Barrel Steels

In the age of 100 supersteels for knives, why are gun barrels still limited to the same 4 steels we've used for decades? We still only have two carbon steels:
4140
4150
And two stainless steels:
410
416
Are there any other more modern options for gun barrel steels, alloys that may offer things like double the rifling life, reduced throat erosion, greater stiffness/reduced harmonic effect, or simply achieve what the steels we have now already do but with 20% less material?
I've sometimes seen mention of other steels being used in autocannon barrels or for tank/artillery/naval guns. Why are these steels absent from small arms barrels?
Finally, are there any realistic alternatives to steel gun barrels? - and not just carbon fiber wrapped steel pencil barrels. It seems like in the past 50 years metallurgy and material science has either improved or created new and better material options for just about everything in the past 50 years except gun barrels.

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  1. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    https://www.hkpro.com/attachments/armad_brochure_aubert_duval_gb-pdf.336678/

    There's a handful of boutique steels used for gun barrels, but mostly people just use what works. There's a million different metals used for knife blades because everyone needs their own snowflake alloy to separate themselves from everyone else, but there's lots of other ways that firearms can differentiate themselves other than the materials used in one or two parts.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Thanks.
      I'm not concerned about having unique barrel steel as much as the industry updating to better steels overall, if such steels are available. Imagine if knives were limited to the WW2 steels D2 and 440C. Just like our gun barrel steels they both work fine, but there are now much better options.
      Also, the steel for a knife is arguably less important than the steel used for a barrel. With a knife you don't have to worry about harmonics or pressure or flame erosion or high temp wear.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >Imagine if knives were limited to the WW2 steels D2 and 440C
        I see nothing at all wrong with that.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        D2 and 440c are still 2 of the best blade steels you can get. Far more important is the heat treat. I'd take 440c with a good heat treat over any super steel you can name with a less optimum heat treat.
        As for barrels, /ARG/ is stuck on chrome lining and cold hammer forging. Cold hammer forging work hardens the steel and chrome lining provide other benefits not the least of which is keeping the barrel cooler under heavy use. They're also moving more to a stainless liner wrapped in carbon fiber for better weight and stiffness both. A new type of steel would make no difference at all.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          Lastly, I just want to say, you could make a thin inconel barrel/liner wrapped in carbon fiber and probably have the best barrel possible. Nothing about it would be new technology but inconel is both insanely heavy and expensive. The tooling to make such a barrel would be cost prohibitive and eventually it would get shot out. Meanwhile I can buy a dozen new $150 4150 barrels for less than such a thing would likely cost.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            Usually they use stellite (a cobalt superalloy, rather than nickel like inconel) for that. Not sure if it's because stellite is better or because because that's what they had when they started doing it.

            • 1 month ago
              Anonymous

              [...]
              Inconel and Stellite lined barrels exist for high round count applications, one of the newer issue M240 barrels (L I think) is stellite lined

              What gun has an inconel lined barrel?

              I don't know anything about stellite but inconel is stupidly hard right out of the box, without heat treat, takes good carbide bits to cut and wears those bits out fast. It's expensive not just because the metal expensive but also because it is actually costly to machine. I'm not sure it would even be possible to cold hammer forge.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                There's about 20 or so varieties of inconel so there's bound to be one with some physical properties that would lend it to being beat the frick on and machineability.
                I've come across it more in car components more than mil-spec stuff, but its anywhere you need high-temp, high toughness material- turbines, turbo housings, valve heads and other stuff like that. Its a complete pain in the dick to have anything to do with kind of like titanium, it takes forever to shape and it's going to produce a lot of particulates full of cobalt and nickel which aren't real good for your health.
                Like anything, someone will make it if they want to stump up the bucks.
                Most people are fine with something like their AR barrel being made out of regular old mid-carbon, low alloy steel for 200 dollars and maybe a bit more for something a little better. When you start hitting into the stainless its a fricking annoying material too which is prone to galling, weird fracturing patterns and all manner of dodgy shit so thats why they kept it simple for so long. Like 410 and 416 aren't great stainless steels but they get around a lot of problems by being tough as frick and cheap enough that people can live with it.

                I've considered making a knife out of Stellite being its kind of interesting, but also going by the price of a blank and how many very expensive ceramic belts I'd rip through just getting it to be a 'knife' and not a very good knife either, its sort of reached a bit of a dead end in some applications.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                >I've considered making a knife out of Stellite being its kind of interesting

                A colleague has done that. We deposition weld stellite on stainless and make machine knives out of that. Those work in very corrosive solutions in paper mills. They were invented at the beginning of the twentieth century, only a few years after stainless and cobalt alloys became available.

                The knive isn´t great. Even the harder stellite alloys don´t get that hard, some 50-something HRC. Their carbides are mostly chromium carbides, not vanadium carbides. So in the end you get a tool that is highly corrosion resistant but only has a moderate abrasion resistance.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                Yep the industrial applications are quite important when it comes to corrosion resistance, however it comes to the point that if the knife is attached to you in such a hostile environment you might not be personally that corrosion resistant. I believe there was a market made for them in the US for underwater demolition out of Stellite 6K in that they wanted a knife which was going to function well in saltwater, but I think the cost was rapidly approaching insane levels.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            Usually they use stellite (a cobalt superalloy, rather than nickel like inconel) for that. Not sure if it's because stellite is better or because because that's what they had when they started doing it.

            Inconel and Stellite lined barrels exist for high round count applications, one of the newer issue M240 barrels (L I think) is stellite lined

            • 1 month ago
              Anonymous

              What gun has an inconel lined barrel?

