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Gunmetal, also known as red brass in the United States,[1] is a type of bronze – an alloy of copper, tin, and zinc.[2] Originally used chiefly for making guns, gunmetal was superseded by steel. Gunmetal is resistant to corrosion from steam and salt water[3].

Gunmetals produced for different purposes vary slightly in composition. In some cases, the alloy may be composed only from copper and tin, or from copper, tin, and lead. It has many uses in industry, and is used for statues and various small objects, e.g. buttons. U.S. Government bronze specification G is a gunmetal composed of 88% copper, 10% tin, and 2% zinc. U.S. Government bronze specification H is composed of 83% copper, 14% tin, 3% zinc, and 0.8% phosphorus.[citation needed] Red brass also contains approximately 5% lead.[citation needed]

Gunmetal can also mean steel treated to simulate gunmetal bronze.[2] Brushes made of this metal are used in machinery.

Other uses

The British Victoria Cross, the highest award for military valour, is traditionally known to be made using gunmetal from a cannon captured at the Siege of Sevastopol during the Crimean War. However, recent research has expressed some doubts over this theory, as it shows the source of early Victoria Crosses to be from Chinese cannons.[citation needed]

The British Gwalior star medal, awarded to the British participants in the 1843 campaign against the Scindias is made of guns captured at the Battles of Maharajpur and Punniar, during the Gwalior Campaign.

Gun money, Irish late 17th century emergency coins, contains gunmetal, as worn and scrapped guns were used to make them, but also many other metals, in particular brass and bronze, as people donated pots and pans and other metal objects.

References








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