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...Okay: Theoritically speaking... would a 2 3/4" shell fit into a shot-gun chamber that is 2 1/2"?

I purchased a shot-gun that I was told had a 2 3/4" shell-length chamber. I later took it to my local gun-shop where the shop owner had a shell-length gauge. 2 1/2" length I was told by him. Later while I was home... out of curiuosity... I grabbed one of my 2 3/4" shells and dropped it into chamber. The shell sat flush.

I later took it to another shop across town where they did not have a gauge but the gentlman there peered into the chamber... he then went behind the counter and pulled out some shells out of a box: 3"? He showed me that the shell was sittting flush. What the heck is going on? :?:

The shot-gun
 

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Shell length is measured after the shell is fired, with the crimp fully open. A 2 3/4" shell is much shorter than that before it is fired.

An unfired 3" shell will easily go into a 2 3/4" chamber, so it would seem logical that a 2 3/4" shell should go into a 2 1/2" chamber.

Even after the shell is fired, the crimp is usually not completely open, and it could go into the forcing cone in front of the chamber. That means that a fired 2 3/4" shell might go into a 2 1/2" chamber.

A chamber must be measured with a good chamber length gauge. It can't be done by sticking a shell into it.
 

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Shotshells are measured uncrimped or after firing. You want the shell to open in the chamber not the forcing cone area. You could very well chamber a 2-3/4" shell in a 2-1/2" chamber but you shouldn't fire it that way. The constriction of the crimp opening in the forcing cone would cause higher pressure than normal. You may be able to get away with it for a while but would probably end up destroying your gun.
 

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In your case I would have the chambers measured again, by someone else. I wouldn't think a 3" shell would fit in a 2 1/2" chamber. Stay away from the guy who didn't have a gauge, but checked using a cartridge, for ANY future needs.
Jim
 

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Cabelas has Sellier and Bellot 2 1/2" 12ga. shells. You can also Send your barrels to Mike Orlen (look in the gunsmith forum) He can lengthen the chambers. He did my gun and it came out great! 8)
 
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