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Discussion in 'Shooting - Reloading Forum' started by Keegan, Apr 1, 2021.
To think I killed my first double with a 20ga Mossberg pump. It was so hard to pump, I had to bring it down to chest level pump it. Was shooting #2 steel, and a mod choke. At that time never heard of patterning a shotgun, and had no clue what size shot I needed. Just bought what I was told to get.
Man the ducks that was all over Reelfoot Lake in the early 90s! You literally couldn't run them off shooting at them. You would unload a volley, and before you could get 2 more shells loaded, you had another group at 20yds.
Most all the serial info you need is here.
http://www.nramuseum.org/media/940941/serialization-date of manufacture.pdf
From what I see, it is a "Standardweight" 12ga made in 1954.
While that was well established already, those records are copied from Browning in Utah, which is notoriously misinformed on their Belgian production. If it’s not sourced by H.M. Shirley, it’s questionable. They’re generally 50-75% in line, but not always. I once owned a Belgian Auto 5 Super Lightweight 20ga. Browning said the SL was a ‘myth’, and that they didn’t exist.....until Mr. Shirley let the Utah execs shoot one of his SLs, while out there for his book. They had my 1910 straight grip 16ga as being made and imported in 1923.
If it has a full choked barrel, you should not shoot steel in it. To do so is a crap shoot. You might get away with it, you might not. Because steel shot is not malleable, it will at best likely result in a blown pattern. At worst it might result in a bulged or blown barrel.
Most responsible firearms experts will tell you "that it is okay until it is not okay". You might blow the barrel on the first shot. You might never have a problem, you might not have a problem the first 100 times you shoot the gun. Then you might have a problem. I have seen gun barrels that were bulged by steel shot, right at the choke. I have seen the bore of guns that were gouged by steel shot.
I have a Winchester Model 12 Heavy Duck. I recently had it bored out to modified so I can shoot steel in it safely. Haven't done it yet, but I have done the work to safely do so.
People will tell you about how they have never had a problem shooting steel in a full choke. They will tell you about their Uncle Lucius that has been shooting steel in his full choked SxS for decades with no problem. I am sure it is true that he has.
But shooting steel in a full choked gun is not recommended by any manufacturer and you won't know if you are going to have a problem until you do.
If you want to shoot a vintage full choked gun, buy bismuth.