Springfield Armory’s “reveal a day” lead-up to the 2016 SHOT Show must aggravate Nick no end. TTAG’s T&E guy has a thing about gun companies introducing variations on a theme and calling them “new guns.” I’m not so picky. Or you could say I’m really picky. I want my gun to have exactly what I want it to have. So small changes mean a lot. As for Springfield’s “new” Range Officer 1911 in Stainless Steel with everything I need for competition (except skill and time), but nothing I don’t (except a double-stack 1911), I say yes please! In fact, I have a real weakness for stainless steel guns. You?

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47 Responses to Question of the Day: Got Steel?

    • I’m the opposite. If I buy a gun I like to take care of it and it lasts a very long time. I love stainless, I like the look and I like the corrosion resistance. I have only worn out one gun, still utterly reliable but the accuracy has degraded and it rattles just a bit.

    • If you’re going to abuse a gun, wouldn’t stainless be a better choice? At least it takes rust more or less out of the equation.

  1. I’m kind of partial to blue steel and wood myself. But I do have a stainless 6″ GP100 that serves as my couch gun and a stainless 10/22 with a full length stock I added 7 coats of clear varnish to. The 10/22 is probably the last gun I’d part with.

    • BTW, if you want to find out what a crappy job you’ve been doing cleaning your blued guns buy a stainless revolved.

      • +1. I gave up trying to clean to presentation condition anymore unless I know I will be showing it off. Clean the burned powder and dirt, but I don’t bother with the B/C gap stain on the cylinder face any more.

  2. the mkll and the security six are stainless.
    everything else is solid blue.
    i decided stainless is for fasteners.
    supposedly the p938 slide is stainless but you can’t tell. that makes it a nightmare.
    quite a bit harder to machine ss. tougher on tooling.

  3. I prefer the look of blue.

    However, I find it’s easier to tell how well a cleaning job I’ve done with my stainless guns.

    On a related note: Speer Lawman Cleanfire. Really increases the shot count before cleaning is needed.

    • Re Speer Lawman clean fire being clean, that has been my experience with 9mm and 40S&W variants, quite the opposite with 45acp, I have shot 230 TMJ from two different lots separated by nearly two years, and it is downright filthy. The current lot almost looks like you are running black powder, got a nice white plume of smoke when you touch the rounds off, after two 8 round mags the front 1-1.5″ of the slide had a nice grayish residue on it. Gun was absolutely filthy after running a box through it. Only thing that I have run in 45 that is dirtier is Monarch steel cased Tula knockoff.
      Again this has not been the case any time I Have shot Lawman through 9 and 40.

      • Huh. I’ve had excellent results with both their .45ACP and .38 Spl+P variants, with the guns pretty clean and the cases showing only light hazing on the inside.

        Even their regular Lawman .45ACP is by no means “clean” but it’s nowhere as bad as you describe, either.

        Do you maybe have a lot number for the bad .45? I just bought a case and now I’m worried … we’re about out of our pre-Sandy Hook CF.

  4. On a different note, I miss going out to Rio Salado for Tuesday Night Steel… The clinking of the steel targets, the smell of gun powder, the vienna hotdogs after the match. Ahh memories.

  5. Not an operational operator operating operationally, but shiney to me still = bad.

    HOWEVER, not offended whatsoever by those who do. Very very very very very very (ALWAYS) glad to see new offerings from gun manufacturers, especially when it appears that they are trying to serve current, or garner new, ‘customers’. Competition is good, and I hope I can support my share of all of them to keep this wonderful game going. I think it’s very cool that every day they (gun manufacturers) might be churning out somebody’s next favorite, or at least someone’s next personal protection heirloom item.

    • We seem to be talking about two different things. My Sig P229 has a stainless slide, but it is black. Has all the advantages mentioned, but looks like parkerized. OTOH, my S&W .41 Mag is nickel plated, has none of the mentioned benefits (Hoppe’s #9 will mar the finish permanently if left on) but is shiny bright silver.

  6. I like stainless. But I’ve noticed that modern “Bluing” sucks when compaired to 40 years ago. I live in the deep south and here water/sweat/saltwater is a real problem as most of my “ops” include a swamp or river.(kayak) I’ve returned home to find “fur” on several of my newer firearms EVEN the so called “stainless” ones. Nothing as fun as trying to get rust stain out of a brushed stainless weapon. I don’t know if it’s the lower quality of the metal or what??? Sidenote – I’ve noticed most modern ammo is very water resistant.

    • There’s a couple of factors – one is the grade of the SS. The more important factor is what have we been told about SS, versus what it actually is.

      One of the (many) early names for the product was stain less steel. Basically, once you get over 10ish% chromium the metal won’t rust or corrode. But depending on the environment, there’s a bunch of different grades and surface finishes to help make that a reality. That said, high salinity, low oxygen, the stuff can still eventually oxidize.

      • The way I understand it, the more chromium the weaker the steel. I’m guessing in firearms it’s best to err on the side of strength.

  7. I like the light weight version. It sits easier on the hip. Stainless does look pretty with a nice set of coco bolo grips.

    • Don’t keep us in suspence, Smith or Ruger? Or Taurus?

      Sure narrows it down when you say ‘revolver’.

      • I want to say but the price is so good that I don’t want to advertise. I am afraid it won’t be in stock but I don’t want to pay the lay-a-way fees on two guns.
        I never owned a revolver and always wanted a .357. I asked my son what he wanted and he said he is fond of revolvers. I showed him a picture of it and he smiled and nodded.
        I might need to convince my wife to let me go ahead and charge it now and pay it off when I get my check next month.
        I will say, it’s not a Taurus.

