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Donny1
08-13-2010, 10:14 AM
I understand the difference between cast and forged in terms of hardness and durability but how does stainless steel fit into the mix.

From Wikipedia:

"Stainless steel differs from carbon steel by the amount of chromium present"

Does that mean it must be "produced", as in cast? What is the hardness as compared to forged or cast regular steel?

MrPlutonium
08-13-2010, 10:42 AM
Stainless is a lot harder than regular steel and usually stainless parts aren't cast in a mold. As far as I know cast steel parts considered inferior to machined parts and unless the gun is pretty low priced you won't see cast parts too often on them.

Donny1
08-13-2010, 11:01 AM
I found my answer here:

http://www.jindalstainless.com/stainlesssource/know-stainless-steel/how-is-it-made.html

Seems it's a process of melting and adding the right elements, then casting, then forging.

9mmepiphany
08-13-2010, 11:58 AM
yup stainless can be cast or forged just like carbon steel...it's just another steel with a variation of amount of chromium.

the hardness of the stainless steel will vary with the grade used. early examples of the S&W M-60 (the first mass produced stainless handgun) were too hard and wore machinery too quickly...so they went with a "softer" stainless. it was common that carbon steel guns were stronger than stainless ones at the time.

9mmepiphany
08-13-2010, 12:01 PM
Stainless is a lot harder than regular steel and usually stainless parts aren't cast in a mold. As far as I know cast steel parts considered inferior to machined parts and unless the gun is pretty low priced you won't see cast parts too often on them.

you might look into guns made by Ruger. all their guns use cast parts as major components (frames) and they are indeed cast in a mold...they use the lost wax process.

BTW: all cast parts are machined into final form