Why We Use Billet and Not Cast or Forged Parts

We use billet gun parts exclusively, an important specification for a high quality gun. A billet is raw steel that must undergo a series of manufacturing processes before it can be used for various purposes. Billets are made by means of freezing molten liquid. The billets then are exposed to gradually warming temperatures in order to allow the metal to take shape and solidify its chemical structure. The temperature manipulates the metal’s physical properties and tones its strength and durability. Due to this process, billet frames have a higher strength tolerance than forged or cast frames. The strength of a billet frame is dependent on the steel from which it is made. Jacob Grey Custom uses American made 4140 steel. A billet gun frame is cut from a solid piece of steel, so the material does NOT have to be forgeable.

Because billets have a specific grain structure, the metal can be processed more intricately. We maintain consistent grain direction during the CNC cutting of all parts. Billets are known for their malleability and ductility, especially when exposed to varying temperatures during the cutting process. Because of the quality of the initial steel selection along with processes of machining practices, a Jacob Grey Custom gun frame offers superior strength and functionality unparalleled in the industry.

Jacob Grey Custom never uses cast or forged gun frames. Why should this matter to you? A forged gun frame is made from a raw piece of metal that, when heated, is pounded into shape in a forging die. The excess metal squeezes out between the forging dies and must be cut off. The defects of a metal forged product include exterior and interior cracking, laps, cold shuts, warping of the part, improperly formed sections, and dead zones. Cracking in both the interior and exterior is caused by excessive stress or improper stress distribution as the part is formed.

A cast gun frame is similar as it is made from material being forced or poured into a mold. The frame will have thicker and thinner areas as it takes shape from this molten state. As a cast gun frame cools, it shrinks. As thick areas cool slower than thin areas, they can form voids, which causes the frame to warp out of shape or crack. Even worse, these warps and voids form internal stresses that are undetectable until the gun part is used.

Since we set our craftsmanship standards high, we decided at the beginning that 100% American-produced billet steel represents the high quality material we are proud to use in our Jacob Grey Custom creations.

What Our Customers Are Saying

  • I have a weakness for a sexy looking gun, especially if you can stick a .45 cartridge in it. My SC-3.5 (the carry version) looks like it should stay on display over a fireplace, but looks aren't everything. It's very functional as a "carry" gun, and somehow the 3.5" barrel and lightweight frame soak up recoil. Love this gun."

    Fred Shipley, Shipley Law Firm