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doublegunfan
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Reged: 26/04/05
Posts: 60
Loc: Brazil
Proof loads
      #41736 - 18/11/05 07:44 AM

My friends,

As some of you already know, I am converting a Beretta 411 12 ga SxS into a double rifle in .444 Marlin. The project is reaching a point in which I am almost ready to proof the gun
Now, my questions are:

1) How should I proceed with the proof test? should I load both barrels and shoot them right-left and then check the gun, or should I load one and keep the second barrel empty during the procedure?

2) What load do you recommend? I have at my disposal some quantity of IMR 3031, which is the one I plan to load with, and I was thinking of proofing the gun with the maximun load recommended for this powder/caliber.

Opinions, concerns and experiences are welcome.

Fred


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foxfire
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Reged: 25/11/04
Posts: 511
Loc: Long Island N.Y.,
Re: Proof loads [Re: doublegunfan]
      #41737 - 17/11/05 02:15 AM

First let me say I have no experience in this area and this is only MHO, it sounds like you don't have much experience
either. So given that I would do the following:
A. Load only one barrel and shoot and the other and shoot.
B. Start with reduced loads not full pressure loads.
C. For the first time pull the trigger with a long rope from across the room.
D. Good luck

--------------------
No good deed goes unpunished


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Peterb
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Reged: 07/07/04
Posts: 288
Re: Proof loads [Re: doublegunfan]
      #41747 - 17/11/05 04:19 AM

You evidently do not understand "proof loads". A proof load is NOT meant to determine whether or not that load will blow up a gun. That would determine whether that load is over the Ultimate Strength of the metal. A proof load is meant to determine whether the load exceeds the PLASTIC Strength. That is the point where the stress exceeds the point where the metal will return back to the same dimensions. To check this, the proof houses take extremely accurate measurements in specific areas before and after the firing. If there is ANY dimensional change, the plastic deformation has been exceeded and damage has been done to the gun. The gun has failed proof test. Your plan does not do this. You may do gradual damage to your gun which will possibly destro it after several shots when you mistakenly believe it is safe to shoot.

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400NitroExpress
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Reged: 26/11/03
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Re: Proof loads [Re: doublegunfan]
      #41754 - 17/11/05 05:26 AM

DGF:

The purpose of proof testing isn't to determine whether or not the gun will survive a normal load. The purpose is to be certain that the gun possesses the structural integrity to survive a load that produces an excess pressure of "X" ABOVE the normal load without damage (without exceeding the elastic limit of the structure, as Peter stated). For example, the British rules of proof require rifles to be proved with a load that produces not less than 130%, and not more than 145%, of the peak mean operating pressure of the normal load.

"Proofing the gun with the maximum load recommended for this powder/caliber" (a normal load) won't do any good because it won't tell you if you have any safety margin with a normal load or not. If you don't happen to have access to a pressure gun, it will be a trick to develop an appropriate proof load without scattering pieces. Your only option would be to get a proof house to tell you how to assemble a .444 proof load, but I can't imagine any of them being co-operative.
-----------------------------------------------------------------

--------------------
"Serious rifles have two barrels, everything else just burns gunpowder."


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Judson
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Reged: 21/09/05
Posts: 190
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Re: Proof loads [Re: doublegunfan]
      #41781 - 17/11/05 11:10 AM


For the most part all that is said here is true!!!! You should mike up your water table and for that matter all breech clearances prior to firing your proof loads. After proofing if any have changed then the gun did not work out! Steel is both elastic and plastic in action. What I mean by this is that up to a given pressure steel will compress and spring back, (Only for a given number of repititions, thus stress failure.) or distorte as when fordged. If you take a piece of steel which is properly hardened and beat it with a hammer it will up to a point spring back to shape. If the steel is to hard it may break and if not hardened the same steel will get beaten out of shape. Never hold on to a gun during proof testing as you may not live to check it out!!!!
I use the German methiod which is to take the max load for a given bullet weight/ cartridge and up the bullet weight 10 percent. Thus a 450 grain bullet max load would have a 500 grain bullet seated on to of it. Fire one proof and one standerd load from each barrel and check all tollerances. If any thing has changed then it did not pass proofing.

