Is the 16 coming back?

Anything and everything related to ammunition can be posted here.

Moderator: ripjack13


.22LR
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:53 pm
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:37 pm
It was near death. The once loved 16 gauge shell was on its last legs, and no one was shooting them when I was a kid in western Kansas. It was Remington Model 11's and Winchester Model 12s and even a 97 or two. No 16s. A few 20s, but only for we kids. Real men shot 12 gauge Winchester Model 12s and liked them.

A few years ago I picked up a Winchester Model 12, 16 gauge gun. A long skinny barreled beast with no finish on the receiver, full choke. It was quite a lot smaller than the same gun in 12 gauge. I bought it. Then I found an Ithaca 37. Those are the only 16s that I own, but they are lighter and faster than any 12 and they pattern fine. I can shoot a 1 oz loading just like a 12 gauge, but the gun is lighter. I like the 16.

What killed the 16 was the 3" magnum 20 gauge shell, which when it came out was all the rage. You shot them in 20s with the appropriate chamber length, but you could also shoot the regular 20 in there. So you could shoot the magnum in a much lighter gun and that darn thing not only kicked, it barked like mad too. They also discovered that it didn't pattern very well. After a few decades, while they still make them, the 20 magnum has begun to fad. So what is a body to do?

Why buy a 16 of course! More and more people are shooting them. Ithaca made their reborn model 37 in 16 and then dropped it. I see it is now back. Harray!!

I have to admit that one of the reasons that I am drawn to the 16 is that I like to be eccentric...yeah I'm a little weird, but not quite half a bubble out of plumb. I love my 16s and for upland game they are my go to gun for that kind of hunting. Lighter than a 12, but shoots like one.

I just can't seem to wrap myself around the 28, another gauge for weirdos....sorry I just can't do it. For what it does I think a 20 is fine, and the shells are hard to find and more expensive too.

Let's all buy a 16 and shoot only it for a few years. They'll make more shells and guns, which is just what I'd like to see. Oh, and that 20 mag of yours? If hunting around me please just load it with regular shells, that CRACK is driving me crazy!

.270 WIN
Posts: 375
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:33 pm
Location: Nova Scotia,Canada
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 8:58 am
The 16 gauge seems to go into a nose dive every so often.Then there is an out cry of support for it and it makes a bit of a come back for awhile.There seems to be enough support for it from die hard uses that it stays in production by some manufacturers .Also as it was once a very popular gauge and there are quite a few old Ithacas ,Winchesters,Remingtons etc. around to help keep up some demand for the shells.

At present I know of no one in my area using a 16 gauge shotgun.In the past I had a Remington Wingmaster 16 gauge,but sold it and never replaced it.

Nice gauge ,but it just losses out to the 3 inch 20 gauge and the lightweight 12 gauges for field use.There is no 16 gauge event in skeet either.If there were I think it would help make the gauge more popular.

Its kind of funny, in that rifle shooters will take to heart a whole bunch of calibres.Many of which are so close to one another there is no or very,very little difference in them.Shotguners on the other hand, seem to just stay with a few gauges.Of those the the 12 and 20 gauge take up the lions share..
User avatar
.270 WIN
Posts: 293
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:44 am
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:21 pm
If the manufacturers would create a 3" shell and the gun companies would chamber guns for such, the 16ga would put a big hurting on both the 20 and 12 gauge market. I would assume that is one reason why a 3" shell has not been created as the 16ga offers the best being right in the middle.

As far as coming back, it has never left the house, at least at my place. We have had an old Savage auto loader in 16ga since before I was born (I still have it) and now I have a stack of Ithaca 37 16ga guns.

16's are all I will hunt with. I keep thinking about a 20ga and it all boils down to why ? My old Ithacas are as light as a 20 and if I need anymore oomph I can pull out one of my 12ga 37s.

.22LR
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:53 pm
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 1:42 pm
I don't own a 16 gauge double gun. I have this neat Lefever I grade (their lowest) with a fluid steel barrel. I wanted to by a gauge reducing thing to take it to 16. They don't make one. Or at least Briley doesn't. Then I looked at the cost of those things. Wow! I guess they are made out of gold.

So I'm hunting for an old Ithaca double gun in 16 gauge. I'm not in too much of a hurry tho, because I just bought a model 37 and the wife has not recovered yet.

.22LR
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:53 pm
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 1:51 pm
For years, centuries even, the English essentially only built guns in one gauge - 12. They loved their fine hand made guns that were/are extremely light, so for reduced loadings they shortened the shell. So they made the 2.5" shell which is about like our 16 and a 2" shell which about like our 20...sorta.

Yes, you can buy English guns in 20 and 16 gauges, but by far most are 12s of different lengths. I think a little 2"er would be neat go have and shoot, but I don't own any English double...to dear for my blood, but aren't they pretty things!

.22LR
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:14 pm
PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:34 pm
Same here, Dave.
It doesn't need to come back at my place either, it never left. I think I have eight, two pumps, one single shot, one autoloader and four sxs. My biggest dilemma when I head to the range (don't hunt any more) is - which one or two or three to take?
Skeet never had a 16 event but you could always shoot one in the old All-Gauge category, and you can currently shoot it in the 12ga event.
16 is probably more popular now than it has been in the past 30 years. Browning occasionally does limited runs of the Citori series in 16 and it always sells out. Come to think of it, I may need a 16ga over/under, never had one of those....
Cheers,
Bill

.270 WIN
Posts: 233
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:38 pm
Location: Dayton, OH
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 7:52 am
The increasing popularity of the Vintager shoots has helped the 16 ga. as well
I've got one SxS and a Stevens 620 pump in 16, but I'd love to find a Damascus gun in that guage. Just started reloading for it, so I'm ready!
A flash in the pan, a puff of smoke, and a prayer to the great Lord on high...

Copper BB
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:09 am
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:24 am
Get a load of this.....out of the blue my aunt called me and told me she had a shotgun tucked away in her closet and she wanted me to have it. Upon my arrival she gave me my Grandfathers Ithaca Model 37A in 16 gauge! I remember as a kid (1950-1957) walking with Grandpa on his farm chasing rabbits and flushing quail and I believe this was the shotgun he carried. It sure looks familiar. Beautiful blonde wood, nice bluing and scroll work and I just love the feel of the beavertail forearm. Around here I have collected all the purple Federal shells I can get my hands on. Turkey season is next month with a pocket full of #4's. I'm going to get one for you Grandpa.

.270 WIN
Posts: 375
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:33 pm
Location: Nova Scotia,Canada
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 2:58 pm
Great story,TravisWoody.Thanks for posting.Be sure to let us all know how you make out with your Grandpa's old shotgun.

.410
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:42 pm
Location: Tidewater Virginia
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 3:50 pm
TravisWoody, do you know when your Grandpa's 37 was made? If you give us the approximate serial number we can tell you. And we always enjoy seeing pictures of older Model 37s!

It is wonderful you have a gun with good family history to it. Good luck with the turkeys!

Copper BB
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:09 am
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:04 am
Flues16.....Aunt Doris thought Grandma gave the shotgun to Grandpa on his birthday in 1939.

.270 WIN
Posts: 406
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:50 am
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:12 pm
Wow, a nice pre war gun!

.22LR
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:14 pm
PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:56 pm
If you will post the serial number, we can tell you when it was made. If you are not comfortable posting the number, substitute XX for the last two digits to keep it anonymous. If you are not interested, that is fine too. Anyway, enjoy it, it is a great old gun.

Return to Ammunition

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron