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Old August 8, 2000, 02:44 PM   #1
Dave McC
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Join Date: October 13, 1999
Location: Columbia, Md, USA
Posts: 8,812
Probably half the threads here have to do with recoil in some way, it's an inescapable part of shotgun shooting. And some understanding about weight of shot/weight of gun ratios may clear up some confusion.

The Brits have raised wing shooting to both art and science.With first class British shotguns going for the price of some houses, we should understand there's been plenty of R&D into the subject of how much weight is helpful and how much is not.

So, the Brits evolved the Rule of 96. Basically, it means that a shotgun of whatever gauge, should weigh 96 times what the shot charge does. Going lighter means mo' kick, and going heavier means toting extra weight that's not needed.

And the Brits are 12 ga fans,though they call it 12 bore, for some reason known but to them.And the gun is tailored to the load. Let's use the Rule of 96 here....

Shot load,1 oz, shotgun should weigh in at 6 lbs.

In fact, this is almost EXACTLY what all the old 16ga upland shotguns were, back in the days of Burton Spiller and Havilah Babcock.

Shot load, 1 1/8 oz, shotgun should weigh 6 lbs, 12 oz.My bird 870 weighs 6 lbs, 10 oz and this load is not brutal in the weapon, but 1 1/4 oz loads give a good thump.Turkey loads will get your attention PDQ.

Shot load,1 1/4 oz. The shotgun going by the Rule should weigh 7 1/2 lbs.Again, my experience supports the Rule here.

You can do the math for your pet load.And, by knowing the weight of YOUR shotgun, and your own personal tolerance of recoil, you can pick a load that works well for you w/o major trauma.

Extreme example, a load of 1 7/8 oz calls for a shotgun weighing around 11 lbs, which is about what the Ithaca Mag 10 was listed as.

Note,this is for standard shotgun velocities so keep that in mind.And, IMO, I'd go heavy on the shotgun and light on the load a bit for anything with lots of shooting,like trap and skeet, or doves.OTOH, for something light on shooting but that must be toted plenty, a lighter shotgun with a SLIGHTLY heavier load might be best, say for late season Ringnecks.

And of course, we're talking wingshooting here, HD tools are exempt from the Rule.


BTW, Gene Hill's Shotgunner's Notebook has more on this, for those interested....
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Old August 8, 2000, 09:35 PM   #2
Big Bunny
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Join Date: August 9, 1999
Location: New South Wales - Australia
Posts: 605
Good one Dave McC!
Most interesting, I had never heard this one, but it sounds right to me.

I feel US made shotguns are also built to help(ahem...prevent) reloader lawsuits(IE blow-ups).Not many in UK reload and the government heavily and actively discourages it, as control on ammo supply is seen as another (failed) method of 'crime control'.The number of rounds held and replaced/purchased is also monitored actively by a permit system on the licence from Home Office/police.

English "12 bore" refers to the old gaugeung by lead ball of bore size/per pound, also the musket military bore had similar size in 1850s I was told, so you had the option of shot or ball...or both sometimes !!

Versatile things shotguns.

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Never knock another's different shooting interest or discipline...REMEMBER we are all but leaves on the same tree of freedom.
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Old August 9, 2000, 09:09 AM   #3
Dave McC
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Join Date: October 13, 1999
Location: Columbia, Md, USA
Posts: 8,812
The UK has Govt proof houses where all shotguns are fired with overloads and marked appropriately if they survive, the US does not.

Also, the level of expertise needed to make a fine double is way more than that needed to assemble a good reliable pump from assembly line parts.And those bespoke guns are built to the load.

Finally,by the 1850s all Brit military arms were rifled, but the earlier muskets were oft 16-12 ga, smoothbore, and a load of "Buck and Ball" with one bore sized ball and several smaller ones was quite common.
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