Why no more 16 gauge?


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CSestp
February 23, 2012, 02:45 AM
My father swore by his old sweet 16. Have heard the same thing by others. Why did they quit making the 16 gauge?

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Isaac-1
February 23, 2012, 03:28 AM
I don't know for sure, but I suspect that the introduction of magnum length rounds in 20 GA was probably part of it, the timing would be about right and a 3 inch 20GA shell would be roughly equal to a 16 GA standard shell.

CSestp
February 23, 2012, 03:33 AM
That seems to make since. I really feel stupid for having to ask, but is 2.75 inch the longest you can get in 16 gauge??

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Virginian
February 23, 2012, 06:12 AM
The 16 faded because the 12 and 20 overlapped it's performance, and unless a gun is made proportionally for the gauge there is no advantage in any direction. The manufacturers were more than happy to stop making a different receiver/frame size as well. Very few new shooters out there looking for a 16. Everyone who loves or wants one usually already has one or more.
A lot of people love 16s, but I never got it, and I have shot a lot of proportioned 16s in different action types. For those who tout the performance with a weight advantage over the 12, I find a 20 will match the performance with even less weight, and for those who tout the recoil advantage I find lite loads in a 12 will do even more recoil abatement.
The fact that is isn't one of the four gauges recognized for registered skeet no doubt didn't help it either.
The truth is they just like 16s, and nothing at all wrong with that. I'm the same way about the .44 Special, and I have the same problem. Not enough market to make new guns widely available.

HiWayMan
February 23, 2012, 07:23 AM
I think Virginian hit the nail on the head. The 12 and 20 overlap has done it in. The same thing has basically happened with the 10ga. Magnum 12ga loads give about the same performance, but a dedicated 10 is nice for the added weight.

monkyboy1975
February 23, 2012, 07:37 AM
The old 16 hasn't totally disappeared. There are still a few manufacturers making them. Off the top of my head, Browning still offers a BPS pump, and Ithaca is offering a 16 GA pump as well. And there are a few others making double guns as well. But Virginian did hit it with the reasoning behind it's loss in popularity.

Grousefeather
February 23, 2012, 07:51 AM
I have a 16 SXS and love it. But I was always led to belive tha the 16 fell out of favor because the game of skeet in its heyday did not offer a class for that gauge.

oneounceload
February 23, 2012, 12:21 PM
Why did they quit making the 16 gauge?

I guess it depends on who "THEY" are, as the 16 gauge is alive and well from many makers.

Check out the 16 gauge society, www.16ga.com and you'll find a wealth of info dedicated to the 16

But I was always led to belive tha the 16 fell out of favor because the game of skeet in its heyday did not offer a class for that gauge.

The ORIGINAL game of skeet, aka "around the clock", DID have the 16 - it was a five bore size game way back when

dyce51
February 23, 2012, 02:46 PM
I often wondered about the 16's. I have an old Remington model 11-48 16 ga.semi auto that kicks like a mule but I love the gun....I usually run Brenneke Classic Magnum 2 3/4" ammo but even that ammo is getting harder to find....

DM~
February 23, 2012, 03:28 PM
I love my 16's!

Where i live, buying ammo is no problem and it works as good as it ever did!

DM

Cmeboston
February 23, 2012, 03:40 PM
I love my 16's too!

T Bran
February 23, 2012, 03:51 PM
I have an Ithica model 37 16 gague pump with a factory poly type choke. It is a nice lite gun in pretty nice condition. Wish I had a use for it but as ammo is scarce down here I've only fired it a couple times.
I got it in a group of guns that I bought from the widow of a friend and it has lived in the safe ever since. I'd like to trade it for a .410 pump or double BBL so it is going to the next gun show with me.
T

ATLDave
February 23, 2012, 04:07 PM
Here's an article that waxes rhapsodic about the virtues of the 16 gauge relative to 12 and 20. The author contends that the compact shot string makes for 12 levels of effectiveness of flying targets, but with recoil and weight similar to a 20.

http://www.billhanusbirdguns.com/archive02.html

PJR
February 23, 2012, 04:25 PM
The 16 gauge is very popular in Europe. The French seem to love it but they also love stinky cheese, Citroens, EuroDisney and Jerry Lewis. The Germans thought it was okay but only when mounted above a rifle barrel in a drilling.

