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Drew Hause, Imperdix
Total Likes: 5
Original Post (Thread Starter)
by Drew Hause
Drew Hause
We've had lots of threads regarding sleeving. Pete Mikalajunas, Raimey and Toby Barclay have provided much of the information.
Unfortunately some of the images and links have been lost to time and the photobucket fiasco.
Toby's very helpful images here are gone

Here is one I saved

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Toby states here that sleeving started in the 50s, but I have not found by whom, nor who first used the term "sleeving" in reference to shotgun barrels

Another helpful thread

The process appears to have originated with Henri Pieper's "Diana Breech" patent of August 23, 1881

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The tubes were inserted from the REAR of the breech; Forest & Stream 1882

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Leaving a significant step from the breech to the barrels

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Liked Replies
In this thread Sleeving, Salopian said the inventor was "The very reason sleeving came into existance at all was because people didn't want to pay a lot. I was fortunate to know Mr. Christian Ashthorpe who is believed to be the inventor of sleeving, who sleeved a Mr. Herbert Sandals Purdey in 1948/49 for �15 which was about two weeks wages then. Interestingly enough Purdey moved hell and high water to stop barrels from being sleeved, but eventually they got Christian to sleeve guns for them."

2 members like this
by Parabola
I would agree with Ted that a distinction should be drawn between the monobloc or similar systems as a method of new construction and sleeving as a method of replacing worn out or defective tubes.

In the case of the latter, the method was certainly pioneered, if not invented, by Christopher Ashthorpe the engineer and gunsmith of Seven Stoke in Worcestershire in or about the 1950’s.

He had to overcome considerable reluctance on the part of the Proof house, which finally agreed to proof re-sleeved guns. The Proof house at first insisted on the word “SLEEVED” being stamped on the outside of the breech ends rather than (as now ) on the flats.

This led to Westley Richards, when they started sleeving, making a virtue out of necessity by emblazoning “Westley Richards” boldly on the sides of the barrels above the “SLEEVED” mark to demonstrate their confidence in the process.

I understand that Mr. Ashthorpe did not regard his idea as Patentable, being aware of the earlier monobloc designs.

There was also a long standing practice in this country, at least since World War One , of restoring rifle barrels by Parkerifling them.

Going back to monobloc designs, some early nitro double rifles, by Fraser amongst others, had very thick and somewhat bulbous breech ends. Does anyone know if they were built using a form of monobloc or two piece construction?
1 member likes this
by lagopus
Drew, earliest Proof book mentioning it that I have is dated 1960 and referred to the notes being an up-date from the 1956 book. In it it mentions that the process was brought to the attention of the Birmingham Proof House in 1955. doing a bit more digging in my library I find the following excerpt from the minutes book for 1955. 'During February the Guardians became aware of the first two cases of re-sleeving of Shotgun barrels being undertaken by a London company. The process involved cutting off the old re-useable chambers of a shotgun, making two new tubes and sleeving these into the old chamber section using solder. The Guardians initial reaction was to tell the Proof Master to refuse to prove them and in the interim they decided to get a specimen and subject it to a 20,000 standard service cartridge test. in March the London Proof House agreed with their actions. Shortly afterwards they were advised by Messrs Charles Hellis that this had been common practice in France Belgium and Italy for years. In July the London Court reversed their former decision but Birmingham continued to apply their ban until the test results were known. Finally in January 1956 they agreed to rescind their decision following advice from the Law Clerk, who that their actions were in contravention of the Proof Act.' The excerpt was taken from 'A Bi-Centenary History of the Birmingham Proof House 1813 - 2013.' by C.W.Harding. Hope that helps a little. Lagopus…..
1 member likes this
by KY Jon
KY Jon
I think the 20,000 refers to a fatigue test of firing 20,000 standard rounds in the gun. Proof testing is a pressure test but also you worry about long term use. They were concerned that joints would fail in regular use. Hence the 20,000 standard service cartridge test. I think Remington subjected a 1100 to a 100,000 round test. Then tore it down and checked for wear and part failure. Friend was given the job to conduction the test. Strapped a gun down to a test jig and spent hours loading it and using a lanyard to pull the trigger. This was done at a Remington facility and he decided to cut a couple trees down that had died at the range. I wish I had that stack of ammo he used.
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