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Older Shotguns and Modern Ammunition

This is a discussion on Older Shotguns and Modern Ammunition within the Shotgun Talk forums, part of the Shotgun Forum Discussions category; Hello all. I'm new to the forum and this is my first post. I am a moderate shooter in both ability and time on the ...



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Old 09-13-2013, 06:04 PM   #1
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Older Shotguns and Modern Ammunition

Hello all. I'm new to the forum and this is my first post. I am a moderate shooter in both ability and time on the range. I'm far from an expert but enjoy shooting all types of guns very much.

After my fathers death, I inherited all of his guns. I have been getting all of them inspected and made operational by a gunsmith. For this topic two of them come into play.

The first is a German drilling gun, 16 gauge double barrel with a 9.3x72 rifle barrel. Tracking down details on this gun have been a little difficult but it appears to be early 1900's and came back from WWII with my father so i'd say pre 1940.









The second is a Parker Brothers 12 gauge double barrel. From the serial number I was able to tell that it was made in 1879.













I'm excited to own both these guns, but even more so to shoot them. I was talking to a friend recently about them and he told me to be careful shooting modern ammunition through these guns but especially the Parker Brothers. He said that the construction might not be up to the standards for modern ammunition and using it could damage the guns. Is this true, and if so what is the solution? I found some 9.3x72 on line and bought it. Do you think the same logic applies to shooting this ammunition in the drilling gun?

Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you for your time.
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Old 09-14-2013, 07:17 AM   #2
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Thats a couple of nice old guns. I guess i would ask a gunsmith myself BEFORE i shot them but i wouldnt think it would be a problem since chambers are tested well beyond what they would be used for. Back in the old old days they would put three or four times as much powder in to test or proof chambers.
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Old 09-14-2013, 07:41 AM   #3
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IF the age of that Parker is correct, it would have been used with black powder and NOT smokeless; also are the barrels Damascus?

Since it was most likely shot with black powder, there could easily be corrosion and weak spots - this gun needs to be thoroughly checked by a COMPETENT gunsmith who really knows old doubles, not some Glock parts changer. I would suggest going to Doublegunshop.com and ask those folks or go to the Parker Collector Society and ask them

http://doublegunshop.com/

The Parker Gun Collectors Association

As to the German gun, look on the barrel flats or water table for the proof marks; that will also give you the chamber size, which - if the gun is as old as you say - it is most likely to be 2.5", not 2.75" like today's ammo. 2.5 is available from RST and Polywad in a low pressure loading designed for older guns.

Nice inheritance, but play it safe and have them checked properly before possibly injuring yourself

Last edited by oneounceload; 09-14-2013 at 07:44 AM.
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:47 PM   #4
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Hello,

I also am facing the same question!

My brother was having problems ejecting 2 3/4 Federal Premium Black Cloud FS Steel #3 out of his Ithaca Featherlight 12 gauge (chambered to 2 3/4). He took it to a local gun smith and was informed that some older shot guns can not handle the high muzzle velocity of some of the newer magnum ammo. He said that his barrel was expanding and causing ejection problems and that it was not safe to shoot that ammo. Has anyone ever herd of problem?

Also, I own an old side by side LeFever 12 gauge chambered 2 3/4 that I was planing on taking duck hunting. Do you think this ammo would be unsafe for that gun too?

Any info is appreciated, thanks!

Pat
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:16 AM   #5
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What condition is the Lefever in? If it needs low pressure non-tox, look to see what RST or Polywad have to offer - won't be cheap, but you'll be able to enjoy shooting it.

As to the Ithaca, it should be able to handle the ammo, might check for a slightly rough chamber and the expanding hull head is sticking, especially if the head is steel and not brass
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