Stainless steel ?

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by CobraGT40, Sep 28, 2009.

  1. CobraGT40

    CobraGT40 New Member

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    How can I determine if my rifle is stainless steel ? I know this may seem like a dumb question, but I have to ask it anyways.

    I have my father's Arisaka rifle (given to him by his father) and ever since I can remember it appeared stainless. I know this is very far fetched, but it shines like stainless (but only in the areas visible without the furniture...the inner areas are blued)

    I'm pretty sure it may have just had blueing removed at some point...but you never know til you ask.

    Thanks !

    Scott
  2. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

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    100 % sure it's not stainless but you can always double check with a magnet. if it sticks it's carbon steel if it doesn't it's stainless. if it sticks lightly it's a low grade stainless
  3. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR New Member

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    If the inner areas are blued then no its not stainless. Bluing stainless is a long drawn out process which I know the Japanese did not take the time to do. I have never seen or heard of a Stainless Type 99. Someone was just good with a buffer.
  4. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    If indeed you are referring to a WWII Japanese Arisaka { and I don't know what else it could be. ), rest assured that it is not stainless. Cobra, not a dumb question, but one that with just a little research could have been answered by your self. Stainless steel was known and in use in the late 1800's, however the first use in a complete production firearm did not take place until the 1960's.:)
  5. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Oscar, a comment on your comment.

    I just took a magnet and wandered around the house.

    My stainless cooking pots and pans are non-magnetic. My stainless flatware and cutlery are magnetic. My dog's stainless food pan is slightly magnetic, while her stainless water bowl is non-magnetic.

    My S&W 65 and 696, however, are both strongly magnetic.
  6. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

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    true enough you'll be able to find "stainless" that is magnetic. it's a lower grade stainless with a higher carbon count than gun grade stainless. now keep in mind some so called stainless is just clad in stainless but under the clading it's carbon steel. and with out getting into ions and being able to magnetize stainless it's just a standard rule of thumb. but it's has to be higher then 304 ss. there is type 17-4 which is 17% chromium 4% nickel high carbon %, 304 ss is 18-8 higher in nicle and chromium then there is 316 ss.... and it goes on and upward.
  7. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    i used to have a stainless lock box that a magnet wouldnt touch. but my smith 4006 is very magnetic. wonder what type of stainless smith makes theirs out of
  8. CobraGT40

    CobraGT40 New Member

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    It would seem this is the case. My Grandfather actually brought this back from Saipan after WWII and gave it to my dad many years ago before he passed away...My dad doesn't seem to know much about it since it was always locked up. I'm just wondering if my grand dad customized it...I can't picture a Japanese soldier doing this to his rifle. I guess I'll never know.

    In the meantime, I'm not really interested in the $ value of the weapon, but I would like it to be a shooter...and since I have no kids, it will go to my nephew some day. I'm in the process of cleaning it up (which it doesn't need much) and will post some pics soon.

    Thanks guys !

    Scott
  9. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs Well-Known Member

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    Carbon steel is never "clad" in stainless. There are platings like industrial hard chrome that look like stainless, though. Most SS used in guns is magnetic.
  10. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    why do they use stainless steel that is magnetic? is there certain properties that makes this steel good for guns and the other steel not as desireable
  11. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

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    notice i said some "so called stainless steel" is cladding. in my neck of the woods we call a plated coating cladding. cladding is a metal coating bonded onto another metal or so says webster, isn't something plated a bonded surface covering ?
  12. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

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    john, there are various types of stainless. ferritic , and martensitic , most guns are made of the martensitic type since it is more machineable. however unless made with a 304L or 316L etc... they will be slightly magnetic. the L means in most cases less then 0.03% carbon steel. standard 304 is 18/4 and still has a higher % carbon steel. but you'll notice when placeing a magnet on your smith 4006 it isn't as magnetic as a fender of your car.
  13. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Maybe this will reduce the confusion:

    Steel is an alloy of different elements. The most prevalent is iron. Some steel alloys use various mixtures of chrome, molybdenum, and many other elements. The more chrome that is added the more resistant the steel is to surface oxidation or rust. This alloy of steel is called "Stainless". That is, it is stained less by surface oxidation than pure iron. No stainless steel alloy is absolutely rust proof. The more chrome added the less magnetic the alloy of steel becomes.

    Stainless steel is prone to galling when run against itself or other metals. It took decades for S&W (a leader in the introduction of stainless steel to guns) to find combinations of alloys to use in the various parts of the gun to avoid galling. Finding the right alloy for barrels was also a tough task. S&W stainless guns might have alloys in them that have less chrome in them allowing them to be somewhat magnetic.

    LDBennett
  14. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

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    well explained lots better than my stumbling explaination
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