While I truly enjoy hunting with my 16 gauge single shot, if it weren't for sentimental reasons, there really is no advantage to a 16 over anything else.
I would like nothing more than to see more 16 gauge guns and shell choices than the next guy here.
But I'm not holding my breath for it to happen either.
I don't have to use no-tox shot here for hunting, so that much is a moot point for me. As is skeet shooting.
We (family and I) will often buy a case of clays and a hundred rounds of whatever is cheap and have a blast. But we don't compete at clubs, and is more for bragging rights until the next session. We don't even go to public ranges for that matter.
But I still put my old 16 gauge up against any of them.
With 7/8 to 1-1/8 oz shot, they are pleasant to shoot. Accurate, and hit just as hard as a 12 gauge does.
I would like to see a lot more choices for wads and shells though. I rarely ever see a box of 16 at our box stores. I bought the last 2 cases of shells they had after they got put on clearance.
I know there are people that buy them. But if you only see them on the shelf once a year right before squirrel season, they're never going to sell as many as others.
_________________ When politicians ignorant about guns make gun laws, you have ignorant gun laws.
Joined: 17 Mar 2017
Location: Endless Mountains of Pa
Although the article points out one of the big reasons for the 16 Gauge fading in sales popularity, that being it's elimination form the line shooting games. The 16 Gauge Double gun has and will always be the Grouse hunters primary double gun.
Most all Grouse hunters have more than one 16 Gauge double gun, myself I have a collection of them. Many passed down thru our family of Grouse hunters. These 16 guns range from fine L.C. Smith Graded guns, to Semi-Auto's to nice old pump guns.
As was noted in the article, the good 16 gauge American Classics go for serious money even today, here also is one of the problems, the 16 Gauge gun usually cost a little more money than the 20 or the 12, so many middle income men opt for the less expensive gauge guns. Now the 28 is like the 16 in this respect, it cost a little more money, especially an early American classic.
To a serious Grouse hunter the 16 gauge gun will never fade from popularity. Unfortunately our number of serious Grouse hunters has decreased over the years. So the purchase of the 16 has also decreased. The 16 Gauge's primary use as a double gun that carries like a 20 and hits like a 12 has diminished over the years in direct proportion to the decrease in the number of serious Grouse hunters thru out the USA and the world.
Here is another reason, the really fine 16 Gauge guns are the American Classics & Euro Classics, hand fit and finished, built by master craftsman to last for ever, most Grouse hunters want those particular guns, not the newer guns of less quality.
So producing a modern 16 is a chancy business for any gun maker, no matter the name. As an example my collection is of Pre 1913 L.C. Smith with some early LeFever, Boss and J.P. Sauer 16's also.
In reality it is not hard to understand what has happened to the 16 Gauge popularity. However If you are a serious Grouse Hunter the popularity never fades, and the cost of the 16 Classic's keeps increasing all the time.
_________________ "L.C. Smith America's Best" - John Houchins
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