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Anyone own or have shot the Franchi Intensity? Reviews? Thinking about picking up a new auto loader and was reading some info on that gun.

2nd...how often do you shoot 3.5" shells? Like to have the option if needed...but not really sure it is needed(?)
 

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3.5" are never needed! I can't belive how many people think that high end shells are needed. Shoot the cheepest ammo you can find! I have never been able to look at a bird shot with 3.5" vs 2 3/4" & say boy that bird shot with the 3.5" is more dead than the one shot with 2 3/4"!
 

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I'm not familiar with the Franchi Intensity, but my duck hunting buddy (fishnfool) shoots a Franchi Affinity in 20 ga. and absolutely pounds the birds with it. He likes the gun a lot and shoots it well. The Affinity will be my next autoloader.
3 1/2" loads are overrated. You either hit the bird or you don't, it's that simple. On occasion I have shot the 3.5's and to be honest haven't noticed a difference at all.
 

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I don't know anything about the Franchi but don't let anyone tell you that you need 3.5" capacity. On our self guided trip to Canada last year the first day we were not well hidden and the geese were hanging up. Finally my friend dumped one with his 3.5". A few minutes later a mature speckle belly flew across that front. I dumped it with a three inch load, just as far and just as dead. That is how the whole week went. We averaged about 45 to 50 geese each day and had zero problems killing them with 3" shells. My opinion is that 3.5" shells are probably the most over rated thing in waterfall hunting today.
 

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I have to agree with the others on 3 1/2"ers. Just no real advantage-- in my experience. I have found I kill just efficiently with 2 3/4 shells also. In fact, now I shoot mostly a 28 ga and that is equivalent to a 2" 12ga? Of course for longer shots on geese and I am shooting a 12ga with 2 3/4 or 3"s.

As for the Franchi, I really like them. Don't own one, but enjoy shooting and handling them. For me the Affinity would meet the needs-- in Walnut. Beautiful. Good luck with whatever you choose and let your son have a say-- he will shoot it more than you anyway. haha
 

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I like 3 1/2" Hevi-Shot for swans and cranes.

3 1/2' are great for geese, but the recoil and the price suck compared to 3" shells.

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I went the 3.5 route a few years ago because I was told it was the rage. After two seasons I sold my 870 super mag (probably not a wise decision) and went down to 3". I have several 3" guns. Last year I shot both 2 3/4 and 3 and did not notice any appreciable difference. Due to my shoulder problem this year will be exclusively 2 3/4" until the season ends for me (week after thanksgiving) and I have surgery. I'll probably stick with the 2 3/4 and add a little velocity next season
 

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What...no Ithaca Mag 10 3 1/2"?
No mo 10s. 410s are the only 10s I have now, although after last weekend's performance I may go back to the 10 gauge. :mrgreen:

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I went the 3.5 route a few years ago because I was told it was the rage. After two seasons I sold my 870 super mag (probably not a wise decision) and went down to 3". I have several 3" guns. Last year I shot both 2 3/4 and 3 and did not notice any appreciable difference. Due to my shoulder problem this year will be exclusively 2 3/4" until the season ends for me (week after thanksgiving) and I have surgery. I'll probably stick with the 2 3/4 and add a little velocity next season
I have had 3 pump shotguns that shoot 3.5" shells (still have the SXP) and can positively tell you that the recoil from a pump compared to a gas operated autoloader is much greater. So if you are having shoulder problems I definitely recommend a gas operated auto, no matter what size load you are shooting. (if you don't already have one)
 

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I have had 3 pump shotguns that shoot 3.5" shells (still have the SXP) and can positively tell you that the recoil from a pump compared to a gas operated autoloader is much greater. So if you are having shoulder problems I definitely recommend a gas operated auto, no matter what size load you are shooting. (if you don't already have one)
Oh totally agree...broke my nose when I was 18 shooting my wingmaster magnum and 3" 1 7/8 oz loads of lead...let's not repeat the story ok. I still have the old cannon but last year and this year will be using the 1100's. If I could talk my son out of dad's browning b2000 I would use that one, it seems to have less recoil than my 1100's.
 

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GDog- The true question is what have you been shooting and how well do you shoot it?

I ask this because I was raised on a 12ga BPS. I shot it lights out, even with 3.5"s, but my buddies all shot SBE II's. I wanted one soo bad that I took the shortcut and bought the "imitation" Stoeger which I couldn't hit crap with. I then Bought the Franchi I-12....same thing. I did some research and found that Franchi's shoot well when stacking the front bead on top of the middle bead. This was new to me so I went out and patterned it. The dang thing shot low until I "stacked" the beads. I said the heck with it, sold it at a loss and bought a used Browning Gold.

