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Should 16 gauge shells be color coded?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by bestseller92, Aug 15, 2008.

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Should the ammo makers color code 16 gauge shotshells to avoid confusion?

  1. Yes. It's a prudent step.

    55.6%
  2. No. Pay attention and you'll be fine.

    44.4%
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  1. bestseller92

    bestseller92 Member

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    A few months ago I was running some shells through my Mossberg 500A 12 gauge -- not firing it, just running some ammunition through the action after having cleaned it and given it a bit of lube.

    This gun had never jammed or experienced any kind of feeding failure of any kind, so I was greatly disappointed when one of the shells failed to eject properly.

    Then, upon inspecting the offending shell more closely, I saw the problem -- it was a 16 gauge shell (for my H&R Topper 16 gauge single shot) which had gotten mixed in with a box of 12 gauge ammo.

    Woops!

    I immediately took steps to prevent this from occurring again by laboriously writing "16" on the brass of every 16 gauge shell I owned with a Sharpie pen. But this could have been avoided altogether if the ammo makers would color code 16 gauge shells the way they do 20 gauge ammo (which, as I'm sure you know, is all yellow).

    Seems to me that all 16 gauge shells used to be purple (correct me if I'm wrong), but they aren't color coded at all anymore.

    Anyway, do you all think 16 gauge shells should be color coded by the ammo makers, or that it's not that big of a deal? (I assume 16 gauge shells can't get stuck halfway down a 12 gauge barrel the way 20's can, so maybe it's not quite as dangerous).

    What do you think?
     
  2. enfield

    enfield Member

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    As I recall, only Federal 16's were purple. Winchesters were red and Remingtons black or green. I'd prefer all 16's to be a unique color just for sorting purposes.
     
  3. PJR

    PJR Member

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    Not that big of a deal because as you noted the 16 can't go foward like the 20. As an aside while the 12-20 burst is pretty common knowledge less common is the 20-28 burst. A 28 gauge will slip into the forcing cone of a 20 gauge.

    I think the solution is to get rid of the 16 gauge. ;)
     
  4. chas08

    chas08 Member

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    I know your kidding ...but...:cuss:

    I would favor a color coding of the different gauges, It would simplify things for the less vigilant. :)
     
  5. 35Rem

    35Rem Member

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    I've got a box of Federals, that might be 10 years old, so they were, at least some were, purple that long (short time) ago. My dad has untold purple shells.
    It makes good sense for them to be instantly recognizable.
    It is a big deal, when younger, I grabbed a 16 that was red, like the 12's and stuffed it in a Remington Model 11 magazine. It immediately jumped the cartridge stop and lodged under the bolt, above the carrier. It was a b%**#( to get out.

    I used them for this picture because they would be recognized as 16's.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. machinisttx

    machinisttx Member

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    I've got some Fiocchi 16 gauge shells that have a blue hull. I've never had a problem getting shells mixed up between guns, but then again I have different vests and waist pouches for each gauge--plus I always completely empty the pouch on my stool before putting anything different in it.

    I won't argue if they want to color code them, but I don't think it's necessary.
     
  7. 45crittergitter

    45crittergitter Member

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    What color was the offending shell, bestseller? I think 16s should be blue/purple, and many are, but I've some that are black, green, and red, plus the assortment of blues and purples. Some 12 ga. guns will chamber and fire 16 ga. shells, and the results ain't exactly pretty.
     
  8. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    Or get rid of all the other ones since 16 does a better job :)
     
  9. lloydkristmas

    lloydkristmas Member

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    My sixteen gauge shells look exactly like my twelve gauge shells, at first glance. But the only 16 ga I have is an old bolt action junker, and the only 5 shells I own for it are in a butt cuff on the stock, so Im not too worried about a mix up....
     
