ShotGunWorld Shotguns

It is currently Wed Oct 28, 2020 12:51 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Image



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 66 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: "Is the 16 Gauge Dead?"
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 8:25 am 
Utility Grade

Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2020 10:55 am
Posts: 14
Many people will argue the point that the 16 gauge is indeed dead! I can almost envision Chester Goode putting the question to Matt Dillion as they both gaze at an old 16 gauge shotgun laying on the ground saying... "Is he dead Mr. Dillion?"

Not only is the "Sweet Sixteen" not dead by any means... I believe that this almost forgotten gauge which many shooters believe only hangs on by its finger nails due to a small cult following could be much more than the deposed "Queen of the Uplands" that it once was, as it was once the undisputed choice of millions of upland hunters in the United States, and other countries as well!

One doesn't have to go back too far in history to remember the day when to many hunters, quail hunters especially... The "Sixteen Gauge" was "The" Gun to have! So, what went wrong? Well, Waterfowl Hunting, and the 3 Inch Magnum 20 Gauge Shell, just about killed the "Old Sixteen Gauge!"

What would bring it back? Something that would be cataclysmic in the shooting world, but probably will never happen! As time has gone by, shooting has changed dramatically, and shooters, have changed even more so! Gone are the days of the shooting fraternity containing men only, and gone are the days of the average beginner being constrained by heavy recoiling shotguns, which are themselves too heavy to carry and use easily! We have gas autos now, and shotguns scaled down to enable even smaller shooters to shoot a larger gauge well!

What would bring back the 16 Gauge to the popularity that it once enjoyed? The Three inch 16 Gauge Shell! It would be a wonderful upland gun, be capable of waterfowl hunting as well, even geese over decoys would be within the capabilities of the "Old Sixteen!" It would be a wonderful choice for smaller framed shooters as well!

In fact it many just kill the 20 Gauge, and that my friends is why it will never happen! The Gun, and the Ammunition Manufactures, have given us our menu, containing their choices! Why manufacture a 16 Gauge Shell with more powder and shot than the 20 Gauge has? Why change? We should be satisfied... Right?

The same ammunition manufactures who have been putting shells in boxes of five, that cost no more to produce than a box containing 25 shells, have been playing with our minds since childhood!

I remember a advertisement years ago, that said, "Our shells are dark green, with black anodized heads, to hide them from Leary Gobblers!" How that turkey could see a shotgun shell inside the gun has always been beyond my comprehension!


God Bless...

Bill

Long live the "Sweet Sixteen!"




Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Is the 16 Gauge Dead?"
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 9:17 am 
Crown Grade
User avatar

Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:46 am
Posts: 8361
Location: Colorado Springs, Co
All 16s matter!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Is the 16 Gauge Dead?"
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 9:24 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:11 am
Posts: 4099
Location: Western Tampa, FL
Past Master, just curious are you a charter member of 16ga.com? If not, you should go check them out. I suspect you already have.

I have owned many 16 gauge guns from Browning, Francotte, Wm Sumner, Win Mod 21, AH Fox, Savage and Remington. They all did what I intended for them with aplomb. However, since I recently quit reloading, I find the limited availability of types of shells for the 16 gauge to be too much of a hassle for me. I no longer own one.

I have a good shooting friend who does not shoot anything but the 16 gauge, and he is the most accomplished reloader I have ever known. He goes to the trouble to develop specific shells/loads for his various 16s, and has then pressure tested to make sure he has optimized the components. His shells look and function as well as any factory ones.

For him, owning a 16 gauge is no hinderance, and he does very well with them. However, he is not the average 16 gauge aficionado nor reloader.

You are right about the ammo makers and choices.

Another of my pet peeves about ammo choices is that the ammo makers decided to go with shot sizes that were spaced equally at .01 difference until they got to #7 1/2! Why? :?

#s 4,5,6,7 1/2, 8, 9 seems weird to me especially when you consider that tolerance allows as much as one half shot size, plus or minus. Besides, I think #7s is a great do almost anything upland shot size. Oh well, I guess it is a mystery that will never be solved.

