Blued Vs. Stainless Steel Rifle

Feb 26, 2002
So what do you think? Blued has the carbon steel which is tougher but more prone to rust. Stainless has the looks and ease of care but a little more brittle. Is stainless really that much less work to maintain? If you properly clean your gun after each use will a blued carbon steel last a lifetime??

Cougar Allen

Buccaneer (ret.)
Oct 9, 1998
A good deal more than one lifetime and there are plenty of centuries old guns that are still as good as new to prove it. :cool:


Co-Moderator, Wilderness and Survival Skills Forum
Feb 23, 2001
Blued guns or various black finished guns (wilson armortuff, parkerized, matte black, etc.) are my choice over stainless. Properly maintained, they will last a lifetime. Stainless guns, in my opinion, are less practical unless you are only doing bench rest shooting. For hunting, you want the least amount of reflection as possible. The same applies for my concealed carry handguns. I have only one stainless revolver but numerous black pistols. The average joe is not going to have to worry about rusting if he takes care of his weapons. There is no rustproof stainless steel nor dark finish. The rustproof nature of a gun is entirely dependent on how well the owner takes care of it.

Nov 24, 1999
Most stainless guns are made of 416 SS that has been heat treated. It should wear just as well as 4140, if not better. They end up the same hardness, and the stainless might be just a little more wear resistant. Its lighter in color than a blued gun, but a bead blasted finish makes stainless pretty dull. It doesn't have a glare to it anyway. I could see a satin finish being bad for concealement , but the bead blast isn't bad at all.
The truth is that either material from a quality manufacturer should last a lifetime or more with proper care. The blued is going to take a little more work to preserve its looks. Personally I'd pick whatever I could get a better price on at the time :D