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Blog posts of '2021' 'August'

Hammer materials - "In The White" vs. Stainless Steel

I would like to buy one of your hammers in carbon steel, in-the-white".

Would it match a stainless steel 1911?  

What coating does it have?  

If there is no coating is there a rusting concern?

Thanks for your help,



The bare carbon hammers look just like the stainless steel hammers. Look at the pictures on my web store of versions where I offer both materials.

“In the white” is generally used to describe bare carbon steel having no preservative finish other than a film of oil. The thing to remember is that the finer the surface finish and the harder the heat treat, the more resistant to rust it is. If carbon steel hammers are used in a salt water environment or by someone with continousouly sweaty hands, they will be more easily rusted unless more frequent maintenance is done, such as wiping down with an oily cloth.

For years these carbon steel hammers were the only material available and almost everyone shooting USPSA/IDPA matches used them. The only people that had rust on their hammers were the ones who neglected their equipment, put the gun away in a rug until next months match, did zero maintenance and they generally only had any evidence of light surface rust on the exterior parts of the hammer. They were also the folks complaining that the hard chrome finish on their guns had rusted!

Stainless steel is basically carbon steel with a higher content of chromium in the alloy and it has no preservative finish either.  The thing to remember is the name, it is Stain-Less  steel, not stain-proof steel. You can definitely rust stainless steel given enough neglect.

Last thing to remember is that rust is not the kiss opf death. It is removeable. Finding a little rust is not a death-knell for the part. A little oil applied will stop the rust right there. It’s not too much of a big deal to remove if you want to clean off some surface rust on a part that’s staying bare. And finally, if you put it away in your gun safe with other guns that have a blued finish, if will not rust anymore or any quicker than the blued guns if all are wiped down equally with an oily rag.

Hope this info is helpful to you making a decision.

Best Regards,

John Harrison