Helping You Get the Most From Your Hunting Dogs
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|Coming to grips with the 16 gauge Browning|
The straight or English grip requires little explanation. It's favored by many because it keeps the palms of the shooter in the same plane -- which in turn keeps elbows up and away from the side and improves the shooter's ability to swing to the left or right. Don Zutz, the legendary shooter/writer, often expressed his preference for this configuration.
The other grip found on these Brownings was once referred to as a half-pistol, semi-pistol or "bag" grip. Today we call it a Prince of Wales grip. If you have a small hands, it's easy to move the trigger hand slightly forward on the grip to a comfortable distance from the trigger. While you may think the round knob only provides gainful employment for your little finger, the fact is that it acts as a keel on a boat, with your ring and little fingers helping you keep from canting the gun. The checkering is sharp and well-executed on the grip and forend areas and is not filled in with plastic goop or sanded smooth, so complete control of the gun, even if you're wearing gloves, is assured.
When John Wayne issued his famous "fill your hand you sonuvabitch" challenge in the movie True Grit; he was referring to the legendary hand-filling characteristics of the Colt single action pistol. The lovely little palm swell grip serves the identical function on these shotguns. It "fills" your hand and empowers it with a sure and certain grip -- not unlike clasping the hand of a friend.
When the history of modern 16 gauge usage is written...
... the Hicks/Browning is entitled to it's own chapter, right along with Remington's new 16 gauge pump and semi-auto, F.A.I.R.'s 16 gauge O/U and Ithaca Gun's Model 37 pump. Traditions Performance Firearms introduced a "Real 16" O/U at the SHOT Show this year and B. Rizzini expects to bring a16 gauge on a 16 gauge frame O/U to market this year as well. AYA and Merkel continue to offer great side-by-side 16 gauge guns.
Even if you are not reloading for the 16 gauge, you owe it to yourself to buy (@$9.95) a copy of THE SIXTEEN GAUGE MANUAL - FIFTH EDITION published by Ballistic Products (888/273-5623). Lot's of great anecdotal stuff from Grant Fackler and the BP team, who obviously love the gauge, plus almost 400 tested 16 gauge loads to meet every shooting requirement -- everything from 5/8 oz. powderpuff loads to 1450 fps screamers -- plus reloading tips galore.
"... this is the end of the beginning"
... to paraphrase Winston Churchill. The 16 gauge is back, BIG TIME! We have more and better 16 gauge shotguns and ammunition choices than ever before. Naturally, you'll want a piece of the action. The future starts today.
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