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View Full Version : Colt series 70, help me


sofine354
02-24-2010, 8:04 PM
I recently acquired a Colt series 70 government. I thought it was stainless steel because all the inside surfaces are a satin stainless tone. the only polished pieces are the flat sides , but the trigger gaurd and frontstrap are satin. The issue is that the frame and parts are magnetic, which stainless should not be. I always see nickel plating polished up everywhere, with no satin finish.

Did colt use a low grade stainless steel that is magnetic, or is it nickel plated? If its stainless I'm going to polish it, if nickel I'd like to have it redone.

What gives?

bigkahuna04
02-24-2010, 8:11 PM
you may have an electroless nickel finish....I would not polish it...Colt does not do eletroless nickel (e-nickel) anymore and I don't think you could get it refinished in the same way.

BigBrassMonkey
02-24-2010, 8:12 PM
I beleive you may be confusing stainless steel with aluminum. Aluminum is non-magnetic, but Stainless steel is "steel" and is magnetic.

sofine354
02-24-2010, 8:15 PM
I beleive you may be confusing stainless steel with aluminum. Aluminum is non-magnetic, but Stainless steel is "steel" and is magnetic.

No. It is not.

BigBrassMonkey
02-24-2010, 8:22 PM
I don't really want to argue science with you, but a magnet will be attracted to stainless steel. If you meant "magnetic" in a different way I don't get it.

wamphyri13
02-24-2010, 8:27 PM
My DW cbob and my Springfields are stainless...and magnetic.
Ryan

sofine354
02-24-2010, 8:34 PM
I'm a welder and professional mechanic. Extremely low grades of stainless will attract a magnet, but a decent grade will not. Ever try to pick up a stainless bolt in an engine compartment with a magnet? Won't happen. Stainless steel has a low iron content. Iron is what attracts magnets, plain steel is a ferous alloy containing iron. Iron is what oxidizes into rust, which is why the term "stainless" is attached when a normal steel formula exchanges higher percentages of nickel and manganese for the iron. It is intended for longevity without corrosion, non magnetism is a side effect of low iron content.

4DSJW
02-24-2010, 8:49 PM
Actually it has to do with the type of stainless steel. The more chromium and other metals that are added for various reasons reduce the magnetic attraction. There are types of spring stainless steels that are very magnetic because of high carbon/low additives, and there are stainless steels which are highly corrosion resistant due to the materials added which are hardly magnetic at all.

On the Colt in the OP I'm guessing that it may very likely be an Electroless Nickel finish. The early model 70 Commander that I have has a surface finish "feel" similar to 600 grit sandpaper, smooth but not slick.

sofine354
02-24-2010, 8:51 PM
That's right. Chromium, not manganese. Chromium gives it its "stainless" properties.

five.five-six
02-24-2010, 8:53 PM
No. It is not.


this is exactly why I bought a stainless refrigerator, so my wife would not use magnets to post up all those stupid scraps of motivational paper on it


guess what? it worked, now she uses tacks to pin them on the wall :mad:

sofine354
02-24-2010, 8:53 PM
I would group spring stainless as a spring steel and not a stainless steel.
I guess the verdict is Elctroless nickel? Can I tell by the serial #?

chickenfried
02-24-2010, 9:03 PM
dang it now you guys got me sticking magnets to everything. So far a magnet has stuck to my stainless Dan Wesson CBOB, Knife made out of 154CM, kimber Stainless...got the magnet off my stainless steel fridge.

tkmech21
02-24-2010, 9:10 PM
dang it now you guys got me sticking magnets to everything. So far a magnet has stuck to my stainless Dan Wesson CBOB, Knife made out of 154CM, kimber Stainless...got the magnet off my stainless steel fridge.

Did you get that magnet off the side of your stainless steel fridge or the stainless steel door of your fridge, The maytag man might have ripped you off and painted your steel door to look like stainless if you took it off the door. I cant get a magnet to stick to the door of my fridge, but it will stick to the sheet metal side. I'm just sayin.

five.five-six
02-24-2010, 9:13 PM
http://www.physlink.com/Education/AskExperts/ae546.cfm

tkmech21
02-24-2010, 9:41 PM
so I guess I have a High chromium High nickle Stainless Doors on my refrigerator:
v_UwxLMlbZQ

five.five-six
02-24-2010, 9:44 PM
^ nice frige..

