Author Topic: Hardening Triggers  (Read 1092 times)

Offline wvmtnman

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Hardening Triggers
« on: November 14, 2023, 06:10:27 PM »
I made a set of triggers from mild steel.  After I polish them, how do I harden them?  My equipment is fairly limited. 
     Thanks, Brian
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Offline 45-110

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Re: Hardening Triggers
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2023, 06:48:56 PM »
You should of used tool steel, but kasenite will harden them for you.
kw

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Hardening Triggers
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2023, 06:53:37 PM »
If possible,try to find a powder such as Kasenit..Heat the triggers to as bright orange as possible and sprinkle it or submerge the triggers and let them melt the
powder and then quench in cold water.There are other case hardening compounds but I can'r remember the names.I think one was called "Hard and Tough"
and Kasenit  was withdrawn from the market several years ago.
Bob Roller

Offline Jdbeck

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Re: Hardening Triggers
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2023, 08:28:57 PM »
Maybe I am missing something, but I make my triggers form mild steel 1008 and quench in oil and they get too hard, I then temper them back. ?

I know all the science says you cannot harden mild steel through quenching, and it takes time and high heat to increase the carbon content. But I heat it red hot, and chuck it in old motor oil (of all things) and a file skates a cross it. Unless maybe the steel stock I purchased was miss labeled?
« Last Edit: November 14, 2023, 08:39:00 PM by Jdbeck »

Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Hardening Triggers
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2023, 09:26:28 PM »
You have purchased oil hardening high carbon steel.  The clerk probably confused the words mild steel with annealed steel.
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Offline Ross Dillion

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Re: Hardening Triggers
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2023, 10:50:56 PM »
I case harden my triggers mainly because it makes them smoother.  I also have set tiggers on my personal rifles that are mild steel and not case hardened.  Iíve pulled them off and found no signs of wear.  I donít believe itís necessary to make the triggers out of hardened tool steel although thereís certainly nothing wrong with it. Considering that production triggers are made of cast and we know how brittle that stuff can be.  Just my two cents and probably all itís worth. 🤣

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Hardening Triggers
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2023, 02:42:48 AM »
The new Muzzle Blasts that came today has a write up about Judson Brennan and how he he case hardens locks.It also shows his wife and new baby boy and that little guy is ALL boy. Makes us wish we were not fossilzing. We do have a great grandson who is headed to three years old but no really young ones.
Jud says he uses 12L14 for lock making and I guess it works.One thing for sure is the great machineability of that particular steel.It;s a good read and the passing of
Captain Bob Roberts and Ted Cash is in this issue.I wondered what happened to Ted and Alzheimers is mentioned.
Bob Roller

Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: Hardening Triggers
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2023, 03:13:38 AM »
Maybe I am missing something, but I make my triggers form mild steel 1008 and quench in oil and they get too hard, I then temper them back. ?

I know all the science says you cannot harden mild steel through quenching, and it takes time and high heat to increase the carbon content. But I heat it red hot, and chuck it in old motor oil (of all things) and a file skates a cross it. Unless maybe the steel stock I purchased was miss labeled?

You've definitely got something that was mislabeled.  1008 or 1010 or something similar has almost no carbon in it and won't harden even in water, let alone oil.  You'd have to caseharden it.

I've yet to come across a trigger on an antique (singles, not talking about set triggers) that I thought was even casehardened.  Makes sense to me to leave it mild - it's a lot easier to repair wear to a trigger blade than it is to fiddle around with wear to a sear, and the sears were all casehardened of course.  So better the trigger blade wear than the sear arm.
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Offline bnewberry

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Re: Hardening Triggers
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2023, 04:11:27 AM »
Maybe I am missing something, but I make my triggers form mild steel 1008 and quench in oil and they get too hard, I then temper them back. ?

I know all the science says you cannot harden mild steel through quenching, and it takes time and high heat to increase the carbon content. But I heat it red hot, and chuck it in old motor oil (of all things) and a file skates a cross it. Unless maybe the steel stock I purchased was miss labeled?

Could the steel be 1080? That would harden. Or could your quenched trigger have a hard scale and be soft under it? Of the two, the first seems more likely.

