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Let us begin, here. A mono block is not sleeved, and a sleever is not a mono block.

Best,
Ted

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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?

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As good as Westley Richards work has come to be known, their early sleeving was really ugly. Some of those joints looked like you could put your finger nail in them.

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sleeving with invisible seams requires much more workman time and skill, which results in higher cost per job...

interesting thread...

Last edited by ed good; 04/28/21 11:34 AM.
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I agree with Daryl. A friend has a WR sleeved DHE Parker that is unattractive to say the least!


Dodging lions and wasting time.....
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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…..

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Lagopus;

Thank you very much for your informative information of the concerns of the Proof Master about sleeving of shotgun barrels in the mid 1950's.

Would you be so kind as to elaborate on the following sentence of your above writing: "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." What is a "20,000 standard service cartridge test"? Is this 20,000 pounds per square inch (psi)?

Kindest Regards;
Stephen Howell

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Thanks to everyone for the contribution, esp. Lagopus.

20,000 psi is interesting, and would have been measured using crushers so modern piezo transducer numbers would be 10-14% higher

John Brindle, author of Shotgun Shooting: Techniques & Technology published a review of Proof and Service pressures in Part 5 of his series in The Double Gun Journal, “Black Powder & Smokeless, Damascus & Steel”; Volume 5, Issue 3, 1994, “Some Modern Fallacies Part 5”, p. 11.
His estimated post-1954 but pre-CIP standard pressures by LUP converted to piezo transducer PSI was proof pressure of 12,250 psi for 2 1/2" and 14,050 psi for 2 3/4"

CIP High Performance (Magnum) Mean Proof Pressure is 1320 BAR = 19,145 PSI, which is about the SAAMI U.S. proof pressure.

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During my second tour in Germany, I spent an awful lot of time in Walter Grass' gun shop and observed him and his friend Alfred Schalgelmilch(?) sleeve several guns barrels, and assisted in sleeving one of my own drillings. This procedure was well known for many years before I arrived in 1976, in fact, it may go back to the 20s or before, even though I don't have documentation of this. With regard to the old barrel breech section not being a mono block, that is certainly technically true as the old barrel sets had been made by bundling the barrels locking lugs and top rib/ doll's head together and hard solder/silver soldering them together. The ribs were soft soldered on later. I also observed then making actual mono blocks for Merkels, since barrel sets were not available from behind the "Iron Curtain" at that time. They didn't make any difference in terminology between the two. They referred to both as "hakenstuck"( hook piece/or part). As far as proof was concerned, if the old barrels were used a crown R ( repair) proof would be applied. If an actual mono block were used, the barrel set would be proofed as new. Since my drilling was being exported to the US, it wasn't sent to the proof house, so I can't post the marks. I don't know if this answered the question or created new ones.
Mike

Last edited by Der Ami; 04/29/21 11:37 AM.
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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.

Last edited by KY Jon; 04/28/21 04:54 PM.
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