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AYA Proofing


K.K.B
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Hi all, It's about time I made my first post, I've been reading this forum for years. Anyway I picked up an AYA No.3 3" Magnum the other day in excellent condition, serial number and code date it to 1964, but I'm noticed that on the barrel flats it appears to be proofed to 900kg. What constitutes a "Magnum gun"? I thought the majority of these were proofed to 1200kg. Also being a 3" chamber, does that mean I can put any 3" commercial cartridges through it without any worry?

Cheers

 

 

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Posted (edited)

This is both simple and complicated. Once upon a time (as the best tales start) there were 2" guns, 2 1/2" guns, 2 3/4" guns and 3" guns.

As this was "once upon a time" that old 3" wasn't the 3" MAGNUM of today but a different beast. The cartridge was three inches long but the cartridge delivered less pressure and the guns that fired it were proofed to less pressure.

Today those guns, perfectly safe if sound and in good order, can use another "new" cartridge. What today is sold as a 2 3/4" MAGNUM. Indeed the story is that this was specifically introduced in the UK for use in these old 3" guns.

So my advice would be to contact ASI at Snape who were and are AYA importers and ask the question of them. So the ending of the story is that not all 3" guns are 3" MAGNUM guns.

I am told that the Proof House indeed because of this insist that all such old guns that are marked up as 3" now in fact before lawful sale are now sent to reproof at 3" MAGNUM pressure. That may be true. Or it may not be. Again check with either Proof House.

Edited by enfieldspares
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2 hours ago, grahamch said:

An Aya no3 3 inch magnum should show 76mm chambers on the flats and proofed to 1200 kg/cm2. 

I have just checked my own AYA No3, and it definitely shows those same figures (76mm, 1200 kg/cm2).   Serial number is 570xxx, so it may be quite a bit younger than K.K.B's gun  -  mine is from the period 1978-1983, according to this website:

https://dorkythorpy.blogspot.com/2015/03/how-old-dating-finding-out-age-of-aya.html

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Can anyone suggest a good reason why the spare/second set of barrels on my AyA appear to have been re proofed at 1200 Kg - but retain 70 mm chambers?  What cartridge would need that?  It was like that when I purchased the gun and I have never actually used those barrels as they have a very tight choke and are 30" long.  I prefer the more open 28" barrels.

Pic attached

D39FB020-AEF6-4BE1-9E30-05965A4D42FD_1_105_c.jpeg

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Just now, London Best said:

They don’t appear to have any of the original Spanish marks. Have they been removed or was the gun always English proved?

Those barrels were a second pair and made and supplied by AyA (you can just see the AyA mark on the tube part in front of the flats) but fitted in the UK - and the whole gun proofed again in the UK. 

The other barrels (the 28" ones) carry the original Spanish proof marks and the action carries both UK and Spanish proof marks.  My puzzle is why re-proof the (measure as new) barrels for a high pressure without altering the chambers?  Are there any 2 3/4" cartridges that need 1200 Kg?

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3 minutes ago, London Best said:

what proof pressure for 2 3/4 magnum?

I have no idea - and looking 'on line' brings up multiple USA entries, but they are obsessed with pressures and use "service pressure" rather than "proof pressure"..

I am just curious - as I have never shot these barrels in anger and probably never will - as I have no wish or need to use heavy/magnum loads.  However - one thing that did cross my mine was to consider opening out the chokes (currently 45 thou and 47 thou constriction, so a tight full in both barrels).  Chokes like that would not be sensibly usable for my type of game shooting.  My puzzle is why some previous owner(s) went the the expense of new barrels - then a re-proof - but presumably ordered only 2 3/4" chambers?

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50 minutes ago, JohnfromUK said:

Can anyone suggest a good reason why the spare/second set of barrels on my AyA appear to have been re proofed at 1200 Kg - but retain 70 mm chambers?  What cartridge would need that?  It was like that when I purchased the gun and I have never actually used those barrels as they have a very tight choke and are 30" long.  I prefer the more open 28" barrels.

Pic attached

D39FB020-AEF6-4BE1-9E30-05965A4D42FD_1_105_c.jpeg

Sleeved?

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7 minutes ago, wymberley said:

Sleeved?

No - not definitely not sleeved. 

My assumption was that a previous owner wanted to use a particular 'high pressure' load, so had the proof redone to suit - but that is just my guess.  Because there is only one date stamp, my guess is that it was done either at the same time - or very soon afterwards, but I don't know.  It is possible that someone may have intended shooting in the USA - where high loads are more common than here, but again, a guess.

It is a mystery to me.  The gun is a fairly full weight at 7 lbs or so with those barrels, but that isn't over heavy for big loads.

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Seem to recall that some of the Italian Mini Mags etc were higher pressure than anything loaded in the UK back in the 80`s. Perhaps reproofed for something such?

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Just now, matone said:

Seem to recall that some of the Italian Mini Mags etc were higher pressure than anything loaded in the UK back in the 80`s. Perhaps reproofed for something such?

That may well be the answer.  It isn't anything I am likely to use!  I tend to be a '1 ounce' person.

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Are those genuine Aya barrels? Neither of my Aya ejectors have the angled rear edge to the front lump. 

Am bemused why they show 2 proof pressures unless the chamber have been lenghtened since new. 

No reason for a 70 mm load to be proofed so high. My Aya no4 with 70mm chambers is proofed at 900 kg/cm2 and will take the 1.5 ounce lead 2.75 inch magnum shell although it does kick a bit!

