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 Post subject: Damascus or twist barrels
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 3:41 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:11 pm
Posts: 9
I see lately some old Damascus or Twist barreled shotguns on adds for lots of $$$. Are they really unsafe to shoot?
Some high quality knives ares made on the same principle. Many were made when modern typs of steel barrels were available. Are they of any value as collectables?
I have collected guns for many years and shotguns are at the bottom of the list as for as gun collectors interests go.

Thanks for your input.




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 Post subject: Re: Damascus or twist barrels
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 6:08 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:34 pm
Posts: 6807
Location: NE Oklahoma
Some Damascus barrels are unsafe to shoot; some are perfectly safe. How do you tell the difference? Ah, there's the rub. Almost certainly, if the barrel interior looks like the inside of a sewer pipe, you're better off using the gun as a wall-hanger. On the other hand, generally, if the barrel interior is bright, shiny and pristine looking, it's probably safe to shoot. I have shot several Lefever's with the aforementioned bright, shiny barrels and neither of us suffered any ill effects from the experience. My personal Lefever has barrels that are rough enough that they look "dirty". I've shot my regular skeet load in it many, many times and will continue to do so when the notion strikes.


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 Post subject: Re: Damascus or twist barrels
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 9:18 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 6:05 pm
Posts: 891
There are many low pressure smokeless recipes that are safe if the barrels are in good condition


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 Post subject: Re: Damascus or twist barrels
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 9:34 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:12 am
Posts: 57
I have an old 20ga SXS with rabbit ear hammers and damascus barrels that belonged to my great grandfather. My dad let me start with it and I killed a lot of squirrel and quail along with a few rabbit back in the early 1970's. I bought my own, "modern" shotgun about 1974 or so.

I didn't know what damascus barrels were until later. I'd love for my son and grandsons to be able to shoot it, but I'm just not going to risk it. I put hundreds of shells though it for several years with no issues. But that was 40 years ago.


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 Post subject: Re: Damascus or twist barrels
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 12:17 pm 
Diamond Grade
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Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 8:09 pm
Posts: 1038
Location: Mineola, TX
I specialize in older vintage SxS shotguns and double rifles. There is a lot of misinformation out there in regards to authors and their thoughts on Damascus. If the Damascus barrels are in poor shape with thin walls they are unsafe and if valuable enough subject for sleeving. If everything checks out fine with the barrels they are safe to shoot with low pressure loads, I like offerings from RST and shoot them through my vintage Greener and Purdey.

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 Post subject: Re: Damascus or twist barrels
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 4:30 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2015 3:51 pm
Posts: 8
The only way to determine if you can shoot damascus or twist barrels is to have them measured for bore diameter and wall thickness. Be highly wary of an old gun with shiny barrels. More than likely it has been honed to clean out the pits and wall thickness is suspect. If it does measure ok then make sure you are using low pressure loads preferably with the right chamber length and that is NOT so the barrels don't blow, it is so you don't crack the wood from high pressure recoil.




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