So the 3 ½-inch 12 has been pretty much dead to me, until this year when I picked up a 2003-vintage Winchester Super X2. It weighs 8 ¼ pounds, has a gas operated action, a Decelerator pad, all of which mitigate recoil. When fed comparatively mild (low velocity, higher payload) 3 ½-inch shells, it doesn’t recoil painfully, especially as most of my goose hunting occurs when I am bundled up like the Michelin Man. (The Remington VersaMax is another I’d consider if I wanted a dedicated 3 ½-inch goose gun). Shooting the X3 and 3 1/2s was a whole new experience. I could empty it and hit what I was shooting at with my third shot. That said, I’m not sure the extra pellets I sent downrange this season resulted in any more dead geese than usual, but at least the 3 1/2 hits them harder than it hits me now that I’ve got the right gun.