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Receiver Steel
October 7, 2015
11:57 pm
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For those of you versed in metallurgy, when the nickeled steel barrels began, what was the transformation ( if any ) of the types of steel used for receivers ?

Bill

October 8, 2015
4:32 pm
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Bill

For the lever action rifles/carbines, I dont think there was any transition to NI steels in the frames.

 

Somewhere on this forum I did a post on this subject, I'm just not smart enough to find it or link it

 

Mike

October 8, 2015
6:41 pm
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Mike,

If no transition occurred, then why did the post-WW I receivers flake so badly throughout the 1920s? Winchester was forced to make changes to their machine (carbona) bluing process to eliminate the problem, and they eventually solved the problem by switching from Nickel steel to Proof steel in the early 1930s.

Bert

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October 8, 2015
6:48 pm
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WACA Life Member---
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Email: bob.1873man@gmail.com

October 8, 2015
7:31 pm
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Bert

The flaking was due to the bluing process and not the steel type. I had about half a dozen receivers tested 1886, 1892 & 1894, manufactured pre 1900 – 1930s, the receiver steel was essentially the same, all with just trace amounts of NI; nowhere near the 3% NI that the barrels had.

I’m not sure how the rumor started that Winchester used Nickel Steel in the receivers, but it’s not true.

Somewhere I have an “in house” letter talking about the issues that they had at first with the machine bluing process.

Bob, thanks, BUT the post that you linked is on my response to the flaking on post 64 receivers, I know I did one on the receiver steels…. I’m just not computer/forum literate to find it.

 

V/R

 

Mike

October 9, 2015
2:39 am
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So the question now becomes, "What did Winchester change in their machine bluing process right after WW I?" Something most certainly was changed, as evidenced by severe flaking of the bluing on many of the different models in production throughout the 1920s.

Bert

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October 9, 2015
1:01 pm
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I don’t believe it was a change in the machine bluing process, but more due to Winchester’s change to the machine bluing process.

If one looks at the machine bluing process: temperatures and ingredients, you can quickly see that machine bluing was a way to automate the charcoal bluing process.

I know early on that Winchester has a few issues in getting the process right, I believe that a lot of it was traced back to moisture. There is some anecdotal evidence that Winchester added another small inspection stamp and or punch to check the blue for flaking; if it flaked when stamped the part was sent back. I have yet to confirm this or identify the stamp.

 

V/R

 

Mike

October 14, 2015
7:36 pm
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 I am the Marlin guy trying to cross over into the Winchester brand in an attempt to learn and compare the to companies and the fire-arms

they produced.

my question is what exactly is proof steel?  I have never heard of it anywhere elese. or was this merely a name change to the nickle steel

metal for a marketing ploy

October 14, 2015
8:31 pm
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Here's an article that Mike wrote in the Fall 2014 Winchester Collector on page 28:

http://winchestercollector.org/magazines/201409/index.html#30

October 14, 2015
8:38 pm
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let me re ask my question     What alloy did Winchester use to produce   proof steel

October 14, 2015
8:47 pm
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GentlemenJim said

let me re ask my question     What alloy did Winchester use to produce   proof steel

Found this post regarding proof steel.  Might be the answer to your question.

http://shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?f=60&t=115061

October 14, 2015
8:48 pm
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GentlemenJim said

 I am the Marlin guy trying to cross over into the Winchester brand in an attempt to learn and compare the to companies and the fire-arms

they produced.

my question is what exactly is proof steel?  I have never heard of it anywhere elese. or was this merely a name change to the nickle steel

metal for a marketing ploy

Jim,

Proof Steel is modern chrome-moly steel, and it is definitely different than the older Nickel Steel.  Winchester made the switch from Nickel Steel to Proof Steel barrels in the early 1930s, with the Model 94 change occurring in early 1932.  The first models to utilize Proof Steel receivers were the Model 70 and Model 71.

Bert

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October 16, 2015
1:44 am
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Winchester’s black powder barrels were originally made out of low carbon steel, roughly .18 -.20% carbon. Winchester referred to this steel as “gun steel”; somewhat equivalent to today’s SAE 1018.

Winchester’s Nickle Steel had 3 ½ % nickel and .30%-.40% carbon. I know that Winchester sourced this steel from the Midvale and Crucible Steel Companies. I have found no reference to Winchester using Bessemer Nickle Steel (Winchester’s other steel supplier).

I have a 1916 factory internal note stipulating that all barrels were to be made out of Nickle steel, I’m not sure if this was fully implemented and if so, how long it lasted.

Winchester used another barrel steel with the industry trade name “ordnance steel”, this steel had roughly 1. % manganese and between .45% and .55% carbon.

Finally, Winchester began using steel with chromium and molybdenum (chromoly) or more specifically SAE 4140, .38%-42% carbon. SAE 4140 was originally developed by General Motors for use in car axles; sometime in the teens or twenties.

I don’t have the exact dates that these changes were made.

Compounding the confusion is that most of these steels were referred by trade or brand names, with no official SAE designation until the mid to late 40s when the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) began to establish standards for steel.

Probably more than you ever wanted to know

Mike

October 16, 2015
3:37 am
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Mike,

I have found a small number of barrels marked "B.N.S.", presumably they were made with Bessemer nickel steel.  Midvale nickel steel was by far the more commonly used by Winchester.

Bert

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October 17, 2015
5:27 pm
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Bert H. said

GentlemenJim said

 I am the Marlin guy trying to cross over into the Winchester brand in an attempt to learn and compare the to companies and the fire-arms

they produced.

my question is what exactly is proof steel?  I have never heard of it anywhere elese. or was this merely a name change to the nickle steel

metal for a marketing ploy

Jim,

Proof Steel is modern chrome-moly steel, and it is definitely different than the older Nickel Steel.  Winchester made the switch from Nickel Steel to Proof Steel barrels in the early 1930s, with the Model 94 change occurring in early 1932.  The first models to utilize Proof Steel receivers were the Model 70 and Model 71.

Bert

Bert, I have one of the very scarce M52's with a NS bbl. dated "31". It is a heavyweight and has the special order round top receiver with a right side mounted M48-T. Must have been one of the first and last, NS M52's. # 22164. Big Larry

October 17, 2015
6:41 pm
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Larry,

Interesting, but to be perfectly honest, I know very little about the Model 52. I defer to fellows like you, Seewin, and Rick Hill for accurate information.

Bert

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October 18, 2015
12:21 am
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Don't forget our friend John Bastiani. He may well be the Guru. Thanks, Big Larry

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