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I can only speak to this issue from 32 years of service shooting a 10 ga. And I am sure that some of you may agree with what I am about to say and others will certainly dis-agree and that is OK. When the 10 ga. first hit the market with an autoloader in the early 70s, only winchester was making a 2 oz. load. It was a paper hull, patterned poorly at 40 yards. An outdoor writer named Tom, I can't remember his name developed the one piece plastic wad. Later Federal started producing this wad. During those years the development of 10 ga. & 12 ga. shells got good. After Federal perfected their magnum loads with the one piece wad, NO 12 ga. gun could compete with the 10 ga. magnum. I have stood beside numerous men in goose blinds in TX. and held off on shooting while watching 12 ga. magnums (3") hit birds with shot and could here the shot hit the bird and I would stand up and shoot and kill the bird. This was not a one time deal. Now comes along the 3.5" 12 ga. I have a Remington 870 3.5" and did have a Benelli 3.5". I have made some outstanding long shots with both guns and I have absolutely no regrets ever shooting either gun. The 12 ga. 3.5" is probably the greatest gun built for all purpose you can get. If your stature can handle the weight and size of the 10 ga. and you want the best in long distance guns you can not beat the 10 ga.s built today. On paper the story is not always told. The size of bore of the 10 ga. is one of the advantages. You can push heavy shot loads from the larger bore with a faster burning powder and with a shorter shot string. More shot hits the bird at the same time with a 10 ga. You can use a more open choke to get tighter patterns. All of the loads today- 10 & 12 shoot tighter than they did 20 years ago. Most hunters use a choke that is to tight. The modern loads today shoot like a rifle. One final thing, if you consistantly shoot at birds and hear the shot hit the bird and he flys off or comes down wounded with a 12 ga. you can stomp the bird with a 10 ga. One of the situations that the 10 ga. shines is in truely high wind which you often get at the coast. If I was going to have to buy a truck load of shells that would have to last me my entire life and use them for ducks/geese I would purchase #1 shot. I have killed stone dead more geese with #1s. I wound many more with BB or T shot.

Ithaca MagTen
North Carolina
 

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I am in agreement with some of the statements you made about the 10ga. I use to own a double 10 with 30" barrels.. I patterend it with some lead shot that had a plastic wrap around the shot column and cardboard discs for a wad. And you're right, they didn't pattern worth a darn. My 2 3/4" 12 ga. had a better pattern with a one piece plastic wad. The 10 ga. has come a long way since the cardboard wad days. As far as shooting steel shot-the 10 ga. will out perform the 12 ga., even the 3 1/2" 12ga. But, because of new shot technology, you don't need to shoot a 10 ga. any more to achieve pass shooting results. Hevi-shot changed all that! With 92% patterens at 1 1/4oz. of #4 Hevi-shot =143 pellets in a 30" circle at 40 yds. A 10ga. with 80% pattern at 1 5/8oz. of #1 steel = 132 pellets respectively. Unless you use Hevi-shot in a 10 ga. the 12 ga. will shoot with it all day if hevi-shot is being used in the 12 ga. So why not compare the 10 & 12 both using hevi-shot? The 10 would win hands down again, but not without a price. Here are some draw backs that can have an effect on the 10 ga. user. Higher price of amo, e.i. Hevi-shot, added gun weight, shooter will be more apt to take longer shots (study has shown that avg. shooter bags geese at a rate of 6 out of 100 shots fired at ranges beyond 50 yds.). Unless you're a well built individual and have good heigth, the 10 ga. will not fit properly. The 10ga. is a specialty gun and in the hand of the right individual it can do some serious damage. For the most part the avg. shooter/hunter will be best suited with a good fitting 12ga. with the best amo he can afford. Good shooting skills, knowing you limitations and judging distance will put more game in the bag than shooting excessive amo at long distances any day. Remember operator error increases as the distance, angel and speed of your target increases.
Trust me, I've kept track of my shooting for the past 15 years while goose hunting. Unless you count your shots, your comments are just a quess. Try counting every shot, and I mean every shot you shoot out of your gun while hunitng waterfowl next season and you won't believe your data. "Denial" comes to mind. Just be honest with yourself when collecting data....

good shoot'n

VRV
 
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