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I have a very old double-barrel shotgun that has a “tiger stripe” or “swirl” pattern on the barrels. What kind of barrels are on this gun?

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Overview

If you have a noticeable, and often ornate, pattern on the barrel or barrels on an older shotgun, chances are that you have Damascus barrels on the gun. The pattern on Damascus barrels was a result of the manufacturing process. The term “Damascus” refers to a welding technique. The barrels were a product of layered steel and iron strips that were heated and forged together, then twisted in a lathe-type device, then heated and twisted around a mandrel while being hammered and welded. We would strongly discourage you from attempting to fire this gun as these barrels were not built to withstand the pressure of modern ammunition and could “unwind”, thus creating a safety hazard.

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