16B Guage


#1

I have saw a reference to a 16B Guage shot shell. How is this different from a regular 16 Guage?


#2

Very early in the production of shotshells gun makers apparently chambered some guns for paper shells and some for brass. Ammunition makers, like UMC, denoted shells with the letter A (paper chamber) and B (brass chamber). There obviously was some difference but I don’t know what it is nor have I ever come across a shell marked this way. I don’t think it was limited to 16 ga but I don’t know how many were made this way.


#3

Hello, I agree on the paper and brass chambered cases.
I don’t know for what gauges they are made but I have the following in my collection.
8a 14a 20a 10a and 12a.
Unfortunatly no B cases.
Regards rene


#4

There are also 11ga, 13ga, and 15ga.


#5

For whatever it is worth I have B marked shells in 10, 12, 16, and 20 gauges (on mostly UMC or [E] Remington brass) and an unmarked 11 B ga. (by UMC) I’m sure there are also 8 ga B shells, just don’t have one.


#6

The ‘B’ marking was strictly for brass shells intended for the early, pre-paper shell, shotguns. When paper shells came into use, the inside diameter of them was the same as the inside of the early brass (‘B’) shell, but were much larger outside. The ‘A’ marking could be found on brass shells that were the same outside diameter as the contemporary paper shells, thus, giving the shooter with a gun chambered for paper shells a choice between using paper or brass (‘A’) shells. Cheers!


#7

Hi. I have been looking for this explanation of A vs B shotgun shells. I am now totally confused about this issue. If the A paper shells were much larger than the B brass shells, then it should be that the chambers of a gun made to shoot A shells would be larger in diameter than those for a B shell shooter, correct?

For which type is modern ammo more closely related, in terms of diameter? I have read that modern 12ga plastic shells are the same size as a 12B shell. Is that correct? I have also read that a 12A is roughly the same diameter as a 14ga. Somewhere along the way I feel like I’ve picked up conflicting information.

Under what scenario would a modern plastic 12ga shell fit inside of a 14ga chamber of any type? If the paper shells were larger in diameter, then a 12B might fit inside of a 14A chamber due to the requirements of thicker paper hulls in the 14ga chamber, or have I missed the boat completely?

Thank you for any responses.


#8

[quote=“jawjadawg”]Hi. I have been looking for this explanation of A vs B shotgun shells. I am now totally confused about this issue. If the A paper shells were much larger than the B brass shells, then it should be that the chambers of a gun made to shoot A shells would be larger in diameter than those for a B shell shooter, correct?

[color=#FF0000]of course [/color]

For which type is modern ammo more closely related, in terms of diameter?

[color=#FF0000]Take a look on the picture below[/color]

I have read that modern 12ga plastic shells are the same size as a 12B shell. Is that correct?

[color=#FF0000]It is stupid[/color]

I have also read that a 12A is roughly the same diameter as a 14ga.

[color=#FF0000]It is false also.
what is the name of the guy writting such nonsenses ???[/color]

Somewhere along the way I feel like I’ve picked up conflicting information.

Under what scenario would a modern plastic 12ga shell fit inside of a 14ga chamber of any type?

[color=#FF0000]The fact a shell is made of paper or plastic changes nothing and in any case a modern 12 Ga will not fit into a 14 A Ga gun !!
And if the gun is a 14 B the dimensions of the chamber will be furthermore smaller (close to a 20 A chamber) [/color]

If the paper shells were larger in diameter, then a 12B might fit inside of a 14A chamber due to the requirements of thicker paper hulls in the 14ga chamber, or have I missed the boat completely?

[color=#FF0000]Almost, but not if your gun is in good condition.[/color]

Thank you for any responses.[/quote]

[color=#FF0000]The map here enclosed shows you the dimensions of UMC shotshells A and B versus the 920 and 1992 US standards. (I think you must be american).

As you can see the B gauge shotshells are smaller than the A gauge.

The B shotshells were designed to be used in chamberless guns.
The A shotshells were used in guns with a chamber (as nowadays), meaning guns using paper shells.

