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Best way to check the condition of a non Damascus barrel

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HandyAndy

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What's the best way to check the integrity of the barrel(s) of a used shotgun? I would think the only way would be with a bore scope or maybe remove the nipple and see if a tiny light could fit through the hole and illuminate the bore(s).

If the gun is rusty, how much pitting is OK?
 

Sam squanch

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Dixie gun works had a bore light on a long rod at one time.i found some small keychain flashlights that would slide down a 20 gauge barrel, and would illuminate the bore very well. Also, bring a rod and cleaning jag to slowly slide down the bore to feel any bulges. If a seller won’t let you do these tests, pass on the gun.
 
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Magna flux for cracks un noticeable to the naked eye as to bulges bore light and range rod as mentioned as to rust depends how bad remember most Damascus barrels if this gun is damascus were wound and forge welded wire rust would in my opinion be a deterrent as to barrel reliability same as pitts. The other option would be to have a good gunsmith sleeve the barrels.
 

HandyAndy

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Dixie gun works had a bore light on a long rod at one time.i found some small keychain flashlights that would slide down a 20 gauge barrel, and would illuminate the bore very well. Also, bring a rod and cleaning jag to slowly slide down the bore to feel any bulges. If a seller won’t let you do these tests, pass on the gun.
Great tip, thanks!

Magna flux for cracks un noticeable to the naked eye as to bulges bore light and range rod as mentioned as to rust depends how bad remember most Damascus barrels if this gun is damascus were wound and forge welded wire rust would in my opinion be a deterrent as to barrel reliability same as pitts. The other option would be to have a good gunsmith sleeve the barrels.
It's not a Damascus. It's an original and I'm worried about any pitting, because AFAIK ( this might be wrong ) 140+ year old metallurgy wasn't as good as today, especially with the quality control.
 

shortstart

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What's the best way to check the integrity of the barrel(s) of a used shotgun? I would think the only way would be with a bore scope or maybe remove the nipple and see if a tiny light could fit through the hole and illuminate the bore(s).

If the gun is rusty, how much pitting is OK?
Magnaflux
 
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Magnaflux
Get ball hone Snap on truck attach it to an aluminum screw together shot gun cleaning rod . Use a 3\8 drill lightly hone with WD 40 as lube. Clean barrel Get a bore light and look for pits .With the ball hone you should be able to get most of the pits out . What's nice with the ball hone is it doesn't leave sharp edges on the pits. Might take little elbow grease but it will work if the pits don't clean up it may still throw a decent pattern. I've rebuilt lots of originals some shot pretty good . In the damscas barrel's, I shoot 70gr 1 fg goexs . Keep s the pressures down.
 
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Rudyard

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You fellows worry too much. Every' modern' condemns Stub Twist or true Damascus barrels but while cheaper guns might fail its usualy because some booby uses nitro ..Sure the odd 'grey' might admit of smoke coming out but wouldn't worry me any . Given choice Ide prefer good twist or good Damascus any day. I bowled a bunny recently with a barrel by Alonso Martinez got to be three hundred year old since he died in 1720 . Not some thing they stock at Cabellos ( Whoever they are ). My pet Two Grouve was so rusted the false breech , trigger, & trigger plate, where all connected by the equally rusted Tang nail . But the bore was good just a one in 60" pitch & Jeff Tanner made me a Belted ball mould & its seen more bush miles barrelled more donks (deer) & pigs over 40 years dos,nt owe me a farthing & I might have 4 pounds & my time in it . About the cost of my pet Three grouved 490 for (presumably a winged projectile ) . again bore quite good & I won a match at 300, then same year one at 500 yards , pipping a 461 Gibbs Metford . It was just bedded into an old shotgun stock with a 10/r (rupee ) local trade lock . Same as the two grouve has , I took the 490 11 days Descending the Mosley / Homathka river through the Coast Range of British Columbia. did that stuff but cant get enough steam these days . I made its patch / cap box at the Kamdo logging camp at Cumsack creek saw shack & fitted it later. I have a round cap box in the old two grouve never hunted other than for spruce grouse or Franklin , Mostly decorated my camps with needless swaged Maxy bullets, Early October no saying what ammourus Moose or hungry Bear might pop up to say' hello '. .Best choice was my old double 16 bore by Siddall of Chester 18 day passage of the Klina Klini River to Knight inlett ball in the left grouse load in the right . Anyway I ramble on , Again .
Regards Rudyard
 

HandyAndy

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Magnaflux
As I understand it Magnaflux is used for searching for hidden internal defects like; cracks, inclusions and porosity, which disrupts the magnetic field. Pitting is on the surface and I'm not sure that it would show any results. Do you have any links showing how that's done for gun barrels?

