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<  16ga. Guns  ~  Gene Hill on 16 ga. Win. M-21
gunflint charlie
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:39 am  Reply with quote
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Joined: 21 Jan 2006
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Location: Twin Cities

I'm new to this board, glad I found it.

Quite a few years back I came across the following in Gene Hill's book Shotgunner's Notebook.

"Most 20 gauge Model 21s are a bit heavy, while most 16-gauge 21s are almost perfect, using the classic standards."

After reading this I took an interest in a friend's 16 ga. 21 -- a standard post-war field gun with pistol grip and diamond pattern beavertail. About 15 years ago I bought it, and used it a lot, but the comb was low for me and I often missed low on easy going away birds.

I like straight grips for carrying and splinters for looks, and a couple years ago took the plunge and had the custom shop remake the wood to my likes, and bend for higher comb and a little cast off. The splinter's longish in the Merkel style. I couldn't be happier with this gun now. Most 16 ga. 21s I've handled have been around 6.75 lbs. -- still a bit heavy by "classic standards". But these guns feel good to me. I mostly hunt wild pheasants and find this weight is fine for heavier pheasant loads.

Anyone else have thoughts to share about 16 ga. M-21s?

GC
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Ted Schefelbein
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 10:06 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 19 Jun 2004
Posts: 1292
Location: Mpls, MN.

Gene Hill is considered legendary in many circles of the hook and bullet writers. But, he is also the one who wrote that the 20 gauge was "bitey" (whatever the hell that means, but, I would suggest a heavier gun or lighter loads).

16 gauge 21s are heavy. My biggest, baddest Darne, a 3" 12 gauge, weighs 6 and 12. My regular use Darne, 6 and maybe 2. My 16 Tobin, by no means a lightweight, comes in at 6 and 6. I have to lug my guns a long ways for any bird shooting, and have no love of heavy guns for that.

I find the loooooooong action bar of a 21 somewhat funny looking, 'sorta out of proportion, but, you only notice it when it's next to a gun with a better proportioned action-compare a Fox sitting next to a 21 and you will see what I mean. Much has been made of that action bar, but, it is between the hands, and likely doesn't affect shooting, or balance all that much.

I passed a few years ago on a 12 gauge, double trigger 21 with the usual stock and 30 inch tubes, for $1000. I wish I had bought it, but not to shoot, as I suspect it would have been a fine investment, and I would be ready to cash it in now.

For something else.

Best,
Ted
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gunflint charlie
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 10:44 am  Reply with quote
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Ted --

Yeah, the 21s longer action bar is different -- a design choice to move the hinge further from the breech and reduce upward force on the bolting system. Actually it's about the same length as the Parker. My choice of a long splinter was to balance proportions with the longish frame. I think it's a good-looking match.

You obviously don't care for 21s. I wouldn't want to carry a 12 ga. for upland work, but I don't consider a 6-3/4 lb. gun over-the-top heavy for upland duty. It's comfortable for 1-1/8 oz. pheasant loads, and swings better for me than lighter weight guns.

GC
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SageRat
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 12:30 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 19 Jan 2006
Posts: 91

I have a 21 16 ga. that I got as a basket case. Needed a new buttstock and bluing. Had a guy turn a blank for a BT and pistol grip stock of very nice midwest walnut. It has .008 and .014 chokes if I remember correctly.

It looks better than brand new with fine line checkering and knockout wood.I shoot it very well, even though my preference is O/U or pump guns for good shooting. It does not get shot too much.

SR
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fin2feather
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 1:14 pm  Reply with quote
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Joined: 06 Aug 2004
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Location: Kansas High Plains

Charlie,

Sounds like a great looking and great shooting shotgun. I love the classic American sxs's best of all, and the 21 sure is one. 6-3/4 lbs sure wouldn't keep me from carrying it! Good shooting with it, and welcome!

Fin

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I feel a warm spot in my heart when I meet a man whiling away an afternoon...and stopping to chat with him, hear the sleek lines of his double gun whisper "Sixteen." - Gene Hill, Shotgunner's Notebook
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Edwin C. (Ted) Cooper
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 4:50 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 05 Jan 2006
Posts: 8

Have been shooting these guns for years, do not find them heavy at 6 #/4 pds. They are built H. for stout and last forever.