        • Never shot a Smith or a Taurus, so all I can say is if it’s Ruger your great grandkids will be very happy with their inheritance. It’s also worth your while to spend the $10 on Wilson Combat’s reduced power spring kit. I went 10# on the hammer springs and 8# on the trigger return springs. Wasn’t bad to start, but noticeably better now.

        • Hmmm… sounds like the Ruger Match Champion…

          I’ve got a blue Wiley Clapp for carry with Novak no dots in back and gold bead up front, and my 6″ stainless wears the standard white U notch in back and I put a Hi-Viz fiber optic up front. The Novaks are a bit sleeker for carry, but all else being equal I prefer the adjustable. Love the U notch but I think I like the blank no dot rear even better. Either’s way better than 3 dot IMHO. If you just prefer the black no dot rear I think you can get a blade without the U notch. So I’d go adjustable.

          The fiber optic is a bit too bright at the range (daylight) and not that much better in low light. Basically the gold dot reflects light from behind very well and the fiber optic needs light from the side. I like to use a flashlight up and back enough to illuminate the sights, so that gold dot is perfect. The MCs both use Novak front sights, which is unfortunate because it literally takes less than 2 seconds to change the standard GP100 front sight.

          I’ve heard the MC grips are very comfortable (and what could be cooler than stippled wood grips), but if you don’t like them Altamont makes the old style rubber grips with wood side panels like the Wiley Clapp. They’re the best grips I’ve ever used on any pistol. The GP standard Hogues are gross.

        • Yeah, I hate those big fat rubber grips with the finger indentions.
          I don’t like anything ergonomic unless it was custom.
          Also, I don’t see much use in windage adjustment in a handgun. Am I wrong?

        • As long as it’s sighted in right from the factory, which I’ve never come across any pistols that weren’t spot on left to right. Most are drift adjustable anyway. Had some that hit low and I had to learn to elevate the front dot a bit. Other than that, if you’re planning on shooting a lot of .38 special they’ll hit 6 or 8 inches higher than .357, so adjustable sights would be a big plus if you can figure out how many clicks to give it between the loads.

        • My Pythons all came with adjustable, I found it very handy, a new one instantly shot EXACTLY like the ones I already owned. And they did not get in the way for any reason, although I never tried drawing from concealment. For just shooting fun, absolutely get the adjustable.

  8. Everything I own is stainless. Mostly for the corrosion resistance and the wide varieties
    of environments, but the other reason is if its out of the holster I want every one to know its a gun. I seriously doubt i’ll ever be in the tactical ninja situation where stealth would be a factor, So if its out theres no question . I’ve also had the discussion with my self about stainless being the Bling gun for the lawyers. But as most of you have said the lawyers are going to say everything was wrong about the gun anyway.

  9. I’ve a stainless NAA Guardian .380 with Novak tritium sights that I pocket carry daily. No rust, reliable and no plastic… Makes me happy.

    My rifles and revolver are blued and wood.

  10. I like having a gun that shows wear marks. Indicates it is more than a safe queen. And, someone like myself who has more than a few wear marks should have guns that show some experience too.

  11. Eh. Not a fan of shiny/blingy guns. I prefer something durable and corrosion resistant like tenifer and the other equivalent coatings, or a good cerakote. Not big on making my slide, stock, whatever a mura, either.

    To me, a design where form follows function is a true hallmark of beauty.

    • I agree when form follows function its a beauty of its own.

      Course, I wouldn’t mind owning a gold toned, Tiger striped Desert Eagle. If only to score high marks in the most useless safe queen contests. And fireballs.

  12. No matter how sacrilegious it is, 9mm 1911s are an absolute gas to shoot. Almost no recoil, flat and fast shooting. Just look at the slowmo parts of the video of the guy running the 9, the muzzle/slide barely break horizontal when he is shooting. This SS range officer in 9 has my attention.

    • Yeah, let’s all remember, shooting is FUN! That’s why most of us got into it in the first place, particularly those of us who got in near 10 years of age. Just fun. I can see a 9 with no recoil and a suppressor as potentially the most fun ever.

  13. Look at the dynamics in Leatham’s hands, especially when the slide slams into battery. That’s what you train for! The front sight never dips below the rear!

  14. The only stainless gun I own, is an mid-80s vintage AMT Hardballer.

    I’m still keeping my eyes peeled for the Longslide Hardballer and Phased Plasma Rifle in the 40 Watt range.

  15. I’ve got the XDm-9 with the stainless slide. It’s not “shiny”, per se, but it looks good. I like the “bi-tone” look though, and am very partial to SS for my carry guns. I’m a fat guy and I sweat a lot in our high desert summers, so rust is one less thing to worry about since the blueing, that doesn’t exist on an SS gun, won’t wear off. That said, I also have a S&W model 59 that’s blue, and being an LEO trade in, has some serious holster wear and armory numbers grinded in. I like the way the worn blueing looks, it says this gun’s got some experience. I would like to re-blue it though, if I could just figure out how to get rid of those ugly armory numbers.

    On that note, any advice on ridding myself.of those numbers would be greatly appreciated, I’ve don’t net searches to no avail.

  16. Leatham is a great shot. Bought a parkerized Springfield 1911 20 years ago. It was the least expensive .45 at the time. Very good shooter still.

  17. I have the original. I love it. My Dad loves it. My Dad also loves my .45 ammo for some reason. It will be hard to get a new SS RO in The peoples Republik of Kaliforniastan without the single shot exemption.

    I want one.

  18. Anybody who thinks SS is the hot ticket for bling, just has never seen what S&W or Colt high-end revolvers looked like 30-40 years ago. You could get lost for hours in either finish, and somehow they were not the same! How they were different, I don’t know, couldn’t ever put my finger on it, but it was difficult to not clean them right back to that finish every time you shot them, as opposed to “clean enough”. I haven’t seen a Cabot in person, from reports here it might be like that.

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