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That makes no sense.
My Remington R1S, empty, is considerably heavier than my Colt Model of 1911 or the Turnbull version of same.

But all the usual parts fit just fine, so why? I don't know.

Tom
 

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None. Type 416 is actually 1.3% LESS dense than 4140.
All the non-GI "1911s" being cloned, there is a lot of variation in contour and thickness; maybe even enough to feel at the extremes.
That might be it. Honestly, I have no ambition to grab a caliper and measure everything, it just feels heavier.

Tom
 

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I hear stories about this, but I have probably owned a dozen or so stainless steel 1911 pistols over the years and have not had one problem with galling. My current Kimber Stainless Target 9 mm 1911 is one of the tightest fitting production pistols that I have owned, and it remains free of this problem. I do keep my 1911 pistols well oiled though.
 

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I have a Springfield SS 1911 with over 40,000 rounds through it.

A while back I had to send it back to Springfield for a new Hammer, Sear and Sear Spring as it developed an issue. Springfield fixed it very quickly.

I have a Range Buddy that used to be a Range Master for Wichita PD and he has one with over 250,000 rounds through it.

Neither have had an issue with galling.
 

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I had a DW Heritage that galled. I ran that thing so wet, with the prescribed FP10, that I can back from the range splattered.

I have two Specialists (.45 and 9mm) that have been fine. The 9mm is my IDPA gun FWIW.
 

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Does yours also weigh a metric crapton compared to a carbon steel 1911? Mine sure does!

Tom

There are notable differences in the physical properties of 416 vs 4140.

In general, just assume that stainless steels are softer and not as stiff
as high carbon steels.

Strength to weight ratio favors 4140.

Density is almost identical (!).

So to get similar strength in the finished product a little extra material may be required.

I'd guess that if we went through the frames and slides with a micrometer we would
see that the stainless parts are indeed thicker.

I don't have a scale that works in that weight range.
So I did a simple balance beam text.

The R1S is indeed a crapton heavier than my Springfield Range Officer.
Albeit a small crapton...

Not a conclusive engineering report, Tom, but yes. it does support your theory.


https://www.makeitfrom.com/compare/AISI-416-S41600-Stainless-Steel/Normalized-4140-Cr-Mo-Steel
 

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I would purchase and own a stainless gun with no fears, since I know that modern manufacturers have done what they needed to do, and with good lube hygiene I just wouldn't be too worried about it.

I've built two 1911s so far from the ground up, and the first one was stainless. There's a reason the second one was not stainless. I will almost certainly never attempt another stainless 1911 on a scratch build.

Short version: I didn't understand what galling was about, and while fitting my slide to my frame I decided to try the "tap on, tap off" method using some fine grit on the rails. Tapping a stainless slide onto a stainless frame will result in almost instantaneous galling. The parts literally weld themselves together at the microscopic level where asperities in the surface contact each other at high pressure. I had to beat the slide back off with a rubber mallet and a shocking level of violence. So I tried to be more careful, and was for a while, then I galled it again. So, I gave up tapping on/tapping off and used at most some hand pressure to work the grit where it got tight. Guess what? If you push a tight slide onto a frame a little too hard by hand it can or even will gall. Who knew? Not me, that's who.

So yeah, I experienced galling something like 4 or 5 times while fitting my SS slide/frame together, and the frame rails still show faint evidence of the little trails impressed into the surface where little microscopic chunks of stainless steel had ripped out of the frame rail onto the slide rails and then been drug across the surface of the frame rails as I beat the slide back off with the rubber mallet. It's embarassing, and I hope none of you ever see this in person.

So, I've seen what galling is and the destruction it can cause first hand. But guess what? I experienced said galling because I was ignorant of galling and what caused it and how to avoid it, not because it is inevitable. I'm willing to give manufacturers the benefit of the doubt that they are not ignorant about successfully machining and fitting guns made from stainless steel, and that they do it right and it's just not an issue. I mean, there are zillions of gun companies making zillions of stainless guns, and there aren't zillions of stories of these guns locking up due to galling.

So yeah, I'd buy a properly made stainless gun, by which I mean I'd buy a SS gun from a company with a good track record of successfully making SS guns.

What I will not do, however, is attempt to build another stainless gun by hand, as I've done with my two 1911 projects so far. I got 99 problems, but galling on a new stainless steel gun project ain't one.
An excellent description of why galling is a concern in regards to building a 1911.

