We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Mitch is repairing my favorite 16 gauge, a boxlock manufactured nearly 100 years ago by John Blanch in London and bought in marginal shape (read "affordable") in the Hamburg, PA Cabela's store.
In answer to Bird Dog's 28 ga. question, just as a 28 ga. throws a better pattern than a 20 ga., so also does a 16 ga. throw a better pattern than a 12 ga. It was not for nothing that they were called "Sweet 16s". The Sweet 16 in the picture weighs 5-1/8 pounds, and so can be carried comfortably by Yrs. Truly (an ol' guy) until the Lab has retrieved a limit!
In this age of registered firearm purchases, if a gun is stolen from you and used by the thief, you may have liability if you didnít have it securely locked away. Buy a gun safe, if you havenít already. I love mine. Example:
I agree, Gwynne. If you have guns (other than your home protection gun(s)), you should have a good safe - not only for your protection, but also for the gun's. Cannon and Liberty make great safes. I got mine from a local builder at a gun show. It uses 1/4" steel so it is very secure and he delivered and set it up for free. When I upgrade to a bigger one, he'll take my safe as a trade in. Something to consider.
My sweet sixteen is much like the one Tim used to borrow, though it is a humble Fox by Savage. Nothing special to show off with, but lovely balance and reliable patterning, and a Parker-owning buddy asks to borrow it on occasion.
It works well with the ruffians, when they aren't putting a tree between us as they so cannily do. I can't hardly pick it up anymore, though, because the shorthair gets too excited when he sees me with it.
It's getting harder to find shells for sixteens, though.
Bob Brister wrote an excellent treatise some years ago on the topic of shot patterns. I believe it was called "Shotgunning: The Art and the Science". He extensively studied the topic of patterns and 'shot stringing'. He shot at a large target towed behind the family station wagon with his wife at the wheel!
I don't intend in any way to demean the 16 gauge or lighter. I often hunt partridge and rabbit with a 20 gauge. The smaller-frame shotguns are a delight to carry.
Fact is, though, that a 12 -- or a 10 gauge -- will out-pattern all smaller gauges when loaded with what we would today consider a light load of shot, particularly at lower velocity. Say about an ounce of shot in a 12 gauge at 1100 fps or so. Of course you need to handload your own...
The old-time new England market hunters of partridge preferred a 10 gauge loaded lightly. Hard to carry and not nimble, but they were the tool of choice when meat mattered.
Whatever happened to the 16 Gauge, anyway? When I was a kid there were plenty of people using them, but a few years later it seemed everybody had moved on to 12 Gauge. I used to use a Remington 16 Gauge auto that was Browning-designed -- it had that distinctive Browning hump at the back--but it got stolen from my Brother's house.
One of my Father's crustier old hunting buddies carried a 10 Gauge side-by-side, which sort of terrified me at the age when 20 Gauge almost kicked me over. I remember the shells he used were of black plastic, which seemed appropriate to the scariness.
I have one 16 Gauge capable gun at the moment. It started out as a rifle - a late 19th century Remington "Rolling Block" carbine, caliber gigantic, originally meant for black powder cartridges. I found it stuck far in the back of one of Grandma's closets, completely forgotten, and complete with one paper 16 Ga. shell. Apparently somebody away back in the family had bought it new for its rifle qualities, and then smokeless powder came into style, and then you couldn't buy the cartridges for the rifle anymore, and some subsequent owner figured out that a 16 Gauge shell would fit right in there, and they employed it as a single-shot backyard squirrel and pest blaster. My Grandfather would have been the last to use it -- I've never actually fired the thing and don't plan to, though I'm sure it would work fine; the rolling block breech is a strong and sturdy mechanism, and even though modern shells use smokeless, I doubt they generate more pressure than the original rifle cartridges did.
My go to grouse & woodcock gun is a 1927 16ga Fox A Grade.
It recently received a new chunk of wood that I fit to my specs.
It should be the last gun I ever need or want (until the next one).
Built on a 20ga frame, it weighs just under 6lbs and carries nicely.
One ounce of shot from a 16 is known as a "square load" Apparently due to the size of a solid lead ball that fits neatly in the barrel which just happens to be 1/16 of a pound, or one ounce.
I doubt there is science behind that, but confidence means more than science in the practice of ballistics.