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Old November 10, 2018, 12:07 AM   #1
Blindstitch
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3 1/2 magnum to fill a niche.

I'm looking for a turkey, goose, duck or anything that flys gun to fill a spot in my safe. I currently have a Browning Citori and Savage Fox that fills the upland game hunting spot. A Mossberg 500 that's a do all can take a beating gun which currently gets used for ducks, geese, turkey, but even though it takes 3 inch shells it jams or doesn't like to eject. But loves 2 3/4 all day long. Getting a new barrel would probably cost $130 but why not put that toward a new gun.

So i'm looking for a 3 1/2 inch that will probably mostly get fed 3 inch. Not sure if I want to go pump or semi so i'm currently thinking Mossberg 835 or 935 mostly because of the tang safety.

What else is out there in the $400-800 area?

The Stoeger M3500 is a maybe.
The Mossberg 930 really feels good in my hands even though it's only 3 inch.
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Old November 10, 2018, 12:38 AM   #2
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3500 or Nova.
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Old November 10, 2018, 12:47 PM   #3
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"...it jams or doesn't like to eject..." Sounds like a non-magnum receiver. Too short. Changing the barrel won't help. Especially, considering that if it won't eject 3", it's not going to work with 3.5" either.
Don't see the need or fascination with 3.5" Mag myself. However, "I want one." is a reason. What's your budget? You want a pump or semi?
The Stoeger runs $600 to $750 at Cabela's. $429 for a Mossberg 535 Combo. Comes with a 24" deer barrel. $600ish for a 935. The 935 is a 3.5" semi-auto. A Browning A5 runs $1549. An 870 Express Super-Mag runs $379.99.
There's a bunch more in assorted price ranges.
https://www.cabelas.com/category/Mag.../571842180.uts
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Old November 10, 2018, 03:30 PM   #4
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The shells get stuck in the barrel. It's clearly labeled 2 3/4 and 3 inch. It was bought new in the late 90's at kmart with my dads permission. I've polished it and keep it as clean as possible. Works decently with Winchester 3 inch but hates Remington. If i'm shooting clays they usually have a dowel that can be dropped in the barrel to knock stuck shells out. In the field I have a 410 shell 3 inches long with a bolt in it that I can drop down the barrel and the shell comes out.

I have borrowed barrels and they work fine. So it seems to be a barrel issue. But that shouldn't stop me from buying a new gun in 3 1/2 inch. I also plan on only running a few shell types in the gun so no switching between ducks, geese and turkey. Only shot size. I use Winchester 1550 xpert steel. I use 4's for pheasants and some say it's overkill but most of the time the bb's still have enough power to completely penetrate out the other side of the bird so no searching for bb's over the frying pan.
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Old November 10, 2018, 07:24 PM   #5
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Hone the inside of the chamber. You can buy a special hone from Brownell's, but I prefer an automotive drum brake wheel cylinder hone. Much cheaper - about $12 - and the little straight stones will remove any roughness and ridges. I have solved many an ejection issue with the steel based hulls with one of these.
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Old November 10, 2018, 09:16 PM   #6
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I've done the hone fun too. Someone here suggested it last year or the year before so I bought one that was suppose to fit. It was a 3 stone hone and it didn't fit so I bought another which was a 2 stone hone and used it. Things got better and more reliable with 3 inch shells but one of the stones wore down a lot so I didn't go any further.

I should probably get replacement stones for the hone or a new hone but still trying to buy a 3 1/2 inch shotgun.

Sometimes during late duck season the only shells available are the only shells available. Sometimes they're 2 3/4 and sometimes they're 3's. And in a worst case scenario they're 3 1/2. I bought the last 4 boxes of 4's off the walmart shelf near me that carries duck stuff. 2 boxes of 2 3/4 and 2 of 3 inch. Before season there was a 6 foot x 3 foot x 18 inch wall of shells that only lasted 3 weeks.
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Old November 10, 2018, 10:16 PM   #7
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If I had to have a 3.5" 12 ga it would be the Benelli Nova. The only possible niche would be if I shot a lot, and I mean a lot of steel shot at long range geese. If you're using lead shot the 3.5" shells simply aren't needed and you'll get recoil that matches or exceeds 458 WM with 3.5" lead turkey loads. No turkey is worth that much recoil.

Steel shot goose loads from the big 3.5's are a little more tolerable as to recoil, but still stout. If I were only going to occasionally need the 3.5" capability I'd just buy the more expensive non-toxic bismuth or other shot in 2 3/4" or 3". The shells are more expensive than steel. But a 2 3/4" bismuth load is going to be as, if not more effective than 3.5" steel on the big birds. But if you're shooting cases of ammo each year then the cheaper steel makes sense.
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Old November 11, 2018, 02:14 AM   #8
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Thanks for the input jmr40. I've pretty much stopped shooting lead besides clays and turkey but this would be an all steel shot gun.

Maybe it's me but I watched some documentary that said lead impact on a shot bird might take 2 weeks but will eventually kill the bird. I'm not looking for that. If I can't kill it stone dead I don't want it to wander off and die. I could be wrong.

As for shooting in the last month I have shot 2 ducks, 4 coots and 18 pheasants. And I've been sick for the last week. Trying to keep myself well for firearm deer season in Michigan middle next week. But I already shot an 8 point with my crossbow. Lets just say when I hunt I hunt a lot and always need an extra gun to take/teach someone else how to hunt.
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Old November 13, 2018, 03:24 PM   #9
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Still looking. Black friday and christmas are coming.
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Old November 13, 2018, 04:55 PM   #10
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Used to have a Mossberg 3.5" pump I used for waterfowl. Had an extra full steel choke for it. Loved hunting waterfowl hated cleaning them and with the decoys at 15 yards it was like trying to shoot them with a rifle (I sometimes picked up the hulls from around the decoys).

