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Do you prefer a 3" or 3.5" for DUCK hunting only?

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 Posted 7/22/2014 2:29:52 PM
 

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I have a 12 ga Mossberg 935 that I use for duck hunting only. I've always used 3.5" shells, assuming that if the gun can take it, it would be best to use bigger shells. However, many people swear by their 3" shells, saying that the speed and pattern of a 3" is simply better than the added shot in a 3.5". I want to know everyone's opinions on the 3" versus the 3.5" [in a Mossberg 935]. Also, I would love to know everyone's opinions for shot size. I've heard a lot of good things about 3-4 shot, but let me know what you think.

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Post #776374
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 Posted 7/26/2014 11:51:33 AM
 

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Well not everyone at once....
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 Posted 7/26/2014 1:36:47 PM
 

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I have an 835 that I bought when Mossberg first came out with them.
it is heavy with a ported barrel and handled the 3.5 shells very well.
I enjoyed shooting ducks with it and did well. Shot around 2 cases of 3 and 3.5 inch shells per season thru it and never really noticed a difference in how the gun handled.
I did notice a difference in the killing power though. The big ounce and 9/16 loads I was shooting seemed to bring them down dead more often than the ounce and 3/8 three inch loads.
I ran into trouble when I bought a Remy 870 super mag. The gun was much lighter with more kick. after shooting a half case or so of 3.5" shells I started developing a welt on the inside of my middle finger that rests behind the trigger guard. It got so bad that I started to flinch every time I pulled the trigger. Not good.
I see they are selling a finger cover now to prevent this from happening.
After the welt went down and I started hunting again I shot only 3" for the rest of the season and have shot very few 3.5's since. My duck numbers have not declined at all and my dog gets to make a few more tough retrieves on lightly hit cripples.
As far as shot size, I use #3's early then switch to 1's for the late season ducks.
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 Posted 7/26/2014 4:30:00 PM
 

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Well, I purged my collection of any mossbergs but I can tell you with great certainty that 3 1/2" shells are completely unecessary in order to kill ducks effectively. In fact, any decent shooter can do quite well with 2 3/4" loads, as the real determining factor lies in the shooters ability, not the length of the shell! Shot size and choke constriction will serve you far better than an extra dose of recoil. Early season I use 3 shot, late season I go to 2 shot for the bigger, tougher northern migrators.  

"When you hear my third shot.....that's your signal to take 'em."
-Phil Robertson
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 Posted 7/26/2014 5:21:51 PM
 

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flannel (7/26/2014)
Well, I purged my collection of any mossbergs but I can tell you with great certainty that 3 1/2" shells are completely unecessary in order to kill ducks effectively. In fact, any decent shooter can do quite well with 2 3/4" loads, as the real determining factor lies in the shooters ability, not the length of the shell! Shot size and choke constriction will serve you far better than an extra dose of recoil. Early season I use 3 shot, late season I go to 2 shot for the bigger, tougher northern migrators.  


Dang, that's where I went wrong. Nobody said anything about being a decent shooter.
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 Posted 7/26/2014 6:05:58 PM
 

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ducker (7/26/2014)
flannel (7/26/2014)
Well, I purged my collection of any mossbergs but I can tell you with great certainty that 3 1/2" shells are completely unecessary in order to kill ducks effectively. In fact, any decent shooter can do quite well with 2 3/4" loads, as the real determining factor lies in the shooters ability, not the length of the shell! Shot size and choke constriction will serve you far better than an extra dose of recoil. Early season I use 3 shot, late season I go to 2 shot for the bigger, tougher northern migrators.  


Dang, that's where I went wrong. Nobody said anything about being a decent shooter.


Ha! I know, its one of those minor details in duck hunting that can really be a pooper if you cant get around it! :hehe:

"When you hear my third shot.....that's your signal to take 'em."
-Phil Robertson
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 Posted 8/17/2014 5:33:51 PM
 

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I shoot a Remington M887 and had shot many 3" shells the first year, then some one told me I should try 3.5" and they worked just as good in my opinion. So at the end of last year I switched back to 3" because as far as I was concerned they both brought the birds down as long as I hit them, and cycling through 3" rounds all day is a lot easier to handle. (being as how I often got headaches at the end of the day shooting 3.5")
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 Posted 8/18/2014 2:10:12 PM
 

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I never shoot 3 1/2 for ducks, geese yes... ducks no. I sometime even hunt with a 20g 3" as well.
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 Posted 8/19/2014 9:45:01 AM
 

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I could never justify the extra cost of the 3.5. I also worry that it encourages longer, less ethical shots. That being said, who knows if a few extra pellets may make the difference in missing and hitting a bird you were off center on. But as far as patterning better, I wouldn't think there would be a huge difference. 



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 Posted 8/19/2014 11:38:10 AM
 

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I have hunted with both 3.5 and 3's. Yes you can get more distance with the 3.5 but like said before if your a good enough shot you will save money shooting the 3's and they are just as good in my opinion. Some hunters also thing just because they shoot 3.5 they can make those ridiculous long range shots when they end up wounding the bird and never finding them.
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