Also, an excellent summary of how today's builders of 1911s have figured out how to make it (stainless steel) work.

Two sides of the same coin.

While I prefer carbon steel, I believe that stainless steel can also work well.
 

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I traded for an AMT Hardballer thats frame was slightly galled. I smoothed it out & began using MOBIL 1 synthetic oil. It was a very accurate 1911. I delegated it to nightstand duty, & occasionally took it out to exercise. I never had any additional galling, & eventually traded it off for a "must have" - but regretted it since.
Years later: I replaced my stainless Hardballer with a Stainless RUGER SR 1911, & modified it to my taste. I have always used 15/50 MOBIL 1 in all my firearms, since my Hardballer. The SR 1911 has worked flawlessly, & is more accurate than me. Highly recommended

Over the past year, I have bought 2 metric Stainless pistols:
A Turkish stainless steel, Tisas Regent BR-9S Hi Power Clone,
+ a Turkish SARSILMAS 2000, a Stainless CZ-75 clone.
Both are beautifully made, perfect, accurate, & reliable - right out of the box & digest everything.
Each was under $500. when purchased - & way better than I'd hoped for.
I have developed a real appreciation for stainless, & the lower cost of 9mm ammo. NO problems with My Stainless handguns.
 

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Like others, I have owned many stainless 1911’s with nary a problem. My first. Wing an AMT Hardballer. Lots of stainless Colts and Springfields. I think that Randall was one manufacturer that struggled with it back in the day. I’d be on that EB in a heartbeat.

Right now I am carrying a stainless 1991 Colt Commander, it has been a great pistol!
 

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I've got a stainless Dan Wesson Valor and a stainless Ruger 1911 - both work great.
 

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I don't know for sure with the regular manufacturers but Caspian will fit a stainless slide frame combo for you and use a carbide treatment on the frame rails that pretty much eliminates the galling problem. Last Stainless gun I built, on Caspian slide/frame, I used my own treatment on the rails and never had a problem when I owned it. I recently found it in a pawn shop, after more than 20 years, and it's still tight and smooth. (Yes, I bought it back.)
 

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Like drail said the galling problems were pretty much licked decades ago when manufacturers learned to use different alloys for the frame and slide. The only issue that remains is the added friction of stainless against stainless, so you can't fit the slides as tightly as with a carbon steel gun. I own several stainless 1911s (all Colts) and use grease on the rails, and I have never had a problem aside from the fact that stainless guns actually CAN rust.

My wife and I cruised for a few years on a blue water cruising sailboat. One takeaway was that “Stainless Steel Isn’t”! Our boat had a lot of high quality stainless steel and we always had to keep after it with cleaning and waxing to keep it looking great and rust free in either a salt or fresh water environment. Not so much work in fresh water but work still.

One tip we did learn is to take a magnet with us when shopping for fasteners. Much of what is sold as “stainless” is actually plated with some other metal. You could tell the difference rapidly with a magnet!
 

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If stainless is so prone to galling, why do companies still produce them? I mean, I understand its corrosion-resistant properties...but with all the advancements in firearm coatings, why would anyone choose stainless if it galls? If its the shiny aesthetics, why not just go hard chrome?

I'm just curious because I came across a pre-owned EB Kobra Carry for a good price...but its stainless, and everyone always talks about the horrors of galling so I'm hesitant to purchase.
Good question. The whole SS galling thing is from the 1980s. From what I understand that in the last 40 years metallurgy has improved to a state where anything made in the last 20 years from a reputable company is good to go.
 

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I have a very early EB Kobra Carry in stainless that I've carried and shot for years, no problems.
 

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I have had four Dan Wesson Stainless and had no issues with galling. I did also follow in the recommended break-in procedure by Dan Wesson.

It wouldn’t bother me at all to buy another stainless.
 

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Metallurgy , manufacturing technology , heat treatment techniques , etc , have come a long , long way in the 60yrs since the first stainless firearms. Aluminum alloys too.
Heck , who'd have thought 50yrs ago that plastic-frame pistols would be where they are?????
 

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A weapon shouldn't reflect light.
That could be quibbled with. Studies I've read in years past indicated that defensive guns scared off criminals far more often than they actually kill or injure them. A stealth gun wouldn't deter anyone. That said, no gun I've actually carried was stainless. It is something to be considered, though.
 
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