I have become a perfect bore measurement device. If I like any gun, at any auction, I can rest assured that when measured, one or both barrel walls will be found to be too thin. Just how thin you wonder? Most times lately it has been .016- .018”. There has been the odd .020-.021 bore. I do not choose to shoot barrels thinner than .020 as a rule. Not just because I worry about a rare failure but because I seem to be able to drop or fall with a gun in hand at an astonishing rate. Thin barrels dent so easily.
I have just found the four thinnest barrels on the upcoming Holts Auction by just showing interest in them. With the end of lead shot in a Great Britain I expect hundreds of marginal guns to be hitting the auction house in an attempt to get some money out of them before the market collapses. Higher condition and higher quality guns will retain good value I expect. Box locks have already crashed in price, so much that they cost more to import than to buy. It is a buyers market coming I think with low domestic demand and higher import cost will even depress demand from the US.
I use to think about Briley sub gauge tubes as a option but they tend to make everything so muzzle heavy I just don’t even shoot them. Oh well, most of the fun at auctions is looking for gems others miss, not buying every marginal gun out there.