The English believe a man should shoot a 12 gauge and regard the 16 as being best left to effete members of the aristocracy who were caned so often in private school they began to like it and large rawboned women of uncertain sexual preference.

The 16 gauge is enjoying a renaissance which is to be expected because "renaissance" is a French word. :p

chas08
February 23, 2012, 05:02 PM
I'd rather have a 16 than a 20. In fact I have six of them residing in my safe. Two of which saw a lot of duck hunting action this past year. Particularly my Remington Model 31 and my Ithaca 37. Hard to say which of those two is my favorite. I really see no distinct advantage in the gauge itself, it's just different and I like it. It was my Grandfathers gauge of choice for his only shotgun. Ammo is no problem. The UPS man drops it off a case or two at a time.

oneounceload
February 23, 2012, 06:00 PM
When I ask friends who shoot nice SxS guns, especially for upland, which bore size(s) they prefer, etc., it is unanimous - the 28 for small pen-raised quail and the like, and the 16 for everything else. One gent is having a custom 16 made - he won't say what and has us guessing -but it will be over a year before we get to see it. Knowing him, it will have gorgeous wood and some lovely engraving to go along with its excellent handling

Tim37
February 23, 2012, 06:44 PM
its strange what becomes popular in this world. a 28 gauge is a much better starter gun that a 410 but people just dont buy them. i would much rather shoot a 38 super than a 9mm but they just arnt any where near as common.

Cmeboston
February 23, 2012, 07:07 PM
Bass pro sells 16 ga sport loads for $6.99 IIRC, not that much more expensive, if you shoot trap alot you may want to consider reloading...


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foghornl
February 23, 2012, 09:27 PM
i started out shotgunning with "pops" {grandfather} Savage/Stevens Mdl 94B in 16Ga.

Mod choke, and that light "Tenite" stock & forend. Brutal on both ends.

Liberty1776
February 23, 2012, 09:49 PM
it's a good question. dunno why. I've hunted with my 16's more than aaaany thing else for the last 40 years. Used to love it for ducks too, back in the "olden-golden" days, when you could still get good lead shot loads to use on ducks...

sting75ray
February 23, 2012, 10:59 PM
I have a Model 12 Winchester in my collection that I have never shot. Dad had it for years and I think he only shot it one time.

coolluke01
February 23, 2012, 11:20 PM
16 Ga got a bad rap because a 16 ga shell will slide halfway down a 12 ga barrel. This could be very bad if someone just racks another round and fires. Making them purple helps. The 20 ga was seen as safer as it will slide all the way through a 12 ga.
I like my single shot 16 ga. Nice and light and is plenty for grouse with #8 shot. You get more lead out of a 16 ga than a 20 ga.

paintballdude902
February 24, 2012, 12:22 AM
16 Ga got a bad rap because a 16 ga shell will slide halfway down a 12 ga barrel. This could be very bad if someone just racks another round and fires. Making them purple helps. The 20 ga was seen as safer as it will slide all the way through a 12 ga.
I like my single shot 16 ga. Nice and light and is plenty for grouse with #8 shot. You get more lead out of a 16 ga than a 20 ga.


ehhhhh are you sure about this? cause i remember at boy scout camp many years ago they demonstrated this and the 20ga stayed in the barrel

edit the rim of a 20ga is .699 and the size of a 12ga is .729. well lets say you have a full in it then that subtracts .035 from the bore. that leaves a muzzle bore diameter of .694. so improved cylinder or less and you are correct, but any more constriction than that and you got your self a shell stuck in the bore

coolluke01
February 24, 2012, 12:41 AM
Ok, but it would be all the way at the end of the barrel and it wouldn't hurt as much as if it were closer. :neener:
Also a 20ga shell would be hard to mistake for a 12ga. It would be like trying to feed a .223 into a .270. A 16ga feels a lot closer to a 12ga in size.

