Slide Material: Stainless Steel or Alloy Steel?

Discussion in 'Ruger Center Fire Pistols' started by TeleGuy53, Dec 9, 2015.

  1. TeleGuy53

    TeleGuy53 Member

    49
    0
    6
    Guys, what are the differences between stainless steel and alloy steel slides, in terms of preventative care and long-term durability?

    Also, what do I need to know about brushed stainless and black nitride finishes?

    I prefer the "all black" look, but would defer to the material/finish which is most enduring.

    Thanks for your help, guys.
     
  2. VThillman

    VThillman Active Member

    2,733
    25
    38
    Blue/black steel tends to be a little more wear resistant, so I have read. If you routinely holster the gun, that finish will eventually show wear. My routine cleaning/maintenance is the same for both blued and stainless, so rust resistance is irrelevant. The modern finishes, Ceracote etc, I know nothing about.
     

  3. phideaux

    phideaux Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

    12,933
    100
    63
    My understanding ( not being a metallurgist) is that stainless steel is harder/tougher than alloy steel,
    Of course that may depend on the alloy...Titanium ???

    Stainless is non magnetic,also more resistant to oxidation that none-stainless steel.

    No finish is really needed on stainless steel, for protection, such as durocoat, cerekote, bluing , black oxide, or nitride , other than for looks.


    This^^^ is just me thinkin out loud.
    ;)


    Jim
     
  4. VThillman

    VThillman Active Member

    2,733
    25
    38
    My semi-informed guess is that a stainless slide is not as hard as a 4140 steel slide. Neither hardness nor 'toughness' is a direct indicator of wear anyway.

    BTW that '4140' or '4150' number specifies the percentage of specific non-iron metals in the steel. I used to know more about it long ago, and the internet can probably fill in the blanks. I hope to avoid checking, because adding that info to my brain may cause other info to become unavailable. Some stuff, like where I live, I'd like to hang onto.
     
  5. phideaux

    phideaux Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

    12,933
    100
    63
    See , that just shows to go ya, how much I don't know,

    I thought 4140 and 4150 were stainless grades.

    I not sure I even know where I live now... :(:rolleyes:




    Jim
     
  6. VThillman

    VThillman Active Member

    2,733
    25
    38
    Yeah, adds new meaning to "Knowledge is dangerous", eh?
     
  7. TeleGuy53

    TeleGuy53 Member

    49
    0
    6
    Oh, brother. What have I done? Nothing like adding more propaganda to the rumor mill! :eek:

    I'll Google it. Thanks, anyway, guys... ;)
     
  8. hodge

    hodge New Member

    275
    2
    0
    Stainless versus steel- you will never wear out either one, unless the gun isn't cared for. I prefer stainless- I have both natural finish as well is PVD coated- and milled out of a block instead of folded. That is due to weight- it manages recoil- and the warm-fuzzy feeling.
    I believe that the more pertinent consideration is steel/stainless slides on alloy frames, and steel/stainless on polymer. But, again, an owner who remotely cares for their gun will never wear one out. Keep the rails greased, clean and relube on a regular basis, and don't look back. The only failures that I've seen, and not in person but on forums, has been from neglected guns run in extreme environments.
    So, I believe that the answer to the question will boil down to preference and warm-fuzzy assurances, not the difference between what will fail you and what won't.
    I have just as much confidence in my steel on polymer Glock as I do my stainless on stainless Sig P220. Aside from that confidence, I know which one I prefer to have strapped to my belt! The Glock feels great, the Sig makes me walk funny...

    For anyone interested, this is my uncatalogued Sig P220 Reverse Two-Tone Carry. Stainless slide finished in Nitron on a natural stainless frame-

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2015
  9. TeleGuy53

    TeleGuy53 Member

    49
    0
    6
    As you say, it's not a matter of the slide ever failing; however, it IS a matter of aesthetics and maintenance.

    Aesthetics is simply a matter of taste; however, everyone has their limits, in terms of maintenance requirements.

    Being retired now, my preferences for maintenance requirements are "little" and "none". ;)