Good luck with your 16s.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Is the 16 Gauge Dead?"
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 9:36 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 4:51 pm
Posts: 10879
Location: Phoenixville PA
We do NOT need a 3" 16 Gauge. For pumps and autos, that would mean a longer (and heavier) receiver, and a heavy gun. The 16 was "queen of the uplands" because it "hit like a 12, and carried like a 20"!

And you can't expect a light gun when you just put a 16 ga. barrel on a 12 gauge frame, which most "modern" manufacturers do to keep costs down.

We need shell manufacturers to make good 1 oz. target (and hunting) loads, and high-brass 1 1/8 hunting loads. They did the job fine 70 years ago, and on the same upland species we hunt today!

_________________
BobK


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Is the 16 Gauge Dead?"
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 10:08 am 
Diamond Grade
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:58 am
Posts: 1576
Location: Omaha, NE
This debate has gone on a lot of times. I let all my 16s go and stick with 12s but I’d like to see you get your wish. Look how many rifle chamberings there are for medium game. There ought to be plenty of room for the 16 based on that comparison, shallow as it may be.

_________________
“With age comes wisdom but sometimes age comes alone.”
-Oscar Wilde


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Is the 16 Gauge Dead?"
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 10:15 am 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:11 am
Posts: 921
16 gauge has a niche following. It isn't dead, but it isn't mainstream either.
I just received a FAIR Jubilee 16 gauge yesterday. Not my first 16, maybe my ultimate 16 gauge.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Is the 16 Gauge Dead?"
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 10:27 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:49 pm
Posts: 206
There is ammo available. It does cost more, but most people shooting a 16 don't seem to mind cost.

I shoot my granddad's model 12 16 ga on opening day of dove season, and I'll use it in any other upland hunting I am able to do.

RST has a nice selection of shells for the 16, and when bought in flats aren't terribly priced.


Last edited by cclark31 on Tue Sep 29, 2020 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Is the 16 Gauge Dead?"
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 10:49 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:50 pm
Posts: 2447
Location: SE Ohio...where ruffed grouse were
The answers to the question would hinge upon the definition of the word dead, along with the preference for the gauge by whomever answers the question.

The 3" 16 gauge is a horrendous idea popularized by writers needing fodder for publication, marketers needing ideas at meetings and hunters battling boredom and seeking new must-haves.

The niche of the 16 gauge, to me, resides in the easily obtained esthetics of form and measure with an ability to spit 1 ounce to 1 1/8 ounce of shot to good result.

One can ruin-ish the gauge by reducing weight of the scattergun in search of brag or in lengthening that nicely turned case to try for the silly and over-blown idea of a do-all scattergun.
I hope the 16 remains as....little more than enough for most upland chores.
Those wishing for extras are less of a champion and more of a fiddler.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Is the 16 Gauge Dead?"
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 10:51 am 
*Proud to be a*
*Proud to be a*
User avatar

Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 8:20 pm
Posts: 14239
Location: Williamsburg, Virginia
It is not dead, but there is a valid "Do Not Resuscitate" order.

_________________
What could have happened... did.
I do not trust Remington's dating service accuracy. If they were Match.com, you could end up with Nancy Pelosi.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Is the 16 Gauge Dead?"
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 10:54 am 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2016 6:28 pm
Posts: 1053
Location: Skeet and Trap Fields
The 16 gauge is perfect for those who can't make up their mind if they want a 12 or a 20.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Is the 16 Gauge Dead?"
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 11:06 am 
Crown Grade
User avatar

Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:46 am
Posts: 8361
Location: Colorado Springs, Co
There are plenty of shells available, so manufacturers are paying attention!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Is the 16 Gauge Dead?"
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 11:16 am 
Crown Grade
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:20 pm
Posts: 22565
Where it shines, IMO, is when it is built on a 20 gauge frame and weighs in the 6#-6oz arena

