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Why Do People Think Stainless = Rust Proof?

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by wvsig, Dec 19, 2019.

  1. wvsig

    wvsig Well-Known Member

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    Not so much here but on other forums I see people proclaim preference for stainless steel frames and slides vs other finishes because of durability and rust proof qualities. Why is this? In my experience stainless scratches just like blue. If it is matte you can't correct it because you will make is shiny. If you abuse it it will rust.

    In my time behind a gun hard chrome holds up better than a stainless gun. Thoughts?
     
  2. DrDover

    DrDover Banned Camp Refugee Charter Life Member

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    stainless definitely is more durable than blued steel. not everyone wants a shiney gangster gun with pearl handles so hard chrome is not for everyone.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2019
  3. B00ger

    B00ger Das B00G Charter Member Supporting Member

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    I agree with this. Chrome is very durable, but as mentioned, not everyone digs how shiny they are. Stainless is very durable, more so than blued steel. But anything will get marred and rusted if abused.


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  4. CZfool68

    CZfool68 Int'l Man of Mystery Charter Member Supporting Member

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    All stainless is not created equal. And all stainless can rust. My wife and kids have proven that repeatedly with cutlery. :(
     
  5. JimB

    JimB Picking it up slowly. Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    I think high polish blue looks better than any stainless, but for shooting any blued gun appears to wear more quickly than stainless. Even so, I tend to lean toward walnut and blued.
     
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  6. Jerzsubbie

    Jerzsubbie Senior Member Charter Member Benefactor Supporting Member

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    Well, it’s in the name. Rust = stain, so stainless = rustproof. Duhhhh!
     
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  7. Jeppo

    Jeppo Very LARGE Member Supporting Member

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    I like stainless guns because it’s easy to see when they need cleaning, are easy to clean and impervious to most cleaning materials. There’s nothing like taking a new-to-me revolver apart and hosing everything off with brake cleaner. ;)
     
  8. MacEntyre

    MacEntyre Shoot on Sight! Charter Member Supporting Member

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    I do that with blued revolvers... did I do somethin' wrong? ???
     
  9. Slacker

    Slacker Liquor and Whores...

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    I don't like stainless slides due to the sight picture / brightness in full sun.
    Matt stainless with black sights isn't so bad but I'll take blued or parkerized first.
     
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  10. BowWow

    BowWow Happy to be here

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    As a finish wears, its bare metal underneath. Stainless is stainless all the way through...and is very rust-corrosion resistant. Stainless is less maintenance........you could set 2 guns in a room for 5 years (one stainless one not).......the stainless gun would probably have 0 rust and the other would probably have some in areas without a finish, such as the bore.

    And.like said, they are resistant to most any cleaning solvent. I like the way a nickel finish looks, but some solvents will ruin the finish.......but not stainless.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2019
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  11. Bailey Boat

    Bailey Boat Senior Member Benefactor Supporting Member

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    Stainless = stain LESS, not stain PROOF. If the mixture is correct it won't rust but is impossible to machine into a gun.
     
  12. Stobie

    Stobie Stobie-Wan Kenobi Benefactor Supporting Member

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    Hard chrome is only as shiny as the metal it's plated over. The part needs to be polished to a near-mirror finish before plating for it not to be a more dull, satin finish.

    Most shiny chrome is nickel-chrome, or copper-nickel-chrome; and even those coatings need a pretty well-finished raw part to give a shiny plated part.
     
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  13. DrScaryGuy

    DrScaryGuy Active Member

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    let me guess, they insist on putting the good knives in the dishwasher, jamming them in the silverware bin with other thicker metal items, then complaining at you that they're mysteriously dull and getting rust spots?

    In-Ox...?
     
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  14. spittinfire

    spittinfire Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    The stainless used in firearms has a very high carbon content for multiple reason. It’s easier to machine for production, the carbon adds strength and it’s also cheaper.
    Carbon steel is stronger than stainless so most stainless steels are an alloy which is generated to offer specific qualities. This is why even stainless guns will rust, although they rust a bit slower then steel guns.

    A true, rust proof stainless would be very expensive and make a poor weapon.


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  15. 11B CIB

    11B CIB Administrator Staff Member Charter Life Member

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    Whatever the coating Walther used to make the “silver” slide on this PK380 had a ton of rust develop underneath it, bubbled up the coating and caused it to flake off exposing the rust underneath. The first inch of barrel from the muzzle back as well as the guide rod were also rusted and there was similar rust under the coating near the hammer. And the slide is stainless

    [​IMG]

    I need to strip the whole thing and duracoat or cerakote it
     
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  16. wvsig

    wvsig Well-Known Member

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    Lots of good points have been made but about stainless vs hard chrome. For me hard chrome is not always shinny and blingy.

    These 2 guns are hard chromed and do not have shinny appearance. They are a matte hard chrome. They reflect less than my Dan Wesson CBOB. I agree that blued guns wear faster but to me the biggest advantage blued guns have over almost any finish is that it it easy and realitvely inexpensive to refinish one and get it looking great. This is not as easy on a stainless, nickel or even hard chrome. I guess Cerakote and other bake on finishes have the same attribute but for me do not have the same visual appeal.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Lots of people have been buying the new Tisas Browning High Power which has had some quality control issues but one of the main reasons people say they are buying them over a FN/Browning gun is because it is offered in stainless which Browning never did. To me the advantages of stainless would never cause me to take an inferior product over another. YMMV
     
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  17. Jeppo

    Jeppo Very LARGE Member Supporting Member

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    No, not at all.

