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drugoose

3" vs. 3 n half"

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I've been shooting a 3" 870 for about 15 yrs and am looking into buying a 3 n half inch pump.

Before I make the investment I was looking for some input.

1.Does the 3 n half really have more killing power than a 3"?

2.Does it kick like a mule?

3.Is there a big difference in kick in a pump vs.auto?

4.Any 3 n half inch guns out there that you would NOT buy?

 

Any input would be appreciated.

 

Thanks

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I don't think the 3.5 is all that much better.

 

3 inch 3 shot for ducks or 1 shot for geese in a 1 1/4 oz load at 1425 is all you need.

 

If you want more fire power for geese by some Kent matrix and use the 3 inch shells.

 

The 3.5 do kick and really kick in a pump.

 

If I bought a 3.5 inch auto it would be the Franchi 912 or the Beretta extreme.

 

Good luck

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fattire75 said it all but, I'll emphasize buying an auto when considering 3-1/2" shells. A few years ago i bought into the idea and purchased a box of 3-1/2" (I think I lost consciousness during that week) fired 5 shells at paper to pattern them then gave the rest of the box to an inocent bi-stander. 3-1/2" shells probably have their place but, that's someplace i'd rather not go .... heck i still use 2-3/4" for everything in my 12's but my 20's eat 3" shells every so often.

 

[ 12-29-2003, 11:42 PM: Message edited by: birddog ]

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I have no idea where these guys get the idea the the 3-1/2" kicks so bad. I have the Nova Pump and 2 SBE's. I hunt ducks and geese with these guns and sometimes go thru 15 shells in a day with no notice of the recoil. My cousin uses a fabarms O/U in 3-1/2" and it is just fine too. I am using the Federal Premium in #BB for geese and #2 for ducks both at 1550fps. I have found that the 3" 2oz magnum lead loads I use for turkey kick a LOT more than the 1-3/8 loads for waterfowl. Think about the old duck and goose loads we used in 2-3/4" that were 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 oz in #6, #4 or #2 lead and they had a pretty stout kick to them. The 3-1/2" I use is about the same shot weight but higher velocity. I am not a Big guy at 180 lbs so I would recommend the 3.5" with no hesitation. I see no problem with the guys shooting 3" or even the 20ga loads but I just prefer the 3.5". With the increased shot count I have opened up my chokes to IC to get wider patterns and still an excellent concentration of shot with no holes at 40 yards. Also remember when you paper test your loads wear your coat. there is a difference if you test in a t-shirt you will feel the recoil much more than when you are dressed for duck hunting weather. :D

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i agree with mgspencer, if you are goose hunting with the 3-1/2" shells you probly have on cold weather clothes, it shouldn't kick to bad with the extra clothes on , and who cares if the feather are flying anyway,

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OK guys... I am very aware of the fit/recoil differences when wearing your hunting clothing or other amenities. I am stating an opinion or making the point that shooting heavy, high velocity 3-1/2's costitutes/justifies the thought of purchasing an auto-loader for reducing felt recoil (after all, this is the question that drugoose had). You'll have one heck of a time pursuading any experinced hunter/shooter that heavy, high velocity 3-1/2's produce comparable recoil to 3's.... this is what they were developed to do - carry more shot and deliver it at higher speed to compensate for the loss of down range energy due to steels lesser density in comparison to lead -- hense 'knockdown power'.

 

I see the need to compare apples to apples here...

 

" I have found that the 3" 2oz magnum lead loads I use for turkey kick a LOT more than the 1-3/8 loads for waterfowl."

 

.... I hope so or your getting ripped off!!

 

Look at Mossbergs new 935 Magnum 12ga. auto-loader. It's bore diameter is 'overbored' from a standard 12ga. bore of .731 to .775 (that of a 10ga.) to aid in recoil reduction when using 3-1/2's ....

 

As for a 20ga on waterfowl ... ask my dogs. I used it plenty this past year. The ducks hated it though.

 

onthebrink - flying feathers are a good thing no matter what load you shoot.

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Hi...

 

I agree with Birddog here...

