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A Million and one 10g BP Questions


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I recently was given a 1883 Colt 10g SxS shotgun with Damascus barrels . Research show this was most likely an original "Coach Gun" as the barrels were 24" but long ago someone added another 6" to the barrels. The solder ring is clearly visible. Fortunately, there was a large dent in the added section so it was removed and the barrels are back to 24"

 

It did not have a stock and the forend was in disrepair.

 

80% fitted wood was ordered from Macon Stock Works and it was fitted and finished.

 

The internals of this gun appear like new. No wear is detected and all mechanicals work perfectly. It is 100% on face....

 

I cut down 3.5" plastic hulls to 2.75" (Impossible to find brass or paper hulls at this time)

 

I plan on loading with BP and #8 shot with a glued over shot card....

 

Please advise a load for Cowboy Action....Not interested in anything that will damage targets or damage my shoulder. Mild 980fps loads would be perfect.

 

Anything else you can add would be greatly appreciated.....

 

Hopefully Double Tap Taylor and Driftwood Johnson see this and can add to it.

 

Thank You!

Edited by Rancho Roy
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Don't have a Damascus gun but from my experience with guns and shootin', you need to be VERY careful with a Damascus barreled gun. Most folks recommend not even shooting it. What makes you think it was a "coach gun" with Loooong barrels? Wouldn't you want short, easy to wield barrels?

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I found an article (But can't find it now), that spoke about these guns. Very few were manufactured by Colt in 1883. The serial number on this one puts manufacture at 1891 where 900 were produced that year. This one has straight bores with no choke and no actual chambers. The only use would have been for a "Scatter Gun" for extreme close range defense. This gun is very heavy (10 pounds with 24" tubes!) and the barrels are quite thick as compared to other Damascus shotguns I have in my collection. A couple shotgun smiths I spoke to suggested that it was relatively popular to extend barrels on shotguns back in the day. The belief was they had longer range and hit ducks harder......Picture below shows dented barrel and the extension joint.

 

My plan is to use extreme low power loads and to use it infrequently for "Style Points" and nothing more......It will play well with my original 73 Winchester ( 1874 vintage) and my Colt 1860 revolvers.....Yes?

 

 

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Edited by Rancho Roy
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First off, I'd have a qualified gunsmith to do a proof test on the shotgun as it has rust on the barrel. Even then, if it passes, the Damascus could let go at any time. Once rust gets into the welds, the gun is not safe to shoot, IMO. Best to hang it on the wall and admire it. 

 

That being said, you can still get 10 ga. 2.75 in shells from Rocky Mountain Cartridge. They are expensive and the company is for sale so don't know how long you would be able to order from them, but I have a number of them and they will last a lifetime. 

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1 hour ago, Rancho Roy said:

I recently was given a 1882 Colt 10g SxS shotgun with Damascus barrels . Research show this was most likely an original "Coach Gun" as the barrels were 24" but long ago someone added another 6" to the barrels. The solder ring is clearly visible. Fortunately, there was a large dent in the added section so it was removed and the barrels are back to 24"

 

It did not have a stock and the forend was in disrepair.

 

80% fitted wood was ordered from Macon Stock Works and it was fitted and finished.

 

The internals of this gun appear like new. No wear is detected and all mechanicals work perfectly. It is 100% on face....

 

I cut down 3.5" plastic hulls to 2.75" (Impossible to find brass or paper hulls at this time)

 

I plan on loading with BP and #8 shot with a glued over shot card....

 

Please advise a load for Cowboy Action....Not interested in anything that will damage targets or damage my shoulder. Mild 980fps loads would be perfect.

 

Anything else you can add would be greatly appreciated.....

 

Hopefully Double Tap Taylor and Driftwood Johnson see this and can add to it.

 

Thank You!

 Roy, I would recommend going to the following link, they have a LOT of information on Damascus guns and and low pressure loads:  https://www.doublegunshop.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=postlist&Board=1&page=1

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Track of the wolf sells a pretty neat little booklet on loading BP for old guns. 

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Thanks Hoss, I got that booklet, but it mostly lists loads that are more than I want for SASS......Looking for 1oz@980fps....this would be same as Winchester AA CowboyLoads.....

 

All the brass shotgun shell suppliers are out of stock......I've checked them all. There is a fellow in Colorado that will turnthem out of solid brass but way more $$ that I want to invest right now. I have a lathe and am quite proficient at using it. I might make a few out of 7071 aluminum or brass. But the aluminum version would be a bugger to eject by standard cowboy action methods. Not enough weight......

