Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Fyrstyk, Mar 20, 2021.
Many owners of damascus or other pattern-welded barreled shotguns do still shoot them, some with 'light' smokeless loads and some with black or black substitute powders, but the bottom line is that there can be no certain safety margin in shooting a gun with a very old barrel or barrels which are a mass of welds, usually of dissimilar metals, from end-to-end, and no way to be sure of the actual integrity of that assembly at this late date.
Caution is best, but, whatever you do, if you decide to shoot your double, have it inspected very thoroughly by a competent gunsmith, and a second or more opinions is a good idea, as well.
PRD1 - mhb - MIke
Before you vomit, the gun itself was pretty wasted and the last six inches of the barrels were mashed flat. They cut off the damaged portion ( while being careful to keep a legal length ) and went to work. They didn't expect any trouble with trap loads of even field loads, and there was none. They chambered a 2-3/4" Magnum and still no trouble. They shot a box of Magnums through it. No problems. Now, we're talking around 12,000 PSI at this point, more than double a BP load. Next up was a 3" Mag in a 2-3/4 " chamber. Nothing.
Time to get nasty. A 2-3/4" nitro proof load was next. The gun yawned. At this point they decided that they were gonna blow this thing up no matter what it took. They assembled a load that would develop 24,000 PSI. No luck. Long story short, the right barrel let go at 38,000 PSI. !!!!!
In conclusion, Damascus barrels on a quality gun just may be a lot stronger than you think. PDR1 gives some sound advice. My advise is to just shoot BP in the gun. You might be surprised at how much fun you have. And cleaning a double barreled shotgun after shooting black is about as quick and easy as it gets.
IF it proves safe to use (by a competent gunsmith) then Vintager loads from RST would be a good choice to use
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