Barrels Silver Soldered or Brazed

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John Walling

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I have a 16 ga Josh Golcher Percussion Double that the rib is seperating halfway down the barrels. Did they use Silver Solder (~3%) or a higher temperature Silver Brazing (~56%) to put the original on and can the lower temperature silver solder be used to reinstall it to keep from detatching the bottom rib?
 

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Pukka Bundook

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Barrels were soft soldered in the UK, but silver -soldered often in Europe.
Soft solder is certainly up to it.
Many British doubles were fired thousands and thousands of rounds a year, (20,000 and such) and remain sound.
Like all soldering, "Nearly right" is no good. The job has to be done right.

Good luck with it!

Richard.
 

zimmerstutzen

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Years ago, I got a English dbl barrel that was in great shape, except the barrels had split apart. (yes just a minor issue. ) I called dozens of gun smiths all over the country about getting the thing fixed back together. I got song and dance after song and dance about jigs and heat and solder and expensive silver solderr, and prices from several hundred to almost $500 (Back in 1983) I could have bought a new one. Finally, I heard about an old retired guy that actually lived a dozen miles away. I made an appt to see him. He showed me three of his own muzzle loader double barrels. All just epoxied together. He gave me a list of materials and told me to come back the next week and he would help me do it myself. He did and I hunted with that double for 30 years, shot rounds of clay pigeons, and even a few rounds of kick the can.
 

John Walling

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I have heard that epoxy can be ised too. That's been my Ace in the Hole backup in case I screwed up soldering, lol. Do you remember what type of epoxy you used? It sounds like it was a lifetime ago and now it seems there's more types of epoxies than stars in the sky, lol.
 

Pukka Bundook

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A pal back in Blighty found a double barreled 12 -bore in a hedge, and both ribs were loose.
He cleaned and epoxied the ribs down with "Araldite glue.
The ribs stayed put until the second shot.
Solder is much more forgiving and elastic than epoxy in most cases.
I should add, that the ribs were completely removed on the gun in question.
Epoxy Might work for a short section lifting, but still believe solder better.
 

Artificer

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I have heard that epoxy can be ised too. That's been my Ace in the Hole backup in case I screwed up soldering, lol. Do you remember what type of epoxy you used? It sounds like it was a lifetime ago and now it seems there's more types of epoxies than stars in the sky, lol.
Hi John,

I don't know what someone else may have used, but this question sparked a memory how local gun shops in the 1950's and 1960's were franchised by the company that made Cutts Compensators and "Add On" Vent Ribs, to install them on modern shotgun barrels. They had a proprietary Epoxy supplied by the company to install them. In the 1980's, I spoke to an old gunsmith who had installed hundreds of those Vent Ribs and Compensators, and he clearly stated none ever came loose in use.

I don't know what that epoxy was, but I do have plenty of experience with one epoxy that has been used for over 60 years to glue wood or fiberglass handguards on modern High Power, Big Bore, National Match Rifles. M1 and M14 rifles were shot in 10 round "Rapid Fire" Stages of fire with a 60 or 70 second time limit. The epoxy was glued to the barrel on both rifles in at least one place, if not more. Once done properly, it was not necessary to re-glue or re-epoxy for the entire 4,000 to 6,500 rounds life of the National Match Barrels. Matter of fact, if some other part was damaged and the epoxied parts had to be taken off for replacement during or after the life of the barrel, we had to use a sort of Heavy Duty "Heating Machine" that ran a low power electric arc through the piece to heat it up enough the epoxy would let go, but not ruin the barrel.

I think that and the info on gluing Cutts Compansators and Vent Ribs would be far more abuse than any epoxy would have to stand up to with a muzzle loading shotgun that has less recoil impulse than modern powders.

The Epoxy we used and I still use to this day is called Hysol Epoxy Patch Repair Kit. It was originally made by the Dexter corporation in Seaforth, NJ, but eventually Loctite bought them out. We used the white colored kits on active duty, as that was traditional, but I have also been using the BLACK Color "11C" kits for over 25 years that is the same formula as the White Color kits, just a different color. The Black 11C kits would blend better on gun barrels and BTW, the Cutts Compensator folks used a Black color epoxy as well. Below is a link to just one place you can buy the kits individually, though I think Amazon and other places sell it as well.


