Shotgun choice

Discussion in 'Shotguns And Shotgunning (NOT Slugs)' started by bushwackr, Apr 30, 2014.

  1. bushwackr

    bushwackr Well-Known Member

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    I am currently looking for a shotgun, I have the brand all figured out I want a win sx3. I have a couple questions for the seasoned snow, and honker guys. I was thinking of getting a 3" chamber with 28" tube. Is the 26" plenty or 3.5" with 28" or 26". It will be used mostly waterfoul and the ocassional turkey and pheasant hunt.
     
  2. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    The 3" used to be plenty when you could use lead shot. now that we have to use steel I recommend a 3 1/2" for turkeys and geese. If you want to use it for pheasant and ducks you can shoot 3" shells.

    J E CUSTOM
     

  3. bushwackr

    bushwackr Well-Known Member

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    Ok. I wasn't sure if a person was going to have issues with 2 3/4" or 3" shells with the 3 1/2" chamber.
     
  4. Dhammer

    Dhammer Well-Known Member

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    Some 3.5guns are nortirous for not shooting some of other options. My buddy has an 11/87 in 3.5. Even with hotter 2.75's that thing was a jamomatic. He made a pheasant hunt miserable with all his screaming everybody stop while he kept trying to get it working. We bought one of the 3.5 silver's last year cheap on clearance for my wife to try trap with me. (Figured new goose gun for me :)too. That gun has cycled everything we have put through it including the factory low recoils and my reloaded version of a low recoil. My guess the Winchester will eat it all too. Depending on weight (gun being too light) they say the 3.5's can be harsh on the shoulder. I have a new A5 and really like it. I looked into getting another in 3.5 down the road but hearing all the reviews it kicked like a mule with the 3.5's changed my mind quickly. I'll stick with my 2.75 gun and use the silver if I really need to use a 3.5 inch shell.
     
  5. bushwackr

    bushwackr Well-Known Member

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    Ok well than I might as well get a 3 1/2 gun, then my options for ammo are wide open. Now my last question. Would I ever notice the diffrence in performance from the 26 to 28 inch barrels.
     
  6. Dhammer

    Dhammer Well-Known Member

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    I have always been a 26inch type guy. Up until an adult I always had those cheap antiquated on last leg Sears or Monkey Ward tanks of a shotgun with a 30 inch barrel. The first time I held a 26 inch I was in heaven. That being said I have never been happy with performace waterfowl wise and 26/steel shot. Keep in mind I was using lead as a kid with a fixed choke and in heaven shooting waterfowl. I stopped for a lot of years because those tanks I had sucked with steel and I couldn't afford a new gun. I don't have much expereince with modern steel. When a buddy first switched to 3.5 he gave me cases of 2.75 in steel. I see why he said he was never going back. I never had great perforamce out of any of shells he gave me. But I know guides who swear by even the cheaper modern steel and right after market choke. No thanks I'll take every advantage I can get now.
    Now all I use is Heavy shot, the mixes or similar. My main hunting has always been pheasant (5 days a week and almost entire season) and a 26 worked well for me.
    That being said If I wanted a gun that I was going to use for waterfowl I'd get a 28 inch barrel. We just went through this decision with wife when she decided she wanted a 20 guage and better fitting gun. Those 30 inch barrels rule the 27 yard line at my club. It kind if opened my eyes to longer barrels. In the USA her Beretta xplor was only offered in 26/28 so we went with a 28. If after we move I can get more waterfowl hunting be it local or hunting trips I'll be getting a 28 inch for the silver.
    The other thing I'd point out is those 3.5 can really pattern differently then 2.75 and 3's so make sure do some pattern work. I was getting really bad patterns with the A5's DS factory chokes with steel or heavy shot but decent with lead. I went with an aftermarket choke which solved my problem. Patterning the 3.5 with 3.5's is next on my list. I did a lot of research about it. Ive always had good luck with factory invector plus chokes on other shotguns I owned that had em. So the DS came as a shock to me being Bronwings latest and greatest. They are way off from what standard chokes are siE why and suspected the issue. I was shocked when I finall miced em, differnt then what other have posted as well. I have read Beretta was usally one of best for OEM chokes. When I started patterning wife's gun I was disappointed how horrible the patterns were. Big holes everywhere and a sloppy pattern. Its one of those only way to know is put it on paper. There's some good articles about 3.5 and chokes why and what happens. Off top of head I don't recall but it was more of what's best choke to use depending on laod/size of shot for 3.5, They weren't pushing for aftermakert either just an explanation.
     
