North Dakota Fishing and Hunting Forum banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I will be turning 40 soon and my wife is buying me a new shotgun.
I got so confused when we began looking. I want an autoloader. I liked the Beretta, and Rem 1187. But what size chamber is best. I will be using this gun for everything. I mostly hunt ducks, some geese and if lucky I get a turkey permit once or twice a year. I do shoot at deer but hunt in a northern county permitting the use of rifle so don't have a lot of call for slugs..I never needed 3-1/2" before, Is the industry going this way?

Will be going to the DU great outdoors in Oshkosh Wi this weekend and hope to shoot a few.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
533 Posts
If nothing else, you might want to get the 3 1/2" for resale value. If you ever decide to get rid of it, you will probably do better selling a 3.5 vs a 3.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,326 Posts
I have a 3.5" BGH and hardly shot a 3.5" shell out of it last year. If you shoot a lot of passing birds, then the extra shell capacity might come in handy. If you work your birds close there's no reason to go for anything bigger than a 3". My little brother had no problem killing geese with a 20 ga 3" last fall...it all depends on how close you can work them. If you usually shoot passing birds opt for the 3.5" if you shoot decoying birds 3" will suit you fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the input and suggestions!
If I elect to go with a 3-1/2" does anyone know is there any higher potential for jam ups becuz the action needs to move that much farther to complete the shell ejection say when I would be shooting 2-3/4" or 3" ?.....or do these work with no problems ?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,506 Posts
Duckayce, if my 4-5 days hunting Horicon in the early 90's are indicative of Horicon hunting, skip the 12 and try to find yourself a 6 ga. Each day I hunted reminded me of what the WW II bomber pilots must have felt like flying over the coast of France. The skybusting firing line type hunting was something to behold - I didn't care for it much, but I would have loved to have an ammo stand on that highway that passed through Horicon.

Seriosly, I'm one of those that believes if you're going to spend a substantial amount of money, you do so in a fashion that gives the greatest possible function. In this regard, if you're only going to have one shotgun, I'd pick a 12 ga. capable of shooting 3.5' shells. And if it's truly only going to be one gun, I'd pick a pump. Good modern autoloaders are very reliable, but if you want a gun that's going to fire in 99.8% of all shooting circumstances (weather, blowing dirt, unexpected dumps in the mud or the drink, etc.) as opposed to 99.3%, that's what you get with a pump. If you can also bring a pump back up, then go for the auto.

As far as shell length, you may never shoot the 3.5's or shoot them rarely, or you may find you use them regularly. With shotgun pricing these days, spending a little more for a 3.5 seems to me to be pretty good insurance against wishing you'd done so later.

I agree with Matt. Even if you hunt big geese, if you're committed to shooting them (and everything else) very close, you could probably skip the 12 and head right for a 20 auto and save some weight in gun and shells. But if you "stretch" from time to time, like many of us do, you'll need a 12 to do a consistantly good job. This became apparant when I did some pattern testing this summer. I like BBB's for an all-around goose load, and to reach minimum CONSEP pellet counts at 60 yards (extreme shooting range) in BBB, I'll need to get into a 1 9/16 oz. load. 1 3/8 wouldn't do it, and you can only get the 1 9/16 in 3.5. I've always shot 3.5 goose loads, for no particular reason other than I thought I should. Finally doing some pattern testing told me I was on the right track.

Chevy/Ford, Coke/Pepsi, Benelli/Beretta/Remington/Winchester, etc. I'm a Benelli guy, and have never experienced jamming when I didn't deserve it, 3.5's or otherwise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
842 Posts
If pass shooting geese is what you do then the 10 ga is the best bet. Heavy, but the bore diameter is wider for those 3.5" shells. The guys that I have watched shoot 10s do very well killing geese.

Browning BPS or Remington 870 12 gauges chambered to 3.5" would be an excellent choice. If you hunt more upland and are concerned about weight drop down to the 3" 12 ga. gun. I beleive it may save you about 1/2 pound or so. Field grade shotguns would even weigh even less.

