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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For some reason all my buddies and pretty much everyone except my dad and uncle prefer steel receivers over aluminum receivers why is this? Aluminum is much lighter and strong enough to get the job done.
The reason I think it is strong enough to get the job done is because I own a Winchester 1400 with an aluminum receiver and have shot the heaviest loads available and it hasn't blown up or anything. Just wondering.

any and all opinions are welcome.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Kavall said:
. The AL receiver won't blow up, but will wear out after a thousands of rounds. The Steel receiver will keep on going.
I do not believe it!! Is that possible that the gun manufacturers offer to their customers a 1,000 round gun? Come on!

Anybody else concurs with Kavall on this?
 

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The autoloaders that receive the greatest usage are the clays competition guns that are often fired 20K times per YEAR for many years. Some of these guns have over 100K rounds through them. Yes, some parts have to be replaced on them, but it isn't the aluminum alloy receivers. It is the steel internal parts that usually need replacing such as connecting rods, extractors, firing pins, etc. While it's possible that a receiver can crack, the steel receivers such as on the Remington 1100's are just as likely to crack as the alloy receivers on the Berettas and Brownings. In either case, a cracked receiver is very rare. When evaluating which gun to purchase, the type metal in the receiver is far down the list of things to be concerned about.
 

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Just to name a few......I guess the millions of M-16 and AR-15's with their Al receivers have gotten the job done for close to 40yrs.

The Al in the receivers isn't the same as the stuff in a can, its a stronger alloy that allows for forging, CnCing, etc. Some of the similar reasons that they also went with the composite stocks cheaper, lighter weight, and quicker to produce.
 

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That's probably why "the older guys" don't like aluminum...In the begininning, aluminum wasn't as strong or durable as it is today...they make cars outta the stuff and hey, NOW they make guns outta plastic...Get what you want and enjoy!
Bill
 

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Actually, AL does wear faster, even today, in high impact or high wear areas. My experience is more with handguns than shotguns, but there are many areas where the use of aluminum is still considered "cheapening out" by the manufacturer. In these days of endless chasing of cheaper manufacturing methods why do you think so many makers are using more and more aluminum? It's not because it makes the gun last longer...

Example: The aluminum bolt follower on my Winchester Super X-1 auto was worn out when I got it. The steel tang from the bolt that contacts the follower was in fine shape. Which material was stronger? This is high stress point, with lots of impact pressure.

There are also different types of aluminum, like cast vs. forged steels, and the use of the wrong type in the wrong application can be bad news. Cast aluminum tends to be brittle, whereas forged aluminum is much stronger.

The lighter weight of aluminum is also a two-edged sword. It's a lot nicer to lug a lighter shotgun around in the woods, but the lighter gun doesn't absord as much recoil.

As with many things there are no simple answers. If I'm sitting on the trap line all day I'd rather have a slightly heavier gun that absorbs more recoil, and one that I know won't wear out prematurely (by my standards). But that's just this "older guy's" (at 43?) personal preference.

-- Sam
 

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One must also consider where aluminum is used in the gun. If I remember right guns like the Browning U/O featherweights have a steel block merged onto the aluminum receiver so the part that would wear most, at the barrels, is harder.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
steel is better most of the law enforcement shotguns are 870 and 11-87.

heres something to think about the only guns ruger uses Aluminum on is the 22LR 22mag 17hmr shotguns and rifles all have steel.

Aluminum is great for pellet guns and 22's but has no place on 12 and 10 gauge shotguns.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
By the way M16's are replaced very often. They don't keep them for more than 10 years. Barrels on rifles wear out fast 223 puts very little stress on the M16 compared to a 12 gauge slug.
 

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While I can certainly appreciate all the insight about aluminum alloys used in pistol shooting and on M-16 rifles, etc, I fail to understand the relevance to the question that was asked. The question concerned aluminum alloy receivers on SHOTGUNS. Do you have any direct information regarding aluminum alloy receivers on SHOTGUNS? All I can say for certain is that most of the high volume shooters who shoot autoloaders in sporting clays shoot guns with aluminum alloy receivers. The majority of these guns are Beretta's. Some of them have had 100,000+ rounds through them and have not worn out the receiver. While we might argue in the abstract that steel is stronger than aluminum, we certainly can't dispute the empirical evidence that the aluminum alloy receivers on the Berettas and Browning are certainly "strong enough" for the purpose for which they were designed. If any of you have worn out any aluminum alloy receivers on shotguns, I'd sure like to hear about it. BTW, Mossberg Man, the receiver on the Mossberg series 500 shotguns is made from an aluminum alloy.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
theres wear marks only after a 100 shells through it to on the inside of the reicever.

Heres my personal experences Browning a-5 built 1944 has all metal parts nothing has broke 3 owners. except stock wood

remington 510 built 1939 stock broke needs reblue but the metal is fine.

remington 11-87 sp deer gun 13 years old 300 slugs through it and was out on deerhunts in rain. looks brand new inside.
STEEL AND RUST THE SP MODELS ARE BEAD BLASTED SO THEY ARE MORE RESISTANT TO RUST THAN THE CHEAP EXPRESS MODELS

RUGER10/22'S WEAR OUT FAST BECAUSE OF THE ALUMINUM
 

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Mossberg Man, you might get a kick out of this. The safety on a Mossberg is plastic and the aftermarket upgrade is aluminum. I like me a good mossberg too so I'm not knocking them.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If you do your research on cost of metals, Al is much, much more costly than any steel. If you do not believe me, d the research yourself, then cme eat some humble pie lol. It s a weight issue, and possibly an ease of working issue in manufacture hat leads to the ue of al.
 

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Alum. does cost more for the material , but the machining cost, an the forging cost are cheaper; so alum. is cheaper in the long run. The thing I hate is paying $1000 for a gun that has a poor finish on the receiver, and doesn't match the color of the barrel.
 

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I would just like to write to one of the guests that said that ruger 10/22s wear out quickly , for his or her information I have got a 10/22 that I bought used in 1997 and have put atleast [/u]25,000 rounds thru and it works just as good as the day I bought it,and I can still put 10rds in a 2in circle at 100yds (by the way that is with a 6-18X40 bushnell sportview.)
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Very true, Al is much easier to work with and is light and damned strong. would have no reservation on it's durability - especially the newer mixes.
 

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If a person trackes the aluminum reciever you will see that it didn't really come to the forefront until Mossberg did it in 1961 with the intro of the Mossberg 500 series.

The bolt of the Mossberg did not lock into the receiver to fire. Rather, it locked into an extension of the barrel. The critical dimensions are the distance from the locking recess to the chamber, and the distance from the locking block in the bolt and the bolt face. Both are easily measured (in the factory), and kept to a precise figure.

What does all that mean. It means that the aluminum reciever only acts as a cover and guide to the moving parts, and does not have to take any of the forces of firing except to transmit the force of recoil to the shooter.

The Mossberg idea was so much cheaper and really a better idea so why didn't more gun companies do this before 1961? Browning had the patent tied up in the A-5, and nobody wanted to pay him royalties...plus, they had their tooling paid for and didn't want to take on new expense.

Eventually, Remington switch to a barrel extension in 1950 and Winchester swithed to an aluminum reciever, barrel extension in 1964 with the Win. 1200 (almost bankrupted Win; love of Model 12; highly machined steel receiver and bolt; too expensive)

Even though the alum receiver made for a lighter gun, probably the main reason for the switch as it was just a cover for moving parts, and didn't require taking any stress. Attaching bolt to barrel extension was the key idea for aluminum.

Found this ino in Gunsmithing: Shotguns by Pat Sweeney. Great book.
 
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