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Login Name Post: Then and Now        (Topic#305463)
Elnathan 
50 Cal.
Posts: 1041
11-19-17 04:06 PM - Post#1652370    

    In response to Rifleman1776

  • Rifleman1776 Said:
  • Quote:
Douglas barrels were cold drawn to octagonal shape, which sometimes left large cracks. There are quite a number of cases where Douglas barrels came apart with fairly normal loads, in at least two instances on the first shot while being tested.

I don't want a 12L14 barrel on my gun, but I won't call anyone stupid for using one either. Douglas barrels are in their own special category, though, right down there with making barrels out of DOM tubing.



About the only part of your post that is accurate is the first sentence. They were drawn to shape. The failures I have read about all entailed the use of modern powders. Reportedly, today, some of the best reputed barrel makers are using 12L14. I have been told by those in the know, and have read, (I'll be corrected if this wrong) if a 12L14 barrel does fail it will split and crack. Some types of steel are hard(er) and can shatter like a grenade.



I can send you a list if you like. I don't have access anymore to the old Buckskin report article in which a gunsmith wrote up a couple failures that occurred while testing Douglas barrels with stout normal (i.e., non-proof) loads, though. One of them split stem to stern, IIRC.

As for the mode of failure in 12L14, it is more likely to splinter instead of bulge due to the added sulfur, phosphorous, and lead, but that doesn't mean it will always do so. It is just that the difference between the stress needed to cause it to distort and the stress that will cause it to come apart is not terribly large.

12L14 is used because it is very easy (and therefore cheap) to machine because the added elements make the chips break off cleanly instead of hanging on before tearing away. Non-free-machining steel is "gummy" by comparison, which means that the machinery has to be run more slowly and the surface requires a lot more work to get polished right.

According to the metallurgy data, "12L14 barrel" should be synonymous with "hand grenade." That in real life it isn't is something of mystery to me: One hypothesis I've come up with is that the stress-relieving process used by makers today ( and not by Douglas back in the bad old days), despite not being a proper anneal, increases the ductility significantly. Another is that breech pressures in muzzleloaders are much lower on average than the test data I've seen.



 
Zonie 
Moderator
Posts: 25582
Zonie
11-19-17 05:12 PM - Post#1652388    

    In response to Elnathan

The lower breech pressure and perhaps more importantly, the speed that black powder produces those pressures greatly reduce the possibility of the failure of a 12L14 barrel when compared with the same barrel shooting a modern smokeless powder.

Put another way, black powder does not have the sudden pressure rise that smokeless powder has.

This difference can be felt by the shooter and leads to people describing shooting black powder guns as being, "more of a push than the "slap" felt when shooting modern cartridges."
Just Jim...



 
azmntman 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4331
azmntman
11-19-17 07:27 PM - Post#1652420    

    In response to Zonie

Agree EXCEPT my 20GA dbl, it "slaps" the danged tarnation outta my cheek. I really do need to find a coach to learn how to properly hold the thing?

 
Rifleman1776 
Cannon
Posts: 13243
Rifleman1776
11-20-17 09:32 AM - Post#1652496    

    In response to Elnathan

  • Quote:
likely to splinter instead of bulge



That part is correct. I used "split" for my description. Some, many, including myself, believe that is actually a safer pressure outlet if a barrel fails than a shattering one made from some other types of steel. Failures reported were invariably related to some type of careless loading. What kind of "testing" was involved with your example? Maybe quadruple loads under four balls? It's been tried by some not-so-smart individuals.
BTW, I used to write for the Buckskin Report and still have stacks of them. John Baird (the owner, publisher for those who don't know) followed this issue closely. Believe what you wish. I have no issues with 12L14 barrels in traditional type ml rifles.

 
Elnathan 
50 Cal.
Posts: 1041
11-20-17 03:22 PM - Post#1652567    

    In response to Rifleman1776

  • Rifleman1776 Said:
  • Quote:
likely to splinter instead of bulge



That part is correct. I used "split" for my description. Some, many, including myself, believe that is actually a safer pressure outlet if a barrel fails than a shattering one made from some other types of steel. Failures reported were invariably related to some type of careless loading. What kind of "testing" was involved with your example? Maybe quadruple loads under four balls? It's been tried by some not-so-smart individuals.
BTW, I used to write for the Buckskin Report and still have stacks of them. John Baird (the owner, publisher for those who don't know) followed this issue closely. Believe what you wish. I have no issues with 12L14 barrels in traditional type ml rifles.



IIRC, about 100 grains of FFg under a single ball, .50 caliber? As I said, I don't have access to the info any more.

I do have access to Jim Kelly's articles in Muzzleblasts that list quite a number of failures. One of them was a .45 that blew up with 60grains of FFFg and single ball, I believe.

 
Rifleman1776 
Cannon
Posts: 13243
Rifleman1776
11-21-17 09:46 AM - Post#1652726    

    In response to Elnathan

  • Quote:
I do have access to Jim Kelly's articles in Muzzleblasts that list quite a number of failures. One of them was a .45 that blew up with 60grains of FFFg and single ball, I believe.




I believe NMLRA would give permission for you to reproduce that article here.

 
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