Joined: 25 Oct 2005
Location: Knoxville, TN
About five months ago I had to undergo surgery on my shooting shoulder-- major rework of the joint, reduction of the length of the collar bone; plus, repair of a tear in my rotator cuff. You can imagine my concern about the effects that recoil might have on that newly reworked shoulder. Thustly, didn't shoot my guns at all during 2005.
I happened to have a smallish (6#+ a few oz.s) 12-bore Spanish sidelock that fits me really well but that had been neglected for a good while. One day in a fit of ingenuity, I sent the entire gun to Briley and had them rechamber it to 16-bore. Thereby giving me a 16 overbored by about 070thou.
Due to the holidays, was unable to shoot it at all prior to arriving at Harpoles Heartland Lodge in Illoinis last week, but as you can imagine, I was rife with anticipation as to whether I had ruined a perfectly good shotgun, or if I had created a 16-bore that I can hunt pratically anything that flies, anywhere I can get ammunition.
To say the least, I was totally amazed and please with the results. We were shooting mixed quail and pheasants with no way to tell what would fly at each point until the bird flew. Since the gun has double triggers I loaded a light load of factory #8 in the right tube and a high quality load of plated #5s (my reloads) in the left.
Over the course of the day, I took quail as they came and likewise roosters. Don't think a single quail was retrieved with it's head up until I went to some 21/2" loads that had CB-type wads rather than our normal type wads. After a couple of birds came in still alive, I went back to the previous loads and that stopped. I believe that cb/felt wads will not seal off the gas in those big tubes and will therefore not be attractive to use in the gun.
Roosters were taken at ranges from 12-15 yards out to 40-+ yards with a loose average of probably 20-25 yards. Every bird I tried for was dead in the air, except two. Those stayed put where they fell and were picked up without a chase.
The best part of the entire outing was that not once did I feel (or was even aware of for that matter) one whit of recoil. There just wasn't any noticeable recoil, even from the 11/8-oz. loads.
Sooner rather than later I hope to shoot some paper to see what the patterns look like. If they pattern anything like they killed live birds, I will be a very happy-- and relieved-- boy.
I have had this treatment done to a couple guns. I had a 24 gauge that was where the chambers were pitted. It was sleeved to a 28. Patterns were great.
The best sleeve job I ever had was to a "light Ten" 2-7/8 jones under lever. Kirk Merrrington sleeved and restored the gun. The patterns were out of this world. I a fit of weakness I sold it to a Pigeon shooter
Joined: 25 Oct 2005
Location: Knoxville, TN
DE- you are correct in that I had the chamber sleeves installed. As I understand it, they bore out the original chambers and drive the new ones in the holes that remain; plus, they also have to deal with cutting the lifter slots so the extractor/ejectors continue to work properly. I cannot tell by looking at the breech that the gun was ever anything but a 16-bore.
As I said in the original thread, I'm really looking forward to shooting the paper. One thing I didn't say earlier either was how hard those 11/8-oz #5N hit the pheasants-- they just knocked the snot out of them. You could visably see them die in the air-- except the two that I shot with old, Win. factory #4 loads which had fiber wads. They put the birds down, but not dead in the air like the others. I think that has to be because the fiber wads won't/can't expant to get a complete gas seal in the big bores.
The M90 is at LaBarge-Harkness in Alton, IL. Have decided to primarily use the gun for doves and pigeons; therefore, asked them not to but a high shine on the iron, but to do what was needed to put new color on it. They are also going to bend the stock, and install a new recoil pad. The chambers were short, so that will be cared for, as well as a complete examination to find and fix anything that might cause a problem later on. After all that is completed, I will decide what to do about the chokes. Probably will open the under a bit and leave the top as is-- .028, or tight full.
Joined: 12 Mar 2005
Its been very clear to the trap shooting crowd that modern plastic shot wads obturate well enough to bump up one or two gauge sizes pretty readily. 10 ga on 12 "Money Maker" barrels and long, long forcing cones have been possible only because of plastic wads. Most 20 ga wads will shoot well in a 16 and 28 ga will do well in a 20. The key is a good wad with a fairly generous skirt at the bottom of the gas check on the wad. Most solid felt, fiber, and cardboard wads are not elastic enough to seal a bigger than standard bore. Gas blow by is a certainty. Velocities will drop off and patterns will get blown open too. that is why pre-1970 shotguns all have very short cones and tight bores to insure the gas stays behind the solid wad column.
You are also seeing the effects of a short shot string on your birds. Winchester proved the benefits of short shot strings back well before WWII. That is also why my 3/4 ounce 16 ga. sub loads crush clays and kill birds far better than any 28 ga. The shot string is quite compact. The effects of 3/4 ounce of hard #7-1/2 shot from a 16 on a grouse has to be seen to be appreciated. I've used 5/8 oz of #8 on quail with the same effect---dead in the air.
The old time black powder muzzleloading boys understood this less shot/deader bird paradox or phenomenon quite well and depended on it to put food on the table and conserve expensive and hard to get shot. Only a bigger gauge will let you have both a short shot string and a slower opening pattern at the same time with a certain weight of shot. Smaller bores will both string out and disperse the shot faster. Also, the bigger the shot used, the longer the string and the faster the dispersal rate will be.
The truth is, the shot size should dictate bore size and not the shot charge weight. That is why very big shot for geese and other huge game birds is so effective out of a 10 ga gun. I use a 16 because it handles #5 and #4 shot so much better than a 20. If the 20 handled #4 or #5 shot as well, the 16 would be a truely dead dinosaur. No 20 will ever be as effective as a 16 for pheasant or duck. Plus, most modern 20 and 28 guns weigh the same or more than my 16 Citori. However, for 1-1/2 ounce loads of #4 for ducks, only a 12 or bigger will do. That is also why a 3" 16 or 20 gauge gun makes no real sense. there is no advantage except to the guys who market such baloney.
The same truth goes for the 12 ga. 24 gram- 7/8 oz. FITA International trap load. These loads were supposed to thin out the scores when they were made manditory. The scores went up instead. Go figure. The advantages of less recoil and more shot from a short and well filled pattern/string simultaneously smashing into the targets at a higher velocity far outweigh the added recoil, longer shot strings, and weaker patterns from using more shot. I use a 1235 FPS, 7/8 ounce trap load for all singles and first doubles targets now. They are awesome. You have hit on a good thing. 16GG.
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