The powder charge has a little too do with the recoil but the number of shot or the weight of it is mostly what dictates the recoil go shoot the same exactly Turkey load one with 2 oz of shot and one with. 1 3/4oz of shot and the 2 oz will.have a lot more recoilI only know of 2 or 3 stores in my region, (eastern PA, western NY) that ever have 3 inch Buck in stock. When it is in stock, it doesn't exactly fly off the shelves. The Bass Pro in Alden NY, the Dick's in Hamburg NY, and the Gander Mtn. in Erie PA and the one in Tonawanda NY almost always have a few boxes kicking around. Most of what I find around here is 2 3/4 inch.
My theory on it: There a far less glutons for punishment out there than people think. Folks see 3 inch magnums, and they think shoulder breaker or overkill. Most do not realize that the difference between the two is the number of pellets inside, not the powder charge. That and the fact that there are folks like me out there who still own 2 3/4 inch only shotguns. There are quite a few of us still out there who buy the shorter shells so we don't put a 3 incher into a 2 3/4 inch chamber by accident.
Just my thoughts on this trend. YMMV.
Thanks for posting this, and clearing this up. I never really checked the velocities myself for the reason listed in my OP. Most of my 20s and 12s are 2 3/4 only, so I never bother with 3 inch to keep from causing a safety hazard. No sense in possibly destroying a pefectly good older shotgun, and I really don't want to be stuck wiping my azz with a hook.Sorry, but I read the internet "fact" stated all too frequently that magnum 12 ga. loads are the same as (and sometimes weaker than) standard loads, that they just have more pellets, and I want to be very clear: that is NOT correct. Far from it!
A magnum load has a significant weight-of-shot increase and a relatively small decrease in velocity. Yeah, weight is discounted and velocity is squared in energy calculations vs. linear, but magnum loads simply have much more net energy. 2-3/4" standard 00 Buckshot loads compared to a 2-3/4" Magnum loads have a 33% increase in number/weight of projectiles and only a 35 fps, or 2.6%, decrease in velocity. If you are not familiar with the math common sense should tell you that is more powerful. All magnums produce more muzzle energy, plain and simple. They use more and/or different powder. More energy is more power. I did the energy calculations for you and show the comparative results below, but, if you don't believe them trust the felt recoil without chalking it up to the greater weight of the shot load please.
Shot Gauge Length-in-Inches Muzzle-Velocity Shot-Count Energy-above-Standard
00 12 2-3/4" Standard 1325 FPS 9 Pellets
00 12 2-3/4" Magnum 1290 FPS 12 Pellets 26% more energy than standard shell
00 12 3" Magnum 1210 FPS 15 Pellets 39% More energy than standard shell