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thekhan Offline OP
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I am looking for information on what was the composition of steel alloy used on the Parker VH and VHE shotguns. Thanks.

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That's a tough one - don't know if that question has ever come up before. Barrel steel alloys have been the normal topic of conversation and research but not the steel used in the frame. The frame was drop-forged and then shaped and machined from the forged block. All machining and engraving was done to the frame and then charcoal case hardening was the last thing done before the final fitting. Don't know if any kind of special alloy was necessary but many of the internal parts were of special alloys and hardened as well where wear would have been a factor.

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I'll offer that the steel was most likely a plain low carbon alloy, probably similar to SAE 1020 (0.2% carbon). The clue is that the frame is well known to be case hardened. When you hit SAE 1040 (0.4% carbon), you can through harden. The SXS shotgun was pretty well standardized during the time that case hardened low carbon was what was available. It was well known and understood to be sufficiently strong without the case. However, casing added a great deal of wear and corrosion resistance to the surface. Case hardening or use of through hardening alloys added wear resistance to the lever work. Springs, were, of course, high carbon, say like SAE 1095.

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thekhan Offline OP
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Someone who is helping me Bright Hardening on recently engraved VHE asked me this question. I searched internet, asked friends but could not find the answer. I bet someone has alloy information. I read about different barrels steel on the parker forum.

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Turnbull can tell you. Get ready to hear what you have already heard-low carbon steel.

Best,
Ted

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Originally Posted By: thekhan
Someone who is helping me Bright Hardening on recently engraved VHE


What is "Bright Hardening" ?

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TheKhan:
Without a professionally done spark spectrometer test, everyone will be just guessing at this. Including Turnbull.

Best, Kensal

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I was at a scrap yard looking for aluminum round stock and asked if they knew what grade it was. The fellow went to the back and came out with what looked like a timing light, but cordless. Aimed it at the alumium and it reads the alloy in it. Said it was 6061.
I'm sure it works with all metals.


David


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Originally Posted By: thekhan
I am looking for information on what was the composition of steel alloy used on the Parker VH and VHE shotguns. Thanks.


And I doubt that you will ever get a straight answer. I have made an exhaustive study of Parker literature (period newspaper articles, advertising, patents, books, available company letters, and a survey of the existing production and order-book records), and there is essentially no specific mention of component metallurgy.

The only specific mention that I have found of a type of steel alloy is in a late-1920s Parker ad (at p.153 in Parker Guns: The "Old Reliable"), this in the context of "The Parker Bolting System: A combination of straight and tapered bolt and bolt plate of hardened tempered tool steel accurately fitted...." I believe that this "tool steel" was specifically referred to as vanadium steel in at least one 1930s Remington-Parker ad or catalog. I have sold my extensive catalog and clipped ads collections so I can't cite the specific item.

As to the vanadium steel component of the Parker Gun, see p.60 in The "Old Reliable." Vanadium steel came to the USA via Henry Ford in 1904-05, at a time when alloy steels were all secret processes and/or patented, hence the fascination with Krupp and Whitworth (as types of steel), and the fluid-steel-era trademarking of otherwise undifferentiated Parker barrels as Vulcan, Titanic, Acme, etc.

The story of vanadium steel came to me from the engineers at the Smithsonian (at the EAA air show at Oshkosh WI), who were re-creating the Wright Bro's airplane. They explained that prior to the advent of vanadium steel that the hard parts of the engines of the day (crankshaft journals, connecting rods, and piston wrist pins) were difficult to machine hard and accurate and, thus, were over-sized, too soft, short-lived and unreliable. Oversized meant heavy rotating weight, which translated into less H.P. per pound of engine, and the horse-power to engine-weight ratio was limiting the aircraft's control and ability to stay aloft.

Enter Henry Ford, on a trip to France, observing an auto race, and in the garage after a crash watching the mechanics disassemble a wreck and he noticed that the engine design was beyond anything he was familiar with: The hard parts were smaller, better machined, and made of an unknown metal, which proved to be a breakthrough alloy of steel. The Smithsonian guys said that vanadium steel became available in the USA in 1905...and I mentioned the breakthrough 1905 Parker-patent for the seminal wear-resistant bolt plate and tapered bolt and they started taking notes.

Anyway, to my knowledge, Parker never mentioned and component alloy steel of any Parker Gun other than the "tool steel" taper bolt and bolt plate in the 1920s (long after the 1905 introduction), and if the person who has my portfolio of Parker ads is tuned in here, he can look through the Remington-Parker ads of the mid- to late-1930s to verify the reference to Vanadium Steel. Or perhaps it's in the 1937 Spiral-bound catalog. But other than vanadium steel, I do not recall Parker ever dropping any other technical reference to component alloys of steel in the era of fluid steel, circa 1895 (Whitworth compressed fluid steel) et seq. EDM


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"The price of good shotgunnery is constant practice" - Fred Kimble
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