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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a gun that I'm trying to ID. I got it from my father-in-law and he got it from his stepfather who passed away. I believe it used to be an EIBAR 20gauge. I went to a spanish guns website, and found about the proofs on the gun. I also sent them an email but haven't heard back from them yet. The gun has on the barrel " DE ESCOPETAS JABE EIBAR made in spain" The serial number on the reciever matchs the barrels and forestock. What has been done to the gun is it has been sleeved with rifled inserts and chambered for 444 marlin. It appears that is has been professionally done. The reciever has quite alot of engraving on it, mostly of birddogs and geese among other things. The trigger gaurd is engraved along with some on the barrels. On the trigger gaurd there is a number hand engraved that says No. 251. Any help with an ID? I'm wanting to try to make this gun a 20gauge again, maybe get new barrels, I don't know. Also I'm not sure if it is safe to fire 444 marlin from it. I haven't fired it, but it has been shot. Again it appears to be a professional conversion that someone went to alot of trouble to do. Any help would be appreciated.
 

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This probably isn't much help. "Escopeta" is Spanish for "shotgun". Jabe was (is?) a manufacturer. Making firearms has been a major occupation in the Eibar region of Spain for about as long as firearms have been made. Quality of Eibar guns runs from awful to excellent. If the engraving on your gun is quality work, it's probably one of the better, if not the best. As for re-converting to a shotgun, I wouldn't know anything about that, but suspect it was a lot easier to insert the sleeves than it will be to remove them.
 

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I haven't done the math to figure out the wall thickness, but it seems that there would be very little room in a 20 bore to insert a .444 Marlin rifle barrel. In particular, the area just forward of the chamber on the rifle is rather large in diameter.

Rifle pressures are much higher than shotgun pressures, so counting on the existing thickness of the shotgun barrel for much strength would be risky, IMO. I realize this doesn't deal with the question you asked, but I'm just saying that I would be suspicious of the safety of shooting a .444 Marlin round in that gun/rifle.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That tells me a little, and I guess I'll probably never have anything but a good conversation piece. If I could get some digital pictures of the gun ( I'll have to borrow a camera) I could show you. As far as the thickness of the barrel, at the breech it's almost 1/4" thick with the sleeve and the origanal barrel. Out at the end of the barrel, it's a solid 1/8" thick. That seems to be as thick as the end of my 270 Remington.
I guess it would be impossible to find out who made the gun and try to get some more barrels made for it wouldn't it?
 

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Opie,

Here is one of the problems you are facing as far as strength of the barrel is concerned. You can't see how well (or how poorly) the rifle barrel fits inside the shotgun barrel anywhere along its length except at each end. How many gaps might there be along this length that you can't see? It's unlikely that the rifle barrel was originally made the exact OD of the bore of the shotgun barrel. So, how was the fit made? Was the rifle barrel specially made to fit inside the shotgun bore? Was a rifle barrel that was close in size used and some type shims made? These are all questions that I don't know the answer to.

Unless the rifle barrel is a PERFECT fit inside the shotgun bore, then it's likely that the shotgun barrel provides no strength against rupture of the rifle barrel. The reason I say this is because without a perfect fit, each barrel would act independently in the strength department. If the rifle barrel, which should withstand pressures in the neighborhood of 45K to 50K psi, should rupture, then the pressure is going to go right on through the shotgun barrel (max pressure of about 18K psi) just like it wasn't even there. Only if they are a perfect fit and even the slightest expansion of the rifle barrel would be resisted by the shotgun barrel will the shotgun barrel give any protection against rupture.

Of course, if they put a perfectly good rifle barrel in there to start with, then it doesn't matter what the shotgun barrel does, if anything. But that's the question. How good is the rifle barrel by itself? I don't know.

You could always rig up a way to test it by using sandbags and a long string to pull the trigger. If you do this, be sure to allow the gun some room to recoil some or you may crack the stock if you put the butt up against a brick wall or something similarly immovable. Even this wouldn't necessarily tell you if the gun is safe with numerous .444 rounds unless you put a couple of "proof" loads through it. It might work out great, and proofing it yourself may be the only way to know for sure.

As for converting it back to a shotgun, that wouldn't be my choice. I would use it as is, if I could prove it's safe, or buy another barrel to shoot shotgun shells through. BTW, you might be able to shoot .410 shells in it. You would just have to measure the chamber and find out.
 

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Another issue would be the strength of the reciever, shotgun recievers aren't heat treated to as high standards as rifles usually. I'd be afraid of it until I found that part out.
 
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