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Posted By: Drew Hause Winchester Shotgun Barrel Steels - 01/02/20 09:45 PM
Have been working on barrel steel composition for a long time, and thought I'd post the information I have so far. Other opinions are of course valued.

Winchester Standard Ordnance Steel used on the Repeating Shotgun Model of 1893 and (initially) the Model of 1897 was very likely “cold rolled” Bessemer/Decarbonized steel with an ultimate tensile strength of about 60,000 and yield strength of about 40,000.

1902 "rolled steel barrel"

1909 Sporting Life Winchester 1897 ad with "Winchester Rolled Steel"

Winchester Nickel Steel was introduced for the Model 1894 rifle about 1896; with a reported ultimate tensile strength of 100,000 - 107,000 psi with an elastic limit of 81,000 psi.
Ordnance steel was initially used on the Model 12, then Nickel Steel until 1926 when it was discontinued, reportedly for corrosion and barrel failures, and was replaced by an unknown composition “Winchester Stainless Steel” with a “Japanned” (black lacquer) finish. - ?Krupp Chrome Nickel?

Winchester “Gun Barrel Nickel Steel” for rifles was surely different that the nickel steel used in shotguns
“Report of Heat Treatment of Barrel Steel Rolling”, 1902
From Bethlehem Steel Co.
Carbon - .50%
Manganese - .77%
Phosphorus - .026%
Sulphur - .037%
Nickel - 4.0%
Chromium <.01%
Molybdenum <.01%
Tensile Strength - 107,000 psi

Midvale Steel Company c.1900 Nickel Steel
Carbon - .59%
Manganese - .765%
Phosphorus - .027%
Sulphur - .03%
Nickel - 1.57%
Chromium - .065%

I have found no composition report for shotgun barrel Winchester Nickel Steel, but it was likely AISI 2330 with a nickel content of 3.25-3.75%, carbon content of about .30%, and ultimate tensile strength of about 110,000 psi.
AISI 2317 has a carbon content of about .20% with a tensile strength of only about 60,000 psi.

Winchester Proof Steel (AISI 4140 or possibly AISI 4340) was introduced in 1931 for the Model 21 and in 1932 for the Model 12; with a reported ultimate tensile strength of 115,000 - 120,000 psi and an elastic limit of 105,000 psi.

Edwin Pugsley in a letter to F.W. Olin April 11, 1932 stated:
Both (Model 21) frames were heat treated, then one was case hardened and the other blued. The case hardened frame had a tensile strength of 94,200 psi, an elastic limit of 85,400 psi, and elongation of 2%. The blued frame had a tensile strength of 174,600 psi, an elastic limit of 160,950 psi, (and) an elongation of 12%.

An undated document, presumed to be from the 1930s in The Winchester Model 52: Perfection in Design by Herb Houze on p. 92 states that barrels used in Winchester rifles and shotguns have a tensile strength of 129,150 psi and elastic limit of 112,500 psi, but there was no mention of the steel composition.

Winchester catalogs in the 70s state Proof Steel was “cold forged Chrome Molybdenum”.

Winchester's Finest The Model 21 by Ned Schwing states Chrome Molybdenum alloy.

Other sources state “nickel-chrome-moly alloy steel”.

Summary of “cold rolled” barrel steel tensile strengths.
All can be heat treated for different applications (rifle receivers) to much higher strength, and yield strength matters also.
AISI 1005: 40,000 psi
Twist and Crolle Damascus: about 55,000 psi
Winchester Standard Ordnance and other "cold rolled" Bessemer/Decarbonized steels and AISI 1020: 60,000 psi
c. 1900 “Fluid Steel” (Siemens-Martin & Krupp Open Hearth Steel AISI 1021-1034): 75,000 – 85,000 psi
AISI 1140: 85,000
Krupp Fluss Stahl (Homogeneous Fluid Steel) was introduced about 1890 and by reported composition was similar to AISI 1045: 85,000 psi.
AISI 1040 (and modified), Bohler “Blitz”, 4140 Chrome Moly (not used until after 1930s): 95,000 – 100,000 psi
Winchester Nickel Steel and Marlin “Special Smokeless Steel”: 100,000 – 105,000 psi

When discussing the use of Nickel or Proof Steel with steel loads, it is helpful to compare the hardness of the historic and modern shotgun barrel steels:

Rockwell B Hardness…..Brinell Hardness
(All numbers for non-heat treated cold rolled steel)
Grey Cast Iron – 63……………100
Wrought Iron – 65……………..105
AISI 1012…………….…..……...105 (likely similar to damascus barrels)
AISI 1020 – 68……..…………...121 (the usual pre-WWI barrel)
AISI 1030 – 80………..………...149 (commonly found post-WWI +/- low alloy)
AISI 8620 Ni/Cr/Mo – 80…..149 (used for modern doubles' frames)
AISI 2330 Ni – 86…..….……….167 (Ni = 3.25-3.75%; C = .28-.33%)
AISI 2340 Ni – 92…..….……….194 (C= .38-.43%)
AISI 1040 – 93………...……….. 197
AISI 4140 Cr/Mo – 93…….....197
AISI 4340 Cr/Mo/Ni – 96…...217

Steel shot is about 95 Vickers DPH = 52 Rockwell B = 85.5 Brinell. Hevi-shot is harder. 5% antimony lead is only 9.5 Brinell; 3% 7.76. NICE shot about 15 Brinell.