My friend one shooting clays at the farm happened to get a few light loaded 2 and 3/4 rounds before chambering (without his knowledge) a full 3.5" turkey load. GOOD TIMES - well for me, less for him.

Be aware that some of the 3.5" semis will not reliably operate with lighter loads.
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Old December 13, 2018, 06:54 PM   #11
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Still looking to find my possible christmas present. Been working every day since Thanksgiving so the 22nd is my first day of potential shopping. Already bagged a 8 point and 10 point so I know santa isn't coming this year.
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Old December 13, 2018, 11:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Maybe it's me but I watched some documentary that said lead impact on a shot bird might take 2 weeks but will eventually kill the bird.
I have my doubts.
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Old December 16, 2018, 06:43 PM   #13
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+1 for the Nova. Mine handles 2 3/4 for doves and 3 1/2 for geese without any trouble.
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Old December 19, 2018, 03:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
but even though it takes 3 inch shells it jams or doesn't like to eject
Have the same problem with my Winchester pump. First shot or two always seems to hold up then she gets the idea..

Always been an issue for me.
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Old January 13, 2019, 12:00 PM   #15
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I got my mossberg 535 for 181$ out the door including background cost. Put about 1000 rounds through it in the last two years ish. The gun had been moved from store to store and had been in system for 7 years and was 60% off. Great buy, great gun. Feeds everything fine except Aguila mini shells. They fumble through the feed ramp but I'm making a small piece of metal to tack onto a spare lifter I have and see if I can get it to cycle those reliably. Only thing I don't like about my 535 is ammo capacity.
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Old January 13, 2019, 12:23 PM   #16
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Out of your price range, but the Beretta Xplor Unico is a 3.5" semi, weighs 7# (get the Kick Off for heavy loads); but it also works perfectly with my 3/4oz 12 gauge reloads.
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Old January 13, 2019, 08:40 PM   #17
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Yeah that Beretta is out of my price range. I'd probably be more afraid that I'd beat it up to much hunting. Where as my Browning Citori even being a 2014 came used with a ring gouge on the wood and a few other scratches but with a price tag of half off made me happy.
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Old January 25, 2019, 06:48 PM   #18
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You want more payload - how about a 10ga ?
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Old January 26, 2019, 07:33 PM   #19
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To much payload. Has to shoot small ducks to big turkeys. And ammo availability isn't around every corner.
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Old January 28, 2019, 12:04 PM   #20
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lead wounds

A crippled bird is a crippled bird, whether shot with lead or steel or a blowgun. The supposed issue with lead shot and waterfowl is birds ingesting lead shot over long periods in locations where lead pellet concentrations are very high on established blinds and marshes. Once lead is absorbed into the system, it's there, and levels can escalate as shot is ingested over time.

I've killed far to much game that had been peppered with lead shot some time previous, but now fully healed, to believe that game fringed with lead has now received a death sentence by poisoning. That would include deer (pitiful, full of lead #6 shot) several gobblers (actually sort of common) and doves. I took in a stray dog that had been peppered, he lived for many years.

A 3.5" alloy framed pump (read Mossberg) will kick like a mule with 3.5" shells, as noted by others. I had no idea it exceeded .458 Mag levels, but I believe it. If shooting mandatory steel or nontoxic shot at waterfowl, the slightly increased payload may make a difference in killing power and reach. Were I to want a 3.5" gun, and intended to shoot it a lot (waterfowl) I would want it to be a steel framed gas gun.

I will go on record to state that one does not need a 3.5" gun to kill gobblers. Three inch lead loads, or 3" space shot loads will kill toms out as far as any body has any business shooting at one with a shotgun. Heck, Winchester has released their XR load in 2-3/4" length in 12 gauge (as a pheasant load) that should turn a lot of older 12 gauge guns so chambered into great turkey guns, not that they weren't to begin with.
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Old January 28, 2019, 03:13 PM   #21
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Peppered deer or dogs sounds horrible.

I think i'm sold on a semi because I don't have one and for the same reason 3 1/2 inch. Although a Mossberg 835 did pop up locally for $220 and it's very tempting vs spending $600+.

I've been doing a bunch of research on the Stoeger M3500 and like all things there are good reviews and bad reviews. I like the idea of the inertia system but i'm still open to other ideas. I know I could save $100 and go with the Stoeger M3000 or similar 3 inch guns but I don't think I could justify buying a gun who's spot I already have covered. When I could buy another barrel for the Mossberg 500 that doesn't have issues or spend more money on another hone to smooth it out.
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Old January 28, 2019, 04:00 PM   #22
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I've heard the 835 has a ton of feeding issues if you don't spend some time adjusting or swapping the lifter. Does take magtube extensions as opposed to the 535 and 500 though.
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Old January 28, 2019, 07:23 PM   #23
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I have a 835 camo turkey gun.Never had any feeding issues. With the 3 1/2" turkey loads I think it does as much damage to my shoulder as it does to the turkeys
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Old January 28, 2019, 11:53 PM   #24
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I believe it. My 535 has jumped out of my hand twice with 3.5 shells.

I heard about the feeding issue about 5 years ago or so. Just for smaller shells like 2.5 or Aguila mini. I've shot 2.5 out of my 535 fine but it hates minishells.
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Old January 29, 2019, 05:23 AM   #25
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I think the mini shells have feeding issues with every gun (pump/semi) but I believe they make parts to get them working. If I get a semi it should eat some of the recoil. If it weren't for the not liking 3 inch shells my Mossberg 500 has done anything I've asked it.
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