Stainless Versus Blued Steel?

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by Vikingdad, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    I am wondering if there is a significant enough difference in accuracy between stainless versus blued steel to make you prefer one material over the other. Stainless costs more but is less rigid. All military rifles are blued steel (I think. Could be wrong) is this due to cost or accuracy or durability or a combination of these and more? If you could buy a Garand (or any other gun. AR15, Mini14 or what have you) in stainless or blued steel which one would you choose?
     
  2. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    You will see absolutely no difference in accuracy between the two metals if the surround rifle is built to same spec.

    I like stainless for it's corrosion resistance but the stainless used in guns is not like that used in knives or surgical implants....it will rust and it's slightly magnetic. It won't rust as fast as a blued gun but give it enough time and it will.
     

  3. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    stainless steel is more expensive thats about it.
     
  4. 500mag_guy

    500mag_guy New Member

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    i have seen this post so many times its killing me! lol search the forum man you will find anything and everything you want to know on this subject you will find there. at the bottom of this page it shows all of the past posts on this.

    By the way stainless will not mess with your accuracy. this is a huge argument but one of my most accurate rifles is a stainless steel. three shots in or touching the first hole at 100 yards. id say that would fit most peoples classification of accurate.
     
  5. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    The reason I ask the question is because I am making a barrel strut for my stainless Mini14. I asked my engineer buddy if he had any chromoly steel tubing (I thought that was stiffer than mild cold-rolled steel) and he was saying that it is not, the two are nearly identical in stiffness (off the top of his head). He had the chromoly, mild and stainless in 3/4" tube and I also picked up some 1" heavy-wall aluminum that he said is far stiffer. He also said that the stainless is the least rigid and least strong of the bunch (I know it is softer and not as strong).

    I am thinking of building several different barrel struts and doing direct comparisons using the same gun. If I ever get them all done I will post results. Don't hold your breath though.
     
  6. Durangokid

    Durangokid New Member

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    Do you think stainless is used because it takes less labor than a Chrome Moly tube to make. The hand labor needed to polish and blue a carbon steel barrel is more than just polishing a stainless one. Marlin cut their cost cost big time by going to Micro groove rlfling. After all profit is what its all about. :)

    DK
     
  7. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    I did try using the forum search but it didn't bring up any results. After I posted the threads came up. Not my fault. I searched before posting.
     
  8. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    You're comparing apples to oranges when you start talking moly, steel, aluminum and stainless all the same group. They have different properties and different uses. There are also countless variations of each as the alloys are manipulated to fill a certain need.
    Without knowing what grade of each material your friend has there is no way to know which will work best.

    Gun metals are not hard at all, they're actually quite soft. Going with the most rigid material could hurt your accruacy more then help it. A gun needs to grow as it gets warm and softer metals tend to grow more uniformly because they tend to displace heat more evenly. Rigid metals are also more prone to cracking and stress fractures.
     
  9. lonyaeger

    lonyaeger New Member

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    Wow, I'm sure the OP didn't mean to bother you.
     
  10. M14sRock

    M14sRock New Member

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    No kidding. I had the same thought but you beat me to it.

    Maybe we should just start a forum where it is forbidden to ever ask a similar question more than once?
     
  11. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    500 brother take a pill man relax no need to have a idiot attack over a simple question.


    Stainless is better because it looks sleek and the Delorian was made form it. Both metals do the same job one is just a little more rest RESISTANT than the other.
     
  12. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    I know that the different metals/alloys/etc. are going to have different properties, that is why rather than trying to predict what the results will be (as I don't know the specific alloys, etc.), I am planning on making struts from different materials and using them on the same rifle to test them. I am also looking for a piece of carbon fiber tube to use in the testing. One thing that will make it a bit easier is that most of the materials are 3/4" tubing so I can use the same clamps to fasten each tube to the barrel, which will help to limit the variables.

    Also worth mentioning is the fact that there is a distinction between hardness, stiffness, strength, etc. and while one may affect the other the relationship is not a linear one. I question whether you are correct in your statement "softer metals tend to grow more uniformly because they tend to displace heat more evenly". That seems to be a strange statement. Perhaps others can chime in on this? Of the materials I have I believe the aluminum is the stiffest, yet it is also the softest. It is well known that aluminum has a greater strength to weight ratio than steel.

    I don't know the answers but I am willing to give this experiment a try.
     
  13. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    OK, I have gone through all of the posts at the bottom of the page and nothing really addresses the question I asked initially which was if there is a difference in accuracy in two rifles that are identical in all other ways but the material used. My follow-up question was regarding the stiffness of the two materials (and a few others).
     
  14. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    Question away my friend. Do the research and learn for yourself. I personally never take a person's word for it, I look it up myself.

    I'll say this though....when was the last time you saw a hardened steel bushing for a temperature sensor? You haven't because they don't transfer heat well.

    Please explain how you can have a piece of aluminum that is the stiffest but the softest at the same time.....

    Aluminum may be stronger by weight then steel but it doesn't mean it's stronger. I weighed 165lbs in high school when I bench pressed 315 but the guy next to me who weighed 220 bench pressed 400...who is stronger?
     
  15. Logan2302

    Logan2302 New Member

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    Agreed.....
     
  16. 500mag_guy

    500mag_guy New Member

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    ha an azzhole think to say i agree. one of those days.
    My apologies vikingdad.
     
  17. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    This is good stuff. Getting me thinking hard about my ideas.

    "when was the last time you saw a hardened steel bushing for a temperature sensor? You haven't because they don't transfer heat well"

    I don't think that is it. I think it has more to do with the fact that steel (hardened or not) is more easily corroded than copper, brass or stainless (and perhaps other metals commonly used in this application.)
    On temp sensors, copper and brass are generally used because they transfer heat readily, are malleable, maintain their strength (don't crack) through repeated temperature variations and are extremely corrosion resistant. Stainless is also used in these applications.

    "Please explain how you can have a piece of aluminum that is the stiffest but the softest at the same time....."

    It has to do with the dimensions of the material. The piece of aluminum that I would have to use would be larger in diameter and with thicker walls than the steel. It would be measurably lighter even though it has more mass. Softness and stiffness are not necessarily an equal relationship. If I am using 6061 aircraft aluminum it can be pretty hard in terms of aluminum, but not in terms of steel. Does that make sense or am I an idiot? (be nice!)

    "I weighed 165lbs in high school when I bench pressed 315 but the guy next to me who weighed 220 bench pressed 400...who is stronger?"

    Um. The other guy. But you are talking about two humans.
    I would compare aluminum and steel to be more like a human to an orangutan (OK, stop laughing and clean the beer off of your monitor). The two metals are as different as the two species, aren't they? As I said earlier it is not a linear comparison. Orangutans are roughly the same size as humans (adult males weigh around 200 lbs and the females weigh less) but they are well recognized to be a great deal stronger than humans, one internet reference (you can believe anything you read on the internet!) says they are four to seven times stronger than humans! (Answers.com - How strong are orangutans)

    Enough monkeying around, I'll do more homework.
     
  18. Jpyle

    Jpyle New Member

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    way to man up...well done. We all have those days.
     
  19. 500mag_guy

    500mag_guy New Member

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    hope my p.m. will set things straight.
     
  20. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    Thanks 500, and no worries. I have thick skin. Apology accepted and let's move on!