identifying Damascus steel and twisted steel


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Old 11-22-2013, 11:55 AM   #1
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I'v looked around the forum a bit and done a few searches. But I haven't found any threads on how to positively identify Damascus steel or twist steel. Any of the pro smiths here have a tried and true way to do this?
I have a few ideas but I would rather try a proven method or two.
The reason I ask is when my father passed earlier this year he left me my great grandfather's old side by side that I plan on restoring. He told me a few times it had Damascus steel barrels and never to put a modern shell in it. It's in pretty horrible shape atm but it's also sitting in another state so it'll be awhile before I get to it. I'm really hoping it's twist steel because when done right a new blue job on them are beautiful.
But I'd like to make sure that's what it is before I start the process to bring out the pattern.
Any suggestions out there?



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Old 11-22-2013, 12:26 PM   #2
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Often times you can tell by looking at it.
The best method I know of is research, it is often well documented if the gun is kaboom barreled.
My suggestion, never shoot one.



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Old 11-22-2013, 01:19 PM   #3
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The Damascus steel was a sign of quality in the 19th century. After the advent of fluid steel barrels this idea continued. Many modern fluid steel barrels were acid etched to look like Damascus steel.
By removing the forearm you can often tell as they did not always etch the area under the wood. You may also use steel wool on a small spot under the forearm to see if it is real or faux Damascus steel.

Damascus steel was formed by rapping steel strips around a mandrel and forging together. I expect that is why you are confused about "twisted" and Damascus. They are the same process.

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Old 11-22-2013, 03:36 PM   #4
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Nightstalker. I appreciate the info but you are a little bit in error or at least there is a slight misunderstanding. I'm not trying to be rude or anything. Just an FYI i myself might be in error. But "twisted steel" is where two bars if steel of two different carbon contents were twisted on a mandrel and hammered into a tube. Damascus steal is pretty similar however it is where multiple layers of differing carbon content steel are forged into a billet then from the forged billet a product is made/forged. Though to be fair both could be referred to as Damascus steel. The twist steel when blued and acid etched will have a "tiger strip" pattern with light and dark strips. Damascus steel would have no real pattern to the different colors of steel. It would just be random spots of light and dark.
Now that I have written all this out it occurs to me that this could just be a difference in termenology.

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Old 11-22-2013, 03:40 PM   #5
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But basically just have to clean a spot on the barrel and see if there's a pattern to the steel.
It's just going to be a wall hanger when its been refurbished btw. it's black powder shells from my understanding.



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