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Load Limit for 3" Repro
Unread 05-28-2020, 11:12 AM   #1
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Rud Blumentritt
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Default Load Limit for 3" Repro

I would like some information on what are considered acceptable loads for a 20gauge Repro. Obviously there are some guns chambered for 2-3/4" and others chambered for 3" shells. Other than the barrel length and choke I can't tell a lot of difference. So my question is - what is the reasonable load limit in the 3" guns? Would any modern factory load be reasonable? If not, what would be considered the max load/velocity? My understanding is that the concern is not the chamber or barrel, but rather the stock being eventually damaged/broken. Thanks!
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Unread 05-28-2020, 05:04 PM   #2
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A reasonable load limit for a 3" 20 gauge Repro would not include any 3" shell. Just my opinion though. Others may differ.
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Unread 05-28-2020, 05:36 PM   #3
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I agree with Bill. I often wonder why individuals want to shoot the high powered stuff, even in modern guns. Low recoil shells will do the job if the aim is correct.
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Unread 05-28-2020, 06:27 PM   #4
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The 3-inch shells normally used by people in 20 ga. guns (mostly for waterfowl hunting) are some of the worst patterning loads commercially available. Unless shooting an autoloader, the recoil of a 3-inch 20 used in the standard weight spectrum of fixed-breech upland guns (e.g., 5 1/2-6 1/2 lbs.) will REALLY get your attention! There are so many truly superior 2 1/2- and 2 3/4 inch shells on the market (RST, B&P, Gamebore, Fiocchi) I can't imagine why anyone would go to a 3-inch gun in a 20 unless for a truly dedicated purpose like turkey (live or card) shooting.
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Unread 05-28-2020, 06:38 PM   #5
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I was 30 when I got my Winchester 101. I bought a box of 3" Winchester shells. There are 21 shells left, and they're 42 years old. Do the Math:
(30 x 101 / 3)/ (21/42) = Cost of a new Stock
Your results may vary
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Unread 05-28-2020, 06:44 PM   #6
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The gun would have many uses, including, to Kevin's point, going after turkey which could require moving to a heavier (3") load to provide sufficient pattern density to kill a turkey at a given distance. So I am trying to see if anyone has information that would indicate what the makers of these guns considered a reasonable load when they offered a 3" model. I have seen the term "overload proved" on the barrels of these guns, but have no idea what that means. Thanks!
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Unread 05-28-2020, 09:05 PM   #7
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The Parker repro barrels with shoot any current factory load safely.I think the max load for the 3" 20 is 13/8 oz of shot and 31/2 dram of powder.As others have said,it will kick you out from under your hat and pattern horribly.The 3" 20 is also a slow load that throws a long shot string.The gun can handle the max load,but you will hit more and kill more with a 7/8 oz load.
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Unread 05-28-2020, 09:20 PM   #8
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All of the advice you have received here is spot on!

The 3" 20 gauge loads do NOT pattern well. Useless for turkeys where your target size is about that of a tangerine and the holes in the patterns of most commercial 3" shells are two and three times the size of that tangerine. And for turkeys you don't need the kind of earth scorching power those shells produce. All you need is a pheasant load of #6 or #7 shot at distances under thirty-five yards.

Further, Parker Reproductions don't have the best reputation in the category of stock strength.





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Unread 05-29-2020, 09:18 AM   #9
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Thanks for all that posted. This is all good information and very helpful! Thanks!
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Unread 05-29-2020, 12:51 PM   #10
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The new monster 3" 20 Gauge turkey loads carry over 1 1/2 oz of shot and they kill at both ends. I do shoot them out of a modern 870. Can't imagine shooting them out of a repro. As I call during the time period Repro's were made, that the normal payloads were 1 1/4 oz out of the 3" shell.
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