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welding stainless?

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  • welding stainless?

    i will be making a form 1 silencer when my paperwork goes thru. i want to make it out of stainless steel, what would be the best workable grade on a lathe & still be weldable?
    thanks for any help;

  • #2
    In my experience 316 both welds and turns nicely.


    • #3
      316 is a bit of a b!tch to machine, IMO. 303, on the other hand is a dream.


      • #4
        304,sharp tooling,cutting oil.Welds using all processes except forge welding.
        I just need one more tool,just one!


        • #5
          304 would be my choice as well. Good all round material. Machines and welds decently. 316 is tougher to machine and 303 does not weld as well...
          Just one project too many--that's what finally got him...


          • #6
            Originally posted by wierdscience
            304,sharp tooling,cutting oil.Welds using all processes except forge welding.
            Good machineabilty and weldable are oxymorons for stainless. "304 is a whore" (to machine)

            303 and 416 machine beautifully, but are effectively not weldable.

            Are you talking about welding the baffles? The can itself can obviously be threaded...
            "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."


            • #7
              I don't find 304 too bad to turn, but I do agree on milling; 303? - love that stuff for any machining.

              Do you have to weld it or were you just trying to save machining?


              • #8
                Remember for welding you need to be using 304L or 316L or risk inter-granular corrosion and failure at the welds. Both can be machined but need to make sure that your cutting not rubbing. its even possible to do thread milling.

                303 is not as corrosion resistant so decide on the priority's of your required properties

                Steve Larner


                • #9
                  300 series stanless is almost universally weldable and while tough are machineable. It work hardens so don;t let the tool dwell in the cut. Make chips whenever the tool is in contact with the work.

                  There are some grades of stainless that may not weld wel. These are the free machining grades and the precipitation hardening grades. Both require special technique for ful strnth welds but if mere attachment is desired a more relaxed approacg may be acceptable. Stick with 304. It's widely available in plate, sheets, shapes, and bars. Weld it with E30818 (stick) or 308 TIG wire. Your local weld shop will havee a material weldability reference.

                  BTW use caps. It might be a PITA for you but it makes your text much more readable for the rest of us. .
                  Last edited by Forrest Addy; 12-20-2011, 09:03 PM.


                  • #10
                    i plan on building the tube out of 1.50" x .065" SS. i want to weld some sleaves over each end that i can turn down to about double that wall thickness.
                    i will turn these out of 1.75" bar stock about 2" long, bore out the first 1.50" to slip over the tube, weld it up & then bore the remaining .50" to give me a thicker threading area.
                    this will be for my ar15 which has very high pressure & some times my 22s so i will need to clean it.
                    i am not a very good welder so i will most likely have it done professionally.
                    i wouldn't mind using something lighter if it would weld up nice & thread easily but i gues it's better to stay with SS.


                    • #11
                      Most go with aluminum for suppressors, if you get out of the 300 series SS you will run into other problems like potential rust. SS also likes to warp with heat so if the AR is full auto you may have alignment issues towards the end of a clip. Ever watch that hack show 'sons of guns' when they are testing suppressors and sparks are flying out the end of the gun and they say "looks good". Thats not good, they messed up on the bore alignment and the bullets are hitting the plates inside the suppressor.


                      • #12
                        i have been surfing the silencer talk fourm & it is pretty much universal , you shouldn't use Al. on high pressure center fire cartridges, especially on full autos!
                        everyone suggests stainless.
                        i am working on drawings that i will post when i get them done.


                        • #13
                          In reality....there is no reason to be welding at all. It can be done 100% with threaded end caps. If you make a barrel adapter that fits your 1/2x28 thread barrel and then the muffler tube would then thread into that. The internals would be a series of cups with center holes for the projectile to pass through. Just make enough cups to fit internally leaving enough room for a large cross section o-ring installed under the exit end cap. This will apply a tad of down force on the cups keeping them seated yet allowing for thermal expansion. Then...simply thread on a cap out at the exit end. 100% machined. Use the same material for the tube and end pieces to ensure uniform expansion preventing gas leaks at the threads..

                          Sand blast the exterior with 100 grit Garnet and apply flat black Brownells bake paint per the instructions

                          Please keep in mind that to have any worth while reduction of sound from the .223 the muffler will have to be about 1.5 inches diameter by 10-12 inches long. Further, the effort to suppress .223 otherwise known as 5.56 is rather pointless as they are super sonic. You will quiet the BOOM but the bullet makes infinitely more noise screaming through the air and the AR action sounds like a bucket of bolts rattling back and forth.. Suppressors work best with SUB sonic ammo such as the 147 grain 9mm, 158 grain 38 Special or the 300 Whisper using a 220 grain bullet. Additionally suppressed weapons should be bolt action or single shot. The gas impingement used on the AR will be farting noise out the ejection port each time it cycles.



                          • #14
                            I've never been around a silencer and have only seen them and heard them on tv. I imagine the movies greatly exaggerate what an actual silencer does? as they do most things. Since I have a shop and enjoy shooting, would making a legal silencer per all our current laws, for my rutger 10/22 make it to where you could shoot the gun without hearing protection? It would also be nice to use it when we go elk or deer hunting, for in camp use shooting targets and such(not for actual hunting), and not scaring away every four footed animal within ten miles?


                            • #15
                              Hollywood does make more of the muffler than it really is. They simply aren't THAT effective. I have experience with them in many calibers. The rifle applications are simply not too effective as MOST rifle rounds are super sonic as I mentioned above. The bullet travelling through the air is quite a noise. The reduction of the blast report changes a 308 Winchester down to something like a 38 Special or 357 Magnum for sound. It shaves off 40-50 decibels. What was 140-150 decibels is now something around ~100 ish.

                              In the .22 Long rifle applications it is as close as you will ever get to Hollywood type sound. It makes so little noise that you can literally hear the projectile rip the target paper down range. The THWACK of the bullet hitting wood is far louder than the report from the firearm.

                              There are applications for the 10/22 as well as the Ruger Mark I,II,III series pistols and many others. Again firing them produces so little noise that the bolt slapping back and forth is the loudest sound on firing. If you load them with 22 Long or 22 subsonic they make less noise than a pellet gun and have too little power to operate the bolt. This effectively means you have to run the bolt by hand with each subsequent shot.

                              My real grind with the suppressor issue is the cost of them combined with the $200.00 ATF tax stamp not to mention the 6-8 weeks waiting period. All in all it seems a bit much for the little reward in performance. As an FFL I get all kinds of catalogs from vendors that sell them. I could get one, pay for the stamp, but I don't. It just doesn't seem worth it to me. I have a few customers that have gotten on the band wagon and paid the price for them. I've seen many of them in action and fail to see the value in it. YMMV.