I am primarily a collector/accumulator of American double barrel shotguns with an emphisis on those made by the A.H. Fox Gun Co. Because of the close association of John Olin and his Western Cartridge Co. with the A.H. Fox Gun Co. in the development of Western’s Super-X shotgun shell and The A.H. Fox Gun Co.'s Super-Fox to handle those shells in the early 1920s, I’ve accumulated quite a bit of Western Cartridge Co. paper.
In all of the Western Cartidge Co. paper I have from the 1920s and 30s, the heaviest regular 20-gauge shells offered are 2 1/4 drams equiv. and 7/8 ounce of shot in a 2 1/2 inch case or 2 1/2 drams equiv. and 7/8 ounce of shot in the longer 2 3/4, 2 7/8 or 3-inch “Record” shell. In 1922 along comes the Super-X offering a maximum charge of the new progressive burning powder and one ounce of shot in a 2 3/4 inch shell.
At any rate, in my gun collection I have a big Parker Bros. 2-frame 20-gauge with 32-inch barrels with 3-inch chambers. So, in a recent auction I see this Western “Record” 20-gauge box that says “3 in.” on it and I win it as a bit of ephemera to go with my Parker Bros. shotgun.
Now the rub comes in the load shown on this box “1 1/8 oz. No. 7 Chilled Shot.” I don’t find a 20-gauge load that heavy offered until 1955 when they introduce the 20-gauge 2 3/4 inch magnum shell with 1 1/8 ounce of shot and the 20-gauge 3-inch magnum shells with 1 1/8 or 1 3/16 ounces of shot. It appears from my collection of Western Cartridge Co. paper that they first introduce non-corrosive priming in their .410-bore shells in 1930, and that by 1932 non-corrosive primers are in most all of their shotgun shells. In that there is no “non-corrosive primers” listing on this label, I’m thinking this box is from the 1920s.
So, anyone have any information, thoughts, opinions, on this heavy a load in a 3-inch 20-gauge Western “Record” shell in those days? I’d love to have some of the shells that went in this box, or actually any early long 20-gauge shells.