I would not fire a damascus-barreled gun without having it checked and approved by a competent gunsmith (NOT the guy with a key to the gun case at Walmart!). It is possible that a gun of this age would have been proofed for smokeless powder and have 2 3/4" chambers, but it is more likely to be made for 2 1/2" black powder shells. Of course, you can have barrels custom-made, but why would you want to spend a couple thousand dollars on a gun worth $200 or less?
Yes, they are safe to shoot, but only if:
I have been shooting them for years with smokeless powder with lite loads. Have it checked out by a good gunsmith to make sure the inside of the action is in good working order, some of the old ones will double when fired.
I would third the recommendation to have it checked. Absence of visible pitting is not necessarily a good indicator of structural integrity. Older damascus may corrode in between the layers and there is no way to see that just by eyballing it.
About $100 or so. The damascus/twist steel barrels are generally considered unsafe to shoot with modern ammunition.
Some are, some aren't. If it has Damascus or Laminated steel barrels, do not shoot it. They were never intended for modern powder. Fluid steel or later production barrels may be safe, but if there is rust, dents, or other signs of high wear do not try it until after it has been inspected by a competent gunsmith.
If Vulcan steel barrel means very old or "Damascus" type twist steel barrels, the answer is an emphatic "NO". You're too young to die, no matter what your current age.
As a general rule, NO, NO, NO!!!!
The use of damascus barrels on guns began to decrease pretty rapidly after 1900, although they were still fairly common up until the start of WWI. If you have a breech loading gun with damascus barrels it will probably date from 1875 - 1910. Most damascus barrels on U.S. guns seem to have actually made in Belgium. There is a lot of debate as to whether any damascus barrels for shotguns were actually made in the U.S. It seems likely there may have been small numbers produced in the U.S. However, Belgium had a large gunmaking trade at the time, with a lot of barrel makers specializing in damascus barrels, so it was generallly cheaper to import them than to make them.
Some did, but not all.
They are still being made.
The time of the First World War pretty much ended the importation of Damascus barrels. US manufacture started petering out in the 1890's.
Most old Damascus barrels cannot hold the pressures of modern smokeless loads. I doubt that you will find any black powder loads for that type of barrel. Hang it on the wall and admire it.
Does it read "kec" or "ked"? The Remington web site indicates 4 grades of Remington model 1900 double barrel shotguns (http://www.remington.com/library/history/firearm_models/shotguns/model_1900.asp): Grades Offered: K - Remington steel barrelsKE - Remington steel, auto ejectorsKD - 2 stripe Damascus barrelsKED - 2 strip Damascus, auto ejectors
no . riverside was mainly produced after 1914, using fluid steel barrels.
I'm not aware of any shotguns ever made with two barrels twisted together. If you are refering to "Damascus Twist" barrels, you need to learn a lot more about guns before buying one. Here is some information for you...please note the part about it not being safe to fire a Damascus barrel with modern powder. Picture an onion after a fire cracker went off inside it. http://www.hallowellco.com/damascus_twist_barrels.htm
NO ! In general, Damascus barrels were made for LOW pressure black powder loads. There are exceptions, but they are few. I do not recommend firing ANY Damascus barreled shotgun with ANY ammo until a gunsmith familiar with that type of barrel has inspected and borescoped it. Damascus barrels were made by wrapping hot strips of steel (or iron, or both) around a rod, reheating, and hammering until they welded together. Each weld (and there are thousands) is a potential point of failure IF the gun has been exposed to corrosion- like that that comes with firing black powder. I would retire it to a place of honor above the fireplace.
If the gun is in good condition with no rust it would be a great mantle piece. Because of it's age(?) it might not be as safe to shoot modern ammo. For this, the guns' money value would be approx. $65-$125.
DO NOT FIRE WITH MODERN AMMO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MUST be checked out by a gunsmith.
no not all twist barrells
I'm not sure exactly what you're asking here. Generally a shotgun with Damascus barrels (those showing a spiral pattern on the outside, since they were made from spiralling layers of metal) will have been made for black powder only. In their time, fine Damascus barrels were considered a superior option, but caution should be exercised shooting such guns now, and definitely only black powder should be used. If in doubt, get the gun checked by a qualified gunsmith.
Quite often the shotgun will tell you how the barrels are made. If it says "twist" or "laminated" or "damascus", then it is one of the types generally called damascus. If it says "armory", "forged", or "fluid" then it is a more modern construction. Damascus barrels will show a pattern, although it can be covered with bluing or the pattern can be simulated. You can check by removing the forearm and polishing a small spot on the bottom of the barrel. This will remove either the bluing that hides the pattern or the simulated damascus pattern. As far as safety, the best damascus constructed barrels are stronger than a low-quality fluid steel barrel, and probably equal to most when new. But time will weaken the welds, so it is wise to retire an old damascus gun unless you know it has had proper care for its entire lifetime. Since your gun is marked for smokeless powder, it is PROBABLY fluid steel and PROBABLY has 2 3/4" chambers, but if you intend to shoot it, have it checked by a competent gunsmith and follow his recommendations. Damascus barrels were made to be used with black powder and so are thicker at the breach (to handle the fast explosion of powder) and thinner at the muzzle, as black powder. Due to the fact that modern smokeless powder buns at a slower pace, thus building up more pressure towards the muzzle which could cause the metal to split or rupture, it is not recommended that modern ammo be used in a Damascus barrel.
We cant find one for you here. Browning Arms Co never made a shotgun with damascus barrels as far as we know. Its possible that a gun was made with those barrels built on one of Brownings patents.
NO! This is EXTREMELY dangerous!
It is possible that you might find a newer version of the same gun with fluid steel barrels that would swap, but I doubt it. You would probably have to have the barrels sleeved to a smaller gauge and the extractors modified. A good gunsmith with a full shop of tools should be able to do this. Check the yellow pages. The damascus barrels are not the only reason to be cautious about shooting an old gun, so a smith should check it out anyway. If this old scattergun is one of the top tier names, it MAY be worth the cost of any improvement, but if it is just an inexpensive Belgian import c. 1900, it would be cheaper to pick up a used Stevens double to shoot and hang the old lady over the mantle.
With the serial number that you provided,your Ithaca double barrel shotgun with the damascus barrels was produced in the year 1900.
Damascus is a method of making laminated barrels. A series of wires is braided and hammer-welded to create a distinctive pattern of loops and swirls. Well-made Damascus barrels were the best available before modern steel and many well-maintained 100-year-old Damascus guns are still being used. On the other hand if the gun has not been properly cared for, hidden rust pockets may have compromised the barrels and cause a dramatic failure. If you are tempted to fire an old shotgun, have it inspected by a qualified gunsmith first.