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20 in 16 ga? I wouldn't recommend it.


Mustang Gregg
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Commissioner Gordon (my Pa) told me that during WWII that civilian shells were very hard to get and they sometimes had to shoot 20 gauge shells out of a 16 gauge shotgun (f that's all they could get) and shoot 16 guage shells out of a 12 gauge shotgun.  Also 12s out of a 10.

 

He was told that's why they color coded shotgun shells so carefully.

You definitely wouldn't want to drop a 20 gauge on a 12 gauge barrel.

It could be one hell of an explosive squib.

HAVE ANY OF YOU SASS SHOOTERS EVER TRIED 20s IN A 16?

 

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Not sure if they will hold enough to fire.  You can buy chamber mates which are just a new chamber to shoot sub gauges in a larger gun.    So I assume if it would hold enough to fire it would probably work.  Not ideal and I would guess velocity would be low.  

 

 I have been told the reason 20 ga are yellow is they will fit into a 12 ga far enough to get stuck in the forcing cone, which will explode the gun if then loaded with a 12 ga shell and fired.   Being yellow you can easily see that it’s 20 and not a 12 if you had both in a pouch or pocket.  Never tried it but I would guess a 16 won’t go in that far and a 28 will go all the way through. 

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A 16 gauge shell will drop completely into the chamber of a 3” 12 gauge gun.  Rather not say how I know.

 

:ph34r:

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Back in the early 90's we often shot where long guns were lined up in vertical rack while we shot. 

 

I pick-up my 20 gauge Stoeger and shoot the stage.  When I got to the shotgun, I loaded 2, and the gun did not fire, I couldn't figure out why?  So I started loading two more and expected to see the cartridge heads looking at me and they didn't.  So I started looking around on the ground to see where they went.  About then either I or the T.O. decided to stop.  Then I realized that the Stoeger I had was not mine, but someone's 12 gauge.  The shells had fallen down into the chamber. . .

 

I know several cowboy who shot the stage using someone else's gun and didn't realize it since most were shooting 12 gauge.

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One of the tests that was done on the TTN hammer gun was the 12/20 test - a 20ga shell was inserted with a 12ga behind it and fired.  It split the stock but the barrels were unharmed.  

 

I think if a 16 in a 12 or a 20 in a 16 were to actually catch enough on the rim ledge and still have the firing pin strike the primer, so for instance to be able to fire a 20 in a 16, due to the low pressure it would cause no harm other than to the shell itself which would probably split.  Same as firing a .44 in a .45 chamber.

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In theory it could work.

16 ga rim diameter is 0.815"

12 ga base diameter is 0.812" for a 2.50" chamber

12 ga base diameter is 0.813" for a 2.75" chamber

12 ga base diameter is 0.815" for a 3.00" chamber

 

 

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