Color Coded huh?


August 22, 2008, 11:04 AM
I dont mean this to be directed at anyone in particular, or come across overly rude.


I have seen a TON of "Should XGauge be color Coded" Threads here and across the web.

Im not sure why this is such a hot topic.
From the first time I went hunting with my father and grandfather, I was always instructed to pay attention to what shells I had in my pocket, in my hand, and especially what i was loading into the shotgun.
Everyone in my family shot different guns, so there was always a mix of ammo in the field.

If you cant keep your shotshells straight, how do you keep your rifle/pistol brass in order?

Isn't it your responsibility to pay attention to what your loading into your firearm?

If its truly that big of an inconvenience to look at the shells, I would think the proper answer, would be to reload, and choose colors to reload in so that your fixing the problem for yourself. I would suspect that would make life a lot easier for anyone with this concern/problem.

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August 22, 2008, 11:12 AM
I agree, it is not a big deal. Whatever you do though, don't load a 12 gauge shell in a .410, the aftermath is gruesome.


August 22, 2008, 11:22 AM
I like the color-code idea. I do remember when (mostly) 12-Ga hulls were red, 16's purple, and 20's yellow. IIRC from my teen-age hunting years, Federal stuck very close to this, while Rem had both Green (Rem brand) and Blue (Peters) in 12Ga. Not sure of others; I just bought Federals, because they were less costly a box than Rem or Win at that time, usually around 50 cents a box less.

August 22, 2008, 11:28 AM
The unique issue created with you inadvertently drop a 20ga shell into the chamber of a 12 ga, and then chamber a 12 ga shell behind it necessitates color coding to some extent. Hence the yellow 20 ga shell.

While you can chamber a .270 in a .30-06 chamber (or 9mm in a 40S&W magazine) and fire it, it's not quite the same as a serious bore obstruction.

August 22, 2008, 11:34 AM
it isn't an issue that i care one way or the other on. my shotguns are all one guage. i also check my shells when buying and while loading to insure they are the correct size and guage.

August 22, 2008, 12:57 PM
Basically the 12 and 16 are too similar in size to immediately distinguish.
Different colors (they used to be) make the difference instant.
Stuff a 16 in a 12 and you have a useless gun for a period of time.

August 22, 2008, 01:40 PM
I do not see why it should cost any more, and am therefore in favor of color coding. But, what color are we goona make 28 gauge? The hulls I have now are all either red or green.

August 22, 2008, 04:00 PM
Anyone here ever heard of "KRYLON"
(spraypaint) sarcasm off

dagger dog
August 22, 2008, 04:45 PM
I think the 28's should be a nice candy cane red and white stripe or maybe a red green polka dot:p

Ron James
August 22, 2008, 06:42 PM
It doesn't matter if they are color coded in day glo colors. people will still camber a 16 in a 12 or whatever. When out in the field, most people don't even look at the shells as they reload. If they do look at the shells they are not thinking blue or green, The colors will not even register on their mind.

Zach S
August 23, 2008, 09:28 AM
I already use the color-coded idea. The Federal H132 00 buckshot is red, however my winchester slugs are green.

Now if all 12 gauge shells were the same color, that would work against me.

IMO all it takes is a little more precaution on our part. I haven't heard of anyone loading a 10mm round in their .45 pistol, and they are pretty close in size too.

Jeff F
August 23, 2008, 10:47 AM
Isn't it your responsibility to pay attention to what your loading into your firearm?

Yes it is! I was duck hunting with a couple of friends a few years back at an old cattle pond that we had set a string of decoys on. About a half hour after sunrise the first flock of the morning turned toward the calls and started the big circle to the pond. They decoy real pretty and Ray yells now. He and I come up and swing, its only about 35 yard shots I fire two shots at the same bird and hit nothing. Ray kills two with his first two shots. As it turns out the shells I had loaded were OO buck.

August 23, 2008, 02:39 PM
From what I hear, 28g should be painted to look like potato chips, 'cuz you can't have just one. :neener:

August 23, 2008, 02:51 PM
What, They make other gauges?

It makes sense to color code shells. no big deal to do it. If it helps folks be safe all the better. Does make it easier to spot certain types.

August 23, 2008, 06:31 PM
This thread and the other one on the same subject are starting to sound like a couple of San Francisco interior decorators considering paint colours.

"Oh dahling...the cerise is just the PERFECT colour for that big and bulky 12 gauge.

"And the lovely mauve brings out the color of your eyes when you are shooting the 16 gauge."

"20 gauge really must have a better color than just boring old yellow. How about a lovely flourescent peach?"

