How can you tell if a remington shotgun has a damascus barrel

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by iverjohnson61, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. w1spurgeon

    w1spurgeon Member

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    Dec 30, 2007
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    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    Wow, I'm no expert here but that never stopped anyone else from jumping in so here is my two cents worth. I also own a Remington 1889, mine being made in 1902. I talked to Remington about it and they told me several different grades of the gun were offered for sale. Grade 1; the most basic of all the guns (and the model I have), came equipped with "nitro proofed" barrels. All higher grades (2, 3, 4, etc.) were manufactured with increasingly fancy wood and embellishments, but all grades above the Grade 1 were offered ONLY with damascus barrels, simply because that's what buyers of the era preferred. I had my 1889 inspected by a local gunsmith who pronounced it in good shape and I fire it occasionally using 2" Polywad light pressure shells. These shells develop about 6000psi (as opposed to a modern 12ga shell which develops 12000+psi) and I have had no problems with the gun. I also have a few damascus barreled guns (notibly a Colt 1878) but refuse to risk damaging the old guns by firing them.
  2. Tom Archer

    Tom Archer Member

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    Aug 2, 2011
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    Location:
    Watkinsville, GA
    w1Spurgeon:
    Remington gave you the correct information regarding your gun; but collectors have found a very few Model 1889's that were sent back to Remington sometime after original shipment and re-barreled with a set of fluid steel tubes (those are rare finds!). As to shell pressures, most folks don't realize that years ago shot shell manufacturers worked with the makers of semi-auto shotguns to increase shot shell pressures, as higher shell pressures were absolutely necessary to cause the spring operated semi-autos of the day to reliably function (cycle). High pressure shells are certainly not required to reliably kill game as, for example, the Passenger pigeon became extinct; and many other species pushed to the edge of extinction long before the advent of the auto shotgun. And yes, I acknowledge that no having seasons, no bag limits, loss of habitat, and unrestricted market hunting were contributing factors; but all the hunting in that era was done with shot shells of a quality lower than the cheapest leader loads of today, and mostly with double barreled shotguns equipped with Damascus and Twist steel tubes.
  3. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Dec 6, 2009
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    Tom, I am impressed by all that information from an expert. I admit that I am not such, and hope that you will continue to answer questions on double guns on this site. IMHO, TFF can use an expert in double guns; there seem to be a lot of questions and no one who has your knowledge in that area.

    Jim
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