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Q:
I would like to know some more inforamtion about 16 gauge shotguns. My grandpa has one and I'm just curious about them. Are they still being manufactured? I know they discontinued the Remington 870 16 gauge and there is a Browning BPS 16 gauge. Are there any other popular models of 16 gauges made? Is there any advantages of a 16 gauge? I know that the price of shells are high due to the rarety of the 16 gauge. Just looking to learn some more about 16 gauges and any help would be nice.

Question by Turkeytalk101. Uploaded on November 19, 2012

Answers (14)

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from 99explorer wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

I believe most 16 gauge shotguns are built on the same frames as 12 gauge shotguns of the same model, and 20 gauge shotguns are built on slightly smaller frames.
A 16 gauge shotgun would have a little less recoil than the 12 in most cases.
I started out with a 16 gauge, then traded for a 20 gauge, and now many years later, I use only a 12 gauge. I need all the help I can get.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Shells are cheap and abundant up here in Central Montana for 16 gauge and I noticed Sheels and Cabelas in Grand Forks both had quite a supply when I stopped in on my way here a month ago.

If I'm not mistaken, I think Ithaca still makes 16 gauge shotguns. Someone should check to be sure. Their pumps are fine guns. Better than just about any other on the market today. Certainly better than anything Mossberg, Winchester, and Remington are putting out. But they cost more too.

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from Turkeytalk101 wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

I don't know if I would go that far to say that an Ithaca can be better than Remington or Winchester Ontario Honker. Winchester makes quality guns and I would not pass up using an 870 any day. Have you personally used and Ithica Ontario Honker? If you have, what makes it so much better?

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Yes, I have used both guns. My 870 is jamming quite a bit these days. Many on here have had problems with the ejectors and extractor. Haven't heard anything but praise for Ithaca pumps. The shell retainer on my 870 has been broken loose from its morrings for years. I have to use some real wizardry to get the trigger mechanism back in with the retainer in place. The factory peens part of the receiver over to hold the thing in place. How cheap is that? The 870 is a cheaply made club, relatively speaking. Unfortunately, these days the market is full of cheaply made clubs relatively speaking. I referred this fella to Ithaca because quality-wise, they are a step above the rest. That and the fact that Remington is apparently no longer making the 870 in 16 gauge.

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from Greenhead wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

I am with OHH, Ithaca makes a fine gun. They remind me of the Wingmaster Remingtons of old, or the Browning BPS. Modern 870s are workhorses, but they are made as cheaply as possible and it shows.

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from LeVan Goodey wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

The late Grits Greshem once wrote an entire magazine on shotguns. After writing about the 10, 12,28,20 and 410 he stated ,"that leaves the 16 gauge which is probably the best one of the bunch and I don't need to say anything else." Actually he went on to explain that in his opinion the diameter and shot column of the 16 was the best for patterning, with the least amount shot deformation.I used my grandfather's Winchester model 97 ( four digit SN) until 1971 when I could buy a late 60s 870 that works as well today as it did then. The Ithica pump was designed by John Browning. I believe that the Browning BPS is the only 16 made on a 16 gauge frame. Spoertsman's Warehouse usually has a good supply of 16 gauge shells for a reasonable price.

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from Drew McClure wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

My 1970's 16 gauge 870 is one of the finest tools I own and will ever own. i dropped it out of a treestand sticking into the rocky mud knocked out the 3 inches of mud and used it the next day to finish off a wounded buck in heavy brush. I cleaned it today and it will continue to kill anything for generations, I also have an 1100 in 16 gauge full choke that I turkey hunt with. Cheers.

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from crm3006 wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

The Browning Auto 5 "Sweet Sixteen" was made on a smaller frame than the standard 12 or magnum 12. They are a joy to shoot for left handers, as the safety is built into the front of the trigger guard, and they kick hulls out in a forward direction. Some have complained about the recoil, but this is usually the result of having the light/heavy rings on the recoil spring turned the wrong way. A sixteen gauge will shoot right with a standard twelve gauge load, with less recoil, and deliver almost as much shot. These guns are perfectly adequate for upland game, doves,pheasant, pass shooting ducks, and anything else you want to shoot a shotgun for, with the exception of sky-busting geese.
I would have to agree with the above posters that the Ithaca pump is vastly superior to the current crop of pumps, and actually has the advantage of kicking hulls out the bottom of the receiver, which is great for left handers.

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from Turkeytalk101 wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

I purchased an 870 with a shursot grip 2 years ago and I have nothing to complain about. I personally believe that modern 870's are quality built and I am considering on purchasing another one for pigeon hunting. I hate it when people get one of the few faulty 870's and they immediately say that Remington is junk because they once had one and it broke. With more than 10 million sold, it's obvious that the 870 was and still is the most reliable pump action shotgun on the market. It's not an ugly gun either. It has a fairly modern design that is appealing to the eye.

