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Old September 21, 2002, 11:30 PM   #10
James K
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Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 24,184
In spite of what some anglophile "experts" say, Damascus barrels (yes even English made ones) are not only inherently weak, but over time can be eaten away from the inside by a combination of primer corrosion, poor cleaning, and plain old rust. They then look more like metal lace than a gun barrel and are ready to let go with even a moderate load of black powder, a load that would have been easily contained when the barrel was new. A barrel nearly dissolved on the inside can look good on the outside where it was kept oiled. While breechloaders can be examined for internal damage (though it can go unnoticed unless the examiner knows what to look for), muzzle loaders are more difficult to check and severe damage can exist without any outward sign.

Those who say that proof marks guarantee that the barrel is sound are living in some sort of dream world where time is suspended.

Jim
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