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  #31  
Old 07-08-2019, 01:38 PM
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Foxton Gundogs Foxton Gundogs is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Prairiewolf View Post
Looking to buy my first semi-auto shotgun. I want it to do alot, I don't want to buy multiple shotguns. It'll pull duty on migratory, upland, and perhaps predator defense. Is a 3.5" chamber really worth it? Seems shotguns were around as 3" for a long time. Thoughts and practical applications appreciated. Thanks.
Pretty simple you can't shoot 3.5" if you don't have a 3.5 chamber. May not use it much but it's there if you want it. In reality #3 shot going 1550 fps is no different coming from 2.75, 3 or 3.5 " longer shells only give you more shot not more killing power. I have a Beretta 391 3.5" I shoot 2.75 for ducks, 3" for geese 95% of the time and maybe 3.5" 5%.
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  #32  
Old 07-08-2019, 02:11 PM
elkhunter11 elkhunter11 is online now
 
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Originally Posted by Salavee View Post
I've shot many DU shoots @ Beaverhill and also rec'd my Alberta Sporting Clays Provincial Championship Belt Buckle In 2007. Have also squaded with quite a few Master Class Clays shooters, so i know a bit about Clays and shotgunning.. I'm not the best by any means. nor do I pretend to be ,but you sound like you're in the same category as Geo Digweed. It's very strange we have'nt met over the course of time.
I have never claimed to be anything of the sort, but I do spend the time shooting, and I do miss a lot fewer birds and clay's than the vast majority of shooters. I have been shooting skeet since the 80s, but only took up sporting clay's, four years ago when I retired. I was asked to shoot for the NAVHDA chapter for their tests, because I get the job done. With your background, I doubt that you aim center mass on birds either, because you of all people should know better. You also are well aware that you don't need 3-1/2' loads for waterfowl. But I would enjoy shooting with you in the DU, it might be interesting.
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  #33  
Old 07-08-2019, 02:43 PM
Salavee Salavee is online now
 
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Originally Posted by elkhunter11 View Post
I have never claimed to be anything of the sort, but I do spend the time shooting, and I do miss a lot fewer birds and clay's than the vast majority of shooters. I have been shooting skeet since the 80s, but only took up sporting clay's, four years ago when I retired. I was asked to shoot for the NAVHDA chapter for their tests, because I get the job done. With your background, I doubt that you aim center mass on birds either, because you of all people should know better. You also are well aware that you don't need 3-1/2' loads for waterfowl. But I would enjoy shooting with you in the DU, it might be interesting.
Regettably, I have ended my competeive Clays Sports shooting after some 40+ yrs, beginning in1971 at the old Edmonton Gun Club. At 80 yrs, I'm not about to challenge you or anyone else and I don't doubt you can get the job done. Just too bad we didn't cross paths while I was at it. I would have been interesting, for sure. Have you evers shot registered targets, Clays. Skeet or TrapÉ
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  #34  
Old 07-08-2019, 02:55 PM
elkhunter11 elkhunter11 is online now
 
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Originally Posted by Salavee View Post
Regettably, I have ended my competeive Clays Sports shooting after some 40+ yrs, beginning in1971 at the old Edmonton Gun Club. At 80 yrs, I'm not about to challenge you or anyone else and I don't doubt you can get the job done. Just too bad we didn't cross paths while I was at it. I would have been interesting, for sure. Have you evers shot registered targets, Clays. Skeet or TrapÉ
I shot registered skeet targets in the late 80s and early 90s, NSSA leagues for a few years, and the provincials once. My last league average was 95 or 96 and I was shooting a 28 gauge after a detached retina scare. I placed 2nd in 12 gauge and in doubles in the provincials, but I was using a borrowed subgauge set for the sub gauge events, and didn't do as well in those events. I ended up shooting the second highest score in the DU shoot this spring.
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  #35  
Old 07-08-2019, 03:05 PM
Salavee Salavee is online now
 
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Originally Posted by elkhunter11 View Post
I shot registered skeet targets in the late 80s and early 90s, NSSA leagues for a few years, and the provincials once. My last league average was 95 or 96 and I was shooting a 28 gauge after a detached retina scare. I placed 2nd in 12 gauge and in doubles in the provincials, but I was using a borrowed subgauge set for the sub gauge events, and didn't do as well in those events. I ended up shooting the second highest score in the DU shoot this spring.
Enjoy the time you have left to shoot. Shooting against your peers can be quite revealing. Sad as it is,or seems to be, nobody remembers those who placed second.
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  #36  
Old 07-08-2019, 03:14 PM
elkhunter11 elkhunter11 is online now
 
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Originally Posted by Salavee View Post
Enjoy the time you have left to shoot. Shooting against your peers can be quite revealing. Sad as it is,or seems to be, nobody remembers those who placed second.
I see it as shooting against myself, trying to master every target that the owner of the field can create. And I did say trying, some of them have gotten the best of me, and pretty much everyone else. And 3-1/2" loads wouldn't help, even if they were allowed. lol But a person learns by constantly experiencing new presentations.
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  #37  
Old 07-08-2019, 03:39 PM
Salavee Salavee is online now
 
