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 Post subject: Is my gun safe? What load was my gun designed to shoot?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:44 pm 
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No one on the internet can tell you if your gun is safe, with any load.

An adequate evaluation requires the interest, proper equipment, and expertise of the gunsmith. If your gunsmith is unable to tell you the wall thickness of your barrels, you need another opinion. Let us know where you are and we might be able to recommend a double gun specialist smith near by.

ANY vintage shotgun, regardless of barrel material, should be evaluated as follows:

1. Visually inspect for dents, bulge, wall integrity

2. Inspect bore for pits. Done right this would require a direct or fiberoptic digital bore scope

3. Inspect and 'ring' barrels for evidence of rib separation (which might suggest a bulge)

4. Measure bore for evidence of previous honing. (I am of the opinion that any vintage gun with 'mirror' bores and no 'frosting' has been at least polished.)

5. Measure chamber length for evidence of lengthening, and measure wall thickness (WT) at the end of the chambers (recommended .105") and the end of the forcing cones (recommended .100”)

6. Measure wall thickness from breech to muzzle, recording wall thickness (WT) 9" from the breech (.045”), 9" from the muzzle (.025”), and minimum wall thickness (MWT) in the distal 1/3 of barrel (no less than .020")

7. Remove the forend and assess lock-up

8. Attempt to pull triggers with safety engaged

9. Disassemble and check and clean the action, which likely has 100 years of congealed oil, grease, and field debris

Based on these findings, he who plans on shooting the gun will have additional evidence on which to base his decision regarding both using the gun and choice of shells. In no way does this evaluation guarantee the gun is 'safe to shoot'.

Additional information:
http://www.lcsmith.org/faq/safetoshoot.html

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ZIo ... c-kGA/edit

Turn-of-the-century Shotshells, Powder, and Ballistics
c. 1900: The “standard” 12g field and inanimate target load was 1 1/4 oz. shot with 3 1/4 Dram Equivalent (1220 fps) of Bulk Smokeless with a modern transducer pressure of 8000 - 9500 psi.
Just before WWI: The “standard” 12g field and inanimate target load was 1 1/8 oz. shot with 3 Dr. Eq. (1200 fps) Dense Smokeless with a transducer pressure of 8,500 - 10,000 psi.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1F2s ... FU/preview

Sherman Bell's destructive testing of a Parker GH with Dam 3 and a Parker VH with Vulcan Fluid Steel was published in The Double Gun Journal Vol. 10, Issue 4, Winter, 1999, “Finding Out For Myself” Part II and Vol. 16, Issue 2, Summer 2005, “Finding Out For Myself” Part IX.
Both guns were subjected to sequentially higher pressure loads at about 2,000 pounds/square inch (psi) increments. The GH testing started at 11,900 psi and one chamber ruptured at 29,620 psi. The VH started with a Proof Load of 18,560 psi. Both chambers bulged at 29,620 psi and ruptured at 31,620 psi.
That testing in no way establishes that YOUR unobstructed barrels would tolerate a pressure of 30,000 psi

We only have 10 fingers and 2 eyes

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Mark Twain
"It is better to be careful 100 times than to get killed once."



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Last edited by Drew Hause on Thu Oct 13, 2016 6:19 pm, edited 27 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Is my gun safe to shoot?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:22 pm 
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Please consider.
You sell a vintage Damascus or Twist barrel gun to a friend and advise that it should only be shot with a "low pressure" load. He takes it out back and shoots an AA Xtra-Lite Trap shell with a pressure of 8,000 psi. The barrel bursts and a piece of shrapnel enters the skull of his son. At the civil suit, Randy Wakeman has just testified that you exhibited "Gross negligence" (an intentional failure to perform a manifest duty in reckless disregard of the consequences, as affecting the life or property of another) by selling the gun as if it would be safe, since every shell box carries, and every powder maker states, a warning against the use of Damascus and Twist barrels.
You will be asked to prove/explain:
1. You examined the entire bore with a fiberoptic or direct bore scope, and have the expertise to identify and estimate the depth of any pits.
2. You measured the wall thickness, top, side and bottom, recording the minimum wall thickness every 1", and the wall thickness at the bottom of the deepest pits.
3. You measured and recorded the bore and external dimensions of both barrels prior to your "backyard proof test", and then repeated and recorded those dimensions.
4. Why you had confidence in your personal proof test and felt it was not necessary to send the barrels to a professional testing laboratory like H.P. White for proof testing.
5. Knowing the barrels were "Time Bomb" Twist or Damascus, why you did not send the barrels for Radiography, Magnetic Particle Inspection, or some other NDT.
And a bunch of other questions.

A.J. Aubrey Model 18

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Richard Baxter (1615-1691), Directions Against Covetousness
"Be more careful to use what you have, than to get more."

Kingsley Brown "Shoot more, shop less."


Last edited by Drew Hause on Wed Aug 17, 2016 5:47 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Is my gun safe to shoot?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:31 am 
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No.


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 Post subject: Re: Is my gun safe to shoot?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:38 am 
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Give it to Deadapair , make sure it still has the proof mark on it.
Boehler


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 Post subject: Re: Is my gun safe to shoot?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:03 am 
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'Mirror bore' in a 100 year old gun = honing and risk of an inadequate wall thickness. DO NOT SHOOT until someone with the interest, expertise, and equipment can measure the wall thickness from breech to muzzle

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Richard Baxter (1615-1691), Directions Against Covetousness
"Be more careful to use what you have, than to get more."