"The 28 gauge may be tiny but it's very impressive. Puce perhaps?"

"Magenta is just dreamy for the .410."

"The 10 gauge should be olive because anything else just clashes terribly with camo in the duck blind."

August 26, 2008, 03:57 PM
If the manufacturers cared about color codes way back when but don't now, why would they return? It is the consumers who didn't care. The Mfrg's obviously thought it unnecessary or found an even better use for colors within their own line.

Will the clueless (not those who are debating the merits) buying public care enough to campaign to the mfgr's? No, they are the "not so" shooter that probably won't care about colors the next time they pick up a box of shells at WM next year for their annual seasonal shenanigans and maybe make the wrong gauge mistake....


August 26, 2008, 04:45 PM
They could color code the whole system and I'd still check to make sure I'm using the right ammo. Mistakes happen - Whether on the field, in the range, or in the production line....

August 27, 2008, 10:50 AM
huh. Guess I have always just checked my shells out while prepping the day before. I have only 12 ga, so that makes it easier. But I also make sure what shot size I am putting where. #1 and #2 in the shell holder around my waist for ducks, Six 3.5"BB in my right coat pocket in case geese fly over. That's about it.

August 27, 2008, 11:13 AM
The older I get, the more I appreciate the color-code on some shotshells. Especially for the 16 ga vs 12 ga.

Eyesight ain't what it use to be for up-close. And my arms seem to be getting shorter every year.;)

August 27, 2008, 11:54 AM
Isn't it your responsibility to pay attention to what your loading into your firearm?

No. It's the ammo manufacturers responsibility to remove our heads from our hind quarters for us. We must be absolved of any responsibility in every aspect of our lives because we are slowly becoming idiots. In fact, if we get any dumber we will need watered twice a week.


August 27, 2008, 12:15 PM
If this is a serious thread, then I have to ask...anyone ever hit a quail with a slug???

...or really ticked off a deer with #8???

August 27, 2008, 12:59 PM
We must be absolved of any responsibility in every aspect of our lives because we are slowly becoming idiots.

That ain't far from the truth. As we've graduated away form the use of firearms for subsistance. What was once taught in almost every houshold is now being passed on to a select few. A lot of knowledge is forever being lost. Instead we rely on technology to see us through. Being a child of the 50's & 60's I was fortunate to have a Grandfather and Father who used firearms to supplement the dinner table. They taught, no they lived, firearm safety. For me color coding is a non issue. Especially mandatory color coding. We don't need more government. But if the ammo manufacturers all decided between themselves to do so, I would favor it. It may keep some poor dumbass, that you know and love, from having a life changing, or ending, experience. (just my .02) :)

August 27, 2008, 06:00 PM
I don't own that many shotguns but I can say that I have never feilded more than one at a time. I have gone out only to find I brought 12ga shells and a 20ga shotgun before. That only ended in a turn around trip.

August 27, 2008, 06:38 PM
I am super careful, but do appreciate any color coding I can get.

All of my 20ga stuff is yellow thus far but my 12ga shells are all over the spectrum except for yellow. I usually end up on combo trips hunting ducks in the morning and upland game in the afternoon. I have an 12ga for the ducks, but use my super light weight 20ga for upland game. If I screw that up by taking a 20ga shell into the duck blind by accident it could be really really really bad.

August 27, 2008, 07:02 PM
I'm old enough to remember when shells mainly were color coded with 12s being red and 20s being yellow. Now the only thing I use is 12 guage but a buddy of mine when we were kids had a 20 gauge. While it's the users responsiblity to inspect his ammo to ensure he is using the right ammo for the weapon, the color coding made it a lot easier at a glance to distinguish which one was which. Necessary? No. Convienant? Yup.

August 27, 2008, 09:43 PM
It's a rainbow coalition in my gun room. One color would be discriminatory.

Here's a rough look at what I have in 12 gauge alone in either shells or hulls.

Medium red -- Winchester
Light red -- Kent
Dark red -- Federal
Light grey -- Winchester
Dark grey -- Winchester
Light blue -- Challenger
Dark blue -- Kent
Green -- Remington
Dark green -- Kent
Light green -- Kent
White -- Brenneke
White -- Rio
White -- Federal
Gold -- Remington
Orange -- Sellier and Belliot

If they were all the same color I'd be terribly confused. ;)

August 28, 2008, 02:24 PM
I killed a dove (flying) with a Winchester Double X buffered #4 Buckshot load once. It was red. I also killed a dove with a Winchester Super X 28 gauge 7-1/2. And, it was red, too. The second one was a lot more... edible.
Do you think it would have tasted different if the buckshot load had been blue?

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