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Old April 5, 2011, 08:10 AM   #1
cmchap
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Older shotgun vs. newer shells

I just picked up a 20 gauge shotgun (Spanish sxs) with barrel flats labled 850 KGS. I know that this is the max pressure rating of the barrel stamped on the barrels at manufacture. This measurement when converted would be 12,089psi.
My question is, Can this gun which was made in 1956 hold up to the pressures of todays common shells made by the big manufacturers? The gun is made to take no larger than 2 3/4" shells. The gun is a Victor Sarasqueta "Zephyr Woodlander" imported by Stoeger. I am hoping to get away with 7/8 oz. loads of #6 or #7-1/2 shot. nothing high velocity or heavy load etc...what do you think?
Thanks
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Old April 5, 2011, 08:41 AM   #2
Jim Watson
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Shotshell lead loads have not changed in a long time. Your 1956 gun is fine for 2011 shells.
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Old April 5, 2011, 08:53 AM   #3
oneounceload
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Current 20gauge upland loads run a max of somewhere around 11,000 psi. If you have any concerns, have your smith look at it. You can also shoot low pressure shells from the likes of RST and Polywad
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Old April 5, 2011, 08:57 AM   #4
jaughtman
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RST and Polywad?

Quote:
You can also shoot low pressure shells from the likes of RST and Polywad
One ounce, tell us more - I have that 1910 Ithaca sXs and take it out in the field once or twice a year to dove shoot - am I potentially harming it by using modern "light" 7/8 ounce loads?

J
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Old April 5, 2011, 08:57 AM   #5
Mike Irwin
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The only caveat is, of course, steel shot.

Older shotguns generally must not be fired with steel shot.
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Old April 5, 2011, 09:43 AM   #6
cmchap
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I have read where one should never really exceed 75% of the max pressure rating. With that in mind, I would like to shoot shells of 9000 psi or so. The problem is that none of today's readily available shell makers seem to list the pressure on the box. All you get is powder weight, shot weight, Feet per second, and shot size. kind of frustrating... I am inclined to think that as long as I don't go nuts with the high vel or mag type loads I should be good to go. but still would hate to see the barrels swell or wood split by being reckless.
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Old April 5, 2011, 11:47 AM   #7
oneounceload
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Quote:
RST and Polywad?
Quote:
You can also shoot low pressure shells from the likes of RST and Polywad
One ounce, tell us more - I have that 1910 Ithaca sXs and take it out in the field once or twice a year to dove shoot - am I potentially harming it by using modern "light" 7/8 ounce loads?

IF, and you would need to determine this, IF your chambers are shorter than the current 2-3/4, you MIGHT be putting too much pressure in the forcing cone area. Both folks make 2 and 2-1/2" shells for shorter-chambered guns, both modern and older. They also make "Vintager" style loads that are loe pressure for the older classics.

Around the turn on the last century, there were no real standards for chamber length, so you had 2, 2-1/2, 2-9/16, 2-5/8, and 2-3/4 commonly found in both US and Euro guns. The older guns, many of which were designed for low-pressure BP loads in paper hulls, can have trouble with modern loads, even light (as in pellet count) loads.

A good smith can help you with your particular gun.

Both of those companies' 2-1/2" loads are well made. I have not tried to reload those hulls, so I am not sure who makes them (most likely candidate is Cheddite in France). BPI, IIRC, sells components and has recipes. You could always trim some 2-3/4 down to 2-1/2 and skive them - lot of work; so if your gun is a "few days afield" gun, buying a flat of 250 should last you quite a while.

There's something a out using an older gun, especially if it is a family heirloom, that seems to make that pheasant or grouse taste better...
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Old April 5, 2011, 02:13 PM   #8
jaughtman
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Thanks One Ounce....

But, until I found out that gun was made in 1910, I had shot (a few times a year) modern light 2 3/4" shells through it for about 15 years now. With that track record of no issues, can I assume it is a 2 3/4 gun, or is it a definite case of "better safe than sorry" and take it to the smith' just for peace of mind. I had even shot some buckshot out of it in the 80's....when I was assuming it was a 1930's vintage gun (ah, the days before the internet when you could not just look up any gun for date of birth at a moment's notice) as that was the story the seller gave us on it. I had to have my local smith put some screw anchors in the stock a few years back as it had shot itself loose, but other than that no issues - and I don't want to totally retire it to wall-hanging status.

J
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Old April 5, 2011, 02:43 PM   #9
oneounceload
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Shouldn't be any reason to retire it - a smith with the proper gauge can tell you in 30 seconds what the chamber size is. Again, a few now and again is one thing - if you were to start shooting sporting clays and using some uber-fast FITASC loads, that's another thing entirely. I would look into the Vintager type loads, even if the chamber is 2-3/4 - they'll treat your gun (and your shoulder) a little more gently

Enjoy it!
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Old April 6, 2011, 11:25 AM   #10
jhog1
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I'd really like to see a picture of that new gun of yours ! Anyone else feel the same ?
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Old April 6, 2011, 11:35 AM   #11
Hawg
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Quote:
But, until I found out that gun was made in 1910, I had shot (a few times a year) modern light 2 3/4" shells through it for about 15 years now. With that track record of no issues, can I assume it is a 2 3/4 gun
You can assume that but I grew up shooting 2 3/4 shells out of damascus barrels with 2 1/2 inch chambers with no ill effects. I do not recommend anyone try it tho. Even if it is 2 3/4 which it could be but isn't likely it will have the wrong forcing cone cut. The forcing cone will be cut for shells with a roll crimp. If you plan on shooting it you need to have the cone recut for modern star crimped shells.
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Old April 6, 2011, 07:09 PM   #12
cmchap
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This 1956 is clearly marked 20-70 which refers to 20 gauge, 70mm shells. (70 mm = 2 3/4") soI know I am good up to 2 3/4. As suggested here, I would like to try some of the 2 1/2" shells from makers like B&P, Polywad, or RST. these shells unfortunately are not easy to come by where I live and I hate to buy a whole case online for as much shooting as I plan to do with this gun. Thanks again for the input.
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