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Which one to get? Titanium or Steel M4 full length tube?


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I've been reading about the various options for a full length Benelli M4 tube for a 11707 and it seems like the three best "U.S. made" options are either the SOCOMguy steel tube, DMW's 1 piece aluminum tube, or the titanium tube from the fella on gunbroker.com.

 

For those that have purchased either or these, which one would you recommend to go with and why?

Edited by mattmcg
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I've been reading about the various options for a full length Benelli M4 tube for a 11707 and it seems like the two best "U.S. made" options are either the SOCOMguy steel tube or the titanium tube from the fella on gunbroker.com.

 

For those that have purchased either or these (or both for that matter), which one would you recommend to go with and why?

 

 

I cant see the need for titanium.

 

Its a tube, nothing more. Just because its on a shotgun does not mean its not a simple tube.

 

I think that Daves Metal Works has the best tube for the $$. IIRC, I paid about 80 bucks for mine.

Its simple, well made and works.

 

All BS aside, you are paying for about $3 worth of materal.

There is NO REASON WHATSOEVER to pay up to 200 bucks for a full length tube. Dont believe the hype.

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I originally ordered a steel tube from Daves but then took a look at, then purchased, the titanium tube offered on GunBroker.

 

Titanium is MUCH more expensive than the various grades of steel used to make tubes.

 

$200 for a titanium tube versus $200 for a steel tube - that's a no-brainer.

 

Getting corrosion inside a poorly finished steel magazine tube, not good.

 

The titanium tube is a beautiful piece of machinist's art. You pay over a thousand dollars for a gun then put a cheap magazine tube on it? That makes no sense.

 

If you can't afford the difference in price then you can't afford to shoot it much anyway.

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So I believe the DMW tube is aluminum.... I'm not sure if he made a steel one in the past but the description for his one piece tube now says aluminum and if the machining and color match is good, provides a nice value for $60.

 

That said, the titanium version looks very good! I'm tempted there as well. I agree that staying away from steel would seem to be an easy decision although parkerized steel does provide adequate corrosion protection (and a painted surface does not provide great protection, especially if you can get the paint to chip off).

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I originally ordered a steel tube from Daves but then took a look at, then purchased, the titanium tube offered on GunBroker.

 

Titanium is MUCH more expensive than the various grades of steel used to make tubes.

 

$200 for a titanium tube versus $200 for a steel tube - that's a no-brainer.

 

Getting corrosion inside a poorly finished steel magazine tube, not good.

 

The titanium tube is a beautiful piece of machinist's art. You pay over a thousand dollars for a gun then put a cheap magazine tube on it? That makes no sense.

 

If you can't afford the difference in price then you can't afford to shoot it much anyway.

 

 

Money is NOT the issue. Its common sense. If you can tell me one single thing that a Titanium tube does better than an alum one on an M4, id like to hear it. Its not a wear item,its not under stress and its not a moving part. All it has to do is contain the shells, and not corode. Thats it.

 

However, feel free to pay $200 for what I paid $60 for. The economy can use all the help you can give it.

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Guest cleefurd

OK one thing. Titanium alloy in the grade refered to, is FAR less susceptible to denting than aluminum. We are talking about roughly .040" wall thickness. The aluminum tube will crumple long before steel or titanium. Aluminum would be my last choice. Steel is great too, and for the ultimate in corrosion resistance, even steel vendors will upgrade by parkerizing PLUS coating, since high end coatings are much better in salt spray tests. Alas, titanium is durable, light weight, corrosion proof, and needs no interior coating to survive harshest environments. The exterior coating properly applied NEVER peels, but can be nicked the same as any candidate mentioned.

Edited by cleefurd
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Guest cleefurd
I cant see the need for titanium.

 

Its a tube, nothing more. Just because its on a shotgun does not mean its not a simple tube.

 

I think that Daves Metal Works has the best tube for the $$. IIRC, I paid about 80 bucks for mine.

Its simple, well made and works.

 

All BS aside, you are paying for about $3 worth of materal.

There is NO REASON WHATSOEVER to pay up to 200 bucks for a full length tube. Dont believe the hype.