--------------------
It is the small calibers that are the biggest bores.


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mickeyModerator
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Reged: 05/01/03
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Loc: Pend Oreille Valley, Idaho
Re: Proof loads [Re: Judson]
      #41790 - 17/11/05 11:56 AM

DGF

Why not invest $500 and send it to Liege or Ferlach and get it proofed properly. They will mark it as proofed, for future buyers, and you will have the piece of mind that it works.

--------------------
Lovu Zdar
Mick

A Man of Pleasure, Enterprise, Wit and Spirit Rare Books, Big Game Hunting, English Rifles, Fishing, Explosives, Chauvinism, Insensitivity, Public Drunkenness and Sloth, Champion of Lost and Unpopular Causes.


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doublegunfan
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Reged: 26/04/05
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Re: Proof loads [Re: mickey]
      #41835 - 17/11/05 09:54 PM

Guys,

Thanks for the answers so far.

I am a Mechanical Engineer, so the explanations of the steel properties are well understood, although I am no expert in these matters.

Anyway, I think I have a good starting point based on the German rules of adding 10% to the bullet weight, as mentioned by Judson, and I will probably proceed with it. Unfortunately, it is not very simple to send a gun to be proofed overseas from here, despite the cash investment. I aggree that it would be way better to have a proof house checking the gun instead of doing it myself.

One thing I did not mention in my previous message is that I am very carefull at reloading. My loads are usually 5 to 10% less than the maximun loads listed for a given calibre, and I don't care if I am sacrificing a little bit of velocity to have a better safety margin. I always deal with these things very carefully.

I am also preparing a "quality control plan", a check list with everything I will control and measure before and after the tests. Visual inspection of the action and barrels are included, as well as measurements of the chambers, barrels and gaps. This will give me all the data to approve or reject the gun after the tests.

Fred


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banzaibird
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Reged: 18/09/05
Posts: 358
Loc: S.C. Pennsylvania, USA
Re: Proof loads [Re: doublegunfan]
      #41840 - 17/11/05 11:08 PM

Mickey,

That's great but who offers the service? I asked this question on a different thread and received no replies. My understanding is unless you have an import/export firearms license you can't send it yourself.

I've been reading most of these threads with interest because I've built a couple of my own DR's and currently am machining a snap action out of 4140 and would like to get it proofed when done.

The interesting thing I've learned in my reading of the proofing process is how strict it is. For example pretty much any work on the barrels at all will negate the proof. In fact if the gun is refinished multiple times and the polishing removes enough weight from the barrels they are no longer in proof.

BB


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Tom_Bigbore
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Reged: 16/01/04
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Loc: Germany
Re: Proof loads [Re: Judson]
      #41841 - 18/11/05 12:14 AM

Judson,
what do you mean with german method? I don´t know that method and acting in the way you describe would only be used for big and unusual blackpowder calibers to not fill the barre up with 300 grains of BP. Germany follows the CIP as any of the other countries mentioned in this thread. There is no other method to proof a gun.
As already stated by someone else, the proofhouse will fire some cartridges that produce between 30 to 45% more chamber pressure as the allowable max average defined in CIP (SAAMI) for that cartridge. Measuring before and after proof firing will also be done.
br Tom


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iwantadouble
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Reged: 06/06/05
Posts: 104
Loc: Gallatin County, Montana
Re: Proof loads [Re: banzaibird]
      #41842 - 18/11/05 12:36 AM

In reply to:

I've been reading most of these threads with interest because I've built a couple of my own DR's and currently am machining a snap action out of 4140 and would like to get it proofed when done.




Do you have any pictures of it that you would mind sharing? Even a half cut action would be more than enjoyable to gaze upon. The building processes of anything are what hold the most appeal to me.

