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Joined: Mar 2002
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KY Jon Offline OP
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I understand to some, a sleeved gun is to be looked at as a lesser valued gun. But most guns being sleeved, are scrap metal without it, or just a part gun. I have a couple sleeved guns and they are well worth what I paid for them. What is the point of having every gun you own so thin that every shot is a roll of the dice? Some complain that the sleeved barrel changes the weight and balance too much, but I would like to point out they are mostly ultra light because they have been honed and filed to rebrown to an inch of their life. If a sleeved gun gains 10 ounces total, it might be replacing 6 -8 ounces lost to gun care over the century of use. I bet a new set of barrels would weigh the same as a sleeved set but at 20-30 time the cost. And since I can shoot heavy guns well, it matters little to me if a gun is 6 pounds 6 ounces or 7 pounds 2 ounces. I'll take the 7/2 with perfect barrels every time.

The guns I am looking at are still technically in proof, but with barrels that are very marginally safe at best. In proof, is not a guarantee of safety., reasonable caution still needs to be used and I do not like shooting a Black Powder Proofed gun, with dents and .016 wall thickness even if it is in proof. The only reason to consider these guns are their rarity. Also they represent uncommon features, or designs which are unusual and almost impossible to find. If I were in the UK, I might be able to find better examples but I am not. So if I want one for my collection then I have to decide if it is reasonable to roll the dice on one of these guns. To that point I am trying to figure out current sleeving cost. With Covid and retiring gunsmiths this might not even an option or a affordable one in any event.

I spent almost a decade looking for a crossover double, for a left handed shooter, using the right eye. A very uncommon thing. If left handed shooters are 5% of the population, how many of them suffered a injury that required them to shoot a crossover stock and had the means and interest to do so? I have found several hundred right shoulder, left eye guns, but only one left shoulder, right eye gun. The one I bought was a humble box lock, in need of a bit of tidying up as they say. Now it is done and I just came across a second one, that is in slightly better condition but at almost ten times the cost. So I am glad I bought the first because or I would most like be buying the second and paying a lot more money. I am still looking for a swept double for a left handed central vision shooter. Again to date all the one I have found are right shoulder, swept stocks. But I will find one someday. I'll buy the project guns, if there is a reasonable pathway to get them completed. Otherwise all I would be doing is buying an expensive tomato stake.

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down grading sleeved guns is just another form of price chisling...

a gun or anything else is worth what someone is willing to pay for it...


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FWIW (not much, I know), my favorite shotgun of the (way too) many I own is a Charles Moore hammer 12 gauge that is sleeved. The sleeving job is so well done that the seam can only be seen ever so slightly under the forend or by comparing the very slight differences in the bluing on the barrel stubs and the rest of the barrels in bright sunlight. Whoever did the job provided a beautifully balanced gun. I'm sure the price was discounted as a result of the barrels' having been sleeved, but I'd buy another sleeved gun of equal workmanship in a heartbeat.

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as to sleeving seams, if visible, faint or invisible, it is a function of how much the customer is willing to pay for the work...and the better sleeved guns that i have seen have some identifying markings stamped on the barrels as to who did the sleeving work and some indication of reproofing by some one or some entity...

if no indication of reproofing...be careful...regardless of the visibility of the seams...and by any means, measure the barrel wall thicknesses in front of the chambers...if less than .090...be very careful...

i once had a sleeved churchill 12 ga boxlock in my hands...beautiful gun...beautiful sleeving job...but only .060 in front of each chamber...sent it back with note..."unsafe to shoot"...

Last edited by ed good; 03/25/22 02:35 PM.

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Like this ed? Do you know the pressure to which Ed proved the sleeve? Did he send the barrels out or prove them in his shop?

[Linked Image from photos.smugmug.com]

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doc drew, amazing that you still have that old pirated image from the internet, from maybe 20 years ago...

anyway, it is a good, safe shooting example of an economical sleeving job...old ed reproofed his barrel work utilizing winchester factory proof loads...be it rifle, pistol or shotgun...

as i recall, the gun was an old parker, that had developed pin hole leaks in the twist steel barrels...had old ed sleeve it at minimal cost, with left over lc smith barrel blanks from the marlin effort to resurrect the lc smith guns in the late forties...old ed regulated the new barrels to shoot to point of aim at 30 yards...

sold gun to competitive shooter, who proceeded to win state championship...old ed was happy to hear that, but was not pleased with how the gun looked, as you seem to not be as well...please try to remember, that when dealing with expert mechanics, one usually gets what one is willing to pay for...

and as i recall, this is most likely the forth time you have posted this image over the years...as in beating a long dead horse...
perhaps, we could negotiate a retroactive royalty payment, along with future fees for each time you wish to publish it going forward...

yawn...

Last edited by ed good; 03/25/22 03:48 PM.

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bottom line re sleeving...if you can find someone still doing it, chances are the cost will be prohibitive...

same with all new barrel fabrication...

to see what used to be, take a look at this work from the eighties and long before:

https://www.gunsinternational.com/g...arrels.cfm?gun_id=101835913&cdn_bp=1

Last edited by ed good; 03/25/22 04:04 PM.

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Is it possible to specify, or perhaps supply, the steel of the tubes used in sleeving? Tubes made of high quality steel like the Boehler Blitz, will probably result in lighter barrels than the original and stronger too. They will be a female dog (censored original text) to blue though.

Last edited by Shotgunlover; 03/26/22 08:42 AM.
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Originally Posted by SKB
Don't listen to our resident Debbie Downers, life is too short. Buy the gun or the puppy is my take. Looking at adding a Setter to the crew myself.

Then the obvious solution is to buy an old crippled Setter, and then spend 2500 GBP or more on Veterinary bills attempting to fix it.

I agree with Mark and Ted. It is very seldom intelligent to put thousands of dollars into attempting to rehabilitate a $250- $300 beater. I like the idea of getting a relative bargain by doing some repairs or refinishing on a gun. But putting a lot of time, money, and effort into a worn out tomato stake is just stupid.


A true sign of mental illness is any gun owner who would vote for an Anti-Gunner like Joe Biden.

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once you find someone to do the work, product liability concerns may be an issue?

Last edited by ed good; 03/26/22 11:29 AM.

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