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                US gov tested 3 different barrels made out of inconel, inconel 625, 718, and another one (600 iirc). only one performed better in wear characteristics than a standard 4150 barrel which besides corrosion resistance (aka the reason it's chosen for the M4) is already a downgrade from 4140. Iirc it was either 1.5x or 3x longer life, but was stupidly expensive compared to buying the same amount in normal barrels worth of wear.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          WoW what a genius you'd take a well made thing over a badly made thing. I'd take a well built bolt action of a badly built AR, that's not a excuse to not get a well built AR. Your argument is beyond meaningless it's stupid.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      moron. The majority of knife supersteels are made by companies like bohler uddeholm. Their major customers are moldmakers and industrial tooling makers trying to get the best of the best steel properties for a use case. Knife makers are just a secondary thought. You know nothing of metallurgy.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Did you think I was trying to say that anyone was inventing new metals specifically to use in knives? The new metals are being invented for useful things, and then knifemakers all pick something different and claim it's the perfectest thing ever for knives because they have no other way to differentiate themselves.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          >Did you think I was trying to say that anyone was inventing new metals specifically to use in knives?
          Well, they are.
          >The new metals are being invented for useful things, and then knifemakers all pick something different and claim it's the perfectest thing ever for knives because they have no other way to differentiate themselves.
          Oh, you're just a completely ignorant moron. Carry on.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            Well, a few new supersteels are, famously MagnaCut. But he's right that most of our beloved steels for knives were invented for tool, die, and bearing applications and just happen to be good for knives.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            Chill out, you moronic sperg. Nothing he said was wrong.

            • 1 month ago
              Anonymous

              >Chill out, you moronic sperg. Nothing he said was wrong.
              While that may be true, it is not a crime to gaslight and lie to another anons for reasons that purely benefit me. Being intellectually dishonest is something that pathological liars like me do.
              For the lulz

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                Ah, I see, you were just "pretending" to be moronic

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            >Didn't disprove anything he said
            >Ad hominem spam
            You aren't winning anyone over

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Lol stfu you butthurt homosexual. Imagine getting angry over a knife discussion.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        this post was made by someone who only knows about metallurgy when it comes to knives and has never worked or been trained in metallurgy or alloy theory beyond reading Wikipedia articles.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Obviously, but that just raises the question why the gun industry isn't trying to profit from new steels becoming available?

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          They did.
          Take 1835 for example: Read "The Gun" by William Greener and the author describes making gun barrels from various kinds of recycled scrap with the best barrels being made from old horse-shoe nails and the cheapest being made from, and I quote, "sham damn iron". The belief was that because horseshoe nails were "hammered" against the ground countless times as a horse walked they were therefore superior metal.
          Then read The Gun and Its Development by his son, W. W. Greener, the last edition published in 1910. He also describes various grades of decorative twist barrels, but now acknowledges the reason why horseshoe nails make good barrels is because they were high grade steel to begin with, not because of any nonsense about hammering as the horse walked. He also discusses the use of modern steels made by companies like Whitworth, and discusses their various pros and cons. Around that time you started seeing guns advertised with "steel" barrels rather than twist.
          And from that time and going on few decades you started seeing guns advertised with fancypants steel.
          For example, here's an old shotgun made with "Acme Steel"
          https://www.gunsinternational.com/guns-for-sale-online/shotguns/shotguns-4-and-8-gauge/parker-ch-8ga-with-orig-34-acme-steel-brls-in-excellent-condition-truly-unique-only-one-ever-made-.cfm?gun_id=102627717

          Here's another but it's "Titanic Steel" this time.
          https://www.gunsinternational.com/guns-for-sale-online/shotguns/shotguns-4-and-8-gauge/parker-dh-8-gauge-titanic-steel-barrels.cfm?gun_id=101041890

          Here's a rifle with "Krupp special Luftstahl"
          https://www.gunsinternational.com/guns-for-sale-online/rifles/mauser-rifles-sporter-post-war/mause-werke-model-4000-deluxe-bolt-action-rifle-222-rem-like-new.cfm?gun_id=102626780

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            Makes you wonder why that's not a thing anymore. Even if special snowflake steels aren't any better than the typical chromoly and stainless grades used today it doesn't matter, plenty of people will buy it just for the bling.

            • 1 month ago
              Anonymous

              Look at the high end gun market. Not the <10k aluslop you see here, I am talking boutique yuro break actions.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                >Look at the high end gun market.
                I do browse the high end market. High end English break actions are my collector's interest specifically. The fancy steel thing was very common years ago but not so much these days. A modern production Holland & Holland, Purdey, Francotte, Rizzini, Piotti, high end Beretta, Perazzi, Westley Richards, etc, rarely says anything on it about what kind of fancy steel was used even though they are using modern materials. I know Bosis and Fabbri both made O/Us with titanium receivers and Bosis went so far as to make special maranging steel barrels but those were more like one-offs even among the super high end market.

            • 1 month ago
              Anonymous

              It is a thing, anon.
              Look up Lothar Walther:
              https://www.lothar-walther.de/

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                Also goes for OP, I guess

                https://i.imgur.com/f8XZPHM.jpg

                In the age of 100 supersteels for knives, why are gun barrels still limited to the same 4 steels we've used for decades? We still only have two carbon steels:
                4140
                4150
                And two stainless steels:
                410
                416
                Are there any other more modern options for gun barrel steels, alloys that may offer things like double the rifling life, reduced throat erosion, greater stiffness/reduced harmonic effect, or simply achieve what the steels we have now already do but with 20% less material?
                I've sometimes seen mention of other steels being used in autocannon barrels or for tank/artillery/naval guns. Why are these steels absent from small arms barrels?
                Finally, are there any realistic alternatives to steel gun barrels? - and not just carbon fiber wrapped steel pencil barrels. It seems like in the past 50 years metallurgy and material science has either improved or created new and better material options for just about everything in the past 50 years except gun barrels.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                I'm familar with Lothar Walther. They are a barrel maker, not a gun maker. I'm aware that exotic barrel steels can be special ordered, what I'm asking is why gun makers like Remington, Winchester, HK, Mauser, Glock, S&W, blah blah don't make barrels out of exotic steels and then use this as an advertising point. That said, I've bought from Lothar Walther before, though it was more than 10 years ago, and back then all they offered was stainless and chromoly which are great but nothing unusual. I poked around a little and I didn't see anything new and different. Can you link to an example of a special steel they're offering now?

