3" vs. 3 1/2" for geese?

Discussion in 'Goose Hunter Forum' started by Bowhunter57, Sep 9, 2015.

  1. Bowhunter57

    Bowhunter57 New Member

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    I'm about to purchase a new 12 gauge shotgun (semi-auto) for goose hunting. I'm wondering if a 3 1/2" shotgun with Steel shot is necessary over a 3" shotgun with Hevi-Shot or similar alloy ammo?

    90% of my goose hunting is pass shooting in flyways. Years ago, I owned a Russian Baikal MP-153, with a Terror choke tube in .675" and used 3 1/2" Kent Fast Steel in BBBs @ 1550 f.p.s. that produced a 91% pattern inside a 30" circle at 40 yards. This combination would allow me to kill geese at 55+ yards, on a regular basis.

    I've never hunted geese with anything less and don't know if it's possible to get the same kills with 12 gauge in a 3" chamber.

    Your experiences and knowledge is appreciated.
    Thank you, Bowhunter57
     
  2. LZsteve

    LZsteve Member

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    I'd get the 3 1/2 just for the versatility.
     

  3. Qback5

    Qback5 Member

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    + 1 for versatility.

    I'm a big fan of the Franchi Intensity, so give it a peak in your shopping.
     
  4. ROSEBUD

    ROSEBUD Member Lifetime Supporter

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    3" BBs work just fine on geese
     
  5. sgt_132

    sgt_132 Member

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    I have a 3 1/2 used them 1st year I had it. What I have found is I can do the same thing with 3 in number 2 black cloud. I save about 5 bucks a box of shells with the 3 inch. But it is nice to have the 3 1/2 in case that are the only shells
     
  6. MaktheQwk

    MaktheQwk Well-Known Member

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    I have a friend who asks, "Do you know why I shoot 3 1/2's? Because they don't make 4's!"
     
  7. Toner07

    Toner07 Well-Known Member

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    Im a big fan of 3.5's.....because I dont need a 10 gauge
     
  8. remi30

    remi30 Member

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    Who the fuk pass shoots
     
  9. ducky152000

    ducky152000 Active Member

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    usualy people that dont no what they are doin! i have no problem if someone pass shoots and are actually shooting at birds 50yds up or under, but its not the norm. and usualy just causes high flying birds for everyone that wants to decoy. Too many times have "PASS SHOOTING" caused a would of been great hunt into a bust or few birds.
    Pass shooting is definitely not my cup of tea but to each their own. just wish all of them would only take reasonable shots instead of shooting at anything that flys over.
     
  10. EaglePoint

    EaglePoint 1 more pass? No Way!

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    Why not up the pellet count while maintaining the same velocity, especially on geese and late season hunting. 18 more pellets on BB loads and 30 more pellets on #2 loads.
     
  11. Carpn

    Carpn Member

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    My thoughts exactly . It ain't that pass shooting is horrible but what Ive witnessed is people shooting at every flock flying over them regardless of height . Birds that start the season coming out of the roost 50 yds up are flying 100 yds up by the end of season and still getting shot at.
     
  12. Bowhunter57

    Bowhunter57 New Member

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    When I mention "pass shooting" it because I'm in a flyway, where the geese are lifting off of or coming in to land on a pond or field that I don't have permission to hunt, but have permission to hunt the adjoining property. So, the geese are usually well within my shotgun's capability, as I have patterned it at the distances that I hunt...or I don't shoot, period.

    I'm not a fan of "sky busting" either and will sooner pass on a shot than take one.

    As it currently stands, I'm having a hard time locating any shotguns from EAA. It appears that they may have discontinued them, or at least importing them into this country. I may be taking a closer look at a 3" semi-auto and some alloy ammo, in BB or #1.

    Bowhunter57
     
  13. Qback5

    Qback5 Member

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    It's all semantics, but what I have come to know as "running traffic" is how you are describing pass shooting...and to me, pass shooting is something very different. I think of "running traffic" as something that requires a great amount of scouting and advance prep, as well as effective decoy placement and calling. You cannot hunt the "X", but you landed permission on the next field over, so you hunt below their line of traffic, and try to do just enough to lure them in low enough for an ethical shot (even if they won't fully commit). Bill Saunders of Saunders Calls actually has a fabulous goose call called "Traffic" (and for the record, his new "Dark Side" is awesome!

    I already commented about 3 versus 3.5, and to just reiterate some other shots, yes, 3.5 because I cannot shoot 4's! Whether it's 3 or 3.5, you still need to spend time patterning the gun...learn what yours likes. Why not stack all odds in your favor on an animal that's notoriously tough to bring down? (I say that because of an article I read a few years back. The author kept detailed field notes of every shot he took at all types of game for a long period of time, and this avid hunter's worst animal per shot ratio was the Canada Goose).
     
  14. Bowhunter57

    Bowhunter57 New Member

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    Qback5,
    I have met many waterfowlers that have NOT patterned their shotgun/choke tube/ammo combinations and it's very sad. Pattern paper does NOT lie!!!
    I have an end roll from a newspaper company that has served me well, for everything from coyote, turkey and goose loads.

    I purchased a Dead Coyote choke tube and Dead Coyote 3" ammo for my Mossberg 500 Turkey Special. The patterns were awesome at 30 yards, but after that you might as well have been throwing dirt clods, as the pattern busted. Shane Carlson hooked me up with a .670" extended non-ported choke, that replaced the .660" Dead Coyote, for simply returning it.
    Awesome pattern of #4 Hevi-Shot, out to 40 yards, inside a 20" circle.
    [​IMG]

    Bowhunter57
     
  15. Bowhunter57

    Bowhunter57 New Member

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    As good as my Russian Baikal shotgun was, they're no longer imported into this country and I have no desire to own one...under those conditions.
    Similarly, the H&R Excell Auto is no longer in production and I will not purchase one.
    The Weatherby SA-08, doesn't have enough of a following for any experienced opinions...good or bad.

    I made a road trip yesterday, to several gun shops, handled a lot of shotguns and talked with some other goose hunters. I've decided to get off of the porch and run with the big dogs, as I've found a good price on the Remington Versa Max ($770 + Transfer to an FFL) and will be placing an order on Monday. No regrets, no looking back and no wondering if I have enough shotgun to put to the task.

    Many thanks to everyone that has contributed to this decision! Your input has been greatly appreciated!

    Bowhunter57
     
  16. Qback5

    Qback5 Member

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    Congrats on your purchase!
     
  17. Ragtime

    Ragtime Active Member

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    Excellent choice. Mine likes the Cloud 3.5 #2.
     
  18. OWF13

    OWF13 Member

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    Ok with pass shooting....
    Sky busters need go....how many shots do you need to take before you get a clue?
    Another reason for the 3.5".......your buddies with the shorter chambers can't "borrow" ammo !:D
     
  19. goosehunter982

    goosehunter982 New Member

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    3 inch #2 10 dollars a box and pattern master no problems what so ever killing geese dead at 60 yards and my guys and I kill a lot of geese but will say have more geese at 10-30 yards than 60 though
     
  20. the_lone_wader

    the_lone_wader Active Member

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    You guys that are taking 60 yard shots must be more hungry than I am. It's ok to let some go. Just sayin...