  10. Der Verge

    Der Verge Member

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    I don't see there being anything wrong with color coding all gauges. :uhoh:

    Black for 12
    Yellow for 20
    Purple for 16
    Blue for 28
    Red for 10

    But then, if we left it up to our government to in act some sort of law on this, they would take years to settle on the colors, what color for what gauge, do shotshells cause cancer when you are in the state of California?, what gauge does the GOP prefer?, how can we waste more tax payers money while we are at it?, etc etc etc.......:barf:

    Just pay attention and you will be fine. You should not be so lax while handling firearms anyway.......
     
  11. jclifton

    jclifton Member

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    I think they should be color coded. A friend and I were quail hunting the edges of a huge milo field one cool morning. Man, there was a covey around every bend. I evidently had one 16 gauge shell left in my vest, and it jammed in my 12 gauge when fired. I left a dog on point and was hauling butt to the truck for a back up. My buddy didn't know what was going on, and flipped out. Man was he mad! I spotted some wild sunflowers and used the stalk of one as a ramrod. We both have 16's and 12's now, and are more careful. It's funny this would come up as a thread because I have discussed this with others in the past.
     
  12. Kentucky-roughrider

    Kentucky-roughrider Member

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    Yes, but I like
    Black for 10 gauges
    Red for 12
    Orange for 16
    Yellow for 20
    Green for 28
    Blue for 410 bore
    This should not involve the goverment at all, they'll just mess it up.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 20, 2008
  13. PTK

    PTK Member

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    The easiest solution is to sell your 12ga, and your 20ga. Just stick with 16ga and 28ga, maybe a .410. :D
     
  14. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    Perhaps we should color code 25-06 so it won't get put in a 270, which should in turn be color coded so it won't be put in a 30-06. While we're at it lets color code 243 so it won't get put in a 260, which should in turn be color coded so it won't get put in a 7mm-08, which should in turn be color coded so it won't get put into a 308, which should in be color coded so it won't be put into '96 Mausers and similar weaker actions that are chambered for the 7.62x51 NATO cartridge. We should also color code 5.56x45 NATO so it won't get put into tight .223 chambered guns. It would also be good to color code 9x23 Winchester so it doesn't stuffed into .38 Super that can't handle the higher pressure. Let's don't forget to color code all +P+ ammo so it doesn't get put into handguns that handle it either. :neener:
     
  15. Guns and more

    Guns and more member

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    I'd rather color code shells within a gauge. Buckshot is red, slugs are blue, birdshot yellow. Hmmm?
     
  16. PJR

    PJR Member

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    Easier still would be keeping the 12 and 28 and getting rid of the rest. That's what I did.
     
  17. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    Are we going to ask for the colors to be written out on each shell in Braille for the colorblind amongst us?

    Can't be too careful. ;)

    John
     
  18. oletymer

    oletymer Member

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    Just pay attention to what you are doing. I can't believe a person can't tell the difference with different calibers and gauges when getting ammo out to go shooting.
     
  19. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

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    I have seen several ammo mix-ups at pistol matches. Twice I have seen a .40 get loaded into a 9mm magazine and cause a harmless jam. Once a 9mm found its way into a .40 Glock and fired! it made a funny pop and a smoke ring came out of the barrel. Everyone present yelled STOP as it sounded like a primer and no powder. The case mouth was belled out but it caused no damage. The bullet actually hit the target tumbling and made a sideways hole.
    I can see how someone could load the wrong size shell if they were distracted or nervous and color codeing is a good idea if the ammo makers do so VOULENTAIRLY.

    Just don't get the government involved. Nothing good can come from that.

    To me 16GA shells should be purple or blue.
    12's red or green
    20's yellow
     
  20. PJR

    PJR Member

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    I guess the Europeans are made of sterner stuff than North Americans. They don't require the 20 gauge to be colored over there although many are because of sales to the North American market.

    Requiring the color coding of all shotgun shells seems on a par with sewing your name into your underwear. It's critical for some people but most of us can get by without it.
     
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