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8620 vs 1020: Will The "Real" Forged Iron Please Stand Up?

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Been researching online - always a dangerous thing to do - about carbon steel, alloys and forgings.  Have some questions....


1. Learned the difference between 1020 carbon steel and 8620 carbon steel.  The xx20 indicates the carbon content of the steel in hundredths.  Both 8620 and 1020 have the same amount of carbon - .20%.  


2. The first two numbers tell more of a story.  The 10xx represents a simple carbon steel that is not alloyed.  86xx indicates an alloy, with a few more ingredients.


3.  Apparently, the biggest difference is in hardness - 8620 is a little harder, therefore more durable.  From what I was able to find, a golf iron made of either can still be bent the same.


The question is - a "forged" iron made from 8620 carbon steel - is it really forged?  From what I've read, 8620 can be forged at temps between 1800 and 2200 degrees, but are they typically cast and then stamp-forged? 


Another question - does it matter?  Can you feel the difference?  


My two cents - yeah, it counts as forged, no, it doesn't matter to me that it's called "forged" when it's cast first and then forged and no, I doubt I could feel the difference.


What say youse guys?


What's in the bag:
Driver:  Sub 70 639D - 9.5; :cleveland-small: Launcher HB Turbo; :mizuno-small: ST 190 
FW Wood: :tour-edge: Tour Edge EXS 220 - 15*; :mizuno-small: ST 180 14*
Hybrids:  PXG 0311 22
Utility Irons: :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model Utilities 18, 21, 24*;  Lynx VT Stinger - 16*
Irons::wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged; :benhogan-small:PTx Pro, :macgregor-small: VIP 1025 V-Foil MB/CB; :wilson_staff_small: Progressives (circa 1993)

Wedges:  :cleveland-small: CBX -2, :benhogan-small:Riviera 52-56-60; :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model
Putter:   :edel-golf-1:  Willamette,  :bettinardi-small: BB8,  :benhogan-small:Baby Ben

Ball: :bridgestone-small: Tour B X (2020); :srixon-small: Z-STAR XV

Stat Tracker/GPS Watch: :ShotScope:

Follow @golfspybarbajo

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You can feel the difference in a Scratch 8620 vs a Scratch 1018 wedge.  1018 is almost virtually identical to 1020, and there's actually a rather lengthy thread on here back when TourSpec golf claimed to have tested a Scratch 1018 and it came up as something other than 1018 steel according to his test.  Lots of back and forth and a lengthy discussion on different types of forged steels.

In The Bag
Driver: TaylorMade M2 (2017) w/ Project X T1100 HZRDUS Handcrafted 65x 
Strong 3 wood: Taylormade M1 15* w/ ProjectX T1100 HZRDUS handcrafted 75x
3 Hybrid: Adams PRO 18* w/ KBS Tour Hybrid S flex tipped 1/2"
4 Hybrid: Adams PRO 20* (bent to 21*) w/ KBS Tour Hybrid S flex tipped 1/2"
4-AW: TaylorMade P770 w/ Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Black Onyx S400

SW: 56* Scratch Tour Dept(CC grooves) w/ Dynamic Gold Spinner
LW: 60* Scratch Tour Department (CC grooves) w/ Dynamic Gold Spinner
XW: 64* Cally XForged Vintage w/ DG X100 8 iron tiger stepped
Putter: Nike Method Prototype 006 at 34"

Have a ton of back-ups in all categories, but there are always 14 clubs in the bag that differ depending on the course and set-up. Bomb and gouge. Yes, I'm a club gigolo.

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I remember that contriversy on here. Confused the heck out of me. I think some folks with exceptional feel can tell the difference. Honestly I can tell the difference in the feel of a Japanese forging versus others but absolutely do not know about anything about the properties of steel or the process of mixing the steel for carbon properties etc. I don't worry too much about it I just use what feels good to me

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Driver Homna  G1- X Stock Homna Regular shaft

4 wood Adams Tight Lies 

5 wood Adams Tight Lies 

24* Hybrid Adams A 10-OS Pro Launch Red R

Irons 5 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan Apex #2 shafts

SW- Wilson Staff JP II 56* shaft unknown

Putter 1997 Santa Fe rusty as heck




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So 1020 is softer than 8620?

Driver: Tour Edge Exotics EXS w/Mitsubishi ck Blue regular shaft BACKUP DRIVER: Cobra F8 w/Mitsubishi ck Blue regular shaft  Fairways:  Cobra King F8 3W(14.5*) & 5W(18.5*) w/Mitsubishi ck Blue regular shaft Hybrids: Tour Edge CBX 119 4H(22*)  with Project X Evenflo regular shaft Irons: Wilson Staff D7 5 - PW w/Recoil 460 regular shafts Wedges: Wilson D7 GW(50*) & SW(54*) w/Recoil 460 regular shafts; Cleveland RTX Zipcore(58*) w/True Temper Spinner Wedge steel shaft  Putter: 33" Slotline SSi 693 mid mallet Bag: Cobra Ultralite Cart Bag(Peacoat Blue).


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So 1020 is softer than 8620?


HDCP: 12.6 (GHIN: 3143312)
In my bag, JULY 2020
:titelist-small: TS2 Driver Hzrdous Smoke Shaft (Stiff Flex)
:titelist-small: TS2 Hybrids  Mitsubishi Tensei Shaft (Stiff Flex)
:mizuno-small:  MP-59 5-PW; KBS Tour (Regular Flex)
 :callaway-small: PM Grind Wedges
:bettinardi-1:  Putter

:bridgestone-small: 2020 TOUR B RXS
Sun Mountain Cart Bag
:Clicgear: 3.5 Push Cart (I'm walking 9 outta 10 rounds!!)

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I'm reshafting Macgregor M685 forged irons 5-8 with UST ProForce V2 95 graphite just to see if they feel similar to the SCORs. The 7-8 are 1025 carbon steel and the 5-6 are 4140 carbon steel. The 4140 irons are also hollow body with the face connected to the hosel. According to SCOR, these UST shafts are very similar to the Genius 9 which I have in the SCORs. If they don't feel right, it's just a few shafts and the Hogans are coming, the Hogans are coming!

We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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The question is - a "forged" iron made from 8620 carbon steel - is it really forged?  From what I've read, 8620 can be forged at temps between 1800 and 2200 degrees, but are they typically cast and then stamp-forged? 


Another question - does it matter?  Can you feel the difference?  



If an iron has undergone a forging process and is made from 8620 carbon steel then it is really forged in my opinion. If the iron came from a casting and was then forged, I consider it forged, technically speaking. Yes it wasn't forged from a billet like a lot of irons are but it still went through the process.


It's like my Wilson 8882 that I have. By a golfer's definition, it's not a milled putter however, it did get milling on the face so it technically was "milled" in that aspect even though the putter came from a casting process (I believe) and not from a solid block of metal like a 100% milled putter. I just started learning about manufacturing processes in engineering school so I'm taking the terms "forged" and "cast" here in a literal sense. 


As for feel, I'm not sure I can tell a difference when it comes to the material. For wedges, I can feel a difference in a Vokey vs SCOR but that may have something to do with the shaft. If you gave me two identical wedges that were both created the same and had the same specs except one is from 8260 and the other one from is 1020, I'm not sure I would be able to tell a difference.

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