Kingsley Brown "Shoot more, shop less."


Last edited by Drew Hause on Tue Jul 14, 2015 3:01 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Is my gun safe to shoot?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 25, 2013 5:09 pm 
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"Be more careful to use what you have, than to get more."

Kingsley Brown "Shoot more, shop less."


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 Post subject: Re: Is my gun safe to shoot?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 25, 2013 8:23 pm 
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Did deadapair shoot it? That guy is a know it all.
Boehler


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 Post subject: Re: Is my gun safe to shoot?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 25, 2013 11:10 pm 
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Looks like the OP bailed on this thread...


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 Post subject: Re: Is my gun safe to shoot?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:11 pm 
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"Be more careful to use what you have, than to get more."

Kingsley Brown "Shoot more, shop less."


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 Post subject: Re: Is my gun safe to shoot?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:21 pm 
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Did it have a proof mark ? Where is Deadapair ?
Boehler


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 Post subject: Re: Is my gun safe to shoot?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 6:26 pm 
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Likely victim of a 10g base wad separation and obstruction

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Image

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Richard Baxter (1615-1691), Directions Against Covetousness
"Be more careful to use what you have, than to get more."

Kingsley Brown "Shoot more, shop less."


Last edited by Drew Hause on Thu Jul 03, 2014 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Is my gun safe to shoot?
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 9:57 am 
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viewtopic.php?f=2&t=320338

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Richard Baxter (1615-1691), Directions Against Covetousness
"Be more careful to use what you have, than to get more."

Kingsley Brown "Shoot more, shop less."


Last edited by Drew Hause on Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Is my gun safe to shoot?
PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2014 10:07 pm 
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Scary stuff.

I wouldn't fire one of those old guns even with black powder loads unless it was strapped to a table and I pulled the trigger with a 50ft string.

My dad bought an old 12 gauge single shot for $25 from someone but didn't notice a crack in the receiver by the hinge. When I pointed it out, he asked what I thought..... I said I'd give him $50 to throw it away.


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 Post subject: Re: Is my gun safe to shoot?
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 9:10 am 
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The 'old gun' in the previous post is a Fausti. Here is an 'old' Miroku. Both shooters were using handloads.

Image

The VAST majority of gun disasters are from operator error (in reloading or while shooting), or an irresponsible failure to adequately evaluate the integrity of the gun.

The point is that quality (which would likely exclude a single shot purchased from Sears for $3.85) vintage guns can be used, with shells for which they were originally intended, with relative confidence after a careful evaluation as outlined in the first post, performed by someone with the interest, equipment, and expertise to do so.
Some are less tolerant of uncertainty than others, and choose not to shoot vintage guns, keeping the selling price of these 'booby trap wall hangers' low for the rest of us fools :wink: Please keep spreading the...uh...mythology :D

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"Be more careful to use what you have, than to get more."

Kingsley Brown "Shoot more, shop less."


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 Post subject: Re: Is my gun safe to shoot?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 5:06 pm 
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i've seen pictures like these on new guns. things happen, if it worries you don't shoot at all. on old guns if i am in doubt i hold the gun in one hand away from face and body then pull the trigger. if it doesn't blow up i check for bulges, i pay my dime and take my chances.


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 Post subject: Re: Is my gun safe to shoot?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 5:56 pm 
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mcookoc: What will be your explanation when a piece of shrapnel from your gun pierces the skull of your friend leaving him paralyzed, mute, and bedridden the rest of his not-much-of-a life? And what is your plan to pay for the lost wages, pain & suffering, and life-time care? Or do you only hunt and target shoot alone?

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Richard Baxter (1615-1691), Directions Against Covetousness
"Be more careful to use what you have, than to get more."

Kingsley Brown "Shoot more, shop less."


Last edited by Drew Hause on Thu Jul 03, 2014 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Is my gun safe to shoot?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:37 am 
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Hmmm,

That's irresponsible. Granted, I've field tested questionable guns, but it involved sandbagging them down on a rest, 50ft of twine and a barricade of some type to hide behind. Hardly laboratory quality, but safe.

BTW, none ever kaboomed.

When we shoot, there is always risk, even brand new. But why exponentially increase that risk?

Might want to get fitted for an eye patch mcookoc.


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 Post subject: Re: Is my gun safe to shoot?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 3:37 pm 
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I have done the same....ratchet strapping an old hammer gun to my trailer and , using bp shells , tied a string to the trigger and pulled the string from around the corner of the garage. 5 rounds through both barrels with no problems. Not in bad shape , but it's a wall hanger now.


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 Post subject: Re: Is my gun safe to shoot?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:40 pm 
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Drew Hause a gunsmith? Good advice there. Don't get an answer on the internet that might tempt you to fire it without having it checked out. Those photo's of blown up gun's point that out pretty clear I think. I see this kind of question quite a bit, is this gun or that safe? If your not sure, until you are certain, it's unsafe. Let's say you could replace that gun for $5000, pretty good price. What would it cost to replace a hand or maybe an eye?


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 Post subject: Re: Is my gun safe to shoot?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 6:56 pm 
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Drew Hause wrote:
Image

I took that photo a while back. That gun had a bad reload shell.



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