--------------------
500 is a nice round number, either followed by "Nitro Express" or by "cubic inch displacement".


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banzaibird
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Reged: 18/09/05
Posts: 358
Loc: S.C. Pennsylvania, USA
Re: Proof loads [Re: iwantadouble]
      #41843 - 18/11/05 01:03 AM

Iwantadouble,

I do have pictures. I have to scan them in to the computer. I might wait till I have the rifle further along and do a series kind of like Judson has done. At this point I'm not sure the action is going to actually work. I'm builing it from pictures and drawings as I have no snap actions (underlever) at my disposal. On top of that I decided that I was going to build it with the internals connected to trigger plate like the McKay Brown actions. I actually have that all worked out. So don't get to excited as it might not work out. When i built my first falling block rifle it took me 3 receivers to get one that functioned the way it was supposed/I wanted it to.

Tom,

I think he was referring to the west german system from 1973 and not the current CIP rules. Just for clarification though CIP and SAAMI don't necessarily have the same pressure limits on cartridges.

BB



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mickeyModerator
.416 member


Reged: 05/01/03
Posts: 4639
Loc: Pend Oreille Valley, Idaho
Re: Proof loads [Re: banzaibird]
      #41844 - 18/11/05 01:58 AM

Banzaibird

First you need to get in touch with the proof house, Liege, Ferlach, Birmingham wherever and find out the rules and paper work needed to have the rifle imported into that country. they will help you or put you in touch with a company over there that will.

I have just taken the rifles in question over, to Liege, on a cheap flight and avoided most of the paperwork, here and abroad. You will still need some importation documents in Holland but not in Belgium if you travel by train. If you send it, use Benelux and it will go directly to Brussels where an agent will clear the paper work.

If arranged prior to your trip they will do it on the day you want, it is a one day process and, in Liege, you can also get the barrels regulated at the same time if that is a problem. You will only be getting the final proof if the rifle is done, not the preliminary ones.

If it blows up you won't have to worry about importing back to the US If not all you will need is the normal Customs form, that you owned the rifle before you left.

I know rifles are sent from Aus to England regularly for reproofing and refinishing so some else can give you that.

--------------------
Lovu Zdar
Mick

A Man of Pleasure, Enterprise, Wit and Spirit Rare Books, Big Game Hunting, English Rifles, Fishing, Explosives, Chauvinism, Insensitivity, Public Drunkenness and Sloth, Champion of Lost and Unpopular Causes.


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Tom_Bigbore
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Reged: 16/01/04
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Loc: Germany
Re: Proof loads [Re: banzaibird]
      #41846 - 18/11/05 02:04 AM

BB,
what I meant was, if CIP "Commission Internationale Permanente pour l'Epreuve des Armes à Feu Portatives C.I.P" introduce a cartridge into their datatables, every proofhouse will then take this data.
I once ordered a .400 CorBon change barrel for my 1911. As this cartridge is not in CIP the german proofhouse took the SAAMI data for proofing. Guess it is SAAMI, at least they had the information from the US.
Tom


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banzaibird
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Reged: 18/09/05
Posts: 358
Loc: S.C. Pennsylvania, USA
Re: Proof loads [Re: Tom_Bigbore]
      #41864 - 18/11/05 07:44 AM

Tom,

I understand what your saying now, makes sense. Just wanted to be sure that you knew that SAAMI and CIP didn't necessarily have the same pressure limits on cartridges.

Mick,

I never even thought of travelling with the gun. That makes perfect sense and would seem to make things much easier then trying to ship it, thanks.