Current manufacturers do not reveal the composition of their steel load compatible barrels. The Beretta website states that “Steelium/Excelsior HSA Steel (is) proprietary tri-ally steel (Ni/CR/MO)”

Carlson's is willing to disclose the composition of their Benelli Nova and Remington 870 replacement barrels and they are AISI 4140. Their barrels in the past were made by Verney-Carron SA, but the website does not now state the maker.

When the Benelli M1 Super 90 was introduced the barrels were advertised as 4140.

SO barrel steel composition is only one factor is steel shot compatibility; the others being the design and engineering (wall thickness, profile, and esp. choke constriction), fabrication, and proof testing thereof; and the modern thick plastic wads.
Despite the anecdotal testimonies, I have found no statement that Winchester Nickel Steel may safely be used with steel loads.

With the appropriate choke constriction, it would seem reasonable that 4340 Winchester Proof Steel CAN be used with steel loads.

Possibly we could skip the "steel sucks" verbiage - that's not the topic of the thread.

FWIW- Drewbie- I have been shooting steel shot in the 2 older M12's I have been shooting for over 40 years, to wit: (1) M12 12 gauge Tournament grade 30" solid rib barrel, full choke, WPS- mfg. 1937- (2) M12 Heavy Duck 12 3" Mag ( I usually shoot 2&3/4" Federal or Kent steel in this M12 heavy-weight-30" full solid rib mfg. 1949-- No signs of any bulging at the muzzles of either of these "Perfect Repeaters" plus thousands of light 1&1/8 oz. AA Trap loads in these M12's in the off seasons for crows, pigeons, etc. Given proper care, I seriously doubt you could ever "wear out" a M12-- The late Ernest Hemingway apparently thought otherwise, in his last years he sold his 1928 mfg. 30" full solid rib field grade M12--I'd love to have it just as it was when he decided to sell it- big mistake, IMO.. But at least he didn't kill himself with that shotgun, he used a 12 bore double gun..
Posted By: Drew Hause Re: Winchester Shotgun Barrel Steels - 01/03/20 01:23 PM
With all the Winchester and Model 12 research, it is odd that there is still confusion (on the internet anyway) regarding the use of nickel steel for only the M12 barrels.

This is the first Model 12 ad I could find in Sporting Life; August 23, 1912 "nickel steel for all its metal parts."

October 19, 1912 ad similar - "all metal parts throughout being made of nickel steel"
The same ad was in the Oct. 19 Forest & Stream, and was the first Model 12 ad I found

November 8, 1913 16g "nickel steel construction throughout" and "twice as much tensile strength as ordinary steel"
That would fit AISI 2330

January 31, 1914 12g

Possibly Researcher has an early Model 12 listing Ordnance Steel barrels, but all the ads in Sporting Life list nickel steel
Posted By: Drew Hause Re: Winchester Shotgun Barrel Steels - 01/03/20 02:08 PM
So if someone would like to send me a chunk of Winchester Nickel or Proof Steel I'll run the sample over to METL wink
It only takes 1" for composition analysis; 3" for tensile testing.
Posted By: L. Brown Re: Winchester Shotgun Barrel Steels - 01/03/20 03:07 PM
I owned a Remington 1889 hammergun that had decarbonized steel barrels.
Posted By: 2-piper Re: Winchester Shotgun Barrel Steels - 01/05/20 01:13 AM
I believe that Nickel Steel barrels appeared on the 1894 Winchester in 1895 with the .30WCF chambering & also the .25-35 before the year was out. Winchester introduced the 1894 initially only in .38-55 & .32-40 because they had to wait on suitable barrel steel for the Smokeless .30WCF (AKA .30-30)
Posted By: Drew Hause Re: Winchester Shotgun Barrel Steels - 01/06/20 06:51 PM
1928 Pigeon trap with stainless steel barrel

In the 1920s, stainless steel was referred to as “18/8” to indicate the percentage of chromium and nickel; now referred to as Type 304 and with a maximum of .08% carbon. Still no data about the Winchester stainless.
The industrial standard ultimate tensile strength is 73,200 psi/yield 31,200 psi. Rockwell B hardness is 70/ Brinell 123.