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from crm3006 wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Turkeytalk101-
No knocks on your 870, they are still a good, working shotgun. But the Browning Sweet Sixteen I mentioned has over 60 years of use,(with one replaced ejector, and one overhaul by Briley) and I know where there are some Ithaca Model 37s and some Winchester Model 12s that have served as long, and as well. When your 870 has about 58 more years on it, we can talk again.

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from RANGERMANZ20 wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

I have an old Browning A-5, Sweet 16 that my uncle gave me over 25 years ago, I use it every year even though I have several other shotguns it is by far my favorite for birds from doves to pheasants, it is a mid 1940s model and still works like new. The shells are gitting up there in cost and I try to buy as many as I can when I find them. When I heard that Browning had brought back the A-5 I was so hoping for a return of the 16, but it is only in 12 and 20. crm3006 glad to see other Sweet 16 owners out there.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Set an old Winchester Model 12 upright on its butt plate and hit the slide release. The bolt will drop open. That will never happen with an 870 new or old model. Turkeytalk, I didn't say the 870 is junk. I said it's a club and a fairly reliable one for the price. For poking a turkey every year that gun should suit you fine. I bought mine in 1968 and it has seen thousands of rounds and it has been causing me problems consistently for a couple of years now. RES has had a lot of trouble with the ejectors (as have I) and he shoots A LOT. Take a look inside the 870. It's all thin stamped metal pieces either peened or riveted to the receiver. Take a look inside an Ithaca or Browning and I think you'll notice a big difference. There were millions of Ford Pintos sold during the era when my gun was made but I haven't seen one on the road for years. They were a serviceable vehicle but not made to last. I agree with crm. If you still have that gun when you're our age and still using it, I think you will have a different assessment of its manufactured quality.

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from nchunt101 wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

I have two early to mid 1970's 870 Wingmasters in 12 and 16 ga an I think they are about as far from a club as you can get. That said the new 870s i have seen are very club like. Quick question aren't the Browning BPS and Ithaca very similar. I have a 12ga BPS I love. Back to the OP if i could find 16ga shells on those last minute runs to the store it would be all i used.

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from ITHACASXS wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

I have a 16, it's a old Remington model 11 Sportsman. It's a well made gun, but it ain't sweet like it's cousin from Belgium. My father had a real deal Sweet Sixteen that I found for him but didn't have the scratch to buy. He sold it for some crazy reason and 28 years later I still grieve over it. It's a fine gauge that was overcome by the magnum craze that is still with us. As for pump guns;Ithaca is engraved on my heart, and while well made, one look at Ithacas long closed factory (I saw it in 1982), it's not hard to see why they could no longer compete. By the way, the connection with Browning/Remington/Ithaca and back to Browning is a great story, but I've gabbed long enough.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Yes, I have used both guns. My 870 is jamming quite a bit these days. Many on here have had problems with the ejectors and extractor. Haven't heard anything but praise for Ithaca pumps. The shell retainer on my 870 has been broken loose from its morrings for years. I have to use some real wizardry to get the trigger mechanism back in with the retainer in place. The factory peens part of the receiver over to hold the thing in place. How cheap is that? The 870 is a cheaply made club, relatively speaking. Unfortunately, these days the market is full of cheaply made clubs relatively speaking. I referred this fella to Ithaca because quality-wise, they are a step above the rest. That and the fact that Remington is apparently no longer making the 870 in 16 gauge.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

I believe most 16 gauge shotguns are built on the same frames as 12 gauge shotguns of the same model, and 20 gauge shotguns are built on slightly smaller frames.
A 16 gauge shotgun would have a little less recoil than the 12 in most cases.
I started out with a 16 gauge, then traded for a 20 gauge, and now many years later, I use only a 12 gauge. I need all the help I can get.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Shells are cheap and abundant up here in Central Montana for 16 gauge and I noticed Sheels and Cabelas in Grand Forks both had quite a supply when I stopped in on my way here a month ago.

If I'm not mistaken, I think Ithaca still makes 16 gauge shotguns. Someone should check to be sure. Their pumps are fine guns. Better than just about any other on the market today. Certainly better than anything Mossberg, Winchester, and Remington are putting out. But they cost more too.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Turkeytalk101 wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

I don't know if I would go that far to say that an Ithaca can be better than Remington or Winchester Ontario Honker. Winchester makes quality guns and I would not pass up using an 870 any day. Have you personally used and Ithica Ontario Honker? If you have, what makes it so much better?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Greenhead wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

I am with OHH, Ithaca makes a fine gun. They remind me of the Wingmaster Remingtons of old, or the Browning BPS. Modern 870s are workhorses, but they are made as cheaply as possible and it shows.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from LeVan Goodey wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

