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12 Ga Damascus wall hanger

gotstolefromgotstolefrom Member Posts: 1,479 ✭✭✭✭✭
A fellow at work said he found an old shotgun in his grandad's garage. He asked if I could look at it for him....and he said it was in BAD shape.

Termites took 1/3 of the butstock but the forearm is undamaged with faint checkering. It was covered with light rust, but would open and lock up when closed briskly. The barrels are Damascus and there are few markings on the water table and 'Belgium Twist' on the top of the barrels. Among the stampings on the underside of the bbls are a diamond, a double marked script "E" , and " 8.3 " on both barrels.

I don't load BP and have no idea what a proof load for this piece would be. Does the 8.3 tell you guys anything ?

He is cleaning it up to be a wall hanger, so some stampings may become more clear as he cleans it. If I cannot get access to remove the firing pins, how would you suggest making the piece impossible to try and fire a smokeless cartridge - since it fits in the chambers ?

Thanks in advance for any tips.


  • machine gun moranmachine gun moran Member Posts: 5,198
    edited November -1
    A diamond-shaped mark was used to enclose the gauge designation on Belgian shotguns. The mark on yours may be partially obscured. A script double-E was not used, but a script 'EL' was used to indicate a temporary or provisional proof for shotguns. Belgian shotguns were also marked with the bore and choke diameters in millimeters. The '8.3' markings may be partially obscured markings of that type.

    As an example of proof loads, Belgian black-powder breech-loading shotguns in 12 gauge 2 3/4-inch were proofed with 179 grains of black powder and 1 2/3 ounces of shot. These were very powerful loads. As the joints between the straps which form damascus barrels tend to oxidize from age and start to detach from each other without the condition being detectable to the naked eye, it is no longer advisable to shoot the gun, with anything at all.

    You might weld cross-pins into the chambers, close enough to the breech to prevent the chambering of any cartridge.
  • hillbillehillbille Member Posts: 14,169 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    you might take a small punch to the firing pins, or better yet file the protruding part of the firing pin off so it can't shoot.
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