Tuesday, March 3, 2009

An Essential Part of being a 16 gauge Fanatic

And that part is being a reloader!

I've been reloading as long as I've been seriously shotgunning, which is only about 35 years, since there was no one in the family who shot, other than in world wars at other people, or hunted.. So, I was left without mentors. But the Sporting Life ran in my blood as a young boy. Some of my early recollections were sitting in the back seat of a car and passing an uncut field in Fall, daydreaming of following a Setter through the tall grass, gun in hand. Even then, it was in my blood...
Now, back to the subject at hand.. It is my firm, considered belief that to realize the most from the nearly forgotten Sixteen, one must also be a reloader. Sixteen gauge shooters have never had the luxury of wading through the wealth of offerings available to the devotees of the Twelve and Twenty. A few basic loads, in generally antiquated hulls assembled with promotional quality components is generally the norm. How to improve on this dearth of choices? Reload!!
I've got a couple of large bins full of Federal Purples... de rigeur in reloadability and "upland chic" with the uncommon purple hue, just begging to be stuffed with powder and shot, and slid into the waiting tubes of a nice new SxS... and their day is rapidly approaching!
Any 16 ga. reloader worth his salt also needs to belong to Russ Gray's 16 gauge Low Pressure Reloading Group.. It cost me an astounding $15 to join this group years back, and it was probably the best money I ever spent! Today, I believe the freight is twenty bucks.. An incredibly small price to pay for the almost limitless reloading data that is so hard to come by for the Sixteen.
Truth be told, if given my druthers, I'd buy all my ammo at this stage of my career.. I've spent many hours pulling the handles of reloading machines to keep myself supplied with ammo. Certainly not as much in recent years, but all those years, often toiling on a single stage machine before obtaining progressives, served to wear off the novelty of "rolling my own".. But, the Sixteen is a whole different "ball o' wax" and to satisfy my yen for unique and different loads, my only option is "pullin' the handle" once again!
I'll admit that my frugality also plays a role.. I'm not cheap... Just "thrifty!"

I've got some loads planned that should be pretty sweet to feed the "Queen of The Uplands" this coming season...

More coming soon...After the RBL-16's grand arrival and some shooting...


  1. Hey Bill

    Another 16 ga. fanatic here. That's all I have in the safe. The basements home to buckets full of Federal, Cheddite, and Activ hulls and lots of Gualandi wads. Waiting axiously for the new Down Range 16 ga. wad for 7/8 & 3/4 oz loads. Started roll crimping last fall just to be different :). Looking forward to seeing the new RBL.

    aka Greyphase

  2. Hi Rick,
    Great to see you over here, and I hope you'll read and add your sage commentary often!
    Great looking blog you've got also! I'll be sure to stop in often...