The late Grits Greshem once wrote an entire magazine on shotguns. After writing about the 10, 12,28,20 and 410 he stated ,"that leaves the 16 gauge which is probably the best one of the bunch and I don't need to say anything else." Actually he went on to explain that in his opinion the diameter and shot column of the 16 was the best for patterning, with the least amount shot deformation.I used my grandfather's Winchester model 97 ( four digit SN) until 1971 when I could buy a late 60s 870 that works as well today as it did then. The Ithica pump was designed by John Browning. I believe that the Browning BPS is the only 16 made on a 16 gauge frame. Spoertsman's Warehouse usually has a good supply of 16 gauge shells for a reasonable price.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from crm3006 wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

The Browning Auto 5 "Sweet Sixteen" was made on a smaller frame than the standard 12 or magnum 12. They are a joy to shoot for left handers, as the safety is built into the front of the trigger guard, and they kick hulls out in a forward direction. Some have complained about the recoil, but this is usually the result of having the light/heavy rings on the recoil spring turned the wrong way. A sixteen gauge will shoot right with a standard twelve gauge load, with less recoil, and deliver almost as much shot. These guns are perfectly adequate for upland game, doves,pheasant, pass shooting ducks, and anything else you want to shoot a shotgun for, with the exception of sky-busting geese.
I would have to agree with the above posters that the Ithaca pump is vastly superior to the current crop of pumps, and actually has the advantage of kicking hulls out the bottom of the receiver, which is great for left handers.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Turkeytalk101 wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

I purchased an 870 with a shursot grip 2 years ago and I have nothing to complain about. I personally believe that modern 870's are quality built and I am considering on purchasing another one for pigeon hunting. I hate it when people get one of the few faulty 870's and they immediately say that Remington is junk because they once had one and it broke. With more than 10 million sold, it's obvious that the 870 was and still is the most reliable pump action shotgun on the market. It's not an ugly gun either. It has a fairly modern design that is appealing to the eye.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Set an old Winchester Model 12 upright on its butt plate and hit the slide release. The bolt will drop open. That will never happen with an 870 new or old model. Turkeytalk, I didn't say the 870 is junk. I said it's a club and a fairly reliable one for the price. For poking a turkey every year that gun should suit you fine. I bought mine in 1968 and it has seen thousands of rounds and it has been causing me problems consistently for a couple of years now. RES has had a lot of trouble with the ejectors (as have I) and he shoots A LOT. Take a look inside the 870. It's all thin stamped metal pieces either peened or riveted to the receiver. Take a look inside an Ithaca or Browning and I think you'll notice a big difference. There were millions of Ford Pintos sold during the era when my gun was made but I haven't seen one on the road for years. They were a serviceable vehicle but not made to last. I agree with crm. If you still have that gun when you're our age and still using it, I think you will have a different assessment of its manufactured quality.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Drew McClure wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

My 1970's 16 gauge 870 is one of the finest tools I own and will ever own. i dropped it out of a treestand sticking into the rocky mud knocked out the 3 inches of mud and used it the next day to finish off a wounded buck in heavy brush. I cleaned it today and it will continue to kill anything for generations, I also have an 1100 in 16 gauge full choke that I turkey hunt with. Cheers.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from crm3006 wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Turkeytalk101-
No knocks on your 870, they are still a good, working shotgun. But the Browning Sweet Sixteen I mentioned has over 60 years of use,(with one replaced ejector, and one overhaul by Briley) and I know where there are some Ithaca Model 37s and some Winchester Model 12s that have served as long, and as well. When your 870 has about 58 more years on it, we can talk again.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RANGERMANZ20 wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

I have an old Browning A-5, Sweet 16 that my uncle gave me over 25 years ago, I use it every year even though I have several other shotguns it is by far my favorite for birds from doves to pheasants, it is a mid 1940s model and still works like new. The shells are gitting up there in cost and I try to buy as many as I can when I find them. When I heard that Browning had brought back the A-5 I was so hoping for a return of the 16, but it is only in 12 and 20. crm3006 glad to see other Sweet 16 owners out there.

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from nchunt101 wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

I have two early to mid 1970's 870 Wingmasters in 12 and 16 ga an I think they are about as far from a club as you can get. That said the new 870s i have seen are very club like. Quick question aren't the Browning BPS and Ithaca very similar. I have a 12ga BPS I love. Back to the OP if i could find 16ga shells on those last minute runs to the store it would be all i used.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ITHACASXS wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

I have a 16, it's a old Remington model 11 Sportsman. It's a well made gun, but it ain't sweet like it's cousin from Belgium. My father had a real deal Sweet Sixteen that I found for him but didn't have the scratch to buy. He sold it for some crazy reason and 28 years later I still grieve over it. It's a fine gauge that was overcome by the magnum craze that is still with us. As for pump guns;Ithaca is engraved on my heart, and while well made, one look at Ithacas long closed factory (I saw it in 1982), it's not hard to see why they could no longer compete. By the way, the connection with Browning/Remington/Ithaca and back to Browning is a great story, but I've gabbed long enough.

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