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Steel barrel versus Stainless steel barrel for 22 LR

This is a discussion on Steel barrel versus Stainless steel barrel for 22 LR within the Ruger Rimfires forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; I read that steel barrels are better than stainless steel (softer material) for high velocity 22 LR auto like the MK III. Is this true? ...


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Old July 1st, 2010, 10:14 AM   #1
 
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Steel barrel versus Stainless steel barrel for 22 LR

I read that steel barrels are better than stainless steel (softer material) for high velocity 22 LR auto like the MK III. Is this true?

Pro’s or cons of each barrel type for 22 auto?

Thanks in advance!



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Old July 1st, 2010, 10:34 AM   #2
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I have several different 22's in both stainless and blued. I haven't been able to distinguish any difference between either type in a similer gun in terms of accurcy or wear. I will say though that if your not the type to clean your guns often then I would recommend stainless. Its less prone to rust and harsh or abraisive cleaners won't damage the finish like on a blued gun.
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Old July 1st, 2010, 11:08 AM   #3
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Hi Gunnie 12!

May I ask where you read that? Also, which barrel material were you referring to as “softer,” the steel or the stainless steel? The reason I ask the first question is purely out of curiosity. The second is for clarification. Hardness for steel alloys is a function of the alloy and the tempering process mostly. Gun barrel steel must be within a particular range of hardness, regardless of whether is it carbon alloy or stainless. Certain stainless alloys are very hard to machine even before tempering and this would make it very difficult to cut the bore and rifling. Stainless steel is generally more corrosion resistant that carbon steel, as was already stated, but the hardness of stainless alloy cover a great range as does those for carbon steel alloys and most steel alloys can be treated to alter its temper/hardness. Stainless barrels are made of some of the softer alloys and not hardened much beyond what the carbon alloys would be so there is often little difference between the two in hardness.

So, what has been said is spot on, choose the barrel in accordance with your personal preference and consider the stainless over the carbon if you live or use the weapon in harsher environments. Otherwise, clean and lubricate the gun at regular intervals and it won’t matter. Take care of any quality firearm and it should outlive you. My blued 5.25” bull barrel MKIII, after close to 6000 rounds, does not appear to have any appreciable wear or any less accuracy than my friend’s 5.25” stainless version after maybe 3000 to 4000 rounds. I clean my gun between 300 and 500 rounds but I live in a semi-arid part of the country.
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Old July 1st, 2010, 11:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnie 12 View Post
I read that steel barrels are better than stainless steel (softer material) for high velocity 22 LR auto like the MK III. Is this true?

Pro’s or cons of each barrel type for 22 auto?

Thanks in advance!
This might help you. http://www.border-barrels.com/articles/bmart.htm
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 01:39 PM   #5
 
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Great article. Thanks for posting.
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 03:17 PM   #6
 
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i figure with proper maintnence there is no difference and went with blued because IMHO it looks better.
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 03:23 PM   #7
 
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Yes, awesome article - "thank you"

I wish ruger made a 22/45 PB with a stainless receiver/barrel instead of the steel one.
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 05:12 PM   #8
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Calvin made reference to a gun barrel article which had in it the following statement:
"If stainless barrels are "shot in" using the prescribed procedure, the barrel aquires a burnishing which almost eliminates metal fouling, making stainless barrels very easy to clean."

Does anyone know what this "shot in" prescribed procedure consists of?

Thanks
HAM
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Old July 3rd, 2010, 05:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HAM View Post
Calvin made reference to a gun barrel article which had in it the following statement:
"If stainless barrels are "shot in" using the prescribed procedure, the barrel aquires a burnishing which almost eliminates metal fouling, making stainless barrels very easy to clean."

Does anyone know what this "shot in" prescribed procedure consists of?

Thanks
HAM
FAQ ID # 11 - Breaking in a Stainless Steel barrel
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Old July 3rd, 2010, 06:02 AM   #10
 
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That was a very cool article.

I doubt any difference could be seen on a 22 though.
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Old August 2nd, 2010, 08:18 PM   #11
 
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Im a machinist, so have a fair understanding of metals.... We use both 416 stainless and 4140 (Chrome-moly) in the shop I work at (among others). What it comes down to is, the only real reason to use 416 stainless over 4140 is for corrosion resistance. If corrosion is not a problem, there are much better metals... Stainless is generally softer and weaker than other types of steel.

That said, for a gun barrel, especially a .22, I wouldnt worry about it. Both metals make good barrels. If you like shiny barrels, go stainless. If you like blued, get a chrome-moly barrel. If you wear out either, you will have gotten your moneys worth LONG ago...

The one downside of stainless is that 416 stainless starts to lose its fatigue resistance as the temperature drops, especially when it goes below freezing... Again, with a .22 its not a problem, but with a more powerful gun like a .300 WSM, there have been instances of guns bursting when shot at below freezing temps.... 4140 doesn't have that problem.

I had a stainless mark II with a 5" bbl that I shot far below freezing and never had a problem.....

Personally, I prefer blue or black guns... I bought the stainless mark II because I got a screamin deal, thinking I would grow to like the stainless look, but I never did.... I take care of my guns, so have never had a rusting or corrosion problem....
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