What is proofing?

According to the folks at The Birmingham Gun Barrel Proof House, one of Great Britain’s two testing facilities, a proof is, “the firing through the barrel of a considerably heavier load than is customary in the shooting field, thereby setting up pressure and stress on barrel and action much in excess of the pressure generated by standard load...and is intended to, disclose weakness in guns...” ( For more information on proofing, its history and importance, see the website of The Birmingham Gun Barrel Proof House. But it is also more than that. Proofing is a certification by a government that a weapon has undergone testing in accordance with that nation’s accepted standards.

United States proofing standards

There are at present no US proofing standards for muzzleloading firearms, and no facilities accepting muzzleloaders for proofing or testing. Veteran Arms, LLC uses the “traditional” method of test firing which involves visual and mechanical inspection of each piece, the remote firing of the weapon with a charge of 160% of the recommended maximum load, cleaning, and final inspection. For information on the methods and standards used by Great Britain and other countries, see the following:

An Explosive Adventure, by Mike Baines.




Extreme Integrity Test 2010

Indian musket

Veteran Arms muskets have a 1/2 to 5/8 inch threaded breechplug.

    In February 2010, Veteran Arms, LLC subjected one of its off-the-shelf musket barrels to an "Extreme Integrity Test." The barrel (.69 cal.) was removed from the stock, inspected as usual, and then fired with our regular 160% proofing charge (130 grains of BP + 1 oz of shot). No problem. In an attempt to achieve structural failure, the powder charge was subsequently increased in increments. We worked our way through live loads backed by 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, and 700 grains of powder. No problem. We finally got impatient and decided to load the barrel with 10 times the maximum recommended powder charge plus 2.5 times the shot. There was so much powder and shot in the barrel that the ramrod stuck out approximately a foot! Upon firing, the noise was extremely loud. The result: no bulges, no cracks, nothing. The barrel was completely unharmed. Of course, this information is not intended to encourage anyone to exceed the recommended load in their musket. It is intended only to illustrate what our barrels may be capable of withstanding and to dispel some myths which have circulated on the internet regarding the safety of Indian made products.




As of June 2011, Veteran Arms, LLC will discontinue the practice of test firing each individual barrel prior to sale. We will still offer test firing to customers on a special order basis. Requests for proofing will result in a delay in anticipated delivery time. To request test firing, mention it in the comments section at checkout. A $50 fee will be charged for the service and will be added to your order’s total