View Full Version : 870- Magnum or Super Mag

j taylor
August 4, 2002, 10:59 PM
Thinking of purchasing an 870 but I am hung up on the half inch difference between the Magnum and Super Magnum. The only advantage I can think of for the 3.5" is goose hunting. Is this the only real advantage? Isn't the 3" still enough for geese anyways?



Dave McC
August 5, 2002, 05:27 AM
I know some Eastern Shore Goose guides who see plenty of shotgunners and shotguns. Most of these guides do not have 3 1/2" 12 gauge shotguns. They are underwhelmed by the big shell's performance when used by their clients.

The sole rationale for the 3 1/2" shell is steel shot. With the improvements in other non-toxic materials and loads,this is less crucial than of old.

BTW, those guides think well of Hevi-Shot for the most part.

August 5, 2002, 08:30 AM
The difference between high velocity steel and standard steel on ducks and geese is night and day. 3.5" shells allow you the pellet count to have an effective pattern with a useable shot size in a high velocity loading at 60 yards rather than 40 like 3". 3.5" HV steel WORKS. As to Daves comment on the guides not being too impressed, I find that very easy to believe. Most guys never pattern their guns, most buy a super dee duper gun and the shells that are on sale at the moment. Most guys shoot poorly on game. I have read that the average shell count per duck is around 8 shells, think about that.

I also agree with Dave that with Hevi and other non-toxic wonder shot there is a lot less need for 3.5", but that only applies if YOU are going to shoot $2 a bang wonder shot. If not, and you are willing to pattern and practice, get the 3.5". My fall is dedicated to waterfowl hunting, the 3.5" made a huge difference for me.