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Titanium Cylinders

This is a discussion on Titanium Cylinders within the Pistols & Revolvers forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; I know their are quite a few S&W owners on this forum. I ask this question only because I'm not a member on the S&W ...


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Old March 26th, 2017, 05:29 PM   #1
 
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Titanium Cylinders

I know their are quite a few S&W owners on this forum. I ask this question only because I'm not a member on the S&W forum, so here goes.
Can someone explain to me why S&W puts titanium cylinders on some of their stainless steel revolvers? Is their some wonderful advantage titanium has over stainless steel that I'm missing? I hear use of any gun cleaning solution containing ammonia on a titanium cylinder will actually remove the protective coating on the cylinder. I will was going to purchase one of S&W's Pro Series .9mm stainless revolvers ( I prefer the longer barrel length), but they all have gray ugly titanium cylinders.
So, am I nuts to say I would rather have a real stainless steel cylinder mated to a real stainless steel gun?



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Old March 26th, 2017, 05:52 PM   #2
 
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Weight.
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Old March 26th, 2017, 06:52 PM   #3
 
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Yep. It reduces the weight of the revolver by up to 60% less and makes it a little easier to carry. S&W normally uses the titanium cylinders with their scandium frame. There is a downside though, the front side of these cylinders have been known to erode with bullet weights of less than 125gr.
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Old March 26th, 2017, 08:07 PM   #4
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There are many different titanium alloys .... pure titanium is rarely used for anything. The titanium alloy used for cylinders is 40% lighter than steel and about 8~10% weaker .... assuming the same thickness. Scandium frames are mostly a scam .... only about 2% of the aluminum alloy is scandium, which does improve strength but manufacturers would lead you to believe the entire frame is 100% scandium. Who would buy a gun if the specs said .... "Frame contains a mere 2% scandium"?
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Old March 27th, 2017, 07:31 AM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowegan View Post
...Scandium frames are mostly a scam .... only about 2% of the aluminum alloy is scandium, which does improve strength but manufacturers would lead you to believe the entire frame is 100% scandium. Who would buy a gun if the specs said .... "Frame contains a mere 2% scandium"?
Not really. Scandium is an alloying agent that strengthens aluminum, it only takes a few percent for the effect. Calling an alloyed metal by it's alloying agent is common, for example; chrome-moly steel is over 98% iron.
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Old March 27th, 2017, 07:35 AM   #6
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After owning two new 357 Smiths with titanium cylinders and having them both suffer from flame cutting, even after following the proper cleaning protocol and using proper ammo recommend by Smith, no more titanium cylinders for me. Those cylinders are coated with a polymer to prevent flame cutting and erosion - titanium if not coated, easily etches - and should that coating be damaged in any way, either from using the wrong solvents or getting too aggressive on cleaning the cylinder face, it doesn't take long to start the erosion into the titanium. To Smith's credit, when they offered to replace the cylinders under warranty, I requested they substitute a stainless cylinder and they did that for me. For me, the extra couple of ounces added by switching to stainless cylinders was well worth it for the standpoint of durability and ease of maintenance.

As for their "scandium" frames, I guarantee they do an outstanding job of transferring all the recoil a 357 can produce right to your hand. In that respect, I think polymer is a more effective way to reduce weight. Anymore, I now shoot only steel guns and am more than willing to put up with a bit more weight for the sake of shooting comfort.

My experience. Others may be different.

Last edited by North country gal; March 27th, 2017 at 07:38 AM.
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Old March 27th, 2017, 02:44 PM   #7
 
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Thanks for the replies. I think I'll pass on the titanium cylinder revolver. It's an "L" frame with a 5 inch barrel. Who the hell cares if it weighs a couple more ounces???? I guess S&W has heard of the old saying " If it's not broken, then fix it until it is".
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