Lots of images of M12s with stainless barrels, but I have yet to find an early M12 with Standard Ordnance Steel
Posted By: 2-piper Re: Winchester Shotgun Barrel Steels - 01/06/20 08:43 PM
You can touch a magnet to it & if it sticks it's not a 300 series stainless. Most stainless used in the manufacture of firearms has traditionally been a 400 series, which are magnetic.

Some 300 series stainless is notorious for "Work-
Hardening" but are not typically Heat-Treatable as such & would be an extremely poor choice for a barrel in my opinion. If you let a drill bit make a couple of revolutions without cutting, as in stopping to clear chips, it likely will not begin cutting again when you go back. Yep, I've cut hundreds of pounds of the stuff, wore that T-Shirt.

I believe the Winchester Nickel Steel was simply an alloy steel, not classified as a Stainless, but do not know its exact annalysis.
Posted By: Drew Hause Re: Winchester Shotgun Barrel Steels - 01/09/20 06:20 PM
The plot thickens. No idea as to the source of Bro. Landis' information

Twenty-Two Caliber Varmint Rifles by Charles Landis
The original Winchester Model 21 double barrel shotguns of 12 gauge were made with frames and barrels of 3% nickel steel. Those 3% nickel steel Winchesters were very good, remarkable strong...but wore out machine tools. So along came Winchester Proof Steel, which was just as tough and probably as strong but not as hard...

He is mistaken regarding the hardness of Chrome Moly steel.

AISI 2330 Nickel is 3.25-3.75% with .30% carbon

A post by Mike Hunter in 2015
Winchester’s Nickle Steel had 3 1/2 % nickel and .30%-.40% carbon. I know that Winchester sourced this steel from the Midvale and Crucible Steel Companies.
He states that Proof Steel was 4140.
Posted By: Drew Hause Re: Winchester Shotgun Barrel Steels - 01/09/20 06:29 PM
So in summary:
Winchester Standard Ordnance Steel was “cold rolled” Decarbonized steel.
Winchester (shotgun barrel) Nickel Steel was likely AISI 2330. It is possibly that the Model 12s internal components were a higher carbon nickel steel.
Winchester Stainless Steel was probably Type 304 “18/8”
Winchester Proof Steel was likely AISI 4140

Send me a chunk of any of the above, and we'll know for sure wink
Posted By: 2-piper Re: Winchester Shotgun Barrel Steels - 01/12/20 12:57 AM
I Sure hope someone has a chunk of Win Stainless to send you. I have "EXTREME doubt it will prove to be a 300 series stainless, which of course includes 18-8. Here is a link to a good treatise on 18-8 SST.
Posted By: Drew Hause Re: Winchester Shotgun Barrel Steels - 01/12/20 01:29 PM
As said, despite all the print and internet verbiage, I've found no documentation or someone willing to guess the composition of Winchester Stainless Steel.
The options:
Krupp's austentic stainless developed about 1912 with .04% carbon, 16.5-18% Cr, 10-13% Ni. 316 also has 2-2.5% Mo
Haynes' 1919 patent martensitic 420 with 12-14% Cr and C < .15%. It is very hard at Brinell 241 - much harder that 4340 at 217.
Hatfield's "18/8" was patented in 1924.

Possibly contributors could step up and suggest what the steel WAS rather than what it was NOT? What other options were there in 1926 when Winchester Stainless Steel was introduced?
Posted By: SKB Re: Winchester Shotgun Barrel Steels - 01/12/20 01:33 PM
You may want to contact Mike Hunter who is a board member and a Winchester restoration expert. I believe Mike has had some actions analyzed for steel composition and he may well have some information on barrel composition. Mike is a very stringent researcher and an excellent craftsman as well.
Posted By: Drew Hause Re: Winchester Shotgun Barrel Steels - 01/12/20 01:37 PM
Thanks Steve. I sent him an email with a link to this thread.
Here's a post by Mike in 2015
"Winchester’s Nickle Steel had 3 1/2 % nickel and .30%-.40% carbon. I know that Winchester sourced this steel from the Midvale and Crucible Steel Companies."
He states that Proof Steel was 4140. No mention of Stainless.
Posted By: Drew Hause Re: Winchester Shotgun Barrel Steels - 01/13/20 11:09 PM
NOT a fine double, but for the few still interested, the Winchester Model 37 barrel was marked "Steelbilt". According to Ron Stadt's Winchester Shotguns and Shotshells the Model 37 series was identified as "Steelbilt" simply because "This new Winchester is made with steel in all metal parts...." by deep draw steel forming. As opposed to a malleable iron frame? Ah marketing wink

I have not found any statements as to the composition of the barrel steel.

A 1937 ad
Posted By: keith Re: Winchester Shotgun Barrel Steels - 01/13/20 11:56 PM
Originally Posted By: Drew Hause

Possibly contributors could step up and suggest what the steel WAS rather than what it was NOT? What other options were there in 1926 when Winchester Stainless Steel was introduced?

