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In my business we use alot of 304L stainless steel. Due to sharp increases in the cost of raw materials (especially nickel) that are used to make stainless steel, the cost of some austenitic grades of stainless steel has gone up 42%! I'm guessing that gun makers such as S&W that use stainless steel will have to pass along the cost increase at some point.
 

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The cost of building our facility went up for 110K. The chinese are buying up all the steel and making it really expensive world wide.
 

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robmcd said:
the cost of some austenitic grades of stainless steel has gone up 42%!
You made me have to look that one up, that one was a new one on me! Is that the grade of stainless normally used in firearms?
 

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Given the great finishes used nowadays and the other benefits of non-stainless steel, perhaps this will begin a move back toward non-stainless for slides. Glock certainly hasn't suffered for the lack of stainless steel. Nonetheless, it's a major marketing/selling point in the firearms industry.
 

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robmcd said:
In my business we use alot of 304L stainless steel. Due to sharp increases in the cost of raw materials (especially nickel) that are used to make stainless steel, the cost of some austenitic grades of stainless steel has gone up 42%! I'm guessing that gun makers such as S&W that use stainless steel will have to pass along the cost increase at some point.
The 400-series stainless steels used for firearm manufacture use very little to no nickel in their composition.
 

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You are correct - 400 series does use little or no nickel. Gun barrels and slides are typically made of 416 stainless which is approximately 14% chromium and no nickel. Based upon market fluctuations in chromium, the approximate surcharge for January delivery of 416 stainless is 0.26.
 

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A firarm uses a relatively small amount of metal as opposed to say a bridge over a river. If the slide made of SS cost S&W $10.00 for the raw material and went up 42% I dont think the price of the gun is gonna go up much based on this point alone. However, at the price of oil (which is probably the main reason for the increase in steel prices) all things being equal I think we will see increases across the board like we havn't seen in a while because everything is eventually tied in with the cost of oil.
 

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An increase in raw material cost of $5 is probably going to translate into $15-25 by the time it gets to your favorite local gunshop.
 

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Sadly the problem lies not inly in the cost of the raw material itself, but also the devaluation of the USD. Not only do we have to deal with the increases in the material itself, but thanks to the lack of US based mills and manufacturing, all that hardware we consume will cost a lot more as the USD takes a dump.
 

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Except Smith does its own milling and machining in Springfield, MA (along with its own forging ... which is amazing to watch if you've never seen something like that before). Heck, they used to make their own pins and screws!
 

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G56 said:
[quote name='robmcd']the cost of some austenitic grades of stainless steel has gone up 42%!
You made me have to look that one up, that one was a new one on me! Is that the grade of stainless normally used in firearms?[/quote]



There's austenic, bainite, martensite and pearlite forms of steel ....just fyi ...
 
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