10's & 12 3.5"

Daniel Cary

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I had an obsession, really young & still look occasionally for "American Arms Turkey SXS 10".
12ga 3.5's seemed to be as effective & 10's started to become extinct. Generally speaking, 3.5's seem to be limited over decades past. And the ones available .. Camo?

Just curious, anyone's thought's that use heavy payload in hunting. Do 3.5" 12's do just as well as 10's, etc. Many Thanks.


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I used to hunt turkeys with an old H&R 10 gauge I also shot a few ducks and deer with it, it killed on both ends. When the 3.5 12 gauge came out I bought one of the first run Browning Citoris and it is still killing stuff today, with the advent of the new non toxic shot the 3.5 is probably not needed for the average duck hunt but I still use the 3.5 for geese and cranes. Maybe it’s not needed but it’s a confidence thing.
To answer the question I think the 12 is just a hair under the 10 especially with 54 pellets of 3.5 #4 buckshot in the 10, works really well for close in work on whitetail and for the African guys that like a shotgun for following up wounded leopard in the thick stuff a heavier load of buckshot might just be the ticket.
 
I don't know anything about 10 gauges. However, I wonder if the 3.5 12 guages have the shot stringing issues that 3" 20 gauges have?

I've wanted a SXS 16 gauge. The 16 guages disappeared with the advent of the 3" 20 gauge, but my belief is that a 16 gauge will still pattern better and not have the stringing issues that a 20 has
 
I had an obsession, really young & still look occasionally for "American Arms Turkey SXS 10".
12ga 3.5's seemed to be as effective & 10's started to become extinct. Generally speaking, 3.5's seem to be limited over decades past. And the ones available .. Camo?

Just curious, anyone's thought's that use heavy payload in hunting. Do 3.5" 12's do just as well as 10's, etc. Many Thanks.


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I thought this was for sale I am very disappointed now. Talk to the guys at apex they can to an almost 3 oz load for a 10ga in 7.5#. They don’t make it because most people aren’t man enough to shoot it at turkeys.
 
Also I shot a single shot 10ga for years at turkey it was fantastic and I would love to go back to one.

Only stopped because it was breaking itself under recoil
 
The theory is that the larger bore diameter of the 10 makes patterning of large shot sizes easier. The reality is that all shotguns are a law unto themselves, and the only real truth is found at the patterning board. It’s also worth mentioning that the 12 3.5 has a significantly higher operating pressure than the 10, 14000 psi vs 11000 psi. I had a Browning BPS 10 gauge turkey gun that I liked a great deal, but eventually sold it because of the greater versatility and convenience of the 12.
 
Like @Hunt anything, I to started out turkey hunting with a 10ga M176. Heavy as heck but kicked like a mule. Took a couple of turkeys with it and some waterfowl.
After that I acquired a Mossburg 835 when they first came out. I’ve taken six turkeys with it. However, over the past few years, I’ve switched from 3.5” to 3”.
The 10ga may have had a little more reach but for turkeys, the thrill is getting them close.
 
The 10 bore is slowly dying from 2 major factors and a few more minor ones. First is the 3.5" 12 bore shell, second is the advent of modern & more dense shot materials like TSS. The minor issues are recoil, price & availability. But to be honest, recoil is killing the 3.5" 12 bore shells as well.

As for the patterns. The 10 bore my friend had shot patterns like crap with modern turkey loads compared to his much newer Browning Maxus. This lead to him selling it and the end of my 10 bore experience in pattern testing. He had taken several turkey with the single shot 10, but the way his new 12 kills them is WAY more impressive. Dumping turkey at 50 yards with ease.

I suspect that a modern 10 bore shotgun with TSS loads would shoot patterns similar to a 12 bore with similar ammo...but what would be the upside? Shells are more expensive & harder to find. Not to mention getting a turkey choke to be rated for TSS is that particular shotgun.

Today the trend seems to be going smaller. I see turkey hunters using 20, 28 and 410's with high performance TSS loads to take birds at ranges thought impossible just 5 years ago. I've spotted goose and duck hunters using 20 bores now. Hell, even Benelli offers a SBE3 Waterfowl Performance Shop Edition in 20 & 28 bore for those looking to minimize the recoil and test their skills.

We all want bigger. Bigger is better...right? This may have been true in years gone by, but things have changed since the advent of the 10 bore 3.5" magnum of 1932. Not sure what the future holds for it but it could be going the way of CRF rifles with not too many companies having offerings due to low demand. I hope you are able to find the SxS in 10 bore 3.5" you are looking for.

EDIT - A quick look on GB doesn't show much in the way of what I would consider "modern" 10 bore shotguns. Anything you pick up may need to be proofed for the loads you intend to run. Steel wasn't being used regularly before the 1990's and TSS only became popular in the 20-teens.
 
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I spent two years playing with TSS out of my BPS 10. It didn't take long to realize carrying around a 10# shotgun that gave you migraines when shooting it was foolish. I have rethought my shotgun needs. 20 gauge and .410 with tungsten fulfill all my shotgun needs
 
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I don’t have any complaints about 3.5’s from a 12 gauge, steel or otherwise. I had a 10 gauge BPS a long time ago and it was expensive to feed and heavy to boot.
I use a different set up for turkeys but still can’t justify a 10’guage for that either. If I had that side by side I would definitely use it for gobblers though!
 
