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Old August 30, 2012, 08:10 PM   #1
Rustle in the Bushes
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shotgun for defense 3" or 3.5"?

I currently have a 3" 870 but have had rounds fall behind the feeding ramp causing a total jam that requires the barrel to be removed. Im gonna have a smith look at it but it has made me think about the reliability of the platform, especially for something that serves as my "poop the pants scared situation gun"(bears etc...)


The benellis dont have this problem, the feed ramp stays out of the way even if your feed lips/mag spring screw up and pop a round out after loading.


BUT theyre 3.5" and id be more likely to short shuck the gun I think. opinions?
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Old August 31, 2012, 01:48 AM   #2
idek
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If I'm reading this correctly, the subject heading isn't so much about the use of 3" vs 3.5" shells so much as it's about 3" chambers vs. 3.5" chambers. Is that correct?

I personally prefer a 3" chamber over a 3.5" chamber, since I never have a need for 3.5" shells. I too have wondered about short-shucking, but I suspect once you were used to the gun, it wouldn't be a problem.

Hopefully the gunsmith can sort out the problem with the 870. I wouldn't give up on it too quickly or question the platform. 870s are perhaps the most time-tested shotgun in the world.

Also, how do you intend to use the gun? You mention bears, so are you just thinking of a gun at the house or something you carry around outdoors? If you're planning to tote it around, the Benelli is about 10% heavier than the 870, and I would rather have the lighter option.

Last edited by idek; August 31, 2012 at 01:53 AM.
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Old August 31, 2012, 09:34 AM   #3
jmr40
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There is no need for anything larger than 2 3/4" shells for SD. The 870 platform is solid, if you are having problems I'm sure it can easily be found and corrected.
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Old August 31, 2012, 03:12 PM   #4
SHR970
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If for some reason you feel the need for all of the recoil, blast, and cost of throwing 18 00Buck pellets down range with each pull of the trigger, then by all means get a 3 1/2" chambered gun. 18 pellets of 00Buck is a 2 1/4 oz. load.

A 3" chamber will only get you 15 pellets, a 2 3/4" will only get you 8, 9 or 12 pellets. If for some reason 8 pellets doesn't do the job, just pull the trigger again.

Personally, my 835 is used for Goose, Duck, and could be pressed into service for deer. SD use is only if I am in the field; I have other options for when the poop hits the rotating air circulation device.
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Old August 31, 2012, 06:14 PM   #5
Old Grump
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They will die with a 2 3/4" and a 3" will only add more pellets, not make them deader. Only reason to use 3 1/2" is if your attacker is a goose attacking you from 60 yards and you need to get enough pellets going his way to turn him into supper. I use 2 3/4" shells in my 20 gauge for both turkey and home defense, turkey never complained yet about being shot with an inadequate load and I don't think a boogerman breaking into your house will notice the fine nuances between 7 pellets or 15 pellets. Better to make a good hit with the smaller shell than a near miss with the larger shell, especially if you have to shoot again.
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Old September 1, 2012, 03:07 PM   #6
shortwave
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Agree with the idea of not needing anymore then 2 3/4 for SD.

Too, if you're having mechanical problems of any kind with your shotgun, I wouldn't trust it for SD with any length round till it was fixed and had proven itself worthy.
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Old September 6, 2012, 02:36 AM   #7
Darto
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I would buy the Bennelli if it is more reliable. Handload the 3.5" shells down to a 2-3/4" power load with wads filling up the extra unused space. That's what I would do. In other words all fiber wads, no shotcup, like in the old days.
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Old September 6, 2012, 02:55 AM   #8
MrApathy
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2-3/4 does plenty wide variety of shot sizes and shells
look around for ammo got magnum loads and light loads.
3" can be more abusive recoil wise not as much variety in loads.
3.5" tend to have heavier receivers recoil even more abusize recoil pad pending.

I would stick with 2-3/4" myself wide variety of ammo.
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Old September 6, 2012, 09:24 PM   #9
idek
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Quote:
I would buy the Bennelli if it is more reliable. Handload the 3.5" shells down to a 2-3/4" power load with wads filling up the extra unused space. That's what I would do. In other words all fiber wads, no shotcup, like in the old days.
A Benelli Nova (I'm assuming that's the gun we're talking about) can cycle 2-3/4" shells. Why would you bother loading 3.5" cases to 2-3/4" performance?
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Old September 7, 2012, 09:55 AM   #10
Webleymkv
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If you're worried about short-stroking, why not look into a semi-auto rather than a pump? The Stoeger Model 2000 Defense would be a good gun to look at as it uses the Benelli Inertia Driven system and thus should be quite reliable and yet is still quite affordable (MSRP is $509).
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Old September 8, 2012, 09:18 AM   #11
Newton24b
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try playing with other brands of shotgun ammo? perhaps it may be brand specific issue?
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Old September 8, 2012, 11:50 AM   #12
TheKlawMan
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Quote:
I currently have a 3" 870 but have had rounds fall behind the feeding ramp causing a total jam that requires the barrel to be removed. Im gonna have a smith look at it but it has made me think about the reliability of the platform, especially for something that serves as my "poop the pants scared situation gun"(bears etc...)
Is that the issue that the flex tabs on more recent 870's is supposed to deal with? I can't recall exactly how it occurred but it happened once when I first got an 870 and probably due to being short stroked. That was with 2-3/4" ammo.
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Old September 8, 2012, 03:28 PM   #13
Dave McC
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The only times I've seen what the OP described is when shells are not loaded to get past the shell latches. Push them in until you hear/feel a click.
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Old September 12, 2012, 11:17 AM   #14
cajun47
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i had two 870s that where jam masters. i had 0 problems with my three mossberg 500s.
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Old September 12, 2012, 07:14 PM   #15
TheSILENTtype
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2 3/4 all the way for HD. but to maintain practical usage all around stick with 3"
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