modern .45's and Investment casting

Discussion in 'The 1911 Forum' started by ysacres, Mar 7, 2003.

  1. ysacres

    ysacres Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    Pullman WA
    Posts: 6
    (3/21/02 11:44:40 pm)
    Reply modern .45s and investment casting
    Just went to a local gun store (who has great handgun prices) and was chatting with owner about new .45s
    Told him I wanted standard GI 1911 from Springfield and he told me that I should just shell out another 150 or so and buy a used 70s series colt. Said that old colts were made on a lathe and crafted better- therefore more durable/longer life span. New guns were investment cast and had seam running down the middle. I plan to buy one 45 in my life I want to shoot 100 or so rounds a month through it. Opinions please gentlemen.

    Posts: 18
    (3/22/02 1:27:51 am)
    Reply Re: modern .45s and investment casting
    Good evening all & esp. Andrew,

    Some of todays guns are made from forgings,both slides and frames. The manufacturers websites will generally tell you.

    Forgings are very durable and tough. The bar stock is cut into billets and then heated until malleable (red hot) and then formed in a series of dies (usually three) until it approximates the size and form of the finished product.
    Then machined and heat treated. Resulting in a very durable product. Another type of forging, called "hammer forging" is also good forging. This is what the old time smithy did. The bar stock is heated and hammered to a usable shape. Many barrels are hammer forged.

    Products machined from bar stock are satisfactory in guns. Many barrels as well as other parts are made from bar stock. This means that the bar is cut into billets and the parts are machined and then heat treated.
    The bar stock parts may not be as durable and tough as
    forgings, but the deterimining factor is usually material and proper heat treating. Forgings are used in many instances because less machining is generally required.

    The last and of poorest durability are castings. Many parts can be precision cast so that no or minimal machining needs to be done. Again the duribility is generally dependant on material and proper heat treatment.

    Also some gun parts (small parts, triggers, hammers, etc.)
    are made by a process whereby metal powder is injected into a mold and subjected to heat and pressure to form a
    very accurate part. I believe this process to be superior
    to the old cast parts. Different manufacturers call this process by different names, but it is all a process called
    "sintering" .

    Many thousands of guns and gun parts have been made by all of the above processes.
    Generally the more expensive and current customized guns have forged slides and frames.

    I would like to see a test of 1911 guns of good quality made with forged frames and slides, with machined bar stock frames and slides, and with cast frames and slides.
    It is my opinion that the castings would not be as durable, but I believe it would take a tremendous amount of shooting to ever come to a consensus.

    As always the opinions are my own.
    I am not afraid to answer a question I don't know the answer to.

    Edited by: barbon at: 3/22/02 1:49:24 am

    Posts: 19
    (3/22/02 1:42:37 am)
    Reply Re: modern .45s and investment casting
    WOW, I can't believe I wrote all that.
    I would like to see a frame machined on a lathe, would really be a neat trick. Lathes machine round stuff, milling machines do flat stuff.

    Castings may or may not have a seam. A casting seam will
    be a thin line.

    Forgings will have a broad seam because the dies are made in two halves. The seam is usually ground smooth with the surrounding material.

    I think your gun guy is slightly confused, but he is trying
    to give you good information.

    I reserve the right to be wrong.

    Life is too ugly to shoot short guns.

    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 1870
    (3/22/02 9:23:22 am)
    Reply Re: modern .45s and investment casting
    Now, about injection moulding?

    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 2689
    (3/22/02 10:26:28 am)
    Reply Re: modern .45s and investment casting
    hmmmmmmmm, how's about extruded?

    Posts: 21
    (3/23/02 12:46:39 am)
    Reply Re: modern .45s and investment casting

    Always keep your gun and boots where you can find them in the dark.

    Edited by: barbon at: 3/23/02 8:53:14 am

    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 2699
    (3/23/02 8:55:24 am)
    Reply Re: modern .45s and investment casting
    Hey barbon, Ole' Zig here is just pullin' yur chain.

    May I suggest wearing ear protection?

    Can you share pictires with us?

    Be sure to let us know how you like your Sig

    Posts: 24
    (3/23/02 11:19:27 pm)
    Reply Re: modern .45s and investment casting
    Zigzag, thanks for the yanking!!!! Understood.
    I have been known to yank a few myself.

    They sent the wrong gun. The order clerk called to re-confirm
    the stainless order and the warehouse still got it wrong.

    I am not afeerd of the aluminum frame guns, got a Beretta
    96. Just don't want the SIG to be aluminium.

    Just read a report from Shooting Times of May 1997 where
    Bark Skelton shot a Ruger Redhawk .44 Magnum with heavy hot loads 10,000 times, with no changes to frame or cylinder dimensions. Ruger revolvers have investment cast frames.
    He said it shot better when he finished than when he started. Could get tighter groups.

    I'm gonna get a digital camera and learn to post pictures.

    Life's too short to eat tofu.

    Posts: 3932
    (3/23/02 11:25:21 pm)
    Re: modern .45s and investment casting
    Send it back and get the stainless, you won't regret
    TFF VMBB Email Tac
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