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#341122 - 10/11/13 10:19 AM Fox 16ga - heavy loads
Tom28ga Offline
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Registered: 05/05/03
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I'm going to SD for the pheasant opener. I'm considering taking a 16ga Fox Sterlingworth (Utica) and have some concerns about using heavy pheasants loads. These range between 1-1/8 & 1-1/4oz. of shot and around 1300 fps. velocity. The is a very late (1938-40) production gun with 2-3/4" chambers. Should I be concerned?

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#341128 - 10/11/13 10:44 AM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: Tom28ga]
Bret Adams Offline
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Registered: 12/31/01
Posts: 120
Loc: PA
What would worry me the most, is cracking the stock with those loads. There is not a lot of support for old oil soaked end grain, and it will likely end up with cracks, from loads that heavy.

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#341130 - 10/11/13 10:49 AM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: Tom28ga]
RCC Offline
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Loc: montana
Why such heavy loads, Tom?

I hunt MT and both Dakotas, never on a pay for play operation and hunt nearly daily from the first opening day in MT to the closing day in SD.

In 55 seasons I have shot most every kind of load, heavy ones when I was young and inexperienced, lighter loads as I grew in experience. They all kill roosters, but heavy ones no deader than light loads.

I will shot season limits in all three states, and then again as birds are consumed and as in years past, about 30 of them now, I will shoot 2.5 inch B&Ps High Pheasants with 1 and 1/16th of an ounce of lead.

Tom, take it from an old pheasant hunter. Most any modern shell will work just find, but you will tear birds up less and kill them dead enough with light loads, particularly if you have the good fortune of a good dog.
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#341133 - 10/11/13 11:08 AM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: Tom28ga]
Tom28ga Offline
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I have a whole flat of RST 2-1/2" 1 oz. copper plated #6's. However, the first two days will be push & block hunts with birds probably at longer ranges. I don't feel compelled to use bigger loads but am weighing my options especially with second barrel loads.
The gun I'm using is in excellent condition and the wood is not oil soaked in the least. As a matter of fact, it is perfect. I'm more concerned with metal issues.
The last three days will be walk-up hunting with good dogs.
Incidentally, I've killed a lot more roosters in MT than I ever have in SD and usually with a 20 gauge.

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#341138 - 10/11/13 11:46 AM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: Tom28ga]
bghntr416 Offline
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Registered: 08/16/12
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According to Tom Roster and his extensive research, velocity is shed quickly as it leaves the barrel and the differences in velocity become negligible at those "long ranges." Shoot the RST's. As Robert Frost so eloquently put it, "What undid me...was not what I didn't know. It was the things I knew that weren't so."

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#341139 - 10/11/13 11:56 AM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: Tom28ga]
buzz Offline
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Have you checked out the B&P 16 ga 1 1/16 oz loads? I really like them and they aren't super high pressure loads according to B&P.

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#341142 - 10/11/13 12:23 PM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: Tom28ga]
Tom28ga Offline
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I have a lot of confidence in RST ammunition and will use them extensively.
I also like the Remington 16ga. ammo and have planned on using them in the second barrel. They are not the hottest or biggest load out there but certainly complement the RST's with slightly more shot (1-1/8 vs. 1oz) and a little additional velocity.
At some point, this becomes a hair-splitting activity. It really is about shot placement with the proper amount pattern density.
I don't have any B&P 16ga. ammo but do think highly of them and have a flat of 28ga. shells in inventory and some 12ga. Int'l Trap shells that are great target loads.

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#341147 - 10/11/13 01:01 PM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: Tom28ga]
RCC Offline
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Tom,

Depending on when and where you hunt SD, we might meet up and I have a flat or two of the B&P 16s that I would spare a few boxes from, if you want them.

I will be back from my MT home on the night of the 30th to our Henry SD home and will hunt SD through the 15th of November, when I will go up to our Regent ND property to hunt.

Drop me a pm, if you wish and we will see if it works.
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#341152 - 10/11/13 01:20 PM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: Tom28ga]
TwiceBarrel Offline
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Registered: 03/28/05
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Tom take it from experience it does not take too much recoil to damage what is perceived to be sound wood. My 1935 vintage Sterlingworth developed an internal crack in the web and I have never use a load of more that 1 1/8th ounce at 1200 fps. Now I use 1 ounce loads for pheasant, Prairie Grouse and Sage Grouse and 7/8th ounce for quail.