bigkahuna04
02-25-2010, 12:05 AM
this thread has taken a weird turn......

ivanimal
02-25-2010, 12:10 AM
E.Nick.

http://www.gunsamerica.com/userimages/95585/953480252/wm_1642486.jpg

Argonaut
02-25-2010, 12:33 AM
"Stainless" steel comes in both Magnetic and non magnetic. It is not inferior because it is magnetic, Just has different properties and a different alloy. When we sell scrap, there is a different price for the 2 different alloys. Stainless is made primarily by adding chromium to steel, so depending on what ratios and other additives it can be made for whatever purpose that you need, We deal in a lot of both alloys. I have non magnetic Stainless steel Detroit Diesels in one of my workboats. The engines came from wooden minesweeping boats that were totally non-magnetic. They are so hard that we can hardly have them machined. I don't know what Colt uses but they had a lot of concern over making Stainless M1911's. They were afraid the metal wear surfaces would "Gaul" and jam the slide/frame connections. The 70 series was the first stainless M1911 built by Colt. I would not dought that they experimented with various alloys to alley there fears. I have had electroless guns since they were new and have never seen any that were part bright and part mill finish. This pistol might have an interesting history. It would be worth the 150.00 fee to get a letter from the historian to see what it is.

Miltiades
02-25-2010, 4:26 AM
To the best of my knowledge, Colt did not use stainless steel in 1911s until the Series 80 models were introduced about 1980. Series 70 1911s were all carbon steel, and some were nickel plated. I suspect the poster has a nickel plated Series 70, if the finish is original factory. It is also possible to find some Series 70 guns with hard chrome finish, but that is aftermarket and not factory.

The first gun shown below is a Series 70 Colt with electroless nickel finish from the factory. The second gun is a Series 80 Colt in stainless steel.

http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o25/pogo2/ColtGoldCup70nickel35.jpg

http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o25/pogo2/ColtGoldCupStainless33.jpg

g17owner
02-25-2010, 7:33 AM
To the OP: POST A PICTURE! Maybe this way we can actually help you as opposed to arguing about magnets It sounds like a HSN infomercial up in here! LOL

Curtis
02-25-2010, 8:29 AM
I have a friend that has a stainless steel Colt 1911. It is the same way. He said it was polished. He loves the gun. It looks like chrome on the outside and the typical satin finish on the outside.

dfletcher
02-25-2010, 8:51 AM
this is exactly why I bought a stainless refrigerator, so my wife would not use magnets to post up all those stupid scraps of motivational paper on it


guess what? it worked, now she uses tacks to pin them on the wall :mad:

Another convert to the law of unintended consequences. ;)

Riodog
02-25-2010, 11:51 AM
In the 70's I carried a Colt Commander that was "brushed nickle'. Nickle plated but is a dull finish.
Rio

Californio
02-25-2010, 11:57 AM
I have some nickel plated "Colt" 1911 magazines from the time period. Pretty sure stainless was not used in Series 70 models.

Nihonto Chicken
02-25-2010, 3:28 PM
To elaborate on what some have already mentioned, it depends on the type of stainless steel. Most of the stainless you run into in the kitchen (knives aside) is likely a 300 series stainless, often the workhorse 304 and 308 grades. These grades are austenitic stainless steel (face centered cubic crystal structure) and are non-magnetic and relatively soft and non-hardenable by heat treatment (though they may be work hardened to a fair degree). Another major class is the 400 series, more carbon and higher chromium/nickel ratio and ferritic (body centered cubic) or martensitic (body centered tetragonal). The 400 series are magnetic and hardenable by heat treatment, and are typically used where hardness and wear resistance are required in addition to corrosion resistance, as for cutting instruments (440C is a well known alloy for custom knives). There are other types as well, such as precipitation-hardened stainless steels (like 17-4 PH), which are generally magnetic.

I believe most firearm stainless steels are magnetic, generally of the 400 series type or similar, though I don't know which grades in particular, as austenitic steels are too soft and gummy to be useful. FWIW.

sofine354
02-25-2010, 9:50 PM
To the OP: POST A PICTURE! Maybe this way we can actually help you as opposed to arguing about magnets It sounds like a HSN infomercial up in here! LOL
sorry. Here ya go. There is a scratch under the grip where I can see copper. So its nickel for sure. Thanks everyone.
47236

sofine354
02-25-2010, 10:00 PM
here is my other baby. 1944, so bad.
47237