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Posted By: ed good american made fluid steel barrels - 02/07/21 02:29 PM
trojan, vulcan, special, titanic, etc...

are they really different formulations or are they pretty much all the same material, fabricated from the same bar stock?
Posted By: ed good Re: parker barrel fluid steels - 02/07/21 02:39 PM
same question re lc smith and their various brands of fluid steel barrels...
Posted By: Run With The Fox Re: parker barrel fluid steels - 02/07/21 10:07 PM
Tell you what, Eddie- I'll betcha some RST 12 gauge hulls that if you were to spark test the Trojan, Vulcan, Titanic, Acme and Peerless barrels from Parkers over the years up to, let's just say 1934 and the move from Meriden to Ilion N.Y. you'd find them to be identical in composition-my guess 1120-FWIW Foxie
Posted By: eightbore Re: parker barrel fluid steels - 02/07/21 11:00 PM
This has been discussed, researched, and studied over on the PGCA website with some interesting results. As I recall, there are some differences in different steel markings, but not anything that would make one good and the other bad.
Posted By: Nudge Re: parker barrel fluid steels - 02/08/21 02:17 AM
There were clearly several different competing formulas around pre-WW1. But my running thesis is that basically U.S. makers, after licensing from Krupp, basically just altered it a bit and ran with it...unattributed. Spoils of war.

No tears for Krupp, though. Now...Paul Mauser...cry away.

Posted By: Drew Hause Re: parker barrel fluid steels - 02/08/21 12:01 PM
It has been well established that the vast majority of fluid steel 'rough forged tubes' used by U.S. double gun makers were sourced in Belgium
Winchester contracted with domestic steel makers, including Bethlehem Steel Co., and Remington (and likely J. Stevens) did produce their own decarbonized and fluid steel barrels.

Testimony by M.C. Mason of Hopkins & Allen stating that J. Stevens Arms & Tool Co. manufactured barrels domestically

In American Rifleman Nov. 1937, A.P Curtis stated in “Making Double Shotgun Barrels” that the American Gun Barrel Company of New Haven, Conn. made barrels for the U.S. market 1914-1921, but it could not compete with the duty free importation of tubes after Belgium recovered from WWI.

The cut and paste research is all here

And the composition analysis of fluid steel barrels, including Dave Suponski's and other's Parker studies is here

1. Unknown date of manufacture Pieper Eclipse, likely Cockerill fluid steel - Non-standard AISI 1030 carbon steel with high manganese & phosphorus.
2. 1898 Hunter Arms “Armor Steel” - Non-standard AISI 1045 carbon steel with high phosphorus and sulfur.
3. 1908 Hunter Arms “Armor Steel” - Non-standard AISI 1018 carbon steel with slightly high phosphorus & sulphur, and a low concentration of nickel.
4. c. 1900 Crescent “Wilson’s Welded Steel” - Non-standard Bessemer (high phosphorus) AISI 1017 low alloy low carbon steel.
5. c. 1910 Meriden Fire Arms “Armory Steel” - Non-standard Bessemer (high phosphorus) AISI 1211/1016 low alloy low carbon steel.
6. A pre - WWI Parker “Titanic” barrel (courtesy of Dave Suponski) - AISI 1030 with low concentrations of nickel and chromium.
7. A pre - WWI Parker “Trojan” barrel (courtesy of Dave Suponski) - AISI 1035.
8. A pre - WWI Parker “Vulcan” (courtesy of Ron Graham) - AISI 1015.
9. A c. 1912 Lefever Arms Co. DS “Dura Nitro Steel” - AISI 1035
10. A post-WWI Parker “Vulcan” barrel (courtesy of Dave Suponski) was AISI 1030.
11. Post-WWI “Parker Steel” was non-standard Acid Bessemer Resulphurized Rephosphorized AISI 1109 low carbon Steel.
12. A c. 1925 Crescent Fire Arms “Genuine Armory Steel” barrel with the ‘LLH’ mark of of Laurent Lochet-Habran showed it to be non-standard (high phosphorus) AISI 1040 Steel.
13. A c. 1929 “Sterlingworth Fluid Compressed Steel” was AISI 1040. Sterlingworth barrels have been found with the three-lobed crown over ‘D’ mark of Jean-Baptiste Delcour-Dupont/Canons Delcour S.A. of Nessonvaux.

Plans & Specifications of the L.C. Smith Shotgun by William S. Brophy contains an undated but likely post-1913 Materials Specification chart indicating “AISI 1020 Carbon Steel” for both the frame and barrel.
However, under the Featherweight drawings dated Feb. 19, 1929 the lug specifies a forging of 1020 steel, but the barrel is “Steel App. 40 Carbon”, likely AISI 1040.