 

 

Tell the guy at a 3 gun match in Houston who had 4 rds stuck on the wrong side of a dent how adequate aluminum is. Or that it's "just a simple $3 tube ". No hype, simple physics.

 

Tell an active duty field armorer who upgrades rapid insertion team M4s for covert ops that steel is preferable to titanium. It won't rust, and never succumbs to electrolysis (like aluminum). If ALL 85lbs of gear and battle dress could weigh 1/2 as much... like titanium vs steel, each team would be twice as mobile. Its a good alternative with zero drawbacks, at a price in line with steel. No gouging, no hype, no lie.

 

If all you were paying for was $3 of material wouldn't it cost $3?? Honed I.D. Titanium 3AL-2.5V alloy that has been tempered, annealed and normalized, then O.D. ground, costs $3 per inch. That's nearly $60 before it's turned down, threaded, stamped with proof marks, sandblasted, cleaned, degreasd, masked and painted, fired in an oven, packed and shipped. That doesn't even count marketing and CNC overhead or labor. Sounds to me like every tube mentioned is worth just about what they are selling for. Except the OEM steel tube (Benelli Part) that is going for $700 on Gunbroker. Now THAT is hype.

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I live around the block from DavesMetalWorks and happend to get one of the first one peice tubes made, and He told me that it is made of steel. He is currenty working on some aluminum tubes for the lower half of the extention tube for the old M1super90s that people removed with pipe wrenches. Also on the work bench is some aluminum tubes for the Mossberg semi-auto and the Winchester X3

 

I personaly preffer steel and will say that I would like a one peice machined tube IonBonded or Melonite koted. Instead of a blued tube with a welded collar to stop the threads that moisture could possibly collect in and rust, BUT I will say for the amount of hiking and shooting I do with my M4 the DavesMetalWorks tube has not shown any signs of weakness and is by far exceeds the quality I would expect from a 60-80 dollar magizine tube and thank the lord its not ATI LOL

Edited by HKSuper90
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Tell the guy at a 3 gun match in Houston who had 4 rds stuck on the wrong side of a dent how adequate aluminum is. Or that it's "just a simple $3 tube ". No hype, simple physics.

 

Tell an active duty field armorer who upgrades rapid insertion team M4s for covert ops that steel is preferable to titanium. It won't rust, and never succumbs to electrolysis (like aluminum). If ALL 85lbs of gear and battle dress could weigh 1/2 as much... like titanium vs steel, each team would be twice as mobile. Its a good alternative with zero drawbacks, at a price in line with steel. No gouging, no hype, no lie.

 

If all you were paying for was $3 of material wouldn't it cost $3?? Honed I.D. Titanium 3AL-2.5V alloy that has been tempered, annealed and normalized, then O.D. ground, costs $3 per inch. That's nearly $60 before it's turned down, threaded, stamped with proof marks, sandblasted, cleaned, degreasd, masked and painted, fired in an oven, packed and shipped. That doesn't even count marketing and CNC overhead or labor. Sounds to me like every tube mentioned is worth just about what they are selling for. Except the OEM steel tube (Benelli Part) that is going for $700 on Gunbroker. Now THAT is hype.

 

My DMW aluminum one dented on a baricade while going prone, it had never happened w/ steel.:mad: Had a local gunsmith iron out the dent and it happened AGAIN. Well, three of us bought the Titanium Benelli M4 shotgun full length tube from Gunbroker.com, (2 in "Cerakote "DG" finish that matches OEM perfectly, 1 in the "Desert Tan" and one beautiful polished one, and we are all extremely happy with them). He also sells titanium bolt handles on a limited basis, but we can't get more from him until January because he is focusing on mag tubes due to H.R. 1022 and the new administration in D.C. Honestly we only bought one of the ti tubes at first, (Bob was our guinea-pig), and WOW!! They are incredible in every aspect. Not only was it impervious to denting, the barricade didn't even mar the Cerakote (ceramic backbone hi-temp coating) That's when we sprang for two more complete w/ W.C. Wolff springs and bolt handles (the latter cost $39 each, non-rotating hollow knurled knob-bodies that were phenominal in their own right). Trust me, if it were just a tube you could use PVC or card-board. We spent more $$ installing and REPAIRING the aluminum ones than we'll ever spend on the titanium ones. No, these titanium tubes are tough, beautiful, supremely finished, light weight and maintenance free. Install it and forget it!. No need to baby it either.:D Would buy again in a heart-beat. Too bad he does not seem to be selling them any more, maybe took a break for the holidays unless I searched wrong. I'll check my emails and post it if anyone else is interested and can't track him down on Gunbroker.com. We purchased our last one from him in October '08 and from what we heard, he was just getting into civilian supply (he mainly caters to military) so he may or may not be pre-disposed. Seems certain he'll be making them as long as they are legal.

