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Thread: Stainless really that much better than blued?

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    Default Stainless really that much better than blued?

    So,
    After having several stainless and blued firearms out and about with me the past few months, I'm equally finding some little rust spots on both types of metal. I wipe them down regularly with rust inhibitor or oil/atf but there is still some corrosion going on in the nooks and crannies every now and again. Is it really worth the extra expense to go stainless?
    Just looking for your thoughts on this. I'm wondering if stainless would be better in the winter months due to condensation in and out of vehicles, house etc. I'm also on the coast, so salt is of a concern, but both types seem to be about the same for me.
    I'm going to be making some firearm purchases in the next couple of months and I'm wondering which type to go with.
    Anyone else having the same thing happen?

    Mountaintrekker

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    Member gunbugs's Avatar
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    Cool

    Like they say, it's all in the word, Stain-less. Not stain-proof. Some stainless steels are more corrosion resistant than others, but, as you've noticed, care and maintenance are required for all types of exposed steel surfaces. I've seen 100 year old guns that have a history of being taken care of that look great, and I've seen stainless guns with big ol' pits rusted into the steel from simple neglect. I'm always a little dumbfounded at the lack of care some people give their firearms. I guess if you'll leave a shovel out to rust in the yard, then your gun isn't much different. Me, I wasn't raised that way. It probably falls back on bad parents.
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

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    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    My 2 cents. If you want durability, the military usually uses parkerized chrome-moly, not stainless. I figure if M1 Garands, 1903s, and carbines and M16s survived fighting around the world with "GI maintenance" it is good enough for me. Something I've found that does a phenomenal job of rust prevention on standard blued guns is Thompson/Center's Bore Butter. Just put some on a patch and rub it onto the metal surfaces. I've never had a speck of rust on my muzzle loader over 20 years, including many years in the humid south (lower 48).

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Oiled blue works for me. I've seen the most rust on Rugers Mini 14 and Remington bolt gun in SS. If the steel is martenistic stainless it will rust. Of course the blue on our guns is rust in check. Won't even get into chloride stress cracking in SS around salt water/air
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    Won't even get into chloride stress cracking in SS around salt water/air
    Hey, Wait Amigo W, I'm interested, what's the story on Chloride stress cracking on the Coast????

    This is a good thread, I've had both, living mostly on the Coast and very little rust on either Blued or Stainless, tho both have tried to rust on me, I just noticed it before it got going. Have seen nearly new Stainless rifles with substantial rust as a result of the operator slackin' but the point was not lost on me, they will rust. You just have to be constantly monitoring it and rub it out, re oil, no problem. The gun I have always on the boat is a Parkerized Shotgun and after 22 yrs it has one very minor spot that I missed before it pitted(?) got a hold, whatever, but overall by due diligence, it has done well.

    My primary rifle is SS tho, not sure it is less prone to condensation rust, I'm all over it like a maniac, just seems like SS is the way to go for the Salt air environment. My next rifle will be blue on wood tho, just cause I like 'em more

    I hunt mostly with Stain "Less" steel because it shines so bright, so I can give that poor critter one more shot at seeing me,
    Those Blued Steel Rifles are "Just Too Sneaky"
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    My stain-less rifles are slowly working their way through my buddies skilled duracoating hands one by one. I also have a couple blued rifles that I am planning on sending out to blackice for a full teflon coating. The wifes blued 308 compact is at the front of that list. It will also likely earn a new zeiss scope to replace the simmons, and I am thinking a trip to see stan for some trigger work is well deserved to boot. I don't mind cleaning my rifles but I don't truly enjoy it either, they are tools and anything that adds to them doing their job with less maintenance is a good thing.

    Here is one of my pistols after getting the DC treatment. One trip to Kodiak and it had rust spots despite it's factory rust resistant coating. I shouldn't have any problems w/ it from here on out.

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    Member Kotton's Avatar
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    All of my guns are blued,I've only had one ss ruger #1 but some thief liked my radio and my 1 week old gun was in the back seat,and he just helped himself, never got to test one.I have had a blued 30-06 that I have used for every hunt for seven years that has seen every kind of weather the dear lord can dish out,and if you carry a well oiled piece of rag on every hunt and clean when you get home it don't look brand new but it still does it's job.Just my opinion but blued rifels just look better.How many alaskan hunters guns that has been from sea to summit,in all the different weather that we have to deal with here that has not seen a little rust?

