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I thinking of a new autoloader. I field hunt Canada geese.My previous gun was a 3.5",and it gave me troubles. Does a 3.5" really offer that much more? I've heard they don't pattern aswell as 3" guns. With all the new ammo I was thinking maybe a 3" is just as good. Now I know a close range,probably no diff. However for those birds that don't commit too the spread;ranges are a bit longer. What do you guys think?

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I've done some pattern testing with my SBE II using 3 and 3.5 inchers and the difference in pattern density is enough for me to keep using 3.5 inchers on geese. Try shootin some 3s vs 3 1/2 in larger shot sizes like BB and BBB and see for yourself.

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I've done some pattern testing with my SBE II using 3 and 3.5 inchers and the difference in pattern density is enough for me to keep using 3.5 inchers on geese. Try shootin some 3s vs 3 1/2 in larger shot sizes like BB and BBB and see for yourself.

 

 

+1 for the 3.5s. If I werea better shot, maybe the 3's would be enough, but I need all the bb's I can get in the air

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I always like to shoot 3.5"s at geese! but believe it or not, i shot more geese this year using 3" #2's! But the extra pellets and the extra powder is def. enough power to put down some geese at a lil bit futher distance! But i found that 3.5" #2's dont really pattern all that well compared to 3" #2's. just carries more pellets...

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i shoot both and to tell you the truth i really cant tell the difference. when hunting geese i load a 3 in the chamber a 3 the first shot coming out of the tube and a 3 1/2 the last shot just 4 the little bit more distance if needed. the guys i hunt with laugh at me but i find it to be a good way to get the meat to the table .. if you know what i mean. btw you can tell the difference in the kick with the last shot though. i really dont know if i would want to shoot 3 1/2 all the time!

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  • 1 month later...
I thinking of a new autoloader. I field hunt Canada geese.My previous gun was a 3.5",and it gave me troubles. Does a 3.5" really offer that much more? I've heard they don't pattern aswell as 3" guns. With all the new ammo I was thinking maybe a 3" is just as good. Now I know a close range,probably no diff. However for those birds that don't commit too the spread;ranges are a bit longer. What do you guys think?

I was under the impression that the 3.5 diddent carry any longer they just had more pellets and more powder to carry the extra pellets .and my opinion is if you had a 3.5 why go back to a 3

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I was under the impression that the 3.5 diddent carry any longer they just had more pellets and more powder to carry the extra pellets .and my opinion is if you had a 3.5 why go back to a 3

 

A 3 1/2" 12 ga. has a higher pressure limit than 3". It will "carry longer" IF round is loaded to the higher pressure.

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So, why do we have 3-1/2" chambers in a 12 gauge anyways? The answer is so that we don't have to have several different guns in our safe to do one job. When we were allowed to shoot lead at late season Canada geese, a 3" chamber was fine and the shot could easily reach the higher altitudes these birds were flying over areas without decoys.

 

Now we have steel and other non-toxic shot which is lighter than lead and does not compress and deform like lead did as it left the barrel. Because of that we have to use less pellets and they need to be bigger to have the same energy upon impact as the lead did. The best way to do this was to add some payload and powder to lob that payload up into the stratosphere where the gees fly. That is why the 3-1/2” 10 gauge was the gun to have in late December or early January.

 

I have a Remington Express Super Magnum that shoots these big old shells and yes, the recoil is more than a 3” but still manageable especially when there are birds overhead and I’m wearing extra layers! That said, when you’re launching 1-1/4 oz. of no. 2 steel shot at 1,625 fps, you’re gonna know you pulled the trigger but will soon forget it when that big old Canadian hits the ground!

 

The greatest thing about it is while I did go and buy a new gun I was able to sell my old gun to make room in the safe and I still can shoot all the 2-3/4” or 3” shells that are in stored in the ammo locker and I can continue to reload without adding that to the mix as well.

Edited by Mr. Mac
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So, why do we have 3-1/2" chambers in a 12 gauge anyways? The answer is so that we don't have to have several different guns in our safe to do one job. When we were allowed to shoot lead at late season Canadians (the geese, not the people, although...) a 3" chamber was fine and the shot could easily reach the higher altitudes these birds were flying over areas without decoys.

 

Now we have steel and other non-toxic shot which is lighter than lead and does not compress and deform like lead did as it left the barrel. Because of that we have to use less pellets and they need to be bigger to have the same energy upon impact as the lead did. The best way to do this was to add some payload and powder to lob that payload up into the stratosphere where the gees fly. That is why the 3-1/2” 10 gauge was the gun to have in late December or early January.

 

I have a Remington Express Super Magnum that shoots these big old shells and yes, the recoil is more than a 3” but still manageable especially when there are birds overhead and I’m wearing extra layers! That said, when you’re launching 1-1/4 oz. of no. 2 steel shot at 1,625 fps, you’re gonna know you pulled the trigger but will soon forget it when that big old Canadian hits the ground!

 

The greatest thing about it is while I did go and buy a new gun I was able to sell my old gun to make room in the safe and I still can shoot all the 2-3/4” or 3” shells that are in stored in the ammo locker and I can continue to reload without adding that to the mix as well.

Remind me not to travel through your way late in the season

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  • 2 weeks later...

after having done a little research on this subject, the 3.5 12 ga was introduced as close facsemily to the 10 ga.12 ga 3.5 loads can be bought with 1 5/8,1 7/8, and 2oz loads.while the 10 ga varys from 1 7/8oz -2 1/4oz.while patterns dont vary much between the 10 and the 12ga.the 12 is a bit more user friendly due to its being lighter, as well as a much wider use of applications and choices of ammo.[after all you would not want hunt dove and quail with a 10 ga.]

 

but i also found out that 3" loads can be had up to 1 7/8oz as well.

but just to set the record straight. heavy loads generally use less powder, not more.due to the fact that the heavy loads take less powder to create higher pressures. even this depends on the powder used.

 

source: Lymann 2009 shotgun shell master reloaders manuel.;)

Edited by splashtx556ftw
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I thinking of a new autoloader. I field hunt Canada geese.My previous gun was a 3.5",and it gave me troubles. Does a 3.5" really offer that much more? I've heard they don't pattern aswell as 3" guns. With all the new ammo I was thinking maybe a 3" is just as good. Now I know a close range,probably no diff. However for those birds that don't commit too the spread;ranges are a bit longer. What do you guys think?

Someone asked me why I shot a 3.5 " mag. for turkeys. My reply was, " because they don't make a 4" mag.

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