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Chrome-moly vs. Stainless

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Unread 01-14-2008, 09:36 PM
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In my personal oppinion the RUM case is the fattest I would use ain a SS factory action , if I were gonna use a Lapua case I'l prefer the CM cause we all know that we're gonna push the pressure a bit. Unless I'm mistaken Kirby's preferance for his hotter mags is the CM action but don't quote me on that.

Another benifit is that their is little chance of the SS barrel getting "galled" in a CM action.

If its gonna be coated then theirs no reason to need a SS action
Si Vis Pacem Parabellum
Molon Labe
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Unread 01-15-2008, 12:20 AM
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Location: calgary alberta canada
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If planning to build a 338 Lapua or Edge I would certainly recommend going with a CM action, I have had some high end SS actions where the bolt lugs have been galled and been set back from pressure. CM is a harder and stronger material as J Jones points out. I would still favor a SS barrel for ease of cleaning and longevity.
Bead blasting the finish on both materials gives an excellent base for coatings to adhere to. On CM actions I parkerize the action 1st to get corrosion protection inside the action then Cerrocoat all the external metal parts to match the barrel I use Cerrocoat and it is very tough, comes in many colors and is easy to use. As long as there is ZERO residual oil in the metal it bonds to the metal very well.
Long Distance is BETTER than being there
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Unread 01-15-2008, 12:47 AM
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Location: Texas
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7 MM

Chrome moly is not lighter than steel but much stronger .

On race cars they use chrome moly to save weight by using thin
wall tubing made of chrome moly as apposed to heaver carbon steel
tubing with the same strength.

Throats appear to last longer on stainless barrels than chrome moly.

As to the cold weather issue regarding stainless I will have to investigate
all of these claims before I'm convinced there is a problem.

All actions are designed to withstand a required pound per square inch
and if you increse the bolt face diameter you increse the square inches
of surface .( The reason I like Weatherby MK 5 actions for bolt faces
larger than .534) because they are designed for the large case heads.

The last thing you want to do is exceed the 2 to 1 safety factor (50 % of
the design).

Just my 2 cents worth
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Unread 01-17-2008, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by James Jones View Post
Chrome-moly is stronger in both yield strength and hardness which is why its a better material to build high pressure action on like the 338 Lapua case on a Rem 700 action. The 400 (416) series SS commonly known as ordnance grade , is what barrels are made from , while its softer and has a little lower yield strength it allows for a better internal finish and is less affected by the high pressure corrosive/errosive effects that take place in the first few inches after the chamber so they are said to last longer before needing to be set back or replaced.
Now , if you are going to find yourself hunting is say the extreme artic climate where the high temps are well below zero you DON NOT want a stainless steel barrel as the SS will shrink more than the CM will and that will make for a tight bore situation , remember that .001" is a equlivlent to a mile in highend machining such as barrel bores.

all the 400 series Stainless Steels can be heat treaded to increase its strength and hardness but you have to keep it soft enough to be tough so that it doesen't fracture. Stainless machines very nice because its soft and it doesen't work harden nearly as fast so it you get a tool that rubs a bit you won't end up with a hard spot.

Idealy if you could make a barrel out of 718 Inconel you would be set as its the best material for high heat high corosion application but the cost is off the chart just a baller blank before amching would cost you $500+ and having sombody machine it for you would likely cost 5x's that due to its poor machinability. a few barrel makers have tinkered with differant materials , Blackstar had their barrel made from 17-4 Stainless which is very strong tough and corosion resistant but its also alot harder to machine and material cost is more , Lothar Walther uses a steel that they have a patten on that is very similer to 17-4. barrel makers have tried to find differant materials differant grades and so on and they keep comming back to 416

So aside for all the technical BS above look at what the guys that shoot for a living are using , the vast majority are using SS as it last longer. Accuracy wise I'd be willing to bet alot that you can't find a CM barrels that shoot as well as SS barrels , they just won't do it for as long.
Now, I know whey I like my 17-4 precipitation hardened SS actions. I chose that action because it was made out of the same material we use in Nuclear Reactor coolant pump bearings that are designed to last the life (many years) of the core. And, one of the reasons the Navy chose that material was because of it's resistance to become neutron embrittled. Anyway, large aircraft landing gear is made out of the same material.

Finally, the benchrest game switched to stainless steel barrels because they were cheaper in the long run when one considers chambering fees and barrel life over say 20,000 of shooting.

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Unread 03-02-2008, 09:41 AM
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Chrome-moly Vs. Stainless


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Barrel steels (Bart Bobbitt; Ed Harris; Rock McMillan; Gale McMillan)
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Unread 03-02-2008, 09:53 AM
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Chrome-moly Vs. Stainless

09-20-2006, 04:00 PM
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The c.m. barrels shoot just as well. We don't see a difference in accuracy. I haven't shot one as a short range bench gun. But have used them on service rifles and an f-class rifles and don't see any difference in accuracy. We lean towards them lasting longer because they seem to be more abrasion resistant than the s.s. the hardness of the material being approx. the same. They do seem to machine a little harder/more finesse needed with the chamber reamer etc... but nothing out of the ordinary. Start with your same speeds and feeds like you would with s.s. The chrome moly might take a little bit longer to break in (throat area of the chamber is about all you really break in) again because they seem to more abrasion resistant.
The c.m. seems to have more affinity for the copper or it seems like you can see the copper easier. I compare it to like taking white chalk and writing on a black board and taking the same chalk and writing on the side walk. The copper seems to stand out more in a c.m. barrel than a s.s. that's all I'm trying to say here.
When I started shooting hi-power rifle I heard you have to get a s.s. barrel because they last about a 1000rds. longer than a c.m. barrel. No truth to it. Back when we we're at Krieger we made a couple of dozen service rifle barrels in c.m. (for ar15 service rifles) for Lackland Airforce Base. One of the armorers (don't know if I spelled that right) called me up and asked how long should these barrels last? I asked him if there was a problem? He said no. All of them had just shy of 10,000rds on them and we're all still shooting very well. I told him I would get more barrels in the works and that they wouldn't last to much longer.
Just talked to a customer last week shooting one of our barrels on a ar15 match rifle. The barrel is in s.s. and has 9400rds. on it and it shoots as good as his Krieger which has 3500rds. on it.
From what I've learned especially for a service rifle where you have a flashhider and in cases like with a M14/M1A where you have to enter the cleaning rod from the muzzle end the c.m. barrels seem to stand up to cleaning better than the s.s. (damage to the crown end of the barrel). I would lean towards having a c.m. barrel on my service rifle than a s.s.

I'm not comparing hi-power rifle accuracy to benchrest accuracy here. The requirment that a benchrest shooter wants to see is different from a hipower shooter. I'm just trying to give you feed back on things that I've seen and have learned overtime.
The major down side to a c.m. barrel for most people is it requires more maintence than a s.s. barrel. Getting it blued or parkerized (some type of finish on it because it will rust easier than s.s.). S.S. can still pit/get corrosion on it/to it so you should still take care of it but it is more resistant than the c.m.

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Unread 06-07-2008, 07:33 PM
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CM is stronger, harder, weares better, but

Originally Posted by diderr View Post
stainless steel is stronger, has a longer barrel life, corrosive resistant. It may have a better harmonics too.

it's not corrosion resistant, but neither is 416 SS that's commonly used in making barrels. The harmonics has to be delt with in any barrel individually, CM or SS.

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