Virginian
February 24, 2012, 01:01 AM
Doesn't really matter why I don't suppose, it just is. And legions of true believers are not making much headway with new shooters, who all seem to want a camo 3-1/2" 12 gauge.

interlock
February 24, 2012, 03:24 AM
The English believe a man should shoot a 12 gauge and regard the 16 as being best left to effete members of the aristocracy who were caned so often in private school they began to like it and large rawboned women of uncertain sexual preference.

i like the theory... but i am not sure its true

Furncliff
February 24, 2012, 10:29 AM
My daughter and I have been shooting hand guns and rifles together for about ten years. I think she needs a new challenge and recently uncased an Ithaca SXS in 16 that my wife gave me for Christmas 30 some years ago. Truth be told I was never any good with it, but I'm looking forward to trying it again. I was planing to order shells but was surprised to find the Walmart in town had a couple of choices.

mgmorden
February 24, 2012, 10:35 AM
First gun I ever hunting with was a 16 ga automatic (truth be told I'm not even positive on the brand - it was my uncle's gun that my dad borrowed for me to hunt with before I had my own).

For dog driving deer with buckshot they were great guns.

Alas, I have to say that while I would like to buy one for nostalgic purposes, between my 12ga's and my 20ga there's no gap in usefulness that needs filling.

Owen Sparks
February 24, 2012, 11:07 AM
Another blow against the 16GA is that you can not find slugs and buckshot for it.

30.06
February 24, 2012, 11:29 AM
Slugs and Buckshot loads are available .

http://www.midwayusa.com/find?&sortby=1&itemsperpage=20&newcategorydimensionid=10148

SWAMPUS
February 24, 2012, 12:25 PM
I say-let's face it.There is a niche for the venerable 16.I use 12's & 20's for skeet because of the price and ready availability of ammo.Bird hunting,since I don't go everyday,is special and the 16 NID goes along.Also the 28.I have 3 16gas.NID,Rem 11-48,ancient Riverside sxs with ears.Paid a grand total of $800 for all three and love 'em all.There's just something about birding with a 16.Nostalgia I guess.Same reason I like old shotguns over new.Everyone who has several shotguns should have at least one 16 in their collection.You may be surprised how often you take it huntiing.:)

CSestp
February 24, 2012, 12:32 PM
It's a shame it seems, with all these company's revamping shells and rounds that the 16 never got its own 3 inch mag version, or perhaps even a 3.25. Version. I think I'm going to be keeping my eye out for a Browning a 5 sweet 16. Being that was one of the few true built to be 16 gushed frame, insteed of just slapping it on a 12 gauge gram.

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jaguarxk120
February 24, 2012, 12:55 PM
If there was a 16 Gauge 3 inch magnum it would have killed off the 12 gauge, just as the 3 1/2 inch 12 gauge is killing off the 10 gauge.

With a 3 inch 16 gauge and the 28 gauge there is no need for the 10,12,20, and 410!!

I think as time go's on the 16 will become more popular as hunting area's will demand smaller shot payloads and non toxic shot. A 1 oz. load from a 16 will do the same job as 1 1/4 oz. from a 12 gauge.