BB


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unspellable
.300 member


Reged: 06/03/04
Posts: 187
Loc: Iowa
Re: Proof loads [Re: banzaibird]
      #42132 - 22/11/05 10:43 AM

If I were obliged to proof a smokeless chambered rifle for my own purposes, I would take the heaviest bullet intended for a working load. I would then take the maximum powder charge for that working load and increase it by 7%. As a back of the envelope calculation that would increase the pressure by 31%. (As a rule of thumb, pressure is proportional to the fourth power of the powder charge. Shows that you really don't want to go over max in a working load.) If the maximum charge is a slow powder case filler you may have to go to the maximum charge listed for the next faster powder and add 7% to the listed charge. Generally smokeless proof loads use a standard weight bullet with a higher or faster than normal powder charge. Use of a heavier than standard bullet is common in black powder proof loads.

If not a wildcat, the heaviest intended load would be at minimum the heaviest commercially available load now or in the past.

It should be noted, that if the pressure is too high you can have a brass failure and damage the gun even though the gun itself would be able to withstand the pressure. It's generally figured that the strongest brass may begin to flow if you go beyond 70,000 cup. Some cases will fail before that. A 444 marlin case should be fairly strong.

And tie the rifle to some tires, hide behind a big tree, and use a long long string to pull the trigger.


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doublegunfan
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Reged: 26/04/05
Posts: 60
Loc: Brazil
Re: Proof loads [Re: unspellable]
      #42174 - 22/11/05 10:57 PM

Unspellable,

Thanks for your comments. I was looking into every book I have (it does not seem that I have enough books) to find some data on the correlation between powder charge increase versus pressure increase.

As far as I can see from the previous messages I have learned the following (please everyone, correct me if any statement is incorrect):

1) To safely proove any gun, you must fire it remotely by means of a long string attached to the trigger and the gun must be in a sort of "fixture" that holds it in place. Shooter must be protected to avoid injuries;

2) As for the loads to be used we have two methods in discussion here:

a) Increase pressure 30% by means of increasing the powder charge of a maximum working load by 7%.

This looks like a good rule of thumb, but I think that two important considerations must be included: the proportion of charge X pressure increase may be considerably different from one powder to another, and, without any means of measuring the pressure, how can one be sure of the pressure in tests?

b) As an alternate method, increase muzzle energy 10% by means of increasing bullet weight 10% on top of a maximum working load.

Does anyone know if an increase in bullet weight would correlate to a proportional increase in pressure, i.e., if by increasing 10% of bullet weight, pressure will also be 10% higher?

As a side note, I have been thinking that, whenever someone mentions any change in a double rifle or shotgun, we tend to think of proofing or re-proofing. How many bolt action owners have rebarreled their rifles and never given any thought of re-proofing them after the change?

Fred


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500Nitro
.450 member


Reged: 06/01/03
Posts: 7244
Loc: Victoria, Australia
Re: Proof loads [Re: doublegunfan]
      #42178 - 22/11/05 11:30 PM

Fred

Re "How many bolt action owners have rebarreled their
rifles and never given any thought of re-proofing them
after the change ?

In the UK and other countries where their are proof laws,
you don't have an option but to reproof the gun.

However in Australia, the US etc, it is not an issue
as there are no proof laws.

500 Nitro


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unspellable
.300 member


Reged: 06/03/04
Posts: 187
Loc: Iowa
Re: Proof loads [Re: doublegunfan]
      #42207 - 23/11/05 06:10 AM

I don't know how much a heavier bullet would increase pressure with a smokeless load so I would stay away from that myself. My guess is that increasing the bullet weight by 10% would increase the pressure by more than 10%. Higher pressure in itself will cause the powder to burn faster. The rule of thumb that says pressure is proportional to the fourth power of the powder charge applies to any powder that is working in it's normal pressure range. Any given powder will work at its best in a certain pressure range. For example, a shot gun powder will burn smoothly in the 10000 to 15000 cup range while most slow rifle powders will not burn smoothly at such a low pressure. But it is only a rule of thumb, your milage may vary.

There are pressure measuring systems available to the individual experimenter but they have the drawback that they measure pressure relative to a given factory load rather than giving you the pressure itself. In other words you can say your handload runs 1.07 times the pressure of a given factory load but you can't say what the pressure actually is. A true pressure measurement requires a test set up that's beyond the average guy's means.