I'm actually more interested in which Winchester DOUBLE BARREL shotguns ever had stainless steel barrels? I have never seen a Model 21 or Model 24 with stainless steel barrels. Were any ever made?

I can't understand why Miller's comment pertaining to the near certainty that 304 stainless was not used presents a problem. There has been a lot of sheer conjecture and guessing about barrel composition in this thread, and the other threads about Marlin or Remington barrel steels.

For example, the frequent reference to Bessemer steels covers a vast amount of ground. First off, it is pretty unlikely that any of our American gunmakers utilized barrel steel from actual steel mills in England that were operated by Henry Bessemer. The majority would most likely have been used in England.

Most of what is referred to as "Bessemer Steel" is steel that was produced under license by dozens of mills that paid for the rights to use the Bessemer Converter Process to make steel. Early Bessemer process steel was often junk, and Henry Bessemer was forced to pay back a lot of money to mills that weren't able to produce a quality product using his patented methods. Bessemer himself tried thousands of different recipes and methods to try to perfect his steel, without much success. And it was Robert Forester Mushet who also tried thousands of different experiments who finally perfected the Bessemer process, but ended up relatively poor after losing the patent rights.

And there have been literally hundreds of thousands of heats produced over the years that would have a wide range of metallurgical compositions. Bessemer Converters were fast, but did not permit nearly as much time for testing as later processes such as the Open Hearth. Metallurgical testing also was not nearly as precise, cheap, and easy as it is today either. Nowadays, the composition of a heat from an electric arc furnace is even modified or adjusted after it is removed from the furnace, by LMF refining. Even the equipment used to CNC mill test samples for exact precise cross sectional area for tensile strength testing was not available 100 years ago. There has been much discussion about the steel that was used in the hull of the Titanic that caused the iceberg to break it instead of merely bending and deflecting. When you, or a ship-maker, or a gun manufacturer buys steel from a supplier, you don't necessarily get exactly what you order. This is one reason that European gun makers are required under law to do Proof Testing of finished and semi-finished barrels. This was even tougher back when hundreds of mills were competing using slightly different processes, equipment, and alloy mixtures. Minor differences such as a different type of coal used to make coke could change the impurities content and analysis of the steel. And this is why Whitworth steel barrels got such a good reputation... because they exclusively used their own product made by their own people.

I'm sure Miller could attest to the fact that two or more samples of the supposedly same steel could have a range of percentages of ingredients, and a range of properties. I'm certain he could verify that different batches of steel, say 4140 for example, can and do have slightly different hardness and machining qualities when it comes to cutting, milling, drilling, and threading. Variations can occur later during rolling, annealing, etc. Because of this, a single sample of steel taken from a barrel of a 1930's Model 12 may not tell us much at all about the steel used in millions of other Winchesters made over decades of production.

It's a fascinating subject going back to a time when steel was more valuable than gold, but I'm afraid that generalizations based upon analysis of a few samples of barrel steel are never going to be definitive.
Posted By: Drew Hause Re: Winchester Shotgun Barrel Steels - 01/14/20 01:05 PM
The AISI/SAE standards and nomenclature were not developed until the 30s and 40s; long after these barrel steels were manufactured. This is a helpful summary
The standards provide a range within which the AISI number may be assigned.
AISI 1040 can have carbon .37-.44% and manganese .60-.90%
That allows for variations in steel batches.
The metallurgists at METL labeled MOST of the samples I submitted as "non-standard" ie. one chemical was out-of-range or the composition just did not fit. METL’s analysis of a 1898 Hunter Arms Armor sample: “The measured results are comparable to 1211 rephosphorized and resulfurized low alloy steel (UNS G12110) as well as 1045 plain carbon steel (UNS G10450).”
Said another way is 1045 with too much phosphorus and sulfur, which make machining easier but lowers ductility and impact resistance; and other stuff

A 1908 Hunter Arms Armor is non-standard AISI 1018 with slightly high phosphorus and sulphur, and a low concentration of nickel.

A c. 1925 Crescent Fire Arms “Genuine Armory Steel” non-standard (high phosphorus) Alloy AISI 1040 Carbon Steel with a low concentration of nickel.

Bottom line: We can KNOW what some barrel steels were because the makers said so, or because samples have been analyzed. It is not unreasonable to then assign AISI numbers for comparison, and because this happens to be of interest. And AISI 1020 steel made in 1900 is AISI steel made in 2020.

I think Dave Suponski's analysis of Parker steels is most interesting.
Titanic, post-WWI Vulcan, and Trojan were essentially the same; AISI 1030 and 1035 Medium Carbon steels. Titanic did have low levels of both nickel and chromium compared to the others, but it would not be an “alloy steel”. "Parker Steel" turned out (surprise) to be Decarbonized Steel, as was "Remington Steel", according to Remington.
More on Bessemer process/Decarbonized Steel to follow.