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Originally Posted by elkhunter11 View Post
I see it as shooting against myself, trying to master every target that the owner of the field can create. And I did say trying, some of them have gotten the best of me, and pretty much everyone else. And 3-1/2" loads wouldn't help, even if they were allowed. lol But a person learns by constantly experiencing new presentations.
Whatever method you choose to become a better shooter can help.
The tried and proven method is competeive shooting against your peers,with registered targets, in your class, against the standard presentations offered. Shoot enough of them and somehow,the cream always rises to the top.
Aspiring Master Class shooters sometimes end up in "A" or "B' class, forever.
because that's where thier skill level is. Still darn good, but not good enough.
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  #38  
Old 07-08-2019, 10:32 PM
Faststeel Faststeel is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Salavee View Post
I've shot many DU shoots @ Beaverhill and also rec'd my Alberta Sporting Clays Provincial Championship Belt Buckle In 2007. Have also squaded with quite a few Master Class Clays shooters, so i know a bit about Clays and shotgunning.. I'm not the best by any means. nor do I pretend to be ,but you sound like you're in the same category as Geo Digweed. It's very strange we have'nt met over the course of time.
Elk was still a hard working man in Ft. Mac while you were an active sporting clays shooter my fine left handed friend.....FS
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  #39  
Old 07-08-2019, 11:43 PM
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My opinion-- If you hunt geese a lot, yes 3.5" is worth it. While I normally shoot 3" shells the majority of the time it is nice to have the option to switch it up.

I find myself loading 3.5" shells later in the season with the bigger, heavier, fatter geese showing up and being much more reluctant to commit to the decoys.
Rather than to just go for more pellets with 3.5" we switch to Remington Hyper Steel for late season birds. 1700 fps vs 1550, when feathers and down get thick "Speed Kills"
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  #40  
Old 07-09-2019, 05:54 AM
elkhunter11 elkhunter11 is online now
 
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Originally Posted by Foxton Gundogs View Post
Rather than to just go for more pellets with 3.5" we switch to Remington Hyper Steel for late season birds. 1700 fps vs 1550, when feathers and down get thick "Speed Kills"
I definitely found that there were less cripples when using the 1560fps loads, compared to the 1300-1400 fps loads, but the Hypersonic loads grouped very poorly in the guns/chokes we tried them in. Patternmaster for one, rates their chokes for 1550fps and less, and higher velocities resulted in horrible patterns.
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  #41  
Old 07-09-2019, 06:31 AM
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We shoot them out of Berettas and SX2,3 and 4s. with either modifies or IM chokes with great results. We also load and chrono speeds up to 1800fps. I do know that some of the "aftermarket" chokes will not hold pattern over 1600fps. Anyway we kill a LOT of birds and go through a lot of ammo in a season and the speed demons work well for us on winter birds.
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  #42  
Old 07-09-2019, 09:31 AM
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I found shooting 3.5 out a pump gun to be shoulder crushing. Along with spinal adjusting. lol If you are twisted to get a bird that if fleeing and you shoot that 3.5 you will now it all through your spine. It just wasn't pleasant, unless you have recoil reducing gun like the A400 then its not worth the beating you receive. You are out there to enjoy yourself not take a beating. My 5 cents
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  #43  
Old 07-09-2019, 10:16 AM
Husty Husty is offline
 
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Being mostly an upland game guy I stick to 2 3/4.. Odd time out for Geese ive used 3".

A few years back a there was a guy at the range who bought a new Beretta and was breaking it in with 3 1/2" rounds.. after a few rounds he was asking around for help breaking it it because it was kicking him around pretty hard. I obliged to help.. mostly just to shoot his new shotgun.. man do those 3 1/2" have some bite even through a semi.
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  #44  
Old 07-09-2019, 10:28 AM
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Felt recoil is directly related to the fit. I can shoot my Browning Gold 10 all day with 3.5" BB but a friend has a Ithica and It hurts after a few. My 391 has kickoff and 3.5s don't hit me any harder than 3" at least as far as FELT recoil.
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  #45  
Old 07-09-2019, 10:47 AM
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Groundhogger Groundhogger is offline
 
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..back to the original question..

I don't hunt migratory, but I do hunt grouse and keep threatening to take on turkeys. This fall I may try ducks, we'll see. I bought a new Remington Versa Max a year or so back, and that gun gobbles-up any 12ga loads, be they 2-3/4" target...or big 3-1/2"ers. Recoil is remarkably tame no matter what you put through it, which is in stark contrast to even modest 2-3/4" loads through a pump. A modern semi like a VM is really what's required (in my opinion) if you're looking at anything over 2-3/4"...and like your shoulder feeling normal at the same time. Definitely if 3-1/2" are in your plans. Those through a pump? No thanks!

I mention this because I'm of the opinion that there is no such thing as 1 shotgun that will do it all well. Where I hunt grouse, you're looking at over 5kms on the boots, minimum...and I can tell you there is no way I'd lug that VM around on a grouse hunt. On the other hand, the 20ga O/U I carry for that would be the last gun I'd consider if I was duck hunting.

