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 Post subject: 3 inch or 3 1/2 inch chamber?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 3:47 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 3:56 pm
Posts: 101
Location: Erwin, Tennessee
I have used my Remington 12 gauge for just about everything from skeet to waterfowl to doves to upland to turkey. I was curious if anyone felt that I needed to go to a 3 1/2 inch chamber to for waterfowl and turkey compared to a 3 inch chamber to get better patterns and reach farther game. Maybe I just want an excuse to buy a new gun because I have had good success with the 3 inch loads I have shot.


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 Post subject: re: 3 inch or 3 1/2 inch chamber?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 4:53 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Mon May 14, 2007 9:28 pm
Posts: 165
i like the 3.5 inch chamber for large goose loads and sometimes for larger payloads and higher speeds in come cases (kent has a load of 1.25 oz #2 and #BB at 1624). mostly shooting 3 inch #4 shells this year with a 3.5 as my last shot. i also like the added safety factor. the 3.5in barrel more pressure than the 3 in chamber.


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 Post subject: re: 3 inch or 3 1/2 inch chamber?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 6:05 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 6:11 pm
Posts: 161
Location: SC
If I was only shooting geese and turkeys, I would opt for a 3 1/2 inch. Personally, I have no need, nor do I want a 3 1/2. YMMV. :lol:


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 Post subject: re: 3 inch or 3 1/2 inch chamber?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 8:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 12:53 pm
Posts: 12058
Location: Michigan
For all around use most 3" models are better than most 3 1/2" models. For waterfowling and turkey hunting I like a 3 1/2" model. They are more versatile in the waterfowl blind and there is an extra margin of safety when using shorter shells as JOYtheSTUDmuffin pointed out.


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 Post subject: Re: re: 3 inch or 3 1/2 inch chamber?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 9:12 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2007 11:20 am
Posts: 2148
Location: San Diego, CA
EvenKeel wrote:
Personally, I have no need, nor do I want a 3 1/2. YMMV. :lol:

I agree. If it can't be killed with a 3" load, it's too far away.

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 Post subject: re: 3 inch or 3 1/2 inch chamber?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 9:41 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2008 10:04 am
Posts: 22
Location: Little Rock, AR
I've been duck hunting since before I was old enough to carry a gun with me and I've never once fired a 3.5" shell. And you know what else? I've never once missed a bird and said to myself "damn, if I'd only been shooting 3.5" I'd have that one on the strap". That 3" chamber is a much better shooter than any of us.


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 Post subject: re: 3 inch or 3 1/2 inch chamber?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 9:45 pm 
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Posts: 16546
Location: Missouri
If you need a bigger gun than a 12 gauge, buy a 10 gauge. :wink:


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 Post subject: re: 3 inch or 3 1/2 inch chamber?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 11:06 pm 
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Location: Michigan
If you've ever ran out, forgot, or lost your shells and the only thing in the blind were 3 1/2" shells. You'd still be in business with a 3 1/2" model.


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 Post subject: re: 3 inch or 3 1/2 inch chamber?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:01 am 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2006 8:05 pm
Posts: 1453
Location: S.E. Pennsylvania
I think the 3 1/2" has its place. Autoloader or Pump ? That's were one may have somewhat of an advantage. If you can find one that will handle a target load without and problems (auto) and gun weight isn't an issue than I guess you found your all around gun.

I prefer to hunt with a 12 gauge. I would think any 3 1/2" gun will handle the heavier 2 3/4" field without any problems. This is what I'd be looking for.

I have no desire to shoot targets with a magnum gun. There are plenty of other guns out there for that type of shooting


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 Post subject: re: 3 inch or 3 1/2 inch chamber?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:19 am 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2006 8:05 pm
Posts: 1453
Location: S.E. Pennsylvania
Don't know if your a new shooter or not but, once the shotgun bug hits you, weather you shoot targets, hunter, or both as many are. You'll find the need for more than one shotgun to handle you needs. Lifes to short, enjoy whatever you buy and use. Good shooting.


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 Post subject: re: 3 inch or 3 1/2 inch chamber?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:47 am 
Limited Edition

Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 11:37 am
Posts: 339
Location: Lansing Mi.
Don't you feel sorry for the old timmers that had to use 2 1/2 in. shells!!! How did they ever put any meat on the table???? I suppose (sp) if someone comes out with a 4 in. people would have to buy one.


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 Post subject: Re: re: 3 inch or 3 1/2 inch chamber?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 5:33 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2004 12:13 am
Posts: 47
Location: Central Nebraska
Dave A wrote:
Don't you feel sorry for the old timmers that had to use 2 1/2 in. shells!!! How did they ever put any meat on the table???? I suppose (sp) if someone comes out with a 4 in. people would have to buy one.


They also shot lead back in those days....

I prefer 3" to 3 1/2's.
The recoil out of my Baikal was popping my fillings out and I really never seen extra performance gains.

Also, I was trying shots at out of my normal ranges because I thought the 3 1/2 would increase my sucess. Wrong. Even when I did hit one, most of the time the retrieve was long or the bird was unrecoverable and probably died a slow painful death. I like my kills quick and clean.

They cost more too. 3 inchers is what I'm sticking with.


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 Post subject: re: 3 inch or 3 1/2 inch chamber?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:51 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:45 am
Posts: 596
Location: MO Ozarks
3"!

3.5" is just too brutal on the body and you don't really gain much in the way of payload or range. And the 3.5" gun is heavy. OK in a blind, I guess, but not to carry in the fiels or for any type target shooting. Anyone who routinely tries to make 60 yd shots on ducks or geese is dumber than rocks anyway.