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Daryl_S
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Reged: 10/08/05
Posts: 17991
Loc: Beautiful British Columbia, Ca...
Re: Proof loads [Re: unspellable]
      #42213 - 23/11/05 10:31 AM

I'm not sure a slightly heavier bullet would work as a proof. Going from 300 to 330gr. in bullet weight, usually results in only 1 or 1.5gr. powder difference in the .444 top-end loads - from memory here. Most data in various loading manuals varies more than that in itself. Inceasing pressure by 30% seems a bit drastic, but then, we-too have no proof rules here.
: Does anyone know the SAMMI standard for .444 Marlin? Is it the same as all rifle's used in that ctg. as in 44,000CUP for Marlin and WW lever guns? Is the double rifle stronger or less strong than these rifles? What is this level of pressure in PSI? or CIP for that matter?
: I think if one wants a proper proof, one needs to send it away to be done properly where proper pressure equipment is available IMHO.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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k80
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Loc: San Antonio ,Texas, U.S.A.
Re: Proof loads [Re: Daryl_S]
      #42218 - 23/11/05 12:03 PM

Perhaps a email to the SAMMI organization
could shed some light and reveal a U.S.
based proof house. The Shooting Sports
Foundation could also be a help.

--------------------
Ken
San Antonio

Welcome to South Texas


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Peterb
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Re: Proof loads [Re: Daryl_S]
      #42219 - 23/11/05 12:13 PM

There are proof houses in both Birmingham and London. They charge about 11-15 pounds per barrel. The greatest cost is shipping and paperwork if they do not accompany you to that point. If you have to send them, expect a cost of about $300.

First the gun will undergo visual proof. If any barrel dents, pits or looseness is discovered, the gun fails visual proof and the gun must be fixed. If the gun passes visual proof, it goes on to firing proof. IMHO, anyone who tries to do this themselves is a complete idiot.


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577Robert
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Reged: 10/02/05
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Loc: Germany, NRW
Re: Proof loads [Re: Tom_Bigbore]
      #42251 - 23/11/05 08:57 PM

Judson and Tom,
I could not resist to give you my input on this matter.
What is referred as “the German method” is actually an extract from our proof law. To the benefit of those who are able to read German ( at least Tom ) I have the original version attached. For those who are not, there is a babelfish translation where I have done some corrections attached as well. And last but not least I have attached a very simple basic translation.

But here is the original German language text which is base on the "Beschussgesetz", Anlage I der 3. VO
zum Waffengesetz, Satz 1.2.3:

„Der Mittelwert des Gasdrucks der Beschussmunition muss den zulässigen Höchstwert des Gasdruckes der Gebrauchsmunition Pmax nach den Maßtafeln, der Mittelwert des Gasdrucks der Beschussladung oder des Prüfgemisches den zulässigen Höchstwert der Gebrauchsladung oder des Gebrauchsgemisches um mindestens 30% übersteigen. Ist anstelle des Gasdruckes die Bewegungsenergie der Geschosse zugrundezulegen, so muss unter Verwendung eines gleichartigen Treibmittels der Mittelwert der Bewegungsenergie der Geschosse der Beschussmunition den zulässigen Höchstwert der Bewegungsenergie der Geschosse der Gebrauchsmunition Emax nach den Maßtafeln, der Mittelwert der Bewegungsenergie der Beschussladung oder des Prüfgemisches den zulässigen Höchstwert der Gebrauchsladung oder des Gebrauchsgemisches um mindestens 10% übersteigen. Kann mit der zur Verfügung stehenden Munition, der Ladung oder dem Gemisch die erforderliche Energie nicht erreicht werden, so ist unter Beibehaltung des Treibmittels ein Geschoss zu verwenden, dessen Masse um mindestens 10% höher ist als die der Gebrauchsgeschosse.“