I am still looking for a 2 trigger one in the 16, an early one prior to the War if I have the choice. They are plain Jane , but they fit me well and I can shoot all 21's with factory stocks.
Ted
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budrichard
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 5:50 pm  Reply with quote
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Joined: 31 Oct 2005
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Location: Wisconsin

I've got a pre war 16 gauge Skeet that is 6# 12.4 oz. While a touch heavy, the WS1 and WS2 chokes are deadly on close in game. I have used it for rabbits in HEAVY cover where you get one snap shot and thier gone. It's quick and points great. It's also great on SKEET, a game I don't shoot very often. It will still be shooting when i am long gone!-Dick
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16gaugeguy
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 8:12 am  Reply with quote
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Joined: 12 Mar 2005
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Location: massachusetts

Why whine about a few oz or so of weight. 6-3/4 lb is so close to 6-1/2 lbs, that being that discriminate is laughable. If a grown man of sound body can't hack toting a 6 -3/4 pound gun but feels fine with a 6-1/2 pounder, then his problem is not the gun.

Charlie, my 16 gauge Citori models all weigh right about where that 21 weighs and they carry, balance, and handle just fine. I'm not a large man either, nor a young one, but I can carry a 6-3/4 pound gun all day and never miss a shot from tired arms.

However, like you so aptly pointed out, the gun stock has to fit perfectly so the gun shoots where you look. That is so much more important than a few well distributed ounces of weight. Incidently, the 21 looks just fine to me. it is a lot more handsome than some of those strange looking sliding breech doubles I keep hearing about. It also carrys a lot nicer when open over ones shoulder at day's end when a fellow has a full game bag to tote and a right to be tired from a long hard hike in the fields.

Gene Hill used the word bitey. I call a 20 ga whimpy. Its a 16 that never made it past puberty. Wink
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Ted Schefelbein
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 2:42 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 19 Jun 2004
Posts: 1292
Location: Mpls, MN.

Sliding breech gun number 1 is 6 lbs, 2ozs-with a superbly fitted leather sling-which is one heck of a lot better idea than carrying a barnhinge double on a long hike out of the woods broke over one's shoulder. Looks good in pictures, with the briar hanging out of one's maw, but, sucks in actual practice, unless one's hunting happens primarily on paved roads.

Thats a 12, by the way. A 6 3/4 pound sixteen is 'sorta fat, 'doncha think? I don't really care for any guns below 6 lbs, regardless of gauge, but, a 6 3/4 lb 16?

Whats the point?
Best,
Ted
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fin2feather
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 8:30 pm  Reply with quote
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Joined: 06 Aug 2004
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Location: Kansas High Plains

Yeah, Ted, but guns that don't break in the middle...isn't that un-American? Speaking of un-American, aren't we supposed to be boycotting the French? Very Happy

Seriously, this infatuation with weight, or lack of same; what's that about? I found a nice double 12 for my late father-in-law (the honorable Jessie J. Critchfield) a year or so before he passed. You know what he liked about it, most of all? "This gun's got some weight to it!" Not something you usually hear when talking favorably about doubles!

If that Model 21 is too heavy, I'll be happy to bear the burden; send it on over. Gotta love those American double guns!!

PS: my old Sterlingworth 16 is 6-1/2 lbs; I guess that's acceptable? If not...well, tough!


Last edited by fin2feather on Tue Jan 31, 2006 9:13 pm; edited 1 time in total

_________________
I feel a warm spot in my heart when I meet a man whiling away an afternoon...and stopping to chat with him, hear the sleek lines of his double gun whisper "Sixteen." - Gene Hill, Shotgunner's Notebook
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gunflint charlie
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 8:37 pm  Reply with quote
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I didn't know there needed to be a general point. I'm just speaking for myself. This weight is easy for me to carry all day -- and it often takes all day to get a chance at a couple of Minnesota pheasants. It's a comfortable weight for shooting 1-1/8 oz. loads, and a slightly heavier gun helps smooth out my swing -- and I need the help. I choose what feels right to me, am not locked into dogma about the "correct" weight for any gauge gun. I'm not trying to persuade anyone to carry a gun heavier than feels right to them, and I don't find it difficult to ignore the opinion of someone who thinks I'm missing "the point" (whatever that means) in using a 16 heavier than a prescribed proper weight. My feel for the 16 ga. M-21 is much like Gene Hill's -- it feels just right to me -- even though he's mistaken in saying most of them fit the "classic standards".