Now, there are some important things to know when using this or any epoxy so it will adhere and last properly.

First, where you want the metal to adhere, it MUST be clean and free of bluing or browning and any oils or greases. This means it has to be bare and clean metal. So you usually sand the metal bare and clean at least once or twice with Acetone and then don't touch the metal with bare finger tips or any source that may/will contaminate the epoxy joint.

Second, there is a "working time" on all epoxies and you must finish setting up the parts to be epoxied within that time. This epoxy has plenty of working time to do one rib, either the top or bottom rib, but I would not try to stretch it to do both ribs at the same time. Better to mix enough for one rib at a time and then go back and do the other after the first one has time to cure.

For clean up of any epoxy that "squooshes out" where you don't want it to remain, best to use Acetone wetted Q Tips in tight areas and maybe Acetone wetted paper towels for larger areas. Don't try to use them over and over, though. Best to use fresh wetted Q Tips or paper towels and throw them away and use more as you need them.

Gus
 

Feltwad

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There is only one way and that is too remove the full length of the rib and clean out the rust etc. between the tubes down to the bare metal and re solder the rib using soft solder and fastening down the rib using wire and iron wedges .
Feltwad
 

TFoley

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Back in the day, Vosper-Thorneycroft, builders of fast patrol boats, SAR boats, target-towing boats and fast and lightweight boats of all kinds, used an epoxy called REDUX to stick'em together. I believe it was also used to stick together another wooden craft that you may have heard of, the De Havilland Mosquito fighter/bomber. The reason I remember this is that a friend of mine, helping to rebuild a WW2 MTB, something like your PT109 of Kennedy fame, complained that his industrial jigsaw was tearing itself to pieces on the joints made with this bonding agent.
 

VADSLRAM

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JB Weld will stick metal near permanent. It's also a dark grey the once sanded will just about disappear. But prep is the key. No rust, no oil!
 

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I used to own a single engine Grumman AA5 airplane. Built in the 70's it was "Bonded Construction" AKA glued together. The fuselage was Aluminium honey comb construction and the wing skins were bonded to the ribs. The company I worked for at time specialized in retrieving and rebuilding crashed light aircraft. We retrieved a couple crashed Grummans and they were tougher than the riveted competition. Now bonding is common in aircraft production. I've epoxied all kinds of stuff over 50 years but never expected it to stand up to an impulse force like firearm recoil. The long forgotten Soldering Copper is the tool to use to re-solder barrels and not a torch.
 

John Walling

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The long forgotten Soldering Copper is the tool to use to re-solder barrels and not a torch.
If that is the heating element they ised to put up the barrels to heat from the inside to melt the solder, I saw that used once and it is absolutely the thing to use for this. Unfortjnately I do not have one. Does anyone know what it is called exactly? I'd like to find some pictures and make one (two for a double gun) up myself for this project.
 

John Walling

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I sid try googling soldering copper but just came up with 100 sites on how to solder copper pipes. Thanks Google, I got that down already, lol.
 

Feltwad

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Forget about epoxy resins to do the job right to an original gun use a soft solder , I personally have been involved in both building and restoring antique weapons for 72 + years and the talk of epoxy resins for fixing a top rib on a original sends shivers up my back ,or maybe it is you cannot teach an old dog new tricks
Feltwad
 

Whitworth

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Solder coppers range in size from small to large. Basically it's a hunk of copper on a steel shaft with a wooden handle. They are heated by a gas flame to just under red hot, temp and applied to the work. The copper transfers it's heat to the metal and allows the solder to flow as it's slowly drawn along the joint. The copper is tinned with solder and can flow from the copper it's self or be added as you move. It's a lost art these days. I have one kicking around somewhere. If i run across it I will post a picture. I've skipped tinning the copper and fluxing.
 

denster

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I question whether a soldering copper could bring a set of barrels up to soldering temperature in an efficient manner. Larry Poterfield from Midway has a good youtube video on relaying a double shotgun rib.
 
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