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#6372 - 02/27/03 08:08 PM Re: Twist or Damascus
eightbore Online   content
Sidelock
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Registered: 02/20/02
Posts: 13086
Loc: Maryland
Anthony, I hope your Lefever is the same as one our shop had to sell last summer. The stars in the damascus pattern were as clear as if someone had drawn them with a pen. Not at all like the beautiful pattern Oscar showed us in his picture. I may still try to relocate that gun; I had a bit of a difference in price opinion with the owner, which I am slowly getting over. Bill Murphy

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#6373 - 02/27/03 09:32 PM Re: Twist or Damascus
2-piper Offline
Sidelock
***

Registered: 12/31/01
Posts: 12743
Loc: Lynchburg TN
Oscar; Am in agreement with your assesment of twist vs damascus but would like your opinion on one other aspect. Based on Greener's comments & the Birmingham tests you mentioned where the 3-iron laminated steel proved strongest. Greeners assesment was that 4 & 6 iron damascus was "over twisted" & thus weakened. However I believe it was normally higher priced so price is not therefore an absolute guarantee of the best. I believe that Dave's comments about the twist bbls having thicker breeches to make up for the difference in strength may be true. I note also that my H grade Lefevers with twist bbls seem to be thicker than the higher grades with damascus.
Miller
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Miller/TN
I Didn't Say Everything I Said, Yogi Berra

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#6374 - 02/27/03 10:05 PM Re: Twist or Damascus
RWG Offline
Sidelock
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Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 1473
Loc: NE Ohio
Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Katt:
Are they thicker because twist barrels are weaker and to make them stronger they made them thicker?
IMHO, yes. But I will differ to Oscar. Russ

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#6375 - 02/27/03 10:26 PM Re: Twist or Damascus
obsessed-with-doubles Offline
Sidelock
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Registered: 01/27/03
Posts: 2777
Loc: USA
Wait...I'm confused.

Aren't all Twist steel bbls and patterned-steel bbls (Crolle, Bernard, etc) made from Damascus steel?

Doesn't Damascus refer to the process used to manufacture the bars of metal that are then used to make the bbls?

Manfred Sachse's book Damscus Steel shows Damascus bbls of various grades, from Rubans (which look like Twist) to the fanciest Bernard and Crolle patterns.

The author refers to all of them as Damascus.

Are the Twist steel bbls shown above something different? Or am I missing something?
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#6376 - 02/27/03 10:45 PM Re: Twist or Damascus
Oscar Gaddy Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/01
Posts: 774
Loc: Urbana, Illinois
Twist barrels on lower grade guns may have been thicker on some guns----I just don't know for sure. However, Parker Bros. made the PH grade gun on three frame sizes, 1 1 1/2 and 2 along with a few #3 frame guns with twist barrels, and they also made several higher grade guns on the same frame sizes with fluid steel and/or higher grades of Damascus barrels. Since the widths at the breech for a given frame size is fairly constant with Parker guns, the thickness of the barrrels ( in the chamber area where it matters) are about the same on a gun of a given frame size. Until the VH grade was introduced, the PH was the lowest grade Parker gun and most of the time that it was offered, it was available only with twist barrels.

I really doubt if there was or is a huge difference in strength of the twist vs. Damascus but I believe that the Twist barrel is inherently a little weaker because of the gemetry of the way it is fabricated. Any hoop stress at all will tend to pull the welds between individual strips apart in the longitudional direction in the twist barrel whereas the twisting of the bar in Damascus barrels precludes this posssibility. The three-iron barrel on the GH Parker that I donated to Tom Armbrust's destructive test withstood over 30 KPSI before bursting. I really doubt that a twist barrel on a #2 frame PH gun would have done as well.

I have no doubt that the cost and desirability of the fancier Damascus barrels was the difficulty in making them and the pattern rather than the strength, but a slight increase in strength was also a factor IMHO.

With regard to Greener's concern of overtwisting with the finer patterns, I don,t see any evidence of this on barrels that I have refinished, but his concerns may have some validity.

