are videos of my work to make spiral welded, damascus steel gun barrels.
gun barrels were made for hundreds of years. Early spiral welded
barrels were made in the eastern and near east countries. European
conquest in the east, brought spiral welded gun barrels to the attention
of the Europeans. The early gun barrels were made from strips of
forge welded scrap metal, as well as pattern-welded damascus steel.
Pattern-welded damascus steel is made by arranging pieces of iron and
steel, or two or more different types of steel together, to create
specific patterns in the finished product. The European
blacksmiths gained a proficiency at creating pattern-welded damascus
around the first of the 19th century. The manufacture of spiral
welded gun barrels in pattern-welded damascus steel, was a huge industry
for over 100 years, ending around 1930. There were dozens, perhaps
hundreds of different damascus patterns welded into these barrels.
Some patterns actually included words in the damascus. While
damascus steel gun barrels were made in many countries, the barrel
making industry in Belgium brought the art to its highest level.
Belgian gun barrel makers eventually took over nearly all of the
damascus gun barrel manufacturing in the world.
As both a
knifemaker and a gunsmith, I have a strong interest in making knife-gun
combination weapons; often called cut-n-shoots. My desire to
use damascus barrels on all of my creations, brought me to researching
and testing processes to use in my shop to make these fascinating
barrels. It was always my absolute goal, to recreate the
damascus patterns that were found in old gun barrels. The only way
these patterns is to wind strips of pattern-welded damascus spirally around a mandrel to form a coil, then
forge weld the coil into a solid tube, as was done by the smiths who
made these barrels before. After two years of researching,
building tooling and testing processes in my shop, I successfully test
fired my first spiral welded gun barrel of pattern-welded damascus on
September 26, 2012. This first damascus gun barrel is pictured below.
The damascus pattern seen on this barrel, is called Crolle pattern.
I used this .50 caliber barrel, in the construction of a combination
weapon that I named, Laffite's Revenge.
On September 8th, 2015, I successfully test fired my second spiral
welded damascus gun barrel. This barrel is in Bernard pattern
damascus steel. This .45 caliber barrel, I used in the
construction of the Freedom's Steel™
Damascus Pistol, built for the organization, Knife Rights. This
pistol was built to be auctioned at the 2015 NRA-ILA Dinner and Auction.
All funds raised from its sale, go to the NRA's, Institute for
Links to a couple of great damascus
gun barrel web sites, below.