SO (again) other opinions as to what Winchester Nickel Steel and Stainless Steel were are most welcome.
I think Mike Hunters statement regarding the composition of Nickel Steel (probably 2330) and Proof Steel (4140) are definitive. I've not yet heard back from him.

And I at least have learned something from this exercise.
I'd also like to understand why "the near certainty that 304 stainless was not used" is nearly certain? What were the other stainless steel options c. 1926?
Krupp's austentic stainless developed about 1912 with .04% carbon, 16.5-18% Cr, 10-13% Ni?
Krupp “Nirosta” 1912 patent NIchtROstender STAhl 21% Chromium / 7% Nickel stainless steel introduced in 1913?
Bohler “Antinit” Rostfrei Laufstahl chrome-molybdenum-vanadium introduced 1912?
Haynes' 1919 patent martensitic 420?

Posted By: keith Re: Winchester Shotgun Barrel Steels - 01/14/20 10:48 PM
Originally Posted By: Drew Hause

And I at least have learned something from this exercise.
I'd also like to understand why "the near certainty that 304 stainless was not used" is nearly certain?

Geez Drew, you don't have to act so butt-hurt about the comments Miller and I posted here in your latest copy-and-paste "research".

Miller explained the very good reasons he felt that 304 stainless would not have been used for producing gun barrels... from the standpoint of a guy who spent a lifetime as a Machinist, cutting, drilling, threading, tapping, and milling various grades of steel and other metals. If you have something from your own work as either a Machinist or Metallurgist to counter that, please let us know.

You sure seem very sensitive and thin-skinned when anyone comments on any errors you make... and you do make a lot. For instance, you stated above that Parker Titanic Steel would not be an "alloy steel". But strictly speaking, every steel is an alloy.

My own research into steels isn't meant to either discredit you, or to prop myself up as some self-styled Double Gun Barrel Expert. I worked in a large integrated steel mill for a time after college. I thought I was unfortunate that due to my lack of seniority, I frequently got "bumped" to every department in the mill, and sometimes even got "bumped" from my electrician apprentice job, and had to work various production jobs. But looking back, I was lucky. Unlike most people who work in steel mills, I got to see every part of the operation from loading iron ore, coke, and limestone into Blast Furnaces, to converting iron to steel by various processes, to blooming, to hot and cold rolling, to pickling, annealing, finishing and shipping. Analysis was done at every step, and met lab analysis followed the product from melting right to the customer. I vividly remember poking a long fire retardant cardboard tube down into molten steel in a 260 ton electric furnace to get a sample to send to the met lab for analysis. I thought my face was going to melt as the Melter yelled at me to get the tube down deeper into the molten steel. The sample was sent over 1/3 of a mile to the met lab, in a tube that was a much longer version of what is used to send your deposit at a drive-through bank. Analysis was done, and the met lab called the Melter to instruct him to add more nickel, etc. and to blow oxygen for a given time to burn off excess carbon. So then I was privileged to poke a long oxygen lance into the molten bath as oxygen was blown in. This was not the most fun thing I have ever done, and it never gets to be mundane or routine. The noise, fire, sparks, and smoke are like being in the middle of a fireworks display. You wear "Woolies"... thick wool pants and coat while you do this work. The idea is that wool smolders when molten steel is splashed onto it, rather than burning straight through. While I was there, we had five guys killed in one year. Steel mills are hot, dirty, and dangerous... except in the winter when you can add brutally cold to the mix. The first time I got a "welders flash" wasn't from welding. It was from intently watching iron being tapped fresh from two large blast furnaces all day long. I quickly learned why the Melters and Furnace Operators all wore those little blue UV filter glasses over their safety glasses. I spent three cold winter months working in the Blast Furnace dept. It was common to have your sweaty clothing turn stiff when it froze between heats. There are no walls on the cast house. Several times that winter, I had someone come over and slap me on the back because I was on fire and didn't know it. No pictures of a Blast Furnace can do it justice. One night, I was told to go to the pouring platform at the Electric Furnace and stand behind a large I-beam column in case I was needed. They were pouring cap heats, a process to de-gas the molten steel, and I was told that sometimes they blew up, and if someone got f**ked up, I was to take their place. My early steel experience was up close and personal, not copy-and-paste.

Then, a couple years ago, I decided to revisit some old deer hunting spots because the places I was hunting were becoming unproductive. I remembered that I had killed my first buck with a flintlock off the top of an old stone furnace I literally stumbled into in the early morning darkness. I managed to climb on top of the 30 foot high ruins, and shot my buck later that morning. When I told a friend who hunted there in the past, he informed me that the furnace was an old brick oven, according to locals. Here's a pic of Webster Furnace where I shot my first buck with a flintlock.

