Actually if someone does not want to nickel and dime, they buy Nitro Company from the get go. If you are not shooting Nitros or handloads your gun is not maximized.ORIGINAL: dmcianfa
You may say it's overdoing it, but I have not changed my setup for years and years now and it is, in my opinion, the best it can be. More than I can say for those that spend countless hours every year patterning, sighting, firing round after round, buying new chokes, buying box after box of shells of all sorts of size and what not, wasting money. Spend the money at one sitting instead of nickle and diming yourself to death and do it right the first time, then you won't have to waste all that money over the course of the life of your shotgun, not to mention time that you could be spending doing something else you enjoy. I fire two rounds every year. One at a target to verify gun, and one at a Tom if I get the chance. Some say its excentric, but then again to each his own.
I wonder sometimes how much those folks miss a turkey every so often?
When Mossberg and Federal got together to produce the first 3.5" chambered 12 gauge shotgun and the shells to fit it, they were trying to help those of us who shot waterfowl, who had been forced to shoot non-toxic shot (steel then) get a killing load. The longer length allowed more of the larger steel shot to go in the shell.
Turkey hunters demanded the 3.5" gun (larger payload) and gunmakers and shotshell makers soon obliged us by trotting out a number of different camo guns and shotshells.
Over the years I've patterned a lot of shotshells and here's what I've found. All things being equal, a 2.75" shell will pattern better than a 3" shell and a 3" shell will pattern better than a 3.5" shell. There are certainly exceptions and I'm sure somenone has a gun that patterns a longer shell better than a shorter one but that's been my experience after firing a few thousand at "big paper". When I say pattern, I also mean consistently, at least 10+ shells, not just 1 particular pattern that comes from a "hot shell".
Shotshell manufacturers and choke makers have learned so much in the last 10 years or so about performance of their products and for the most part, the shells and chokes are so much better, I don't see much if any need for the 3.5" gun today for us as turkey hunters.
In most cases in my experience, compared to the 3.5" shells, the 3" shells pattern better, they cost less and they kick a lot less, I only recommend 3" shells for turkey hunters, even if they have a 3.5" gun.
If however, you are a waterfowl hunter and shoot steel shot, the increased length of the 3.5" shell will allow you to have a larger payload of big shot needed to kill those birds.
This brief excerpt may help a bit.
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