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 Post subject: Re: Why not buy 3.5" chambered gun when available?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:02 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2005 7:25 pm
Posts: 9586
Location: Louisiana
I own a 3.5" Super X2 Universal that I bought as a do-all gun, but primarily for waterfowl and turkey hunting. It has fulfilled that role admirably with 3.5" shells for geese and turkeys, 3" for ducks and 2.75" for everything else. It will reliably cycle all 1 1/8 oz. loads and fast 1 oz. loads for clays. A great gun, well worth the $800 I paid for it in 2008.




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 Post subject: Re: Why not buy 3.5
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:49 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:16 am
Posts: 181
casonet wrote:
I bought a Versa Max several years ago as an all purpose shotgun. I don’t really need the 3.5” chamber but that’s the only way it came. Price was way, way under $1000 with the rebate so it was a bargain compared to almost everything else. It will shoot my lightest 3/4 oz loads with ease and it tames my heavy trap loads. And honestly I don’t even notice the extra receiver length. It’s a great gun even though it exceeds my needs because I’ll probably never shoot 3.5” shells.

I agree with you. There are still new Versa Max Sportsman’s on the shelf for sale in the $800 to $900 range. Mine will cycle everything. I don’t notice the longer receiver either. It’s well balanced. I’m guessing that partly because of the recoil spring in the stock.


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 Post subject: Re: Why not buy 3.5" chambered gun when available?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2021 12:16 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 2:26 pm
Posts: 382
I had an SX2 3.5" that would cycle any target load I put in it, the SBE1 was touchy even with some brands of 1 1/8oz target loads. I don't goose hunt anymore and went back to a 3" gun since I wanted the same gun for everything.
I also switched to Bismuth and the other heavier than steel options that allow smaller shot sizes to be used so there is no need for the longer shells.


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 Post subject: Re: Why not buy 3.5" chambered gun when available?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2021 8:17 am 
Tournament Grade
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Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:13 pm
Posts: 260
Location: Colorado Western Slope
My son bought a Remington 870 Super Magnum a few years back. I went to the range with him to pattern a variety of hunting loads. At some time during the process, he handed me the gun and said, "here, you try it." The only difference I could see between it and the 3" ammo I've used for hunting was the added recoil. But then, I'm old and apparently have weak shoulders. The gun didn't feel any different than my own "wet weather" 870 except for the greatly added shoulder abuse. To each his own, I'll never own a 3 1/2" gun myself, if you feel like you need it then go for it. Footnote: My son sold the gun after a couple of months.

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 Post subject: Re: Why not buy 3.5" chambered gun when available?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2021 8:23 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2005 7:25 pm
Posts: 9586
Location: Louisiana
I have no recoil issues shooting 3.5" waterfowl loads in my 7 3/4 lb. gas operated SX2. Turkey loads are worse, but tolerable, especially since not many are usually shot at one time. That said, I refuse to touch off any 3.5" shell in a fixed breech 12 gauge.


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 Post subject: Re: Why not buy 3.5" chambered gun when available?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2021 9:12 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:16 am
Posts: 181
jmacgreg wrote:
My son bought a Remington 870 Super Magnum a few years back. I went to the range with him to pattern a variety of hunting loads. At some time during the process, he handed me the gun and said, "here, you try it." The only difference I could see between it and the 3" ammo I've used for hunting was the added recoil. But then, I'm old and apparently have weak shoulders. The gun didn't feel any different than my own "wet weather" 870 except for the greatly added shoulder abuse. To each his own, I'll never own a 3 1/2" gun myself, if you feel like you need it then go for it. Footnote: My son sold the gun after a couple of months.

3.5” slides action guns do recoil harder when shooting 3.5” shells. Any gun is gonna recoil more when you step up to a more powerful shell. That 3.5” gun will handle 3” shells just fine, and not recoil any more than your 3” 870 does when shooting them, however. Gas auto loaders offer much lower felt recoil than other guns do. As a matter of fact, my 3.5” auto loader is by far the softest shooting gun I’ve ever shouldered. I rarely shoot 3.5” shells through it, but I put lots of 2 3/4” target loads, and 3” steel loads through it, and it has never failed to cycle any of them. I too have a “weak shoulder”. I don’t quite understand why anyone would eliminate the possibility of ever owning a 3.5” gun. Especially if you can get a quality one for the same price as a 3” gun. They do weigh a little more, but the added weight reduces felt recoil. The shooter also has the option of shooting 3.5” shells should he/she ever come across the need to do so. Rather than deciding to never purchase a 3.5” gun, maybe consider just not purchasing 3.5” shells. Lol


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 Post subject: Re: Why not buy 3.5" chambered gun when available?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2021 3:22 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2020 11:24 pm
Posts: 45
Location: British Columbia
I dumped my Beretta A400 Xtreme+ 3.5" after about 700 rounds last fall. Never would cycle my 7/8 oz reloads, nor lighter 1 oz loads, although my buddy's "identical" gun would.

Bought a Beretta A400 Xcel Black 3" chambered Sporter and love it. It will shoot any light reload I've tried in it, including a 3/4 oz load a friend uses.

The 3.5" A400 has a much larger gas cylinder than the 3" A400. The 3.5" gun also made to handle up to 14,000 psi loads versus 11,500 psi for the 3" guns. I'd never buy a 3.5" gun for primarily target use based on my experience...which parallels another shooter at the club. I am not a waterfowl hunter and see zero need. YMMV


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 Post subject: Re: Why not buy 3.5" chambered gun when available?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2021 6:17 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:03 pm
Posts: 129
SHughes wrote:
jmacgreg wrote:
My son bought a Remington 870 Super Magnum a few years back. I went to the range with him to pattern a variety of hunting loads. At some time during the process, he handed me the gun and said, "here, you try it." The only difference I could see between it and the 3" ammo I've used for hunting was the added recoil. But then, I'm old and apparently have weak shoulders. The gun didn't feel any different than my own "wet weather" 870 except for the greatly added shoulder abuse. To each his own, I'll never own a 3 1/2" gun myself, if you feel like you need it then go for it. Footnote: My son sold the gun after a couple of months.

3.5” slides action guns do recoil harder when shooting 3.5” shells. Any gun is gonna recoil more when you step up to a more powerful shell. That 3.5” gun will handle 3” shells just fine, and not recoil any more than your 3” 870 does when shooting them, however. Gas auto loaders offer much lower felt recoil than other guns do. As a matter of fact, my 3.5” auto loader is by far the softest shooting gun I’ve ever shouldered. I rarely shoot 3.5” shells through it, but I put lots of 2 3/4” target loads, and 3” steel loads through it, and it has never failed to cycle any of them. I too have a “weak shoulder”. I don’t quite understand why anyone would eliminate the possibility of ever owning a 3.5” gun. Especially if you can get a quality one for the same price as a 3” gun. They do weigh a little more, but the added weight reduces felt recoil. The shooter also has the option of shooting 3.5” shells should he/she ever come across the need to do so. Rather than deciding to never purchase a 3.5” gun, maybe consider just not purchasing 3.5” shells. Lol


I agree about using 3" shells also. My 870 Super Mag has never had a 3.5" shell fired thru it, & as long as I own it, it never will.




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