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  #1  
Old 08-02-2020, 08:24 AM
Flight Medic Flight Medic is offline
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Stainless 1911s

If stainless is so prone to galling, why do companies still produce them? I mean, I understand its corrosion-resistant properties...but with all the advancements in firearm coatings, why would anyone choose stainless if it galls? If its the shiny aesthetics, why not just go hard chrome?

I'm just curious because I came across a pre-owned EB Kobra Carry for a good price...but its stainless, and everyone always talks about the horrors of galling so I'm hesitant to purchase.
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  #2  
Old 08-02-2020, 08:31 AM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is offline
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People will tell you about alloys and fit and lubes.
But if you are afraid of it, don't buy it, simple.
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  #3  
Old 08-02-2020, 08:36 AM
flechero flechero is online now
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I've read (so take that for what it's worth) that proper heat treat will eliminate galling... I have had several SS 1911's and have never experienced it.
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Last edited by flechero; 08-02-2020 at 08:36 AM. Reason: typo
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  #4  
Old 08-02-2020, 08:57 AM
SCfromNY SCfromNY is offline
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I have 3 Stainless, one that is 10 years old and served as a USPSA gun and looks great.
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  #5  
Old 08-02-2020, 08:58 AM
regalsc regalsc is online now
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From reading this forum the only stainless 1911’s that galled were made by Dan Wesson.
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  #6  
Old 08-02-2020, 09:18 AM
tanner's owner tanner's owner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by regalsc View Post
From reading this forum the only stainless 1911ís that galled were made by Dan Wesson.
My experience is if you follow the break in instructions, you wonít have that problem. I have a SS DW Specialist & havenít had any galling issues.

That said, have seen these posts as well- most ( but not all) are result of not following break in / lube instructions.

Iíve also had SS 1911s from Colt and SA- never had galling issues with them either. Lube them with quality lube, follow break in instructions and you shouldnít have an issue
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  #7  
Old 08-02-2020, 09:25 AM
Flight Medic Flight Medic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Watson View Post
People will tell you about alloys and fit and lubes.
But if you are afraid of it, don't buy it, simple.
Good advice. Just dont want to miss out on a smokin deal if my fear is unwarranted.


Quote:
Originally Posted by regalsc View Post
From reading this forum the only stainless 1911’s that galled were made by Dan Wesson.
Wow, that's good to know. I was looking at the Valor stainless at one point.
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  #8  
Old 08-02-2020, 09:49 AM
scubadad scubadad is offline
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Gun rumors die slow. The problems with galling were mostly from cheap guns years ago. Yes you can still see it every now and then on something that was not properly heat treated but it is rare.

Ed Brown knows how to build a gun. Buy it
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  #9  
Old 08-02-2020, 10:26 AM
Tarmy Tarmy is offline
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I have several Stainless 1911s...none have any issues. Wilson and SA...

Anything will pit if you expose them and donít maintain them correctly...
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  #10  
Old 08-02-2020, 11:17 AM
drail drail is offline
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The problem with galling appeared when manufacturers first started producing stainless guns and they would make two parts that wore on each other like the frame and slide from the exact same stainless alloy. They found out that if you use a slightly different alloy for one of those parts the galling problem is solved. And everyone does that today. But if you try to fit a stainless frame and slide very tightly with almost no clearance and insufficient oil - galling can happen. IMO unless you're shooting Bullseye there is no need to fight the slide/rame rails that tightly. You have to have enough room for a thin layer of oil and keep it lubed. Guys who try to run their guns dry may have problems with stainless. Customers today all insist they have a very tight frame slide fit - years ago almost no one worried about it. Frame to slide fit is very misunderstood by most customers and is not as important as they believe (except for the Bullseye shooters).