As I looked at this area again to see if I could determine whether it was still open to hunting, I learned that the furnace was actually an old cut stone cold blast furnace that was built in 1837-38. The water wheel that drove the bellows, and the wooden casting shed, and all other buildings and structures were long gone. These furnaces typically ran until all the wood for miles around was cut down and consumed after being converted to charcoal. Trying to learn the history of this furnace led me down a long rathole of the history of early iron making in my state, and the U.S. Then I looked back earlier to Europe, India, and other places where iron ore was smelted. I also learned that much of the early terminology has carried over to the present day, and that the basic chemistry is much the same as when steel was first produced in very small quantities and was more valuable than gold.

This took me down the path of learning much more about cold blast furnaces, early hot blast furnaces, and many of the various processes and furnaces for conversion of iron to steel, including the Bessemer Process. Cursory study will show that trying to lump all Bessemer and Bessemer Process steels into one neat little box is just silly. The range of characteristics and quality is huge. A couple samples sent to a met lab will not tell the story. Ten thousand samples might be a good place to start.

I'm not going to copy-and-paste all of that here though, to try to prop myself up as some expert. As much as I've learned and seen and experienced, I am nowhere near an expert, and neither are you... not even close. And I could tell you that if you can't take a little criticism, you wouldn't last two days in a mill where they make steel.
Posted By: Drew Hause Re: Winchester Shotgun Barrel Steels - 01/15/20 12:51 AM
The topic of the thread is Winchester Shotgun Barrel Steels William. The thread is factual and well researched, with obvious gaps in our knowledge; knowledge unrelated to having worked in a steel mill.
So do you have an opinion as to the composition of Winchester Nickel Steel? Winchester Stainless Steel? The Stainless Steels available in 1926? Or is this of no interest to you?
BTW: Researcher has documented that the $750 Remington Special Hammerless Model of 1894 was offered with barrels of Nickel Steel. Interested now?
Posted By: keith Re: Winchester Shotgun Barrel Steels - 01/15/20 01:43 AM
Originally Posted By: Drew Hause

So do you have an opinion as to the composition of Winchester Nickel Steel? Winchester Stainless Steel? The Stainless Steels available in 1926? Or is this of no interest to you?
BTW: Researcher has documented that the $750 Remington Special Hammerless Model of 1894 was offered with barrels of Nickel Steel. Interested now?

So get some sample of Winchester guns that have barrels made of those steels, and send them out to have them analyzed. Then you will know the composition analysis of those particular barrels, and little more.

When steel mills make a new heat of steel to fill orders, they do not simply go from a known recipe because they have been making the same alloy for years. They test each and every heat because they know there are too many variables to simply rely on a test that was done at a different point in time. The likelihood of any two batches or heats being perfectly identical are virtually impossible.

Will reports of those compositions do us here any good anyway? Why, during your last barrel blow-up analysis, you first reported ferrous contamination in the area of the rupture, that later magically transformed into manganese sulfide inclusions, or vice versa. I'm still trying to figure that one out. I learned a lot from your pompous bloviating, but it wasn't anything about steel or the root cause of the rupture.

Go a step further and study the attributes of those various alloys for barrels, and you may learn why Winchester engineers specified those steels. And you may also learn why some of the guns with stainless barrels are quite rare and collectible to Winchester collectors... because they didn't sell very well.

And we're still waiting for info on those Winchester double shotguns that had stainless tubes.

Originally Posted By: Drew Hause
The topic of the thread is Winchester Shotgun Barrel Steels William.

You seem rather incensed that I have strayed off the topic of Winchester Shotgun Barrels Steels preacher. So that begs the question of why you brought Crescent steels, Hunter Arms, and Parker Titanic steels, Remington 870 and Benelli replacement barrels, and info from the Beretta website into your sacred Winchester ground??? Do you have a problem with your bro Larry Clown bringing a Remington hammergun into your precious thread? And what does a $750 Remington 1894 Special Hammerless have to do with Winchester Shotgun Barrel Steels anyway??? It appears that you aren't being truthful when you act upset about non-Winchester information here. No surprise there preacher.

BTW, I don't have a clue what you are trying to convey when you say Researcher "has documented that the $750 Remington Special Hammerless Model of 1894 was offered with barrels of Nickel Steel." Certainly, then as now, a correct nickel steel alloy would be somewhat stronger, more corrosion resistant, and more expensive than a plain low carbon steel barrel. What a revelation! Do you know the meaning of BFD?

I don't believe this is indicative that you have unearthed the Holy Grail or finally discovered a key to the Grand Unification Theory. I do believe that you have more self-importance than you have actual knowledge about steel though. And a fragile ego too... a very fragile ego. But with enough copy-and-pasting, you have managed to fool a number of people. Carry on Preacher.
Posted By: 2-piper Re: Winchester Shotgun Barrel Steels - 01/15/20 04:30 AM
On the periodic table of elements, Atomic number 26 has a chemical symbol of FE, the chemical name of Iron with an atomic weight of 55.845. Atomic number 6 has a chemical symbol of C, the chemical name of Carbon & an atomic weight of 12.011. Steel is not on the table, WHY, because it is not an Element. It is an alloy of Iron & Carbon. If we want to get "Technical" Iron contains NO carbon.