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#341160 - 10/11/13 03:48 PM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: Tom28ga]
Hammergun Offline
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I would shoot 1 1/8 oz. at 1200 fps with no worries. I have a 16 Sterlingworth and that's what I used on the prairie for pheasant. That's what the gun was designed to shoot. If the wood cracks, get it fixed. They are tough guns and prior generations sure didn't baby them.

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#341164 - 10/11/13 04:44 PM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: Tom28ga]
mike campbell Offline
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Registered: 01/16/03
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Originally Posted By: Hammergun
They are tough guns and prior generations sure didn't baby them.


X2

Tom,

I'm pretty sure our 16's were eating these things when you and I were still in diapers.

If your shoulder can take it, your gun can take it.

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#341165 - 10/11/13 04:47 PM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: Tom28ga]
Drew Hause Offline
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Researcher posted this 1914 Fox load recomendation. What year did things change? 1 oz. 2 1/2 dram would be 1165 fps.



dt/cc doing a staple repair on a cracked down the middle A grade







Edited by Drew Hause (10/11/13 05:05 PM)
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#341168 - 10/11/13 05:23 PM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: Tom28ga]
Jerry V Lape Offline
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Registered: 01/01/02
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Guess all those SD pheasants I shot with 1oz 20ga standard velocity loads of 5s and 6s from my Parker 20ga must have been just an accident. If I were going to tinker with different loads for the second barrel it would be to use 6s in the more open barrel and 5s for the longer shots. When using my 16ga 100 year old light wt German made gun RST 7/8oz loads seemed to be just fine for them as well.

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#341190 - 10/11/13 07:23 PM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: Tom28ga]
shinbone Offline
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FWIW; I've put about 8 boxes of Fiocchi Golden Pheasant loads (1-1/8 oz, 1310 fps) through my 16ga Sterlingworth over the last few hunting seasons with no ill effects. #6 shot in the right barrel and #5 shot in the left barrel.

As long as it doesn't hurt the gun, I appreciate the extra 5 or so yards the extra oomph adds.

BTW, my Sterly was restocked by the previous owner, so no old oil soaked wood here.

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#341192 - 10/11/13 07:42 PM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: Tom28ga]
2-piper Offline
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Curious as to how much difference there is in the load bearing area of the stock between a 12ga & 16ga Sterllingworth. In many doubles the stock is just about as interchangable between different gauge guns as between two guns of the same gauge. If this be the case with a Sterly, if it will stand up to a 3¼-1 1/8 load in 12 why would it not do so in a 16??
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#341194 - 10/11/13 07:57 PM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: Tom28ga]
shinbone Offline
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Registered: 09/20/07
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The receiver of a Fox 12ga is larger than the receiver of a Fox 16ga. I am not sure how much of a difference in load bearing surface between the two, though.

The 16ga and the 20ga are on the same size receiver.

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#341200 - 10/11/13 08:31 PM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: shinbone]
mike campbell Offline
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Registered: 01/16/03
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Loc: upstate NY
That cracked web is not an uncommon occurrence with Foxes. The example in the pic above has more serious damage than the just the split. A substantial and very important chunk of wood is completely missing, perhaps as a consequence of continuous shooting after the crack occurred. A good illustration of why not to shoot one that has the slightest play in wood/metal fit.

That somewhat routine repair has been made for decades; in fact, likely while the guns were still being made. At some time during production the factory began to add a metal reinforcement in the form of a "corrugated" joint fastener.

Were I planning on feeding one a steady diet of heavy loads, I'd add reinforcement as a preventive measure...akin to glass bedding the side plates of an LC Smith before cracks develop.
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#341203 - 10/11/13 08:35 PM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: shinbone]
TwiceBarrel Offline
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Registered: 03/28/05
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Loc: Flint Hills of Kansas
Originally Posted By: shinbone
BTW, my Sterly was restocked by the previous owner, so no old oil soaked wood here.


The previous owner had probably had to restock stock your Fox because he had been using those ounce and a quarter thumpers ment for model 12s, Auto 5s and other repeaters.