Last edited by drail; 08-02-2020 at 11:25 AM.
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  #11  
Old 08-02-2020, 12:01 PM
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dsk dsk is offline
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Like drail said the galling problems were pretty much licked decades ago when manufacturers learned to use different alloys for the frame and slide. The only issue that remains is the added friction of stainless against stainless, so you can't fit the slides as tightly as with a carbon steel gun. I own several stainless 1911s (all Colts) and use grease on the rails, and I have never had a problem aside from the fact that stainless guns actually CAN rust.
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  #12  
Old 08-02-2020, 12:47 PM
jtq jtq is offline
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If it weren't for our Dan Wesson sub-forum, I'd have thought galling on stainless steel handguns went away in the 1980's.

I'm still skeptical that it is an issue. I just find it hard to believe the folks at Dan Wesson were the only ones that didn't get the memo.
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  #13  
Old 08-02-2020, 12:49 PM
USMM guy USMM guy is online now
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This is my understanding as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drail View Post
The problem with galling appeared when manufacturers first started producing stainless guns and they would make two parts that wore on each other like the frame and slide from the exact same stainless alloy. They found out that if you use a slightly different alloy for one of those parts the galling problem is solved. And everyone does that today. But if you try to fit a stainless frame and slide very tightly with almost no clearance and insufficient oil - galling can happen. IMO unless you're shooting Bullseye there is no need to fight the slide/rame rails that tightly. You have to have enough room for a thin layer of oil and keep it lubed. Guys who try to run their guns dry may have problems with stainless. Customers today all insist they have a very tight frame slide fit - years ago almost no one worried about it. Frame to slide fit is very misunderstood by most customers and is not as important as they believe (except for the Bullseye shooters).
In other words, they fixed it.
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  #14  
Old 08-02-2020, 03:10 PM
fnfalman fnfalman is online now
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Buy a Colt. Galling problem solved.

Also no matter how fancy of a magic coating is, it’s still a “coating”. Chip or scratch stainless steel and it’s still corrosion resistant.
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  #15  
Old 08-02-2020, 03:18 PM
flechero flechero is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtq View Post
If it weren't for our Dan Wesson sub-forum, I'd have thought galling on stainless steel handguns went away in the 1980's.

I'm still skeptical that it is an issue. I just find it hard to believe the folks at Dan Wesson were the only ones that didn't get the memo.
Same here, they didn't miss it... I'd bet that 95% of the galling claims aren't really galling. If DW is half as great as everyone says, they wouldn't get all the fitment right and use high quality components but then settle for 50 yr old metallurgy beliefs.
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  #16  
Old 08-02-2020, 03:53 PM
drail drail is offline
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Most of the problems I have seen were caused by owners using almost no lube, "dry" lubes, or the newest miracle lube of the week on stainless guns that were very tightly fitted. If you want "tight" go with chrome moly carbon steel. Use a good oil. Don't run the gun dry. Years ago I used to peen rails on my race guns and try to remove all play. Most shooters cannot shoot well enough for that to make a significant difference in a tight match.
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  #17  
Old 08-02-2020, 04:15 PM
dakota1911 dakota1911 is online now
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The oldest SS 1911 I have is an AMT Hardballer I bought new in 1985. Never any problems with galling but I did buy into lubes with Teflon in them back then.



The oldest DW I have is a SS Classic in 10mm made in 2008. Again no problems with galling.



I have many other SS 1911s and no problem with any of them. My oldest Colt in SS is a 1988 Gold Cup. I also heard that in the early days it was caused by using the same SS alloy for both the frame and slide and was not just limited to 1911 style pistols.
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  #18  
Old 08-02-2020, 04:26 PM
GTAW GTAW is offline
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Dakota, where was your AMT manufactured?
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  #19  
Old 08-02-2020, 05:15 PM
chrysanthemum chrysanthemum is online now
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With a decently built stainless steel 1911 and reasonable lubrication, I don't think galling is a problem.

On the other hand, in order to reach this happy state of affairs, the slide/frame cannot be quite as closely fit as with carbon steel. (Otherwise, galling is very likely).

