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 Post subject: Difference in performance between 2.75/3/3.5 inch shells
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 11:22 pm 
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Lets say i go hunting geese and have 2.75/3/3.5 inch shells in #2 stell with 1 1/4 ounce of shot. What will be the difference. Thanks for any information.


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 Post subject: Re: Difference in performance between 2.75/3/3.5 inch shells
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:50 am 
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No difference as you stated it. The purpose of the larger shells is to allow you to shoot more shot, and at a higher velocity, with the 3-1/2" shells having a higher allowable pressure limit.

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 Post subject: Re: Difference in performance between 2.75/3/3.5 inch shells
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:36 am 
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The 3 1/2" would have more speed of about 225fps to 250fps or more if you hand loaded.

The advantage of the 3 1/2" shell is more than just the added speed or load weight compared to the 3". You can go up a pellet size with the bigger shell and keep the same or more pellet count as the smaller load with a smaller shot size with the same or more muzzle velocity. The larger pellet will also retain it's speed better than the smaller one down range.

For waterfowling the longer shell is much more versatile as it gives you more combinations of speed, load weight, and shot size.


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 Post subject: Re: Difference in performance between 2.75/3/3.5 inch shells
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:26 am 
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Worc wrote:
The advantage of the 3 1/2" shell is more than just the added speed or load weight compared to the 3". You can go up a pellet size with the bigger shell and keep the same or more pellet count as the smaller load with a smaller shot size with the same or more muzzle velocity. The larger pellet will also retain it's speed better than the smaller one down range.


That is why I got a 3.5" gun, to use #2 steel shot for ducks and still have decent pellet count and velocity. The 3" shell is a little shy on both with #2s.


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 Post subject: Re: Difference in performance between 2.75/3/3.5 inch shells
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:48 am 
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In the books I have there is no recipe for 1.25 ounce load in 2.75" hulls so there's one of the first differences explained in more shot.

I too own a 3.5" shotgun (Remington 870 ESM) solely for the purpose of shooting late season Canada geese as that steel shot needs a bit more push to get it up to the 50 yard mark than lead did.

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 Post subject: Re: Difference in performance between 2.75/3/3.5 inch shells
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:37 am 
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Mr_Mac wrote:
In the books I have there is no recipe for 1.25 ounce load in 2.75" hulls so there's one of the first differences explained in more shot.



I was kinda thought that as well.

Most times in a 2-3/4" shell, you're loading 7/8 or 1 oz ... 1-1/16, or 1-1/8 at most. It might be possible to jam 1-1/4 oz into something like a FGM but you'd probably have to push it at a rediculously low velocity.

Haven't checked my books but what Alliant shows on their website even for 3" for 1-1/4 is pretty anemic IMO.

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 Post subject: Re: Difference in performance between 2.75/3/3.5 inch shells
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 10:06 am 
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mossberg rules wrote:
Lets say i go hunting geese and have 2.75/3/3.5 inch shells in #2 stell with 1 1/4 ounce of shot. What will be the difference. Thanks for any information.

No way of telling on a message board :roll: ! You didn't list a load behind it. In some instances I have seen higher pressure loads pattern so bad they weren't worth the extra speed. Your question was about Performance right? The pattern makes a difference as well.
I had Benelli SBE here that to get a decent pattern at 40 yards with 3 1/2" 1550 FPS #2 steel we had to go to an Imp. Cyl. choke and if we would had a cylinder bore one I don't know that it would have been even better. 3" 1440 FPS #2 steel did best thru a Mod. choke at 40 yds of the ones we tried.


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 Post subject: Re: Difference in performance between 2.75/3/3.5 inch shells
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:19 am 
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Research on steel shot lethaity by Dr. Tom Roster suggests that steel #3 shot is best for ducks and steel BBB are best for large geese. I liked the 1 3/8oz at about 1300fps, but these fell out of favor for faster 1 1/4 oz loads

If I pass shoot, I go to #1 shot for ducks and heavier or faster loads of BBB for geese with a light mod. When I expect to pass shoot is about the only time I use a 3.5" shell. I no longer use 2 3/4" shells for waterfowl. Except I use the short shells in #6 or #4 steel as swatter loads on cripples on the water.

I have only shot about two boxes of 3.5 inch shells since I got the Beretta 391 Extrema 2 three years ago. I hunt waterfowl two to four days a week during the fall and winter.

I have never felt like I needed a 3.5" shell for wild turkeys.

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 Post subject: Re: Difference in performance between 2.75/3/3.5 inch shells
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 10:51 pm 
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"Lets say i go hunting geese and have 2.75/3/3.5 inch shells in #2 stell with 1 1/4 ounce of shot. What will be the difference." -- mostly just velocity and recoil, but that doesn't really tell you anything about the load/choke performance or how effective the load really is at killin' geese. Your choke, pellet size and velocity will determine the distance it is capable of killin' geese, and your ability to put the pattern on the front end of the goose will ultimately determine your success.

That said, a 3" 1 1/4 oz load of steel BBs or as Astomb said BBBs would be a much better general goose load than steel #2s. Check out CONSEP/Roster's Lethality table for effective minimum pellet sizes and pattern counts for geese.

Remember, it's not how many pellets you start out with in the load its how many you end up with in the downrange pattern that counts. The ONLY way to know this is to pattern your load/choke at the distances you shoot your geese.

Good luck.


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