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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you have two identical shotguns, one with a 3" chamber and the other with a 3 1/2" chamber would there be any appreciable difference in performance other that one being able to fire 3 1/2" shells and the other not?
 

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Those two replies are spot-on ! Just consider "pattern density rules the sky" , with a payload that's affective
at the distance you would normally shoot your birds , there's very little benefit to shoot 3 1/2" shells ! Other
than loads with the largest pellets BBB's , T's . I prefer 2 3/4" shells as I load my ammo for efficiency with
shot sizes that give me the energy at the farthest distance of my ability , with the velocity to help it along !
HTL does even these little hulls ability compared to 3 1/2" ammo !
 

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I have a Winchester SX3 with 3 inch chamber, and weighs 6 pounds 15.4 ounces, and SX3 with 3 1/2 inch chamber, and weighs7 pounds 3.2 ounces, no difference in performance.


cdb
 

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The 3 1/2” shell allows for more pellets. Steel shot takes up more room per ounce than lead shot. Pattern density is better because of pellet count alone. The killing range does not change. The price of shells and the punishment is not worth it to me. 3 1/2” lead turkey loads are just brutal.
 

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Giant Canadas and turkeys are the only things I use 3.5" shells for. For turkeys, the 2-1/4 loads are punishing, but you shoot once. For Giant Canada geese, I like the pattern density (steel shot) you get with larger shot shells and I use a gas gun to mitigate recoil.

There are alternatives to steel (and even lead with TSS) but still pricey.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the quick replies. I am ordering a Winchester SXP and will go for the 3 1/2' chamber since their is little or no downside. I have only fired a single 3 1/2" 12g round and that was decades ago. However in the interest of "just in case" I have to for for the shoulder dislocating option.
 

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Giant Canadas and turkeys are the only things I use 3.5" shells for. For turkeys, the 2-1/4 loads are punishing, but you shoot once. For Giant Canada geese, I like the pattern density (steel shot) you get with larger shot shells and I use a gas gun to mitigate recoil.

There are alternatives to steel (and even lead with TSS) but still pricey.
Same here, 3½" for specklebellies and gobblers. I use a 7¾ lb. SX2; fixed breech pump and O/U 3½" twelves are not for me.
 

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Thanks for the quick replies. I am ordering a Winchester SXP and will go for the 3 1/2' chamber since their is little or no downside. I have only fired a single 3 1/2" 12g round and that was decades ago. However in the interest of "just in case" I have to for for the shoulder dislocating option.
Actually, I disagree with most of the above on this as ive patterned 2 3/4" shells in both and there is a huge difference. I spoke with manufacturers on this and confirmed same. Its pretty simple --- The difference being with 2 3/4" shells in each. The extra 3/4" chamber length in a 3 1/2 seems to disrupt the shot from a 2 3/4 shell and it affects the pattern greatly. The manufacturers were trying to soften this with extreme length forcing cones but acknowledged "the 31/2 was a do all chamber as thats what the customers want". but its certainly not equal !
I saw nearly 10 percent less from 2 3/4 shells in the 3 1/2's that i tested. I assume from deformed shot.

That said, steel shot doesn't deform so i'm guessing my experience with lead would not apply to the various waterfowl loads.

Just what i've seen------ been advising my kids and friends to stay with the 3" which is enough to do it all and have the best patterns with the 99% of shots fired----using 2 3/4" shells
 

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I have a Winchester SX3 with 3 inch chamber, and weighs 6 pounds 15.4 ounces, and SX3 with 3 1/2 inch chamber, and weighs7 pounds 3.2 ounces, no difference in performance.


cdb
change the 3 to a 2 and you get the same answer here.
their balance IS slightly different, but they pretty much pattern close-nuff that i'm not gonna bother looking for the pellet difference.
 

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The 3 1/2” shell allows for more pellets. Steel shot takes up more room per ounce than lead shot. Pattern density is better because of pellet count alone. The killing range does not change. The price of shells and the punishment is not worth it to me. 3 1/2” lead turkey loads are just brutal.
they came out with the 3 1/2 because of steel which cant come close to lead. so they figured more shot would make up for it. I cant see how a 3" shell is equal to 3 1/2 shell. there is quite an amount of more shot in the 3 1/2
 

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The 3 1/2” shell allows for more pellets. Steel shot takes up more room per ounce than lead shot. Pattern density is better because of pellet count alone. The killing range does not change. The price of shells and the punishment is not worth it to me. 3 1/2” lead turkey loads are just brutal.
dont need 3 1/2 for turkeys but need it for duck loads cause of the steel shot be inferior to lead
 
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