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proof smoof...who cares...

we bin outta proof, so to speak, since 1776...

an watt doc drew says is correctomundo, as usual...

Last edited by ed good; 03/13/22 01:25 PM.

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Originally Posted by Ted Schefelbein
Might be safe to alter a bore, but, you are going to nick gun value by altering anything in the bore on an English gun.

Agreed.

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Ever wonder why England established a proof house? Well, a zillion gunsmiths were turning out a zillion guns, many for export to Africa and other parts far away from England and many for domestic use. And many guns blew up in a shooter’s face with the first pull. Didn’t help the English reputation when they tried to trade guns for slaves and ivory, or for the local laborers, etcetera. And these makers were basically immune from liability which was more or,less an unknown concept. Who cared! So in an effort to save a valuable export item from extinction the government established a proof house in London in 1657, requiring all guns to undergo proofing. Guns still blew up after sale but maybe the proud owner could get a dozen or so shots before each pull became a game off roulette. And to varying degrees this problem continued for a couple centuries. So the proof houses became integral to the British arms trade and did raise the overall safety significantly. *

Fast forward to the American manufacture of arms. They were late comers to the business and while the individual makers turning out one longrifle at a time did the best they could since their market was local—close neighbors—and reputation was the only thing that kept them in business. But admittedly they often produced very inferior arms to the Indian trade. But by the time true arms factories (Colt first) began producing arms, liability laws were pretty well established. And also each arms manufacturer depended on a good reputation. As a result each manufacturer became their own proof house and subjected their guns to rigorous stress tests. So the same self regulation has successfully continued to this day, perhaps even more strenuous today than ever before since it’s increasingly easy to sue for inferior products.

*Much of this from writings of WW Greener.


It ain't whether you hit a bird that matters, it's the fun you have even if you don't.
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Interesting reading regarding proof testing in the U.S.

April 20, 1895 Sporting Life
https://digital.la84.org/digital/collection/p17103coll17/id/48142

July 27, 1895 Sporting Life
Call for Government Proof House for Nitro Powder Testing
https://digital.la84.org/digital/collection/p17103coll17/id/48122

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I was under the distinct impression from this line that shooting low-pressure 2 3/4" shells in 2 1/2" chambers was not only acceptable but a better alternative to screwing around with the forcing cones or chambers.
https://www.doublegunshop.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=609946&page=1

Based on this line, I scoured the internet and managed find a flat of Federal 12 ga 2 3/4"., 7 1/2 shot, 1 1/8 oz 1145 fps muzzle velocity shells (at $11 a box!). I plan to shoot them in both my Reilly Damascus hammer gun from 1897 and French 1925 boxlock. I'll let you know of any adverse consequences.

Last edited by Argo44; 03/13/22 07:24 PM.

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Gene,
In the case of the French gun, I think you will be fine. It’s hard to find a French double with thin walls. Pretty decent steel by that era, as well. I tell people you will quit before the gun does, they are usually very light, with high levels of proof.

The Damascus gun, well, I don’t know. Some of the Federal promo loads are loaded with pretty cheap powder, be nice to have a grasp of pressure instead of velocity, as the two aren’t always on the same plane, so to speak.

Best,
Ted

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Thanks Ted, I looked for the Federal for a reason...from this line which is pretty good I think:

http://doublegunshop.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=400821

Thinking of: 12 gauge 2 3/4" Winchester AA extra lite shell, 1145 fps, 1 oz, 7 1/2 shot. If they can be found,
But reading the comments in the above line, Federal hulls produce dramatically lower pressure than Winchester.

