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Discussion Starter #1
Just brainstorming here, looking to get serious about hunting in western PA, and hopefully most of what's out there to hunt, from turkey to waterfowl to small game, as well as slug hunting deer.

Whatever choice, it would be a pump shotgun.

So if I wanted the best performance, would I be better off with:
a.) 12ga 3" for being the most standard, affordable, easy to master based on standardization, and offered on many good platforms to choose from.
b.) 3.5" 12ga, allowing use of the heaviest loads for special use while still taking the milder ones for regular use
c.) 10ga, offering the highest level of shot and power in a gun heavy enough to give less felt recoil than the 3.5" 12ga (yes, no?)

These aren't mutually exclusive, but money is of course limited. For 3" I have my pickins, for 3.5" I'd use a Rem 870, and for 10ga I'd use a BPS Stalker.

So what think ye all? I've tried all the 12ga loads out of my friend's Rem 870 ESM, and find the 3" fine, and the 3.5" survivable but painful. Wondering if a 10ga would have lower recoil than the 3.5" 12ga due to being 30% or so heavier, and whether the more shot and higher power would be worth it, or whether the versatility of the 12ga is better even if I wanted 3.5" loads... or whether I'm really best sticking to 12ga 3" and focusing on practice (which I would of course do with the others, but I'd probably get a lot more in with the 3"... maybe I'm answering my own questions.)
 

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perhaps he was looking for a different opinion? :shock:
 

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Keep asking the question 'til you get the answer you wanted?

I'm all for guns and I'm not trying to discourage anyone from doing whatever makes them happy. I'm just giving my advice that too much time is spent contemplating choke/shot/gun combinations and not enough time is left to learn how competently. I've seen it happen in person a hundred times.
 

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What ever you get. The 12 ga in 3 inch would do everything. Make ure it has a rifled coke. The rifled choke makes a world of difference with the slugs. Plus your can shoot sabots with the rifled choke.

Doug
 

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With all due respect.......

Another opinion. didn't hurt a thing.

"Keep asking the question 'til you get the answer you wanted?"

YOU? I'm not asking the question. I could see you getting ticked if you were being paid for all this advice. It's a forum, people talk. Let 'em without belittleing them. :idea:
 

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3.5" 12 ga can do it all, and still use 3" and 2 3/4 shells (although I'd suggest an auto just to moderate some of the recoil of the long stuff).

3" 12 ga can do most everything you want.

3.5" 10 ga operates in the upper spectrum. It's big and heavy, and is not my choice for an all around gun.

Just one opinion out of many....
 

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I understand the frustration factor DK. everyone has a button. :lol:

If BRG3 wants to hear himself talk, it's his time he's using. Don't sweat it, life's too short :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Naw, I'm not looking to find the answer I want, but sometimes threads take a direction that, while good, leaves a certain question on the periphery. Specifically I wanted to throw in the 10ga as a serious consideration and see if anyone wanting 3.5" performance would be better suited to have another shotgun in 10ga.

As it is, I lack the money to add a shotgun, only to swap mine for one more versatile. I have a great Mossberg 590, but they don't make hunting barrels for it. Best one could do would be close range or slugs. So I'm looking to cover all the bases.

After firing a few 3.5" rounds out of an 870 ESM, and 3" rounds out of a single shot H&R, I think heavy duty performance warrants a heavy gun. So I'll probably stick with a 3" 12ga and if I get more $$$ maybe some day get a 10ga. But the irony is that by that point I'm sure I'll be experienced enough that it would just be a waste of shot and weight.

I really appreciate the responses. I usually have a lot of questions in a post and often the focus ends up on a few of the points while others don't get as much attention. I suppose I was trying to get a different angle and make different assumptions going in. Focus on some of the items not answered as much.

In any case I hope folks aren't annoyed by my posts. I sometimes ask questions in areas I'm not extremely ignorant in to get a broader perspective while still having solid opinions of my own.
 

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My quote was not taken how I meant it. I'm not mad, and never was mad, and I don't care how many times you post the same question.

Just as you're welcome to post the same question over again, I posted my answer that I believe too many hunters worry too much about guns/loads/chokes and not enough about becoming good hunters. That was my point.
 

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BattleRifleG3, keep 'em comming. Some of us old folks love to tell what we know. Keeps the younger ones from buying a lot of stuff they just have to sell later. ( Like we did. ) :-D
 

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DK,
seriously. You have a lot of knowledge & experience. I remember when I was 28. Man I could take the world on :lol:

In about 10 more years the testosterone levels will drop, like it or not dude. Things look a lot different from bad eyes, sore shoulders and early joint problems.

Keep yourself young and strond as long as you can. :wink:
 
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