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Old 4th April 2021, 01:46 PM   #31
mariusgmioc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will M
I am not aware that age alone degrades metals. ​
When the elastic limit is not exceeded and barrels have not corroded they retain their properties.

If age alone degrades steel I'd like to see the references for this.
https://www.metalsupermarkets.co.uk/...s-metal-aging/

https://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar...=1&oi=scholart

And some interesting info on the effects of fatigue (mechanical fatigue resulted from the repeated mechanical forces/pressure, and thermal fatigue, resulted from the repeated cycles of heating and cooling) on gun barrels, that is even more important in the case of antique firearms where one doesn't know:
1. the material of the barrel,
2. the heat treatment of the barrel,
3. how was it manufactured (solid block drilled, spiral welded, multi-layered sleeved, etc.),
4. the conditions in which it was used (what type of propellant, what loads, etc.),
5. how long was it used/how many times was it fired,
6. how well was maintained.

Not knowing the answers to these questions but proclaiming it is safe to shoot an antique gun doesn't sound wise to me.

Last edited by mariusgmioc; 4th April 2021 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 4th April 2021, 02:03 PM   #32
Jim McDougall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SchildaBrit
1) Can we use antique guns?

2) Is it dangerous to shoot with antique guns?


-----------------------------

Good morning everybody!

I shall endeavour to answer the above questions in a satisfactory manner. In the course of which it is also appropriate to make some presentation of myself, so that you may judge whether my answers are worth reading.

-------------------------

I first shot full-bore rifles as a CCF cadet more than 60 years ago, having started with small-bore rifles a year or two previously. And safety was stressed from Day 1.

As a rifle shooter, I thus permit myself the predicate "experienced".

Despite one's inner conviction of being an "advanced teenager", there comes a time when one realizes that it is futile to compete with those in their teens and twenties. I became more interested in the historical aspect of what I was shooting than in squeezing out a couple more 10x's.

It has taken me a further two decades to progress from shooting replica muzzle-loaders to the jezail rifle. It is not a spontaneous whim, but the result of a long progress back through the development of rifles. A kind of experimental archaeology of the recent past.

Among the armchair experts, of which there are far too many with time on their hands to propound secondhand prejudices based on no personal experience whatever, there is a simple equation "old = inaccurate = useless". It is demonstrably not so.

So we come to the first question:

Can we use antique guns?

I am restricting the comments to guns, as that is where my knowledge and experience lies. The contributors to this forum appear to be mainly collectors, and there is very little comment on actually using antique guns.

Leaving aside the vexatious question of what constitutes an antique, I therefore suggest that those who have further interest in following this thread go here:

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/brit...ssion-arms-f4/

where one may see that there are quite a few serious people who share my predilection for shooting old guns.

I shall continue in a day or so, but please take the opportunity to take a look around the above forum in the meantime.

A pleasant Easter to All !

Patrick Chadwick

Beautifully expressed Patrick!!! very professional and insights into the actual viability of actual firing of these old guns. Thank you.
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Old 4th April 2021, 02:10 PM   #33
Will M
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Seems metal aging is an intentional method to get desired results and does not enter into the realm of firearms barrels and other steels by the passage of time.
Does not seem to be applicable to the topic.
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Old 4th April 2021, 02:20 PM   #34
Jim McDougall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David R
To the best of my knowledge a lot of that Mahdist mail had been made in Birmingham (UK) originally as dress armour for the Khediv's troops, and then looted by the victorious Mahdists. They were made of split rings, and so were in fact spring steel. Swords weren't the problem, but high velocity jacketed 303 were.
While digressing a bit here re: mail, it is salient to consider the durability of metal with quality, age and compromising through neglect etc.

Much of the mail made for the Khedive's troops was indeed made in Birmingham as noted, and was more dress intended than the more substantial mail for combat that was well known from various other sources. If I have understood correctly, the butted ring type mail (as I think this was) would split and separate on impact, so the considerable impact of a bullet with velocity would not only penetrate, but shatter, adding to the shrapnel of the bullet itself.

While sword impact would not necessarily penetrate, the mail would carry the force through leading to blunt force trauma in according degree.

