The new Browning Sweet 16 must be the hottest new shotgun of the year. It has been a hot topic on every discussion board for the past year. Each magazine I have seen has made it the gun of the year in their annual honors lists. Most of the mainstream sporting magazines have reviewed it with very high praise. I saw on another board that one guy went into a Scheel's and saw some on the rack. The salesman said eight came in and in less than a week only two were left. He bought one. All this for a 16 gauge. You know that fading to dead gauge you can't get ammo for.
Is this the turning point for the gauge?
_________________ Many places remain undiscovered. Some because no one has ever been there. Others because no one has ever come back.
I doubt it very much. Not enough selection of ammo, cause vendors cant stock it cause not enough buyers, and buys won't but 16 ga guns cause they can't find ammo, aka chicken and egg.
The 12 will always be #1, and I think the 20 #2, because of its versatility as a good first gun for youngsters as well as 3" mag in a light gun for birds for us oldsters.
I do my part ( all gauges) but there are not that many 16 ga guys around and most have gray or no hair.
The turning point would be if the various competition organizations included the 16 gauge in the events. I don't see any of them going to six gun but the chances of adding the 16 are better than the 10, so there's always hope.
16 Gauge popularity seems to run in spits and spurts. Right now it is on a high and I hope it stays there. There are at least 3 brands of ammo out there with a few shot sizes. I only buy 1 ounce 8s and that is an ok load for skeet or trap, though not one I would shot in competition. I see 6s around also. I prefer the Remingtons as they reload well, but also buy Estates when I can get them.
As I see the problem, the retailers don't bug the distributors for them, so the distributors don't bug the manufacturers and there is no pressure from the shooting organizations, that except for classic shoots do not consider the 16 to be a class, though I have seen some shot in the 12 gauge Skeet events.
So we need to keep asking our retails when they are going to have some and hope that they do the same to their distributors and we need to right to Remington, Winchester, Herters etc. and tell them we are out here in numbers and we need more ammo.
Right now I have 10 flats of never fired factory Remingtons and enough once fired empties for about 20 flats more, so with 30 flats and a progressive reloading press, I probably am ok at my age for all the 16s I might need. But, I am happy to write letters and try to help.
P.S. - I load 1 1/8 ounce 9s and would use my 16s in the 12 gauge skeet event if I needed to.
_________________ Robert Kittine
Sag Harbor and Manhattan, New York
16 Gauge O/U Browning 525 Sporting
16 Gauge SxS Rizzini Islide
16 Gauge Pump Browning BPS Upland
16 Gauge Semi-Auto Remington 1100 Sporting
Joined: 02 Feb 2006
Location: western pa
So far I'm getting 6+ reloads out of the Herters hull. Remingtons rarely exceed 3. Then I trim them to 2 1/2" and roll crimp one more out of them. It's probably not worth the trouble but what the hell, I'm retired.
_________________ Always get get a drink upstream of the herd-Will Rogers
All of this 16 ga activity is encouraging! When i first fell in love with the Queen of the uplands I had to load my shells for pheasants. Now I could if I so choose purchase GP's Browning or Federals all with premium shot! Viva La 16! I still load to get what I want but the options are growing!
Joined: 04 Feb 2014
Location: Atlanta, GA
What could make it come back is correcting what I've always thought was why it went out to begin with... that manufacturers were going cheap and making them on 12 ga frames and there was not enough of a weight/handling difference to make you want a 16 instead of a 12. That whole "carries like a 20, hits like a 12" thing.
I also think the requirements for non-toxic shot has also hurt the 16, as most people still want to shoot the cheaper steel loads and there are very few for 16 ga. Of course, new guns will be able to shoot steel unlike all of our old ones.
I'm just glad I have a few options for shells that seem to be in Stock year round.
I purchased my first 16 this year, a Sauer post war SxS.
My decision was based on one thing... weight, followed by price.
I couldn't afford a 20 that weighed in at 6#.
And, for what it cost, I'll have about $1300 to spend on ammo to equal a similar weight 20 O/U or SxS.
Two outings, and I'm hooked. It is a pleasure to carry and to shoot. I am toying with using it for waterfowl, too. Although, I hunt too hard to carry a nice gun, and the synthetic stock SA 12 takes a beating in the swamps.
I think that the 16 has just enough offerings in ammo, and it will always have a niche with upland hunting if it's built on the right frame... may have to settle for shooting the antiques, though.
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