blue looks better with certain fiearms than stainless but that's a personal opinion. It comes down to what you like ? Some I like in blue, some I like in stainless.
    Hey what happened to Nickel ??? I love, love, satin nickel ! So Nice !
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2010
  19. PTsouthpaw

    PTsouthpaw New Member

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    You may have a need for a hi-cap mag, but I have found that it is more reliable to have a few Ruger factory 10 round mags. If you have the means and motivation then by all means test the steel lips 25 rounders, but I have never had any magazine caused failures with my factory mags. Just my $.02
     
  20. TrueNorth

    TrueNorth New Member

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    Thanks for that, this is kinda what I'm hearing. It's just that the stores always charge a premium for stainless barrels and I was wondering if it was worth it. From what I'm hearing and figuring out SS is the way to go for most of my future purchases. I live in a wet part of the world, lots of moisture and cold.

    PT SouthPaw, I guess I have no immediate NEED for hi caps. But in Canada the only rifles/longarms that you are allowed to own with high-caps are rimfires. Every other semi-auto is capped at 5, so all mags have to be 5 rounds or less, or pinned. It really sucks. So the only way to get that good high-cap feeling is with a 22, or a .17 but that's another story.