I love my browning gold 10…as mentioned above, theoretically a bigger bore will pattern better due to the shorter shot string. That being said, I have a 20 gauge pump that is just as effective at killing turkeys at long range with my TSS handloads, but I find myself reaching for the big 10 most days.

By the way, if you want to significantly reduce the recoil of a 10 gauge, shoot a few full power .577’s first. Your 10 gauge will feel much more manageable after that!
 
Good read, thank you for sharing.
Benelli's 20 & 28ga was interesting, "increased psi on a 12", and like modern projectiles, TSS & modern loads is news to me. I parted with a 10 & an 835 long ago .. but

Came across an American Arms 12ga O/U 3.5" Turkey at a semi-local gun shop, it prompt me to see mfr's availability & users pov.
Many Thanks & nice hunts!
 
Don't know what all the fuss is about
In Australia we can't get or use 3.5" shot shells or shotguns.
Our govt won't trust us with anything that powerfull.
Three inch in a 12 bore is as big as we can go. A 3" sellior and bellot magnum slugs in an a light Mossberg bolt gun is as much fun as I can handle with my clothes on.
Bob
 
Good read, thank you for sharing.
Benelli's 20 & 28ga was interesting, "increased psi on a 12", and like modern projectiles, TSS & modern loads is news to me. I parted with a 10 & an 835 long ago .. but

Came across an American Arms 12ga O/U 3.5" Turkey at a semi-local gun shop, it prompt me to see mfr's availability & users pov.
Many Thanks & nice hunts!
The Browning Cynergy Wicked Wing and Ultimate Turkey are both chambered in the 12 bore 3.5". My friend has the WW version with 28" barrels and used it this year to take turkey in NY. I also owned one but ended up selling it to @Mekaniks in JAN 2023 and I believe he's liking it as well.
Don't know what all the fuss is about
In Australia we can't get or use 3.5" shot shells or shotguns.
Our govt won't trust us with anything that powerfull.
Three inch in a 12 bore is as big as we can go. A 3" sellior and bellot magnum slugs in an a light Mossberg bolt gun is as much fun as I can handle with my clothes on.
Bob
You should also explain that your Gov't doesn't trust you with a true semiautomatic shotgun either, forcing you to endure the entire recoil impulse. The best our down-under friends can do is what's called a "push button semi auto" that the user has to push a button to load the next shell.
 
Back in the Stone Age when I was a kid, getting a shot at a honker was almost a once in a lifetime thing. Ten gauge shotguns were popular then because shots, when there were shots at geese, were more often than not 80 yards or more. #4 buck or T-shot lead was pretty much the rule. But times have changed. Honkers are now gophers in the sky. Everywhere. Switching to steel wasn't such a big deal once ammo makers got the bugs worked out. Bump up a size or two, add some gas, and 3" twelve gauge shells are very effective. Just bring the range back to reality. What's the point in taking sixty yard shots? Just wait for the next flight. I regularly shoot honker triples and usually a couple times each season I'll fill the daily bag of five geese in as many shots. 3.5" is totally unnecessary and brutal for both shoulder and pocketbook.
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Once upon a time, about 20 years ago I bought a nib H&R 176 for about $200. Used it for waterfowl for several years, and then decided it needed a cleaning and camo paint job. Upon taking the butt pad off, a long steel rod about an inch in diameter slid out of the stock bolt hole. I set it aside thinking "What moron put that thing in there? That just makes it heavier!"

On the next outing I fired that gun and the last thing I remember is the world turning upside down, being soaking wet in chest deep water and my shoulder, cheek and nose feeling like I'd just gone 9 rounds with Mike Tyson.

Within a week, the weight was back in that butt stock, the gun sold and a then new Beretta 390 purchased as it's replacement. That Beretta accounted for more ducks on the Colorado River than that 10 would have, and it was easier on my dental work.
 
My 10 bore is a 2 7/8 " 1 1/4 ounce proofed roll crimped loaded gun which was standard at the end of the 19th century. I use it on both ducks and geese and it has proven every bit as effective as any of the neighboring semi-auto's in the blind regardless of shell length or payload. I use 1 1/4 ounces loaded by RST of a soft tungsten no. 6 on ducks and no. 2 on geese. Like gunmakers before WWI, I am convinced the short shot string of a 10 bore adds to its lethality. Those fellows a century ago were pretty good at what they created.

And I hasten to add, this is not meant to be critical of modern 10 bore loads. It is just that I have never found a need them.

Saskatchewan specks and a lonely snow.
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My H. A. Lindner 10 built circa 1890. And yes, those are magnificent fine damascus barrels.
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Lindner2.jpg
 
My 10 bore is a 2 7/8 " 1 1/4 ounce proofed roll crimped loaded gun which was standard at the end of the 19th century. I use it on both ducks and geese and it has proven every bit as effective as any of the neighboring semi-auto's in the blind regardless of shell length or payload. I use 1 1/4 ounces loaded by RST of a soft tungsten no. 6 on ducks and no. 2 on geese. Like gunmakers before WWI, I am convinced the short shot string of a 10 bore adds to its lethality. Those fellows a century ago were pretty good at what they created.

And I hasten to add, this is not meant to be critical of modern 10 bore loads. It is just that I have never found a need them.

Saskatchewan specks and a lonely snow.
View attachment 606822

My H. A. Lindner 10 built circa 1890. And yes, those are magnificent fine damascus barrels.
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That’s a beautiful old fowling piece!
 

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