Here is a translation using the babelfish webpage:
"The average value of the gas pressure of the proof ammunition must exceed the permissible maximum value of the gas pressure of the regular ammunition (Pmax) based on the listings in measure boards, the average value of the gas pressure of the proof charge or the test mixture the permissible maximum value of the regular charge or the regular mixture, by at least 30%.
If the kinetic energy of the bullets is to be taken as a basis in place of the gas pressure, then the average value of the kinetic energy of the bullets of the proof ammunition must exceed the permissible maximum value of the kinetic energy of the bullets of the regular ammunition Emax ( max energy ) based on the listings in measure boards, the average value of the kinetic energy of the proof charge or the test mixture the permissible maximum value of the regular charge or the regular mixture around at least by 10% using a very similar ( the same ) propellant.
If the necessary energy cannot be achieved with the ammunition, the charge or the mixture, that is available, then a projectile is to be used, which weight is at least 10% higher than those of the regular projectiles while maintaining the same propellant."

In short
a) the pressure of the proof load must be at least 30% higher that the service pressure.
b) if the energy is used as an indicator, the proof load must achieve a 10% higher energy that service ammunition while using a similar powder.
c) if the above is not possible than use a bullet which weight is at least 10% higher than service ammunition with the use of the same powder.
For example to c) Service ammunition .308 Winchester with a 150 grains, bullet pull the bullet and substitute it with a 165 grain bullet and use the same and same amount of powder.
The use of the energy ( as stated in b) as an indicated is not uncommon. I have used that at least two times with different German proof houses in the past. Recalculation of the energy back to the velocity gives you a very good indicator when you have reached the requested minimum increase of 10%.
I hope this helps a little bit on understanding the "German method"
best regards
Robert


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doublegunfan
.275 member


Reged: 26/04/05
Posts: 60
Loc: Brazil
Re: Proof loads [Re: 577Robert]
      #42259 - 24/11/05 12:48 AM

Robert,

Thank you very much for the information you have posted. It certainly helped a lot to clarify the matter.

In fact, I have never personally given much attention to proofing. The only occasion in which I had any experience in this area in the past was one visit a few years ago to the Imbel plant (the same factory that produces our Army FAL's and Springfield Armoury's 1911 .45ACP pistols). During that visit, I could see the proofing of a few FALs and pistols. This is routinely done at the factories, and they use special cartridges especifically loaded for that purpose by Magtech/CBC. Unfortunatelly, this is not a service they provide to the general public, and Magtech/CBC does not produce ammo (regular or proof) for the .444.

Even so, I am more confident now that I can come up with a good proof load that will give me the desired sense of the safety of my project gun. I tend to aggree with some of you in that proofing is something best left to especiallized proof houses. But I would feel even more idiot if I decided to build a gun and shoot it without any form of testing!!!

Fred


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500Nitro
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Reged: 06/01/03
Posts: 7244
Loc: Victoria, Australia
Re: Proof loads [Re: Peterb]
      #42260 - 24/11/05 01:33 AM


Peterb

One thing you forgot after:-

"If any barrel dents, pits or looseness is discovered, the gun fails
visual proof and the gun must be fixed. If the gun passes visual proof,
it goes on to firing proof."

If it fails proof, they can and will cut the barrels up !!!

I do agree with you though that without any form of pressure
barrels / testing equiment "anyone who tries to do this themselves
is a complete idiot."

Some times a little information is dangerous !

500 Nitro


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Peterb
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Reged: 07/07/04
Posts: 288
Re: Proof loads [Re: 500Nitro]
      #42275 - 24/11/05 08:58 AM

The problem I see with the self proofing is that I don't believe the home proofers have any idea of how and where to measure before and after firing. Without this information (and ability), nothing is proved or proofed. One might simply be gradually destroying the gun resulting in a catastropic failure later when the gun is being fired by a human. I say this not to belittle anyone but to try to keep them safe.

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