Shotgun Gunsmith Sussex

Essexsussex

Well-Known Member
Hi all
I have an old 16b hammer gun, Damascus barrels that belonged to my grandfather. Gye and Moncrieff, it is not nitro proofed.
I have had it in the cupboard for a hundred years having always thought it was only good for scrap as my dad was warned off using it by a gun shop.

looking through it (I don’t remember ever having done that), the barrels look decent with no sign of pitting, but it’s very loose and not nitro proofed. So I’m assuming that my dad was told not to use it as he always bought modern cartridges and it is loose as hell. My dad isn’t a shooter - probably did 50 cartridges a year at clays in someone’s field at Xmas.

Anyways if it only needs tightening and rebrowning for aesthetics I don’t mind spending a few hundred and using only black powder cartridges. It will need a bit extension too and the original pad is broken anyway.

so next question iswho in Sussex to do it?

thanks

ES
 

enfieldspares

Well-Known Member
A few quick points:

If it is "out of proof" that is irrelevant unless you want to sell it or display it form sale. As long as it is safe to shoot then regardless of its bore diameter vis-a-vis what is stamped on the flats then it is safe to shoot. Wall thickness can and will be a factor in it being safe to shoot as will overall soundness of the thing. Proof, as such in the UK, is whether the bores are still within 10 thousandths of an inch of what was stamped on the barrel flats.

That the barrels have no sign of pitting may mean it has been looked after well or that it has been cleaned up, lapped, inside. It is that which will take it out of proof. If the barrel walls were thick anyway....like on a Greener GP....it's not a problem. It is when the barrel walls weren't and that inside lapping has removed what little thickness there was.

Blackpowder actually delivers a more sustained pressure over a greater length of the barrel than does nitro. Logic really as nitro is faster burning that blackpowder. Which is why blackpowder was/is used at first "view" proof to disclose any weakness in the whole length of the tubes.

Finally AT ALL TIMES the gun is still your property so don't believe any BS from any gunsmith or gunshop that if it is "out of proof" they cannot give it you back. There is no such measure in the Proof Act.
 

Essexsussex

Well-Known Member
Thanks ES I hadn’t thought about black powder as being a tougher proof. So maybe nitro is a better thing to use in it.

thanks Mike L
 

enfieldspares

Well-Known Member
Well, yes and no, as nitro of course gives a higher pressure over a shorter length and shorter period. So as many have found out with old blackpowder Webley .455 Mk IV revolvers a nice nitro .455 cartridge can make them and their revolver become most unwell. So personally for your own piece of mind I'd either use blackpowder csartridges or if you want to use nitro decide on the risk of nitro proof destroying the gun. And if you don't then don't use nitro cartridges.
 

Essexsussex

Well-Known Member
Well, yes and no, as nitro of course gives a higher pressure over a shorter length and shorter period. So as many have found out with old blackpowder Webley .455 Mk IV revolvers a nice nitro .455 cartridge can make them and their revolver become most unwell. So personally for your own piece of mind I'd either use blackpowder csartridges or if you want to use nitro decide on the risk of nitro proof destroying the gun. And if you don't then don't use nitro cartridges.
No risking nitro proofing is definitely the plan - for the small number I will shoot (4 boxes a year max) I may even reload with a lee load all
 

enfieldspares

Well-Known Member
The only issue with reloading blackpowder is that you'll need the relevant blackpowder licence. Yet if you buy the same calibre blackpowder cartridges ready loaded already be that for shotgun, handgun or rifle you don't need a blackpowder licence. To acquire loose powder in a canister plastic bottle or tin you do. GTo acquire ready rolled cartridges with in as the propellant you don't.
 

tusker

Well-Known Member
To be honest and to my embarrassment I cant remember his name but he is a very senior gentleman and very well respected.
Tusker
 

Essexsussex

Well-Known Member
I think it might be him - anyway I am visiting tomorrow so I go with great hope the barrels are thick enough to be safe. Then I can get renovating!
 

Essexsussex

Well-Known Member
That is definitely an option - but hoping the barrels are ok, and if so I don’t mind using black powder for the 50 or 100 shots a year I will take with it (I have other shooters for the rest of it). The ideal would be tightened up and off I go. Anyway tomorrow things will be clearer - it’s exciting.
 

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