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Skelp;” and 4th, “Sham damn Skelp.” The method of making Damascus iron I have already alluded to, and have also given an engraving of the appearance which it presents in the bar. The following is an accurate representation of a portion of a pair of barrels made of this iron-being those which performed the best in the second class at the gun trial of 1859.

Fig. Ila

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A much finer twist is sometimes made, especially in Belgium; but there is no advantage obtained, and it is generally supposed to weaken the iron. This very fine kind of Damascus is shown below, having been carefully copied from a pair of barrels of English manufacture, sent by Mr. Hast, of Colchester, to be shot in the trial of 1859.

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An imitation of these twists, as practised by the Belgians, is well represented in the annexed engraving, which shows

Fig. 10


IMITATION DAMASCUS. (HALF SIZE.) the extent to which this fraud is carried. But by comparing the factitious surface with the real, it will be seen that there is an important point in which the former fails, consisting in the broken line which so constantly occurs in it; while in the real article the fibre, though equally tortuous, is almost always continuous. Sometimes, however, the deception is so clever that it requires great skill to discover it, and even in the gun from which the above illustration was taken, a common observer might readily pass it as perfectly genuine.

Wire Twist, or Stub Twist, is made nearly in the same way as Damascus, but is less twisted, and displays the following appearance when browned:

Fig. 12

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STUB TWIST. (HALF SIZE.) The manufacture of laminated steel has also been alluded to at page 213, where an extract from Mr. Greener's treatise

will be found. Its surface, when browned, is as shown below, having been copied from one of Mr. Pape's guns, which was shot in the trial of 1859.

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This kind of iron is also used in a slightly different form, known as angularly laminated," but there is so little to distinguish the one from the other in any respect, that I need scarcely enlarge upon it. What is called " fancy steel" is also a sub-variety of laminated steel, and should not be considered a distinct kind.

Stub Damascus is often called “steel,” but it is really a mixture of the two kinds, and is the weakest of the four included in this division. It is made from old files reduced to a coarse powder, and then fused together with a larger proportion of stub-iron, after which it is rolled into rods, and twisted in the same way as the Damascus. Its appearance when made up is given in the annexed engraving, which is

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taken from a gun sent to the trial of 1859, by Mr. Egan, of · Bradford.

Charcoal iron is the best quality used for inferior guns; it is made from the clippings of sheet-iron, melted in a charcoal furnace, and re-cast, then forged into a bar and rolled into rods in imitation of stub-twist. The iron, when in contact with the charcoal, absorbs a certain amount of carbon, and becomes hardened, but as the metal from which it is made is originally of a weak description, it still remains of very inferior quality. Its cost is very low, being about 4d. per lb., and as it may be made to look well by a peculiar method of browning, it is much employed by inferior makers, the saving on a pair of barrels in material alone being tenpence to a shilling, as compared with stub twist, besides the reduced cost of forging, which adds two more shillings to the saving effected; and this proportion is kept up throughout the subsequent processes. The appearance of charcoal iron when browned is represented in the annexed cut of a pair of barrels.

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CHARCOAL IRON. (HALF SIZE.) Threepenny, but more commonly twopenny skelp, is used for very inferior guns in this country-such as are sold by ironmongers and general dealers at very low prices : namely, 31. and 41. for a double gun. As, however, my readers are, I hope, not likely to trust their lives to such articles, I shall only give the annexed engraving, showing the appearance of twopenny iron when browned and made to look as pretty as possible to the eye.

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By comparing this with threepenny skelp, it will be seen that there is no great difference between them; but the figure is bolder in the twopenny iron, and not nearly so variegated in its twist. In quality there is no great superiority in the one over the other, but of the two, the higher priced iron is to be preferred.

Sham damn is too bad even for our general dealers, and it is solely used for the guns made for exportation. As a matter of curiosity, however, I append à sketch of the aspects which it bears after being made up artificially to please the eye.

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All of these three last kinds of iron are made from scrap iron of qualities varying in proportion, the scrap used for sham damn being of the worst possible kind. The process

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