Poll: Chamber size with rifled shotgun barrel

Discussion in 'Michigan Whitetail Deer Hunting' started by Zarathustra, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. 2.75" chamber

    29 vote(s)
  2. 3" chamber

    38 vote(s)
  3. 3.5" chamber

    3 vote(s)
  4. Other or don't use rifled barrel

    3 vote(s)
  1. I was having a discussion with a Hornady employee regarding use of their saboted slug offering (SST). He mentioned the fact that there are many shotguns in use with 2 3/4" chambers because that was the standard for so long. I agree, but I tend to suspect that for those hunters who use a rifled slug barrel, they are using guns with 3" or 3.5" chambers more often. So I am posting this poll to try to determine this answer.

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  2. Mods:

    I should add that, although I realize this is not a whitetail deer poll and probably belongs more appropriately in the firearms forum, I think that I will get a better response in this forum because it is deer hunters in Michigan using slugs.


  3. My marlin 512 slugster is chambered for up to 3 inch but i will only shoot 2 3/4 inch shells
  4. I jumped the gun (pun intended) and voted before I read the question.
    My HR has a 3" chamber but I get GREAT performance from the 2 3/4" sabots that I shoot, with incredible distance and knockdown.

    Big T
    #4 QDMAMAN, Jan 8, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2015
  5. The rifled pipe I have for my 12ga 870 has a 3" chamber. I shoot 3" slugs out of it; no complaints.

    As a metallic cartridge reloader, I know that "jump" to the rifling makes a BIG difference in accuracy in some guns. On one of my rifles, I have to load rounds so the "jump" to the rifling is at or around 0.010". If I seat the bullets even 0.040" shorter (about 1mm more jump), but keep the rest of the load recipe the same, 100 yard groups go from under .75" to over 2".

    Shooting 2.75" slugs out of a 3" chamber barrel automatically gives you 0.25" (or so) more "jump" before the sabot engages the rifling. I don't know if the same applies to rifled shotgun barrels and accuracy as centerfire rifles, but the 3"/3" 12ga setup I shoot at deer is proven deadly so I will continue to use it.

    A 3" slug is not needed to kill a whitetail but if your gun is capable of shooting 3"ers, you may want to give them a try. In all honesty, I'm not even sure if there is that much of a difference between loadings of 2.75" vs. 3" slugs other than the cartridge length - SAAMI lists the maximum operating pressures of both shells as the same (11,500 PSI). The 3.5" is a different story as SAAMI maximum pressure is 14,000 PSI - but how close factory loads actually approach that... who knows. I think the 3.5" 12ga was developed more with waterfowlers in mind - not the shotgun slug hunter.

    I have never seen a 3.5" chamber rifled barrel or 3.5" slugs for a 12ga (but I haven't really looked either). I do have some 3.5" Foster slugs for my 10ga though.
    #5 Quack Addict, Jan 8, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2009
  6. For what it's worth, the discussion I had with the Hornady rep is regarding the role of "free boring" with shotgun slugs and rifled barrels.

    With birdshot, it is no big deal to shoot a smaller shell in a larger chamber. But with slugs and a rifled barrel, the slug has to jump (free bore) to engage the rifling. This is generally something that is to be avoided when it comes to rifles (alhthough not always, sometimes free bore is built into chambers to reduce pressure spikes)

    But consider this info from Tar-hunt:


    So, based on that and my presumption that most hunters who use a rifled barrel would have a 3 inch chamber, I was questioning Hornady as to why their SST slugs are only offered in 2.75" versions. The Hornady rep feels that the slugs are used more often in guns with 2.75" chamber.
  7. Yes, I have seen this with rifle cartridges also and I think the same way, which is exactly why I try to match the shell size to the chamber size. I don't like the extra recoil, but I do want the most accuracy.
  8. Interesting - I had not heard that before, although it does make sense.

    First hand experience on my part - I usually shoot 3" waterfowl loads out of my 870 Express Magnum. When possible, I pick up the wads from my spent shells (like when picking up decoys, recovering birds, etc). A few years back I got a deal on a couple boxes of 2.75" waterfowl loads... pretty much identical to the 3" loads I had been shooting. One thing I did see on with the 2.75" shells was occasionally one or more of the pedals on the recovered shot cup would be folded back on itself for a short section (1/8" or so). I never really saw this with the 3" loads.
  9. I use 3" in the 2 slug guns I hunt most with although I also have another I shoot 2 3/4" from.
  10. 3" Chamber but only ever shoot 2 3/4" slugs forr what its worth.
  11. I hope you weren't trying to talk Hornady into dropping their 2 3/4 line of slugs. :yikes:
  12. Same for me and my Mossberg 695

  13. me too. My Whetherby is chambered for 3.5 but I use 2 3/4
    #14 MI-Dan, Jan 9, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2015
  14. I am starting to wonder if I can trust the poll results. I hope people are answering the poll question based on the size of their gun's chamber and not the shell size. I do realize that a lot of guys shoot 2.75" shells out of larger chambers.

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