Is Stainless 1911 frame/slide still frowned on?

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Is Stainless 1911 frame/slide still frowned on?

Post by DavidR on 1/30/2016, 4:08 pm

Just wondering....Talking only on the custom built, fitted 1911's for target use. Use to smiths didn't want to use both stainless slides and frames together because of galling of the two pieces but I see many now showing up. Also two tone, stainless frame/carbon steel slide, too. Is Carbon steel to Carbon steel still the best for fit and function or will the other two variations work just as well if built right.
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Re: Is Stainless 1911 frame/slide still frowned on?

Post by orpheoet on 1/30/2016, 4:32 pm

I have a stainless Springfield Trophy Match that is consistently shooting sub one inch slow fires indoors after having a Kart barrel fitted. I didn't know about the stainless issues when I bought it. Ive heard that its not really an issue anymore....but I'll be watching this thread.
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Re: Is Stainless 1911 frame/slide still frowned on?

Post by Dr.Don on 1/30/2016, 4:53 pm

It can still gall if fitted too tightly.  Stainless against carbon is better.  If you want the all stainless look, or even a two tone, probably the best approach is hard chrome.  Hard chrome has high lubricity and is an excellent coating on carbon steel.  Looks like stainless and costs about the same as a blue job.
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Re: Is Stainless 1911 frame/slide still frowned on?

Post by kc.crawford.7 on 1/31/2016, 12:05 pm

David, IMHO carbon on carbon is your best bet.  SS slide on a carbon receiver will work, but I've yet to be able to get them fit an smoothly as carbon on carbon.  A complete SS gun I have never been able to get the fit anywhere near as good as the other combinations.
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Re: Is Stainless 1911 frame/slide still frowned on?

Post by DavidR on 1/31/2016, 7:24 pm

So slide to frame fit can't be done as tight as carbon I get that but can't a SS on SS gun be accurate and competitive ? My son wants a good accurate full SS gun for its easy up keep but wants it accurate enough to shoot CMP matches too. I know there are mixed feelings about Les Baer but he really likes the Concept V it has adjustable sights and says a 3" @ 50 yd guarantee, his budget rules out anything in the custom gunsmith price range. I have never handled a SS Baer so  I really can't give him much help on one
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Re: Is Stainless 1911 frame/slide still frowned on?

Post by Chris Miceli on 1/31/2016, 7:39 pm

springfield has the stainless steel range officer if you don't want to buy a custom gun =]
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Re: Is Stainless 1911 frame/slide still frowned on?

Post by Jon Eulette on 1/31/2016, 7:44 pm

A semi loose SS pistol can still shoot excellent from hand with properly fit match barrel. Vertical play can be eliminated during barrel fitting. The side to side only really matters from machine rest. Yeah you'll give up some accuracy, but can easily get a 2.5" 50 yd pistol. Just keep it sloppy wet.
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Re: Is Stainless 1911 frame/slide still frowned on?

Post by Sa-tevp on 1/31/2016, 7:57 pm

Dr.Don wrote:It can still gall if fitted too tightly.  Stainless against carbon is better.  If you want the all stainless look, or even a two tone, probably the best approach is hard chrome.  Hard chrome has high lubricity and is an excellent coating on carbon steel.  Looks like stainless and costs about the same as a blue job.

In the aerospace field it is a common repair to build up a worn component with chrome or plasma spray and then machine to original or allowed dimensions. Is the harder to machine characteristics of chrome or plasma sprayed surfaces the reason pistolsmiths don't use these shop practices to tighten slide fit? These materials appear like they would provide a near wear proof slide to frame fit or refit.
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Re: Is Stainless 1911 frame/slide still frowned on?

Post by kc.crawford.7 on 2/1/2016, 6:22 am

David, I wouldn't trust the Baer 3" guarantee, just like their 1.5" guarantee.  If he really wants a SS pistol I think the RO would be a better option and I believe less $ for him to put up front.  That difference could be the trigger job the RO will need to help make him competitive with it.
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Re: Is Stainless 1911 frame/slide still frowned on?

Post by Jerry Keefer on 2/1/2016, 6:54 am

Many years ago, I did quite a lot with Eutectic plasma spray.. Mostly on shaft repair/rebuild.
It required grinding to remachine.. It had its limitations back then.. The process may be more refined now..
I believe I saw some spray welding samples/pictures on the forum some time back..study
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Re: Is Stainless 1911 frame/slide still frowned on?

Post by Wobbley on 2/1/2016, 10:29 am

Rather than plasma spray, I'd opt for HVOF (high velocity oxy-fuel) using a tungsten carbide cobalt coating.  It can be masked so it doesn't get everywhere.  It does require grinding to size.  I'd coat the receiver rails sides and top and fit the uncoated slide to the result.  

Plasma sprays always seem to have adhesion issues.

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Re: Is Stainless 1911 frame/slide still frowned on?

Post by 10sandxs on 2/2/2016, 6:51 am

Then there is the cost of the equipment. We put in a baseline HVOF system several years ago, and between the gun, gas compressors, sound room, powder feeder and dust collector had over $100,000 into it. The really good HVOF turnkey systems were 3x that.

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Re: Is Stainless 1911 frame/slide still frowned on?

Post by Wobbley on 2/2/2016, 7:45 am

I never said it was cheap.  Shocked

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Re: Is Stainless 1911 frame/slide still frowned on?

