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

    Dec 30, 2007
    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

    Aug 2, 2011
    Watkinsville, GA
    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

    Dec 6, 2009
    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.

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