Loads for the 16 gauge have long been scarce and lacking in variety, generally carrying payloads of similar weights and sizes of shot. Throw in the need for lead-free loads, and there are still fewer options. Only HEVI-Shot manufactures them using high-density, tungsten-based pellets—for about $4.50 per round.
The recipe here combines high velocity with extra-high-density shot—13 grams/cc—for a hard-hitting, yet mild-recoiling, load that’s suitable for a wide variety of locations and game, including waterfowl and turkey (within 30 yds.), yet costs about half of the aforementioned factory ammunition. Prepare to meet the “mean sixteen.”