3" or 3 1/2" for geese? - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-30-2010, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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Default 3" or 3 1/2" for geese?

I am new to the forum & also new to Waterfowl hunting. We hunt in Southern Indiana. I am going to be purchasing a new shotgun & was wanting to know if 3 1/2 shells are really nessasary, or if 3' pack enough punch? I also was wanting some input on Stoegers model 2000, if I stick with 3s I was thinking of investing in one! THANKS FOR ANY IMPUT YOU CAN GIVE! jh41mag
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-30-2010, 12:29 AM
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Default Re: 3" or 3 1/2" for geese?

I HATE 3 1/2" 12 ga. I can count on one hand the number of guys I've met shooting 3 1/2" 12ga that are doing anything but sky busting. The recoil is absurd, the shells are expensive, follow up shots are slow, etc...

To me, if you're going with a dedicated goose gun, you need a 10 ga. They weigh more so the recoil isn't bad, and payload is more balanced so the patterns are better. Shells are still expensive.

That being said, if you're getting an auto and you may some day turkey hunt with it, there isn't much downside to a 3 1/2" gun.
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-30-2010, 02:28 PM
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Default Re: 3" or 3 1/2" for geese?

I am far from an expert waterfowler but here is what I have observed. I am shooting a Remington 870 Super Mag and my better half is shooting a Remington 870. I am shooting Federal Black Cloud 3 1/2 BBs (I got them on sale so thought I would try them) she is shooting Kent Fast Steel 3 " BBs. We both limit our shots to 40 yards or less and she kills just as many geese as I do and doesn't have anymore cripples either. Next year I will just be buying the Kents except for a few boxes of heavy shot for hunting on a WMA that limits the number or rounds you can carry and has both ducks and geese. That makes it simplier in only having to keep up with one type of ammo and it is about half the cost of the Black Cloud, and I don't think we will be at all handicapped. I think duckkillr hit the nail on the head that the 3" does fine when the bird is within range and the long shots with a 3 1/2 will knock down a bird occasionally but how many are wounded and not recovered? As far as the Stoger goes, I have no experience with one but a buddy of mine who shots a lot has one and likes it. I have a Benelli M1 super 90 but I don't hunt with it much because I don't shoot it as well as my 870 which I have been shooting in one form or another for 35 years or so. There is nothing wrong with the Benelli it functions flawlessly and patterns great, I just need to spend some time on the skeet range to get dialed in with it. I do like a pump gun though because of where I hunt my shotgun often gets muddy and swamp debris in it, twice this year I have had the action on my 870 freeze shut from ice forming on the gun and it still worked fine when the time came to shoot, and it is easier to keep a pump gun running, the Benelli system is also simple and I think the Stoeger is a similar system. If you only hunt out of built blinds/boat blinds then I don't think the reliabilty issue is as much of a factor and it just comes down to fit and preference. Hope this helps
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 09:06 PM
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Default Re: 3" or 3 1/2" for geese?

3" is perfectly fine for waterfowl and suggest you don't mess with the 3 1/2 12 gauge. If you want the 3 1/2, do us Dukkillr suggested and go with the 10 gauge. That is a sweet and under used gauge. I love mine.


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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 11:42 PM
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Default Re: 3" or 3 1/2" for geese?

speckle, what kind of 10 ga. do you use??????
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-12-2010, 05:39 PM
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Default Re: 3" or 3 1/2" for geese?

Originally Posted by Wyo.
speckle, what kind of 10 ga. do you use??????
Rem SP-10. I bought it in 1992 and it still works fine.


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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-13-2010, 08:56 PM
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Default Re: 3" or 3 1/2" for geese?

Can`t add a lot that duk & leo haven`t already said except I do shoot a 2000. I just got it cause I thought I needed it. I use it when we are in the pit blinds at Squaw Creek or land blinds locally. It has worked flawlessly. Bought it used, don`t know why mechanic sold it but I like it. I did put a Sims pad on it and 6 ounces of lead in the stock. I shoot a 2 3/4 in. first shot on ducks over decoys and follow with 3 in. 3`s in Kent Steel. When we shoot in muddy fields out of layouts I use the 870 or Nova because a pump will never balk on you. As far as 3 1/2 in shells I don`t know. My opinion is that a gun with a 3 1/2 in chamber will pattern better with 3 in. shells. A gun with a 3 in chamber will pattern 2 3/4 in shells real good. This should open a big can of worms!!!! If The geese are not working to the decoys well I pull out the BPS 10 and go to work. My opinion, it`s like an armpit, everybody has one. If you go to shotgunworld.com they have a section dedicated to Stoeger. You will learn everything you need to know.
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-14-2010, 02:15 PM
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Default Re: 3" or 3 1/2" for geese?

I have an older model 835 Mossberg Turkey gun that kicks like a "one eyed bay mule." The only time I use 3 1/2" in it is for pit bulls(have a large dog fighting contingent in the area) and coyotes. Everything else is 3" and under. I like the versatility that the 3 1/2" inch chamber gives but, if I found a gun I liked and it fit and the price was good and it was only 3" I'd buy it in a minute and never look back. Especially if it was an auto. +1 on checking out shotgun world.

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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-15-2010, 09:11 PM
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Default Re: 3" or 3 1/2" for geese?

Like most avid hunters...I'm very opinionated about what I like and what I don't like when it pertains to my sport...To each his own. Here's my opinion. 8)

I hunted with a 3 1/2...one time. It felt slow to swing, almost sluggish and there wasn't that nice authoritative "womp" at the trigger pull. To this day I don't get it, because it was basically the same gun that I always shoot anyway.

For a good realiable "day in day out" Goose Gun, give me a solid 3" magnum, and Pump or Over/Under are my preferences when the shooting gets going hot. And I'm deadly with Steel "T" shot that screams out the barrel(s) at a velocity of ~1500 FPS...to me 1500 is the magic number for steel, and faster is better yet. These days its hard to find "T" shot, so I load my own...if I have to "BBB" will fill the bill, but the shots need to be much closer...nothing over 30-35 yards.

Water fowling is a hoot...good times and good friends...what could be better? 8)

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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-16-2010, 12:15 AM
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Default Re: 3" or 3 1/2" for geese?

Been killin ducks and geese for about 50 years with 2 3/4" 12 guage loaded with BBs. Didn't know you needed anything else. ???

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