I've got another Smith Armor barrel to test, and may have a blown Crown steel barrel coming also. Still looking for a Nitro steel specimen.
Posted By: Nudge Re: parker barrel fluid steels - 02/08/21 12:29 PM

I dont own any post-WW1 doubles. So I have no practical basis for comparison amongst sxs, as my latest sxs chronologically (which is a Krupp gun) dates from about 1905. After that, you jump all the way to 1960's Wingmasters.

I do however own lever and bolt rifles from the late 1920's through the 50's. Not a single one has any mark other than those stamped by Winchester, Remington, Marlin, etc.

So i guess I would wonder...was the sourcing of shotgun tubes more foreign focused than for rifled barrels? Becuase as stated, some of these are FINE rifles, and some of them are boys 22s...and none are marked other than their Yankee maker.

Clearly rifling of barrels was expensive and required precision machining. But the steel itself could still have been foreign sourced. And if it really was so cheap domestic suupliers couldnt compete...why no foreign marks on any of my guns from the 1920's onward?

I'm not arguing...Im inquiring.

Posted By: Run With The Fox Re: parker barrel fluid steels - 02/08/21 01:59 PM
Drewbie-- The Late Gun Writer. author (Guns and Gunning- 1934 as well as Field & Stream's gun editor back in that era pre-WW2- was Paul A. Curtis. I am lucky to have a signed copy of his first ed. that book, and my Nash Buckingham books (all 1st ed.s.--) are the touchstones of my gunning library. So, dare I ask, whom is, or was, this A.P. chap? Gracias-- El Zorro
Posted By: Drew Hause Re: parker barrel fluid steels - 02/08/21 03:53 PM
Bro. Nudge: I know next to nothing about rifle barrels. There is some information at the bottom of the link

For those interested, this is what an analysis and tensile testing report looks like; the M12 Winchester Nickel Steel barrel

[Linked Image from]

A.P. Curtis

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Posted By: keith Re: parker barrel fluid steels - 02/09/21 07:18 PM
Originally Posted by Drew Hause
Bro. Nudge: I know next to nothing about rifle barrels.

A barrel is typically a deep hole with steel wrapped around it. A rifle barrel has some spiral grooves to impart spin to the projectile to stabilize it.

Your copy-and-paste research confirms that barrel makers used a lot of different steels to make perfectly usable shotgun barrels. They range from low carbon 1015 to much higher carbon 1045. And there was wide variation in composition, even in barrels used by the same manufacturers, over time. That kind of confirms my statements saying that your very small sampling and metallurgical testing tells us very little at all.

But I suppose it looks impressive to those who know nothing about steel, and next to nothing about rifle barrels.
Posted By: Nudge Re: parker barrel fluid steels - 02/10/21 06:58 PM
Ok so we didnt really get to the bottom of this.

Why are there no foreign steel marks on rifles of the WW1 era? Steel is steel, so if it was so cheap Yanks couldnt compete for shotgun tubes...why isnt a Colt Lightning marked? This was WAY cheaper than a medium grade double gun.

Again...not trying to pick a fight. I'm genuinely curious.

Posted By: james-l Re: parker barrel fluid steels - 02/10/21 08:05 PM
For what it's worth, back in the 80s there were quite a few unfinished Parker barrels around. They had no marking as to type of steel, just the unfinished weight
stamped on the flats. I have no idea where they originated from but would assume they came from Remington. They were very raw, unchoked with lots of cleanup of solder.
Posted By: mc Re: parker barrel fluid steels - 02/11/21 03:37 AM
I know it takes a big dog to weigh a ton
Posted By: Drew Hause Re: parker barrel fluid steels - 02/13/21 04:29 PM
Just stumbled on this Winchester Model 1897 listing in the 1902 Sears catalog No. 112
“THE BARRELS OF OUR WINCHESTER SHOTGUNS are made from a very superior grade of steel, which has an elastic limit of 45,000 pounds.”

[Linked Image from]

Winchester Standard Ordnance steel was very likely "cold rolled" Decarbonized steel. I have not seen a definitive report as to the source.
Buturlin's probably pre-WWI study reported the elastic limit at 39,400 and ultimate strength at 59,150 psi.

The Marlin Model 1898 Slide Action Shotgun had “Special Rolled Steel” advertised at 66,000 psi.

The Winchester Rifle listings
Barrels with an elastic strength of 40,000 to 80,000 psi; the later no doubt Winchester Nickel Steel, introduced for the Model 1894 rifle in catalog No. 55 August 1895
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