Avatar
Search
Forum Scope




Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
Lost password?
sp_Feed sp_PrintTopic sp_TopicIcon
1920’s Winchester blueing process
sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 352
Member Since:
January 24, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
21
April 1, 2024 - 7:40 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

About 20 years ago, I was given the opportunity to have some steel testing done by a large steel manufacturer. This manufacturer had to certify all lots of steel manufactured and provide certification on each lot…ie…chemical composition.

 I had several frames 1892/1894 & 1886 that were basically scrap both pre 1900 and post 1900.

The steels were nearly identical (+/- period manufacturing tolerances). All were low carbon steels with less than ½ of 1% NI (so basically trace amounts).

So where did the belief that Winchester used Nickle steel come from?  The first mention that I can find was in a book written 30+ years ago.  I believe that folks read it and ran with it… all because it was in a book!

 

Respectfully

 

Mike

Avatar
NY
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 6533
Member Since:
November 1, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
22
April 1, 2024 - 8:08 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

Mike Hunter said
So where did the belief that Winchester used Nickle steel come from?  The first mention that I can find was in a book written 30+ years ago.  I believe that folks read it and ran with it… all because it was in a book!

Not only because it was “in a book,” but also because it provided an apparently logical explanation for a phenomenon–flaking–for which there was no OTHER explanation. (Which book were you referring to?)  But was that chemical testing done to rcvrs made after 1919, the date, allegedly, that nickel began to be added to the rcvr alloy?  And where did the date itself come from?  Such a specific date suggests it wasn’t merely picked at random. 

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 352
Member Since:
January 24, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
23
April 1, 2024 - 8:59 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Well

I don’t have the exact DOM of these frames at my fingertips.  Frames ranged from Pre 1900 to about 1935 or so.

The other “logical explanation” was the bluing process… Machine Bluing aka Carbonia, vs. charcoal bluing (which doesn’t flake) and Dulite (which again doesn’t flake).

Where are you getting the 1919 date? Do you or anyone else have the Manufacturing change?

As to the book, no going to call anyone out…

Winchester Receivers have been tested, I have the empirical data of the metal composition, not someone’s guess. 

“Falsehood will fly, as it were, on the wings of the wind, and carry its tales to every corner of the earth; whilst truth lags behind; her steps, though sure, are slow and solemn”

 

Respectfully

 

mike

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 1732
Member Since:
June 4, 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
24
April 1, 2024 - 9:47 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

  Mike,

 Thanks for taking the time to provide us with the information. T/R

Avatar
NY
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 6533
Member Since:
November 1, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
25
April 1, 2024 - 11:06 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Mike Hunter said
Where are you getting the 1919 date? Do you or anyone else have the Manufacturing change?

As to the book, no going to call anyone out…

From this website, & when something of importance is brought up, I write it down immediately.  (I could tell you the probable source of that info, but far be it from me to “call anyone out.”) Knowing where & how this widely circulated “falsehood” got started should be regarded as an important part of the whole story.

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 352
Member Since:
January 24, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
26
April 2, 2024 - 12:27 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Pointing others mistakes adds nothing to the conversation,  bottom line is that the steel is not a contributing factor to the flaking.

One should ask, why would Winchester charge the receiver steel? That steel worked well for all 1886,1892 and 1894 cartridges.

Respectfully

Mike 

Avatar
Northern edge of the D/FW Metromess
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 5200
Member Since:
November 7, 2015
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
27
April 2, 2024 - 12:35 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

“When the legend becomes fact….”  It was a convenient explanation, increasing the nickel content in the receivers sounded logical when considering the changes in barrel steel. Interesting!

 

Mike

Life Member TSRA, Endowment Member NRA
BBHC Member, TGCA Member
Smokeless powder is a passing fad! -Steve Garbe
I hate rude behavior in a man. I won't tolerate it. -Woodrow F. Call, Lonesome Dove
Some of my favorite recipes start out with a handful of depleted counterbalance devices.-TXGunNut
Presbyopia be damned, I'm going to shoot this thing! -TXGunNut
Avatar
Texas
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 291
Member Since:
January 20, 2023
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
28
April 2, 2024 - 10:36 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

TXGunNut said
“When the legend becomes fact….”  It was a convenient explanation, increasing the nickel content in the receivers sounded logical when considering the changes in barrel steel. Interesting!

