American Rifleman - July 2011 - 63

SHOOTING RESULTS

STOEGER MODEL 3500

AVERAGE OF 10 PATTERNS @ 40 YDS.
9

8

14

14

15

16

12

9

MODIFIED
TUBE
= POINT OF HOLD
WINCHESTER ELITE BLIND SIDE-
12 GA., 3"-13⁄8 OZ.-NO. 2 HEX STEEL-
1321 F.P.S.
AVERAGE PELLET COUNT: 172
TOTAL HITS (MODIFIED CHOKE)
21" INNER CIRCLE
30" OUTER RING

the steel barrel extension. The barrel, which is available in Realtree
APG and Max-4 HD camouflage
patterns as well as matte black
to match the receiver, buttstock
and fore-end, features a stepped,
ventilated rib and front sight with
a large fiber-optic strand. Interestingly, the receiver is drilled and
tapped for the included Weaverstyle base, though the included
screws with the test gun were of
insufficient length to install the
base. Stoeger informed us this
has not been reported with other
production M3500s. The barrel
accepts choke tubes and comes
with five.
The synthetic buttstock and
fore-end both feature molded-in
checkering to enhance purchase,
and the buttstock has a moldedin sling swivel stud. The second
is located on the magazine tube
cap. Capping the buttstock is a
3/4"-thick ventilated rubber recoil
pad. Given its 3½" chambering,

97 (56%)
59 (34%)
38 (22%)

Stoeger thought it prudent to help
attenuate recoil. Its cost-conscious
solution is a 10.2-oz cylindrical
steel weight that screws directly
onto the stock screw. The gun also
comes with shims to adjust drop
and cast.
The M3500's fire controls mimic
those of the M2000, featuring a
standard crossbolt-style safety and
a cartridge drop lever. The test
gun's trigger broke at 8 lbs., 10 ozs.
and exhibited considerable creep.
To evaluate the M3500, in this
case a 28"-barreled Realtree
Max-4 HD version, we subjected
it to function- and field-testing, as
well as patterning.
The addition of the weight certainly reduced recoil with 3" and
3½" loads; however, after a box or
so of magnum-type loads it worked
loose, requiring removal of the recoil
pad for retightening. This occurred
several times during testing.
From the bench, using sandbags for support, we patterned the

The American Rifleman has used the phrase "Dope Bag" since at least 1921, when Col. Townsend
Whelen first titled his column with it. Even then, it had been in use for years, referring to a sack used by
target shooters to hold ammunition and accessories on the firing line. "Sight dope" also was a traditional marksman's term for sight-adjustment information, while judging wind speed and direction was
called "doping the wind."
WARNING: Technical data and information contained herein are intended to provide information
based on the limited experience of individuals under specific conditions and circumstances. They do
not detail the comprehensive training procedures, techniques and safety precautions absolutely necessary to properly carry on similar activity. Read the notice and disclaimer on the contents page. Always
consult comprehensive reference manuals and bulletins for details of proper training requirements,
procedures, techniques and safety precautions before attempting any similar activity.

IMPORTER: STOEGER INDUSTRIES
(DEPT. AR), 17603 INDIAN HEAD
HIGHWAY, SUITE 200, ACCOKEEK, MD
20607; (301) 283-6300;
WWW.STOEGERINDUSTRIES.COM
GAUGE: 12, 3½" CHAMBER
ACTION TYPE: INERTIA RECOIL-OPERATED,
SEMI-AUTOMATIC SHOTGUN
RECEIVER: MACHINED ALUMINUM ALLOY
BARREL: 24" (REALTREE APG ONLY),
26", 28"
CHOKE: INTERCHANGEABLE, SCREW-IN
CHOKE TUBES: EXTRA FULL, FULL,
MODIFIED, IMPROVED CYLINDER, CYLINDER
MAGAZINE: TUBULAR; FOUR-ROUND CAPACITY
TRIGGER: 8-LB., 10-OZ. PULL
STOCK: SYNTHETIC: LENGTH OF PULL, 143⁄8";
DROP AT HEEL, 2½"; DROP AT COMB, 1½"
OVERALL LENGTH: 46" (24" BARREL) TO
50" (28" BARREL)
WEIGHT: 7.45 LBS. (24" BARREL)
TO 7.65 LBS. (28" BARREL)
ACCESSORIES: CHOKE TUBE WRENCH,
FIVE CHOKES, MAGAZINE PLUG
SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE: $629
(MATTE BLACK), $679 CAMOUFLAGE

M3500 at 40 yds. A modified choke
tube, combined with Winchester's
new 3" Blind Side 13⁄8-oz. steel
loads, led to fairly consistent patterns, and more importantly, consistent sighting, though we found
the fiber-optic strand a bit large.
The patterning results are shown in
the accompanying table.
As for field-testing, a staffer
used the initial prototype in the
spring of 2008 to take a Rio Grande
gobbler while hunting at Sarco
Creek Lodge in Texas. Although its
release was delayed until this year,
the same American Rifleman editor
used the test gun to kill a Virginia
tom. In both cases the M3500-
with the supplied Extra Full choke
tube-performed admirably, delivering the tight patterns to cleanly
take the birds.
Priced at $627 (matte black)
or $679 (camouflage), the Stoeger
Model 3500 could easily be the
best buy for hunters demanding
a 3½"-chambered 12-ga. semiautomatic shotgun. It's stylish,
simple to maintain, reliable, and
has only those features important
to the diehard hunter.
JULY 2011 AMERICAN RIFLEMAN

61


http://WWW.STOEGERINDUSTRIES.COM

American Rifleman - July 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - July 2011

American Rifleman - July 2011 - 1
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