Personally, I am much happier with the thought that a gun going off inches from my face has been tested for strength by a time-proven method.
However, on occasions I have thought that it is a bit crude to build a gun, then have to pay somebody to try to blow it up before you are allowed to sell it.
The answer to what may appear to be illogical is two-fold: proof firing as a safety check is both cheap and effective.
More sophisticated methods of strength testing are more expensive.
And if you look at another trade in which safety is paramount ? that of building aircraft ? there are other factors which further jack up the price of the materials used, sophisticated testing methods and the traceability of metals right back to the mill where they were manufactured being just two of them.
One way and another, I believe that any other effective, independent safety check would be far more expensive than proof firing, and that we get very good value out of our Proof Houses in Birmingham and London.