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#483171 06/18/17 12:10 PM
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Didn't want to clutter the Ithaca Damascus thread. I think we've discussed this before, but couldn't find it.

Miller:
"What I believe it was referring to, & this is somewhat borne out in Lefever Arms Co catalogs via their recommendation of wads. Black Powder was quite often loaded into brass shells, hence bores were often oversize for the larger diameter wads.
Shells loaded with Smokeless were generally loaded in paper cases which used regular sized wads. I believe what Ithaca, Lefever & others were saying was they were now boring their barrels much closer to nominal size for use with the paper shells loaded with smokeless powders, but they were still suitable for use with Black."

What we know:
1. The American “E.C.” & “Schultze” Powder Company was established in Oakland, New Jersey in 1890. DuPont Bulk was introduced shortly thereafter; certainly by 1893.
2. Alfred Nobel's “Ballistite” Dense Smokeless was introduced in 1887, patented in 1888, then “Sporting Ballistite” (for shotgun shells) was patented in 1889, but not released to the trade by Nobel’s Explosive Co. until 1895. Laflin & Rand introduced “Infallible” Dense Smokeless powder in 1900.
3. Loaded Smokeless powder shotshells were first listed by Union Metallic Cartridge Co. in the 1891 catalog. Winchester began supplying them to “selected shooters” in 1893 and to the public in 1894.
4. By 1895, most U.S. Live Bird and Inanimate Target competitors had switched to DuPont, “E.C.”, or “Schultze” Bulk Smokeless.
5. This 1895 Chas. Godfrey, N.Y. ad (courtesy of Dave Noreen via Tom Archer) is interesting:
"All L.C. Smith guns are guaranteed to shoot any nitro powder made."
"All guns bored true to gauge to use wads same size of gauge of gun."



This would suggest that (at least for a time and before the marketing dept. got involved wink ) Miller is correct.
From the Hunter Arms move to Fulton in 1890, 12g guns were bored with the standard .729". Bro. David might comment on the Syracuse bores.

In the 1902 Sears catalog "Bored for Nitro Powder"





6. Ithaca started similar verbiage in 1897

Crass model in Recreation Magazine - "Bored For Black And Nitro Powders"



Still using it in the 1917 Janney, Semple, Hill & Co., Minneapolis catalog listing




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Not sure when Lefever first used the phrase



1902 Logan-Gregg Hdw. catalog Union Fire Arms Co. "Bored For Nitro Powder"



Baker catalog listing in 1902



Sears catalog 1902 with "Bored for..."


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Colt listing in the 1897 Chas. Godfrey, N.Y. catalog courtesy of Dave Noreen - "Barrels specially bored for nitro powder when so ordered."



Remington 1895 "Guaranteed For Nitro Powders"




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A.J. Aubrey ad in Oct. 1907 Cosmopolitan
"taper choke bored for smokeless or black powder"



1908 Sears Catalog: "Shooting qualities- As before explained, the shooting qualities of these guns are unequaled for long distance killing, long range shooting, for penetration, pattern or target. Both barrels are full choke bore, so firmly constructed that unlike other guns, there is no recoil or kicking. That which in other guns goes into recoil in the A J Aubrey gun goes to give greater force to the shot."



Crescent Triumph in the 1898 Sears catalog. In early 1895 Crescent introduced its first hammerless double, the Triumph Hammerless, made in 12 gauge with either 30" or 32" Damascus or Twist barrels. The gun was based on patents issued to William Beesley and controlled by Charles Lancaster and was the only boxlock hammerless double ever made by Crescent.



1900 Sears Crescent hammer gun



and single barrel



1915 "specially bored for Smokeless or Black powder"



1918 "Bored for Nitro Powder"



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Bottom line: Miller is likely correct in the transition period from black powder brass shells to nitro powder paper shells. The "guaranteed for" and "bored for" after that was likely just a marketing phrase.

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Drew;
I actually see the "Guaranteed for" & "Bored For" as speaking of two different things. The Guaranteed For I see as they are saying their guns are amply strong to handle the increased pressure of the New Smokeless shells.

The Bored For I see best exemplified by this quote;
"All guns bored true to gauge to use wads same size of gauge of gun."
Also the Colt statement;
"Barrels specially bored for nitro powder when so ordered."

