View Full Version : Damascus Barrels

April 17, 2006, 03:34 PM
Does anyone know what type of shells to use in Damascus barrels? I have an 1883 10ga side by side Colt shotgun. I was told I had to use really light loads (preferably black powder) as the heavier loads today would probably harm the barrels. I decided to try the gun out using some black powder blanks. Unfortunately, right on the box it says not to use the blanks in Damascus barrels. Does this mean I should just hang the gun on the wall and forget it? Or is there a shell I can use without messing up the barrels. Everything else on the gun works just fine. I would like to actually shoot it to confirm that though. Any help is greatly appreciated.

April 17, 2006, 04:40 PM
Shooting damascus barreled guns can be dangerous even with black powder. The welds may have weakened allowing the barrel to rupture. I have seen a few that had sub gauge tubes installed. In your case a set of 16 gauge would probable work OK. The cost however is not cheap to have the tubes made. It would probably be a good idea to hang it on the wall.

April 17, 2006, 05:22 PM
Thanks for the reply, oletymer. I'd heard of having tubes installed. This gun is a family hand-down so I didn't really want to change it if I could get away with it. It certainly is an option though. I also haven't checked out the price of having that done, as you said, the cost may be more than the gun is worth, not that I would ever sell it. It's a beautiful antique and I wouldn't mind putting it in a display case. Every time I look at it, though, I really want to pull those triggers, but not at the risk of damaging it.

April 17, 2006, 05:32 PM
you could take it an exoert in old guns and get his opinion on how safe the gun MIGHT be. I would think that most everybody will tell you to tube it or clean it up nice and hang it up and fondle once in a while.

April 17, 2006, 08:34 PM
The fondling is already going on, Ruger. :rolleyes: I believe having a good gunsmith take a look at the gun is just the ticket. Safe is always better than sorry.

April 18, 2006, 08:59 PM
My best friend inherited his Great Grandfathers Colt SBS and took it to a gun smith .He told him to ck on having a set of barrels made for it. long story short he contacted Colt and KIND of pricey but for $1100 he proudly shoots it at clays . Plus he can put the other barrels on it to look at.

April 18, 2006, 10:32 PM
Sig40: I sure can appreciate your desires, but tubing the gun will most likely cost a ton of money. Shooting the gun the way it is, is probably dangerous at best. There are a lot of threads in here regarding Damascus barrels. Sme say it is ok,, most say not to take a chance. The current ( and for a long time) wisdom is that it is dangerous, I beleive it, no proof, it just makes sense to me. I guess I believe there was a time for these guns, it just ain't now

April 19, 2006, 03:44 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions, fellas. I will probably just clean it up, do a little work on it and make a really nice case to put it in. I'll just settle for taking it out and cleaning on it every now and then. Besides, it's not like it's my only gun. I have plenty to shoot. Thanks again, guys, you've been very helpful.

April 19, 2006, 07:23 PM
I would tube it. A set of tubes should be around $350-$450, maybe less. It will do nothing to alter the gun, they just slide in and friction fit. 16 or possibly 20ga are your best bets, although I have never heard of the tube makers installing 16ga tubes. Check with Kolar Arms and Briley, the 2 top makers of titanium inserts.