nativ wrote:Im getting a Mossberg 3 1/2" 835 Ulti Mag with a 24" barrel before my season opener. Anyone have a review for me of this shotgun?????
-Shot shells/shot size?????
I purchased my first 835 shortly after they were introduced and have had a couple others over the years. I also have a 935 and an SSi-ONE, all with the same .775 over-bored barrels. They are great guns and some of the best patterns I've seen have been shot by the 835.
The 835 has also been the subject of more e-mail to my site over the years than any other shotgun. It's the gun that prompted me to publish the article "Cleaning a Shotgun Barrel"
several years ago.
Having shot those guns for a long time now, I do have some observations and recommendations.
My very first recommendation is that you "deep clean" the bore. Most new shotgun barrels are dirty and have a lot of "gunk" in them that can't simply be cleaned with a cursory or routine cleaning. All of my Mossberg guns have had this gunk in them. I'd encourage you to consider using the guidelines in the article and spend the time necessary to get your bore squeaky clean. It will pay big dividends.
The 835/935 series of guns respond best to barrels of 26" or longer, in my experience. That has also been what what many of my readers have experienced as well. That is not to say that shorter barrels can not pattern well, it's just that it can be more of a challenge to get them there. Again, deep cleaning will help.
The internal geometry of a choke tube is much more important than the exit diameter of the choke alone. All too often I read of recommendations made based upon the exit diameter only. However, with the 835, if limited to an exit diameter choice only, the .670 would be my pick.
The SSX and Pure Gold chokes are excellent choices. They are quite different in design but both will yield excellent patterns. A rather new choke on the market, the Hevi-13 Turkey choke has an exit diameter of .676, with great internal geometry and is another excellent choice. All three of these chokes are very fairly priced for high quality choke tubes, rated for all lead and tungsten-based shot.
I shoot all of the major brands of shotshells in my work but I can not find a more consistent or better patterning turkey shell on the market today than those made by Environ-Metal under the Hevi-13 brand.
I see my best and most consistent patterns from the "Bronze" 3' shells with 2 oz. of shot, either #6 (my favorite) or #7 shot. I see excellent patterns with those shells and can get back on target very quickly using them, in the event I need a second shot for any reason.
I have no quarrel with anyone using the 3.5" shells but just don't see the need for them or the reason to absorb the added recoil.
Lastly, the 835 is a high recoiling gun. It's just hard to shoot a gun well when you know it's going to hurt you. For that reason, I always use a slip on pad over the factory pad, both at the bench and in the turkey woods. I prefer the Shooter's Friend because it softens the kick and spreads out the recoil. It's also very reasonably priced.
Enjoy your new gun and all my best in the turkey woods this spring.