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Measurements of damage to metal surfaces induced by intense nanosecond pulses of IR radiation are reported. Single-shot damage thresholds of Cu, stainless steel, molybdenum, and aluminum surfaces have been measured for various angles of incidence and the predicted increase in damage thresholds for grazing incidence optical components have been experimentally verified for the first time at 10 μm. In addition multiple-shot damage tests have been performed and practical lifetime curves for Cu mirrors have been established. The results are compared with existing theoretical models and shown to be in general agreement.