  7. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    I bought a Berretta Extreama in 3 1/2" because it was purpose built for the 3 1/2'' shells(Bigger receiver) and not a 3" stretched to 3 1/2".

    Most auto shotguns have to be adjusted for the shells to be used by changing the recoil springs or
    reversing the gas piston. The Beretta shoots everything from the 1 Oz 2&3/4" to the 2&1/4 Oz 3&1/2s without any changes to the shotgun.

    The main thing I like about the 3&1/2" is the range it has. the turkey we have are hunted hard and they have gotten smart, they will hang up around 50 to 60 yards and the 3&1/2 " with 2 1/4 oz of
    lead are perfect for these kinds of shots.

    It is the closets thing to a one shotgun for everything I have found. Although,for Teal and doves it is a little clumsy because of the size and length.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  8. Dhammer

    Dhammer Well-Known Member

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    The Silver, the one Winchester for sure and the newer Rem do not have to be adjusted to shoot up or down in shell sizes. The Benellis my buddies all had were same way too but usally failed miserably with even 2.75 heavy trap loads. That was a few years back on the Benelli s though. I have heard people say their newer model Benelli ate everything they fed it including my one buddy who literally has to have every new 3.5 Benelli as soon as its out if not sooner
    Question is how light did they really go and how many rounds. The 11/87's need things switched. My buddies wouldn't function with 2.75's even some hotter stuff I gave him. I think Fracnhi has some models that get adjusted too. Its one of the smaller brands owned by Beretta/Benelli I was reading about that they were hyping how easy it was to adjust.
    Ive seen a lot of guys over the years brag their 3.5's will eat anything. Then doing a preserve bird hunt those guns jammed like all get up.
    I'm recoil senstive since my spinal injury and if its not hunting wild game, I'm shooting as light a load as possible. I didn't expect my A5 to function let alone the 3.5 silver with what we ended up shooing towards the end of our trap season. I was in shock that their were hundreds and hundreds of rounds through the guns not skipping a beat once wihtout cleaning either. I even used my low recoils when hunting at my club wihtout a hiccup too.
    I think several manufactures have stepped up their game in terms of truly versatile 3.5's
     
  9. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    I bought my Beretta just as the 11/87 from Remington came out to replace the Mossburg pump
    I had. Being a Remington Fan Like many of my friends I wanted to buy one until they told me not to.

    They all had problems with switching from heavy loads to light loads and had to switch parts every time they changed loads.

    The Berretta uses a port system that is much like the AK 47 and does not seem to care what size shells you shoot in it.

    All of my hunting buddies have switched to the Beretta and have had the same luck as I have.

    Not trying to push the Beretta, just stating that It does work with all sizes of shells. I am sure that others have fixed there problems and there are many choices now.

    I am very surprised that the A 5 Doesn't give you problems because of the recoil action. It is one of my favorites but can be a pain sometimes.

    The downside to the Beretta is the cost (It Is more than double the cost of some other shotguns.

    PS: With the 3&1/2 " turkey loads all shotguns kick (Some Worse than others).

    J E CUSTOM
     
  10. gregory glasson

    gregory glasson New Member

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    I agree on the Baretta A400 after having a nightmare of an experience with the 11/87.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
  11. dig

    dig Well-Known Member

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    3 1/2 shells normally do not pattern as well as 3 or 2 3/4. If you have closer shots where patterns are not as critical and need the slightly heavier payload than 3 1/2 works but that's sort of any oxy moron. Also the higher the velocity the generally worse shells pattern (above 1300ish). The problem, very few people pattern. Go to the patern board with 3 1/2 and compare. You will discover what most have and not see the need. Also look at the actual payload, in many cases they are the same with an increased velocity stated again killing your pattern. The new shot types like bismuth perform well and negate the need. Steel does not pattern as well at distance. Bottom line try them both.
     
  12. Corona1986

    Corona1986 New Member

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    I am also looking for a shotgun, would like to spend under $800 and I want to use it for duck and geese hunting, but I also don't want it to long so shooting targets and beer cans isn't fun. I like the look of the tactical models but not sure if they would be good for hunting with an 18" barrel. let me know what you think.
     
  13. swiper

    swiper Active Member

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    I am a Remington man I own a 3.5 1187 and have no problems with it. I shoot all sizes of steel at ducks and all sizes of lead at turkeys. My self the Beretta does not fit my shoulder or budget. worst thing bout the 1187 3.5'' is keeping up with the spacer. JUST MY TWO CENTS WORTH SWIPER
     
  14. vegas steve

    vegas steve Well-Known Member

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    a winchester sx2 in 3.5 is all you need.