It just seems one has to read the Ads very carefully to fully understand what they are saying. It just seems to me that, assuming barrels of similar weight, thus like wall thicknesses that varying the bore size by some .020'-.030" would have little impact on the actual strength of the barrel or its ability to handle any given type of powder.
Those barrels with intentionally oversized bores for using the brass cases with over sized wads would likely not perform well with the smokeless loads in paper cases with wads "Same size as gauge of Gun".

In an 1892 LAC catalog slightly contradictory statements are made on different pages.
On one page in a discussion of guns for Nitro Powder they state, " These guns we are boring smaller or for the use of wads same size as bore.
On another page under instructions for loads the state when using brass cases to use wads 2 sizes larger than borte of gun & for paper cases to use wads 1 size larger than bore.
This raises another question. I measured some left over 12ga card & filler wads purchased the late 1950's. Actual measurement was about .750" or 11 ga. 11 gauge wads from the same era for all brass cases measured around .770" or just shy of 10 ga. I do not have any wads from the 1890's to measure. Were 12 ga wads then considered to be more like .730" or had they already taken on the larger .750" size? This could have a definite bearing on Lefever's recommended wad sizing.


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they all said nitro powder was OK in their guns...until their guns started blowing up.....todays Lawyers would of had a hay-day.....


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1905 Marlin Model 19 Pump "Made for black and smokeless powder"



Winchester 1897 with Damascus barrel in the 1917 E.C. Simmons catalog "Bored For Nitro Powder"



The latest I've found - Davis guns in the 1922 S,D & G catalog courtesy of Dave Noreen
"choke bored for close hard shooting with nitro or black powder"


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Why they blew up was apparent as early as 1899

Sporting Life, Feb. 4, 1899
“Mistakes In Shell Loading Laid to The Powder – Gun Makers and Powder Manufacturers Suffer Through the Carelessness of Users – A Remarkable Case in Virginia – All Powders Not Alike”
Powder manufacturers surely have their own troubles and all because some men who handle the gun and profess to be sportsmen have never studied the action of smokeless powder. Every gunner knows that three drams of good old black powder is a perfectly safe load. Ignorant ones think the same amount of any smokeless powder should be likewise. They have never examined the relative merits or power of the different nitros now on the market, but just simply go along satisfied with anything that their gun dealer offers them. Some people still believe in the old saying: “A pint’s a pound the world around,” no matter whether lead or feathers are being weighed. All smokeless powder looks alike to them, and the printed directions on the can, giving instructions as to the amount to be safely used, is never read. They know all about it, or think they do. They load the shells carefully (?) and they fly away.
It’s surprising to find occasionally a man loading shells who knows as little about the real action of nitro powder as a school boy does about training a rattle snake. His customer calls for three and a half drams of powder and one and one eighth ounce of shot. He loads that amount of powder in any kind his customer orders. If his customer did not know this one powder is twice as dense as another he did not tell him. In the first place he never found it out for himself. It is experience that teaches wisdom and experiment that proves theory. Often when idiots overload a dangerous nitro powder which bursts the gun it becomes a question in their mind who to blackmail. The powder maker is liable to catch it, but the gun maker gets more or less of the blame. He should have made the barrels like those of a cannon instead of a firearm for sportsmen. If the gunner has an idea that the powder maker is to blame he proceeds to blackmail him. That is what it really amounts to. He will swear that he only used three drams of their stuff, but he forgets to send on any of the shells or powder for examination.
A case came up in Virginia recently which is interesting. A gentleman had two guns burst. They were made by one of the most prominent gun manufacturers in this country. He claimed that his load was but three drams of “E.C.” powder and one and one-eighth ounce of No. 8 shot. Some of the shells were sent to the gun makers, and upon investigation it was found that one shell contained sixty-one and one-half grains of Walsrode powder, (The Walsrode Smokeless & Waterproof Gun Powder Co. was established in 1894. Walsrode Gray 33 grain = 3 Dram Eq.; Green 30 grain = 3 Dr. Eq.) which is a nitro known as the dense compound. This powder has been used in this country for several years with much success, and is safe to use when properly loaded, the same as any other nitro. The load recognized by the manufacturers of Walsrode powder is thirty grains for a 12-bore gun. In this case the load was double. Now what would you think of a man who would load six or six and one-half drams of “E.C.”, “Schultze”, Hazard, Du Pont, King’s or Austin smokeless powder or a double charge of Laflin & Rand or “Gold Dust” powder? Such a load would be very liable to do some damage, even to the best-made gun. Yet it is settled that any of the above-named nitros are perfectly safe and reliable with the loads recommended by the makers and loaded by the Union Metallic Cartridge Company, the Winchester Arms Company, the Peters Company and the Chamberlain Company.
Shells examined in this remark showed a very queer combination of powder. Some of the shells contained three drams of “E.C.” powder lightly wadded and poorly crimped. A scientific test showed a pressure below the normal. Another shell examined showed a small amount of “E.C.” powder and the balance of the load being made up of fine black rifle powder. On inquiring into the case it was discovered that the dealer who received the order for the shells placed it in the hands of a boy who was perfectly ignorant of the power of nitro powders as well as the difference between them. The boy used up all of the “E.C.” powder given him for the loading and then put into the remaining shells an equal amount in bulk of Walsrode powder, which is a dense compound and twice as heavy as the “E.C.” When he ran short of Walsrode the fine black rifle powder came in handy. The boy thought that one was as good as the other if it filled the same space. This dangerous combination and double charge of a violent explosive was sold as a safe and reliable load. It is a wonder the shooter was not killed outright. This is only another knock at the hand-loaded shell, which in most cases is nothing more than a poorly and imperfectly machine-loaded shell.
To be sure, there are hundreds of careful shell loaders who never have any trouble with the loads they put out, but these loaders are themselves shooters who have spent years in shooting, experimenting with the various nitro powders and thoroughly understand them. But let one shell be overloaded by some oversight and the powder makers receive the blame. If the gun is injured it is returned as being no good. The one really to blame seldom acknowledges it. The different factories loading shells in this country have the most accurate kind of machinery, and so arranged that an imperfect load or an overcharge of powder is quite impossible. For a factory-loaded shell to burst a gun is something exceedingly rare, but with hand-loaded shells it is a frequent occurrence.
WILL K. PARK (Editor)