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post
    Hey, Wait Amigo W, I'm interested, what's the story on Chloride stress cracking on the Coast????

    This is a good thread, I've had both, living mostly on the Coast and very little rust on either Blued or Stainless, tho both have tried to rust on me, I just noticed it before it got going. Have seen nearly new Stainless rifles with substantial rust as a result of the operator slackin' but the point was not lost on me, they will rust. You just have to be constantly monitoring it and rub it out, re oil, no problem. The gun I have always on the boat is a Parkerized Shotgun and after 22 yrs it has one very minor spot that I missed before it pitted(?) got a hold, whatever, but overall by due diligence, it has done well.

    My primary rifle is SS tho, not sure it is less prone to condensation rust, I'm all over it like a maniac, just seems like SS is the way to go for the Salt air environment. My next rifle will be blue on wood tho, just cause I like 'em more

    I hunt mostly with Stain "Less" steel because it shines so bright, so I can give that poor critter one more shot at seeing me,
    Those Blued Steel Rifles are "Just Too Sneaky"
    Here is a fair overview of stress cracking. It was a bigger problem when SS guns were first hitting the market but it still happens.

    http://www.tpub.com/content/doe/h101...1015v1_134.htm
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountaintrekker View Post
    I'm going to be making some firearm purchases in the next couple of months and I'm wondering which type to go with.

    Mountaintrekker
    With even a modicum of care in the field the CM guns will fair very well. SS rifles has been a growing concern for maybe 25 years, but their utility is yet to be established. SS barrels possess some measurable advantages, but all in all I'd as soon have a CM rifle as a SS for function and I much prefer the aesthetic appeal of a blued rifle.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    Here is a fair overview of stress cracking. It was a bigger problem when SS guns were first hitting the market but it still happens.

    http://www.tpub.com/content/doe/h101...1015v1_134.htm
    Non-issue. Comparing firearms "near salt water" to heat exchangers in nuclear power plants? Non-issue.
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    I'm glad I brought this subject up. I think I'm going to go with a blued rifle for my next purchase. I still think a quality blued rifle with either a rich walnut wood or laminate is mighty sharp indeed.
    I never had a stainless rifle until about 8 years ago and I've been hunting since the mid 80's. I thought that was the natural progression of technical advancement in firearms and would fair much better than blued steel. Go figure. I notice about the same care is needed between both metals so I'm switching back to blued.

    Mountaintrekker

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    No doubt blued/walnut has its place in my safe as well. But there is also something very beautiful about a rifle built for utility and rust resistance. They each have there place but neither is "rust proof".
    In my limited experiences:

    Remington 700 SS held up "ok" but parts of them still rusted as fast as blued rifles
    SS Rugers seem to hold up a little better than Remingtons
    Had a couple of rifles Armoloy plated and they did ok as well, but not as good as I expected
    Never have tried a parkerized finish

    You can keep a blued rifle was rusting while hunting on the coast but it does take more work. And then when you get home and remove it from the stock you find the blemishes under the barrel or action and on the recoil lug as well. What worries me more than anything about a blued/walnut rifle is the point of impact shifting due to bedding changes. Sure, a good bedding job will help a great deal but it will not be as good as a syn stock.

    With all the new powerful handguns on the market built in stainless I think they have the metal part figured out by now as far as it not cracking.
    Tennessee

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
    No doubt blued/walnut has its place in my safe as well. But there is also something very beautiful about a rifle built for utility and rust resistance. They each have there place but neither is "rust proof".
    In my limited experiences:

    You can keep a blued rifle from rusting while hunting on the coast but it does take more work. And then when you get home and remove it from the stock you find the blemishes under the barrel or action and on the recoil lug as well. What worries me more than anything about a blued/walnut rifle is the point of impact shifting due to bedding changes. Sure, a good bedding job will help a great deal but it will not be as good as a syn stock.
    This is a Good Point Snowwolfe, my imagination goes crazy with the unseen areas, how wet did it get, etc.