JP[/color]


#9

My 2 Parkers, made in the 1870s, are chambered for the 12A and 10A shells. Paper and plastic shells of ‘modern’ dimensions fit the chambers perfectly, as they were designed to. The ‘B’ brass shells are very loose in the ‘A’ chambers and would probably split when fired. Brass cases can be lathe turned for those wishing to shoot their ‘B’ chambered guns.


#10

Two fantastic replies, with a lovely bit of French sarcasm. I thank you both.

Yes, I am American and young at that - 39. My experience with shotguns designed for B shells is zilch. Never even held one. Hadn’t even heard of them until two days ago.

My two favorite english words to hear spoken with a French accent - stupid and nonsense.


#11

Shot guns made for brass ‘B’ shells had the same chamber diameter as the bore diameter. Thus, the shell it self is a smaller diameter than ‘A’ or paper shells. Shot guns made to shoot brass ‘A’ or paper shells have a larger chamber than bore diameter and a slight taper at the forward end of the chamber. This allowed paper shells to open up in the chamber so the shot wouldnt wipe out the end of the hull. As far as I know B’s come in 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 and 20. I have in 10, 12 and 20. I dont think I have seen any made by other than U.M.C. and Remington. Thanks for the U.M.C. specs. Will go in my shotshell info.

Rookie


#12

Between the years 1873 and 1885, the U.M.C. catalogs listed both Type “A” and Type “B” Brass Shotshells in the following gauges:

8, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 20, .58 Cal.

I think there is is also a 13 ga., but it was never listed by U.M.C.

Here is a page from the 6 Jan 1880 U.M.C. catalog listing all of the above gauges except the 20 ga. The 20 ga. was added in 1882.


#13

Very interesting Ron!

Which catalog offers the .58’s so marked?

Has anyone seen a .58 shell marked either A or B by any manufacturer? Or any packaging?

Or is this another case of something being offered in a catalog but never manufactured ? With a 12 year listing period you would think there would be lots of them. But, & I may be wrong, BUT I thought the .58 was marketed basically for shot-out rifles/muskets. If so, why bother with a paper shell chamber. Has anyone seen a U.M.C.Co… .58 paper shell headstamped or unheadstamped? I have a paper .58 but it is a Winchester (headstamped) & as far as I can tell U.M.C.Co. never (that word) made paper .58’s. (Sure would like to hear of, or see one!) The Winchester variation is quite scarce, & none of the brass Winchesters, I’m aware of, are marked A or B.

I do know the U.M.C.Co. brass shells were made in 3 and/or 4 holed Berdan primer pocket variations. The pair of mine; show a raised ring, have the same head dia. & are both unheadstamped.

Also to add that an E. Remington brass shells box exists that states that the 12 B or 14A shells are interchangeable. Stating at the top “20 NO. 12 B, OR 14 A GAUGE METALLIC SHELLS”

Edited once to add: this E. Remington box is pictured in my sale 11 lot 647


#14

[quote=“PetedeCoux”]Very interesting Ron!

Which catalog offers the .58’s so marked?

Has anyone seen a .58 shell marked either A or B by any manufacturer? Or any packaging?

Or is this another case of something being offered in a catalog but never manufactured ? With a 12 year listing period you would think there would be lots of them. But, & I may be wrong, BUT I thought the .58 was marketed basically for shot-out rifles/muskets. If so, why bother with a paper shell chamber. Has anyone seen a U.M.C.Co… .58 paper shell headstamped or unheadstamped? I have a paper .58 but it is a Winchester (headstamped) & as far as I can tell U.M.C.Co. never (that word) made paper .58’s. (Sure would like to hear of, or see one!) The Winchester variation is quite scarce, & none of the brass Winchesters, I’m aware of, are marked A or B.

I do know the U.M.C.Co. brass shells were made in 3 and/or 4 holed Berdan primer pocket variations. The pair of mine; show a raised ring, have the same head dia. & are both unheadstamped.