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                >I'm familar with Lothar Walther. They are a barrel maker, not a gun maker.
                They work directly with gun makers who want their fancy barrels and do some interesting stuff with coldforged barrels heat-treated in a vacuum.
                Pic related uses them for all of their different G3 varieties.
                You can check out their custom barrel section if you want some for yourself, choose a caliber and twist and you can choose different kinds of materials, though interestingly the choices you get seem to depend on the caliber (and maybe the twist since you have to select that first as well). E.g. 8mm Mauser with a 10'' twist gives you the options of stainless and chrome-moly steel.
                I'm fairly certain they have experience with people and companies wanting more exotic steels and being willing to pay for it though.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                >You can check out their custom barrel section if you want some for yourself, choose a caliber and twist
                I did that about ten times and the only options it gave me were stainless and chromoly.

                >I'm fairly certain they have experience with people and companies wanting more exotic steels and being willing to pay for it though.
                I'm sure they would do that for a commercial customer who wants many thousands of barrels, but even if they did that's besides the point. I'm asking why special steels aren't being pushed as a retail selling point by gun makers themselves. Where is the SuperSteel edition Glock? The Powder Metallurgy Mossberg?

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                >I'm asking why special steels aren't being pushed as a retail selling point by gun makers themselves
                Because 98% of people wouldn't care and the 2% who would wouldn't make it worth it would be my guess. Especially since those 2% can just custom order stuff anyway already.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                >Because 98% of people wouldn't care
                I disagree about that, people love any reason why they can believe their gun (or whatever) is better than the alternative. You see this all over the place: fancy mountain bike frames sell for more than the basic ones. Same for car or motorcycle parts--anything made of Titanium or carbon fiber commands mad prices whether it actually does anything better or not. Knifegays go crazy over different steels even if they don't even use the knife.

            • 1 month ago
              Anonymous

              >I want even more deceptive marketing practices in a market already rife with bullshit.
              No. Frick off.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                I didn't say I *wanted* it you moron, I said I was curious why it wasn't a thing.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >that unnecessary conversion to imperial units nobody uses for metallurgy
      >using power 10 sci in meter instead of just decimal millimeters

      bruh, lmao no wonder the french cant keep shit together

  2. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    4340
    4350
    4360

    Presumably some of the snowflake proprietary bolt alloys like C158 are also used for other components, at times. But I don't know about any specific cases.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Because alloy steel is cheap, readily available, has very good range of achievable properties (Tensile, Yield strength, elongation, and toughness) making machining easier, and handles a Q/T process well with minimal warping of done correctly. Machining tolerances can be very tight with these materials too. Lastly, the engineering focus of importance is coatings/liners on the barrel anyways so fancy steel really doesn't buy you anything when the barrel has hard chrome plating or nitride plating on it that will resist wear incredibly well.

      >proprietary bolt alloys like C158
      Just want to point out C158 technically proprietary but it has the exact same chemistry limits and mechanical properties as P6 mold tool steel which is a mass produced tool steel alloy. Just as an FYI, most proprietary steels are bullshit (there are some exceptions, especially in the knife steel market like 20CV or S30V) that is a conventional alloy steel or tool steel with a slightly tighter tolerance in one/two elements element or has a modifier like Vanadium or Molybdenum but the properties are maybe 5-10% better than the comparable conventional ASTM/SAE chemistry steel at much higher cost since it's a "custom" alloy and batch sizes are smaller.

  3. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    4150 is going to be good for what? 3,000 rounds minimum? Probably upwards of 20,000 rounds if you don't do stupid shit.
    It's just not really that cost effective to start looking for alternatives because frankly it's unusual to wear out a barrel already and if you do, replacements are cheap.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Barrel life depends on a lot of variables. If all other variables are equal, the two most important variables are:
      -Hotter cartridges will wear out barrels faster than mild cartridges of the same bore. People often talk about velocity, but really what's at work here is the ratio of case volume to bore area. E.g., .26 Nosler will wear out a barrel 2x-3x as fast as 6.5 Creedmoor, and 6.5 Creedmoor will wear out a barrel 1.5x-2x as fast as 6.5 Grendel.
      >Given the same number of rounds fired, higher rates of fire will wear barrels faster than slower rates of fire. E.g., mag dumping several hundred rounds as fast as you can wears a barrel as much as shooting several thousand rounds at normal target shooting rates of fire.

      Whether fast or slow, barrel erosion occurs over time regardless and eventually accuracy suffers. It would be more than worth it to find a longer lasting steel for hotrod cartridges like .26 Nosler, 7mm Rem Mag, .220 Swift - rebarreling every 1400rds is annoying.
      >But people don't shoot those cartridges that much...
      Yeah, because they eat barrels. What if your 7mm Rem Mag had the same barrel life as a 7mm-08? That would 100% be worth an extra $100 for better barrel steel.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        I want a 45-70 barrel made of better steel so I can shoot until the end of time without losing accuracy

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          It's as much the process as the steel. Steyr makes these super hard cold hammer forged barrels with a chrome lining that can withstand a lot more punishment than some cheapo nitrided barrel mass produced in a barrel reamer in a factory.
          Barrels forged over a mandrel by a hammer forging machine are a lot more durable than scraped soft steel barrels though they don't offer the same level of accuracy.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            That's part of it, but precision shooters have found that cold hammer forging and definitely chrome lining decrease potential barrel accuracy. In other words, you get acceptable accuracy for a long time. If you could cut rifling from a superior steel and omit the chrome lining, you could have peak accuracy and maintain that through extended barrel life.