For predator hunting, I have my "tactical" Mossberg 500 as it's light, and fast handling. I don't use it to hunt with, rather, for when coyotes flank me..and end-up a little too close before I realize they're there. lol I've yet to actually shoot one with it, but got awfully close on the last hunt. The bugger was probably 15' to my left when I heard a twig snap. That gets the heart racing!
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  #46  
Old 07-09-2019, 12:59 PM
32-40win 32-40win is offline
 
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I had an SBE2, liked it well enough, found that the only real use for the 3-1/2" was for high snows, to get a bit heavier load with a few more pellets out there. Recoil isn't an issue for me, although I did find out that the lighter gun was perhaps harder to get back on target, even though it was an autoloader. I was shooting 1550 1-3/8 oz loads in it. These days I find that shooting a 30" barreled SXS is actually easier to recover with, and not even a consideration on recoil, even with a wood buttplate, with 3" 1-1/4oz @ 1400. The way these pattern, they hold well enough for the high hangars in the wind. And I still take home plenty of geese. Other than the goose hunting, I'll use a 20ga, and I have used 20ga 3" 1oz for geese fairly often for the early ones that decoy in nice and the early ducks. If I am shooting ducks only, I use the 20ga. If I can use lead loads, I'll use the 20ga.
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  #47  
Old 07-15-2019, 06:46 AM
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I’m late to the thread but want to point out something that has not been mentioned unless I skimmed over it. Most 3.5” shells have the same oz payload as 3” and some 3-/12” shells even have the same payload as 2-3/4”. Having said that usually a 1-1/8 oz in 3.5” is a 50-100fps faster. I have all my shotguns chambered for 3.5” but that’s only because it’s nice to have if you forget to grab an extra box of shells and have to bum a few off a buddy on a banger. When steel first came out as was mentioned it was very poor and that extra .5” made a big difference IMO. With the quality of the current steel shotshells I have not shot 3.5” in over 3 years and have never felt undergunned and my shoulder and head are a lot healthier. Nothing creates a flinch more then a crossing shot far to the right side with a 3.5” from a a lay down blind lol. The other thing to consider is the choke. I feel more comfortable on longer shots with my Patternmaster Code Black Goose and 3” then I do with factory choke and 3.5”.
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  #48  
Old 07-15-2019, 07:35 AM
elkhunter11 elkhunter11 is online now
 
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Originally Posted by ganderblaster View Post
I’m late to the thread but want to point out something that has not been mentioned unless I skimmed over it. Most 3.5” shells have the same oz payload as 3” and some 3-/12” shells even have the same payload as 2-3/4”. Having said that usually a 1-1/8 oz in 3.5” is a 50-100fps faster. I have all my shotguns chambered for 3.5” but that’s only because it’s nice to have if you forget to grab an extra box of shells and have to bum a few off a buddy on a banger. When steel first came out as was mentioned it was very poor and that extra .5” made a big difference IMO. With the quality of the current steel shotshells I have not shot 3.5” in over 3 years and have never felt undergunned and my shoulder and head are a lot healthier. Nothing creates a flinch more then a crossing shot far to the right side with a 3.5” from a a lay down blind lol. The other thing to consider is the choke. I feel more comfortable on longer shots with my Patternmaster Code Black Goose and 3” then I do with factory choke and 3.5”.
I am confident that your improved shooting skills over the past year, make far more of a difference than your choice of ammunition. Congratulations on earning your 25 straight patch at skeet yesterday.
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  #49  
Old 07-16-2019, 11:16 AM
32-40win 32-40win is offline
 
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Ya, that positioning of the gun butt on a high, hard right shot can be a very painful experience, opposite for a LH shooter. Did that with an 870 waterfowler and a 3-1/2, it got my attention, butt had slipped a bit lower as I went up and back behind. Only time I have had that kind of incident with any gun.
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  #50  
Old 07-16-2019, 01:09 PM
Benelli1 Benelli1 is offline
 
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Originally Posted by 32-40win View Post
Ya, that positioning of the gun butt on a high, hard right shot can be a very painful experience, opposite for a LH shooter. Did that with an 870 waterfowler and a 3-1/2, it got my attention, butt had slipped a bit lower as I went up and back behind. Only time I have had that kind of incident with any gun.
Yup, did that with a sxs 10 gauge 3 1/2 inch 2 1/8 oz of BB's when lead was still legal for waterfowl. Gun slipped down to bicep on second shot....black and blue from shoulder to elbow, cracked lip, bleeding nose, and damn near broke my finger between the two triggers.

I could only take half a dozen shots with that brute before I got a headache.
Didn't take me long to decide to get rid of it.
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  #51  
Old 07-16-2019, 07:25 PM
ganderblaster ganderblaster is offline
 
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Originally Posted by elkhunter11 View Post
I am confident that your improved shooting skills over the past year, make far more of a difference than your choice of ammunition. Congratulations on earning your 25 straight patch at skeet yesterday.
Thanks! I agree. Thanks for all the tips!
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