View Full Version : 10 GA vs. 3 1/2" 12 GA

January 26, 2001, 02:11 PM
I am pretty dead set on getting a larger shotgun to hunt geese and turkeys with and pretty much had my mind set on a 26" Benelli SBE Camo. But I notice that Browning and Remington both still produce 10 Gauges. Does a 10 GA have any advantage over a 3 1/2" on turkeys, ducks or geese? Apparently there is still a market for these or they wouldn't make them.

How does a 10 compare to a 3 1/2" - velocity, patterning, load availability?

January 26, 2001, 09:19 PM

Try, http://www.shotgunreport.com. Go to update section, 1-24
"10ga vs 3.5" 12ga". I think this is relevant to your


Dave McC
January 27, 2001, 09:54 AM
Mike has it right, and Bruce over at Shotgun Report is one knowledgeable guy.

A note, while some of the waterfowl guides I know over on the Eastern Shore have 10 gauges, the 3 1/2" 12 ga. has not set any selling records among them. Most still use the 3" 12 as a pickoffthecripples gun. Many have war stories of visiting sports with brand new 3 1/2" 12s, that go down to 3" shells after a shot or two.

And, any shotgun that launches 1 1/2 oz and more of shot at speeds consistent with wacking a Giant Canada DRT, should weight well over 9 lbs, and over 10 is better, even if there's a big red S on your chest.

If I HAD to get myself a big load,long range goose gun,I'd look around for one of the Ithaca 10s, get it stocked to fit over heavy winter clothes, do the forcing cone and some choke work to set it up for one particular shotsize and brand of shell, and send it off for porting.

January 27, 2001, 11:37 PM
I've got a buddy who uses a 10 guage pump (browing I think) for waterfouling. He played with a 3 1/2 for a while but was not happy. He has a handicaped relative that he takes hunting. The relative shoots a 20 guage with a short barrel due to the physical limitations. With the 10 my buddy can let the other guy shoot first. When the 20 is Winchester he uses the 10 to snipe the birdies at ranges often too far for the 12. He says the recoil is pretty brutal. But hey, by the time the recoil hits the deed is done.

Dave McC
January 28, 2001, 08:31 AM
Went and checked the catalog yesterday after posting on this. The Remington Super-Mag 870 weighs in at a listed 7 1/4 lbs, the SP 10 at 10 3/4 lbs. SO the SP runs close to the Rule of 96, while the 870 runs very light for the payload.

January 28, 2001, 10:03 PM
I've been waterfowling with 10 gauges for about 9 years now. If I was interested in buying a 10 ga the ONLY worthy choice (IMO & experience) is a Browning gold 10 semi-auto.

As of this season, however, I've gone exclusively to a Winchester Super X2 3.5" 12 ga.

The 10 may actually have a slight edge of around 6% or so, but practically speaking, the advantage is lost due to the weight of the guns themselves.

If you hunt in a stationary, comfortable blind where you stand up to shoot every time, the 10 may be the way to go. Otherwise, go with a Super X2 or Browning Gold 12 (same gun, more $).

10 ga. or 3.5" 12 ga?

Those giant canadas in Saskatchewan for the last three years haven't been able to tell them apart.

January 29, 2001, 02:14 PM
Everyone seems to have a little bit different opinion on this.

I know of no one who shoots a 10 Ga around here but apparently they still make them. Obviously 10's have a certain following and 12 3 1/2's have another.

If the damn things weren't so expensive I would try both.

It appears the 10 would pattern better while the 3 1/2 12 would have technology advantage (better loads, better chokes, better gun selection, etc.)

The local gun store did have some NEF single shot break open 10 ga and a 3 1/2" 12. Both probably weighed 4 or 5 lbs. Shot those, feel something cold on your shoulder, look up and it's the ground.

January 29, 2001, 03:33 PM
I have had a friend shoot a whole box of 10ga Mag Steel Loads through a NEF single shot 10ga in about 30 mins or so. Mind you he was only wearing a Tee-Shirt, and had anice sized bruise on his shoulder/chest later that day. now where did that come from??? ;)