            • 1 month ago
              Anonymous

              That's just 416R, most of the precision barrels are made from this.
              It's cheaper to just go and replace one of these every 2-3,000 rounds than try to make something out of some high end boutique steel blank.
              We just use hammer forged 4140 chromoly for machine gun barrels and replace them as necessary. Why redesign something designed to wear after X,000 rounds with something that's 10x more expensive and doesn't offer 10x the benefit?
              Barrel swaps are cheap, and mass produced barrels are cheap.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            >Steyr makes these super hard cold hammer forged barrels with a chrome lining
            I would like to know more
            Is this in their aug?

            • 1 month ago
              Anonymous

              >would like to know more
              >Is this in their aug?
              Yes, Steyr CHFs and chromes their barrels, you should never have problems shooting that barrel out unless you go mag dumping thousands of rounds every month.

              Basically they hammer a tube/bored out bar of steel around a die with rifling in it at a relative low forging temperature to make the interior of the barrel and rifling. They touch it up with machining to get the dimensional elements and run-out just right after the forging process.

              You could use bronze instead of steel

              Barrel steel is generally HT in the ballpark of 30HRC since it's a good balance of strength and ductility, 4150 is capable of low 50HRC with a low temper. The majority of brasses/bronzes aren't even in the same Rockwell hardness scale, they are generally Rockwell B instead of Rockwell C class like most steels, there are some exceptions like Cu-Be alloys that touch the 40 HRC range but it's very a very brittle alloy, like a quarter of the elongation of 4150 HT to the same hardness. Copper is also more expensive.

              [...]
              [...]
              [...]

              Guys, Yield strength is what determines the suitability of a steel (it's the force required to permanently deform a piece of steel if exceeded)

              >Yield strength
              Important but there are more considerations, if yield is all we cared about I could quench and temper 1070 which is a cheaper carbon steel to the same yield strength as 4150 by sacrificing ductility and other mechanical properties.

              Beryllium copper alloys are harder than some steels and used for some gun receivers and in some Gatling gun bearings in the US. I don't know if they use that or a steel alloy. The other info is still secret, I think, because I can't find jack shit from after about 1970.

              >Beryllium copper
              Genuinely good stuff from a niche properties perspective, especially if you want to displace heat from an object and need strength since Cu has really terrific thermal conductivity. This stuff is way more brittle than equally hard alloy steel like 4150 though and most importantly it is very toxic to work with as Beryllium causes severe lifelong health issues if you inhale the dust.

              >It won't be titanium anymore after the boriding treatment
              Yeah and those boride layers are more then an order of magnitude harder then the titanium below (200-300 HV against ca. 4000 HV). They are very brittle, so britle actually, that it doesn´t really matter if they are 4 times more tough then iron borides, because that is basically still extremely brittle. Maybe you mixed up hardness and toughness?

              The problem with forge welding titanium is the same as with anything you do with titanium at elevated temperatures. You have to use extremely pure argon or high vacuum as an atmosphere. Now you could build a forge with custom tools inside a high vacuum chamber or you could just use existing electron beam welding services. Also: For forge welding you have to heat up the whole part. That is actually a problem with titanium because you frick up the microstructure when transitioning into beta and back to alpha in an uncontrolled way. You get the more brittle widmannstätten structure. You can avoid that by just heating up the welding area. So in short:
              Forge weld titanium?
              Just no.

              Based materials scientist. Wish I had a reason to better understand titanium alloys but am stuck working almost exclusively with low alloy steel. I think you can arc weld (TIG) thin sections of Ti with an obsessive control over the cover gas but I'm no welding engineer.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                >most importantly it is very toxic to work with as Beryllium causes severe lifelong health issues if you inhale the dust.
                It's making the alloy that's dangerous, machining BeCu is perfectly safe. You can even machine straight beryllium with the right precautions: you have to do it submerged in oil or water so the dust doesn't become airborne.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                That's probably true so long as the Be content is within its saturation point of copper which is around 2.5% and quenched properly to avoid it forming precipitates. I don't really work with Cu-Be but do work with leaded brass castings occasionally but otherwise good to know the low Be levels are machining safe, we get requests to make it on occasion and I tell them no for our foundry guys health mostly but our safety office would never allow us to touch the stuff. I also assume during the melting stage it's very hazardous since you have to alloy higher purity Be into the melt to meet composition requirements.

            • 1 month ago
              Anonymous

              No lmao steyr aug barrels aren't even chrome lined anymore don't listen to this moron.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                https://www.steyr-arms.com/en/military-law-enforcement/assault-rifles/aug-a3

                >Interchangeable, 382 mm (15“), 417 mm (16,4“), 508 mm (20“) with gas regulator and swing / pivot type barrel grip.
                Cold hammer forged. Chrome- lined bore including chamber.

                Here's a place to buy one.
                https://www.cheaperthandirt.com/steyr-aug-a3-m1-semi-auto-rifle-.223-rem5.56-nato-16-chrome-lined-barrel-30-round-aug-pattern-magazine-with-short-rail-matte-black-finish/FC-688218712832.html

                The AUGs OEM barrel is CHF, some are nitride coated some are hard chrome. Also depends on when you bought the gun.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >What if your 7mm Rem Mag had the same barrel life as a 7mm-08?
        You would spend a lot more on ammo, and your electricity bill would skyrocket on account of all those freezers full of deer meat.

