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Old June 1, 2016, 12:44 PM   #26
James K
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FWIW, many of the old BP era breaktops shot loose with BP as well; they were not made or intended for long life. The bigger guns, like the S&W New Model #3, stood up pretty well, but the small guns just were not made for extensive use. Further, both IJ and H&R went through several variations of latching mechanism to keep them from shooting loose even before smokeless powder was introduced.

Actual blowups are very rare with factory loads, though I have seen a few split chambers on guns with paper-thin cylinder walls.

But the usual warning is not that the the old guns will eventually shoot loose, but that they will almost always "blow up" if fired with a factory load or equivalent smokeless powder load. That is just not the case.

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Old June 1, 2016, 07:40 PM   #27
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Here she is
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Old June 1, 2016, 07:41 PM   #28
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<a href="http://s927.photobucket.com/user/rumbleguppy001/media/image.jpg2.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i927.photobucket.com/albums/ad117/rumbleguppy001/image.jpg2.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo image.jpg2.jpg"/></a>

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Old June 1, 2016, 07:58 PM   #29
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Proof marks

Here are some photos of the proof marks which may help someone who's researching down the road.
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Old June 1, 2016, 08:12 PM   #30
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One more photo of the proof marks. It's interesting to see how many proof marks were on each firearm. I wonder if quality control was as involved as the many marks make it seem. Here's a question though, since black powder was slowly being replaced by smokeless at the time this pistol was made wouldn't the proof house in Leige have proofed the gun using smokeless cartridges? I mean they would have known smokeless blends would be being used in the guns and a proof house is more than just some guy with a hammer and a stamp. These were being exported to all around the world. Isn't there a point in history where firearms were made with both types of powder in mind?
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Old June 1, 2016, 08:57 PM   #31
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Yes, the old breaktops certainly would shoot loose with BP loads. Only they would do it a lot faster with smokeless loads.
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Old June 2, 2016, 12:51 AM   #32
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New production black powder .32 S&W cartridges were available into the late 60s. (At least in Miami.) They were produced by Gevelot, a French arms company. I always bought them to shoot in an old Iver Johnson revolver that had been bequeathed to me, in spite of the salesman's insistence that factory smokeless rounds wouldn't hurt the gun.
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Old June 2, 2016, 02:52 PM   #33
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Quote:
Here's a question though, since black powder was slowly being replaced by smokeless at the time this pistol was made wouldn't the proof house in Leige have proofed the gun using smokeless cartridges?
If it had been proved for smokeless, it would have a smokeless proof mark.
In Belgium that would be a (Lion) P.V. or a (Crown) P.V.

The little gun has already been messed with. Looks like the hammer spur was sawn off before Bubba's Bumper Shop plated it and the manual safety has been removed.
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Old June 20, 2016, 06:37 PM   #34
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It hasn't been re-plated. It's simply not very old. Judging from the star over the T it was made sometime around 1952. The safety has been removed as it was inconvenient for a previous owner and the hammer was ground down. Don't much care about the safety but I would like to return the hammer to stock.
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Old June 21, 2016, 07:07 PM   #35
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The NRA museum has a different explanation for Belgian proof marks according to the NRA website a crown over R means a rifled barrel to be used on a smokeless pistol. Who should I believe? The NRA or somebody who wrote a book? Ok, that sounded sarcastic but it is meant to be a serious question. As a former machinist I can tell that the cylinder was machined, not cast. Also the cylinder thickness is much thicker than my .32 RF black powder revolver. Here's the link. http://i927.photobucket.com/albums/a...age.jpg1_2.jpg

And here's the link to the NRA museum.
http://www.nramuseum.com/media/940944/proofmarks.pdf
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Old June 21, 2016, 10:12 PM   #36
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The problem with proof mark references is that everybody copied Wirnsberger. And Wirnsberger didn't provide quotations on where he got his data from.
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Old June 21, 2016, 10:46 PM   #37
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The problem is not that "everybody copies Wirnsberger" but that they do not. "They" sometimes take his work as a source, then try to compress and summarize it, often without even making sense.

The "NRA" list, which seems to have been extracted from another source, says that the crown/R means "Rifled arms defense for smokeless powder proof parabellum pistols". That is gibberish.

Here is what Wirnsberger, translating from the proof house regulations, says:

This mark (crown/R) is applied to rifled barrels of:
a) Flobert rifles after proof with black powder
b) revolvers after black powder proof and 30 percent excess pressure
c) Flobert top-break pistols after semi-smokeless proof
d) revolvers after semi-smokeless proof and 50 percent excess pressure
e) muzzle loading handguns after black powder proof
f) long guns

Nothing is said specifically about "parabellum pistols", though it seems that "revolvers" includes autoloading pistols, a common practice in European law and regulations.

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Old June 21, 2016, 10:51 PM   #38
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Rumblefrost, one of your photos shows a "Crown over ELG" proof on the rear of the cylinder. There doesn't seem to be any inconsistency with its meaning.
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