How are Black Powder Revolvers 'Proof Tested'?


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Oyeboten
March 9, 2010, 06:33 PM
I understand Muzzle Loading Shotguns and Rifles, and Muzzle Loading Single Shot Pistols, were/are Proofed, by shooting a test Load of double Powder, and double Ball...or, at least this is what I think I recall reading.


But, how were/are Cap and Ball Revolvers Proof Fired/tested?

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arcticap
March 9, 2010, 07:26 PM
I'm not sure who really knows or what documentation can be supplied about the exact proof testing method used for the Italian cap & ball revolvers.
One of the Pedersoli pages below goes into some detail about proofing their BPCR and smokeless guns where they mention exceeding the ammo. pressure spec.'s by 30%. What isn't mentioned is whether that same 30% rule also applies to C&B revolvers.
There's only so much room for powder in a revolver chamber.
Maybe they use 4F powder for testing so they can develop a certain amount of excess pressure in that way? Wouldn't it be interesting to learn that sub. powders are being used for proof testing?
BTW, the Pedersoli manual lists identical powder charges of 18 grains to 35 grains max. for both of their revolvers, the Remington Pattern and the Roger & Spencer "Pedersoli".

Here's one generic proofing statement from Pedersoli that mentions C.I.P rules:

In compliance with the Italian law for the guns production and sale, all the guns must go through the firing tests at the Banco Nazionale di Prova (National Proof House) in Gardone Valtrompia according to the C.I.P rules. The high pressure firing test is made to all the guns whether they are muzzle loading or breech loading, and it is one of the most sophisticated of qualifications tests, involving not only actual overload firing tests but also over 40 inspections for dimensional changes which would indicate the slightest flaw.

http://www.davidepedersoli.com/?item=aboutUs&lang=en

An excerpt of the details about proofing their smokeless and BPCR guns.

PEDERSOLI PROOF TESTING STATEMENT

All Pedersoli rifles are proof tested at the (Italian government) National Firing Proof House with smokeless powder cartridges with a pressure exceeding that of the ‘commercial’ factory made ammunition by 30 %.

For the .45-70 caliber we normally recommend the use of commercially made ammunition because of it being easily available on the world market. We show here some warnings about C.I.P. rules:

C.I.P WARNING

Our guns are proof tested according to the rules imposed by C.I.P. (International Proof Commission). Proof test pressure is 30% stronger than the maximum pressure of a commercial cartridge (Pmax.) Pmax pressures are measured in BAR units.

The below mentioned data are compared to the Crusher (CUP) and PSI method.

The equivalent maximum pressure value of the commercial cartridges measured according to the English/American P.S.I. and C.U.P. system is obtained by multiplying the BAR value x 14.5037.

http://www.bpcr.net/site_docs-results_schedules/documents/pedersoli_proof_rules_and_allowable_limits_09-04.htm

mykeal
March 9, 2010, 07:50 PM
AFIK all the European countries require their manufacturers to conduct proof tests before selling/delivering their firearms. The methods and standards vary, however. The US has no such restrictions, and no US manufacturer will admit to conducting proof testing nor provide the details of such testing if it is indeed accomplished. This is for product liability reasons.

unspellable
March 9, 2010, 08:26 PM
A 30% over pressure is pretty standard for a smokeless proof load. This is easily achieved with smokeless powder in a cartridge. It's also easily achieved in a nitro for BP load.

For muzzle loading firearms other than revolvers the old standards prescribed a certain overcharge of powder and shot. They may be still i nuse.

Revolvers are a quandry, since you can't overload a revolver with a single ball. Not sure what hey do there.

1 bar = 14.503 psi. But this is simply a unit conversion. There is ABSOLUTELY NO conversion factor between CIP, cup, piezo, or the old British method. They are four different methods, measuring four different things, and there is no good correlation between them.

With a given load you will get four different pressures with the four different methods.

andrewstorm
March 23, 2010, 12:28 AM
the ruger old army b p revolver is said to have been proofed{THE PROTO TYPE}BY FILLING THE CYLINDER WITH BULLSEYE,AND SEATING A BALL ON IT,TO NO AVAIL THE RUGER WAS NOT DAMAGED!SO THE LEGEND GOES,BILL RUGER WANTED TO MAKE HIS PET REVOLVER IDIOT PROOF,BUT I WOULDNT WANT TO PULL THAT TRIGGER!:eek:

Oyeboten
March 23, 2010, 03:05 AM
I would not either!

S-c-a-r-e-y...


Prior to Nitro or Smokelss Propellents, I guess there was no way to Proof Fire a BP Revolver, unless one jammed a second Ball down the Barrel, and, onto the one at Battery, and, then, let 'er rip...but, even, then, that would not be very much of an over-load 'proof', even if it would be something substantial anyway.


A Cylinder full of 'Bullseye', in the RUGER prototype...I dunno...are sure that really happened?


Yeowey!


Lol...

wittzo
March 23, 2010, 09:24 PM
Ruger does crazy stuff to promote hoe tought their guns are. I read one article where they grabbed random pieces off the P-85 line and assembled a few pistols to show how all the parts were completely interchangeable and within .XXX" of tolerance.

They took one of the barrels, bored it out smooth and tapped it with threads an inch in front of the chamber and screwed a rod in place and fired it with a proof load from a rest. They said the proof load was a double load, with twice as much powder for the bullet. The only damage was a blown out extractor, so they replaced the barrel and extractor, took measurements to make sure it was within tolerances and fired that pistol for 5000 rounds, inspecting it every few hundred rounds and measuring it with calipers to make sure it was still within tolerance. They also fired one of them with a number of proof loads (1000?) instead of regular rounds, again, double loaded rounds, to show how tough the pistols were.

On an aside, when the Army did their competition to replace the 1911 with a "wondernine", it was a four way tie between Beretta, Ruger, S&W, and SigSauer. Ruger won because it was the least expensive, but they had just started making it, they weren't able to produce them in the numbers required by the contract. S&W was in the same boat. SigSauer was too expensive, so Beretta won the contract. Years later several Beretta's suffered slide fractures and failures using carbine ammo in the Navy Seals (which are 147 grain projectiles and XX% more powder to make sure the subguns stay reliable), so they were replaced by the SigSauer, designated the M10.

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