  4. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    You could use bronze instead of steel

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      These wear out more quickly, it’s been tested.

  5. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    >M390 lined magnacut barrel

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      I don't think either of those steels would work for gun barrels. Most knife steels probably wouldn't. Maybe Z-Tuff?

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        4150 has a tensile strength of 100,000-110,000psi. I think it's hardened to like 41-43HRC.

        13-8 stainless steel has a tensile strength of 220,000psi and a Rockwell hardness of 45HRC. Imagine gun barrels half the weight they are now.

        17-4 stainless steel can be heat treated to approximately 44HRC and has a tensile strength of 190,000psi. This steel is used by quality choke tube manufacturers for shotgun chokes, so it should be fine for gun barrels.

        Ideally you'd have a very high tensile strength steel to withstand pressure coupled with a high hardness to withstand wear. There are other factors, but I think those are the big ones.

        Z-Tuff apparently has a tensile strength over 261,000psi and a working Rockwell hardness in the high 50s HRC. It might actually work. Again, I don't know what other properties are ideal and if Z-Tuff meets or exceeds those properties.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          I've never seen Z-tuff for sale in anything but 3.5 mm thick bars for blade blanks.
          If you can forge weld a bunch of sheets together into something uniform maybe you can turn one out into a barrel. It's going to cost like $2,500 for the materials.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            I'm sure a Shilen or Ruger or Faxon could order round stock, anon. This isn't a garage project.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            https://www.zapp.com/fileadmin/_documents/Downloads/TA/Stocklists/Zapp_PM_Materials/Z-Tuff_PM_cold_Stocklist.pdf

            3 seconds on Google

            • 1 month ago
              Anonymous

              I guess that just leaves the $2,500 for the bar stock.
              I'm sure that Sig Sauer considered alternate barrel materials for their .277 Furry rifle considering they're using a round that produces 80,000 PSI, and maybe something like this even came up.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          >I think it's hardened to like 41-43HRC.
          Try 28-32 HRC.

          >Imagine gun barrels half the weight they are now.
          Fine for small calibers, utterly moronic for large ones. The mass of the gun is very important for counteracting recoil. For example you can read picrel, a gun book that's over a hundred years old, and it discusses the weights of shotguns, and recommends the gun should weigh 96 times the weight of the shot charge it is supposed to shoot. So, for example a 12ga shooting 1-1/8oz ought to weigh about 7 lbs. They could make the guns lighter even back then long before the era of modern steels but they didn't because shooting a gun that's too light is really fricking unpleasant.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            forgot my pic like a tard

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            >Try 28-32 HRC.
            I'm going off what several gun websites have said. If you're citeing the book you posted here

            https://i.imgur.com/AX1WFj9.jpg

            forgot my pic like a tard

            to get that 28-32 HRC remember that W.W. Greener died in 1869 and his book was somehow revised again and again until 1910. The standards for using 4140 and 4150 in firearms weren't a thing until around 1920, 50 years after Greener died and a decade after the last revision to his 19th century book.
            >ye olde recoil considerations
            We have recoil mitigating technology the Victorians did not have. We also can make high pressure overbore cartridges that send a smaller projectile much, much faster for the same amount of recoil. Lastly, an AR covered in stuff like an optic, light, laser, 45 degree offset sight, jungle clipped mags - whatever - weighs 10lbs or more. If the barrel was 50% or 70% lighter with equal or better longevity and no loss to accuracy no one would complain about the recoil difference between a 7.5lb AR and a 10lb AR.

            • 1 month ago
              Anonymous

              I wasn't citing that book, quite clearly the HRC scale didn't exist at that time.
              I googled "gun barrel hardness tests" and watched the videos.

              >We have recoil mitigating technology the Victorians did not have
              We do, but they all have disadvantages. A modern muzzlebrake can be extremely efficient at reducing recoil, but it comes with the downsides of massive amounts of blast and concussion. There's no such thing as free lunch in physics. Now small projectiles have a lot of advantages--hell that's why Victorians put down their 8- and 4-bores and embraced the Nitro Express even for dangerous game hunting. But you don't need super steel to make small caliber barrels very light. Standard AR-15 barrels don't weigh as much as they do because that's structurally necessary due to shitty steel, they weigh that because they're designed to weight that, and because of geometry constraints.

              >If the barrel was 50% or 70% lighter with equal or better longevity and no loss to accuracy
              Agreed, but we already have those. Light profile barrels, carbon fiber jacketed barrels, etc. They're not really much of a game changer.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                >Standard AR-15 barrels don't weigh as much as they do because that's structurally necessary due to shitty steel, they weigh that because they're designed to weight that, and because of geometry constraints.

                >Chill out, you moronic sperg. Nothing he said was wrong.
                While that may be true, it is not a crime to gaslight and lie to another anons for reasons that purely benefit me. Being intellectually dishonest is something that pathological liars like me do.
                For the lulz

                >While that may be true, it is not a crime to gaslight and lie to another anons for reasons that purely benefit me. Being intellectually dishonest is something that pathological liars like me do.
                >For the lulz

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                Not being a witch doctor, I can't tell you how picrel works, but some guy used it to make a 7.62x54r AK (AVB-7,62) recoil less than an AK74. Apparently there's also a 35mm automatic grenade launcher based on it that only weighs 15 pounds and recoils less than an average 12 gauge. No muzzle brake required.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                Is that some kind of balanced recoil system like the AK-107/SR-1?

