Re: chamber length
Posted by Researcher on July 13, 2012, 9:52 am, in reply to "Re: chamber length"
Three-inch shells have been around just about as long as cartridge shotguns have been around. In my 1903 UMC catalogue there were 12-gauge paper shells 2 5/8, 2 3/4, 2 7/8, 3 and 3 1/4 inch. The 16-gauge was available 2 9/16, 2 3/4, 2 7/8, and 3 inch. The 20-gauge was offered in 2 1/2, 2 3/4, 2 7/8, and 3 inch. In those days the "standard" 2 5/8 inch 12-gauge, 2 9/16 inch 16-gauge and 2 1/2 inch 20-gauge shells carried a slightly milder maximum load than the 2 3/4 inch and longer shells. The advantage of the 2 7/8, 3 and 3 1/4 inch shells was more and better wadding for a better gas seal which many serious Pigeon shooters thought to be an advantage. |
All the manufacturers would chamber new guns for the longer shells upon request, but the chance of that is pretty remote in a Field Grade. These earleir guns for long shells were seldom, if ever, marked as to chamber length. I guess in the old days shooters were just smarter, and knew what length shell their guns were made for.
The "Chambers 3 Inches" marking seems to have begun with the introduction of the 12-gauge 3-inch shell loaded with a maximum charge of progressive burning smokeless powder and 1 3/8 ounces of shot in the 1920s. Western Cartridge Co.'s Super-X load leading the progressive burning powder revolution.