Still Shooting
February 25, 2012, 01:04 PM
The article (link) posted by ATLDave brings up a good point. While the 20 and 12 both have a place, and I own both (SKB550 20ga. and Ainsley Fox 12 ga. Sterlingworth), I still love my Ithaca Featherlight 16. The Fox goes with me for open country pheasant, and the SKB is a nice little woodcock gun, but the Ithaca was my only shotgun at first

It's light enough to carry all day in tough cover, throws enough shot to get that grouse before he can duck behind the nearest tree, and will knock down a mallard that I "jump" while walking alongside a stream. Yes, I can get as much shot and velocity from a 3" 20ga., but the tube is smaller, and the shot string is longer. It's easier to miss a 50mph bird with the 20 ga.

Virginian
February 25, 2012, 03:45 PM
I think everyone talking about a rebirth for the 16 is experiencing wishful thinking. They've been saying it for 40 years. It is what it is. It's not dying, but it isn't growing either.

jaguarxk120
February 25, 2012, 03:50 PM
Virginian, thats because the stupid gun companys want to make 12 gauge HD guns as cheaply as possible.

The loading company's are making a huge proffet from the 20 gauage shells, same price but less materials (less powder/shot).

Zombiphobia
February 25, 2012, 04:51 PM
My first buck with both antlers intact was taken with a 16ga loaned from a family friend. I don't remember the make or model, just that it was a 16ga with purple shells.


Buck was about 20 yards away staring right at me, I centered the bead on his chest.. click.. forgot to chamber a shell.. done... re-aim bang flop.
Dropped my buck in his tracks with a lucky pellet in the brain. 5 points, still have the antlers with the buck-shot hole in the skull at my father's place.

yeah, it was a shotgun rut kill. Back then I apparently hunted with some people who didn't follow all the rules and I hadn't yet become privy to them.


Did the 10ga kill of the 8ga? Wish i could get one of those in safetyl shootable condition for under an $armandleg.99 + tax

DM~
February 25, 2012, 10:29 PM
You guys need to do your research better, the 3" 16ga. ammo came and went away LONG ago...

DM

CSestp
February 25, 2012, 11:58 PM
Really what brands made a 16 gauge to hold 3 inch??

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jaguarxk120
February 26, 2012, 09:32 AM
To add to that, What company's loaded and sold 3 inch 16 gauge shells.

PabloJ
February 26, 2012, 10:12 AM
The 12ga comes in from 2" to 3.5" shell lengths with extra light game guns weighing <6lb to 8lb+ wildfowling guns so there is no need for the 16ga. What can be accomplished with 16br can be surpassed with purpose built 12br.

Virginian
February 26, 2012, 10:34 AM
Every time a gun company makes a run of 16s they last forever and ever. Not even those that like them are willing to fork over the money for a gun that won't really do anything their other guns can't do, and unless they reload, will cost more for ammo that is harder to find in wide variety.

DM~
February 26, 2012, 01:38 PM
To add to that, What company's loaded and sold 3 inch 16 gauge shells.

Winchester for one, you guys need to do some research, there were a LOT of 16ga guns made with 3" chambers!

DM

CSestp
February 26, 2012, 01:51 PM
Please name one. There was 3 inch un-crimped made but it was not 3 inch over all. So I say again please name a company which made a true 3 inch 16 gauge shotgun.

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Dave McCracken
February 26, 2012, 03:58 PM
Sorry, I haven't seen any 3" 16 gauge guns or shells. Yet.

Since the 16 is a superb performer with either an oz or 7/8 oz of shot, I do not expect to see any 3" versions.

If you need for than an oz of shot for something, maybe a 16 is not the best choice....

DM~
February 26, 2012, 05:02 PM
I do believe there were a few Winchester 21's built chambered in 16ga 3", and numerous others.

DM

chas08
February 26, 2012, 07:39 PM
I do believe there were a few Winchester 21's built chambered in 16ga 3", and numerous others.
Your original post got my curiosity going. So I googled it several different ways, checked the 16ga Society website, and a couple of other forums. I drew blanks everywhere I looked. If they were numerous they would be easy to find, if they in fact did exist. So now I'm through looking. Personally, I think that for what a 16ga, is, the 2 3/4" version is all that I will ever need or want.

monkyboy1975
February 26, 2012, 08:15 PM
Same here.This did get my curiosity spiked.I did some googleing myself, and looked at a number of cartridge collecting sites and turned up nothing.Would like to see an example. If the world of firearms has taught me something, that would be to never say never. I'm sure somebody has probably tried it.

