At the time your gun was made in 1916, the heaviest 16-gauge loads our ammunition manufacturers offered were one ounce pushed by 2 3/4 drams of bulk smokeless powder or 22 grains of dense smokeless powder. The "standard" length 16-gauge shell was 2 9/16 inch. Longer 16-gauge shells were available, 2 3/4, 2 7/8 and 3-inch, but they contained more/better wadding, which many gun cranks believed to be an advantage, not heavier loads.
By late 1922, our ammunition manufacturers applied progressive burning smokeless powders to the 16-gauge producing a high velocity, 3 dram equiv., 1 1/8 ounce load -- Western Super-X, Peters High Velocity, etc.
While the pressures with these loads was actually lower than the old loads, moving out that heavier payload at higher velocity greatly increased recoil forces which over the next ninety-eight years has had an effect on aging, possibly oil soaked, wood.
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