It has been clearly established that the vast majority of Decarbonized and Fluid Steel “rough forged tubes” used by U.S. double gun makers were sourced from Belgiumhttps://docs.google.com/document/u/1/pub?id=17ixogftgITEblNUWtmFBv96ZvgjK6eFell8GsAWd-KI
The ‘LLH’ of tube maker, Laurent Lochet-Habran
has been found on Fox, Baker (S grade with “Flui-tempered Steel”, Baker Standard boxlock with “Nitro Rolled Steel” and ACL in a circle, and Batavia Leaders), Lefever, Crescent (possibly marked “Fluid Temper Steel”), Ithaca (Lewis & Flues with ‘Smokeless Powder Steel’), NID, Lefever Nitro Special, Lefever M-2 single barrel, and Westernfield Deluxe/Western Arms Long Range, Smith Royal, Armor, London, Crown and Nitro barrels and Hunter Arms Fulton and “Ranger” for Sears.http://www.littlegun.be/arme%20belg...l/a%20lochet%20habran%20laurent%20gb.htm
LLH barrels have been found on Smith guns manufactured from 1909 to 1948.
A 20g Monogram completed March 16, 1912 surfaced in 2015 with 32” barrels stamped “Sir Joseph Whitworth Fluid Compressed Steel/Made to Order” bearing the Whitworth trademark AND a second barrel with ‘2’ on the forend lug, the same SN on the flats, the Hunter Arms “Crown” stamp, clearly showing a ‘LLH’ on the left barrel; but which are also marked “Sir Joseph Whitworth Fluid Compressed Steel”! (See The Journal of the L.C. Smith Collectors Association
, Spring 2016)
Many of the tubes marked with LLH also
have the ACL in a circle of Acier Cockerill Liegoise
, and some with ACM in a circle for Acier Cockerill Manufacture Liegoise
which was a tradename used by Manufacture d'Armes à Feu Liégeoise
; confirming the source of the steel used in the manufacture of the "rough forged tubes".
1910 L.C. Smith No. 5E Nitro Steel
Both ‘LLH’ and ‘ACL’ are found on the barrels of Belgian guns, Baker S grade, L.C. Smith Armor, London, Crown and Nitro Steel, Ithaca Flues No. 1 Special, and Crescent tradename guns. Société Anonyme John Cockerill
, later Cockerill-Ougrée
was the major Belgian steel maker, equivalent to Krupp or Vickers. http://www.hfinster.de/StahlArt2/archive-CockerillLiege-en.html
Seraing lies along the Meuse River, 6 miles upstream from Liège. It was a hub of Belgium's iron, steel, and machine-building industries. In 1817 the English industrialist John Cockerill (1790-1840) founded in Seraing what was to become one of the largest ironmaking and machinery complexes in Europe.
It seems likely that Krupp licensed Cockerill-Ougrée
, as Fluss Stahl Krupp Essen
marked tubes stamped with “Acier Cockerill” or with “LLH” of Laurent Lochet-Habran
are found on some U.S. maker's barrels.
Some Browning patent Fabrique-Nationale-Herstal
very early versions of the A5 shipped to the U.S. between 1903 and 1909 are marked Cockerill Steel. It is not known if FN fabricated barrel tubes or purchased them from LLH, or (more likely) from Jean-Baptiste Delcour-Dupont
of Nessonvaux. Jean-Baptiste was the father of Lucien & Oscar Delcour and had been a manager for Pieper & Cie before opening his own shop specializing in Damascus barrels.
The Delcour Dupont
Crown over D mark has been found on Smith (“Crown Steel”), Fox, Meriden/Sears, Baker (“Homotensile Steel”), Ithaca NID (“Best Fluid Steel”) and Lefever Nitro Special & A-grade guns. Canons Delcour S.A.
was registered in 1921, and remained in business until about 1968 when they were acquired by Fabrique National de Herstal
. Cockerill steel tubes
The 1918 Sears catalog states the Hunter Arms Fulton Gladiator “barrels are made of a high grade carbon steel, having a tensile strength of 85 to 95 thousand pounds to the square inch.”
Walt Snyder graciously shared a 1919 Ithaca Gun Co. letter from A.P. Curtis, General Manager requesting tensile strength testing on a section “cut from a barrel made in Belgium” to be performed by E.J. Stormer of Racine, Wisconsin. The letter did not indicate if the barrels were “Smokeless Powder Steel” used on the Field grade, “Fluid Steel” or “Nitro Steel” used on the No. 1 and No. 1 1/2, or Cockerill Steel used on the No. 1 Special (discontinued that year).
Tensile strength was reported to be “about 70,000” psi. Composition was similar to AISI 1030.Composition analysis by Optical Emission Spectroscopy (OES)
A c. 1912 Lefever Arms Co. DS “Dura Nitro Steel” (without the LLH or ACL marks) was AISI 1035
A post-WWI Parker “Vulcan” barrel was AISI 1030. A pre-WWI “Trojan” barrel was very similar in composition but with a slightly higher carbon and was AISI 1035. Neither carried the LLH or ACL marks. (Courtesy of Dave Suponski)
A c. 1925 Crescent Fire Arms “Genuine Armory Steel” barrel with the ‘LLH’ mark showed it to be non-standard (high phosphorus) AISI 1040 low alloy medium carbon steel with a tensile strength of 104,000 psi.Armor Steel Barrel analysis
LCSCA member Phil Carr donated an obstructional burst 1909 No. 00 Armor steel barrel, with both the LLH and ACL marks, which was tested by METL here in Phoenix. The barrels also carried a ‘C’ believed to represent Crucible Steel, the likely tube importer. It should be noted that a 1910 No. 00 Armor steel barrel carries the same marks.
1909 L.C. Smith No. 00 with LLH and ACL over-stamped by Armor Steel
The barrel is AISI 1030 medium carbon steel with a very slightly elevated Phosphorus at .049%; standard < .04%. It had very low concentrations of Nickel .04% and Chromium .02%.
Tensile strength was 90,000 psi with a Yield strength of 46,800 psi and a remarkable Elongation of 22%.
The industrial standards for AISI 1030 are Ultimate strength 68,000 – 78,000; Yield 38,000 – 48,000; and Elongation 15-25%.
The low Yield strength and high % Elongation would have some advantage as a shotgun barrel material.
What does this addition information mean? As previously observed, a study of one
sample does not establish statistical significance, and barrel composition could change over time, but this does add something to our knowledge.
I think we have some evidence that the Cockerill steel (confirmed with the ACL mark) “rough forged tubes” used by U.S. double gun makers both pre- and post-WWI was (mostly?) AISI 1030 or 1035; not 4140 Chrome Moly but pretty good barrel material.
What we still do not know is if there is any difference in composition between the Armor, Royal, London, Crown or Nitro Steel barrels used by Hunter Arms Co., and donations of samples of each would be most welcome.