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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been out of shotguns for a long time even though I've owned several inherited ones for many years, but it just occured to me that when I was learning to shot in the early 1950's that we seemed to be able to shoot and kill small game with 2 3/4 inch shells quite well, thank you very much!
When did all these 3, 3 1/2 and magnum shells show up and why?

Maybe my wife is right when she said "as you guys get older you need bigger and bigger guns to feel manly" Hmmmm

But I am curious, when did these bigger shells show up or were they always around and I just never knew?
 

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3 incher have been around for quite a while, I want to say since the 30's or 40's the 3 1/2 inchers are fairly recent like 10 - 15 years or so and was basically built to get 10 ga performance from a 12 ga frame....
 

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i remember reading somewhere that the 3 1/2 was desinged to compensate for the difference between steel and lead shot for waterfowl hunting. i could be full of it but i think i remember that from some place
 

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I am still shooting 2 3/4" exclusively as many of my guns are old and only have the 2 3/4" chamber...I do have a couple newer ones that I occasionally shoot 3" out of, but have yet to see a difference in my ability to drop what I aim at...More bang for more money in my opinion...

3" is kept to the same pressures as 2 3/4", and is only to allow for larger payloads...3 1/2" can be loaded to a higher SAAMI service pressure, and can therefore either shoot faster or deliver even larger payloads...

And yes...3 1/2" was mainly designed to take up a perceived slack when steel became mandatory...It has since become very popular with trukey hunters also...
 

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Levi,
All the history of, and technical reasons for, the use of 3"+ shells aside, I tend to agree with you.Most of the time 2 3/4" shells do the job just as well or better. And your wife,many times the the urge to load up with longer, more powerful, shells, may be somewhat "phallic" in nature. :)
Regards to You and your Wife,
Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Jim,
I enjoyed you comments and thank you for agreeing with me. I'm sure my grandfather with his old exposed hammer shotguns would be amused with todays hunting experience. He made me learn to shoot rabbits with a .22 so I didn't ruin the meat, "besides it's sporting" he would say "anyone can blow away that little critter with a shotgun, but with a .22 sometimes your the winner and sometimes the rabbit is".
Of course when I was little I thought he was the greatest shooter in the world and he let me think that but of course he was the same man who told me he could tell a male rabbit for a female at 20 yards hee hee. :lol:
 

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When goose hunting,With my Benelli 3 1/2,.I can "reach out and touch one" at greater range and with better accuracy...something a 2 3/4" could probably not do,I beleive it keeps a tighter pattern at longer range.....so "size does matter"......
 
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