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 11-30-2005, 12:09 Post: 120125
shortmagnum

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 shotgun gauge trivia

This was prompted by a discussion of sheet steel gauge in another thread.

Most everyone knows that a 12 gauge shotgun has a larger barrel diameter than a 20 gauge, but who knows what the gauge description means? In other words, what physical size or object does 12 or 20 gauge refer to?

Answer in an hour if nobody posts it by then.






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 11-30-2005, 13:12 Post: 120128
shortmagnum

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 shotgun gauge trivia

Ok, it's been about an hour.

The gauge number is the number of lead balls you can make out of a pound of lead at that diameter. So using exactly 1 pound of lead you can make 12 balls with a diameter of about a dime or 12 gauge. 20 gauge gives you more but smaller lead balls. I think this comes from back in the day of large smoothbore muskets and later was used to designate shotgun diameters.

Is there an equivalent measure for sheet steel or wire diameter, or did someone just come up with those at random? This one I don't know.
Dave






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 11-30-2005, 13:30 Post: 120130
DenisS



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 shotgun gauge trivia

This is from Wikipedia

"gauge number is related to the number of drawing operations that must be used to produce a given gauge of wire; very fine wire (for example, 30 gauge) requires far more passes through the drawing dies than 0 gauge wire."

Most likely this is the case for steel thickness too, although I didn't find the precise info for sheet steel






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 11-30-2005, 14:23 Post: 120134
kthompson



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 shotgun gauge trivia

The quage for shotguns I had heard before but had forgotten the pound weight used. This makes sense if you think back to the first days of guns.


As to the wire guage I had never heard that.






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 11-30-2005, 15:32 Post: 120138
Murf



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 shotgun gauge trivia

Speaking of shotgun trivia, I was watching something on the Discovery Network recently and they were explaining how shot shell pellets are made.

Apparently the process is exactly the smae as it was 100's of years ago, they trickle molten metal out of a pot at the top of a tall tower. As the droplets fall they form themselves into spheres which are cool enough to be solid by the time they hit a vat of water sitting at the bottom. They are then collected and sorted into different sizes by passing them through a sized sifter. There are apparently very very few that are not perfectly round, the few that are get sent back for re-melting.

It was really neat to see how it was done.

Best of luck.






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 11-30-2005, 16:30 Post: 120142
shortmagnum

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 shotgun gauge trivia

" As the droplets fall they form themselves into spheres which are cool enough to be solid by the time they hit a vat of water sitting at the bottom. "

I wonder if they have to pour the lead through a screen to break up the flow into smaller droplets. Or maybe the tower is just tall enough so that the lead automatically breaks up by itself.
Dave






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 11-30-2005, 16:52 Post: 120143
Hettric



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 shotgun gauge trivia

It is through a dish with holes so the lead drips






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 11-30-2005, 17:11 Post: 120145
Peters

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 shotgun gauge trivia

It appears the American gauge measurement is equally arcane. I am often use the decimal system and metric for high quality steel and other metals.

From Tim Shoppa in CA;

"The earliest standard for sheet metal gauges actually ran the other way. This is the American Institute of Mining Engineers Standard Decimal Gauge, from 1877. The gauge number was the thickness of the sheet in thousandths of an inch. The series ran from 2 to 22 by 2's, 25, 28 to 40 by 4's, 40 to 100 by 5's, 110 to 180 by 15's, and 200, 220, 240, 250.

The gauges that you're more familiar with began with the "US Standard Gauge" for tax-levying purposes in 1893. They defined the mass of a cubic foot of wrought iron to be 480 lb. A 1 foot by 1 foot by 1/2" sheet would weigh 20 pounds, or 320 ounces, and the gauge for sheet steel weight 320 ounces per square foot was defined at 7/0. From #7/0 to #0, the sequence went down by 20 ounces, 320, 300, ..., 180. Then from #0 to #14 it went down by ten ounces; from #14 to #16 by five ounces; from #16 to #20
by four ounces; from #20 to #26 by two ounces, from #26 to #31, ounc ounce, from #31 to #36, by half an ounce, and from #36 to #38, a quarter of an ounce. In this scheme, assuming that 480 lb is the weight of a cubic foot of sheet metal, #16 is 1/16" an inch - a nice round number.

But no, life couldn'tbe that simple!

The US standard gauge wasn't very useful, because most sheet metal was rolled steel, not wrought iron, and rolled steel weighed closer to 502 pounds per square foot. It was never clear whether steel was being sold/taxed by thickness or by weight per square foot."

After two years of confusion, the American Railway Master Mechanics Association called for a return to the decimal gauge. Since then, the decimal gauge has often been called the "Master Mechanics Gage".

Despite this plea, most of the manufactures continued to use a variant of the US standard gauge, interpreted by weight and not by thickness.
This is called the "Manufacturer's Standard Gauge", and is the one in common use in the US for sheet steel. This is why #16, which was originally 1/16"=0.0625" thick in the US Standard gauge, is actually 480/502 this thickness, or 0.0598".

Aluminum, copper, magnesium, and zinc are measured in completely different gauge(s) and have stories of their own!






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 11-30-2005, 19:25 Post: 120148
Chief



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 shotgun gauge trivia

The gauge designation applies to all but the .410 bore shotgun which is measured in inches. One of my favorite size shotguns.






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