My personal observation is that the new Benelli's, Berretta's, etc are like shooting pencils. They are too straight and lack the drop in the stock that someone accustomed to shooting Brownings and Remington's have grown used to. I wish I would have known this before I chose to spend my hard earned cash on stuff that didn't fit my style. In the interim of purchases, I borrowed a 11-87 and shot it lights out and borrowed a SBEII and missed everything.

My only reason for shooting the 3.5"s is because they pattern so well out of my patternmaster but I usually load the gun to shoot (2) 3"s followed by a 3.5".

In short, don't disregard what you have been shooting when choosing your new shotty. It alleviates a bunch of headache in trying to adjust your sight picture on the new firearm.
 

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2nd...how often do you shoot 3.5" shells? Like to have the option if needed...but not really sure it is needed(?)
Unless your 6'6 and 300 lbs the 3 1/2" load is going to beat the hell out of you and your going to miss a lot of birds due to flinching.

Now is it needed, unless your a highly skilled long rang shooter (99% of hunters are not!) then sure you can utilize the larger payload of larger shot for long pass shooting situations.

If your thinking it will toss a better pattern so you can kill more birds at reasonable ranges (under 40 yards) then no it Will only hurt your shooting also.

Most hunters out in the marsh/ field would be better served by shooting a moderate speed load of 1 or 1 1/8 ounces of steel 3 shot for ducks or 1 1/4 oz of 5 or 6 shot lead for upland out of a 2 3/4" shell at birds that are actually in range.

Hell if a little 28 loaded with 5/8 oz of 4 shot can kill limits of ducks like this all season then why would anyone want or need more?



 

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Hell if a little 28 loaded with 5/8 oz of 4 shot can kill limits of ducks like this all season then why would anyone want or need more?
Maybe because it's cheaper to shoot 12 gauge?

I like having the option to shoot 3 1/2" shells. I absolutely agree with everyone here who says they're not necessary if you just wait for ducks to get close enough for a standard 3" load. Just like 12 gauge isn't necessary if you wait for them to get close enough for a 28 gauge, or a 28 gauge isn't necessary if you just wait until they're close enough to hit with a rock.

At some point you've just got to decide how far you want to shoot them at and then make it happen (while being reasonable and ethical, of course).

I use 3 1/2" when I hunt swans or geese, because I don't get a lot of opportunities to shoot at them and I want to be sure to knock them down when they come within reasonable range. When I get ambitious and go on a diver hunt I may also use them since I hate to see them dive and disappear. I get enough shots at other ducks that I'm fine to let them get closer and use a standard 3" load.
 

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Maybe because it's cheaper to shoot 12 gauge?
Unless your buying your shells on some super cheap blow out sale from some store shutting down, I can guarantee you I am paying 4 to $5 less a box for my 28 steel duck loads then you are for you 3" 12 steel loads.

My goose loads, if you want to compare your 3 1/2" 12 load cost to the cost of my goose loads for the 28 then yes you are about .40¢ cheaper a round. But then again I am shooting a load that is far superior to any steel load you could every buy for your 12.

I like having the option to shoot 3 1/2" shells. I absolutely agree with everyone here who says they're not necessary if you just wait for ducks to get close enough for a standard 3" load. Just like 12 gauge isn't necessary if you wait for them to get close enough for a 28 gauge, or a 28 gauge isn't necessary if you just wait until they're close enough to hit with a rock.

At some point you've just got to decide how far you want to shoot them at and then make it happen (while being reasonable and ethical, of course).
This is the point and is the problem, most guys out in the field get their shotguns out the night before the opener of the hunt, run to the store and buy the cheapest shell they can find in stock. The next morning they are out blasting away at any bird in sight. They have not patterned there gun/load/choke, they have not practiced shooting once since last season, and they are shooting way out past their ability (20 to 30 yards max for most hunters).

Then you get the bigger is always better crowd that thinks hey I can just throw in a roman candle 3 1/2" 12 and all those extra pellets are going to help me bring down a bird, wrong! First due to lack of what I mentioned above it won't help them. Next after a few rounds of getting knocked around like hell due to a shooting a light 7 to 8 lb gun and a heavy fast load they began to flinch like crazy and even when they do get bird in range they miss because flinched so bad on the shot, hell at this point they can't even keep their head on the stock and shoot over everything because the recoil is so bad.

You mentioned needing a 3 1/2" for geese. I can tell you that a 3" shell loaded with 1 1/4 oz of BB will kill a goose clean out to 50 yards if you have done your part and patterned the gun/load/choke and have the ability to put the core of the pattern on the target.

