Not enough shotgun makers offer guns chambered in sweet-shooting 16 gauge. Lots of shotgunners consider it the Goldilocks of gauges; juuuust right between the kick of 12 gauge and lower pellet count of 20 gauge.
Happily, Stevens — Savage’s shotgun brand — has just announced a new 16 gauge 555 Enanced over/under model (there’s also a standard model without engraving) that’s priced well within reach of most shooters. Here’s their press release . . .
Stevens Unveils New 555E Over-and-Under in 16-Gauge
WESTFIELD, Massachusetts – April 10, 2019 – Stevens’ new 555 Enhanced doles out world-class over-and-under performance — and now does it in 16-gauge. Shipments of these firearms have been delivered to dealers.
The field- and trap-tested platform is light and handles fast, thanks to a lightweight aluminum receiver that’s scaled to gauge and reinforced by a steel insert. It’s also loaded with features, including a stylish Turkish walnut stock and chrome-lined, 28-inch carbon steel barrels.
- New 16-gauge model
- Auto ejectors
- Imperial walnut stock
- Silver, scroll-engraved filigree ornament
- Five interchangeable chokes
- Lightweight aluminum receiver
- Single selective mechanical triggers
- Chrome-lined barrels
- Tang-mounted safety
MANUFACTURER KOFS, TURKEY IMPORTER SAVAGE ARMS, WESTFIELD, MA ACTION TYPE O/U BREAK-ACTION FINISH SATIN RIFLING N/A SIGHTS N/A TRIGGER PULL WEIGHT N/A STOCK IMPERIAL WALNUT OVERALL LENGTH 45 1/2” WEIGHT 6.45 POUNDS
The available model list below also includes the standard 555 blued receiver without engraving option.
Part No. / Description / MSRP
22179 / 555 Enhanced 16-gauge, 28-inch barrel / $879
22178 / 555 16-gauge, 28-inch barrel / $705
It’s the right weight. But a Turkish made o/u? That makes me a little nervous.
LOL. Turkey is basically a first world country if the boss wasn’t a nutbag. They can crank out very nice examples of 19th century tech I’m sure. This is the perfect size/gauge/price for a teen who isn’t sure about clay sports. But, I haven’t checked ammo prices/availability,which is where the gun is going to get hammered.
I googled it and they are not hard to find, from around $8 to $15 for 25 depending on load.
Around here you can get some 16 ga loads at Walmart.
Yeah, I was looking at .410 at Walmart and I couldn’t believe they had 16 ga on the shelves.
Not sure if it’s all that for home defense as there are lower recoil ammo options for 12 ga and also shorter shell options like the Herter’s 2-1/4 inch that do reduce felt recoil. For hunters, I’m sure the 16 ga would weigh less and have more appropriate amounts of shot for various birds and fowl. Unless it’s Turkey, 12 ga is overkill and 20 ga doesn’t have as much shot, whilst also not being as good for home defense as 16 gauge.
I hope the trend continues. If ammo variety and availability were the same between 16 and 20 gauge, I think a lot more people would opt for 16 than 20 these days. Dunno why 16 fell out of favor so long ago, but times have changed, we have a lot better means of testing ballistic capabilities, and more knowledgeable experts as opposed to 60 years ago where the “experts” of that time would say “If you’re not shootin 00 Buck to protect yer home, you may as well be shootin’ blanks, the effect on the bad guy will be the same.”
They have been making weapons for hundreds of years, truth be told, and although some are pretty crappy, others are excellent. Plus they have all that nice walnut. And of course, these guns are backed by a US company that is amenable to suit here if worse should come to worse (which isn’t terribly likely or Stevens wouldn’t be selling it). Then on the other hand, I am no fan of that maniac who has declared himself president (apparently) for life.
I’m sure there are turkish companies that do it right. But the word on the street is qc is hit or miss. A late friend of mine bought one that was nothing but a mess. He finally scrapped it.
I’m not willing to risk it. Just like I’m not willing to risk Remington products after some experiences with them in the last 10 years or so.
Nice pictures, nice gun; but do you really need another size? I Those shells are hard to find, too.
We can no longer mail order ammo in CA. I stockpiled when that law was passed. I hopefully won’t have to buy any more ammo til we get out of here.
If you’re a bird or small game hunter the 16 is just about perfect. It loses a little for water fowling. As much as I like the 16 I agree about the ammo. 12 and 20 are available everywhere and cheaper.
Here in CA we have to use non lead ammo to hunt with. 12 and 20 rule that segment, also.
Knock out gorgeous wood. I want one. For too long the firearms industry has totally ignored us 16 gauge lovers.
Every few years the firearms industry rediscovers the 16 gauge, praises its’ rampant wonderfulness, cranks up the machinery…and waits…and waits. The few die hard 16 fans each buy one and the rest are quietly remaindered. A few years back Browning reintroduced a “new, improved” Sweet 16 made in Japan. It was just “improved” enough that the purists wouldn’t buy any. It did help anyone holding the originals. In comparison to the new ones, the old ones suddenly didn’t seem so expensive and after a brief flurry of activity the 16 dropped off the radar once again. There will be a similar turn in the very few vintage O/Us’ that are out there. Then the 16 will sink beneath the horizon. Another solution to a non-existent problem. -30-
I have a friend that loves 16 ga. He says it kills like a 12 but carries like a 20.
Plus, you can carry it under your coat like in the Pearl Jam song.
I wish someone would build a decent double barrel in that price range with a 24″ barrel.
Cut my teeth on a 16 ga “Elsie”. It’s now a safe queen.
Then there was a 16 ga 67D pump. It’s in my safe.
A 16 ga M12 Win I had to have rebuilt.
Another 16 ga Win M12 that was a train wreck. Replaced a few missing parts and it’s a shooting dude!
Last but not least, a Rem “Sportsman” 16 ga, circa 1942. One of the first 500 built.
Did I say I love the 16 gauge?
Ammo can be found at any Academy and most Wal-Marts. The selection may not be vast, but it’s out there.
The 16 gauge was the epitome of the “one gun hunters” go to piece.
I had an 11-48 sportsman 16, it was a pretty sweet gun
I ended up selling it and getting a Mossberg 500. I pained me to do so but I wanted the more ubiquitous 12 gauge and something more modular to serve as both hunting and self defense.
I wish the 16 ga. was more popular here. It would fill that gap between 12 & 20 nicely for HD and some tactical applications.
AUto Ejectors? Hard PASS. I hate ejectors instead of extractors
One thing I did not mention was that even in the past some manufacturers did not make 16 gauge guns on 16 gauge frames but on 12 gauge frames cancelling out any savings in weight but it did reduce recoil.
I never needed any gauge or loadings more powerful than 3 1/4 drams of powder and 1 1/8 ounces of shot for upland game and I shot quite a few goose, turkey and even deer with the 16 gauge. Its my favorite all time gauge. I never needed anything more.
I can remember a time when there were as many 16 gauge guns out there for sale as there were 20’s and even 12’s. True the 20 ga. 3 inch shell will pack as much punch as a 16 ga. but it does not pattern as well and that is why I have stuck with the 16 ga built on a 16 ga. frame. The nostalgia of walking the fields with this “old gauge” cannot be equaled as it never fails to bring back memories of days gone by and comrades now dead and gone for decades.