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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking to buy a .40 cal and the P16-40 has caught my interest as a contender. I like the look of the stainless and the ease of its upkeep.
I was speaking to a friend at the range tonight who said I should get the blued Para because it would hold up better than the stainless. Less wear because it is stronger than stainless, better fit, etc.
Are there any facts or user opinions to support this or is it just a matter of finish preference.
Thanks for all comments.
Derrick
 

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I have seen nothing that supports either of the statements that stainless is stronger than carbon steel, or that fit and finish is superior on blued guns.

If that was true, I would really have to question the fact that 90% of my firearms are stainless - including my Para.
 

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Years back it was thought that stainless guns had to be set up with more generous tolerances to lessen the chance of galling. A lot depends on the type of stainless being used. As for Paras guns I own both and both have served me well. Sometimes the stainless slides are sharper and in need of dehorning on the lower outside edge of the slide but this is easy to do. A plus I like in the stainless gun is, they can be finished in a satin finish which is my fovorite when it comes to the silver guns. Now a plus to the blue gun is the lower and its small parts can be finished in a satin finish hardchrome and this will make one great looking duo-tone gun. The duo-tone guns are my all time favorite. I hope this did not add a lot of confusion to the sitiuation, and as for strength between the two, choose which one you like the best because either will serve you very well.
Regards
Bob Hunter
(816) 675-2340
www.huntercustoms.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for your replies gentlemen.
I really like the look of the Para P16-40LTD in the stainless.
That,s going to be my pick.
I'm a plinker who likes to go out to the range and do some target shooting and pins. I've also checked out the Springfield xd-40 but being a 1911 lover the Para feels a lot more substantial in my hand.
I live in Canada and Para Ordnance is only about an hour away from my home.
Although I can,t buy directly from them I guess you could say I'm going to support my local economy.
 

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Less chance of corrosion over the long term and I view stainless as better lookers than the blued most of the time.
 

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Derrick said:
I am looking to buy a .40 cal and the P16-40 has caught my interest as a contender. I like the look of the stainless and the ease of its upkeep.
I was speaking to a friend at the range tonight who said I should get the blued Para because it would hold up better than the stainless. Less wear because it is stronger than stainless, better fit, etc.
Are there any facts or user opinions to support this or is it just a matter of finish preference.
Last time I checked, there were about 500 different registered formulas for "stainless" steel, all of which have different properties of shear strength, tensile strength and hardness. On top of that, any steel's hardness and strength can be tweaked by heating.

In general, a case could be made that the typical carbon steel is a bit stronger and harder than the average stainless. One point: a carbon steel barrel in a 1911 subject to a "double charge" load behind a 230-gr .45 slug will usually survive without deforming, some survive with no damage at all. The typical stainless barrel will deform some under that over stress and sometimes enough to damage the slide. That said, stainless is more than adequate for using the gun as intended.

When stainless was first used in guns, some gun makers got it horribly wrong and used steel that was too soft. Another problem was galling, which is not generally a problem because gun makers use dissimilar formulas between the slide, frame and barrel.

I have a stainless 1640 and it is not showing much wear at all on the rails.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks angus and bountyhunter for taking the time to reply.
I like stainless for ease of maintenance and I like its looks too.
I had just never thought about the stainless versus blue debate.
I like them both.
I've got a Colt Match target Woodsman with the most beautiful blue I have seen.
I've got a Colt GCNM in polished stainless and I love that finish too.
 

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It is true that most carbon steels have a higher yield strength (the stress where permanent deformation begins under load) than most stainless steels. However, most stainless steels have much more ductility (amount of deformation that occurs before failure) than carbon steels. Also, most stainless steels do not experience brittle fracture at low temperatures as does carbon steel.

I believe that most forms of either material would be perfectly adequate for handgun parts, but probably not all forms of carbon and stainless steel would be satisfactory for high powered rifle barrels. Special higher strength steels are available in both stainless and carbon steels for these applications that are as much as 5 times stronger than common forms (cost is also 5x or more).

I would expect cracking of stainless steel gun components to be much less likely than carbon steel parts because of the better ductility and less likely probability of brittle fracture. Also, stainless guns are less likely to corrode. But, not everyone likes shiny guns and stainless cannot be blued.
 
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