Offline Jdbeck

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Re: Hardening Triggers
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2023, 04:15:52 AM »
Maybe I am missing something, but I make my triggers form mild steel 1008 and quench in oil and they get too hard, I then temper them back. ?

I know all the science says you cannot harden mild steel through quenching, and it takes time and high heat to increase the carbon content. But I heat it red hot, and chuck it in old motor oil (of all things) and a file skates a cross it. Unless maybe the steel stock I purchased was miss labeled?

Could the steel be 1080? That would harden. Or could your quenched trigger have a hard scale and be soft under it? Of the two, the first seems more likely.

I paid for 1008 mild steel flat bar, but it might not beÖ itís not a scale it quench hardens. I was kinda dumb foundedó

« Last Edit: November 15, 2023, 04:22:49 AM by Jdbeck »

Online rich pierce

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Re: Hardening Triggers
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2023, 05:50:01 AM »
Like Newberry I think it could be 1080, simple mixup. I thought the average hardware store mild steel is 1018 not 1008. 

Iíd take whatever 1080 you donít want  ;D
Andover, Vermont

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Hardening Triggers
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2023, 06:00:56 AM »
Maybe I am missing something, but I make my triggers form mild steel 1008 and quench in oil and they get too hard, I then temper them back. ?

I know all the science says you cannot harden mild steel through quenching, and it takes time and high heat to increase the carbon content. But I heat it red hot, and chuck it in old motor oil (of all things) and a file skates a cross it. Unless maybe the steel stock I purchased was miss labeled?

Could the steel be 1080? That would harden. Or could your quenched trigger have a hard scale and be soft under it? Of the two, the first seems more likely.

I paid for 1008 mild steel flat bar, but it might not beÖ itís not a scale it quench hardens. I was kinda dumb foundedó
If it hardens in oil its not 1008 which is almost iron.  I have heard of people, knife makers, hardening mild steel with some concoction but its easier to use high carbon. 

Kasenite will harden mild steel and will stand up well if heated and coated 3 times or given a long soak. Not sure Cherry Red compound is as good.. The other option is to have someone pack harden the triggers. A good pack hardening will give a .005Ē deep hard skin. But this is best drawn back to about 350-375 degrees.
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Offline P.W.Berkuta

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Re: Hardening Triggers
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2023, 10:15:35 PM »
Maybe I am missing something, but I make my triggers form mild steel 1008 and quench in oil and they get too hard, I then temper them back. ?

I know all the science says you cannot harden mild steel through quenching, and it takes time and high heat to increase the carbon content. But I heat it red hot, and chuck it in old motor oil (of all things) and a file skates a cross it. Unless maybe the steel stock I purchased was miss labeled?
If you used an oxy-acetylene torch then you most likely had the fuel/oxygen ratio set at too much acetylene and carburized the surface of your steel. This would have added carbon to the surface.
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Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: Hardening Triggers
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2023, 02:23:21 AM »
Maybe I am missing something, but I make my triggers form mild steel 1008 and quench in oil and they get too hard, I then temper them back. ?

I know all the science says you cannot harden mild steel through quenching, and it takes time and high heat to increase the carbon content. But I heat it red hot, and chuck it in old motor oil (of all things) and a file skates a cross it. Unless maybe the steel stock I purchased was miss labeled?
If you used an oxy-acetylene torch then you most likely had the fuel/oxygen ratio set at too much acetylene and carburized the surface of your steel. This would have added carbon to the surface.

I've heard of that, but never seen it happen and can't imagine that it would do so unless it was held at heat for a long, long time or repetitively heated, neither which I see as realistic or necessary for making or forging a trigger.  I've used a torch to forge out a trigger out of low carbon (probably 1010 or 1018) and typically do have a richer fuel ratio, and have never had the issue of it hardening.  AS someone noted above, though, thick scale can be pretty tough to file through.
Strange women lying in ponds, distributing swords, is no basis for a system of government!

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Hardening Triggers
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2023, 02:07:56 AM »
Wasn't there a set trigger for sale recently here that were made from 1075? I have some 3/16 1075 and may try it.I made all I sold here from 1018 and used Kasenit and a nitrated water quench in a 5 gallon plastic bucket..Plastic buckets don't rust.
Bob Roller