Most of the carbon contained in cast iron is not alloyed with the iron but is in a free state. IF you doubt this put a piece of it in a mill or on a lathe & do a bit of machining on it. You will find yourself very quickly covered with black sooty dust from all the free carbon being thrown off.

Steel can, & normally does, have more alloying ingredients than carbon alone, but the very act of alloying Iron with Carbon creates Steel. I have done no research into the actual creation of "Stainless Steel". I will say though I will have to have Absolute Definitive proof that any gun company was making stainless Steel barrels in 1926 for any type of firearm.

I have a .32-40 barrel from a model 1885 Win Hi-Wall plainly marked Nickel Steel Especially for Smokeless Powder. This steel was first used by WW in 1895 for barrel for the .30WCF (AKA .30-30) & later in the same year for the ..25-35 It is not "Stainless". Neither was the so-called Anti-Knit. An S&W early model 60, which was this company's first SST revolver or pistol, a 5 shot .38 Spl stainless version of the .38 Chief's Special has magnetic parts, Frame, Barrel & Cylinder. They are therefore NOT 18-8 nor any of the 300 series alloys. I may have seen, but if so do not recall, their exact alloy, but feel sure it is a 400 series which is both magnetic & contains enough carbon to be heat treatable. Their Cylinders have been stated as being heat-treated, which cannot be done with a 300 series stainless.

300 series stainless has a "Gummy" nature & any two parts rubbing together are a Total Disaster just waiting to happen. "Don't Ask Me How I Know".In machinist Lingo, they will "Gall", about like trying to rub two pieces of well-chewed bubble gum together.

It is my personal opinion, from some 35+ years experience of working with the stuff that 300 series SST has extremely limited usefulness in the manufacture of firearms. Feel free to prove me wrong if you like, but do it with "Cold Hard Facts". I do feel as if I have given enough basic facts to back up my opinion, they are not just based on Here-say.

PS; In the total scheme of things both 41xx & 44xx alloy steels are classified by the industry as "Low Alloy" steels.

Posted By: Drew Hause Re: Winchester Shotgun Barrel Steels - 01/15/20 12:29 PM
Thank you Miller.

And great news. I've got a chunk of Winchester Nickel Steel barrel coming. Will ask METL to do both composition analysis and tensile testing.
Mike Hunter is of course credible and this should confirm his statement that Nickel Steel was 3 1/2 % nickel and .30%-.40% carbon.
Posted By: keith Re: Winchester Shotgun Barrel Steels - 01/15/20 06:55 PM
Originally Posted By: Drew Hause

Mike Hunter is of course credible and this should confirm his statement that Nickel Steel was 3 1/2 % nickel and .30%-.40% carbon.

If you really consider him credible, then why do you feel the need to confirm his findings?

Should we consider you credible when you state that testing of one Hunter Arms barrel can tell us about many of them... after you also posted this... or are we to believe that "AISI 1045 Rephosphorized Resulfurized Carbon Steel and Non-standard AISI 1018 with high phosphorus and sulphur" are substantially the same animal?

Originally Posted By: Drew Hause
It could be relevant that 2 Hunter Arms Armor Steel barrels were shown to be Non-standard AISI 1045 Rephosphorized Resulfurized Carbon Steel and Non-standard AISI 1018 with high phosphorus and sulphur.

It would appear that you don't even read the copy-and-paste "research" that you post here, let alone comprehend it.

And why should we consider you credible after your last gun barrel burst analysis thread where ferrous contamination at the point of the rupture somehow changed into manganese sulfide inclusions, or vise versa? Do you recall this Preacher?

Originally Posted By: keith
Originally Posted By: Drew Hause

Loitz vs. Remington Arms. Use of AISI 1140 Modified (with manganese sulfide) for shotgun barrels

The Preacher seems to be rather hung up on barrel steel containing Manganese Sulfide for some odd reason lately.

In the Southern Barrel Burst thread, Manganese Sulfide was postulated to be a contaminant in the braze joint at the area of barrel failure. Of course, this new revelation came a full day after the quoted report from the Metallurgists at METL said the braze joint contamination was ferrous in nature. Hmmmmm?

Originally Posted By: Drew Hause
METL's summary as bold bullet points

[b]• The braze was extensively contaminated, particularly near the suspected initiation site.
The contamination in the braze was ferrous and appeared to be heavily oxidized.

"The braze was examined at high magnifications. The region where contamination was observed was consistent with ferrous, oxidized debris. The braze material was consistent with a copper-zinc braze filler. Substantial contamination was observed throughout the inner braze surface. Cross-sections from the good and bad braze areas were taken and showed substantial difference in compositions between the braze material and the contaminated regions."