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                It's some wierd soviet shit from the 80s that didn't catch on because most weapons want simplicity and the rest want single shot accuracy, there's not really a market for complex and finnicky recoil reduction systems since most heavy recoil machine guns are pintle or tripod mounted.

                Here's pretty much all I've got on how it works:
                >Baryshev action is a delayed-blowback system which is fired from open bolt only. Bolt group consists of four parts – bolt with tilting head, inertia piece and locking lever. When gun is fired, bolt group is released and goes forward at once, stripping a fresh cartridge from magazine. At the end of loading cycle, bolt with its head is stopped at the breech, while inertia piece still moves forward, rotating the locking lever and bolt head. The pivoting locking lever strikes the firing pin, and fires the cartridge. Recoil of the shot tries to pivot the bolt head, but this movement is resisted by the mass and velocity of the inertia piece still moving forward. Once the inertia piece is stopped and its movement reversed by the blowback action of the cartridge, it turns the locking lever to disengage the bolt from receiver. Once bolt is released, entire bolt group moves back under residual pressure in the chamber.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                It's some wierd soviet shit from the 80s that didn't catch on because most weapons want simplicity and the rest want single shot accuracy, there's not really a market for complex and finnicky recoil reduction systems since most heavy recoil machine guns are pintle or tripod mounted.

                Here's pretty much all I've got on how it works:
                >Baryshev action is a delayed-blowback system which is fired from open bolt only. Bolt group consists of four parts – bolt with tilting head, inertia piece and locking lever. When gun is fired, bolt group is released and goes forward at once, stripping a fresh cartridge from magazine. At the end of loading cycle, bolt with its head is stopped at the breech, while inertia piece still moves forward, rotating the locking lever and bolt head. The pivoting locking lever strikes the firing pin, and fires the cartridge. Recoil of the shot tries to pivot the bolt head, but this movement is resisted by the mass and velocity of the inertia piece still moving forward. Once the inertia piece is stopped and its movement reversed by the blowback action of the cartridge, it turns the locking lever to disengage the bolt from receiver. Once bolt is released, entire bolt group moves back under residual pressure in the chamber.

                Actually, reading that again and looking at the picture I think I get it. It's like API blowback crossed with a Luger action.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                show tests or literal communist fuddlore.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous
              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                that looks like 40mm recoil. and the x54 is just heavily compensated, it's pushing him back way more than the x39.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          knife steels need to be harder to keep a functioning edge for more than one box cut, or more than one tomato, which makes them less ductile/tough and more brittle. Both very bad things for an explosion-containing barrel.
          barrel steel hardness is (mostly) a moot point since you're either firing copper or lead through it. you want maximised shear stresses, minimized temp elongation, low brittleness, and high ductility. Hardness for a barrel only needs to match or exceed the properties of the cartridge materials. Anything more is waste and detriment.

          So knife steels, tool steels, etc in general are the worst choice for gun (barrels) because they prioritize qualities an explosion container should not have. Tool steels can be TOUGH AS FRICK but also are generally hardened more, and are exceptionally brittle.
          Knock two D2 steel hammers together and watch the chips and shavings fly off of them in a slow mo camera. Very bad for a gun.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            Hardness prevents barrel erosion. It's a serious problem when you're shooting bullets at 3700+ FPS or loading cartridges over 60,000 PSI.

            • 1 month ago
              Anonymous

              It doesn't have much of an effect. Most barrel wear is not mechanical from the bullet but rather from the heat of the gunpowder burning. Note how it's common for "barrel burner" calibers to wear out at the throat first, where the bullet velocity is low, not near the muzzle where velocity (and therefore mechanical wear) would be at its highest.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                why would you expect him to know that?

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                High hardness reduces throat erosion from burning powder.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                Burning powder produces a chemical erosion, literally converting and ablating the steel away. I would think all else being equal that a stainless steel would outperform a carbon steel, and hardness alone would have zero effect on throat erosion.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                You would be wrong, erosion isn't corrosion. Induction hardening significantly reduces erosion of engine exhaust valves even with no change in material. Stainless makes long lasting barrels not just because of its corrosion resistance but because of its hardness. 416 is nearly twice as hard as 4150.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                >416 is nearly twice as hard as 4150.
                That's like saying a circle is bigger than a square. The hardness of either depends on their heat treatment.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                Not only that, but hardness isn't the ideal in barrels. They need to be able to contract and expand some, high tensile strength as opposed higher yield strength.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                >high tensile strength as opposed higher yield strength.
                It's the opposite, unless you mistyped. Yield strength is where the material begins to plastically deform, ultimate tensile strength is where the material fractures/tears.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                Correct, mistype.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                >416 is nearly twice as hard as 4150

                41HRC vs 45HRC? That doesn't seem like twice as hard. It does seem like you have no idea what you're talking about.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            Yep, that's why I only mentioned one exceptionally tough tool steel and zero dedicated "knife steels" and said "maybe?" with regards to its usage.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          tangentially related but i'm a machinist and I gundrill 17-4 bars with great frequency so it probably wouldn't be hard to crank 17-4 barrels out production-line style. it's kind of unpleasant to work with though

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            What's unpleasant about it?

            • 1 month ago
              Anonymous

              It's very gummy and tough, and a lot of the time seems to come to us pre-hardened. We use carbide tools but we have to crank the oil pressure up because the chips are so tough they don't want to separate from one another and it seems to want to form a massive thin spring

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                Any experience with 465 Carpenter or similar stainless?

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                17-4 is stainless
                >465 carpenter
                never seen this but we do work with a lot of 9310 which is basically C158 with molybdenum. I would say it sucks even harder to machine
                They are both apparently extremely durable though especially in high pressure applications. I usually see it being made into can rams (the big rods that stamp cans)

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                >We use carbide tools
                Have you tried pcd? Or having your carbide dlc coated?