    I'm just curious tho on the issues of Walnut stock swelling and changing the POI while you are in the field,
    has anyone actually seen this happen with your rifles? Maybe even tested for it in the field?
    I had heard that somewhere, and over and over and took it for sure truth but I'm wondering, that's not just a wives tale is it?

    Sounds like a big deal, but guys have been hunting with wood stocks for quite a while............

    Opinions, Facts on the woodstock swelling question?
    Anyone ever get out and literally soak their sighted in rifle, then find it didn't shoot "Point of Critter" anymore when wet?
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Member Stanly's Avatar
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    HUGE fan of Black Ice! Buy the blue, send it to get tefloned, cost is less than the difference between blue and stainless. Don't have to worry about rust ever again. Especially for those who have guns on their boats. I'm in Palmer if anyone wants to see the teflon. I have several of my guns tefloned, rifles, shotguns, handguns... Oh yhea, www.blackicecoatings.com
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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitroman View Post
    Non-issue. Comparing firearms "near salt water" to heat exchangers in nuclear power plants? Non-issue.
    Like I said its an overview of what stress cracking is. Fourty years ago when it was found in guns that story wasn't even written. All you need is stress (fireing) heat (fireing) and cloride (air).Its real but most never see it because of keeping gun clean and not shooting that much
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountaintrekker View Post
    I'm glad I brought this subject up. I think I'm going to go with a blued rifle for my next purchase. I still think a quality blued rifle with either a rich walnut wood or laminate is mighty sharp indeed.
    I never had a stainless rifle until about 8 years ago and I've been hunting since the mid 80's. I thought that was the natural progression of technical advancement in firearms and would fair much better than blued steel. Go figure. I notice about the same care is needed between both metals so I'm switching back to blued.
    Mountaintrekker
    Stainless metalwork can look fantastic in the right wood. I have an old Shooting magazine that has a stainless Winchester Model 70 Super Grade in some pretty wood and boy did it pop.

    If I lived in Southeast stainless would be my choice but anywhere else? I like the blued steel.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

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    Stainless can be lower maintenance, but it is not maintenance free, and some ss guns are horrible around salt water. Many ss rifles don't have ss trigger groups, and that can be a real weekness, the browning ss abolt is notorious for it's trigger group freezing solid in short order on coastal hunts.

    The trouble with stainless is it's a generic term that refers to a whole host of alloys, and those alloys have different degrees of resistance to corrosion. Different gun manufacturers use different alloys, and some may use the same machines to finish both cr-mo steel and ss, so you can get surface rust from cr-mo that has been introduced to the surface of a ss part.

    I have both blued and ss handguns and rifles. I'm rough on my gear and don't like to spend alot of time cleaning and tending to a gun on a hunt so I lean towards stainless.

    Both are good choices, both will require maintanence.

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    Its been my experience that you have to work harder to keep a blued barrell rust free, which is why I lean toward the stainless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    Like I said its an overview of what stress cracking is. Fourty years ago when it was found in guns that story wasn't even written. All you need is stress (fireing) heat (fireing) and cloride (air).Its real but most never see it because of keeping gun clean and not shooting that much

    AW
    Stress cracking requires some very exact conditions and those do not exist in most firearms with a modicum of thoughtful design... Guess that leaves A-Borts to stress crack...

    Barrel steel is essentially too soft to perpetuate the incipient cracks. By yielding rather than cracking the problem is a complete non-issue.

    I did not read the links, so feel free to question further, but I have more than a passing understanding of stress fracturing.

    I have used blued steel for a very long time and have only used a few SS rifles over the years. I never found them particularly maintenence free and the few have not really multiplied. I do have a strong preference for SS barrels.
    art

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I was in the petro chemical business on the gulf for 18 years so I've seen a fair share of it.Most problems I delt with in guns was with S&W early stainless and we gave them some advice. If you will recall they used the same stainless through-out at the start and SS gaulding made for vert poor trigger pulls,so much so for a short while their stainless guns had carbon steel action parts till they got different stock. Stress cracking showed at cylinder face,forceing cone and frame where the new style pressed barrels joined. The early Ruger Mini 14 had a big barrel cracking problem.
    For sure not saying it will happen just that even today I believe it can
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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