Bullets for Shotguns-In some of A.F. Wallace’s writing he mentions using a 16 gauge single gun with single bullets, and I would like to have some information regarding this. Should the bullet fit the muzzle of the gun? If so, what size would a bullet be to fit a 16 gauge, also a 20 gauge both full choke? Would it be necessary to fit other sights? Would there be any danger of bursting the gun if only standard loads of powder were used? Which make of single gun will stand the greatest strain? Would a mould for a shotgun bullet have to be made to special order and what will it cost? How accurate would such a gun be?
I have used round balls in shotguns and killed some big game with them. They are very good for short range shooting, if used in cylinder bore guns, but I have never known a choke bored gun to shoot a bullet with any accuracy. You must use a bullet that will pass through the choke easily, and that means that it will fit very loosely the entire length of the barrel, and therefore has no bearing. In a cylinder bore barrel the bullet will fit the entire length and will shoot accurately enough for chance shots at big game up to 75 to 100 yards. In the Ideal Hand Book issued by Marlin Firearms Co., you will find a diagram of five shots from a 12 gauge repeater, all of which come inside a rectangle 2 x 3 inches. This target was made at 50 yards. These big bullets are very shocking and game wounded with them bleeds freely.
In a choke bore gun you must use a bullet of a size smaller than the gauge of the gun. A 16 gauge bullet measures .662 inch in diameter and weighs about 390 grains. A 20 gauge bullet measures .615 inch and weighs 300 grains. You can get moulds form the Marlin Firearms Co., price $2.00.
While it is not necessary to have the barrel sighted it is better so. Low rifle sights do not interfere with the use of the arm as a shotgun. On the double gun it is easy to mount sights on the rig, for one barrel only, and if one barrel is cylinder bored you have a handy gun.
I cannot tell you which single barrel shotgun will stand the greatest strain. If you want to get a single gun, study the mechanism of each and the one that has the strongest barrel fastening is the strongest arm, for this is the weakest point of a firearm-they have nothing to hold the barrel back against the standing breach..
If a bullet fits well in a barrel, not too tight in the chock, it is no more injurious to the gun than shot, perhaps not as much so, and being lighter than the standard shot charge, the same or even heavier charges of powder may be used.
Harding, A.R.. 3001 Questions and Answers. Columbus, Oh: A.R. Harding, 1913
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