 

The 3.5 is just too much... except for buffalo or elephants... and I don't want to go there... The Benelli auto I have (Sport II) is sweet and fires hi-brass 3" pretty easy... but it is not a field gun so I would look at the 'Legacy' series... same gun...field rib... My prior shotgun is the Rem 870 3" mag... and I never failed to hit and kill what I aimed at with 2.75"... much less the occassion 3" I fired... the extra powder OR shot you get in 3.5 just isn't really needed... Not sure what they intended 3.5 loads for... other than 'BIG KID on the block' marketing...

 

I would recommend Auto only because the second shot (if needed) is quicker... and you are busy aiming rather than pumping... (more fun). BUT... the cost of an auto for field work... well...

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3.5" shells were intended for the military and law enforcement so they could shoot "less than lethal" exotic loads, ie bigger bean bags teargas or just good old flachetts, to take out people wareing body armor. they are also marketed to duck and goose hunters that would have normaly used a 10ga now you only have to buy 1 gun to do many tasks. i personaly feel that its a lot of hype and a 2.75 is just fine for what i do, upland game and clays, heck i usualy shoot the lightest thing i can so i can shoot more cheeper

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A 3.5 in gun kicks pretty hard but if you get a gas auto with a $40 recoil reducer it's alright. but if you take the time to set it up right you can kill a critter just as dead with a 2.75 or 3. the only guns I wouldn't buy for it is a single shot or a mossberg

mostly cause I believe you get what you pay for

and with either on of them your not payin' much

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1. I like the 3 1/2 in for longer range geese, but it works great for knocking em down when decoting if u r havin a bad day

2. it kicks a little, but put on the limb-saver recoil pad and you can't feel it when you shoot

3.I use a 3 1/2 in benelli SBE, it works great, and for pumps i use the benelli nova, just put a little dab of oil and wipe off most of it when the wheather is cold so it doesnt gunk up

 

Good luck and shoot straight

smile.gif

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I think ya are crazy for thinking they kick so much. I have shot a box of 5 3.5" mags in 00 buck out of my undertaker tube in mid summer wearing a t-shirt at papers or yotes. Never seen any problems. Use 3.5" T shot 1 9/16 oz for geese, nothing else does for me. I shoot these out of the nova 28" barrel no recoil reducer.

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chamber 1 of those 3.5's - slide in another 3.5 into the mag. then run a high reving 2.75 into the mag so your shot string is: 3.5, 2.75, 3.5 ....then make the call.

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As mgspencer said, I also do not feel a large difference in recoil in 3" to 3 1/2". I am only 17 years old, I have shot my share of 3" shells and just recently 3 1/2" out of my buddies mossberg. Sure, when shooting at paper it is more noticeable, but when you are out in the field/duck blind recoil tends to be the absolute last thing on my mind. Now the 3 1/2" I shot WAS a pump, and I have yet to shoot a 3 1/2 out of a semi. I am told, no personal experience on this one, that the 3 1/2 is more beneficial for turkeys/geese?? I shoot 2 3/4" loads out of my old mossberg pump for ducks and I had no problem dropping a few nice ones out of the sky past season. So I guess you just need to ask yourself if the price of such a gun and or shells is worth it. Im sure many people out there would agree that a 3", in most cases, will get the job done just as well as a 3 1/2".

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I own a Beretta Xtrema and had a Mossberg 835 I don't think the recoil of the 3.5" is that much more that the 3". Besides when you are shooting at birds do you even remember the recoil? I like the ability to shoot any 12ga shell so I can use 2.75" for grouse and pheasant or 3" for ducks or 3.5" for geese and turkey. With the 3.5" you can have a one gun for everything.

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I have a Nova pump. I've shot with and without a recoil reducer. I can't tell the difference when I hunt. I do know that geese and tundra swan fall alot easier with a 3 1/2" load flying at them. I would buy the Nova, no one says you have to shoot 3 1/2 shell, but its nice to have the option.

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I cam in to this discussion late so forgive me if you already purchased a 3 1/2. The 3 1/2 has it place for those that want the extra heft, but the reason I am entering this discussion is what kind of gun top buy. I own a Browning Gold hunter with synthic stock in the 3 1/2, It is a wonderful shooting gun, but I would not recommend it on an extended hunting trip. If you do not strip it down and clean the gas jets and the slid chamber (i use 40 steel wool) you will wind up shooting a boplt action the next day.

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