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Thread: 1911 (not A1) question

  1. #1
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    1911 (not A1) question

    Anyone know what the alloy and heat treat specs were for one?
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    The alloy was likely 4340 ordnance steel for critical parts. The grip safety was 1018. There was no heat treatment on the slides, frames, or barrels.
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    Did 4340 exist in the 191Xs? Someone else said it was likely to be similar to a 13XX alloy at that time--apparently similar to the Springfield. Of course, he may be wrong.
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    Did 4340 exist in the 191Xs?
    Dunno, but it was probably something similar. Ordnance steel can be several things...but the stuff wasn't heat-treated until the WW2 contractors started spot-hardening the slides. Prior to that, a hardened steel insert...called a recoil insert...was used in the center of the breechface to keep the breechface from being dinged up. That was implemented in 1936 and continued until the end of the contracts in 1945. In 1946, full hardening of the slides began.
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    A friend of mine found this:

    Sure, with receivers they started in 1903 with Springfield Armory Class C
    Steel, later from W.D. 1325. The composition is similar to a low alloy
    steel, AISI 1320 or 1330, having .2-.3% Carbon, 1.1-1.3% Manganese, .15-.35
    Silicon and low amounts of Sulfur and Phosphorus for workability in
    forging. In manufacture it was forged to shape, machined and case
    hardened. Bolts were made from W.D. 2340, a medium carbon nickle steel
    (Rock Island used this for the receivers as well, apparently).


    ~~~~


    It seems so - the MI Garand specs 4150 for the barrel and 3312 for the bolt,
    3120 for the receiver (until 1942 when they changed to 8620 for the bolt
    and receiver). M1 Carbine was 1350 for the barrel (maybe they went to a
    forging process instead of turning) and 4140 for the bolt & receiver.

    This is all from _Hatcher's Notebook_. I could send scans of the
    appropriate pages if you're interested.
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    madmike, what relation does the material you cited have to the M1911? That reference appears to be discussing the 1903 Springfield rifle. The M1911 pistol wasn;t around in 1903, and it doesn't have a "bolt."

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    That seems to be the standard ordnance steels until the 1930s.

    IIRC, 4XXX series are much more recent than the teens.
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  8. #8
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    I'd credit 'Tuner but emphasize the flip of
    There was no heat treatment on the slides, frames, or barrels.
    - I don't know what the alloys were but I know the small parts ran harder and show a different color. "Fire blued small parts until 2401" after that continued visible difference in the finish - and across makers as well.

    I suspect the technically correct answer to the original question will be found in contracts to the various vendors as North American Arms, Remington Arms - initial prototyping at Remington Arms (not the same thing as Remington Rand for 1911A1 in a later war) was soft although production was later OK and other makers of the true 1911 design.

    Sadly I don't have a 1911 to hold up to a fast grinding wheel and look at the sparks so......

    Google suggests this:

    No.801 Manual of the Automatic Pistol Caliber .45 Model of 1911 (May 1918); 32 pages, ....
    Paladin reprinted and available from the usual suspects including Amazon. I'm pretty sure I have an orignal someplace and it doesn't have much detail, I'm not sure why google surfaced it but it is readily available.

    and also this:
    Ordnance Department Document No. 2050. Notes on the Selection and Use of Metals in Ordnance Designs. A rather obscure 1924 Ord. Dept. manual that instructs Ordnance designers in the use of different metals and alloys. A "What to use" manual. Rarely encountered. 57 pages copied two pages to the sheet of paper. $7.75
    from Knifebooks, PO Box 5866 Deptford, N.J. 08096 http://www.usmilitaryknives.com/Documents.htm
    Last edited by ClarkEMyers; June 6th, 2009 at 09:46 PM. Reason: I wondered so I googled

  9. #9
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    Those will be very useful. Thanks.
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    FREEHOLD, Jan 04 from Baen Books
    THE WEAPON, Aug 05 from Baen Books
    CONFIRMED KILL, Sep 05 from HarperCollins
    BETTER TO BEG FORGIVENESS..., Winter 07 from Baen Books

    ~~~

    "The Finest battle implement ever devised." Ung the Caveman on the M1 Pointy Stick.

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