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Had a 1942 A5 in 16ga . Now have a 1913 Winchester m1912 and a Remington 48 Sportsman in 16ga . I load 2 1/2" shells for the Winchester since it was made before the 2 3/4" became standard .
 
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Started hunting rabbits with a Belgium made Browning Sweet 16 and shot my first deer with it with the rifle sight barrel. Also have an Ithaca M37 and a Stevens SxS 16’s. I think the 16 and 28 are the most under appreciated guns around.
 

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Gareth, does the Darn have extractors or ejectors? How hard is it to get shells into? Very pretty gun I must admit.
Steve it has ejectors, throws them up and out not back. The safety is a toggle type lever on the right hand side of the action, not the fastest to get off. Reloading is also slower. On the up side the balance of a Darn action is superb. It is choked 1/2 & 3/4 a nice walked up gun. The last time I shot it was on my beaters shoot at the end of the pheasant season (the day when the beaters get to shoot). I beat all day with my dogs and was a walking gun. The ones who shoot pay for the ones who don't so get a full day's driven shooting, the best year was 167. I spotted a 12b Darn advertised by a gun shop this week, my gunsmiths is on the case. They sent 1 16b AYA no4 (BL.EJ) back without me seeing it as not in the condition advertised, the next 1 that came on approval is up stairs in a safe as we speak. The rule is if a gun dealer sends a gun on approval after pictures and or a detailed description to your gun smith or shop and you don't want it you pay the carriage both ways. This does not apply if it is NOT as described. I will give you an update.

PS the 16g Darn would make a superb walked up bird dog gun, which our continental Cousins across the channel do a lot of. Gar.
 

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Yes--I don't know why 16ga fell out of popularity. I have a Savage 311 double barrel in 16 and a Browning Auto 5. I also have an old Higgins bolt action shotgun (says Sears Roebuck on it) in 16ga. Only problem is that none of the shops here stock any 16ga shells so I have to order ahead of bird season because only 12 and 20 ga goes on sale for bird season.
Manufacturing issues killed off the 16. Many of the later ones were 12 gauge receivers with 16 gauge barrels. Then the 20 3" became the rage, getting all the press. Note there is no 16 ga 3". The 3" 20 gauge permitted them to cut back and use two frames (410's were then made on 20 gauge frames) Notice now that almost all 12 and 20's are made with 3" chambers. Americans cannot stand the thought of using something less than maximum in their guns. There were some great light weight 12's made, that were intended for 2 3/4" lighter loads equivalent to 16 ga loads, but heaven forbid any one was able to understand that use. The English has 12 bores chambered in different lengths. There was something to be said for a 2 1/2 in 12 bore chambering. The 16 was the 2nd most popular gauge and considered a great upland gauge before the manufacturer's killed it off.

I love the 16 also and used one for years. The 3" 20 is not just as good as a 16 with proper handloading. I used magnum plated shot in the 16 and it was great. Also for non-tox I could load 1oz of steel in a European 16 gauge case. but preferred Ballistic Products ITX. I have a O/U that is a classic 12 ga frame with 16 ga barrels but also a couple of doubles made by Stoeger that are 16 gauges and one double hammer 16. The Stoegers got worked a bit so that they carry and handle like a 16 should.

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Not called the sweet 16 for nothing, a 16 will pattern better than a 20 any day of the week due to a shorter shot Colum. A 1oz load in a 16 is a square charge as long as it is wide. Robert Churchill (Churchill 25" barrels) the English gunmaker stated for recoil to be within tolerable limits a gun must weight 96 x the shot load i.e.. 1oz = 6lbs.
A few pictures of my French Darn, fixed barrels sliding breach one of the best balanced actions made. I also have an AYA no4, Lincoln Jubilee Prestige and a George Hinton of Taunton (where I live) SB hammer gun.
Lincoln and darn shown. This side of the pond the 16 is coming back into favour, where you can get away with a lighter shot charge. Not so for very high driven Pheasant or Wildfowling (duck and geese below the sea wall or high tide level) Gar.