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                gundrills must be sharpened every few parts (consider they're drilling 40+ inches generally) and so any coating wouldn't last very long at all. Carbide is fine, you just have to get speeds and feeds dialled in. It's a skill

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                >Have you tried pcd? Or having your carbide dlc coated?
                Both suck for cutting steel.
                t. DLC coater

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                >Have you tried pcd? Or having your carbide dlc coated?
                >PCD or DLC to cut steel
                You can't use coatings that have the same elements as what you're cutting, they end up bonding to each other in the cut at the molecular level and it causes all kinds of issues. Same reason you can't use coatings like AlTiaN on aluminum.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                Okay, so why can you use carbide tools to cut steel when they also have carbon in them?

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          >I think it's hardened to like 41-43HRC.
          Try 28-32 HRC.

          >Imagine gun barrels half the weight they are now.
          Fine for small calibers, utterly moronic for large ones. The mass of the gun is very important for counteracting recoil. For example you can read picrel, a gun book that's over a hundred years old, and it discusses the weights of shotguns, and recommends the gun should weigh 96 times the weight of the shot charge it is supposed to shoot. So, for example a 12ga shooting 1-1/8oz ought to weigh about 7 lbs. They could make the guns lighter even back then long before the era of modern steels but they didn't because shooting a gun that's too light is really fricking unpleasant.

          knife steels need to be harder to keep a functioning edge for more than one box cut, or more than one tomato, which makes them less ductile/tough and more brittle. Both very bad things for an explosion-containing barrel.
          barrel steel hardness is (mostly) a moot point since you're either firing copper or lead through it. you want maximised shear stresses, minimized temp elongation, low brittleness, and high ductility. Hardness for a barrel only needs to match or exceed the properties of the cartridge materials. Anything more is waste and detriment.

          So knife steels, tool steels, etc in general are the worst choice for gun (barrels) because they prioritize qualities an explosion container should not have. Tool steels can be TOUGH AS FRICK but also are generally hardened more, and are exceptionally brittle.
          Knock two D2 steel hammers together and watch the chips and shavings fly off of them in a slow mo camera. Very bad for a gun.

          tangentially related but i'm a machinist and I gundrill 17-4 bars with great frequency so it probably wouldn't be hard to crank 17-4 barrels out production-line style. it's kind of unpleasant to work with though

          Guys, Yield strength is what determines the suitability of a steel (it's the force required to permanently deform a piece of steel if exceeded)

  6. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Because it’s cheap and it lasts 5,000+ rounds. That’s an acceptable level. If you want some FN machine gun steel rated for 15,000 rounds you gotta pay and most people are cheap asses. If you got H&H money you can get some stupid bougie Damascus steel barrel

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >If you want some FN machine gun steel rated for 15,000 rounds you gotta pay
      FN machine gun barrels are 4150. Chrome-lined, cold hammer forged 4150. Just like any milspec AR barrel. I don't think you have a grasp of this subject.

      >If you got H&H money you can get some stupid bougie Damascus steel barrel
      That wouldn't last for shit or handle anything close to 4140. What are you even talking about?

  7. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    >why are gun barrels still limited to the same 4 steels we've used for decades?
    economy of scale and weighing off price against performance + already existing production lines
    you're not gonna order 10000 barrels that last 16000 rounds if you can get 50000 barrels that last 8000 rounds for the same price

  8. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Barrel steels break into petals in case if catastrophic failure.
    Super steels break into shrapnel.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Only informed opinions from adukts please.

  9. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    OP is right, we need to make them out of aluminum and plastic like muh Glock and AR!

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      No one is saying you have to leave your cave and give up your rock, Chongo. But if there is an aluminum or plastic that can replace steel in barrel manufacturing (there isn't) and exceed its performance (none can) then yes, bring on the 3lb assault rifles.

  10. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Russia supposedly uses some special steel, alloyed with beryllium for better heat dissipation and barrel life in their Pecheng MG.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Beryllium copper alloys are harder than some steels and used for some gun receivers and in some Gatling gun bearings in the US. I don't know if they use that or a steel alloy. The other info is still secret, I think, because I can't find jack shit from after about 1970.

  11. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    9310 or Aermet100 would be best

    Latter requires clearance from DoD to purchase

  12. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    knife gays are mentally ill

  13. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    17-4 Stainless is what I heard was best

  14. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    I just use whatever I find in the plumbing aisle.

  15. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    >In the age of 100 supersteels for knives
    You don't have those because of any truly meaningful difference in performance, you have them because of fashion and marketing.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      To be fair there are at least two different uses for knives. My camp knife, a gerber strongarm, is a soft steel that gets hammered on for splitting wood. My spyderco is a harder steel just meant for a sharp knife. I still carry my milwaukee flipper razor knife more than anything, i'm not a homosexual, i care more about the 19x on my waist than the pokey boi in my pocket. Hell i care more about my flashlight than what knife i carry. It's a fricking knife

  16. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    The high end market is using carbon fiber with a steel liner. It's debatable whether or not they're worth using but that's what people are doing.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      The carbon fiber probably is a hell of a lot lighter, but aren't most of these high end rifles used for range shooting anyway? I wonder if the carbon actually makes it worse since it has worse heat soaking capabilities than a basic monolithic steel barrel.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      That's nothing new. Christensen Arms has been making CF wrapped barrels since the mid 90s.

  17. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Do you want to pay $1000+ for a barrel?

