Question for anybody?

Discussion in 'Large-Bore/Small-Bore Rifle/Shotgun' started by shooter22, Jul 21, 2003.

  1. shooter22

    shooter22 Guest

    I noticed that the Winchester version of the 223wssm is going to have a Chromed Barrel. Are there any benefits? is it a detriment? All I want is a paper shooter, and the 223wssm is a caliber I don't have, YET!
  2. wuzzagrunt

    wuzzagrunt New Member

    Apr 20, 2003
    A chrome lined bore will typically outlast it's unlined counterpart. Chrome is harder and more resistant to wear and corrosion than steel. The downside is that if you wanted to chop the barrel back an inch or two (to compensate for muzzle wear/damage) you are out of luck. Likewise if you desired to, with a steel barrel, you could ream the chamber to a suitable cartridge to compensate for throat erosion (i.e., .308 to .30-06 on the long action length receiver) or, just because.

    Mostly, chrome lining of bores was done for military rifles to increase the service life of the barrels. It seems reasonable that it would be a good idea to chrome line the bore of a rifle chambered for one of the more barrel hungry cartridges like some of Weatherby's rockets. I don't have any idea how well it would work in actual practice, though.

  3. 1952Sniper

    1952Sniper New Member

    Aug 22, 2002
    Military rifles were originally chromed to protect them against corrosive primers that were used at the time. It allowed the soldiers to go longer between cleanings.

    As wuzzagrunt mentioned, chrome is harder than steel and will generally last longer. But I do have a rifle with a chromed bore that has been cut back a couple of inches. With the proper recrown and attention at the muzzle, it's not really a big problem.

    Generally speaking, though, a non-chrome bore will be more accurate. The chroming process introduces tiny flaws into the bore that will affect accuracy. It is nearly impossible to get a perfectly uniform thickness of chrome plating all through the bore, whereas a non-chromed steel bore can be produced almost perfectly.
  4. rik

    rik New Member

    Jun 9, 2003

    While we're on this subjuct, could anyone tell me the advantage and or disadvantage of a stainless barrel, and action.

    thanks all
  5. misiu

    misiu New Member

    Apr 12, 2003
    British Columbia
    Stainless steel

    Hello Rik:

    It's evening and my brain is not working as well as it should but I thought I would give answering your question a shot as I have a little (note the word little) knowledge about the subject having had 2 custom rifles made and dealing with barrel and action manufacturers. The biggest advantage to stainless is it's resistance to corrosion both from rust and from shooting (mainly throat erotion) for instance all winchester model 70's that came in .220 Swift had stainless barrels to resist the throat erosion caused by such a hot round. In addition stainless steel is somewhat stronger weight for weight than ordinary crome-moly steel. The disadvantages if you call them that are that it is almost impossible to get a good blueing onto stainless. (I just had my last custom rifle done in stainless then had it teflon coated and it turned out fantastic) As a final note I would point out that almost all big name barell makers (shilen, mcmillan, hart, etc.) all offer their premium barrels in stainless so they must think any disadvantages are outweighted by the advantages.

    If some of the other experts want to jump in here I'm sure they will have even more to add.

    Best regards::) :) :)
  6. 1952Sniper

    1952Sniper New Member

    Aug 22, 2002
    Ok, I'm going to step out of the firearms part of it and address stainless steel purely on its material properties, as compared to carbon steel.

    For starters, stainless steel is the term applied to any steel alloy that has more than 10% chromium in it. The two most common stainless steel alloys are 304 and 316L. I dealt with these a lot when I was involved in the fabrication of offshore oil & gas equipment. They are indeed very resistant to corrosion (oxidation). However, the increased chromium content makes the alloy both weaker and more brittle than carbon steel.

    Where your standard A36 structural grade carbon steel will have a yield strength of around 36 KSI, typical stainless steel alloys will have a yield strength of around 25 to 29 KSI. However, when dealing with firearms-specific alloys, I don't know what they are using. Most firearms that are made from carbon steel alloys will be some type of high-strength alloy with a yield strength much higher than 36 KSI.