Miraculously, the next day, we were treated to EDX Spectrographs of Manganese Sulfide contamination that was now suddenly alleged to be the contamination in the braze joint. Wow... that is a pretty unusual (and questionable or miraculous) case of migrating contamination! I can find no information or reference that tells us that Manganese Sulfide inclusions in steel can somehow leach out or migrate into a braze joint to cause contamination. Maybe I just didn't look hard enough???

Of course, this strange observation contained several possible explanations for the presence of the evil Manganese Sulfide... with his metallurgist allegedly saying, "This could have occurred during the brazing process (likely) and been exaggerated over time by successive heating cycles, moisture, etc via possible alloy segregation effects, electromigration and such phenomena." Hmmmm? So just how often do double shotgun barrels go through "successive heating cycles over time"??? And is this guy really saying that MOISTURE causes or exaggerates Manganese Sulfide contamination or migration? Damn... no wonder the Titanic sunk! They put it in water!!!

I'm reminded of the old saying: "if you can't dazzle them with brilliance... baffle them with bullshit."

Yet now, in the Loitz vs. Remington Arms lawsuit link above, Manganese Sulfide inclusions are not a contaminant, but an INGREDIENT in AISI 1140 Modified barrel steel which has free machining characteristics. Even after losing this lawsuit, Remington continued to use 1140 steel which still contained inclusions of the evil Manganese Sulfide.

Again, we should remember that steel is not a totally homogeneous product. It is not a pure element. It is a mixture of numerous ingredients, and some inclusions are impurities while others are there to alter its' characteristics for various applications such as forging, machining, hardening, etc.

Note that out of 94 other blown-up Model 1100 Remington barrels introduced as evidence in this lawsuit, 89 owners admitted to using reloads, and only 5 claimed to be using factory ammo. But we did not see any actual proof of that claim by the 5 owners who said they were using factory loads. Remington apparently proof tested their barrels with a substantially higher than normal pressure load (18,000-22,000 psi). It was the opinion of Remington experts that the burst which initiated this lawsuit was the result of a load generating about 60,000 psi breech pressure.

Another very interesting point is that there were two Metallurgists who reached vastly different conclusions in this trial, and that Remington employed their own staff of expert Metallurgists.

This should remind anyone with a brain that even trained Metallurgists can see very different things in the same piece of steel, and that they obviously are not infallible. When one expert Metallurgist says that a barrel blew up due to a 60,000 psi overload, and another expert Metallurgist says the same barrel blew up due to bad steel with an normal factory load, they can't both be right.

In this case, I guess you just pick whichever explanation fits your narrative!

It is also interesting to note that less than .003% of Remington 1100 shotgun barrels have burst out of roughly 3 million produced, and Remington did not make a defective product recall to replace "defective" barrels containing this evil Manganese Sulfide. Millions of shotgun barrels containing the evil Manganese Sulfide are still in use, and are not blowing up.

It probably doesn't mean anything that this lawsuit and the subsequent appeals that went against a major firearms manufacturer occurred in the anti-gun Democrat stronghold known as Illinois. Hmmmmmm?

Posted By: Drew Hause Re: Winchester Shotgun Barrel Steels - 01/22/20 09:12 PM
Gloria a Dios the 20g M12 Nickel Steel barrel arrived. It has what is almost certainly an obstructional burst centered about 6" from the muzzle. I'll work on some good images.
Should get a segment over to METL Friday morning for both composition and tensile strength testing.

BTW: The 1913 edition of “Halcomb Steel Co. Catalogue and Hints on Steel” is digitized

The first electric arc furnace was developed by Paul Héroult, of France, in 1900. Héroult came to the U.S. in 1905 and Halcomb installed the first electric arc furnace in the U.S. in 1906. Sanderson Brothers installed an arc furnace in 1907.
p.48 “In the operation of the Héroult Process we start with molten open hearth steel as our “raw” material. (the electric furnace) removes sulphur, gases, oxides and slag, and at the same time (we) adjust the composition with accuracy and precision.”
“The Héroult Process permits less variation in alloying constituents by other process and even the percentages of easily oxidizable metals like chromium and vanadium are controlled with great accuracy. Having produced steel thoroughly deoxidized, chemically of greatest purity, free from slag and segregation…”

p.53 “3 1/2% Nickel Steels” (Ni 3.25% - 3.75%)
.20% C with Elastic Limit (Yield Strength) of 57,500 psi and Maximum (Ultimate Tensile) Strength of 82,000 psi
.30% C with E.L. 63,000 psi and M.S. 93,500 psi
.40% C with E.L. 65,000 psi and M.S. 94,000 psi

p. 57 has a “Specifications for Automobile Steel” chart as recommended by the SAE. This was long before the AISI standardization numbering system, but the chart documents the recommended concentrations of manganese (.5-.8), phosphorus (<.04), sulfur (<.04) and the alloys.

Mike Hunter has looked into the Forum, and hopefully he will comment after the results are in.
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