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Originally Posted By: HOS
Thank you for that very cogent explanation. It is very helpful. My point was only that a gunmaker, for commercial reasons, might not necessarily request the highest proof, even though the gun in question might be able to satisfy the higher proof test. Incidentally, how does one ascertain what the pressure of one's ammo is? Is all standard 2-3/4 inch US ammo roughly the same? Does it make any difference if it is Rio, Winchester, Fiocchi or Estate (I.e., foreign or US manufacturers or licensees)? Is the SAAMI standard a maximum? P. S. When you feel up to it, I wouldn't mind a short course on other countries' proof houses. Interesting stuff I think. Thank you.


HOS, the only way for sure to know the pressure of your ammo is either to reload very accurately and go by what the book tells you, or else--if you're shooting factory ammo--send some off to someone like Tom Armbrust for pressure testing. (You can do the same thing with reloads if you vary somewhat from a book recipe, maybe in an attempt to lower pressure even more for vintage guns.) The SAAMI standard is a maximum, although there can be some slight variations above that max. Without having specific American loads pressure tested--and I'm speaking Winchester/Remington/Federal, not the small specialty makers like RST, who will provide that information--you are stuck with the assumption that the loads may be as high as the SAAMI maximum. And even if you have a particular type of shell pressure tested, there's no guarantee that the next lot of the same shell will have the same pressure. American ammo makers load for consistent velocity, and they occasionally change the powders they use, which can mean a pressure change. Makes no difference to them as long as they stay under the SAAMI standard and maintain the same velocity. British/European shotshell makers will sometimes provide pressures for their shells. But the markings on their boxes often don't even include velocity, although they do tell you for what kind of guns (chamber length/proof pressure) the shells are intended.

All the proofhouses within the CIP countries (which is the blanket organization to which the British and all the major European gunmaking countries belong) conform to the same general proof and service pressure standards. The problem is that they all use their own proofmarks, which are sometimes pretty clear (as in when they give you a proof pressure figure in bars), sometimes not. The really confusing part is that all of those countries have changed proofmarks several times in the last century. In the case of the British, starting with the proof rules of 1925, there have been 4 major changes. And if you have a really old Brit gun, there were several changes prior to 1925.

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Whoa! Truly awesome info. I knew there was a reason that I kept looking at this board. This thread is so much better than the usual " if you won the jillion dollar lottery, what four guns would you buy" questions that have predominated here in recent years. I am not sure I understand everything said here, but I expect to have some follow up questions tomorrow. Thanks!

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Reading this thread has reminded me that of the eight English guns I have owned in the past 10 years, three of them had 2 3/4" chambers while the remaining five were 2 1/2" guns. I have subsequently sold all 3 of the 2 3/4" guns and kept the 2 1/2" ones. It is obvious that I like guns with 2 1/2" chambers as they feel "Right" in my hands and are idealy suited for all types of driven game as practiced in the UK.
Bob

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A quick couple of points for this discussion.

My auction research indicates that the market in Brit/Continental guns has remained relatively stable for the past five years or so.

1. If the number of buyers is shrinking, then number guns owned per buyer must be increasing.

2. Vintage guns can't be "manufactured" currently; the supply is fixed by original production. So, the current supply must be matching the current demand for pricing to remain stable.

If demand rises above supply, pricing will go up. If demand falls below supply, pricing will go down.

Edit - I forgot to say well done, Larry Brown. A very nicely crafted "101" on the chamber length issue.

DDA


Last edited by Rocketman; 01/27/13 07:18 PM.
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BB, you could characterize "right" as follows.

"I like guns with handling characteristics of 6 1/2# weight, 4 1/2" balance to (front) trigger, unmounted swing effort of 1.5, and mounted swing effort of 6.5; the handling description of a typical 12 bore - 2 1/2" Brit game gun. This would be as opposed to a weight of 7 1/4#, 5", 1.75, and 7.75; the handling characteristics of a typical Brit 12 bore - 2 3/4" heavy game/light pigeon gun."

It should be recognized that "right" is in the hands of the shooter. I, for example, would much prefer the 2 3/4" gun due to my size, strength, muscle make-up, and style. Neither of our "rights" is universally "right;" just "right" for us as individuals. Right?? grin

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R'Mam
A gun which I own that always felt about the "Rightest" to me & which I shot as well or better than most any other I ever used was a SLNE 2-trigger J P Clabrough 12ga. This gun has 28" Damascus bbls & a weight of 6lb 14oz. It has a bit of cast off to the stock though I have never measured it exactly, not do I know swing efforts.Have never even checked where the balance point is. It is ╝ choked in both bbls & has 2 5/8" chambers by measurement. The load with which it saw the most use in my hands was 1oz shot @ about 1150MV & around 8k psi.


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2-p, sounds like you are "heavy game gun man." A good many American made 16's and 20's fit into this handling category, whereas 12's tend to fit the pigeon/duck gun class; 7 5/8#, 5 1/4", 1.85, and 8.5. The neat part of the handling characteristics profile is that, like the stock dimensions profile, you can know if the gun will suit you or is a candidate for modification to fit you, from half way around the globe.

DDA

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Originally Posted By: Rocketman


Edit - I forgot to say well done, Larry Brown. A very nicely crafted "101" on the chamber length issue.

DDA



Rocketman, thanks! Coming from you, I take that as high praise. And I would be remiss if I didn't point out that much of what I've learned in this area has been acquired on this BB, which I've followed pretty much from the very start. Along with buying guns I should've passed up . . .

Last edited by L. Brown; 01/28/13 08:30 AM.
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Just wanted to thank everyone who consistently helps educate those of us who enjoy the sport but lack the experience and time in the field to acquire the wealth of knowledge available from this BBS.

I rarely encounter a BBS as collegial and pleasant as this one !

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So, after looking around my gun room, I find, inter alia, a pre war greifelt marked for 2-1/2 inch shells that has been opened to 2-3/4, with a kersten cross bolt and double underbolts (just like a Merlel); a couple of pre war 2-3/4 inch sidelock Merkels and a post war 303 sidelock Merkel. Also a 1911 vintage Winchester 1897 and a 1921 model 12 and a number of Berettas from the 1960s. I won't get into some of the other stuff. I have never reloaded and have always used whatever ammo came from the store, usually the cheapest stuff around. Other than going to hell, what's likely to happen to me for totally disregarding proper loads etc.?

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