Also to add that an E. Remington brass shells box exists that states that the 12 B or 14A shells are interchangeable. Stating at the top “20 NO. 12 B, OR 14 A GAUGE METALLIC SHELLS”

Edited once to add: this E. Remington box is pictured in my sale 11 lot 647[/quote]

hello Pete
I don’t think the .58 was made in A or B (the suffix A and B in the catalogues refering only for the 8 to 20 gauges).

As you can see in the UMC dimensions, 12 B and 14A are very very close, one could be fired in the chamber of the other but not the reverse except if the chamber accepts these tolerances.

Furthermore UMC and Remington have slighty differences in dimensions.
I didn’t put the dimensions of the Remington ones because I crossed too few samples (at the opposite of the UMC ones) to writte the minima and maxima.

Don’t forget at this period of time dimensions of the guns were also different depending of the manufacturer (and this till SAAMAA unification in 1920, thing the people forget often)

The B shells were at the beginning designed for the guns converted from muzzel loading to brench loading. As these guns disappeared this was a reason to dry the market of B shells. (in the worst case a chamber reamer had resolved the problem, as it happened in France when we changed from one standard to the other)

About the 13 and 15 gauges I met three years ago a guy (i don’t remember the name, but he was a big metallic shell collector very well known) who had an headstamped UMC 15 (or 13) gauge.

I think there are many shells in these two calibers floating in the US (and 11 B also), the only problem being there are perhaps not headstamped !
And because many of the people don’t measure the shells they find …

jp


#15

Thank you for your replies to my post. Remington listed their rolling block shot gun in 20 and 16B guages and I did not think the action was large enough in diameter to take the regular 16 G shell. I see by jeanpierres table that the 16B shell is very close to a 20G in exterior dimensions. On the Remington web site it is mentioned that the 16B differed from the 20G only in bore dimensions.


#16

Hello !

I think you are refering to the posts of Jay Huber which are a little bite confusing and not accurate at all because we don’t know when he talks 20 gauge if is is refering to the old value of 20 gauge or to his new value, and which exact value.

It is a little more complicated.
All depends what you call the gauge.

  1. If you are refering to it at the theorical diameter of the bore (I am talking here about the british standard because US guns were following it in these old time)
    we have for example
    12 gauge = 18.52 (=0.729 inches)
    14 gauge = 17.60 (0.693 inches)
    16 gauge = 16.81 (0.662 inches)
    20 gauge = 15.62 (0.615 inches)

From the chart I posted you can see the 12B and the 16B have these theorical values.

About the A ctges, because there is a conical recess they also have the same bore diameter.
Therefore the assertion : 16 B and 20 A guns have a different bore diameter is false.

  1. If you are refering to the standards the Brits used :
    12 gauge can vary from 18.80 (0.740) to 18.03 (0.710) (this last one being in fact theorical 13 Ga)
    14 gauge can vary from 17.81 (0.701) to 17.20 (0.677) (this last one being in fact theoretical 15 Gauge)
    16 gauge can vary from 16.99 (0.669) to 16.18 (0.637) (this last one being in fact 18 Gauge)
    20 gauge can vary from 15.90 (0.626) to 15.14 (0.596) (this last one being in fact theoretical 22 gauge)

To which value is he refering in this case ??

  1. If always at the same period you are refering to the US way of manufacturing I have no info about the spread.

Perhaps (and I think) the spread was narrower.
To which value is he refering ??

  1. If he is refering to the nowadays US standard, we get :
    12 gauge can vary from 18.92 (0.745) to 18.41 (0.725)
    16 gauge can vary from 17.40 (0.685) to 16.89 (0.665)
    20 gauge can vary from 16.13 (0.635) to 15.62 (0.615)

  2. Conclusion :
    Saying that this corresponds or not to a 20 gauge is pretty inacurate.
    You have always to tell the period of time, the standard and the exact value of what you call a 20 gauge bore.

Shortly, I would say that, taking into consideration the historical context:
a 12 B and a 14 A guns have the same bore diameter
a 14 B and a 16 a guns have the same bore diameter
a 16 B and 20 A guns have the same bore diameter

JP
PS: Please writte on your profil which country you are from