Trapshooters Forum banner

A day at the trap field with an old SXS

1784 25
Took out my Baker Damascus 12 gauge to the trap range the other day to make sure I can hit (at least most times) clays on the fly to see if would be practical to use in the field. It worked well enough though admittedly only hit about 70%. For the first time around I am okay with that and enjoyed the milder weather at the time. The shotgun did its job, I just need more practice with it.

Wood Road surface Flooring Floor Asphalt
Shoe Wood Textile Luggage and bags Bag
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

Registered
Joined
47 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Damascus... wow, don't know that I would have done that with today's factory ammo... always great to see an old gun in action...
Fortunately a few years ago prior to Covid I stocked up on quite a few flats and boxes of many different flavors of RST shells and always save the spent shells and have lots of appropriate components and powder for when I run out. I have all my Damascus SxS's (6 currently) checked out by an older gunsmith who specializes in this down in Southport CT who shop is literally part of the old Ruger Production plant. It originally was choked both barrels as Light full/IM and I had right barrel opened to M. I like to alternate back and forth between the two barrels when shooting to replicate filed use.

The loads are 3/4 ounce @ 1125 fps which are effectively 28 gauge loads. Occasionally I will run 7/8 ounce loads of the RST @ 1150 fps.
 

Premium Member
Joined
2,415 Posts
If Damascus barrels check out you can put all the low pressure loads you want through them and never have an issue. You鈥檙e more likely to have an issue with 100+ yo wood. I shoot vintage clays with an LC Smith and some with a Parker Trojan. I had the Elsie stock gone through and glassed. I have several thousand rounds through that gun. It is steel barrels however. I鈥檝e owned a few Damascus guns (my favorite was a Lefever) and never had an issue.
 

Registered
Joined
47 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If Damascus barrels check out you can put all the low pressure loads you want through them and never have an issue. You鈥檙e more likely to have an issue with 1090+ yo wood. I shoot vintage clays with an LC Smith and some with a Parker Trojan. I had the Elsie stock gone through and glassed. I have several thousand rounds through that gun. It is steel barrels however. I鈥檝e owned a few Damascus guns (my favorite was a Lefever) and never had an issue.
I have 2 Elsie Damascus of the same 1890's era and a Rem 1894. All have checked out as well and you make a great point about the wood. Hadn't thought about it but will look into doing what you describe. Thanks for the insight!
 

Premium Member
Joined
2,415 Posts
I have 2 Elsie Damascus of the same 1890's era and a Rem 1894. All have checked out as well and you make a great point about the wood. Hadn't thought about it but will look into doing what you describe. Thanks for the insight!
Elsie鈥檚 tend to crack at the back of the lock plates. Some say it鈥檚 a design flaw but it鈥檚 actually due to wood shrinkage, loose screws, and hot loads being used over the years. If the screws are kept tight you likely won鈥檛 have any cracks but still a god idea to have the head glassed. Other than the wood, Elsie鈥檚 are pretty much bomb roof. I鈥檝e handled many, maybe hundreds of Elsie鈥檚 and can鈥檛 really remember ever seeing one that was shot apart.
 

Registered
Joined
6,283 Posts
Here's one :(

Wood Bedrock Art Trunk Rock


Cracks at the apex of the lock plate inlet usually start at the head of the stock, where there is inadequate wood surface in contact with the action to absorb recoil.

Creative arts Working animal Bat Wood Art


Then extend posteriorly

Wood Tree Snout Trunk Terrestrial animal


As said, glas bedding mitigates the problem; or cyanoacrylate or epoxy impregnation of the head of the stock wood

Brown Wood Goggles Artifact Door


OTOH I used by crack-less and well-used 1906 No. 00 at Ben Avery last week :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: doggiecareman

Registered
Joined
6,254 Posts
Damascus... wow, don't know that I would have done that with today's factory ammo... always great to see an old gun in action...

Those are RST shells. Everything but their "Pigeon" loads are safe for Damascus barrels, after proper examination.

Beautiful Baker, doggiecareman!
 