GC
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fin2feather
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 9:26 pm  Reply with quote
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Charlie,

I think most of us would shoot better with slightly heavier guns if we'd just admit it. If the gun feels right, it is right. If you can't tote it, don't. If one of those whimpy little guns is your thing, fine, but I'm just a little tired of the "lighter is better" elitest attitude. Sorry, folks: the mini-rant is over. I'll just finish my drink now, and head on up to bed.

Fin

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I feel a warm spot in my heart when I meet a man whiling away an afternoon...and stopping to chat with him, hear the sleek lines of his double gun whisper "Sixteen." - Gene Hill, Shotgunner's Notebook
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16gaugeguy
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 6:08 am  Reply with quote
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Boy, I'm glad we don't hold these discussions in a pub. I'd be under a table drinking someone's beer while the donnybrook breaks out. Wink I think I said a while back that French politics, wine, and guns are too complicated and way over rated IMO. But if you like these odd looking non-benders, use them. Besides, you can't balance one of these contraptions on your shoulder while relieving yourself on a tree as easily as one can with a break open gun. I'll bet you never thought of that one did you.Smile Slings on a shotgun are a pain in the butt except on a slug gun where they can help steady a shot.

The whole weight issue is all too often stretched to the point of being ridiculous. I picked the Citori 16, because it was sufficiently light enough to carry easy all day and sufficiently heavy enough to swing steadily. It is sufficiently short enough to work in any cover, and sufficiently long enough to track and balance between my hands. A couple of three ounces under 6-3/4 lbs will not make enough difference to matter. As would one or two inches if the gun is between 26 and 28". Even a well balanced 30" break open gun will do. However, once a gun goes under 6-1/2 lbs, or shorter than 26" it becomes too whippy andmuzzle light for me to swing well in all situations,...the key phrase here is for me. If the next guy can hit well with a short, very light gun, more power to him. Most guys can't.

However, carrying an opened double barrel to the front over your shoulder out of the field at day's end is the easiest and safest way. How is sucks is beyond me. I also usually break my gun open when approaching another group of hunters or anywhere near a parking area as a curtesy to others. I've found it's good manners and much appreciated. Its obvious the gun is safe. Its one of the reasons I like a break open double so much. Besides, it looks sorta cool don'tch think, in spite of the briar branch hanging out of my mouth... and besides, some thorn branches are both tasty and nutricious. you didn't know that bit of woods lore did you Ted... so there! Wink
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Ted Schefelbein
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 2:15 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 19 Jun 2004
Posts: 1292
Location: Mpls, MN.

That method sucks because it doesn't free up the hands. The drill on a slider is pop the key up, (safe, as the gun is open at that point, it can't fire) sling the gun, and have hands free to carry the old tired dog out, balance ones self over rough terrain, carry the game bag, help out the elderly guy along for the trip by carrying his gun, whatever. Much better form and more secure for gun and self than having a sweaty mitt wrapped about the guns tubes.
Slings are a handy improvement to any shotgun that is used to pursue game-anyone who claims different likely hasn't tried a well fitted one, and anything with clanky swivels isn't well fitted, where shotguns are concerned. The sling on a Darne either retracts into the stock, or can be removed in seconds, leaving not a trace it was ever there. Silent perfection.
If one is happy lugging a 6 3/4 pound 16 gauge shotgun (that's more weight than most of my 12s, by the way) have at it.I don't shoot 16s that carry like a 12 and hit like a 20, I guess.I have some heavier 12s that I shoot trap with, but, they are not that much heavier than that. Egad.
Best,
Ted
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Brian Meckler
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 9:08 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 265









I would hardly call this a bulky sling. At 6# 1 ounce with the sling I can traverse the nastiest chukar mountains. Being from Mass. I assume you don't have any rock dwelling birds. I can assure you a 6 # chukar gun is the best tool for the job.
The sling can be pulled tight and it is totally out of the way.
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