Dan's Benelli is the way go to gun if you have the grand (or so) to spend. You only turn 40 once get the Benelli.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
I may be from the old school here but I have always felt if you can't get the ducks in close enough to kill them with a 3 inch, what's a few more pellets off set by more powder. The bottom line is a 3 inch has worked for years and if you study ballistics, you will see that those extra pellets and extra powder make it just as slow as the 3 inch.(there's more weight) I think You are buying in to something you don't need when it comes to the three and a half inch. If you call correctly and are right with the wind, the ducks will be plenty close for the 3 inch.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,506 Posts
DM, find yourself a CONSEP chart and the do some pattern testing. If you are religious about always very close-in shots, you can probably skip the 3.0's and just shoot 2.75's on everything. At 20-30 yards, minimum CONSEP pellet counts are pretty easily doable with lighter loads.

Admittedly, I stretch from time to time, especially on follow up shots. Because shot sizes are smaller and thus pellet numbers higher, it's pretty easy to make CONSEP patterning requirements with 3.0 on ducks even at long ranges. But geese are a different story. Try different choke/shell combos and try to get 55-60 BBB's in a 30' circle at 60 yards. Damn hard without going to 1 9/16, which you can only get in 3.5's.

Also, do a little surfing on CONSEP. You'll find that the recent trend to speed isn't all of what it's cracked up to be. At or above about 1250 fps in steel shot, more payload is more lethal than more speed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So far in my hunt for a gun I like the Beretta Extrema 3.5". Funny thing is its not becuz I need the 3.5". I have to admit I like the versatility and the fact I've been told it performs equally well shooting light 2-3/4 loads as well as the 3-1/2....once its broken in. I don't plan on shooting trap with this gun anyhows other than perhaps occasional sporting clays. I shot this gun at the Oskosh Wi Ducks Unlimited Great Outdoors fest and it shot real nice. I really liked the additional recoil reduction built into the stock....I could notice this when I shot it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,676 Posts
Get a Remington SP 10 it will pattern better than the 3.5inch 12, kick less and they handle great. Use your old shotgun for those time you aren't shooting big birds at long distance
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
get an extreama or a franche both by beretta or benelli and you can put a 4th shell in it and still have your plug in it so you don't get in trouble for not having your plug the franche runs about $630
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
545 Posts
Get the 3.5, less chance of 3" shells not ejecting properly and it gives you room to use the 3.5.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
I had a 3 1/2 when they first came out. I got rid of mine. I didn't kill any more birds than I did with my 3 inch. However, I spent more on shells and beat the crap out of my shoulder. I went through CONSEP also (went on the Mon, missed seeing Dan there who went through on Sun), and am more convinced of limiting shooting distance than worrying about payload. Case in point, there were 3 guys there that were absolutely terrible shots and didn't make it past the 20 yard line where you had to break a minimum 6 out of 10. They eventually did after coaching by Tom Roster and a lot of shooting. When it come to pattern testing, they were testing at 60 yards. I couldn't for the life of me figure out why they bothered, they wouldn't have been able to hit a bird at 60 yards (most people can't consistenly and luck plays a big part) I just never shoot over 40 yards, and very rarely shoot past 30, and I consider myself pretty competant with shotgun. It is also my opinion that wounding rate goes up significantly as distance increases. If a guy is patient there is no reason to take longer shots. Also by sticking with close shots, I don't need to have as large of pellets and I can obtain a denser pattern. I would rather have a lot of little holes in the bird than 2 or 3 larger ones. You have better odds of hitting a vital organ, or breaking a wing or neck. Just my opinion. I like my 11-87 and 3 inch loads.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
to get bigger holes you have to change the shot number not the size of the shell the size of the shell just gives you more pellets not bigger pellets and the reason i said to get the 3 1/2 inch is if you do you can fit 4 shells in it insted of 3 and still have the plug there is a trick to make the 4 shell so you can miss 4 times instede of 3
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
My only point is that at a reasonable distance, you don't need superlarge payloads of large shot. I have shot a lot of geese (certainly not as many as some of the crew here as I spend considerable time hunting other species also such as bow hunting) with 2 steel, this isn't what most people use, but then I don't have to constantly change shells out depending if there are ducks or geese coming in. I have a buddy that buys BBB or BB's for geese and then 4's for ducks. He constantly is changing loads in his shotgun and I can't see that he kills anymore geese than I do. I am sure others have different experiences. When I shoot 3 inch 2 shot, I get a hell of a dense pattern out to 40 yards. I also find that 2 shot has no problem driving through the breast into the vitals. This is just what works for me, and is only my opinion. At my self imposed range limitation, I personally don't see the advantage of it.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top