Favorite gauge for pheasants

Discussion in 'Upland Game Forum' started by SOUTHBAYMAN, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. SeniorCoot

    SeniorCoot Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    8,399
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2001
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Well if the 16 was the answer to all bidr hunters problems it might be made by more man and might even be popular-DUH!
     
  2. smashdn

    smashdn Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    11,801
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2004
    Location:
    Palmyra, KY
    Let me suggest a Remington 11-48 or a Sportsman 58.

    My thoughts are that there is not much need for new trim semi-auto 16s when so many older models are out there are very good prices.

    I would be first in line if Beretta or Benelli made a scaled 16 though.
     
  3. sacbob

    sacbob Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    7,197
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    Location:
    Sacramento CA
    So you give up the fun of having two guns AND you put up with the added hassle of searching for ammo that costs too much.
     
  4. Squaller

    Squaller Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    19,001
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2003
    Location:
    Fresno, California
    Nice guns, but I see no advantage over my Beretta 12 ga., as both of these guns weigh more than my 12 ga. (from what information I could find).

    I do not use a 20 ga because it is fun, or more sporting; I use it cause it weights less. I am frequently hunting steep, rugged terrain for quail, or heavy cover for pheasants. With a light 20 ga., I can carry the gun all day, and get on the birds quickly.

    Seems to me, that the modern 12 ga. is lighter than most of the 16 gauges made, there is more variety of ammo, the ammo is less expensive, and more available for the 12 ga...

    So what is the advantage of the 16 ga. outside of nostalgia? Is there a modern light-weight, dependable, and versatile 16 ga. made?

    Now I will admit, that for the right price, I probably could be talked into an old A-5 Sweet 16...:D
     
  5. RuddyDoug

    RuddyDoug Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    452
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
    Michigan
    I have 12s, a 16, a 20 and a 28. We have wild pheasants in Michigan but not like we had in the past so I pursue grouse and woodcock more often in the uplands. I prefer to carry and shoot the 16 for all my upland pursuits because it carries easy, points well and patterns nicely. To each his own.

    Ruddy
     
  6. smashdn

    smashdn Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    11,801
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2004
    Location:
    Palmyra, KY
    Sure, doubles. Not semi-autos.

    There are lots of reasons 16s aren't popular. Popularity is not a sign of effectiveness. 28 ga are not "popular." No doubt they excel when the right situation presents itself.

    The advantages are when built on a scaled frame you are able to pack 12 ga power into a, most times, much lighter package. A 3" 20 ga is not ballistically equivalent to a 16. As a 16 is not equivalent to a 12. The 16 fit nicely in the gap between the two gauges. Instead of recognizing that the gap existed, gun compaines sought to close the gap as best they could between the 12 and 20 by loading down the 12 and up the 20. The 16 has jsut kept on trucking along. It's performance has not diminished over time. I and others would argue it has actually increased with hotter loads and non-tox other than steel.

    So the ideal home for a 16 might be on pheasants. Serious walking calling for packing something other than an 8 pound fence post but also requiring the knock down of a palmfull of nickel plated 5s pushed at a respectable speed. The niche exists.

    As for the argument of expense. I can find 16's for less than $7 a box at my local Wal Marks. No hunting for them. That might not be the case where you live though. I shot alot of 16 ga over the last five years. I pick all the empties I can find up so the logical next step was to put them use and not just trash them. I found a used 600 jr for 50 bucks and put it to work. We already loaded 12ga so I had everything I needed save the wads. They had the Remington blue 16 wads at the Nashville Bass Pro, on the shelf, just the other day. No hunting.

    So you can if you want to and not really put that much effort into it. I don't. I bought a flat of 8 that has lasted me a long while of dove and quail hunting. I shoot a handfull of 6s at rabbits and turkeys each year. Twos or fours in steel kill ducks out to 40 yards. My wife killed a giant canada at 40 yards with a laod of 2s through a 16.

    If you could be talked into a sweet 16, you would enjoy a Rem 58 or 11-48 and may really like a Rem 31, Ithaca 37, or Model 12 if you can do a trombone gun.

    I've got a 12 that I duck hunt with most of the time and 20 just to say I have one. But they aren't near as fun to hunt with.
     
  7. sacbob

    sacbob Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    7,197
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    Location:
    Sacramento CA
    hmmmm? gave this a lot of thought .. I prefer redheads:)
     
  8. smashdn

    smashdn Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    11,801
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2004
    Location:
    Palmyra, KY
    Basically what it boils down to. But from what I originally quoted in my first post, there is an answer, a 16. Some people act like they don't even exist.
     
  9. California Flyway

    California Flyway Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    17,045
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2001
    Location:
    Gualala, California
    One reason the 16 performs better than a 20 has to do with the shorter shot column than a twenty. Loading up a 20 to 11/4oz in a three inch shell gives you more shot but often bad patterning. This is also true in 12 gauges where 3 inch shells often pattern better than 31/2. Most hunters stubbornly cling to more is more without actually patterning.
    The trick to good performance in a sixteen is to shoot 11/16 oz of #6's from my experience. This loading is more in line with the benefits of a square load (shorter shot column per bore size).
    The thinner barrel and lightness of a well built 16 make them handle better than a 12. I had a 16 gauge, Winchester Model 12 that in my opinion was perhaps finest pure pheasant shotgun ever built.
    Ammo availability is no big deal. You find the load that patterns best for your use and buy a case at a time or reload.
     
  10. sacbob

    sacbob Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    7,197
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    Location:
    Sacramento CA
    There have been so many advances in modern ammunition that most of the old generalities about 16 gage pattern effectiveness are just that "old generalities". And most are associated with lead shot which many of us do not shoot any more.
     

Share This Page