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View Full Version : Do I Really need 3.5"


joel1316
12-14-2006, 7:13 AM
Do I really need to upgrade my Mossberg 500 to an 835 to get a 3.5" chamber? What are the advantages besides more payload(?)?

Fjold
12-14-2006, 7:47 AM
The only advantage is that it will shoot more pellets per load which should get you tighter patterning at long range.

randy
12-14-2006, 8:06 AM
The 3.5 chamber offering came out because of steel shot for waterfowl.

When you were no longer allowed to use lead shot the steel shot from a 3" wansn't making it so you could go to 10 gauge or 3.5 in 12.

Hunter
12-14-2006, 9:25 AM
The only advantage is that it will shoot more pellets per load which should get you tighter patterning at long range.

ONLY if you are shooting at a stationary target does this really hold true. For wing shooting it is a different story. While you do get more pellets out there, they are strung out more as well. I have shot cases of 3.5 and 3 over the years in my SBE and I prove it to myself time and time again. For this reason, a 10 ga is much better than the 3.5" 12ga when comparing the same loads.

joel1316
12-14-2006, 9:43 AM
Can a 3" shell be effectively used for turkey?

caduckgunner
12-14-2006, 9:51 AM
Do you hunt geese or Turkey?

Yes = 3 1/2" is good

No = don't need it.

Hunter
12-14-2006, 9:55 AM
Can a 3" shell be effectively used for turkey?

YES as well as 2 3/4". They all have the same pellet energy and if I'm shooting under 20 yrds with a "turkey"choke, I prefer the 2 3/4". I typically use #5s, so there are already plenty of pellets there to do the job, actually MORE than enough pellets to roll the bird. My son shot his first two turkeys with 1oz #6 out of his 20ga. Dropped both of his birds this last spring with 1 shot each to the head. One was 19 yrds out and the other was 25 yrds.

sargenv
12-14-2006, 10:07 AM
I'm pretty much with what most have said about the 3.5" 12 gauge. When Steel became mandated, the 3.5" shell gave people more pellets for their load, the idea being that you could load larger pellets and still get a good payload of them. However in recent years, Kent and a few other manufacturers have come up with what they call "Fast steel" with moderate amounts of pellets in them.

With steel, Speed kills, not total pellet count. 1 1/8 ounces of steel is the lead pellet equivalent of 1 1/2 ounces of lead shot. The load that many waterfowlers preferred for a lot of years was a 3 3/4 dram load, 1 1/4 ounces of 4's, 5's, or 6's. All of a sudden we have 1 1/2 ounces equiv of shot, moving at the same speed as lead and that leads to more cripples since steel just doesn't have the range of lead when launched at the same nominal 1300 fps.

The Fast steel loads are launched out of your barrel at 1550 fps and have the pellet count of 1 1/2 ounces of lead. I've found the loads to be very good and have about the same range as that old standby 3 3/4 dram (1300 fps) 1 1/4ounce lead load of years past. the 3.5" hull, when loaded to a lighter charge of shot, say 1 1/4 or 1 3/8 ounces of steel shot can yield very high velocity, but the 1 9/16 lead load is anemic velocity wise at best. At least it was when I last looked at ballisitic data. If you have a 3" gun now, don't feel the need to upgrade to a 3.5" gun. Kent, Remington, and Estate make some very fast modern steel loads that make 1500-1550 fps for the 3" gun. Early steel shells you could tell were underpowered since they didn't feel like the lead counterparts. However those fast steel loads are really moving and they actually give you a pretty good push. I've had one shot kills at extended ranges (35 yards plus, usually with 2's) where I would not have tried in the past with the older steel loads.

Vince

joel1316
12-14-2006, 11:58 AM
Thanks for the informative reply guys.
For the time being, I'm thinking of chasing turkeys and not waterfowl, so if I understand correctly my Mossy 500 should do the job.

sargenv
12-15-2006, 6:10 AM
Yep, it will do the job nicely. I know that Federal came out some time ago with a full 2 ounce load of shot specifically for Turkey hunters in the 3" hull. Ballistic products had a handload utilizing the old Activ hull and it contains 1 7/8 ounces in a 2 3/4" hull. Velocity is like 1200 fps, but if all you need do is put shot on target like a turkey, then it worked fine. I suspect that there have been people using 2 3/4" guns on turkey for a lot of years. It appears that an extra full choke and sometimes rifle sights are what you want on Turkey since you'd like to get a head shot on the bird with little meat damage to the rest of the bird. Your Mossy will do just fine.

But then if this is a thread of "guys, help me make my decision to buy another toy" well, sure, buy another :D

Vince

joel1316
12-15-2006, 7:16 AM
Thanks Vince, you made the decision for me.... I need a back up!