Sporting Life Sept. 10, 1904
“Burst Gun Barrels”
The number of burst gun-barrels which, comes to the attention of the shooting public is remarkably small, considering the thousands of guns in use throughout the country. The main reason for the comparatively small number of guns burst is the great use of factory-loaded shells, or the hand-loaded of reliable dealers. The day of loading one’s own shells is pretty well passed, therefore, the over-loaded or double-charged cartridge is very seldom found. Very often a burst barrel is blamed on the gunmaker or the shell-maker, but more often on the manufacturer of the powder. Cases are known where a party blowing out a gun-barrel, using an extra heavy charge of dense powder, blamed it on a bulk powder. A suit for damages was quickly withdrawn after an examination of the gun had been made.

Sporting Life 6-30-06
http://library.la84.org/SportsLibrary/SportingLife/1906/VOL_47_NO_16/SL4716030.pdf
Ed Rike, the well known trap shooter of Dayton, O., suffered a serious accident to his left arm recently in the explosion of his gun, due to a double load of dense powder.

1907 Sears, Roebuck & Co. Catalogue No. 116 courtesy of Gary Rennles

“Nitro powder should only be used by people familiar with it; and dense nitro powder should be weighed by an apothecary’s scale and not measured.”



A 3 Dr. Eq. (Dram Equivalent) load of “E.C.” No. 1 or “Schultze” was 42 grains by weight. 3 Dr. Eq. of Dense Smokeless Ballistite was 24 grains; Infallible 22 grains. The pressure of a 3 Dram (82 grains by volume) load of Black Powder propelling 1 1/8 oz. of shot at 1200 fps is about 5000 psi. The pressure of 1 1/8 oz. 3 Dr. Eq. of BULK Smokeless was 6500 - 7500 psi; 3 Dr. Eq. of DENSE Smokeless was 9000 - 10,000 psi.

Substituting a Dense Smokeless powder for Black or Bulk Smokeless powder would double the charge. It has been estimated that 50 grains of Infallible or Unique could reach 30,000 psi.

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Drew, reading the above article leads me to the conclusion that some blame can be laid at the door of the powder manufacturers.
Knowing the entrenched mind set of the dram with no regard to the dram equivalent, it could therefore be argued that to make a powder of double the density of black, at that time, might be irresponsible.
These days we have ADI making Trail Boss powder in the shape of donuts to give bulk to the load & thereby make double charging (at least in a rifle case) near on impossible.
O.M

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