_________________
The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory, Aldo Gucci

Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience, George Carlin


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Is the 16 Gauge Dead?"
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 12:33 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
Posts: 5154
Location: Hemingway, S.C. 29554
The 16 ga. has a lot going for it. When I was a kid, some of my friends that were less than wealthy bought 16 ga. guns, particularly 311 Savages & similar models, because they were cheaper as few people wanted them. Currently, the 16 is seeing a resurgence of popularity as I think it deserves. There is a lot more to a shotgun than the size of the hole in the end of the barrel. I have had an urge to acquire a 16 ga. & if I do buy another shotgun, it will likely be a 16 ga. SXS but I probably won't. I already have more shotguns than I need that range from 20 ga. to 3.5" 10's. Actually, for all practical purposes, I already have a 16 ga. gun which is Pop's old bird gun that I shoot on a regular basis. It is a 12 ga. featherweight LC Smith built on a 20 ga. frame. It was never intended to fire heavy 12 ga. loads. To my knowledge, it has never fired loads heavier than 1 1/8 oz. & I usually shoot 1 oz. loads in it. It pretty much duplicates the weight & handling qualities of a 16 ga. firing the same weight loads. There were a lot of light weight 12s made in Europe & England in earlier years intended for light bird loads. Many were proofed for 8,000 psi.. Today the typical 12 ga. has 3" chambers, if not 3.5" chambers & if you want a light fast handling bird gun, you have little alternative but to go to a gauge smaller than a 12. There isn't a huge amount of difference between the performance of 1 & 1 1/8 oz. loads in a 12 & in a 16ga. gun! The 3" 20 has a large following. Two of my sxs 20's have 3" chambers but to date I have never fired a 3" load in either. I may change that soon. I just acquired about 300, 3" WAA CF, 20 ga. hulls. I thought they would be useful for the 1 oz. bismuth load & the 1 1/8 oz. lead load. I will go to a bigger gun if I need heavier loads than that!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Is the 16 Gauge Dead?"
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 12:50 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:46 pm
Posts: 1710
Location: SW Missouri
My opinion on this is that it is not dead but I also don't see it making a comeback either. When the game of skeet became popular, the gauges chosen were 12, 20, 28, and .410. The 16 was left out. This no doubt hurt the 16 as almost all target ammo was tailored to the 4 popular skeet gauges.

The 16 still has hunting loads between 1 ounce and 1 1/4 ounce. The 3" 20 gauge allows the 20 gauge to also have hunting loads up to 1 1/4 ounces and of course the 12 gauge covers 1 ounce and 1 1/4 ounce loads quite well itself. So essentially you have three gauges that overlap at 1 ounce to 1 1/4 ounce loads. So if someone already owns a 12 or 20 gauge, the 16 gauge doesn't offer any payload that you can't already shoot with your existing gun. And due to the popularity of the 12 gauge and 20 gauge (in part due to the skeet rules), ammo manufactures sell more ammo for those gauges and sink more of their product development into those gauges. New heavier than lead loads, flite control wads, Longbeard resin loads, other non toxic loads, etc. were developed for the 12 and 20 but not so much for the 16 since it has a smaller market share. All of this combines to ensure that the 16 will not surpass the 20 gauge or the 12 gauge anytime soon.

As to the 3 gauges overlapping 1 ounce to 1 1/4 ounce loads, many people will say that the 3" 20 gauge shells will not pattern as good as the 16 due to longer shot column, barrel scrub, setback, etc. First, in my experience, the difference between patterns shot between a 20 gauge and a 16 gauge with the same payload is negligible at best. The 16 gauge might put a few more pellets of a given shot charge in a 30" circle than a 20 gauge will so on paper the argument is not wrong. But in practical use, a pheasant, dove, quail, rabbit, or grouse will not be able to tell the difference. And with more product development focused on the 20 gauge, you can find a better selection of quality shells for the 20 than you can the 16 which closes any gap to almost non existent.

Second, the same argument used against the 20 gauge (longer shot column, barrel scrub, setback, etc.) can also be used against the 16 gauge when comparing it to the 12 gauge. So if you believe that the miniscule amount of increase in performance (assuming there is one) that the 16 gauge has over the 20 gauge is absolutely vital and critical to your success and that means you choose the 16 gauge, then you would have to also believe that the miniscule amount of increase in performance of the 12 gauge over the 16 gauge would also be vital and critical to your success thus forcing you to choose the 12 gauge. Point is, a 1 ounce, 1 1/8 ounce, or 1 1/4 ounce load out of any of the three gauges is going to end in the same result a vast majority of the time. The 16 doesn't possess some magical formula that makes it's 1 ounce or 1 1/8 ounce payload more deadly and devastating than the same payload fired from a 20 gauge or 12 gauge which is why people who already own a 12 or 20 aren't inclined to rush out and buy a 16.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Is the 16 Gauge Dead?"
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 2:19 pm 
Gunsmith
Gunsmith

