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Originally Posted By: craigd
Originally Posted By: Kyrie
....this is how proof laws/houses work as trade barriers....

....England has been infamous for this kind of trade chicanery for generations.

Anyone old enough to remember when England tried to discredit guns from foreign countries that passed English proof? For the young fellows, England required all foreign made firearms to be marked “Not English Make” (i.e. “Made By Wogs”). Here is an example, a Czech made .22 target pistol that was imported into England during that period:....


Very interesting example. Correct me if I'm wrong, the significant requirement for any firearm to be in proof is to be lawfully registered and subject to ownership, possession and transfer laws. I hope the British gunsmiths can figure this issue out, rather than give up.


This depends on the country and to some degree the proof house.

At a minimum, to pass proof a firearm must:

1) have a chamber and bore that is dimensionally compliant with whatever standard the proof house follows,

2) pass the final (i.e. definitive) firing proof compliant with whatever standard the proof house follows, and

3) be observed to be in safe operating condition and operate properly.

Proof may lapse if the firearm is significantly altered (by intent, usage, or accident) such that any of the above three requirements may have been adversely affected.

At a basic level proof houses are interested in the ownership of a firearm submitted to proof only to the extent it affects being able to identify, bill, and return the firearm to the owner or his agent.

National governments may levy proof houses with additional requirements, or not.

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This post regarding CIP and the Proof Houses here in Brit land has cleared up a strange event I had about three months ago. I took one of my vintage guns which has two thousands of an inch to go in each barrel before it reaches .740 and for a 12 bore that will be the end of the road unless reproofed, to a well-established gunsmiths in Cannock. Somehow the conversation went along the lines of it is not out of proof yet so I would not go to the bother of having a re-proof yet. Also don’t you think it will ruin the looks of the gun having metric proof marks especially since it has a vintage set of London black powder and an early Birmingham Nitro marks though never saying the gun was not sound enough to pass proof. Talk about throwing chaff in the air, so after some further conversation it became apparent that he did not want to undertake the work even after I had reminded him that not that long ago he was very sure the gun would have no problem passing proof and in the end it would be me paying his bill. On leaving the shop I could not work out what the conversation was all about but I can now! Though I would still like the gun to have a re-proof but the way things are working out it may never happen for the foreseeable future.


The only lessons in my life I truly did learn from where the ones I paid for!
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Of course, just to clarify the law here. A person can make, own and use a gun that has never been through a Proof House if he or she wishes. It just becomes an offence to sell, offer for sale or export an un-proved gun. It is surprising how many turn up that were imported by U.S. Service personnel when there were a lot of air bass during the war and after. They sold them on to locals rather than take them back. I acquired a Winchester model 12 dated 1939 and an L.C.Smith double also dated 1939 in this way after they had passed through a few hands. Technically the seller committed an offence but I sent them to the Proof House before parting with them although I used them for a while without breaking any laws. I should think there are quite a few of these grey imports still about. Lagopus.....

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Burrard discusses chamber dimensions and proof issues in his The Modern Shotgun. He observed that under the Rules of Proof there were no legal limits on chamber dimensions so the Gunmakers Assoc. drew up what became minimum dimensions. Gunmakers then typically made chambers slightly larger to accomodate faster loading. While there was some variation among makers, most increased chamber width by two thousandths and chamber length by five thousandths.


Such a long, long time to be gone, and a short time to be there.
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I have been going through copies of late 19th century and early 20th century 'The Sporting Goods Review & Gunmaker' magazine recently. It was the trade mag and mouthpiece of the Gunmakers Association.

Although I did not make notes, I did skim several articles, from around 1900, which discussed the Gunmakers Association deliberations concerning chamber lengths. One of their members volunteered to make a set of chamber dies to be presented to the London Proof House, for it's use. There was a photograph of the dies for several gauges in their own wooden case. I believe a Birmingham maker did the same for the Birmingham Proof House a little later on.

Sorry that the detail is fuzzy!

Tim

Last edited by trw999; 11/26/14 06:03 AM.
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Damascus,

I would never advise someone to re-proof a gun unless legally required to do so. If it is two or three thou in proof, it is in proof.

Re-proof is a strain on a gun, can potentially ruin it and does nothing to help it. I think your gun maker gave you sound advice. He saved you unnecessary expense and risk to the gun for no tangible benefit.

Your gun will still be two thou in proof when you die, as long as you don't get it rusty and lap out any more.

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Hi Small Bore

Firstly thank you for the advice Dig but there is a little more to my reasoning for needing to reproof the gun. It all started at the beginning of the year when I purchased a couple of thousand of my usual 2 ½ inch cartridges now usually my first choice is “Hull cartridge company” but at the time “Eley” 2 ½ where the only ones available. Now as far as I was aware both manufacturers produced a quality product so I thought no more about it. Until the first double using the new batch of Eley cartridges the guns recoil made all the fillings in my teeth rattle and at my age that is quite a few. On inspecting the cartridge cases closely I could see that the tip of the cases had entered the barrels forcing cone and in doing so caused the recoil problem.
The cure I was told was to have the chamber length increased slightly and this would enable the gun to cope with varying manufacturer’s case lengths, the down side was if the chamber was materially altered the gun would need a reproof now as the bore diameter was .738 inch and had been that size for some 45 years to date my thinking was to have the work done and this would extend the guns life into the next century.
Now after giving it a lot of thought, Dig you were going to be my next port of call for a second opinion on the problem.





In case the worst did happen at the proof house I did write a post about the guns first owner and his very colourful history, it was quite long so I was going to post it around Christmas time but I am not sure now if the gun does not go for proof.


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If your gun only needs lengthening the cones a bit, and the metal is there to do so safely, and you have no plans to sell it, trade it or export it, why not do so? If I understand your proof rules, as posted on this thread, it would not be illegal for you to own and shoot it yourself. You just could not transfer it to anyone else. Fix it where you can enjoy it, shoot it the rest of your life, and let your heirs worry about it being out of proof. Do you not think you could find another gunsmith to do the work? Or is it illegal for them to do so?

SRH


"With one foot in the grave ..........and one foot on the pedal, I was born a Rebel" T.P.
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Lengthening a chamber definitely requires reproof. Lengthening just the forcing cone, however--which sometimes is all that is necessary, with older guns that have very short, sharply tapered cones and present problems even with the 67MM shells approved for use in 2 1/2" guns--does not necessarily require reproof. According to McIntosh and Trevallion in "Shotgun Technicana", the London Proofhouse states that just lengthening the cone doesn't take a gun out of proof, but the Birmingham Proofhouse holds that it does.

Dig or any of our other British contributors: any comment on those conflicting views?

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Damascus,
Thanks for posting that photo. I had the identicle problem with an old American gun, and posted about it, here, but, I had no photographic evidence.

The cure for my gun was a simple lengthening of the forcing cone, NOT the chambers. The cones in that gun were rather short and were more like "steps" for lack of a better word. I did have regular posters, here, reply that they doubted what I was describing could actually happen.

Best,
Ted

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