I have witnesses to the incident and the barrel was checked during use. I took the gun back to the supplier and was told the gun had to go to the proof house. A report has come back stating user error. You can imagine my frustration and disappointment. Any suggestions as to what I can do now? They have not even informed me if I will have the gun returned.

Shooting legal advice

DAVID FROST

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 user induced barrel splitting are an obstruction, such as mud or a twig in the barrel; a dent that has not been raised; or using a cartridge more powerful than that for which the gun is proofed.

If none of these occurred the likelihood is that the gun was defective.

The gun remains your property, whether damaged or not, so you should ensure you get it back then have it looked at by another gunsmith and seek his written opinion.

Depending on the outcome of that you might be able to ask Trading Standards to follow the matter up, or sue the vendor in the small claims court.