DM~
February 26, 2012, 10:15 PM
You must not have looked very hard on the 16ga site, i found this quite fast,

http://16ga.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6828

SO, as i said, it's been done, there's been numerous guns chambered for 3".

DM

chas08
February 26, 2012, 10:32 PM
You must not have looked very hard on the 16ga site,
I have an ancient English double-barrel shotgun, sixteen gauge of course, that fires three inch shells.
I saw a box of winchester 3"-16ga shells on gun broker 3 or 4 months ago,Starting price $1600.00.
Nope, that one got by me. I thought we were talking modern day "American" stuff, not special runs. And all this time I thought $3.00 a shot to kill Ducks was expensive...lol...chas

DM~
February 26, 2012, 10:39 PM
IF you took the time to look further, you would find out that it was offered more than once by more than one mfg., also, that quite a few different 16's were chambered so...

SO, YES it was tried (more than once) and YES "american" ammo makers made the ammo and sold shotguns to take the ammo... NOT just a spl. run or two!

Just as i posted in my first post...

DM

WardenWolf
February 27, 2012, 02:19 AM
A lot of what did these intermediate calibers in is improvements in recoil compensation. A modern 12 gauge can very well kick less than a 16 or 20 gauge from decades past. Improved alloys and lighter guns also contributed. As a result, there's very little need for anything in between 12 and 20.

You are also starting to see a decline in .410 as 28 gauge starts to make a comeback, for these same reasons. Both manufacturers and shooters are recognizing the severe limitations of .410, and that improvements in firearms technology have made obsolete its primary reason for existence: light weight and low recoil.

monkyboy1975
February 27, 2012, 04:59 AM
"You must not have looked very hard on the 16ga site, i found this quite fast"

Didn't look for the info over there; I clicked on the linked posted earlier, and only saw a picture of a couple of gents with shotguns.....wouldn't let me go any farther.:o

chas08
February 27, 2012, 10:35 AM
I did find this in an article by Chuck Hawks;
There has never been a 3 inch Magnum 16 gauge shell, although these are common for the 12 and 20 gauges. This disparity allows the 3" 20 gauge shell to carry the same payload as the 2 3/4 inch 16 gauge Magnum shell.
http://www.chuckhawks.com/16gauge.htm

Grousefeather
February 27, 2012, 12:53 PM
I remember some of the old timers at the gun clubs I started at years ago. They always said how the 16 threw almost perfect patterns and thats why they were favored so much by grouse and woodcock hunters.

DM~
February 27, 2012, 03:26 PM
I did find this in an article by Chuck Hawks;

http://www.chuckhawks.com/16gauge.htm

I guess that shows how much he knows! lol

I've seen numerous other "errors" in his articles too...

DM

Dave McCracken
February 27, 2012, 04:09 PM
Grousefeather, that was the old "Square Load" concept.

Supposedly, something magical happens when the height of the shot column equals the bore diameter. This occurs with the 16 at 1 oz, and 3/4 oz with the 28 gauge.

Both seem to work better than they should. However....

Using the best modern components, that 1 oz in a 12 gauge does wonderful things when properly centered on the target. So does a 3/4 oz load in any gauge.

Short shot columns are very efficient, keeping more pellets in the pattern. In part, that is due to the rearmost pellets staying rounder at launch and thus capable of staying in the pattern. Combined with a good shot cup, progressive powders that ease acceleration a bit and other improvements, we can come up with a 7/8 oz load that puts as many pellets where it counts as a 1 1/8 oz load from Days Of Yore.

Still, while I've no 16s in the stable at present, if I find the right one.....

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