I personally have never found a use for anything 3 inch or more. Maybe if I was waterfowl hunting and needed to reach out there a little more but for everything else 2 3/4 works for me. I've found alot of times that the 2 3/4 patterned better than the 3 inch anyway. Whatever you choose just make sure you practice with it to make sure it shoots good in your gun. Good luck in your search.
I have used 3" 3.5" the only difference I have found with them is they hurt a heck of a lot worse I am more consistant with the 2 3/4 I flintch too much with the 3.5's waiting for the pain
way I see it is shotgun's have been shooting 2 3/4 forever & have killed plenty of game so when people tell you oh you have to use 3" or 3.5" they are full of it I am not a big guy so I stick to the 2 3/4 I do use 3" some times for turkey as I find around here it is getting harder to find 2 3/4 turkey loads
for just starting out a sinlge shot shotgun is fine. it will make you a better shot later on when you decide to upgrade to a pump, autoloader, double, etc. as for the choke question ..the choke of a shotgun barrel can produce a wide shot pattern( full choke) or an ever tightening shot pattern. ***** in chokes let you decide which pattern you prefer for the game you are hunting. in my opinion improved cylinder is the best all around choke to use, except for waterfowl, where i prefer a modified choke because it does better with steel shot.
3 1/2" slugs are a waste of money and energy, the energy part being what happens to your upper body when you light one up! I really don't see why 3" slugs are even available, the gains in energy and especially in trajectory are very minimal. For example, a Winchester Partition Gold in 3" is about 1/2" different in trajectory at 200 yds than its 2 3/4" counterpart. Big deal. And at that distance still has loads of energy left. Don't get caught up in the "bigger is better" stuff.
These are 2 slugs I've recovered from deer over the last few seasons. They are from Winchester Partition Gold's in 2 3/4"(50 cal bullets). The one on the right is from a deer I shot at 193 yards. It destroyed the first shoulder and broke the other one before lodging in the hide behind it. It doesn't get much better.
You're gainin' on it HM! A few posts ago you said you were comfy at 125yds, now you're up to 150yds. It's just a matter of playin' with 'em a little bit to see their true capabilities. As far as I'm concerned these are not slug guns anymore. When you put a fully rifled barrel on a 12 gauge shotgun, now you have a 12 gauge rifle. And these saboted "slugs" are 50 caliber jacketed hollow point, spitzer or plastic tipped bullets stuffed into a roughly 73 caliber hunk of plastic(sabot). The more people I meet around here (at home)who slug hunt, the more people I find who really don't have a clue as to the real capabilities of these rounds. They are still thinkin' the old smooth bore barrels and Foster style "punkin balls", which in their time were great and killed tons of deer. At the time, they were the height of the technology. And this stuff we have now is gonna get even faster and more powerful in time. As a small example, during our second to last doe season 3 weeks ago, and I don't care who believes this or not, I whacked a coyote at 246 yards(verified afterwards on the rangefinder). I figured he was about 250, knew I had about 18" of drop at that distance, held a little over a foot high and lit it up. Also to my surprise, I lit him up. But this stuff only happens with a GOOD SOLID REST and a little extra time to "settle in" so to speak. Sorry about the length of this post(novel) but I love slug gun huntin' and all the experimentation that goes along with it. Maybe this will help other guys to realize the potential of their slug guns.
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