A reader is feeling bad and wants advice
The barrel of my.410 shotgun split after a few shots with the cartridges provided by the dealer. Read more about.410 shotguns.
I have witnesses and the barrel has been checked. I brought the gun back to my supplier and was informed that it had to be taken to the Proof House. A report has come back stating user error. You can understand my disappointment and frustration. What can I do? The Proof House is yet to tell me if the gun will be returned.
David Frost’s reply
Guns should last for very many years – centuries even – and their barrels should not split in ordinary use. That’s what the Proof system was set up to prevent.
Without knowing precisely what ‘user error’ is alleged or the exact nature of the damage it is difficult to comment in detail.
The most common causes of a split barrel on a shotgun
Users can cause barrel splits by putting an obstruction such as mud in the barrel, not raising a dent or using a stronger cartridge than what the gun is designed for. You can read more about repairing a dented barrel here.
It is possible that your gun is defective if you do not experience any of the above.
You should return the gun to its owner, and have it checked by a second gunsmith. Ask for his written opinion.
You may be able, depending on the outcome, to sue the vendor at the small claims court or ask Trading Standards for a follow-up.
This article first appeared in 2011 and was updated.