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#341209 - 10/11/13 09:15 PM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: TwiceBarrel]
shinbone Offline
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Registered: 09/20/07
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Loc: Denver, Colorado
Originally Posted By: TwiceBarrel
Originally Posted By: shinbone
BTW, my Sterly was restocked by the previous owner, so no old oil soaked wood here.


The previous owner had probably had to restock stock your Fox because he had been using those ounce and a quarter thumpers ment for model 12s, Auto 5s and other repeaters.


Nope. The previous owner is an amature stock maker and he restocked the gun with a stock he dialed in to his somewhat unique dimensions for a perfect fit. It turned out great, too.

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#341212 - 10/11/13 10:37 PM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: Tom28ga]
Gerald A. Mele Offline
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Registered: 04/15/04
Posts: 630
Loc: Central CA
Choke Choke choke for wild birds unless early over dogs.

It doesn't take heavy loads.

IMHO

Jerry

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#341240 - 10/12/13 07:43 AM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: Tom28ga]
L. Brown Offline
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Registered: 01/01/02
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Although your Fox 16 came with factory 2 3/4" chambers, at the time it was made, most 16ga shells were still 2 9/16". There were "heavy" 16's even in those short hulls: 1 1/8 oz shot. But that was over 3 drams equivalent of powder. The current 16ga "express" loads are 3 1/4 DE, 1 1/8 oz, which means more recoil than the more typical vintage loads. I would not worry about pressure since your gun is late 1930's and has factory 2 3/4" chambers, but recoil might be a concern. There used to be 2 3/4 DE, 1 1/8 oz 16ga loads. Significantly reduced recoil but still with a heavier shot charge. However, I don't think anyone is making those any more.

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#341246 - 10/12/13 08:11 AM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: Tom28ga]
Jagermeister Offline
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Registered: 11/26/02
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Originally Posted By: Tom28ga
I'm going to SD for the pheasant opener. I'm considering taking a 16ga Fox Sterlingworth (Utica) and have some concerns about using heavy pheasants loads. These range between 1-1/8 & 1-1/4oz. of shot and around 1300 fps. velocity. The is a very late (1938-40) production gun with 2-3/4" chambers. Should I be concerned?


Yes. I examined couple and these were petite light weight guns. I would be afraid of recoil forces and how it would affect my jaw and in particular tooth fillings.
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#341254 - 10/12/13 09:48 AM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: Jagermeister]
Researcher Offline
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Registered: 01/01/02
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Loc: WA/AK
History lesson --

From the late 1890s until after WW-I, the heaviest 16-gauge loads our North American ammunition companies offered were 2 3/4 drams of bulk smokeless powder or 22 grains of dense smokeless powder such as Infallible or Ballistite, pushing 1 ounce of shot. Those loads could be had in the "standard" 2 9/16 inch case or any of the longer 2 3/4, 2 7/8 or 3-inch cases. In late 1922 or early 1923, Western Cartridge Co. added the 16-gauge to their progressive burning powder loads called Super-X, but unlike the 1 1/4 ounce 12-gauge and 1 ounce 20-gauge Super-X loads which were put up in Western's 2 3/4 inch FIELD shells, the 1 1/8 ounce 16-gauge Super-X load was put up in their 2 9/16 inch FIELD shell. When the Lubaloy shot Super-X loads were introduced in July 1929, they were put up in Western's high brass RECORD shell, but the 16-gauge still in a 2 9/16 inch length case.

The 2 3/4 inch 16-gauge shell really began to get some traction when Remington Arms Co., Inc. introduced their Model 11 and "Sportsman" autoloaders in 16-gauge in 1931, chambered for 2 3/4 inch shells. While Remington's regular Nitro Express 16-gauge progressive burning powder load was put up in a 2 9/16 inch hull with a load of 3 drams equiv. pushing 1 1/8 ounce of shot, for their new 16-gauge autoloaders they introduced the slightly faster Auto-Express with a 3 1/4 drams equiv. charge pushing 1 1/8 ounce of shot --







I'm thin on Winchester ammo catalogues, but for sure by 1934, they were offering a similar 2 3/4 inch 16-gauge load.

The 2 3/4 inch Magnum shells with 1 1/2 ounce in 12-gauge, 1 1/4 ounce in 16-gauge and 1 1/8 ounce in 20-gauge first appear in the December 15, 1954, Western Cartridge Co. catalogues.


