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Hi all,
I've been reading about the various frame/slide manufacturing techniques. Are these parts of the gun heat treated and tempered in any way?

I make knives (secondary expensive hobby) and have read from many reputable sources that with a proper heat treating, cast steels perform as well as forged steels. In blade work, there is the matter of differential tempering and what not that adds certain performance and toughness elements. I suppose it would be interesting to differentially treat the rails to a harder RC than the grip area. I digress.

One of the primary advantages of casting vs. forging parts that involve sharp angles is that forging can introduce weaknesses and stresses at the hard angle, where with casting this is less of a problem. Any thoughts?

Shannon
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
did I step in it?

:scratch:
I'm wondering if I stepped in it. This is the first time I've ever had absolutely no responses to a post. Maybe this post belongs in a different topic...
 

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There are many parts in a gun and this could get involved.

ww2 1911's the front portion of the slide was heated and quenched there is often a visable line where this stoped. some slides show a heat treat spot around where the slide stop locks back.

it is interesting to note that the back half of the slides in 44 and 45 were soft enough that they screwed in a bolt and drilled it for the firing pin to provide a hard spot for the primer to push against.

Colt slides are induction hardened, I have not seen the set up but I imagin coils around the slide behind the bolt face and around the front bushing and recoil lug area. Take a colt slide and a feeler gage to a granit surface plate and you will find they are bellied. the ends are probably up .004 or so each side from the center.

Some companies have taken to machining bars and forgings and machining the part in the hardened condition. typicaly on slides 39 to 42 rc scale.
4140 and better 4340 steel

Extractors are made from different steels. 4340 at 48 rc works well as a spring and is tough.

Sears need to be at least 50 rc to hold an edge. we use 53 rc pretty hard stuff.

Firing pin stops we use 46 to 49 rc. the hammer hits it and it can not be brittle. radius in inside corner is important also.

Barrels made from 416 are usually 39 to 44 rc.
less than 36 and the lugs peen easly. they are heat treated after drilling and rifeling 416 is not a great material as it what makes it free machining sulfer also makes it not good for a barrel. The society of engineers says don't use 416 for pressure vessels, um that is what a barrel is......
plus the lugs shear too easly with the grain, top and bottom. chrome molly is a better choice.

Ejectors mid 40 rc too soft and they peen. the legs should have corner radiuses and the front extension should have a radius where it meets the body.

Firing pins 17-4 ph at 37 does a good job. no known failures.

hope this helps
geo
 

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not at all crude like in the old days

Frames sometimes are hardened using Sodium Electrode Bath. Kind of like boiling a part. This is great when you are worried about warping the parts. The bath meathod uses Long Electrodes and a salt. The key is heat control time/tempreture and quaility steel. Gun steel today is hardened consistantly thru the entire part. No excessively soft, no excessively hard spots. The furnaces used control any free oxygen present using old, crude meathods employed the in past. These newer furnaces are called Neutral Atmosphere. These types of furnices get rid of scale, prevent decarborization. There are also Thermocouplers that are capable of holding temperatures to very strict parameters. Metal today is very resistant to impact and exhibit toughness. The eqiupment is very expensive, however. NATIONALMATCH
 

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I was reading in the caspian catalog that they do the heat treating before thay do any machining of the parts. This prevents any warping of things like slides after they are machined...:rock:
 

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Interesting thread. However this brings up a question in my mind... has anyone cryogenically treated any of their parts, and are there any advantages? I've always heard that cryo on the barrels helps accuracy and longevity.

-Kelly
 

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My dad has a metallurgy degree, I asked him once if heat treated cast parts would be stronger than forged parts and I just remember this "I will take a good heat treated cast part over a forged part any day." I dunno why but he always preferred cast if it was heat treated.
 

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all in the heat treatment & materials

I own both types of firearms (cast & forged). It all comes down to the proper selection of metals and proper heat treatment. I seriously doubt that any particluar meathod is superior if the part is not properly heat treated. Not to mention overall quality steel. In this country, that is not much of an issue. NATIONALMATCH
 

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As per the information on the heat treatment,4140 and 4340 both have almost similar properties and HT process is also same so my question here is that if a slide or for that matter any component made of such steel has a hardness of let's say 40hrc after machining, and then for the purpose of looks and protection from environmental agents a cosmetic/functional finish treatment is given that require the parts to be subjected to 500+℃ for a considerable amount of time, to my knowledge such temperature will bring down the hardness of the components to about 30hrc and here i repeat my question the whole purpose of HT of 40+hrc for tempered components will not be defeated.??
 

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Kaliber, welcome to the forum.
I suggest you introduce yourself in the new member sub-forum then start a new thread on your inquiry.
It is a good subject and one I would comment on.
 
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