View Full Version : What about the 16 gauge?

June 1, 2012, 11:36 PM
Why does it seem the 16 gauge is in decline?There are alot of folks out there that love it but ammo is not as abundant as 20 or 12 ga.Has it lost favor in your area or is it still going strong?I have only found a couple of places here that even stock ammo for it.

June 2, 2012, 12:17 AM
It's all about market demand. There aren't too many folks wanting 16-ga guns, nor 16-ga ammo. So, you won't see them readily available. There are those who love their 16-ga guns; but, most shooters consider the 16-ga unnecessary since modern 12-ga and 20-ga loads overlap and they replicate the 16-ga loads.

June 2, 2012, 03:09 AM
I have an old Revelation 16 gauge SB Shotgun it was given to me by a relative when I was around 15 yrs old. I seldom shoot it and finding ammo for it is not as easy as it once was. I believe the last I bought was at a Bass pro Shop.

June 2, 2012, 04:10 AM
+1 what zippy said...

June 2, 2012, 06:16 AM
The stores around here still stock 16 gauge ammo, though not in the quantity or variety of 12 or 20 gauge. As zippy said, it's all about the market. The 16 gauge has been said to be dead since I started shotgunning in 1965, yet it continues to hang on, primarily from all the old shotguns left in closets and gun safes.

My Dad shot exactly one shotgun, a 16 gauge Model 12, all his life. He shot everything with it, from rabbits to geese and it served him well. That shotgun lives at my son's house now.


June 2, 2012, 08:28 AM
The 16 has never lost popularity in South America for some reason. In the
US it comes and goes. Ithaca currently makes the 37 in 16. Remington
has done runs of the 1100 and 870 in 16, Browning does a run of 16 ga
Citori's now and then.

I LIKE the 16---especially the ones built on a "mid-size" or 20 ga frame.
I currently have half a dozen of them--ranging from a early SxS hammer
double to a Remington semi-auto.

Watch it on the older 16's---most were chambered for 2 9/16" ammo.
Firing with 2 3/4" ammo can cause high pressures. Most can be reamed
for 2 3/4" for a few bucks.

June 2, 2012, 09:57 AM
When it got dropped from skeet, that started things

When they came out with the 3" 20, the decline advanced

IMO, the main factor was too many putting 16 gauge barrels on 12 gauge frames and not on 16 or even 20 gauge frames, giving you a field gun that weighed like a 12 nut was not as powerful

I know several folks who love the gauge, one is having a custom gun built in 16. For many who hunt upland, a 16 on the small frame is ideal for all.

June 2, 2012, 10:51 AM
Two of the sweetest 16's I had were an L.C.Smith Featherweight Field that looked & handled like a 20ga, and a Remington/Parker Bros VHE Skeet Gun on a small frame.

Locally, most big box stores like WW don't stock ammo, but the well-stocked gunshops usually do.

While I have an ample supply, I also see 16ga ammo at the larger gunshow ammo vendor's - and "short-chamber" 2-1/2" low pressure shotshell ammo for older guns is currently available from RST, PolyWad. GameBore, Kent & others.


June 2, 2012, 08:08 PM
ww.16ga.com forum for additional info.

June 2, 2012, 08:59 PM
I have an old Italian 16 SxS, a tad over 6 1/2 lbs, decent engraving on the stock and steel. The best shotgun I ever had as far as feel and swinging it to the shoulder. Just falls in place like it should. The 16 is probably too perfect a gauge since it encompasses almost 12 and 20 gauge parameters. Sounds dumb but that's what I think.

The only other 2 calibers should be a .410 and a 10 gauge.. Just load the 16 up or down as needed.


Nick S.
June 3, 2012, 06:05 PM
I have a Stevens SXS in 16 ga. I shoot a round of trap with it once in a while. I don't do as well with it as my 12 ga. pump but that's probably because I shoot the 12 most of the time. It's still fun though.

June 4, 2012, 01:51 PM
I still have one 16ga shotgun ...but like others said, its just gotten left out by changes in the 12ga and 20ga over time.

If you're going to shoot much of a 16ga....invest in a decent reloader like a MEC Grabber model for the 16ga...and it'll keep your costs down / and you'll be able to load shells for whatever you need.