Was I being a bit sarcastic when I said all you need is 5/8 oz of shot, yes I was, but you should also remember I suggested that for most guys they would be better off if used this combination

Most hunters out in the marsh/ field would be better served by shooting a moderate speed load of 1 or 1 1/8 ounces of steel 3 shot for ducks or 1 1/4 oz of 5 or 6 shot lead for upland out of a 2 3/4" shell at birds that are actually in range.
Recoil my friend is not your friend, most guys would be a lot better off if they could get over the bigger is better mentality. If you really feel you need to shoot the biggest payload of shot you can get and at the highest speed you can get, then do it right and buy a 13lb gas semi operated 10 bore;)

 

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Unless your buying your shells on some super cheap blow out sale from some store shutting down, I can guarantee you I am paying 4 to $5 less a box for my 28 steel duck loads then you are for you 3" 12 steel loads.

My goose loads, if you want to compare your 3 1/2" 12 load cost to the cost of my goose loads for the 28 then yes you are about .40¢ cheaper a round. But then again I am shooting a load that is far superior to any steel load you could every buy for your 12.
I'm guessing you reload? I'd be interested in knowing how you make your goose loads.

I get so excited when birds come in that I rarely notice recoil, so I've never really considered that when selecting my shells. I will admit that the one time I shot a Hevi-Shot 3 1/2" load at a swan it kicked me pretty bad. Fortunately I cleanly killed the swan (it's pretty rare to wound one with a load like that, if the shot is halfway decent). I'm not sure whether it would have caused a flinching problem down the road had I missed.

Back to the question of : Do you really need 3.5"? Here is some info from my personal experience that may answer that question better: Two seasons ago, I found some really good clearance prices on some of my favorite ammo. I bought two cases of my favorite 3" load and one case of a 3 1/2". Now, the 3" load is almost gone (I'm shopping for more now) and I still have 7 boxes of 3 1/2". That might give you a picture of how often I think it's necessary/useful.
 

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Clark,

My goose loads consist of hw13, hw15 and TSS. these are all of course tungsten blends giving different densities from 13g/cm3 to 18g/cm3. ( steel by the way is 7.8gcm)

My go to load is either 13/16 oz of hw15 6 shot or 7/8 oz of hw13 4 shot moving at 1350 fps.

The load of hw13 runs me about just about $1.20 a round and contains 110 pellets matching my steel goose load from my 10 which with 1 3/4 oz of BBB contains 108 pellets. The hw13 round however holds an edge with better penetration on target to a greater distance then the steel BBB load.

Don't know if you'd ever notice but my 28 reload runs about even cost wise of a box of 10 guage shells and only about 20 cents cheaper on average then a box of the Roman candles for the 12. Hell if your shopping the wrong places my 28 reloads are actually cheaper then some stores selling 12 bore 3 1/2" fodder. :sad:

As to recoil, my 13/16 oz load generates 13.5 foot pounds of free recoil out of my 6 lb 28 gauge gun where your common 12 guage 3" 1 1/4 oz load moving at 1500 fps from a 7 1/2 lb gun generates 38 foot pounds of free recoil. If you move to the 12 bore 3 1/2" loaded with 1 1/2 of shot moving at 1500 fps your getting over 50 foot pounds of free recoil from a 7 1/2 lb gun.

Shooting one of those shells once and a while at a bird isn't going to necessarily cause you to start flinching but after 10 to 15 straight rounds your subconscious sure knows what is going on. The only way to effectively reduce the pounding from those big loads is to shoot them through a heavier gun. Now you know why 10 bore are so dam heavy lol.

The way I like to look at things is I am out there shooting a load that generates less felt recoil then a standard 1 oz 12 guage clay load. This load is not beating the Hell out of me which keeps my head on the stock and with such a reduced recoil jump plus shooting a lighter gun allows me too quickly get on a bird and follow up my shots when needed or I can quickly move to the next target when my first bird goes down making me a better shot the whole way around. Of course shooting 1000's of clays a year helps with that too
 

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Hey, I'm 5' 11" and 220 lbs and I don't flinch. With both the 28 and the 3 1/2" 12 ga I just close my eyes before I pull the trigger, a defense mechanism similar to what Great White Sharks do. Although, I may flinch when shooting at a goose, probably a subconscious thing resultant from eating too many of them.

And my 28 gauge shotguns shoot low and behind the birds just like my 3 1/2" 12 gauge guns do. Again, it doesn't make any difference which one I use.

Man, I can't find waterfowl 28s cheaper than 12s.

The 28 is a great gauge. If I had to pick 5 of my favorite shotgun gauges the 28 would be one of them.

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Hey, I'm 5' 11" and 220 lbs and I don't flinch. With both the 28 and the 3 1/2" 12 ga I just close my eyes before I pull the trigger, a defense mechanism similar to what Great White Sharks do. Although, I may flinch when shooting at a goose, probably a subconscious thing resultant from eating too many of them.

And my 28 gauge shotguns shoot low and behind the birds just like my 3 1/2" 12 gauge guns do. Again, it doesn't make any difference which one I use.

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Yep. sucks to get old like you
 
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