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Thanks for taking the time to comment kutter. It does seem to point to a tendency, but somewhat lack of consistency.

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I'd say that kutter's thought that heat treating makes a world of difference in the same grade of steel is 100% correct. I've had hardened steel that was near impossible to drill without destroying a HSS drill bit that cut almost like cheese after annealing. Maybe someone would like to anneal a Model 21 action or Model 70 receiver to confirm it.


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Just food for thought keith, and I'm not trying to misrepresent any of Kutter's thoughts. The receivers seem to mill and file just like any other steel?

Maybe, tight tolerances and material handling weren't really critical to ending up with a decent Winchester. It's possible that they specified steel that met a minimum performance in the face of potential mill and manufacturing shortfalls?

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I think it would really depend upon the type of heat treatment that was given craigd. What might not seem to significantly deter cutting with a 10" mill bastard file or a stout milling cutter might easily dull or damage the fine engraving tools kutter is using. But the exact same steel that was hardened, but not drawn, might be very difficult to file or mill. The metallurgical CHEMICAL analysis of a sample of steel is very important, but does not tell us everything. Different heat treatment can make a huge difference in machinability and performance. The exact same grade of steel might bend, flex, or shatter like glass, depending upon annealing, hardening, and tempering. You can experience all of the above while learning to make springs.


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My thinking was that if two different receivers of similar steel composition was subject to different heat treating, which would be an unfortunate inconsistency in itself, then a graver tip would likely feel different but consistently different. When resistance and tip breakage changes during a single cut, possibly it indicates little metallurgy based heat manipulation, and possibly to things such as inclusions or other steel inconsistencies. It's only thoughts.

It did make me curious, in regard to the model 70 receivers, if folks ever noticed slight color differences. I'm thinking a finish that has a potential etching component, rust bluing?, may look a little different as to how it shows on the hard vs relatively softer part of the same piece.

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My understanding of Kutter's comments was that there was a consistent difference in both feel and effect upon his graver tips on Model 21 actions versus the trigger plates. Yet he said they are supposed to be the same grade of steel. If that is true, then the only explanation for tougher cutting in the action would be different heat treatment. I considered the possibility of inclusions such as scale, which is notorious for eating up cutting tool edges and breaking taps. But he seemed to suggest that he has experienced this difference on more than one gun. And it sounded like he has had similar observations about other Winchester actions and receivers,

Your comment about possible minor differences in bluing shades got my attention, combined with Kutter's thoughts that perhaps the receiver ring of Model 70's has a different localized heat treatment than the areas to the rear. I have a commercial Mauser model 66 S that is pristine except for the fact that the hot blued receiver ring has acquired that purple tone associated with higher nickel alloy steels. Yet the rest of the action remains a deep blue-black. I suppose that I could check to see if the heat treatment of my receiver ring is different than the rear of the action by accepting a couple little dimples from a Rockwell hardness test. But it would probably be a better investment to simply have it hot tank reblued.


A true sign of mental illness is any gun owner who would vote for an Anti-Gunner like Joe Biden.

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I wonder if the floorplate on the M21 is actually the same composition as the receiver. They have known bluing issues on that part.

On mine there is a small area where the blue flaked off. It didn't wear or abrade, it flaked off like a paint would that didn't have good surface preparation.

The receiver itself has no such issues, and I don't carry guns by the metal if at all possible. This is a skeet gun and has never been in the woods.


"The price of good shotgunnery is constant practice" - Fred Kimble
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Now THIS is an interesting post to me.

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As is this smile

I found a 1950 WRAC catalog on-line
https://nhba.yale.edu/assets/uploads/fil...0-Catalogue.pdf

The Model 21 & M12 are of course listed with "Winchester Proof Steel" but there is now no mention of "Chrome Molybdenum"



The Model 37 barrels are listed as “Winchester proof marked”, as are the barrels on the Model 97; which when introduced until at least the 1930s had “rolled steel” barrels. This is likely Winchester Standard Ordnance Steel “cold rolled” Bessemer/Decarbonized steel.



I could not find that the M97 was ever offered with Nickel Steel.

In the same catalog the Model 24 is listed with “high quality steel” barrels.

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My Model 50 is stamped Winchester Proof Steel, so they used it on other shotguns than the 12 and 21 circa 1954.




"The price of good shotgunnery is constant practice" - Fred Kimble
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