Post by 1joel1 on 2/2/2016, 7:47 am

I have titanium hardware all over my race bike. I use a ridiculously small amount of anti-seize on them and they never gall. Titanium will gall much, much easier than stainless steel so I can't imagine why a tiny dab of anti-seize on the sliding rails wouldn't solve that issue????

FWIW,

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Re: Is Stainless 1911 frame/slide still frowned on?

Post by Froneck on 2/7/2016, 12:11 pm

I have designed with and machined Stainless steel for 20 years, The amount of shaving I made would be in the hundreds of tons. Being I still do it for a local Kosher Poultry plant I know Stainless Steel very well.
 There are many grades of Stainless Steel Usually the 300 grade is the most used, 400 will rust and the typical knife grade 440C will rust when soft but will not after it's hardened. De-ionized water will eventually eat it up.
 When I need strength and corrosion resistance I use 17-4ph but it's about twice the cost of the other grades and difficult to machine. I doubt any pistol maker will use it.
 Also there are other grades of steel that do not rust as often seen on cheap forks and spoons it will say Stainless not Stainless Steel. Stainless Steel is a specific alloy and is not the same as stainless which is simply a metal that will not rust. The US Nickel (5 cents) don't rust but it is not Stainless Steel nor is in Nickel. Nickel is very magnetic!
 However most of the Stainless steel alloys are not very strong or hard, the tensile strength of stainless steel is a fraction of some thing like 4140.
 For that reason I stick with steel and not bother with Stainless or Stainless Steel when doing anything with pistols.

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Re: Is Stainless 1911 frame/slide still frowned on?

Post by Tim:H11 on 2/7/2016, 3:43 pm

Froneck wrote:I have designed with and machined Stainless steel for 20 years, The amount of shaving I made would be in the hundreds of tons. Being I still do it for a local Kosher Poultry plant I know Stainless Steel very well.
 There are many grades of Stainless Steel Usually the 300 grade is the most used, 400 will rust and the typical knife grade 440C will rust when soft but will not after it's hardened. De-ionized water will eventually eat it up.
 When I need strength and corrosion resistance I use 17-4ph but it's about twice the cost of the other grades and difficult to machine. I doubt any pistol maker will use it.
 Also there are other grades of steel that do not rust as often seen on cheap forks and spoons it will say Stainless not Stainless Steel. Stainless Steel is a specific alloy and is not the same as stainless which is simply a metal that will not rust. The US Nickel (5 cents) don't rust but it is not Stainless Steel nor is in Nickel. Nickel is very magnetic!
 However most of the Stainless steel alloys are not very strong or hard, the tensile strength of stainless steel is a fraction of some thing like 4140.
 For that reason I stick with steel and not bother with Stainless or Stainless Steel when doing anything with pistols.


Maximus Arms in Franklin TN uses 17-4PH to make his own line of 1911 guns. Google them. Their 30 minutes from home.
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Re: Is Stainless 1911 frame/slide still frowned on?

Post by Randy Earnest on 2/7/2016, 8:31 pm

I built my first Bullseye Pistol in 2005 with a Caspian Stainless Frame and Slide. I built with no
vertical or horizontal movement and never even thought about it galling. I shot this pistol non stop for 9 years and never had a problem. It shot ten shots in the one hole at 50 yds with Nosler 185jhp's over 4.3grs of Winchester 452AA from the Ransom Rest. It was still holding X-Ring when I sold it last year.
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Re: Is Stainless 1911 frame/slide still frowned on?

Post by rich.tullo on 2/8/2016, 5:24 pm

kc.crawford.7 wrote:David, I wouldn't trust the Baer 3" guarantee, just like their 1.5" guarantee.  If he really wants a SS pistol I think the RO would be a better option and I believe less $ for him to put up front.  That difference could be the trigger job the RO will need to help make him competitive with it.


Les Baer Built my Dad's wad gun back in the day, it was a customized Colt Combat , I think one of the earlier SS Guns. Ran great for about 50,000 rounds and then it was regulated home defense duty and plinking. 

He tried to get it getting to print again but he could not get it shoot and at time Les was in Ill. My dad was a revolver man so he went back to his Model 25 and shot in the low to mid 800's with it. 

When I started up I offered to buy it , he told me it was not a bullseye gun anymore could not even hold 5 inches he said. At the time he could still shoot clean targets with his revolver so I figured the gun was no good, had a Bomar rail and nice trigger.  

I have a les Baer, I had two, and they shoot great at first but that guarantee is meaningless after the first 5000 rounds. Mine will hold the Nine ring at fifty yards now not a problem but that is not a 2 inch gun. Also getting them to shoot takes some work. I had one that would only group with 200 grain SWC loaded 1.255 inches long over 4.0 bullesye while my match gun loves much slower bullets. 

If the Apex of a good gun was a Les Baer then I would say go for SS but I just got a gun from KC and action is so smooth that I literally can not tell when the last shot is fired and slide is open which for a 45acp is something. 

Springfield, I have got good ones and bad ones, but the RO gets you a built gun at 1/2 price of buying the parts so its a good donor. If you are really not into blueing STI makes a Hard Chromed Trojan. I had one in 9mm and it was very good and if it was a 45acp I would not have sold it I also think Dan Wesson makes a couple of Hard Chromed models.
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