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#601466 08/15/21 06:19 PM
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Gr8day Offline OP
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I’m sure this has been discussed many times, but when did 3” shells and chambering appear in the U.S?

Gr8day #601467 08/15/21 06:37 PM
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Courtesy of David Noreen
Loaded Smokeless powder shotshells were first listed by Union Metallic Cartridge Co. in the 1891 catalog. The “standard” 12 gauge shells were in 2 5/8 or 2 3/4 inch lengths, but paper 12-gauge shells were however offered in 2 5/8, 2 3/4, 2 7/8, 3 and 3 1/4 inch lengths.

At the first Grand Smokeless Championship Handicap Live-bird Tournament given by the E.I. Du Pont De Nemours & Co. October, 1895 Capt. John L. Brewer used a Greener gun of high grade. His shells were the U.M.C. Trap, 3 1/4 inches long, 4 Drams of DuPont (Bulk) powder by measure; one trap wad, two pink felts, 1/4 inch 11-gauge wad and one ordinary 12-gauge pink edge wad over the powder and 1 1/4 ounces of No. 7 chilled shot.
The loads used are listed here, but not the shell lengths. Most competitors used 3 1/2 Dr. Eq. Bulk Smokeless. The longer shells did not hold more shot, but additional wadding.
https://digital.la84.org/digital/collection/p17103coll17/id/53099/rec/2

The “Cast Iron Medal”, emblematic of the Live Bird Championship of America, was shot on Watson’s Shooting Grounds in 1897.
R.O. Heikes (using a Winchester 1897 pump) won the match by killing 91 out of 100 birds, taking the “Cast Iron Medal” and the $200 (about $6,500 today!).
Grimm killed 87 out of the 100 birds, using an L.C. Smith gun, 3 1/4 drams DuPont powder in a 3-inch U.M.C. Smokeless shell, for first barrel, and 3 1/2 drams DuPont powder in a 3 1/4-inch U.M.C. Trap shell in second barrel, 1 1/4 ounces No. 7 chilled shot in both barrels.

In 1898, Von Lengerke & Antoine, Chicago offered the “Gilbert Live Bird” load: 3 1/2 drams DuPont Bulk with 1 1/4 oz. No. 7 chilled shot in a 3 inch Leader shell, loaded by the Winchester Repeating Arms Co.

Wm. Cashmore Pigeon gun

[Linked Image from photos.smugmug.com]

The 3" boomer era began with Western’s 3 inch ‘Record’ with 1 3/8 oz. of shot released in 1923; U.S. Cartridge Co. ‘Climax Heavies’ followed in 1927. Peters also introduced a 3 inch ‘High Velocity’ and eventually the ‘DeLuxe Target’ 3” with 1 3/8 oz. / 4 Dr. Eq. and 1 5/8 oz. / 4 1/4 Dr. Eq. to compete with the Winchester/Western 1 5/8 oz. 12 gauge 3” magnum introduced in 1935.

1 member likes this: Gr8day
Drew Hause #601472 08/15/21 07:56 PM
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The English were building long chambered guns before that.

Gr8day #601499 08/16/21 10:54 AM
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More than a decade before they began offering factory loaded shotgun shells, the 1880 Union Metallic Cartridge Co. catalog shows 12-gauge paper cases 2 5/8 inch for $10.50 per thousand and in longer lengths to 3 1/4 inch for $12 per thousand.


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