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Discussion Starter #1
I was reading the Kuhnhausen book #2 and noticed that the specs for grip screws are as follows;

"Ordnance specified screw steel is 1018, 1020 or 1117 with final heat treatment to file hardness." (Page 77)

So, low carbon steel case hardened to about 60 RC, hmm, I wonder how many new 1911's are sold that way, not many I think. I remembered after reading that that once long ago I had a screw out of a Remington Rand out and tried to file the sharp edge from the end of the screw thread, I think it was marking the magazine side. The file slid off the screw and it made a bright streak on the file. I recall thinking someone screwed up and hardened the screw too hard!
That was at least 20 years ago. The specification for the bushing reads;

"steel is 1020, 1116 or 1117 with material heat treat before machining to RC 22-25 equivalent".

The frames were 22-27 RC, so it looks like JMB or later designers that were trying to consolidate and typify production wanted the bushings to be the weak link in the stock attachment method. The screws on my 80's Colt have screw driver distortion burrs on them, so I assume they are not case hardened. The screws on my most recent guns appear to be 303 or 416 stainless with socket hex heads and no heat treatment. These observations are just tossed out for comment if anyone has any, but it seems to me that case hardened screws would be a good thing to bring back.
Glen
 

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The old guns had it right!

NO ONE MAKES QUALITY GRIP SCREWS!
 

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Best grips screws I have seen came on my Les Baer Concept VII, just your regular slotted screw, any better out there?
 

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to clarify my post, I have a little ziploc baggie that I store broken, stripped and buggered grip screws in. I have lots of fancy allen heads with stripped sockets and also some fancy allen heads with snapped off heads. I have some fancy Novak EXTREME DUTY grip screws that were so thin at the head they popped off too! Talk about extreme. Its amazing how chintzy some of the screws are considering they are a super high profit margin item for the sellers.

Current COLT screws, sold by Brownells seem to be the best for me but they are roughly finished.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm guessing that case hardening would help the hex socketed screws hold up too. My speculation is that the abandonment of the original specification is part of the whole cheapening of production methodology of almost all manufactured goods now. The weird thing is it would cost almost nothing to case harden a batch of 10,000 screws.

How do you boil a frog so it doesn't hop out of the pot?
 

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I've never been a big fan of hex grip screws. I've snapped the heads off more of them than I can remember. Once you break the head off, look at how little material connects the head to the shank of the screw - just a thin ring of steel. On the other hand, making them as hard as a file is a little overkill if you ask me. If you cross thread one into the grip screw bushing, I'd rather the grip screw threads get damaged instead of the grip screw bushing. It's much easier to replace the screws than the bushings.

Most 1911 owners are WAY too attached to their grip screws. I consider them to be consumable. Once they start to get boogered-up, throw them away and replace them.
 

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partsproduction said:
I was reading the Kuhnhausen book #2 and noticed that the specs for grip screws are as follows;

"Ordnance specified screw steel is 1018, 1020 or 1117 with final heat treatment to file hardness." (Page 77)

So, low carbon steel case hardened to about 60 RC, hmm .....
Glen
I'm not sure, but I would guess through hardened as opposed to case hardening.

A feature of hard screws is that they are much more resistant to the screwdriver burs that soft screws collect.

Hankster
 

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The nicest ones I've found are the King's narrow slot screws.
I buy them 24 at a time.
Very nice grip screw bushings as well.
 

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pistolwrench said:
The nicest ones I've found are the King's narrow slot screws.
I buy them 24 at a time.
Very nice grip screw bushings as well.
I do have a set of them and they are very nice! Kings stuff is hard to get! You have to call them! LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The steels specified do not have enough carbon to harden, therefore they had to be carburized. At first glance I thought through hardened too but if you through hardened 1065 or something to 60 RC they would be brittle.

1020, 1018, 1117 are low carbon steels. Mild steel if you will. Case hardened .005"-.01" deep (The depth wasn't specified, interestingly enough) would still leave the center soft but would resist deformation from screw drivers, and I think that was the reason for it.
 
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