Originally Posted by 7mmstwuser
I'm trying to make a price list for a custom gun and what I would need and was wondering what are the differences between Chrome-moly and stainless. Weight? Finish? Quality? The only time I've ever heard of Chrome-moly is someone was building a race car and opted to go with it instead of steel and the only reason he told me was is was a little lighter.
How much lighter? Would I be able to tell the difference and does it make any difference in accuracy? Looking into barrels and actions. Any input is appreciated.
There is not significant difference in the cost between a CM barrel and the same barrel made of stainless, the CM will be slightly less costly, but not enough to make it important in my opinion.
Stainless has less concern as far as corrosion goes if left unfinished. Most of the rifles I build have stainless barrels as then I do not need to blue, parkerize or coat them to prevent rusting. Stainless is not impervious to corrosion as some would think, just less suseptable.
The difference in cost can be offset by the need to have a CM barrel finished in some form of rust preventative, like blueing or coating.
Stainless is very slightly heavier than CM, but not noticeably, so no real difference there.
There are 2 distinct camps on whether 1 is better than the other for life expectancy and accuracy. I really don't think there is any documentable proof either way. Alot more boils down to the manner of rifling and overall quality of the barrel itself.
I use stainless mostly because I like the way it tools, it seems to give me better results in the rifles I build. And the fact that I don't have to blue it, which is a process I detest. Other gunmakers may find CM works better for them.
CM tends to be easier to heat treat reliably, which is why so many manufacturers took so long to jump onto the stainless action wagon.
I have had less failures with CM actions than stainless due to galling.
Possibly it has to do with experience of the heat treater, CM is old school for most, SS is a bit newer in the gun market and the stresses of firearms are different than most industrial uses.