I agree with the previous poster who stated that the 3.5" just tempted them to try shots that were really out of range anyway. If you can't get a clean kill with a 3" then you shouldn't pull the trigger.

For what it's worth and my opinion. Worth just what you paid for it, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

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 Post subject: re: 3 inch or 3 1/2 inch chamber?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:56 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 9:42 pm
Posts: 893
Location: KANSAS
Honestly if you think you need a 3 1/2" gun for knock down power you should spend more time at the range and learn to shoot. You should do some research on ballistic performance between the two shells. Personally if I can't call them into range for a 3" shell then I just pass them up. I shoot steel rather than the more expensive non toxic shot and have had no trouble. I bought a Benelli when the 3 1/2 inch shells first came out and the only difference I noticed in my waterfowling was that the gun beat the crap out of me.


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 Post subject: re: 3 inch or 3 1/2 inch chamber?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:39 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 4:11 am
Posts: 267
Location: Black Hills of South Dakota
I agree with Dave A's thoughts. Unless a guy needs to throw a lot of steel shot, I don't think you even need 3" shells. 2 3/4" shells worked for many years, and with lead or lead substitutes will still do the job on nearly everything. Even shorter shells will work on most birds too. Unless there is a shotgun that can shoot long shells and still be as handy as one that shoots only standard-length shells, I think you give up more than you gain by going to the long shells.

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 Post subject: re: 3 inch or 3 1/2 inch chamber?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:20 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2005 7:25 pm
Posts: 3095
Location: Louisiana
I've hunted ducks for 44 years and, of course, shot them with lead until steel became mandatory. Since then, I've used a variety of guns, with 2 3/4", 3" and 3 1/2" chambers, and non-toxic shells. There is no question that, if you are going to shoot steel, the 3 1/2" guns offer a decided advantage. They put more large shot in the air at a faster velocity than the shorter chambered guns. Sure, the 2 3/4" guns will work, and the 3" guns will work better. But, for steel shooters, the 3 1/2" guns do it best. That's why the 3 1/2" shell came into existence and why it is with us today.


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 Post subject: re: 3 inch or 3 1/2 inch chamber?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:32 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 12:53 pm
Posts: 12058
Location: Michigan
If one wants to accuse the 3 1/2" 12 for skybusting then the same needs to be said for any of the more dense loads. The 10 gauge can be included as well as they all achive the same result with similar pellet counts and energy. They each have their pro's and con's and it's up to each person as to which works best for their situation. The cost for a steel 3 1/2" shell is not much more than a similar 3" one.

Recoil with the newer steel waterfowl loads is not that bad. There are heavy 2 3/4" loads that have the same or more recoil than these 3 1/2" loads. I don't notice the difference when shooting at waterfowl and the amount of shells fired in a day is less than a box of twentyfive due to daily limits.

The weight of a 3 1/2" gun is usually a small amount over their 3" brothers. There are models like the Winchester SX3 that weighs a full pound less than some competitors 3" models. The better 3 1/2" models weigh from about 7lbs to 7 3/4lbs. Hardly a heavy gun for waterfowling weather sitting in the blind or carting it around back and forth. Most 3 1/2" models will cycle 1 1/8oz field loads and most of the better ones will go down to 1oz target loads which is as good as some other 3" models.

The benefit of the 3 1/2" is using a faster steel load with a traditional load weight. You keep the pellet energy and don't loose pellet count. With a 3 1/2" load you can shoot the same load size as a 3" at a faster speed or you can shoot them at the same speed with the 3 1/2" having a larger load weight. In this case you can go to a larger pellet size to increase energy and still retain a similar pellet count.

While I don't use 3 1/2" loads for ducks very often except for the last days of the season, I do on geese and they have worked well for me. I'd rather not pass em up as long as they are in MY range accoding to my skill level and equipment performance. I'd rather have a little too much pellet energy than not enough. I owe that to the game I'm taking.


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 Post subject: re: 3 inch or 3 1/2 inch chamber?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 8:41 pm 
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I agree entirely with what Worc and others have said--the option value of a 3.5" chamber is worth the money if you are going after geese and/or turkeys. Not at all necessary for ducks.

Edit: As for a 10 ga. for e.g., geese, I go back and forth on this one myself. I am starting to wonder, however, if the Mossberg 935 isn't a reasonable compromise in this regard.

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 Post subject: re: 3 inch or 3 1/2 inch chamber?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 8:44 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 12:07 pm
Posts: 1853
Location: Tempe, AZ
I have not seen the need for 3.5 inch chamber....I barely use my 3 inch.....but if you really need the extra payload, the 10ga. will usually pattern better than the 12-3.5 incher will. My grand dad used 3.5 in. for quite awhile for geese....and just got tired of the inconsistency....he finally got, and used a 10ga. on them till the
day he died. I shot with him for over 40 years, so I will take his word for it. :o

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 Post subject: re: 3 inch or 3 1/2 inch chamber?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:33 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 9:20 am
Posts: 113
Location: Ashland, KY
It might seem a novel concept in this day and age but not only do I have no need in this world for a 3 1/2" chamber, I have no need for a 12 gauge at all. I do all my hunting with subgauges. Yes, I do hunt turkey and goose and ducks too. I use HeviShot when pursuing those animals. I also live in a shotgun zone for deer hunting and use 20 ga slug guns.

I have had no problems filling my freezer.

In short all I think you need is a 3" chamber and get some hevishot for the geese and turkeys.


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