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Guest cleefurd
Trust me, if it were just a tube you could use PVC or card-board. We spent more $$ installing and REPAIRING the aluminum ones than we'll ever spend on the titanium ones. No, these titanium tubes are tough, beautiful, supremely finished, light weight and maintenance free. Install it and forget it!. No need to baby it either.:D Would buy again in a heart-beat. Too bad he does not seem to be selling them any more, maybe took a break for the holidays unless I searched wrong. I'll check my emails and post it if anyone else is interested and can't track him down on Gunbroker.com. We purchased our last one from him in October '08 and from what we heard, he was just getting into civilian supply (he mainly caters to military) so he may or may not be pre-disposed. Seems certain he'll be making them as long as they are legal.

 

They are listed again. Back ordered to ship on Dec 27th, due to mil purchase order (open contract) and Holiday routine.

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I got mine off GunBroker, ordered Nov 24, shipped Nov 26 or 27, can't remember exactly. He explained the delay was due to problems getting the extended magazine spring (and of course I expected some delay due to the holiday). As I mentioned in another string the springs with the titanium tube are longer than the factory spring. The factory spring happened to be the same length as the spring shipped from Daves.

 

I'll reiterate what's been already stated about the advantages of titanium versus aluminum, no contest, the titanium wins on corrosion, strength and weight issues.

 

Hey go cheap if that floats your boat. I think the titanium tube offers the best "value" of all the full-length options available.

 

C97

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HKSuper90 wrote: "thank the lord its not ATI LOL "

 

What is "ATI"?

 

Is it cheap to have steel ion-bonded or Melonite coated?

 

 

I hate to do this but this is their website. www.atigunstocks.com If you like quality this site will make you go blind with plastic.

 

Ion-bonding and melonite coating is really expensive but super durable.

Edited by HKSuper90
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I know ATI. They're not THAT expensive. Didn't see any M4 tubes, or info on melonite using their search engine. Ion bonding is like electroless process. Fairly prevalent. Not too costly. Nitriding is cool too, but like No F-Bdy Bs said, most are looking for tactical durable finish. Exotic plating might not be needed on a tube, especially when starting with titanium or aluminum. One thing I do disagree with mentioned earlier, is that titanium offers no advantage over aluminum, and that the tube is not a stressed member. The mass of 7 rounds, spring, follower, keeper, handguards, barrel, pistons/piston body, and impulse of load constriction at choke ALL impart dramatic tensile strain on the magazine tube during the moment of recoil, since the magazine tube is all that keeps them from flying out/off the front of when fired. Don't believe me? Try shooting it without the nut installed. Instant ammo dump and barrel clanking off the deck will result, followed by "boing" of spring flopping out the tube, and good luck finding the snap-ring spring retainer. Seen it happen:eek:. Not sure how he managed to chamber a round without the barrel slipping out of reach of the bolt lugs, but when it cut loose the bolt unlocked WAY too soon and the shell split the brass and hull all the way into the rim. Clearly aluminum can do the job, but where Benelli uses it (aluminum tubes on the SBE and M1) the tubes are MUCH thicker walled, and heat treated after the lips are rolled and threads are cut. There's probably a reason the Joint services did not want to go down that road again, especially on the MUCH thinner tube walls of the M4. Seems to me titanium is the only "sane" alternative to steel for the M4's mag tube.

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For the record, I emailed DMW through his website and it turns out his 1 piece tube is steel and not aluminum. His website still describes them as aluminum though although after looking at the one I received, it is definitely steel.

 

Just wanted to clear that up. Hopefully DMW will correct his website description.

 

So aluminum may not be an option anymore from any vendor that I can tell (which may be a good thing from the denting issue that many post about).

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