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Old June 9, 2013, 11:55 PM   #9
Mike Irwin
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Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 35,695
"A Colt's Mfg. 12 ga. side-by-side with external hammers"

I'm not 100% sure about this, but I believe that ALL Colt hammer double shotguns were made ONLY for blackpowder and all had Damascus twist barrels.

A hammer gun is the Model 1878, a hammerless gun would be an 1883.

Another reason to NEVER fire modern ammunition in any of these guns without a good going over is that the chambers on the 1878s were almost all 2 1/2", which was the standard length for 12 gauge shells until well into the smokeless powder era.

Putting a 2 3/4" or worse, a 3" shell in one would almost undoubtedly bulge the barrels and could very well blow them at the chamber.
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