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Stainless Range Officer

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Jon Eulette
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Post by devildog 12/20/2015, 6:51 pm

It seems they are making Stainless Steel Range Officers, new for 2016.  The ones I've seen are pretty.  I want to get started shooting CMP service pistol events, and want to ease into it.  Would the stainless make any difference as far as future accuracy upgrades?
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Post by Jack H 12/20/2015, 8:28 pm

Pistolsmiths usually prefer working on blue.
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Post by Rob Kovach 12/20/2015, 9:12 pm

I shoot the stainless loaded target, which is essentially the same thing as a stainless range officer with an ambi safety and full length guide rod.

It can be accurized, and I have less to do after shooting in the rain at Perry, but as Jack says, gunsmiths usually prefer carbon steel.

A tight stainless gun can have galling issues.
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Post by bdas 12/21/2015, 9:55 am

Rob Kovach wrote:A tight stainless gun can have galling issues.

I'll apologize in advance for what is assuredly a noob question... what is 'galling'?

The dictionary says that it means "causing someone to feel angry or annoyed", so that's not helpful in this case (although, I suppose if your gun is galling, it might be rather galling to you).

Wikipedia says that it's a form of wear caused by adhesion between sliding surfaces. So, I'm guessing that, in this context, it happens where the slide meets the frame.  Is that correct?  Are there other places where this is a problem in stainless steel guns, or with stainless steel parts?  If you were buying a used stainless steel gun, where would you look to check for galling issues?

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Post by devildog 12/21/2015, 10:04 am

Thanks for the responses. I've had two gunsmiths in the last 24 hours tell me to stick to carbon steel. They'd rather work with it than SS. One mentioned the galling issue and the other mentioned the glare issue.
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Post by james r chapman 12/21/2015, 10:20 am

With the right lubricants it won't gall. Also, ask yourself how many rounds will you shoot?

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Post by Rob Kovach 12/21/2015, 10:56 am

Galling is typically in the slide rails.  The metal sloughs off in little boogers and grinds itself into the other tight places and wrecks everything.

It's really just a slide-frame thing--and the gun would have to be really tightly fitted, but poorly built...that usually doesn't happen in the same gun.

Most stainless guns that you will see will have tolerances wide enough to avoid galling.

Google images search "stainless steel galling" and you will see what it looks like...
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Post by Jon Eulette 12/21/2015, 11:09 am

I've seen poorly fit SS pistols with galling. The frame and slide metals are to similar and gall. SS is also softer and doesn't wear as well as the carbon steel frames and slides. SS is also harder to work with. Most BE smiths avoid SS like the plague. 
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Post by Rob Kovach 12/21/2015, 11:16 am

Good point, Jon.  The poorly fitted gun would have at least 1 "tight spot" where the galling starts.  The rest of it can be loose as hell and the tight spot is where the galling starts.
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Post by james r chapman 12/21/2015, 12:52 pm

Not going to argue, carbon is better, but, in the PPC matches you'll see an awful lot of happy shooters shooting stainless ( mostly S.A.) 1911's in 9mm.

They shoot 50 yds also.

Just saying.

Jim


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Post by LenV 12/21/2015, 1:01 pm

I have several SS bullseye pistols. I would never worry about the quality being a problem with a manufacturer like Springfield. They stand 100% behind their pistols. That being said they would also be sure that they are putting out a product that they are not worried about causing warranty issues. I am looking forward to seeing the new SS line hit the market. The loaded target models are a great product as I am sure Rob can testify. I hope these are more available then the Loaded Target models. I don't know how much gun work you would require. My RO's shoot Expert scores right out of the box. They might even shoot Master in someone else's hand Crying or Very sad

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Post by Jon Eulette 12/21/2015, 1:04 pm

All the Springfield Custom PPC pistols I've worked on in the last 2 years have been hardchromed. I personally haven't seen a stainless one.
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Post by kc.crawford.7 12/21/2015, 1:25 pm

I think the "quality" of SS has gotten better over the years, it is still a pain in the butt to work with.  It's harder on tooling which makes it harder on me.  If everything falls right into place a SS gun is fine, but when I'm building a bullseye gun I think I can build a better product with a carbon base over a SS base.  Just my .02
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Post by r_zerr 12/21/2015, 1:59 pm

One of the great pieces of information that I got from a tool-maker years ago is that the galling is much more common when the two materials also have or are very close to the same hardness.  On the Caspian stainless frames and slides, there is at least a 6-10 point Rockwell C spread between them, and I was pleased to see that.

Nevertheless, stainless is more prone to the galling, and lubrication is a necessity, not an option, and carbide cutting tools are a blessing!


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Post by james r chapman 12/21/2015, 3:00 pm

Jon Eulette wrote:All the Springfield Custom PPC pistols I've worked on in the last 2 years have been hardchromed. I personally haven't seen a stainless one.
Jon

Hard chromed, I bet that's fun.
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Post by Ghillieman 12/24/2015, 2:00 am

Hey Devildog, YUTT!

Stay away from stainless unless you plan on sending it off for a nitrocarburized treatment. Stainless is soft and the gun will shoot loose quickly. I had a stainless Gold Cup that was tightened twice and needed tightening again after the 2015 season. 

The price I would have paid to have it tightened again and the nitrocarburized treatment, I saved it, sold the gun, put the money together, and bought a Les Baer Premier.
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Post by devildog 12/25/2015, 12:28 am

I am the proud owner of a new Range Officer.  Got a great deal.  They knocked $100 off due to a big scratch from a gun show cord.  Three minutes with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and some CLP and it was gone.

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Post by Jon Eulette 12/25/2015, 12:58 am

Excellent! Congratulations. Good starter pistol. Can build into really nice pistol someday too.
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