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 4:46 pm
Posts: 864
Location: Commerce Michigan
Pretty much dead. Other than nostalgia, there’s no real need for it.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Is the 16 Gauge Dead?"
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 2:25 pm 
Diamond Grade
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:58 am
Posts: 1576
Location: Omaha, NE
Fortunately need doesn’t figure much when it comes to sporting guns. That’s a good thing, otherwise we’d have only a couple rifle calibers and a couple handgun calibers.

_________________
“With age comes wisdom but sometimes age comes alone.”
-Oscar Wilde


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Is the 16 Gauge Dead?"
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 2:27 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
Posts: 5154
Location: Hemingway, S.C. 29554
"----it isn't dead but I don't see it making a comback---"
It already has! When I was in HS, you couldn't give a 16 away. Dad considered it a "[email protected][email protected]" gauge. There are more new 16 ga. guns made today than I have seen in the last 50+ years. The same argument can be made for the 16 that is made against it. If you have a 16, why own a 12 or a 20? I love my 20s but I really don't like the 20 ga. 1.25 oz. load. If it works for you, go for it, personally, I'll pass. Outside of duck hunting, I rarely shoot that heavy a load in a 12 ga., & yes, it works better in a 10. I don't know where you will find a better handling or better balanced bird gun than a good SXS 16 & yes, it does have snob appeal. That reminds me of a story I read years ago. I don't recall the particulars but it went something like this. There was a wealthy European nobleman that always hunter with a 14 gauge SXS. He was asked, " You can easily afford any gun you want, why do you insist on shooting a 14 gauge? " His answer was, "because I got tired of people bumming shells from me." That is sort of one of the reasons I started shooting the 10. Everybody & his dog was shooting a 12, I wanted to be different. Another reason was for a few years, you didn't have to shoot steel if you were using a 10 ga. or a 20. One year, I was top gun on the Santee Delta draw hunt shooting my LC Smith 20 ga.!
Like they say, to each his own but I never did give a flip what others did!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Is the 16 Gauge Dead?"
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 2:56 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:54 pm
Posts: 299
Yes it is dead, now let it rest ...... :lol: :lol: In the mid '70's I re member an "expert" in one of the gun rags writing how the 45-70 was obsolete and of no use in todays world. How many times He ate crow in the next 30 years would have been fun to watch. :shock: .


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Is the 16 Gauge Dead?"
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 3:13 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:19 pm
Posts: 254
Location: Clemmons NC
If the ammo companies would re-introduce the old low brass 2 3/4 dram 1 1/8 oz load, I would order a Grulla or Armas Garbi tomorrow.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Is the 16 Gauge Dead?"
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 3:17 pm 
Diamond Grade
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:35 pm
Posts: 1808
Location: AZ (heart in KS)
I believe we've had this conversation ;)

2007
https://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?t=98946
2008
https://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewto ... 2&t=156226

Maybe not :)
https://www.petersenshunting.com/editor ... uge/369888



_________________
http://sites.google.com/a/damascusknowl ... m/www/home

Richard Baxter (1615-1691), Directions Against Covetousness
"Be more careful to use what you have, than to get more."

Kingsley Brown "Shoot more, shop less."


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 66 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Registered users: Auldthymer, bfre49849, Bing [Bot], Blackdog56, Bladeswitcher, browning66, bullseye-69, bwpkck, Chris Ferres, chumly2071, Cookr21, DEG, dogchaser37, double20, ebcjr, fullgallon, Gadwall, Google [Bot], Google Adsense [Bot], Google Feedfetcher, Irish Red & White, Jaspo01, Keperkey, loneranger, lossking, lowdown20, Maser, McFarmer, Milkmaster, papershell, pcpharm, POINT3R, Rack-N-Roy, rbshire, remdog1187, Roger Gascoigne, Rooster booster, Ruminater_TX, runningquarters, Tidefanatic, Tron, twentyfivestraight, UKrifle&gun, valencman, Wilfred1955, willy1125


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group    - DMCA Notice