 

 

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From 22 March 2015:

Oops, I was under the impression that 4 tons/sq" was for 3" chambers. What was the SWP for the old Eley 23/4" 11/2oz magnums we used to use?

 

Edit: Any help: Compliments of the Imperial War Museum.

 

1) printed on top of box 2) printed on applied sticker on top of box 3) printed on flaps of box (metric data first on one end, Imperial first on the other) 4) printed on tape used to seal the box 5) printed on side 1 6) printed on side 2 7) printed on base 😎 printed on left inner flap 9) printed on right inner flap 10) headstamp 11) printed on cartridge tube

1) ELEY EBL logo // MAGNUM 23/4" // WATERPROOF CARTRIDGES // HIGH VELOCITY // long range extra heavy load // 25 2) Small Arms ammunition // WARNING // keep out of reach // of children // ATTENTION // gardes hors de la portee // des enfants 3) ELEY gauge 12 // MAGNUM 23/4" chamber 23/4" 70mm // WATERPROOF shot load 11/2 oz 42.5 g // CARTRIDGES // high velocity rolled turnover // Made in England shot size 4) 5 (repeated) 5) Shot size equivalents by English, American, French/Spanish, Belgian/Italian systems and in millimeters 6) illustration of three cartridges 7) ELEY // non-corrosive // waterproof // cartridges WARNING // 1. Guns bearing English proof marks. // Magnum 23/4" cartridges should only be used in guns // with 23/4" or longer chambers, proof marked for a shot load // of at least 11/2 oz and/or marked for a service pressure // of at least 31/4 tons per square inch. // 2. Guns bearing European proof marks. // Magnum 23/4" (70 mm) cartridges should only be used in // guns with 70mm or longer chambers, and proved to a proof pressure of at least 900 kg per sq. cm. // The cartridges are loaded with smokeless powder and // should only be used in guns which have been nitro-proved. // Eley Ammunition Division // Imperial Metal Industries (Kynoch) Limited // Birmingham B6 7BA, England // IMI logo 😎 BE TIDY (repeated in four languages) 9) RTO // before using these // cartridges // read the warning on the back panel // in the event of // complaint // please return // through your retailer // this carton and any cartridges remaining // 70mm/23/4" 10) ELEY // 12 ELEY // 12 11) EBL logo // MAGNUM // 23/4" // made in England // 23/4"-70mm // magnum load magnum load 12) 5 (repeated)

Edited March 22, 2015 by wymberley

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Just now, grahamch said:

Are those genuine Aya barrels? Neither of my Aya ejectors have the angled rear edge to the front lump.

Yes, you can just see the AyA mark on the tube in front of the flats, but the original barrels are the same.  It is an unusual model, a Senior.

 

2 minutes ago, grahamch said:

No reason for a 70 mm load to be proofed so high.

That is exactly my view - which is why I was asking - as it seems a strange thing.  The chambers will be original as AyA (rarely if ever) go below 2 3/4" - and then there would be an original length marked.  The only 'reproof' element is the change in pressure.

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3 minutes ago, JohnfromUK said:

It may well have been done to suit a cartridge like that.

In view of the 'bar', the second letter can only be a 'C' which gives us 1995 so it would have to be for something that was around then and not done for steel.

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, wymberley said:

In view of the 'bar', the second letter can only be a 'C' which gives us 1995 so it would have to be for something that was around then and not done for steel.

That would fit with what little I know of the history.  I believe the gun came to the UK circa 1987 or a little later.  The second barrels were made (through ASI, the UK importers) by AyA and fitted and proofed for ASI in the UK for 'a customer' - but why - or for what purpose, I don't know.

EDIT: It was only really looking at this thread that made me realise that 1200 and 2 3/4 was an odd combination.  Before , I had always just thought of (both sets) of barrels as 2 3/4" and in proof for use!

Edited by JohnfromUK
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Here is a pic of my barrels as requested above

Screenshot_2021-07-06-17-18-03-22.jpg

23 hours ago, enfieldspares said:

This is both simple and complicated. Once upon a time (as the best tales start) there were 2" guns, 2 1/2" guns, 2 3/4" guns and 3" guns.

As this was "once upon a time" that old 3" wasn't the 3" MAGNUM of today but a different beast. The cartridge was three inches long but the cartridge delivered less pressure and the guns that fired it were proofed to less pressure.

Today those guns, perfectly safe if sound and in good order, can use another "new" cartridge. What today is sold as a 2 3/4" MAGNUM. Indeed the story is that this was specifically introduced in the UK for use in these old 3" guns.

So my advice would be to contact ASI at Snape who were and are AYA importers and ask the question of them. So the ending of the story is that not all 3" guns are 3" MAGNUM guns.

I am told that the Proof House indeed because of this insist that all such old guns that are marked up as 3" now in fact before lawful sale are now sent to reproof at 3" MAGNUM pressure. That may be true. Or it may not be. Again check with either Proof House.

Ok, cheers for that. I will contact them and see what they say about it. 

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Posted (edited)

Curiouser and curiouser. There were a few AYA guns that had an odd length chamber that wasn't 3" but slightly longer. As there was a now obscure 12 bore cartridge of somewhat over three inches. One went through Holt's maybe three, four or five years ago. It is odd that the cartouche seems to be 12-76.8? Or somesuch? In which case this may be of those guns yet, from recollection they were marked as 77mm? or 78mm? A trawl through Holt's back catalogues anyway will eventually find it after some effort.

Edited by enfieldspares
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