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Shooting them?
Unread 01-21-2020, 08:54 AM   #1
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Default Shooting them?

Maybe going to get a range of opinions here but here goes.

I mentioned in another thread that I picked up a GH from 1891 with Damascus barrels that have been cut. They are basically open chokes now. Otherwise I don't believe the gun has ever been apart. Since I wanted this for a thick timber grouse gun I wasn't looking for high budget and only have $400 into it.

My question, do any of you guys just strap a Damascus gun in a rest and fire half a box of RST's remotely? In all reality, there is no value to this as a anything besides a shooter. So if I can't shoot it what's the harm? Now, i am just throwing this out there and am still considering contacting someone about inspecting the barrels. In all reality though, no one can guarantee x number of safe rounds.
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Unread 01-21-2020, 09:12 AM   #2
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the only way to proof a barrel is with proof loads

i guess I do not see any function in your test unless the gun looks to be unsafe, in which case why shoot it at all

those of us that shoot damascus either measure or have them measured for wall thickness and signs of the bores having been honed
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Unread 01-21-2020, 09:21 AM   #3
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Take the time to research this yourself, you have already accepted the legend of unsafe through guy on the street. Go to any post by Drew Heuse(sp.) and click on his tutorial, read all of it. Look at and read Sherman Bell's finding out for myself. Then have the barrel wall thickness measured by a smith competent in vintage doubles. NO one is going to give you a guarantee on any gun fluid or damascus. There is a great deal of information on this site and other sites for you to make up your mind.
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Unread 01-21-2020, 09:39 AM   #4
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The reading I have been doing seems to indicate a lot more of these get shot than folks realize. I considered buying the thickness gauge for myself but I think they were out of stock last time I looked. The whole subject is curious, hence the question. I took a chance on this one and in reality wanted it to have an inexpensive gun to learn on. The Damascus barrels are gorgeous and I'd like to own a higher grade gun but want to be a little more knowledgeable first.
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Unread 01-21-2020, 09:48 AM   #5
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I have spent a lot of time reading all i could find on this subject and the tipping point was that the warning on shell boxes did not come about until 1937. There is a recent thread about this here. Have it checked out by some one knowledgable and then make your own decision.
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Unread 01-21-2020, 10:04 AM   #6
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The only way to know is to have a good barrel man who has evaluated a lot of Damascus barrels measure the wall thickness and determine the depth of the any pitting. In other words, get a well informed opinion. Do not rely on a local hack gunsmith unless he really knows Damascus barrels otherwise he’s going to give you the usual CYA rhetoric about them not being safe.

The fact that they have been cut is probably not a concern because of the lower pressure at the muzzle. The determining factor is at the end of the chamber through the forcing cones where pressure is the greatest.
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Unread 01-21-2020, 12:02 PM   #7
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https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...vwLYc-kGA/edit

Let's assume the barrel is deeply pitted (or has been honed) and the wall thickness is dangerously thin. You tie the barrel in an old tire and remotely take 10 shots with low pressure RSTs; but the pressure generated is above the yield strength of the barrel wall. Each shot produces "low cycle fatigue" plastic deformation of the steel, which may not be measurable when checking for barrel bulging with a micrometer. With shot #11 the barrel bursts, sending a chunk of shrapnel toward the head of your hunting companion...or grandchild. And you own that shrapnel. Why take the risk?
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Unread 01-21-2020, 12:29 PM   #8
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Ryan,
Ditto on having the barrels inspected by a smith that knows doubles and Damascus barrels. Bachelder in Grand Rapids comes to mind as they are in state but there are others. Check the FAQ section on the PGCA homepage. After inspection be sure to use loads your gun was designed to shoot. RST 2-1/2” shells are low pressure and are highly recommended.
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Unread 01-21-2020, 12:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew Hause View Post
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...vwLYc-kGA/edit

Let's assume the barrel is deeply pitted (or has been honed) and the wall thickness is dangerously thin. You tie the barrel in an old tire and remotely take 10 shots with low pressure RSTs; but the pressure generated is above the yield strength of the barrel wall. Each shot produces "low cycle fatigue" plastic deformation of the steel, which may not be measurable when checking for barrel bulging with a micrometer. With shot #11 the barrel bursts, sending a chunk of shrapnel toward the head of your hunting companion...or grandchild. And you own that shrapnel. Why take the risk?
Agree, and certainty understand. That was the basis of my question. I fully understand the minimum thickness and from PM discussions sounds as if that's necessary no matter what. Sort of just thinking out loud on the test firing and enjoy the discussion on it. I get the sort of bending a piece of metal until it breaks scenario. I would suppose minimum thickness allow for enough initial resistance to prevent fatigue.

Trying to become knowledgeable on the subject before I have grandkids!
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Unread 01-21-2020, 01:16 PM   #10
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When you take your gun in to the smith, be sure that he doesn't measure outside diameter and inside diameter only to get the minimum. This method will NOT tell you if the barrels are thin in strategic spots. I had a smith (that I supposed would have known that not all shotgun bores are concentric due to the striking and regulation process) measure my barrels this way. I got an OK to shoot from the smith, but did my own thickness measurements when I got the gun home and found spots where the thickness was about .013"
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