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Old April 6, 2008, 11:35 PM   #1
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Chamber length Question

Looking at a gun for trap shooting and have seen several guns that have 2 3/4 length chambers for a shooting trap would i be at a severe disadvantage with one these guns or should i make sure and get a gun with a 3 inch or 3 1/2 inch chamber
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Old April 7, 2008, 12:08 AM   #2
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For shooting trap and skeet, or sporting clays, the 2 3/4" chamber is fine. It is also fine for quail, dove, and a number of other upland birds. If you are going to hunt, depending on what you are going to hunt, you may need the 3" chamber. There is a lot of conjecture whether the 3 1/2" beastie is necessary at all. I don't have one, and have not used one, so I cannot really say. I have read a number of writers that think that with modern high power ammo, the 3" will perform just as well as the 3 1/2". My boss is an avid goose hunter, and swears by the 3 1/2" rounds. I haven't ever hunted waterfowl, so I don't know.

I have recently taken up sporting clays, with an occasional foray onto the skeet range, and the trap range. There are often thousands of spent rounds lying about the various stations. I haven't ever seen anything but 2 3/4" shells, and I haven't used anything else.
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Old April 7, 2008, 12:37 AM   #3
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Thank you i was thinking the same thing but needed some one to confirm it
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Old April 7, 2008, 10:06 AM   #4
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There are only two instances where a 3 1/2" shell offers a distinct advantage. The first is in turkey hunting where you have to hit a very small target (the head). The more pellets you can throw into the area the better off you are. The second is in long-range waterfowling. Because lead shot is verbotten in waterfowl hunting, you are handicapped by using lighter (non-toxic) shot. To counteract the less dense shot, you need to go up about 2 sizes. When you go up in size, you loose shot count. To make up for the lost shot count, you need a bigger shell size - hence the 3 1/2" shell.
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Old April 7, 2008, 10:40 AM   #5
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Do not know how prevalent it is but at my local skeet/trap range you are only allowed to shoot 2 3/4 trap loads.
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Old April 7, 2008, 06:47 PM   #6
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If you are looking at a "target" gun you will often only find them available in 2 3/4" shells. There are a lot of reasons for it - not the least of which is most reloaders are set up to re-load 2 3/4" shells - and if you shoot the clay target games - a lot of guys are reloaders. But you can shoot a 2 3/4" shell in a 3" chamber too - so you can use those reloads in a tradtional "field" gun that will often have 3" chambers.

But like other responders told you - 2 3/4" shells are fine. My primary sporting clays and skeet gun is a Browning over under in the XS-Skeet model. It's a great and very versatile gun - and I use it for skeet, sporting and in the field. I have that same gun in 20ga, 28ga and .410 and I don't have any problem using it for quail etc.

Most traditional "trap" guns are usually longer and heavier - than what is common in the field or for skeet or sporting. The reason for this is the relative barrel movement for Trap is much less than in skeet or sporting - so a longer, and heavier gun is actually an asset in Trap ( like a 10 lbs 32" over under / a Browning XT Trap as an example ). But that heavy a gun doesn't swing that well for skeet or sporting - not that it can't be done - but it isn't common.

I don't think a 2 3/4" chambered gun is a disadvantage - and like I say, I use them for skeet, sporting and in the field. For those guns I like a 30" barrel - and for Trap I like a 32" barrel and a heavier gun. The one semi-auto that I like and it's really versatile is the Benelli super sport - and it has a 3" chamber - but its a gun that I will travel with when I only want to carry one gun ( shoot quail, waterfowl, sporting, go to a Trap range, etc ) and it does all things pretty well. 12ga shells are often available in a variety of loads - down to 7/8 oz and as long as they are at least 1200 fps the Benelli will cycle them with no problem ( although a 1 oz load with 9's or 8's is what I use for 90% of my shooting - even Trap at the 16 yard line 1 oz of 8's is plenty). For sporting as an example, I may carry a box of 1 oz 9's, 4 boxes of 1 oz 8's, a box of 1 1/8 oz of 8's at about 1250 fps , 1 box of 7 1/2's at about 1300 fps. So vary the load and the choke and you get a lot of flexibility out of a single gun too.
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