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Joined: Jul 2009
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Sidelock
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Magnificent and lovely to see the big bores still being made. With barrels this length and size, I would estimate the gun itself will be north of 24-25lbs. You need to be a beast of a person to lug that across the marsh smile

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Very nice. Is there any way you can measure the bores. I am trying to make up some choke gages for a friend who collects big bore shotguns and we are having problems finding out the bore size. Some say 1.052 and others .935.

We are getting the feeling that some of these old 4 bores were not made to a standard.

The hull rim measures 1.183, the base is 1.064.

Thanks, David


David


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0.935 sounds like a 6 bore to me given my 8 bore is 0.835. I have always assumed the 4 bore was around 1.052 as you mentioned - could well be proven wrong though!

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CBL1, When my friend called the Birmingham proof house and spoke to the, forget the term used, and was told 1.052, but he didn't ask him when this standard was started.
I made up some plug gages for him to try and hopefully we can find out.
He has quite a few 4 bores and they seem to be different bores and was wondering if when these guns were made there was no standard for them.


David


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Per British proof charts;
4 Ga = 1.052"
5 Ga = 0.976"
6 Ga = 0.919"
8 Ga = 0.835"

Now this is what I seem to recall hearing. If anyone has other info do jump in with it.
The "4-Bore" originated as a muzzle loader with a bore size of 1.052" ▒ the makers ideas or tolerance. The earliest 4-Bore breech loaders were rifles & used the 1.052" bore diameter with thin brass cases.When paper cases with their thicker case walls were introduced it was not desirable to change the chamber size so the bores were reduced to accommodate the paper hulls. Consequently 4-Bore guns built for paper hulls will normally carry bores of about .935" & will thus be proofed as a 6. The few 4-bore guns I have seen I had neither opportunity to check bore diameters or proof marks, but I understand the 4 is most often found with this 6-bore proof.
A late 4 gauge paper new empty I have head-stamped Gevelot 4
Paris only measures 1.040" at the head. The paper on this hull is quite rigid so can get a pretty accurate reading of the mouth diameters, which amazingly seems to have the same 1.040" od as at the head. ID checks to about .930".
An 8 gauge "Fired" Remington industrial measures .920" "Ahead" of the enlarged band.
Hope this helps you a bit but true 4 gauge is 1.052" based on the weight of a pure lead ball which fits. It just would appear that very few "True" 4's were actually built.


Miller/TN
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I believe Daryl came up with this


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Miller, thanks. That is what I have heard also, that the early 4 bores were 1.052 as a true 4 bore and later ones from what I have gathered, were from .935-.960.

Hopefully the plug gages I made will help in determining what the bores are on these different 4 bore guns.

My friend also has a few of the 4 bore rifle bullets. The cases are 4 1/2" long and the solid lead bullet I think is 1750 grs., which equates to a 4 oz. piece of lead.


David


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British proof rules match the bore sizes given in Daryl,s chart.
4 bore barrels according to Burrard are normally bored at 6/1[.938 diameter]but in actual fact the bore size of a gun deemed in proof as a 4 bore can vary in diameter from 1.026 to .919. The provisional proof load varies depending upon bore size. The definitive proof load is the same for all barrel diameters and is also the same for both 4.0 & 4 I/4, chamber lengths.
It was the gun makers responsibility to make sure that barrel wall thickness was sufficient to with stand proof at the intended final bore diameter.

Last edited by Roy Hebbes; 05/25/13 07:05 PM.

Roy Hebbes
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Roy, thanks for the information. I will post more on this after my friend gets the plug gages I made (hopefully Tuesday) and we will see what he gets in the different 4 bores he has.


David


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