Shot my first 3.5" 12 ga shell out of an 1187 Yesterday

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by redfireftr, Apr 21, 2009.

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  1. redfireftr

    redfireftr Member

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    I have shot plenty of 2 3/4" and several 3" shells out of an 870 and other shot guns. The 3.5" shell really did 'kick'. I see why the guys at the gun shop laughed at me when I bought them.

    It was a 11-87 Sportsman Supermag. Nice gun with the 28" barrel and finished in the Real Tree Max-4 Full Camo with Hi-Viz Sights.

    It wasn't anything unbearable but the kick did surprise me. I guess it has been awhile since I have shot a shotgun or rifle though.

    What do you guys think of the 3.5" vs the 3" shells? Is there much of an advantage in using the 3.5"?
     
  2. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    If you hunt Geese, a lot, and want to use steel shot, the bigger shells MAY help a little. For anything else you are better off with 2 3/4" or 3" shells.
     
  3. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    Everything I need to do with a 12 gauge, I can do with 2 3/4" shells....

    lpl
     
  4. Virginian

    Virginian Member

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    If I had to shoot steel, I would still be shooting a 10 gauge, or a 3-1/2" 12. I might not need it with max loads all the time, but I would darned sure want the option.
    Keep in mind you weren't shooting "at" game. I still remember the first time I touched off a full blown 3" lead maximum goose load out of my then brand new 1974 Model 870, in shirtsleeves at luch time, at a sheet of paper. Holy Mackerel !!! But, it never bothered me a bit hunting. Howsomever, a Benelli Super Black Eagle quickly convinced me I really did not want one of those, while duck hunting, when I tried one with 3-1/2" steel back when they first came out. I swear that gun kicked worse than 3-1/2" Mossberg pump. I ended up with a modified and significantly lightened 10 gauge BPS. That would knock the sleep out of your eyes pretty good, too. I would think a 3-1/2" 11-87 would kick about as gently as any of them.
    I won't bore you with tales, but for geese and swan I found steel 'T's to be the best medicine, and you need all of them you can get in a shotshell. Opinions vary.
     
  5. JWF III

    JWF III Member

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    I have to agree with jmr40. The 3 1/2 is great for what it was designed for, large steel shot.

    For turkeys and buckshot, stick with 3", your shoulder will thank you.

    However I do shoot 3 1/2" for some duck, on trips mainly. The local beaver ponds I stick with 2 3/4".

    Wyman

    BTW, if you think they kick in an 11-87, give an 835 a try. Turkey loads are flat punishment.
     
  6. redfireftr

    redfireftr Member

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    I agree when I shot a 3" high velocity magnum load at a turkey I didn't notice the recoil. The 3.5" wasn't during hunting which contributed to me noticing the recoil.

    I still have a few of the 3.5" shells so I am going to use them for turkey. I don't hunt anything else with a shot gun but from what you guys say I have the option of hunting geese now!

    Since it cycled the 2 3/4 shells reliably after adding the barrel seal activator I can use it for skeet as well. I think I might get some looks shooting clays with the full camo though.
     
  7. chas08

    chas08 Member

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    I concurr, geese and steel T-shot is the only reason I can think of to subject yourself to such punishment. But if I'm going to subject myself to that much recoil, I'd rather shoot a 10ga. I have an 1187 Supermag I hunt ducks with and it serves as a backup gun for geese. I shoot 2 3/4 inch loads in it for ducks with no barrel seal activator installed. It has reliably cycled all 2 3/4 inch loads down to 3 1/4 dram - 1 1/8 oz without it.
     
  8. gunsandreligion

    gunsandreligion Member

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    only a bigger payload and harder recoil.
     
  9. chas08

    chas08 Member

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    In my experience, the 3.5 12 ga only has an advantage with the larger goose loads such as BBB and T. I prefer a 10 ga. when using large steel shot because, "I " feel it offers "Pattern Superiority" at extreme range, over the 3.5/12. The shot string is shorter with a 10ga than a 3.5-12ga. Which means, "MORE" pellets arrive on target at the same time. With Geese at long range (60-80 yds.) sometimes volume out trumphs physics. Or as I like to refer to it, "The Golden BB", a steel T-shot fired at 1350 fps will pass through a Snow Goose's thickest part at 100 yards whether its's fired from a .410 or a Punt Gun. Which is better? 8 pellets or 84? I've outfited my wife and girls with Remington 870 Supermags for everything from Doves to Geese. As for me, at 53yrs old, I'm starting to lean toward the gas operated automatics, the day afield, and less on the limit. So in summary, for an answer to your question,"YES"....sometimes. ;)

    Chas
     
  10. Quilbilly

    Quilbilly Member

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    My duck hunting buddy keeps a couple 3.5s with him when we go duck hunting in case of a goose. Other than that, everyone I know who can shoot 3.5s doesnt do it often. For me the extra $100 for the 3.5" option was not worth it.
     
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