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Differences in quality/grade of steel

Discussion in '1911 Forums' started by mr00jimbo, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. I understand that a good casting job can be as good as forging.

    Now I made a thread displaying my distaste for Norinco firearms, based on heard experience from others who have owned malfunctioning ones and the basis that everything from China seems to be dismal in quality.

    I will admit that I am surprised to find out, that the Norinco 1911-A1 is made from steel that is supposed to be harder and "better" than any other gun out there.

    To quote a larger writeup on another forum
    I am surprised to hear that Norinco 1911s apparently use a better steel than a lot of 1911s on the market.

    The question I ask though, (and partially to m'self) is..."So?"
    Does it make a lick of difference the quality of steel used?

    Does the money of 1911s tend to go into the steel quality, or more into the customization/fitting work?
    And is harder always better?

    I'd be interested to know the difference in steel grade from say, a RIA to a Colt, to a Wilson Combat. And if it makes a lick of difference to the average or even high-mileage shooter.

    I would also like to apologize for badmouthing Norinco 1911s; they apparently make a damn fine frame/slide.
  2. bac1023


    Sep 26, 2004
    Norincos are built from old forged railroad steel. Its difficult to find a harder, more dense steel anywhere.

  3. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson

    Jul 10, 2001
    My Sistema made out of the armor of the Graf Spee trumps your Commie railroad track.
  4. pistolwrench

    pistolwrench Dremel jockey

    Jul 27, 2009
    A lot of myth here.
    I've machined on more than a few Norcs.
    The front sight area is HARD.......due to a silver-solder reinforcement of the front sight stake.
    Experienced smiffs anneal this small area before attempting machining.
    Overall, the metallurgy is very good, but not anything remarkable.

    Old railroad steel?

    No offense intended. It is a curious myth.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2011
  5. Huevos


    May 21, 2004
    You know, Chinese - Railroads, it's an easy transition.... :rofl:

    Levity aside, why would anyone CHOOSE to send their money to China? :upeyes:
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2011
  6. bac1023


    Sep 26, 2004
    Who the hell said we're sending money to China?

    The guns aren't even imported anymore.
  7. bac1023


    Sep 26, 2004
  8. Oh god, here we go again. :upeyes:

    Good luck trying to buy most things that you have in your house, or use daily w/o you supporting China.

    Welcome to the 21st century where we live in a global economy.
  9. quantico

    quantico 1911 lover Millennium Member

    Sep 15, 1999
    I choose to build a very very high end 1911 on a norinco frame. It is just awesome. I would not trade it for the best gun that ever left wilson.combat. working on that gun was tough yet a labor of love. Norinco steel rocks in my opinion. Sometimes you have to look deeply to see the beauty in some people and some things.
  10. bac1023


    Sep 26, 2004
    I agree 100% about Norinco. Its a shame people are blinded due to the fact they're from China.

    Pretty? Hell no, but very solid construction.


  11. presidingglock


    May 16, 2006
    If you can find a pistol with quality fitting and steel then that is always a wise choice. But if not, there is no harm in picking a quality steel in case you want to go the custom work route.