Edited by Researcher (10/13/13 10:42 AM)

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#341271 - 10/12/13 01:45 PM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: Tom28ga]
Bret Adams Offline
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Registered: 12/31/01
Posts: 120
Loc: PA
Didn't Elmer Keith push for that 1 1/4oz 16 load? I think he had a 3 or 4E NID that he hunter with a lot.

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#341274 - 10/12/13 02:27 PM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: Bret Adams]
Researcher Offline
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Registered: 01/01/02
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Early on Elmer got a No. 3 16-gauge, but later on he got Major Askins NID No. 5E fully optioned 30-inch barrel 16-gauge, pictured on page 30 of Shotguns by Keith.

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#341281 - 10/12/13 03:35 PM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: Tom28ga]
old colonel Offline
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Registered: 03/05/09
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Loc: Topeka, Kansas
I concur with the view that heavyweight or super fast loads are not required in order to kill consistently.

When young I frequently shot 1 1/4 Super XX though my 16 Sterlingworth (#6 Right #5 Left). I have since grown up. Now days I regularly shot 1 1/8 through my 16ga (#7 Right #6 Left). I often shoot 1oz #7 Spreader Loads over my dog's point.

All my loads travel out around 1150 FPS or so; whether target loads, perserve loads, or wild game loads.

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#341332 - 10/13/13 06:14 AM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: Tom28ga]
L. Brown Offline
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Registered: 01/01/02
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Interesting on the Western Cartridge offerings. There was a Super-X 16, described as a 2 3/4" "magnum", pushing 1 1/8 oz shot. But the Super-X 16 with Lubaloy (copper-plated) shot was made up in the old, short 2 9/16" hull. That was as late as 1940. The 16 was the last gauge to transition to 2 3/4" chambers as standard, which probably explains why even some "premium" loads--the Lubaloy cost more than the 16ga "magnum", $1.48 to $1.32--were still in the old, short hulls.

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#341356 - 10/13/13 10:28 AM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: Tom28ga]
Researcher Offline
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Western Cartridge Co. added a 2 3/4 inch 16-gauge to their Super-X offerings for 1938. From 1938 through 1942 they called this 16-gauge 2 3/4 inch Super-X shell "Magnum", even though it was still a 1 1/8 ounce payload. By Western Cartridge Co.'s March 7, 1946, catalogue the term "Magnum" was gone from this 2 3/4 inch 16-gauge Super-X shell. In Western's January 2,1947, catalogue, the 2 9/16 inch 16-gauge Super-X shell was gone from both the chilled shot and the Lubaloy offerings, and their only 2 9/16 inch shells being offered were Xpert. This may have been an oversight, as the 2 9/16 inch 16-gauge Super-X shell with chilled shot is back in Western Cartridge Co.'s April 8, 1948, catalogue and price list, and the 2 9/16 inch 16-gauge Super-X loads remained until their last appearance on Western Cartridge Co.'s January 2, 1962, catalogue and price lists, where it is "available until stocks depleted." By Western Cartridge Co.,s January 2, 1963, catalogue and price lists the new Mark 5 was introduced and all the 16-gauge Super-X offerings are 2 3/4 inch. By the January 2, 1964, Western Cartridge Co. catalogue and price list the 16-gauge 2 9/16 inch Xpert shell is gone as well.


Edited by Researcher (10/13/13 10:33 AM)

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#341371 - 10/13/13 01:32 PM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: Tom28ga]
Stan Offline
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Registered: 01/03/02
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I must have 8-10 boxes of "late model" 1 1/4 oz. #4 (16 ga.)shells. Also have almost perfect 32" Elsie 16 ga. that I'd like to use those loads in, on crows. But, I can't make myself do it. Maybe, if I glass bedded it, it'd handle them alright. It'd be death on the crows with the full and full barrels.

SRH


Edited by Stan (10/13/13 01:33 PM)
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#341387 - 10/13/13 03:28 PM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: Tom28ga]
Researcher Offline
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Registered: 01/01/02
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A few years back I got a mixed case of 16-gauge shells from the neighbor of a friend. I kept all the 1 1/8 ounce #6s and traded all the 1 1/4 ounce Magnum #4s to Long Range down in Pocatello for factory 1 ounce #8s. I will likely have lead #6 shells for my RBL-16 for the rest of my Pheasant hunting days.