An Englishman shooting a French shotgun, Amazing! British SXS shotguns are the world standard.

Actually that 1-96 ratio is an excellent indicator of shooting tolerability . I probably handloaded more special purpose shotgun shells than any other ammunition. It really paid off, as factory loads are kind of like fishing lures and made to catch the buyer. Good example is the 3" 20 gauge. I found that for making any kind of normal upland load 1 1/8 oz put as many pellets in the 30" circle as did the 1 1/4 oz or at least within the killing zone. As to the "square load" theory mentioned. That held true when the old softer shot was used. A 1 1/8 oz 16 gauge loaded with either copper plated or better yet nickel plated shot will definitely have more shot in the pattern than a 1oz load. Use cheap chilled shot and maybe not. Tom Roster did a lot of work patterning shotguns for waterfowl and then got upstaged by the required use of non tox. His works are well worth reading. Another way to get better patterns is to cut back a bit on velocities. 1200 fps will offer a very good shell. Many loved the old 1 1/8 oz 16 ga "upland" shell. It had tolerable recoil in lighter guns and patterned well. Most claimed that it killed as well as the "high brass" at 1295. I handloaded lower velocity shells at maybe a listed 1240 and they worked very well.

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Show me where I can get 200 rounds of 16 for 15 bucks and I'll back the truck up. I don't believe that one for a second.

I have two - my dads 50's era A.H. Fox side by side and a Remington 1100 I found back in the 80's for cheap. Still looking for a nice 16 ga hammer double.

Last year I was given several Ponsness Warren presses by a buddy that does estate sales, one 20ga and two 12 gauge - I stripped down and cleaned them all up and converted one of the 12 gauge presses to 16. Makes the most beautiful shells I've ever seen - puts my MEC Sizemaster press to shame, but its the only 28 ga press I have, so it stays.
 

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Show me where I can get 200 rounds of 16 for 15 bucks and I'll back the truck up. I don't believe that one for a second.

I have two - my dads 50's era A.H. Fox side by side and a Remington 1100 I found back in the 80's for cheap. Still looking for a nice 16 ga hammer double.

Last year I was given several Ponsness Warren presses by a buddy that does estate sales, one 20ga and two 12 gauge - I stripped down and cleaned them all up and converted one of the 12 gauge presses to 16. Makes the most beautiful shells I've ever seen - puts my MEC Sizemaster press to shame, but its the only 28 ga press I have, so it stays.
16 is kind of like the 32 Special or 300 Savage and other cartridges in that category. Too good to die but factory loads are a bit spendy.

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Show me where I can get 200 rounds of 16 for 15 bucks and I'll back the truck up. I don't believe that one for a second.

Not quite the deal like that...but I just picked up a case of 250 for $75 at Targetsportsusa.com That's Win Super-X / 1oz / 6shot. That's only $7.50 per box.

redhawk
 

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I've carried my older Iver Johnson featherweight 16 for many hunts and backpack fishing trips. Recoil is not bad at all. Patterns are consistent no matter the load.

TR
 

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As a rule I'm not fond of 16g guns. There are exceptions some high quality SxS and OUs built as upland guns feel like a 20g, those I like. In pumps and autos the weight of gun is close enough that I would carry a 12g. I have 20g guys ask me all the time why I carry 12g guns. I tell them because it's hard to find a nice 10g.
 

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ONE Marlin 90, two Ithacas in 16ga, one witha skeet choking, the other is a post 63 SN, sporting a King Ferry choke tube barrel [used this past spring turkey season. one A5 Standard 16 and just got a line of a SWEET!, finally a WIN M12 in IMP Choke {for working over my Springer -Tyson]!

The 16GA., is great for all my hunting, you have to try it to understand.
 

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There are more 16 gauge offerings these days and I hope that continues. I hope the 16 comes back like the 28 gauge did. And there needs to be more scaled frame 16 gauge guns O/U & SxS. I would like to see AA's in 16 gauge and Super-X 1 1/8 with #5-#6 shot for hunting.
 
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