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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  Shooter's Meeting (Moderators: Marshal Halloway, Camille Eonich, Texas Lawdog)  |  Topic: Laminated steel shotgun barrels 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Troublesome River
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« on: October 05, 2007, 02:23:12 pm »


Howdy all,
I was at alocal gunshow last weekend and found an old s/s 12 gauge that I'm thinking of buying to complete my CAS weaponry.
It's marked "LACLEDE" on the barrels, has French-style back-action locks, and except for a crack in the wrist and a slightly dark bore that looks like it could do with a good cleaning, the action and everything seem to work very well for an old gun.
   The only thing that bothers me is the fact that it's also marked "laminated steel" on the barrels. Does this mean that they're wire Damascus barrels does it? I've heard the stories about these barrels not standing up, and plan on using bp loads but I would rather not waste the $225 price and taking a chance of something going wrong. Can anyone help?

                                                                                                                                    Troublesome
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« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2007, 02:30:26 pm »

Laminated steel is similar to twist steel.  a touchy subject on any of these if they should be shot with any load.  Hidden corosion and/or a slag pocket can make them dangerous.  My thought, I would never shoot one until it had been reproofed by someone capable of doing it. 

Others may have other opinions, but I like my face and hands the way they are.
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Driftwood Johnson
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« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2007, 03:11:41 am »

Howdy

I agree. Laminated steel barrels are similar to Damascus barrels, with a slight difference. Damascus barrels are not made of 'wire'. The technique was to first make up square billets by welding together alternating strips of iron and steel into a square billet. The billet started out about 2 1/4" square by about 20" long. The billet was then heated in a furnace and drawn through rollers until it was about 1/4" square and about 16 FEET long. The next step was to heat the billet again and twist it like a piece of taffy until it looked like a miniature barber pole. Finally 3 or more of these twisted billets were wrapped around a mandrel and welded togther seam to seam. When the mandrel was removed a reamer was run through the bore to smooth out all the seams, and the outside of the barrel was turned to smooth out the seams on the outside. The end result was the distinctive 'Dasmascus' pattern of swirling marks repeated endlessly along the length of the barrel. The swirls were the intertwined pieces of iron and steel, and the pattern was controlled by how the billets were laid up in the first place.

A laminated barrel is the same idea, just simpler. Rather than making up twisted billets of iron and steel, and then wrapping them around a mandrel, a laminated barrel was made by simply wrapping bands of steel around a mandrel and welding up the seams. Then it was reamed and surfaced on the outside just like a Damascus barrel.

The laminated barrel was simpler and less expensive to make. It exhibits none of the swirling patterns of a Damascus barrel, it simply shows the helical seams like a barber pole.

Both of these techniques involve a great deal of welding, there are hundreds of feet of welds in a Damascus barrel. When they were made, a high grade Damascus barrel or a Laminated barrel were very strong. They were proofed and some were even proofed for Nitro powder. In Europe there were many different proofs and you need a real expert to determine just what the barrels were proofed to.

The fly in the ointment is all those hundreds of feet of welds, or dozens of feet in the laminated barrel, were probably welded up about 100 years ago. Although the barrels were sound when they were made, there is no way of knowing if corrosion over the last century has caused hidden voids to open up in the welds. If there are hidden pockets of corrosion or voids, that is your hand on the fore end that is at risk.

Even proofing the gun all over again today is risky business because the gun needs to be proofed to the same level that it was proofed at 100 years ago.

Here is an excellent article that explains all this in great detail.

http://doublegunshop.com/gunther1.htm
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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2007, 07:48:47 am »

Others may have other opinions, but I like my face and hands the way they are.
I would imagine a lot of others would have other opinions about your face Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Grin
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« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2007, 02:34:53 pm »

One other option that is very safe esp on a high grade gun you don't want to risk being destroyed being reproofed is to send it to someone like Briley and have a set of 20 Gauge tubes made for it, the barrels could be almost made out of cheap plastic then, because the tubes contain the pressure.
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Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.
Troublesome River
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« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2007, 10:35:46 am »

Thank you guys,
As always I get my questions answered, even though it may not always be what I necessarily want to here. Just have to keep lookin'-Troublesome
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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  Shooter's Meeting (Moderators: Marshal Halloway, Camille Eonich, Texas Lawdog)  |  Topic: Laminated steel shotgun barrels « previous next »
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