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#6377 - 02/28/03 12:54 AM Re: Twist or Damascus
2-piper Offline
Sidelock
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Registered: 12/31/01
Posts: 12743
Loc: Lynchburg TN
O/W/D; Went back & checked the previous posts & perhaps we didn't exactly cover the difference. Essentionaly the difference between "Plain twist & Damascus twist" is; For plain twist bbls, layers of iron & steel are welded together, rolled out into a flat bar & this bar is then wound around a mandrel after which the edges are welded forming a tube. This gives the candy cane pattern Oscar mentioned in his first post. Damascus is started in a similiar pattern, But, the bar itself is twisted, like it is held by one end & the other end rotated, until it looks something like a threaded rod. This rod is then heated & hammered flat & depending on the grade 2,3 or more are welded together along their edges & then this is wound around the mandrel. Pattern on the damascus is varied by the way the pieces are laid before the first welding as well as the size & no of strips used. This is why the plain twist just has the spiral pattern while the damascus can have any number of patterns & gives what is sometimes referred to as the fingerprint type pattern. One variation of the twist is what was known as stub twist, the originals being made from horse shoe nail stubs & chopped up coach spring steel of about the same size as the stubs. This still has the spiral pattern but appears as small pieces in instead of one continuos strip, but every thing is still just going around the bbl in a spiral. The term wire twist is often used. This comes from the appearence of plain twist. This is hard to explain but if you can imagine the strip used for winding on the mandrel is composed of many pieces laminated together. As this strip is wound the laminations are edge wise so that after winding around the mandrel you are looking at the edges of the laminations with each piece going through to the bore. This gives about the same appearence as if it had been wound with wire, welded & struck smooth, thus the name wire twist. I realize this is not a real good explanation but hope it clears it up a little.
Miller
_________________________
Miller/TN
I Didn't Say Everything I Said, Yogi Berra

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#6378 - 02/28/03 02:10 AM Re: Twist or Damascus
Mike Adkins Offline
Member

Registered: 01/01/02
Posts: 171
Loc: East Tennessee.
If I could interject since the subject is twist and damascus barrels. Could one of you learned Gentleman please advise me as to what was the original color of the Parker twist and damascus barrels. Were they browned, or were the finished in black and white colors?.
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Mike Adkins

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#6379 - 02/28/03 07:55 AM Re: Twist or Damascus
obsessed-with-doubles Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 01/27/03
Posts: 2777
Loc: USA
2-piper -

Thanks for your response. My point is that they are both Damascus, Twist and other patterns.

Damascus refers to the process of layering different types of metals together to create a faggot and then heating up this faggot and hammer forging it into a billet or bar.

From the billet or bar you can then make bbls (or swords, knives, etc).

This is how Manfred Sachse explains it in his authoritative text Damascus Steel.

How you create the original faggot of steel, how many billets/bars you use, and how you treat the billet/bar (twist or not) determines the type of Damascus steel created.

At least that is how I read it.
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#6380 - 02/28/03 09:29 AM Re: Twist or Damascus
Oscar Gaddy Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/01
Posts: 774
Loc: Urbana, Illinois
MIke

Parker Bros. Damascus and Twist barrels were originally finished in a black and white pattern as were welded pattern barrels of most US manufacturers. There has been some debate and disagreement about this in recent years, but I believe that the issue will soon be settled (at least for Parker barrels) with the publication of an article that will appear in the Spring 2003 issue of the Double Gun Journal to be out in Mid-March.

With regard to the designation of twist and Damascus barrels, the point that 2-Piper and I are making is that the definition that we described is the one commonly used by American gun makers in 19th and early 20th century, and is the commonly accepted definitions of twist and Damzscus by most knowledgeable people in the double gun community today. Sachse may have a slightly different definition as his interests include welded Damscus blades as well as gun barrels.

Oscar Gaddy

.

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#6381 - 02/28/03 11:51 AM Re: Twist or Damascus
2-piper Offline
Sidelock
***

Registered: 12/31/01
Posts: 12743
Loc: Lynchburg TN
The terms for twist & damascus as relates to gun bbls were in effect at least as early as 1834. I quote from "The Gun" by William Greener, Father of W W Greener.
Quote:
Damascus being a variety or mixture, made from the composition named wire twist iron, I shall describe them both in this chapter.-----When about to be converted into "Damascus", the rod is heated the the whole length, & the square ends put into the heads,----It is then twisted like a rope or, as Colonel Hawker says wrung as wet clothes are, until it has from 12 to 14 complete turns to the inch.
Note that Mr Greener stated that Damascus was made from wire twist. Whether that is technically right or wrong is really immaterial at this point. In order to understand writings or catalog listings etc from the past it is necessary to use the same terminology as they used. This is why I stress the point that Twist is different from Damascus in that damascus was twisted in the bar before being wound on the mandrel, plain or wire twist was not. After the very minimum of 175yrs of this terminology to try to change it now could only result in catastrophy with no-one understanding it. Best is to simply accept the terminology used all these yrs by the gunmakers themselves as applies to gun-bbls.
Miller
_________________________
Miller/TN
I Didn't Say Everything I Said, Yogi Berra

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