There was a degree of older mail extant with sources mostly Mamluk which had circulated for years, but as with older metal compromised by corrosion through neglect, much of this was likely unserviceable in the same manner.
Corroded metal is of course susceptible to shattering when impacted by strong force.
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Old 4th April 2021, 04:00 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will M
Seems metal aging is an intentional method to get desired results and does not enter into the realm of firearms barrels and other steels by the passage of time.
Does not seem to be applicable to the topic.
Really?!

Citing from the first link I provided:

"Natural aging occurs throughout the life of the metal alloy. During the natural aging process, super-saturated alloying elements within the metal alloy form what are known as metal precipitates. These precipitates block dislocations in the metal, increasing the strength and hardness of a metal alloy while reducing its ductility."

Steel is a metal alloy...
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Old 4th April 2021, 04:13 PM   #36
Will M
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
Really?!

Citing from the first link I provided:

"Natural aging occurs throughout the life of the metal alloy. During the natural aging process, super-saturated alloying elements within the metal alloy form what are known as metal precipitates. These precipitates block dislocations in the metal, increasing the strength and hardness of a metal alloy while reducing its ductility."

Steel is a metal alloy...
I don't think I'm wrong when I say we are discussing antique iron barrels?? You are discussing modern alloys.
Metal aging applies to modern production methods of alloys usually stainless steels.
Modern processes taken out of context and applied to antique firearms, am I wrong? You be the judge!
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Old 4th April 2021, 09:18 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will M
I don't think I'm wrong when I say we are discussing antique iron barrels?? You are discussing modern alloys.
Metal aging applies to modern production methods of alloys usually stainless steels.
Modern processes taken out of context and applied to antique firearms, am I wrong? You be the judge!

As I have zero knowledge or understanding of metallurgy, all of this is extremely enlightening. It sets me to wondering, in most of my exposures to antique firearms, it seems one of the primary interests in them is whether it 'shoots'. As I mentioned on the TV series "Pawn Stars" they are always buying old guns, and seem to almost invariably shoot them.
OK, I know its TV, and they probably dont air the ones that fail or do not get fired.

But I am in Texas, gun country, and old guns abound. I bought an old Winchester (1873) that was in use from the 1880s to the 1980s, a century. It was rough, many repairs, the neck bound with rawhide etc. As I noted, I am not a 'shooter' , but did this one remain serviceable so long due to use rather than neglect? It sure seems like gunmakers in earlier years had pretty good command of what they were doing.
As I mentioned, most of the mishaps seem to derive from ammunition, powder and loading issues, not the metal components.
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Old 5th April 2021, 12:20 AM   #38
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I'm of 2 opposing opinions:

1. I am fascinated by scientific exploration of the shooting of these weapons

2. I am highly cautious because of the aging of metals. I will never shoot off my Moro lantaka cannon because it might be anywhere from 150 - 400 years old and blow up in my face. (not unknown for some owners of old lantakas who shot off their cannons).

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Old 5th April 2021, 11:42 AM   #39
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Default Shooting old guns

"1. I am fascinated by scientific exploration of the shooting of these weapons

2. I am highly cautious because of the aging of metals. "

I agree with both points, but they are not in opposition. They interact - experimental interest must be tempered by feasibility.

However, before I progress to the (literally!) vital question of safety,may I suggest that those still in doubt about the feasibility of firing old guns acquaint themselves with the worldwide activities of the MLAIC.

I would particularly like to draw your attention to the numerous YouTube contributions of

Balázs Németh

who is the MLAIC Member for Hungary. He has seriously tested a greater variety of old guns than the rest of us are ever likely to see, let alone handle. His contributions can be found via

capandball.com

or a direct search.

Last edited by SchildaBrit; 5th April 2021 at 11:54 AM. Reason: Spelling!
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Old 5th April 2021, 05:15 PM   #40
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This has nothing to do with the physical practicalities of firing old guns, but here, in the UK, we have a bureaucratic problem. Paraphrasing somewhat -
To own and fire a firearm you will have to possess a firearms certificate that entitles you to own firearms and lists the firearms you own. There are hoops to be jumped through and they are not that easy to obtain.
Antique firearms are exempt from this requirement providing they are obsolete and held as curios only.
If you decide to fire it, it is no longer a curio, becomes a working firearm and has to be licensed.
So if you want to sell it you can now only sell to someone who holds a firearms certificate, i,e. licensed to own a firearm.
Of course, you can apply for it to be de-licensed but the authorities are not keen on this flip-flopping. They want an antique firearm to be either an antique or a firearm, not both.
Regards
Richard
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