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Does a barrel that says 3" guarantee it will shoot 3" shells?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by synaphai, Jul 25, 2020.

  1. synaphai

    synaphai Member

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    I have a naive question.

    I was given an old CBC Brazilian 410 last year, my first shotgun, and have started shooting it recently. The barrel says 3 inch full choke. I've been shooting 2.5" shells but just realized I accidentally ordered 3 boxes of 3" shells and it's too late to change my order. Can I definitely shoot the 3" shells through the gun without damaging it?

    Thanks a bunch for the help.
     
  2. Milkmaster

    Milkmaster Member

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    You should be good to shoot the 3" shells in that gun.
     
  3. 748

    748 Member

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    That means the chamber is cut to take a 3 inch shell and the barrel was proof tested with a 3 inch proof test shell so it won't blow up in your face.
    But will it cycle 3 inch shells reliability? Not necessarily.
     
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  4. synaphai

    synaphai Member

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    It's a single shot if that matters.
     
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  5. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    Op, you will be fine with the 3" shells since your shotgun is chambered for them.
     
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  6. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    As was stated earlier, you'll be fine to blast away with the 3" shells. :thumbup:

    Stay safe.
     
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  7. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    I have not read any reports of factory marked .410 3 inch shotguns not having a 3 inch chamber.
     
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  8. Scooter22

    Scooter22 Member

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    Your gun should be fine. Only time someone may have a problem is if they buy a new barrel that has a 3" chamber and use it on a receiver that is 2 3/4" like my old Rem 870. The barrel is fine but the receiver won't cycle 3" shells. They had a standard and magnum model back then like other makers. No problem because I know. It just won,t feed. BUT if someone has a 3" capable gun and picks up a old barrel that is 2 3/4" chamber, like the slug barrel that came on my standard 870 that will be a big problem if you jam 3" inchers in it. Possible BOOM.
     
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  9. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    My Rem 1100 .410 days 3” shells only, but some have said the guns will shoot and cycle with 2 1/2” .410 shells.

    Even older barrels/actions may be for 2 1/2” shells, I’ve read those were common in 16 gauge many moons ago.

    The OP was right to read the barrel and understand the gauge to use shells sized to the action before it was loaded and shot! :thumbup:

    Stay safe.
     
  10. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

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    And 3” shells aren’t actually 3”.

    at least not until you fire them.
     
  11. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    All shot shell lengths are for overall length before any type of crimp is put on them/after fired length. A new or fired 3" 410 shell will measure 3" while a crimps 3" shell will measure 2 3/4"

    Here is a photo of a brand new 3" hull (top and one that has been loaded and has a folded crimp (bottom). They are brand new Cheddite hulls.

    3in shells.jpg
     
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  12. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Doesn't apply to the OP's situation, but thanks for the reminder.
     
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  13. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    Don't overanalyze. 3" on the barrel usually means 3" will work. You CAN put a 3" chambered barrel on some 2 3/4 guns but you shouldn't.
     
  14. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    Since the OP stated that his shotgun is a single shot, there is no worries about putting the wrong barrel on and the gun not feeding. As long as it is marked and actually cut as a 3" chamber then it will shoot them safely.
     
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  15. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    The OP's question has been correctly answered, just adding more info.

    The "unfired" length can vary quite a bit depending on the style of crimp used. An unfired 3'' shell is about 2 1/2" long. Once again it will vary slightly. But the chamber is 3" long. This leaves room for the crimp to fold out.

    It IS POSSIBLE to load a 3" shell into a 2 3/4" chamber since the actual unfired 3' shell is closer to 2 1/2" long. But when you fire the shell there is limited room in the chamber for the crimp to unfold. It is also possible to load a 12 ga 3 1/2" shell into a 3" chamber. But once again if fired in the shorter chamber there is limited space for the crimp to unfold and chamber pressure can reach dangerous levels.

    Please be careful, just because it fits in the chamber doesn't mean it is safe. It's been almost 20 years, but I spotted a coyote near my home. I wanted to keep eyes on it and asked my son to get a shotgun and bring me some shells. He was 12 or 13 at the time and had some shooting experience. He handed me the gun already loaded and chambered. Fortunately for me I didn't get a shot. When I unloaded the shotgun my son had loaded 3 1/2" shells into a gun with a 3" chamber. They fit the chamber, and cycled though the action, but the gun may have blown up in my face if I'd shot.

    These are all 2 3/4" shells. The actual unfired length is somewhat different, but all 3 are between 2 1/4 and 2 3/8". But after firing they will be no more than 2 3/4". From left to right, Winchester, Remington, Federal.

    IMG_1595.JPG
     
  16. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    I posted the photo of a new 3" 410 hull next to a loaded shell so everyone could see the length is for a new or fired hull. When it comes to the 410, a roll crimped 3" Winchester PDX1 shell is the same length as a factory or reloaded 3" shell with a folded crimp.
     
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