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NoobShooter
06-28-2008, 11:29 PM
I've been searching the internet, but can't find a straight answer for the followng question(s):

What's the difference between magnum and non-magnum shells?

My 870's has "Express Magnum" stamped on it, what does it mean? If magnums are different, can I use it on my shotgun?

Please. Need straight shootin' answers (no pun intended, well, a little).

Spyder
06-29-2008, 1:20 AM
Magnum means more power by way of more powder, basically.

If your gun says it can shoot magnums, you're good to go.

ivanimal
06-29-2008, 1:53 AM
The term Magnum refers to more powder or shot. It came about when the 3" shells were introduced if I recall correctly. All 3" shells are considered Magnums so all 3" chambers should handle them. If your gun says 2 3/4" chamber it is not a magnum. Check with the Mfr. of your gun to be sure. I own mostly Remington's and that is where I got this info.


http://remington.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/remington.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=162&p_created=945141613&p_sid=bxq7su7j&p_accessibility=0&p_redirect=&p_lva=&p_sp=cF9zcmNoPTEmcF9zb3J0X2J5PSZwX2dyaWRzb3J0PSZwX 3Jvd19jbnQ9MzMsMzMmcF9wcm9kcz0wJnBfY2F0cz0mcF9wdj0 mcF9jdj0mcF9wYWdlPTEmcF9zZWFyY2hfdGV4dD1tYWdudW0*&p_li=&p_topview=1
Question


How can I tell if my 870 shotgun has a magnum receiver?
Answer


If your 870 serial number ends with "M" you have a 12-gauge Magnum receiver that is capable of shooting 2 3/4-inch and 3-inch shells with the correct barrel.

If your serial number ends with "A", you have a 12-gauge Super Magnum receiver that is capable of shooting 2 3/4-inch, 3-inch and 3 1/2-inch shells with the correct barrel.

If your serial number ends in "N" or "U", you have a 20-gauge Magnum receiver that is capable of shooting 3-inch shells with the correct barrel.

Jerkdog
06-29-2008, 8:17 AM
Yeah, what they said.

Basically it goes like this....

2 3/4" shells = just regular old shotgun shell

3" shells = magnum shell

3 1/2" shells = "super" magnum, which is just a short way of saying bruised shoulder.

NoobShooter
06-29-2008, 10:30 PM
Very cool.
My serial number ends in "M" and I do recall it can hold 3" shells.

Thanks for the quick summation and definitions guys!!! :cheers2:

CHS
06-29-2008, 11:06 PM
Your barrel will be stamped with the length of the chamber. 2 3/4", 3" or 3 1/2". Just follow what's stamped on the barrel and you'll be fine.

Most 870's, even the 20ga ones, are chambered in 3".

Moonclip
06-30-2008, 4:23 PM
Magnum means more power by way of more powder, basically.

If your gun says it can shoot magnums, you're good to go.

Magnum in a shotshell doesn't really mean it is much more powerful or has more velocity. It means the shell holds more shot. These is shells in the normal 2 3/4" length that are labeled magnum as they hold more shot.

And example is in a 00 Buck loading, it is usually 9x .33caliber balls. In the 2 3/4" magnum it holds 12. The 3" if your gun is maked it chambers 3" shells, it will take a 3" shell with 15 00 pellets. The 3 1/2" IIRC will hold 18 00 pellets!

Moonclip
06-30-2008, 4:25 PM
Your barrel will be stamped with the length of the chamber. 2 3/4", 3" or 3 1/2". Just follow what's stamped on the barrel and you'll be fine.

Most 870's, even the 20ga ones, are chambered in 3".

IIRC you need to check whats marked on the receiver of the 870, not whats stamped on the barrel. I think older receivers can accept a newer barrel but should not shoot the 3" shell unless the receiver and barrel are marked magnum.

A 3" shell can be shoved in to a 2 3/4" chamber but you will have extraction difficulties and it is unsafe.

bohoki
06-30-2008, 4:38 PM
Yeah, what they said.

Basically it goes like this....

2 3/4" shells = just regular old shotgun shell

3" shells = magnum shell

3 1/2" shells = "super" magnum, which is just a short way of saying bruised shoulder.

pretty much

but the 12 ga regular shells come in high base and low base
some times called high brass and low brass

if the shotgun is an autoloader tuned for 3 inch magnum it will often not function properly with low base shells

also the length of shells is measured after firing the crimp on the end takes up a half inch or so

Moonclip
06-30-2008, 4:47 PM
pretty much

but the 12 ga regular shells come in high base and low base
some times called high brass and low brass

if the shotgun is an autoloader tuned for 3 inch magnum it will often not function properly with low base shells

also the length of shells is measured after firing the crimp on the end takes up a half inch or so


Most people don't realize the last sentence of what I quoted. Many autoloaders, even older ones, can be adjusted to work well with either light birdshot or heavy buckshot loads.

I think the high and low brass shells means little to nothing these days but the manufacturers tend to use the high brass shells for more premium or powerful loads.

One brand, Activ, doesn't even have a brass head, it's an all plastic shell.

SteveH
07-10-2008, 8:06 PM
Magnum in a shotshell doesn't really mean it is much more powerful or has more velocity. It means the shell holds more shot.

Correct answer. ^

More shot, not more velocity.

yellowfin
07-14-2008, 10:46 AM
3 1/2" HURTS. I had a Mossberg 835 that didn't get along well with me at all.

sargenv
07-14-2008, 12:30 PM
In most cases, the ones that hold more shot just don't really have the punch except for the larger shot cloud. Generally that means that each pellet has a lower power (since in theory you'd hit it with more of them). All of the best loads tend to be a mid range payload at a higher velocity. The lead loads of 20 years ago that were most effective were in the range of 1 3/8 ounces moving at 1330 -1400 fps.

The next most popular duck load was 1 1/4 ounces of # 4's or 5's at 1330 fps aka 3 3/4 - 1 1/4 - 4. That was my dad's favorite load for a long time.

For specialized game like Turkey though, you want the maximum shot allowable and velocity is not so important. You want to use a very tight choke to try to get as much shot on target (usually the head) at sometimes longer distances. Since you are shooting your shotgun like a rifle (aiming) the velocity is not as important as when you are trying to hit something moving through the air. The importance in this case is pattern density and a slower shot cloud generally will be more focused than a faster one. Something about "blowing the pattern" at higher velocities.

When I started reloading 3" shells, my favorite was the other load.. ( 13/8 ounces) but when steel shot came in, it was all about max payload again, it took a few years to realize that shot clouds were ineffective when moving at the velocity of lead since steel is only 70% the weight of lead, it had about a 30% less lethal range.

Come to modern day steel loads.. my favorite is made by Kent. a 3" hull, 1 1/8 ounce of #2's or 3's moving at 1550 fps. Keep in mind that a 1 1/8 ounce load of steel shot is the pellet equivalent to lead of 1.5 ounces. The Kent Faststeel loads are the first I've seen to deliver that kind of velocity. Most of the rest of them had kept their velocities to about 1400 fps give or take. I used to load my own steel to about 1450 fps, but since Kent makes them better and faster than me, for about the same money, it's not worth it to load inferior shells. I just buy them now.

timmyb21
07-14-2008, 1:41 PM
I give you...MAGNUM!

http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r192/fchatagnier/zoolander-magnum.gif