I'll repost Dr. Drew's chart with the black splotches eliminated:

Many thanks to Bill Johnson for scanning and sending "Long Shells in Short Chambers", Sherman Bell with technical assistance from Tom Armbrust in "Finding Out for Myself", Part V, Double Gun Journal, Winter 2001

The test barrel was a "heavy" Krieger barrel with piezo-electric transducer at 1" from the breech and an Oehler velocity gauge 2 5/16" from the breech.
Tests were performed:
1. 2 1/2" chamber with a 7/16" forcing cone - "British chamber" (BC)
2. 2 1/2" chamber with a 1 1/4" forcing cone - "Modified British chamber" (MBC)
3. 2 3/4" chamber with a 1" forcing cone - "American Chamber" (AC)
Each load was tested in each chamber at least 5 times.
No significant change in velocity was noted between the 3 test chambers
It was not unusual to have 300-600 psi spread between shots

LOADS
1. 7/8 oz. in Federal plastic hull at 1185 fps in the 2 3/4" chamber
2. 7/8 oz. in Estate plastic hull at 1206 fps
3. 1 oz. in Federal paper hull at 1137 fps
4. 1 1/8 oz. in Federal paper hull at 1120 fps
5. 1 oz. in Remington plastic hull at 1205 fps
6. 1 1/8 oz. in Winchester plastic hull at 1186 fps
7. 1 1/4 oz. in Federal plastic hull at 1091 fps
8. 1 1/4 oz. in Winchester plastic hull at 1136 fps
9. 1 1/8 oz. with GOEX FFFg in Federal paper at 1184 fps
10. 1 1/8 oz. Bismuth in Federal plastic at 1091 fps
I only include the standard target or game loads that were tested

��..BC--...MBC-....AC-..Difference BC vs AC
1)..5725--...5905-..4834--..891 psi
2)..6225--...6065-..5009--..1216 psi
3)..5865--...5325-..5263--..602 psi-.."long cones do reduce pressure"
4)..5845--...5665-..5058--..787 psi
5)..7805--...7845-..7577--..228 psi
6).11,125-.11,045-10,787-..338 psi
7)..6892--...6805-..5953--..939 psi
8)..8765--...8545-..7870--..895 psi
9)..5405--...5265-..4603--..802 psi
10).6765--...6365-..6380--..385 psi


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Gene,
Ammunition from different eras or even different lot numbers, will produce different pressure. It is the constant bugaboo with ammunition loaded to SAAMI specs, and the manufacturers hide behind the MAX pressure SAAMI allows, telling folks it is safely under that, but, not by how much. They do this because it gives them freedom to use different powders and components without having to be concerned about anything but the MAX allowed. We have seen promo loads tested and reported on, right here, that were hitting 11,000 psi, not something most of us are interested in using. Dude with an autoloader he has never cleaned, yea, whatever.

They don’t care about you and your Damascus gun.

Best,
Ted

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Originally Posted by Argo44
But reading the comments in the above line, Federal hulls produce dramatically lower pressure than Winchester.

Dangerous misconception.

The chart is taken out of context and does not reflect factory loads with the possible exception of #6.

All factory shells must be assumed to be 11,500 PSI until proven otherwise.

There is no, repeat NO, factory Federal shell that is unconditionally safe in a Damascus barrel.

Federal shells 'can' be loaded to lower pressure in handloads than some others due to their large internal volume and inefficiency with small powder charges. Loads are commonly (too commonly) published using Federal and other straight wall hulls with wads designed for tapered hulls. The 'low pressure' is due to the lousy gas seal of those wads in the large capacity hulls.


"The price of good shotgunnery is constant practice" - Fred Kimble
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Originally Posted by Shotgunjones
Originally Posted by Argo44
But reading the comments in the above line, Federal hulls produce dramatically lower pressure than Winchester.

Dangerous misconception.

The chart is taken out of context and does not reflect factory loads with the possible exception of #6.

All factory shells must be assumed to be 11,500 PSI until proven otherwise.

There is no, repeat NO, factory Federal shell that is unconditionally safe in a Damascus barrel.

Federal shells 'can' be loaded to lower pressure in handloads than some others due to their large internal volume and inefficiency with small powder charges. Loads are commonly (too commonly) published using Federal and other straight wall hulls with wads designed for tapered hulls. The 'low pressure' is due to the lousy gas seal of those wads in the large capacity hulls.

I concur with the recommendation to assume 11,500 PSI unless proven otherwise is a good rule of thumb.

That said Federal has some good hulls for low pressure reloading and with only a little effort low pressure reloads, even shortened hulls roll crimped, are a simple process to master.

Last edited by old colonel; 03/13/22 08:46 PM.

Michael Dittamo
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