I shoot an 870 super mag w sureshot stock, 28" barrel, and a jelly head choke. Up till this year I was shooting 3.5" shells. I patterned it with all hevi-shot the 3.5" hevi13's which have 5,6and7s, 3"#6s and 3"#7s. The gun patterned better with the 3" shells. With the 3.5" it put 175 pellets in a 10" circle at 30 yds. With the 3" #7s it put 207 pellets in a 10" circle at 30 yds. With the 3"#6s it put 217 pellets in a 10" circle at 30 yds.Needless to say I switched to the heavi-shot 3"#6s. My buddys pattern with his 22" barrel 11-87 was not nearly as tight as my 870 with 28" barrel in a side by side comparison. You mentioned you wanted a gun with low recoil... Well, a 3.5" in a 870 with a turkey choke kicks like Bruce lee with four legs! Especially with the heavi shot 3.5 having 2.25 OZs of powder. The semi auto action of the 11-87 will help absorb some of the recoil. For me The 3" shells are more forgiving as far as recoil and even better than that they gave me a tighter pattern. So no matter which gun you choose you will need to find the right combination of choke and shells for your set up, to achieve the best/tighest pattern. Good luck!