Get ball home Snap on truck attach it to an aluminum screw together shot gun cleaning rod . Use a 3\8 drill lightly hone with WD 40 as lube. Clean barrel Get a bore light and look for pits .With the ball home you should be able to get most of the pits out . What's nice with the ball home is it doesn't leave sharp edges on the pits. Might take little elbow grease but it will work if th pits don't clean up it may still throw a decent pattern. I've rebuilt lots of originals some shot pretty good . In the damscas barrel s. I shoot 70gr 1 fg goexs . Keep s the pressures down.
I've used bottle brush hones for automotive engine refreshing, with very good results, as long as the cylinders are not too; out of round, tapered, scored or worn. Clean up takes a bit of work, as the honing leaves a lot residue. Brush Research Manufacturing Corp makes the ball hones. USGI barrack cleaning rods are cheap, one poece and very strong. I've used those after cutting the handle cut off on a drill with stainless brushes to clean up unmentionable WW2 MG barrels.

I'm still a bit concerned with shotgun barrels because of how thin they are to start with.

You fellows worry too much. Every' modern' condemns Stub Twist or true Damascus barrels but while cheaper guns might fail its usualy because some booby uses nitro ..Sure the odd 'grey' might admit of smoke coming out but wouldn't worry me any . Given choice Ide prefer good twist or good Damascus any day. I bowled a bunny recently with a barrel by Alonso Martinez got to be three hundred year old since he died in 1720 . Not some thing they stock at Cabellos ( Whoever they are ). My pet Two Grouve was so rusted the false breech , trigger, & trigger plate, where all connected by the equally rusted Tang nail . But the bore was good just a one in 60" pitch & Jeff Tanner made me a Belted ball mould & its seen more bush miles barrelled more donks (deer) & pigs over 40 years dos,nt owe me a farthing & I might have 4 pounds & my time in it . About the cost of my pet Three grouved 490 for (presumably a winged projectile ) . again bore quite good & I won a match at 300, then same year one at 500 yards , pipping a 461 Gibbs Metford . It was just bedded into an old shotgun stock with a 10/r (rupee ) local trade lock . Same as the two grouve has , I took the 490 11 days Descending the Mosley / Homathka river through the Coast Range of British Columbia. did that stuff but cant get enough steam these days . I made its patch / cap box at the Kamdo logging camp at Cumsack creek saw shack & fitted it later. I have a round cap box in the old two grouve never hunted other than for spruce grouse or Franklin , Mostly decorated my camps with needless swaged Maxy bullets, Early October no saying what ammourus Moose or hungry Bear might pop up to say' hello '. .Best choice was my old double 16 bore by Siddall of Chester 18 day passage of the Klina Klini River to Knight inlett ball in the left grouse load in the right . Anyway I ramble on , Again .
Regards Rudyard
So just do a hot proof load with it tied to a tree and a long string to pull the trigger and if it doesn't blow up, it's good to go?

Not sure why, but images of Wiely E Coyote comes to mind...
 

Zonie

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The problem with proof testing is, it only proves the barrel could survive the test.
It doesn't prove that the test itself might have over-stressed the barrel to the point that it will fail the next time it is fired.
In fact, the test might turn a very serviceable barrel into something dangerous.

That is why industry always tests the part after the proof test with magnaflux, fluorescent penetrant, or X-ray inspection to make sure no new problems were created by the proof test.
 

SDSmlf

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This is similar to what I use, a USB bore scope, great for inspecting bores. At only around 20.00, worth it fer sure


I would still take it to a gunsmith for inspection, before shouldering the gun and firing.
Believe the wireless one I have is made by Teslong. Works great, let’s you see a lot of ‘stuff’ you don’t want to see. Here is carbon buildup after 50 shots in a new barrel More senior bores are frightening when looked at up close.

1600286780532.jpeg
 

Mulebrain

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Believe the wireless one I have is made by Teslong. Works great, let’s you see a lot of ‘stuff’ you don’t want to see. Here is carbon buildup after 50 shots in a new barrel More senior bores are frightening when looked at up close.

View attachment 43278
Especially when the barrel looks like a sewer pipe. I bought a rifle, and the bore looked great. I bore scoped it and foung pitting towards the breech, so I sent it to Bobby Hoyt for a clean up and he done good
 

Rudyard

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The problem with proof testing is, it only proves the barrel could survive the test.
It doesn't prove that the test itself might have over-stressed the barrel to the point that it will fail the next time it is fired.
In fact, the test might turn a very serviceable barrel into something dangerous.

That is why industry always tests the part after the proof test with magnaflux, fluorescent penetrant, or X-ray inspection to make sure no new problems were created by the proof test.

Unless theve changed Birmingham Proof house just spy up the barrel before & after proof if there is any bulge or problem their practiced eye will spot it . Worked since 1813 .Good point though re overstress . Wylee Cayotee might just know something . The down side of the long string & rubber tire stuff is you stress the stock too . I used to secure the barrel to a stout plank put it in a stream that allowed the timber to slide and light the paper & retire up onto the steep stream bank where no shard could reach you . and await the Boom . Rabbit holes also useful though the rabbits would disagree .
Regards Rudyard
 

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