 

Mike

  

The question is why do a certain range of receivers flake.

The”nickel steel barrels” didn’t flake. Apparently, the quantity of nickel in the barrel steel was insufficient to interfere with the rust bluing  process.

We know from the evidence of Mike’s tests that the metal chemistry did not materially change after the transition from charcoal to machine bluing. 

The receivers that were charcoal blued in a sealed retort didn’t flake. Receivers Du-lite blued didn’t flake. Only receivers that were machine blued flaked. 

 The most probable cause of the flaking was Winchester’s version of machine bluing.  

Different firms used different products to generate smoke, from sperm whale oil to pine tar to petroleum oil and whatever Carbonia Oil was. In any case the only purpose of the bone char and oil smoke was to deprive the steel of oxygen while being heated to blue. The process was essentially a temper blue. The earlier method of burying the steel parts in bone char in a sealed container didn’t require smoke to purge the atmosphere. It was slow and inefficient. 

If the receiver steel was the same, the bluing process the same, and only the source of the smoke different…. 

I note that Smith & Wesson used the Carbonia process to blue their pistols and revolvers well into the Nineteen Fifties and I’ve not read of any flaking of the finish of those guns. 

I have also read Smith & Wesson had an exclusive right to buy Carbonia Oil, which was only available from the manufacturer of the rotating ovens, The Ametican Gas Furnace Company. 

I have observed at least one photo of the rotating ovens used by WRA. They do not appear [to me] to be the same ovens furnished by the American Gas Furnace Company to S&W and who owned or controlled the supply of Carbonia Oil. If I’m wrong about that, my hypothesis fails but I suggest Winchester may have constructed the ovens in house or contracted to have them built. 

If Winchester did not have access to Carbonia Oil, and went its  own way with another smoke generating substance, there is a strong probability the flaking occurred because of the difference. 

- Bill 

 

WACA # 65205; life member, NRA; member, TGCA; member, TSRA; amateur preservationist

"I have seen wicked men and fools, a great many of both, and I believe they both get paid in the end, but the fools first." -- David Balfour, narrator and protagonist of the novel, Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Avatar
NY
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 6533
Member Since:
November 1, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
29
April 2, 2024 - 11:33 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Zebulon said

The question is why the receivers flake. The”nickel steel barrels” don’t. Apparently, the quantity of nickel in the barrel steel was insufficient to interfere with the rusting process. 

That must be the case–the different bluing methods account for the different results.

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 352
Member Since:
January 24, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
30
April 3, 2024 - 11:09 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Pretty close

Charcoal Bluing was very labor intensive and required skill… so basically lots of skilled labor. 

Machine Bluing, also called Carbonia Bluing, was an attempt automate the process, reducing the number of skilled craftsmen need for Charcoal Bluing.  Again, I am not 100% certain what “Carbonia” oil is, it was a trade name made up by the American Gas Furnace Co. I know that they purchased it from a now defunct oil producer.  To the best of my research i have determined that it was an upper cylinder lube for locomotive steam engines, so basically an oil that had a high flash point and not burn up at high temps. 

Du-Lite is what we know today as Hot Salts bluing, a super saturation of sodium hydroxide and other components, made by the Du-Lite Co. in CT.  Hot salts bluing made bluing quicker, easier and required much less skilled labor. 

As to the 1919 date, I have yet to find any Manufacturing Change memo from Winchester. We know that Winchester changed their bluing process, I strongly suspect that the change was gradual. 

 

Respectfully

 

Mike

Forum Timezone: UTC 0
Most Users Ever Online: 778
Currently Online: steff
Guest(s) 84
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Top Posters:
clarence: 6533
TXGunNut: 5200
Chuck: 4688
steve004: 4345
1873man: 4331
Big Larry: 2359
twobit: 2323
mrcvs: 1775
TR: 1732
Forum Stats:
Groups: 1
Forums: 17
Topics: 12935
Posts: 112851

 

Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1793
Members: 8949
Moderators: 4
Admins: 3
Navigation