Registered
Joined
6,283 Posts
Glasbedding? If a Smith, you'll want someone with experience with Smiths.
Unfortunately the head of the stock of many vintage doubles is oil soaked, so done properly, the oil must be removed, cracks repaired, and stock refinished.

Motor vehicle Bumper Automotive lighting Automotive exterior Wood


Buck Hamlin in Pevely, MO is a Smith, Baker and Lefever specialist
636-479-4304
There are others who do great work. Where are you?
 

Registered
Joined
47 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Glasbedding? If a Smith, you'll want someone with experience with Smiths.
Unfortunately the head of the stock of many vintage doubles is oil soaked, so done properly, the oil must be removed, cracks repaired, and stock refinished.

View attachment 1841555

Buck Hamlin in Pevely, MO is a Smith, Baker and Lefever specialist
636-479-4304
There are others who do great work. Where are you?
I am in CT and do have access to an old time smith down in Southport whose shop is literally part of the Old Ruger Plant. I will check with him. He's the one who I have do all my shotgun related work and older vintage rifle and handgun work. I will call Buck about my Baker. A Citori CX that was delivered to me yesterday came from an FFL in Pevely Mo, Dunn's Sporting Goods, it's a small world. I am originally from Washington Mo.
 

Registered
Joined
1,112 Posts
At this time I have a dozen old SxSs and all but three of them are Damascus barrel guns. Sherman Bell put a stop to the rumors that Damascus barrels are unsafe. In two different test he shot 40 Damascus wall hangers and was told to try and blow them up. He couldn't using Remington proof loads that are around 18,000psi. Anyways, I use my old SxSs for all the shotgun games every week [ one or the other ] . I will say trap seems to give me more difficulty than the other games so there I use my Parker SBT gun. I also reload 3/4oz and my magnum 7/8oz for trap [ because all the birds are on edge ]. Everybody in the shotgun room made fun of me when I bought the Parker because all I ever shoot are SxSs. I just like shooting old guns.
 

Registered
Joined
47 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
At this time I have a dozen old SxSs and all but three of them are Damascus barrel guns. Sherman Bell put a stop to the rumors that Damascus barrels are unsafe. In two different test he shot 40 Damascus wall hangers and was told to try and blow them up. He couldn't using Remington proof loads that are around 18,000psi. Anyways, I use my old SxSs for all the shotgun games every week [ one or the other ] . I will say trap seems to give me more difficulty than the other games so there I use my Parker SBT gun. I also reload 3/4oz and my magnum 7/8oz for trap [ because all the birds are on edge ]. Everybody in the shotgun room made fun of me when I bought the Parker because all I ever shoot are SxSs. I just like shooting old guns.
I鈥檓 glad you got a reasonable reception, some of the guys at my local gun club are true snobs and literally won鈥檛 even acknowledge me when I鈥檓 out there with one of my old guns. Not all but definitely more than enough. The baker works the best for me out of all the ones that I have. The best I鈥檝e shot is either a 19 or 20, I don鈥檛 remember exactly, but it was around there. As suggested I鈥檓 going to look into getting the stock glassed.
 

Registered
Joined
6,585 Posts
If there is any doubt use tubes.
I know where there are several Damascus SXS's a couple ruled "to old and decrepit," even though they look up tight. The owner, a gunsmith fit tubes and shoots them, very well I might add.

Al
 

Registered
Joined
2,393 Posts
That Baker is sure a beauty. The wood on that thing is certainly spectacular. Makes me want to dig out some of my side by sides and take them out shooting. I do shoot my model 21s on a regular basis. Maybe it's time to pull the out the 16 gauge Elsie out and give that one a roll again
 

Registered
Joined
47 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
That Baker is sure a beauty. The wood on that thing is certainly spectacular. Makes me want to dig out some of my side by sides and take them out shooting. I do shoot my model 21s on a regular basis. Maybe it's time to pull the out the 16 gauge Elsie out and give that one a roll again
I own half a dozen Damascus 12 gauges and would love to own an old classic doubles Damascus 16 gauge but haven鈥檛 been able to find one affordable enough at least for me. The RST vintage loads that I have are relegated to my 16 gauge fox sterlingworth. Would love to see Pics of your 16 gauge Elsie.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top