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#341401 - 10/13/13 04:49 PM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: Tom28ga]
L. Brown Offline
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I never used many of the modern 1 1/4 oz 16ga magnums. However, I did pattern them--not a particularly pleasant undertaking in relatively light guns. They did deliver very good patterns, much improved over 1 1/8 oz loads. But your shoulder pays for it if you're shooting a light double.

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#341410 - 10/13/13 05:38 PM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: Tom28ga]
Stan Offline
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Registered: 01/03/02
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Loc: somwers in Jawja
Larry,

I could handle the recoil for 50-75 rounds a day, if the gun could. A Kick-Killer lace-on is nothing short of amazing. Every now and then a crow shoot goes ballistic, though. A few years ago two of my buddies killed over 200 in one sitting. That's a "right smart" of shooting with 1 1/4 oz. loads, at one time.

Interesting about the good patterns with the 1 1/4 loads. Kinda goes against conventional wisdom. Could be just that particular gun.

SRH
_________________________
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot

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#341429 - 10/13/13 07:40 PM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: L. Brown]
Gunflint Charlie Offline
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Registered: 04/15/05
Posts: 696
Loc: South of St.Paul
Originally Posted By: L. Brown
I never used many of the modern 1 1/4 oz 16ga magnums. However, I did pattern them--not a particularly pleasant undertaking in relatively light guns. They did deliver very good patterns, much improved over 1 1/8 oz loads. But your shoulder pays for it if you're shooting a light double.

Back in the mid-late eighties I bought a couple flats of 16 ga. Federal Premium 1-1/4 oz. #6. They're buffered loads, supposed to be hard shot and copper-plated -- but maybe copper-washed? I use them in side-by-sides that weigh about 6-3/4 lb. -- one choked SK1/SK2, the other IC/M. Anyway, like Larry, I found that they throw excellent patterns.

These are 3-1/4 dram eq., so they're like the classic 12 ga. pigeon load. I still have a few boxes left. I won't use them in a light gun, but have found them very useful in my left barrel for late season wild pheasants chased up by my springers. Really don't notice the recoil.

Jay

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#341449 - 10/14/13 06:09 AM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: Stan]
L. Brown Offline
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Registered: 01/01/02
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Originally Posted By: Stan
Larry,

I could handle the recoil for 50-75 rounds a day, if the gun could. A Kick-Killer lace-on is nothing short of amazing. Every now and then a crow shoot goes ballistic, though. A few years ago two of my buddies killed over 200 in one sitting. That's a "right smart" of shooting with 1 1/4 oz. loads, at one time.

Interesting about the good patterns with the 1 1/4 loads. Kinda goes against conventional wisdom. Could be just that particular gun.

SRH


Tried them with more than one gun, Stan. For one thing, velocity is reduced somewhat vs the 1 1/8 oz loads. For another, at least some of those 16ga mags were buffered, which tends to improve patterns.

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#341469 - 10/14/13 09:40 AM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: L. Brown]
Der Ami Offline
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Registered: 07/04/12
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In the 70s and 80s, I regularly used Rem #2 shot 1 1/4 oz 2 3/4" loads in my 60cm cyl choke barrels on a ca 1968 Heym o/u to shoot hare in Germany, as well as my share of phesants. This is counterintuitive, but the combination killed like lightening and didn't tear up marketable game.
Mike

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#341549 - 10/14/13 07:09 PM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: Der Ami]
mike campbell Offline
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Registered: 01/16/03
Posts: 1138
Loc: upstate NY
Originally Posted By: Der Ami
This is counterintuitive, but the combination killed like lightening and didn't tear up marketable game.
Mike


I did something similar when I hunted cottontails with a passion. I used a 12 ga with no choke and 1&1/8 ounce of #4. Only 4 or 5 pellets in the forward half were sufficient for clean kills and the hindquarters weren't filled with lead.
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#341555 - 10/14/13 07:37 PM Re: Fox 16ga - heavy loads [Re: Tom28ga]
L. Brown Offline
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Good points. When I say "better patterns" with the 1 1/4 oz 16ga mags, I mean a higher % in the 30" circle. However, that may not be what you're looking for in a pattern.

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