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Author Topic: Reloading for Damascus barrels  (Read 1791 times)


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Reloading for Damascus barrels
« on: February 23, 2018, 09:19:00 pm »

I just bought an old Sears double 12 with Damascus barrels. Need to load some shells for it. I know they have to be Black powder, but are bp substitutes acceptable? Also, one barrel is marked "choke bored." Anyone have an idea what exactly this translates to?

Looking forward to using this old gem. Don't want to hurt it or myself. Seems a waste to just have it for a wallhanger. Barrels are in good shape, the bore is decent, though a little dark in spots. No internal pitting, nor external. Action locks up tight. Should be a nice old gun.

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Re: Reloading for Damascus barrels
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2018, 11:23:10 pm »

A choke bored barrel is one that literally has the end of the barrel with a permanent choke bored into it. As opposed to the modern method of threaded removable and replaceable choke tubes. The only way to really ascertain your pattern for both barrels is to shoot it, generally at a large sheet of paper to determine how each barrel patterns out. It is certainly possible that one side has a choke and the other is full bore (no choke).

Having said that Damascus barrels were made by taking strips of iron and steel and twisting and welding them together.  They are notoriously weak and should be inspected by an expert before firing. DO NOT EVER shoot any modern smokeless powder shells through them. Even low brass shells produce a impulse curve and pressure load that is to much for the guns.

Black powder shot shells are available on the market but again have the gun inspected by an expert who can magnaflux the barrel to find and cracks or weaknesses.

Unfortunately probably the best place for this shotgun is in fact, the wall...sorry.

Edited for spelling.

« Last Edit: February 24, 2018, 03:36:20 pm by »
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Re: Reloading for Damascus barrels
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2018, 07:42:38 am »

I'll echo what said; Take the gun to a trusted gunsmith and have them inspect it.  Also ask them for advice on what shells can safely be put through it.  Having the barrels erupt in your hands by putting modern shells through it would just be an overall bad day...
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