We use cookies to improve your experience. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more Accept and Close
Non-Emergency Enquiries: 101

What is proofing?

Proof is the process of testing the safety of a gun barrel.

It is still done as it has been since the beginning of gun making- by firing the gun with an over-pressure charge of powder. If the gun survives, it will be safe to shoot. Although modern non-destructive inspection techniques enable the visualisation of the internal structure of metal structures to a high degree of accuracy, there is still no better way of determining which cracks and imperfections in the structure might prove dangerous than this traditional practical test.

Under the Gun Barrel Proof Act (amended 1978), proof is required for all guns sold in the United Kingdom, and for guns that have undergone structural modifications to their barrels- for example by re-sleeving worn shotgun barrels, or adapting a rifle barrel to accept a sound moderator or muzzle attachment. For further information please visit the Birmingham Proof House web site.

Back to Firearms Licensing FAQs