2&3/4 vs 3 inch shotgun shells

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by john riley, Nov 29, 2006.

  1. john riley

    john riley New Member

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    I know that most shotgun barrels chambered for 3 inch shells can also accomodate 2&3/4 shell to a novice such as myself it would seem that 3 inch is probably more efficient as it could potentially pack more goodies. Am I wrong it assuming this? what are the advantages and disadvantages of the 2 types of shells? Thanks!
  2. teacherboy

    teacherboy New Member

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    What are you hunting for? Shooting lead or steel? Yes you get more "goodies" but it still comes down to shot placement. If you shoot poorly with a 2 3/4" shell it's not going to make you any better with a 3" shell. I would guess that most guns are chambered for 3" shells today but you can just as easily shoot 2 3/4" shells out of it.
  3. southernshooter

    southernshooter New Member

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    I use 3 inch mainly cause they run a little cheaper but like teacher said the only thing that matters is shot placement other than that it is personal preference
  4. bluesea112

    bluesea112 Active Member

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    2 3/4 run about $6.00/box and the 3" run $11.00 - $22.00 per box. You can fit
    1 1/4 oz. of shot into a 2 3/4" shell, but most of the stores carry 2 3/4" shells with anywhere from 1 oz - 1 1/8 oz of shot. 3" shells can take up to 1 5/8 oz of shot. Most of the time people use 2 3/4" shells loaded with 7 1/2's or 8's for dove, because the shot size is so small that you will have good shot coverage throughout your pattern. When you get into larger shot sizes like number 2's, there are a few number of pellets per shell per oz of shot weight. Since there are not as many pellets in a 2 3/4" shell as there are in a 3" shell, there will be holes in your pattern. This is where 3" shells come into play. The extra capacity of the 3" shell allows more pellets to be loaded, giving you better coverage throughout your shot pattern. If you were shooting at ducks with a 2 3/4" shell loaded with 1 1/8 oz. of #2 shot, you would probably have holes in your pattern large enough for the duck to fit through. However, if you use a 3" shell with 1 5/8 oz. of #2 shot, there will be more pellets in the pattern to close up those holes.
    As a general rule, you should choose 2 3/4" shells that have the identical FPS as the 3" shells you use. That way you are always leading the bird the same distance. Yes, the 3" shells will have more powder in them, and kick harder, because they are having to push more pellets out of the gun. However, more kick does NOT mean more powerful or faster FPS. You should have the same FPS whether you shoot 2 3/4" or 3" shells, so the only difference between shells is the shot coverage over your pattern spread.
    If you want to see the difference for yourself, stand up two 5'x5' pieces of cardboard downrange about 40 yards away from where you will be shooting from with a 2x4 board behind the cardboard. Place these targets about 5 feet apart. Shoot the first cardboard with a 2 3/4" shell loaded with 1 1/16 oz. of #6 shot. As soon as you pull the trigger listen for the shot hitting the cardboard. Next shoot the other piece of cardboard with a 3" shell loaded with 1 5/8 oz of #6 shot and listen for the shot hitting the cardboard. The time it takes for the shot to hit the target will be the same for both shells. Now walk down to your cardboard and draw a circle every place you find a spot as big as your fist or larger that there is not a shot hole. After you do that to both targets count the number of circles you have on each piece of cardboard. Everyplace you draw a circle is a place that a bird could get through without being hit by a pellet. You will see that there are about 1/2 as many spots in the target you shot with the 3" shell. Now look at the 2x4 board and look at how far the pellets penetrated the board. The pellets will be imbedded in the board the same amount on each board. The 3" shell may have kicked harder than the 2 3/4" shell, but shot hit the targets at the same time and the depth of shot penetration was the same. The only difference between the two targets is that you have fewer empty spots in your pattern.
    With either length shell you can adjust your lead. If you are shooting behind your birds, just drop down your load weight by 1/16 oz. The amount of powder will be the same, but you will be throwing fewer pellets which will speed up your fps.
    If you are shooting in front of your birds, add 1/16 oz of shot to slow down your FPS. If you drop 1/16 oz off your 2 3/4" dove shells, be sure to drop 1/16 off your 3" duck loads so that you maintain the same lead that you are accustomed to shooting.
    Damn, when I started this I only planned on writing a couple of sentances.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2009
  5. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    CONGRATS, You now own the TFF record for longest discertation without a bathroom break ! :p:D

    you going to the gunshow in Waco next month??
  6. Contenderizer

    Contenderizer New Member

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    Re: 2-3/4 vs 3 inch shotgun shells

    My eyes are burning - where's the Visine?:D

    Yes, John, a 3" shell sends more goodies down the barrel. The price you pay for that advantage, however, is greater perceived recoil - and there are times you don't need that extra kick.

    So, if you are in the market for a new shotgun purchase one chambered for 3 inch shells and you will have the best of both worlds; because - with the exception of a few semi-autos - shotguns chambered in 3" will function just fine with a 2-3/4" shot shell. For a novice, you are doing just fine.
  7. bluesea112

    bluesea112 Active Member

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    Gunshow? In Waco? You know it is a sin to joke about something like that, right?

    If Waco is truly having a gunshow, when and where would the sacred gathering be taking place?
  8. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    PM sent, coming up at the end of July for all of those in the Central Tx area.

    (back on topic now....)

    Still waiting to hear back from John on what you're intending to shoot ? Shotgun shells can be just as "tune-able" as metallic shells; the possiblities are endless.
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