    You’re free to do whatever you want with YOUR guns. :D
     
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  18. wvsig

    wvsig Well-Known Member

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    I believe those are nickle plated which when you do not prep the surface properly will flake. I am willing to bet sweat had a lot to do with the rust development. This happened a S&W J frame I had which did not interact well with my sweat. S&W refinished it twice under warraty before I gave up on the gun looking nice.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2019
  19. FredB

    FredB Member Supporting Member

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    @spittinfire has it right. Keep in mind that stainless steels are a large family of specialty steels which are tailored to different purposes. Household cutlery has very low carbon levels which allows is to be made very stain resistant but not very hard. Adding carbon, up to about 1%, will make it quite hardenable and that's what is used for quality knifemaking. At 1% carbon it will hold an edge. This is also the carbon level for high carbon steels. Any more makes them brittle. Stainless for guns has carbon levels somewhere in between these two extremes. All these steels are resistant to rusting to various degrees depending on their specific chemical composition. They can ALL "stain" depending on what chemicals or environmental conditions they are exposed to.
    Further, both nickel and chrome plating can be produced as a "matte" finish. They don't have to be shiny. They will also corrode if exposed to certain chemicals and have the addition possibility of peeling or flaking off.
     
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  20. Ikarus1

    Ikarus1 Avtomat Krishna-kov

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    I fix that issue with a sharpie and paint pen
     
  21. BatteryOaksBilly

    BatteryOaksBilly A SHOOTER Benefactor Life Member Supporting Member

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    Many 1st Gen Colt SAAs that went west were nickeled for protection not bling. Thanks to @wvsig for showing the examples he did. The 1970s Swenson and Pachmeyer guns were always hard chromed when the top tier customs were ordered. It was for protection Not Bling. The folks that connected hard chrome with Bling usually don't know the difference between hard Chrome and Nickel. Some customs from Colt were Satin Nickel, simply because they could do that in house. @Bailey Boat explained it best....Stains Less...not stain proof.
     
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  22. Catfish

    Catfish E Pluribus Mendacium Charter Member

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    The only time I have seen stainless rust was when exposed to bleach. I don't bleach my guns and none of them have ever rusted. That there's science bishes.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2019
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  23. MacEntyre

    MacEntyre Shoot on Sight! Charter Member Supporting Member

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    Marine stainless steel shackles will last longer underwater in mud than under water above the mud. Just some of the useless trivia learned long ago...
     
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  24. Jeppo

    Jeppo Very LARGE Member Supporting Member

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    So I should store my stainless guns under mud? :confused:
     
  25. BatteryOaksBilly

    BatteryOaksBilly A SHOOTER Benefactor Life Member Supporting Member

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    Many DNR Clam Cops and Shrimp Sheriffs around here had their 66s rust in the 70s, many. Salt water is Tough! The opposite end of that spectrum is a Browning 50 caliber machine gun that rests on The Gun Room front porch railing. Many of you have seen it. The single thing that stands out is the Stainless belt guide mounted on the side of the machine gun. While the gun itself is in sad shape from rust, that 1945 piece of SS is shining like new money. This gun was buried for 60 years. Stainless musta been different Back Then.....
     
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  26. DrScaryGuy

    DrScaryGuy Active Member

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    my mentor accidentally threw a 1 gallon glass bottle of hydrochloric acid at me once.
    Through my deft use of THE FORCE, I was an island of dry and healthy tissue inside of a lake of corrosive death.
    I shouted "turn the fans on high", hopped out of the spreading liquid, and went out the front door while my mentor ran out the back way and shut the sliding door between rooms.
    Not only did the floor tiles bubble up and go byebye, EVERYTHING stainless in the room was covered in rust. Most of the tools used in research are made stainless because of the need for assorted autoclaving and blood...
    We did a LOT of scrubbing with barkeeper's friend after that
     
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  27. Bailey Boat

    Bailey Boat Senior Member Benefactor Supporting Member

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    In the Marine World there are 2 predominate stainless steels, 303 and 316, one is great (and expensive) and the other is crappy (and cheap)....
    Pick ya poison....
     
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  28. BatteryOaksBilly

    BatteryOaksBilly A SHOOTER Benefactor Life Member Supporting Member

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    Soldier remember....your weapon system was provided by the Lowest bidder...…………...
     
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  29. CDR_Glock

    CDR_Glock Active Member

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    Stainless STAINS LESS but is not STAIN PROOF.

    I prefer stainless over blue because I can polish a scratch away; even a deep one. I have done it with a few of my guns.

    I have never reblued a gun, and I don’t really care for Cerakote. I traded for a Cerakoted Pistol and some of it is peeling off from wear. I have carried that gun and shot it heavily.

    I find novelty colors (Gold, White, tiger stripes), applications or decals and other atypical finishes appear to have heavy wear. I’m a shooter, and don’t plan on buying a safe queen or collectible. My only exceptions are my Glock 19X pistols. They have cleaned off easily for me.






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