    The increased chromium content in stainless steel also makes it harder (i.e. less malleable). This is a plus when it comes to the bore. Harder material equals less wear. And considering the fact that corrosion is no longer an issue, I think stainless is the way to go.

    The reason bluing won't work on stainless is because a real bluing job is actually a form of rust. Since stainless doesn't rust, well, bluing won't work. So you're relying on some sort of coating to adhere to the surface rather than bond to it chemically. In my experience, any type of paint or coating doesn't last long on stainless steel. But again, my experience is with oil & gas equipment. I'm sure the firearms manufacturers have found decent coatings for stainless steel. I would just warn that it might chip off easily, since there's not really a very good bond.

    Also, generally speaking, if you put a stainless barrel on a carbon steel receiver, you may end up with rust problems down the road where they are connected. The difference in electronegativity will cause the carbon steel piece to act like an anode and it will corrode at the mating surfaces. That may not be an issue, but it's worth considering. If I were going to have a stainless steel firearm, I would make sure that both the receiver and barrel were the same material.

    This is just my 2 cents and probably not worth that. :)
  7. wuzzagrunt

    wuzzagrunt New Member

    Apr 20, 2003
    Sniper: I'm going to have to start meeting a better class of gunsmith. I asked two local guys about chopping back a USGI M14 barrel and the both rejected the idea out of hand. I guess they figured it would be more trouble than they wanted to be involved with.

    The 300 series stainless steels can be hardened after machining. I just thought I'd throw that in.

    On "bluing" stainless: I see Brownell's sells a product called Oxynate No. 84 that is supposed to work on stainless steel and cast iron. A couple of custom shops advertize "Oxynate No. 84" treatment of SS. I'm thinking of buying a can to try it out on some SS parts. Even after some trial and error I'd have enough left over to do about 10 complete long guns for less than the price of sending one out. I really hate the look of a stainless steel rifle. If it works, I'd then have a good reason to go on a stainless steel rifle buying spree. YAY!

    ".....but honey, I have to use up the rest of this chemical."
  8. potato_sniper

    potato_sniper New Member

    Benefits of Stainless

    Looks. Looks. Looks.
    It seems that everyone else has tackeld the technical aspects of having a stainless barrel, so I'll stick with the main reason I like them. I don't think anything looks quite as good a long heavy stainless barrel, except perhaps a long carbon fiber barrel. Stainless just looks so durable. Blued guns with wooden stocks are pretty, but they're something to be hung on walls and passed down for generations. Stainless guns with synthetic stocks just say "We mean business," to me. Every time I open up my case and take out my stainless hunting rifle, I feel like a bad@ss for some reason. Maybe it's just me, but stainless feels cooler. More utilitarian. More manly. Just my take on things.

  9. 1952Sniper

    1952Sniper New Member

    Aug 22, 2002
    That Oxynate No. 84 stuff looks interesting. But I wouldn't necessarily call it a traditional bluing. It seems to be more of a chemical coating. They must have found a product that will adhere to stainless steel satisfactorily. But it still can't work the same way as a traditional blue. Give it a try!

    Personally, if I were to mess around with a stainless steel firearm, I would probably leave it bare. There really isn't any need for protection. It would just be for looks.
  10. Txquadhunter

    Txquadhunter Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    Nevada, TX
    Another thing for stainless, While out huntin in bad weather ya don't have to hurry back to oil the Barrel. Ya can keep on huntin come in and rest a bit then wipe Barrel down. :D
  11. 1952Sniper

    1952Sniper New Member

    Aug 22, 2002
    Welcome aboard, Txquadhunter!

    Looks like we got us yet another Texican here. :D
  12. Txquadhunter

    Txquadhunter Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    Nevada, TX
    Thanks for the Welcome to the board. Great site from what I've seen so far. Yeah, I'm a Texan's, I don't live to far from another member I've seen postin on the board a "inplanotx" I only live about 15-20 mins from there.
  13. inplanotx

    inplanotx Active Member

    Jan 28, 2002
    Hi Txquadhunter. Yup, live in Plano. Welcome to the board. Sit down and chew the fat. When Smokin Guns comes along, he jest might offer up a beer! Enjoy!
  14. Yep! Welcome to ya Txquadhunter...;)

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