  18. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Logistics.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous
      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >animegay can't into logistics
        Manufacturers deliberately choose materials that are more widely available and easier to work with and are proven to be reliable, for a reason. Even your most niche $4k AR upper is still going to have aluminum in its construction, no matter how gucci you get in the BCG and barrel. And no matter how gucci you get, your rifle will still need replacement parts (specifically smaller BCG parts) by 5k rounds of regular use.

  19. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    >Machine chamber out of 6al4v
    >Extrude octagonal rifled barrel liner out of CP titanium
    >Forge weld chamber and barrel together
    >Boride treat the assembly to the full depth of the liner
    >Carbon wrap the barrel
    Explain to me why this wouldn't work.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Purely cost.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Purely cost.

      The strength of CP titanium is actually very low. Grade 5 is about as strong as the typical QT steels used for barrels. Boriding layers are very brittle and a shock may rip them out from the barrel, though that would require testing. Considering that galvanic chrom isn´t very good in that regard either, it may still work.

      >Forge weld titanium
      No, just no. Electron beam welding might actually work though.

      >Carbon wrap the barrel
      If you do that, then you could just use a good material for the barell and not something as bad as titanium. It´s really bad when it comes to wear and a thin boriding layer won´t protect a soft material very well.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        It won't be titanium anymore after the boriding treatment, the entire depth of the barrel (and the very outer layers of the chamber) will be converted to titanium diboride, which has very high fracture toughness and lubricity, 3-4x tougher than the iron borides you would get from boride treating steels. I haven't tried it myself but I've heard that titanium takes to forge welding as well as steel does. Using different grades might complicate it a bit, but they're close enough that it should just be a matter of finding a large enough drop hammer.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          >It won't be titanium anymore after the boriding treatment
          Yeah and those boride layers are more then an order of magnitude harder then the titanium below (200-300 HV against ca. 4000 HV). They are very brittle, so britle actually, that it doesn´t really matter if they are 4 times more tough then iron borides, because that is basically still extremely brittle. Maybe you mixed up hardness and toughness?

          The problem with forge welding titanium is the same as with anything you do with titanium at elevated temperatures. You have to use extremely pure argon or high vacuum as an atmosphere. Now you could build a forge with custom tools inside a high vacuum chamber or you could just use existing electron beam welding services. Also: For forge welding you have to heat up the whole part. That is actually a problem with titanium because you frick up the microstructure when transitioning into beta and back to alpha in an uncontrolled way. You get the more brittle widmannstätten structure. You can avoid that by just heating up the welding area. So in short:
          Forge weld titanium?
          Just no.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            There would be no underlying material, I'm talking about boriding a 1mm wall extruded octagonal tube to 0.5mm case depth and then carbon wrapping around it. How much impact load does the barrel actually see with polygonal rifling?

            • 1 month ago
              Anonymous

              >I'm talking about boriding a 1mm wall extruded octagonal tube to 0.5mm case depth

              Is that even economically feasable? Diffusion processes take fourfold times for double depths. Wouldn´t you be boriding for months at that point? Well yeah, if the hardened zone is actually that deep, then there is no problem with the underlying material being too soft. Instead you would basically just have a ceramic barrel. Fun things start to happen, when you diffusion treat a material that deep. Like, if the thermal coefficients don´t match well or if the volume changes (of course it does, your pushing large amounts of B into Ti) then stuff tends to fall apart at some point.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      because surface treatments need particular substrate properties to work well. under the ballooning you'd get from titanium during firing you'll get cracking of your surface treatments.

  20. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Knives with exotic steel blades are $500 fidget toys for autistic people

  21. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    If something works really well why would you change it?
    Unlimited progress is a meme and lie. Sometimes you max out the tech tree and that's ok

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      We haven't maxed out the tech tree that's why. We could double the firepower of guns by doubling pressure, either for more velocity/mass, or ammo you can carry twice as much of; but the #1 objection to doing this is barrel wear.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Nah, the main objection is the brass.
        You experience case head separation when you push much above 70,000psi.
        Many bolt action rifles would be perfectly fine at pressures around 80,000psi. They're just very efficient designs at containing pressure.

  22. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Bartlein used to produce barrels in some 400modbb alloy. They don't appear to offer it anymore. I'm sure the answer as to "why" they've been discontinued is buried in a snipershide thread if you're interested, OP. They originally claimed it enhanced barrel life from 1.5-2x. There must have been some unforseen difficulty. Maybe there just wasn't enough demand with the $200 upcharge iirc? Go find out and let us know.

  23. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    >why r adultz so stoopid! y dont they just do this smart thing I came up wit????

    you need to be 18 or older to post here

  24. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    I can see a very hard steel detonating from firearm pressures.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Not all steel is the same, and what you said is not exactly how it works.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        So you'd propose a barrel made from Rex 121?

  25. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    This was posted last month

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Eventually you will figure out how many threads here are not generated.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        LLM data gathering for more efficient thread spamming and demoralization?

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          Why would you want to train your model on an irrelevant fringe board with a small userbase that has no significant influence on forming public opinion?

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            why does the interracial porn spam stop whenever there's a major attack on israel?

            • 1 month ago
              Anonymous

              Because neckbeard trolls have new spamtopics in that case?

            • 1 month ago
              Anonymous

              It doesn't, you're just too busy looking at war news to pay attention to your favorite jerk off material threads.

  26. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    if it ain't broke, changing anything the production line/pipeline isn't worth the cost.
    legitimately your only hope for anything novel for anything other than boutique prices for a novelty is kel-tec, and hoping it percolates through the industry.

  27. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Inconel barrels when?

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      for consumer rifle barrels? probably never. we don't even use the best steels, because cheaper steels are good enough.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Where inconel (or other Ni/Co based alloys) would really shine is high temperature applications like machine guns so unless we can get the Hughes Amendment overturned there is no good rationale.

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