The entire conundrum goes back to the fact that stainless steel on stainless steel has a higher coefficient of friction than does carbon on carbon... Or carbon on stainless. Carbon on stainless has almost the same coefficient of friction as carbon on carbon.

Apparently, the addition of chromium molecules creates a microscopically "rougher" surface on the crystalline surfaces.

I'm not really a fan of stainless steel 1911s but they do have a place and they have their own merits. E.g., there is no finish to wear-off from holster use. I have one (S&W Pro Series 9mm) and it has served well for now about 10 years. Very reliable, no corrosion, no galling, and obviously no finish wear...a happy acquisition. (Also no scratches; but I'm giving myself credit for that).
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Last edited by chrysanthemum; 08-02-2020 at 08:03 PM.
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  #20  
Old 08-02-2020, 05:34 PM
roaniecowpony roaniecowpony is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dakota1911 View Post
The oldest SS 1911 I have is an AMT Hardballer I bought new in 1985. Never any problems with galling but I did buy into lubes with Teflon in them back then.


...
Wow! never thought I'd see any of these around. I bought a AMT Skipper, somewhere around 1980 +/-. It constantly jammed from galling. It was between the barrel and the slide mostly, but some between the slide and frame. I ended up putting a Colt chromoly barrel in it from some leftover project and later cut it down to the size of a Detonics Combat Master. Last time I saw it, it was in a LGS after I had sold it to friend that pestered me incessantly until I sold it to him.

As I understood the issue, it was that the material need to be harder.
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  #21  
Old 08-02-2020, 05:49 PM
dakota1911 dakota1911 is online now
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That AMT was made in Covina, CA. I put those grips back on as they came on it but were stinky. It usually wears a set of wood stocks. The wrap around rubber grips finally outgassed over the years so I put them back on to take some pictures of exactly how the pistol looked when I bought it.



I also bought a little Detonics back in 1985 (probably too much Miami Vice) and have not had any problems with it either.

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  #22  
Old 08-02-2020, 06:01 PM
Bowdrie Bowdrie is online now
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It's true that stainless guns cannot be fitted as tightly as a carbon gun.
One of my older stainless Colts is one that many here would call "loose as a goose", you could probably lube it with peanut butter and it would still run.
Another one is "semi loose", and some oil is all it needs.
Now, the older DW has no detectable slop at all, and even with lots of oil you could feel the slide slowing down after ~40>50 rounds.
The issue was not with the mating surfaces, it was the sharp edges of the rails on the frame and slide left from the machining operations.
Oil will "glide" on a smooth surface but oil does not adhere to a sharp/knife edge.
Once I had used some 1000 grit on the sharp edges the issue decreased markedly.
Smoothed/polished, mating flats and edges work wonders, but you still need lots of oil on stainless for a closely fitted gun.
AFAIK, their is no difference in alloys between slide and frame on a DW.
Flame suit on,,

Last edited by Bowdrie; 08-02-2020 at 06:05 PM.
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  #23  
Old 08-02-2020, 06:36 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is offline
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My only serious stainless 1911 is my ed brown and it has a coating over the stainless, it's also one of my tightest guns interestingly enough.
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  #24  
Old 08-02-2020, 07:44 PM
Kevin Rohrer Kevin Rohrer is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drail View Post
The problem with galling appeared when manufacturers first started producing stainless guns and they would make two parts that wore on each other like the frame and slide from the exact same stainless alloy. They found out that if you use a slightly different alloy for one of those parts the galling problem is solved. And everyone does that today. .
^^This^^

Is what I read a long time ago. I have two, stainless 1911s; one of those was built for me 30-years ago. Have never had a problem w/ either one.
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  #25  
Old 08-02-2020, 07:51 PM
Frank Vaccaro Frank Vaccaro is offline
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I don't own a SS 1911, but I can't believe every manufacturer would offer them if they give a lot of problems?
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