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Anyone have an familiarity with sleeving 10g Damascus barrels down to 12 or 20 g?   Seems this was something done quite regularly in the past...

 

https://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/gunsmithing/sleeving-shotgun-barrels-126803/

 

https://www.doublegunshop.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=422137&page=1

Edited by Rancho Roy
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That's what I was thinkin. Sleeve it down to 12 ga and then you'd be safe to run low pressure loads through it while keeping the look.

I don't know that I'd shoot an original Damascus barrel gun with anything more than smoke.

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Here we have "Little Skeeters" which allows 12g or 20g in a 10g......Six of the 12g adapters for $129.....Much more expensive that 6 brass shells. But you can reload them at the range to shoot the next stage as long as you don't need more than 6 shells.....

 

https://www.littleskeeters.com/product/10-12/

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I don't know that I'd shoot an original Damascus barrel gun with anything more than smoke

 Did you mean..."Anything more than Black Powder"...?  "Smoke = BP?

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Here is a link that refutes some of the myths about shooting Damascus barreled guns:  https://media.midwayusa.com/cms/larrys-stories/2017_6/183_damascus-barrels-rumors-and-facts.pdf

 

In addition to the above, I read a credible article (probably in the Double Gun Journal and it MIGHT have been the second batch of testing referred to in the above link) that addressed similar testing and some "best" British Damascus shotgun barrels didn't burst until somewhere in the neighborhood of 55,000-60,000 PSI.  The Whitworth (regular fluid steel) barrels had already burst well before reaching that point.

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19 minutes ago, Rancho Roy said:

 Did you mean..."Anything more than Black Powder"...?  "Smoke = BP?

Absolutely never anything more than BP, but I meant not even a payload (no shot).

If you haven't had the integrity of the barrels tested, I would NOT run anything approaching a 980 fps load through it.

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I took an old 10 gauge with a Damascus barrels to a qualified professional gunsmith.   He looked it over. He said he would not proof fire it because proof firing could introduce problems that were not there. He recited a response that said he could not recommend shooting this gun.  After making the comment,  he leaned closer and said, "If it were my gun,  I'd shoot it with  black powder loads.".

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This place in Canada has once fired hulls (unprimed).  I know that they won’t ship primers/powder to the USA but they may ship these Bilozir. Net

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After really thinking about this for a while, I'm going to order the 10g to 12g adapters and try them out.  I must have 5000 12g AA hulls in a huge garbage can...Makes more sense to go this direction for now. If 10g shells at a reasonable price turn up, I can can always reverse direction.

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;)  Hi Roy . . . 

 

I have personally NEVER been a fan of Damascus barrel shotguns.  Back when made??  Sure.  130 odd year later??  NO.  I only have ONE left hand and I don't wish to lose all or part of it.  Rust and corrosion may well have formed within the welds.  I had more than one or two brought into my shot when a practicing Gunsmith.  (Retired)  I have always give the same advice . . . Go to Purbaugh or some such and have the gun sleeved  12Ga.

 

Your sample example shows signs of considerable rust.  NOT something I would trust with ANY load.  Not with MY left hand anyway.

 

Myth:  Proof loads.  There are NO proof houses in the United States.  NONE.  A "Proof" load only shows one thing.  The gun survived that ONE firing.  That proves NOTHING.  The gun may well come apart at the next firing.  Sleeve it or Hang it.

 

Stay Safe Out There

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Thanks for the advise.....Where are you seeing rust? There was a small spot near the new muzzle that was surface and came off with light application of 0000 steel wool and oil. I used my bore scope and inspected the bores and they are pristine.....nothing to cause concern as far as I could see. Please counsel me on this rust you see.  Thanks

 

 

 

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Perhaps the Photos don't do Justice to having the gun "In Hand"   To me, the photos show extensive pitting over all.  Not So??  Regardless, I would not professionally vouchsafe any Damascus Antiques.  Although, a load of 60Gr 2f or 1f with a plastic Wad and a 1 ounce payload would pretty much be a pussy cat.  Your Hand.

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If you are going to the PA State Match...I'd love you to look at it. Thanks

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1 hour ago, Warden Callaway said:

I don't know if it's one of your million questions but the 10 gauge is 10X more expensive to load than a 12. 

But 20x more cool! 

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I loaded 60g FF Jim Schocky with 1oz #8......This is a square load using the largest dipper from the LEE dipper kit. The only real black I have currently is FFF and FFFF, which I felt might be too powerful. Will try them out when it stops raining.

 

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