View Full Version : need help identifying double barrel shotgun

June 26, 2010, 03:01 PM
i got this old shotgun i got i was wondering what year the name on it is jp clabrough and bros london fine damascus gun and i was wondering also what it fires


June 26, 2010, 03:17 PM
It is only safe to fire very mild black powder reloads in a Damascus gun, and even that might not be entirely safe. Probably best not to shoot it all.

Clabrough were not high end guns, but any English shotgun might have some value if it's in good shape. Most makers had a series of guns of the same pattern leading from very plain to very fancy. The value would depend on what level yours is and the condition.

If you want more info you'll need to provide pictures, particularly of the various proof marks and so on.

June 26, 2010, 07:04 PM
J.P. CLABROUGH & BRO. was an arms manufacturer in Birmingham England in the late 1800's.

Their guns range in value from $150.00 for a wallhanger, to about $2000.00 for one in perfect condition.

It could be chambered for any of several of the larger bores, but my money's on it being a 10ga - A bore measurement should tell the tale.

For more info, use your google-fu, under "British gunmakers".


June 27, 2010, 07:02 AM
It's probably chambered for 2 1/2 inch shells so take that into consideration if you do decide to shoot it.

June 27, 2010, 07:25 AM
hey i got some pictures but i cant put them on the site is says file failed i can email you photos

June 27, 2010, 07:36 AM
Load them to a site like photobucket and post img code from there

June 27, 2010, 08:11 AM
hey here is the link http://s768.photobucket.com/home/nanibush_13

June 27, 2010, 09:22 AM
http://i768.photobucket.com/albums/xx329/nanibush_13/th_P6260024.jpg http://i768.photobucket.com/albums/xx329/nanibush_13/th_P6260018.jpg

It's a nice old shotgun, and I wouldn't fire ANY ammo in it, even though the ammo may chamber - as the pressures from modern powders can blow a chunk out of an old twist barrel.



June 27, 2010, 01:28 PM
If the barrels are in good shape there's no problem in shooting moderate loads of bp out of them as long as shell length is correct. Damascus barrels will actually withstand more pressure than forged barrels.

July 5, 2010, 04:09 PM
I ought to know this by looking at the sidehammers, but I don't. Is it a muzzleloader, or is it a breech loader that will shoot modern type shotshells?

I'd be hesitant to shoot a muzzle loader that had a damascus steel barrel. Mostly thats because I'm just too lazy to go through all the rigamarole that's involved with shooting a blackpowder muzzleloader. When you add the additional uncertainty of a damascus steel barrel to the equasion....

I might try a handloaded light black powder load in a damascus steel barrel if:

1. If the gun would accept RMC-type lathed brass shotshells, and if I could obtain the correct size shell need for the gun. I don't know if they would actually improve the margin of safety or not, but I feel like they give considerable extra strength in the chamber area. Probably won't help the barrel much though.

2. If the gun was checked out by a competent gunsmith beforehand and he found the barrels to be in reasonably good condition to shoot light BP loads in .

3. Even then I'd probably try the first couple from behind a tree while I pulled a string attached to the trigger, and I'd carefully examine the barrel for signs of trouble before trying another one.

July 5, 2010, 06:18 PM
[I ought to know this by looking at the sidehammers, but I don't. Is it a muzzleloader, or is it a breech loader that will shoot modern type shotshells?]

If you would take a closer look at the pic of the action/hammers/etc, you should notice the thunb lever atop the rear tang, just to the rear of the hammers.

That shouts "breech loader", and will break the gun open so modern-type ammunition might be able to be chambered - although it most probably shouldn't, due to both the possibility of short chambers, and the too high internal pressure of most modern ammo.


July 5, 2010, 07:47 PM
There are many folks who shoot shotguns with Damascus barrels....AFTER they have been thoroughly checked by a smith who knows them, and not all use BP. Low-pressure smokeless loads for vintage guns from the likes of RST or Polywad are used by those folks. I am not saying this particular gun or person should attempt it with this gun, but it has been done and is being done by folks.

Another option is sleeving, but it isn't too cheap, but it works very well

July 6, 2010, 03:13 AM
Damascus barrels will actually withstand more pressure than forged barrels.

I find this rather hard to believe. Please provide citations.

July 6, 2010, 08:31 AM
Sherman Bell in the Double Gun Journal tested a series of barrels both damascus and forged with increasing loads until they blew. Damascus barrels blew around 30,000 PSI and forged barrels blew at 32,000 PSI so I wasn't actually correct in my statement but that's far more pressure than even the strongest modern shotshell.