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3" or 3 1/2" what's the real difference?


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I am going to purcahse a new shotgun to hunt ducks in flooded timber and in open fields. Is there enough difference between the 3" and 3 1/2" mag. to justify the increase cost of gun and ammo for the latter? Has anyone used the two guns in the same blind to compare? Any opinions from experience would be helpful. :confused:

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Certain 3.5" shells are really top notch performers. So are certain 3" shells. Ditto for certain 2.75".

 

For 'gooblers', I really like to send all the Winchester Extended Range #6's I can flying towards the tom's noggin. 3.5" simply holds more of the precious shot.

 

Steel shot & the 3.5" is a bit more complex. The old, slow 3.5" steel was nothing special. But as they began to understand that speed & shock is what matters when using steel, the 3.5" became a useful tool for delivering more shot and/or larger pellets for more knockdown power.

 

For the average joe, 3.5" is prolly not necessary. But as one gets more advanced, the 3.5" can really change the way a person hunts.

 

I do use 3.5" steel in BB's. It works well in the wind and on medium geese at somewhat longer ranges. But I only use fast steel like Federal Ultra Speed Shok and other fast shells.

 

mudhen - CA

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I don't believe the 3 1/2" shell gives you any more range.

 

I just like the 3 1/2" shells because you can shoot bigger shot sizes without sacrificing pattern density. So you'll have the same number of pellets hitting the duck/goose, only they're bigger giving you more knockdown power.

 

I really wanted the 3 1/2" chamber for deer hunting since I don't own a rifle and where I hunt the farthest shot is going to be about 40-50 yards. Well for some reason the Benelli's don't shoot goot Buckshot patterns, and thats with every choke tube I can find.

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If you only hunt waterfowl get the 3.5 inch the 1 3/8 load of 2 or 3 at 1550 speed is a killer load on ducks. The same load of 1 or 2 is great on small geese.

 

Large geese go with 1 9/16 load of BB at 1300 or the above listed load in 1 shot. With BB or bigger you don’t need the speed.

 

Good luck

 

 

I hunt over small ponds for ducks and corn fields for geese. I hunt mostly upland so only have a 3 inch gun. But if I hunted over big water or primarily waterfowl I would buy a 3.5 inch gun.

 

I shoot 1 ¼ of 3 shot for ducks and 1 or 2 shot in the same load for large geese. Velocity of 1425

Good luck.

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Originally posted by mudhen:

For the average joe, 3.5" is prolly not necessary. But as one gets more advanced, the 3.5" can really change the way a person hunts.

 

mudhen - CA

How this translates out for me, is that it's worth getting the 3.5" if you think you'll be graduating to it some day anyway. At least this way you have the option without having to buy another gun. And there is nothing saying that you "have" to shoot 3.5" all the time as the gun will shoot the 2.75" and 3" as well.

 

Multi-use. Good stuff.

 

[ 08-26-2005, 12:55 PM: Message edited by: sdkidaho ]

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Here's how I do it for ducks (you mentioned ducks).

 

I usually don't use 3.5'' for ducks at all. I keep them for geese for the added steel. IF I use a 3.5'' when I'm duck hunting I throw it in as the last round so that I shoot two 3'' and follow up with a 3.5''.

 

That will extend the life of that 'expensive' box of 3.5'' ammo.

 

But, if you are going goose hunting or turkey hunting than the 3.5'' is really worth the extra price.

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