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Old June 18, 2021, 05:21 PM   #1
5whiskey
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Belgian percussion shotgun

Serious question, who here would entertain occasionally firing an old Belgian Damascus barrel shotgun with moderate black powder loads? I know condition will mean a lot, but assume that there is no major pitting and looks to be in serviceable condition? I don’t think I would fire the modern breech load with shell types, unless possibly with a 2.5” BP shell. But is it reasonably safe to fire a muzzle stuffer using BP and avoiding insane charges. I know Belgian shotguns of the mid-latter 19th century are quite hit or miss (most likely miss these days from what I’ve read). So who would occasionally fire one if it seemed to check out ok? I have found a WM Moore that is in rough shape for a good price, but I think it’s too far gone to shoot. Alternatively I’ve found a Belgian piece that is much cleaner for a smidge more. I’ve a hankering for a side by side percussion shotty and would like to find one while they’re still pretty cheap.
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Old June 18, 2021, 05:27 PM   #2
Hawg
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A lot of people are going to lambast you for even thinking about it but I have one I've been shooting for 20 years or so.
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Old June 19, 2021, 07:32 AM   #3
44 Dave
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That is what I started bp shooting with 57 years ago. Get a bore light view especially the breach area and have fun.
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Old June 19, 2021, 10:21 AM   #4
Pahoo
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I would, with conditions!!!???

Quote:
who here would entertain occasionally firing an old Belgian
I would and have but as I get more grey in the hair, the less likely I am to do so. It really gets conditional and after going through the practicals, I review the particulars. After that most likely start with the "Tire" test-fire, a time or two. ...

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Old June 19, 2021, 08:27 PM   #5
4V50 Gary
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Bore light is a good idea. If there's a good autoshop around with a magnaflux, check the barrel for latent fissures. If it's sound keep the BP loads moderate.
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Old June 20, 2021, 01:16 PM   #6
Pahoo
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Looking for separations

Quote:
If there's a good autoshop around with a magnaflux,
That would be great if you had access to one. .......

One non-technical test is to hang the barrel loose by a line and give it a moderate rap with a wooded dowel or hammer handle and listen for any rattles. It should ring. You will recognize the sound when you hear it .....

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Last edited by Pahoo; June 21, 2021 at 10:33 AM.
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Old June 20, 2021, 09:45 PM   #7
5whiskey
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Quote:
One non-technical test is to hang the barrel loose by a line and give it a moderate rap with a wooded dowel or hammer handle and listen for any rattles. It should ring. You will recognize the sound what you hear it .....
This is info I’m looking for. Thank you. And yes the tire and string proof test will obviously be conducted. I don’t know why I just want an original side by side percussion shotty and examples in firing condition won’t get any cheaper. Even the ones of lesser reputation.
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Old June 24, 2021, 09:23 AM   #8
bladesmith 1
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Hanging the barrels and hitting it with a quarter will make it ring if they're not loose from each other. It's only a test to see if the ribs are soldered tight to both barrels. You can tell quite a bit by the condition of the gun. Is it good, then maybe it was well taken care of. A bore light would tell you a lot. I have about a dozen Damascus barrel cartridge SxSs and shoot nitro in one or the other every week, three times a week. They were made to shoot - go out and have some fun.

In a 12ga 70grs/3F and 1oz of shot is a nice light load. It will bust skeet targets.
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