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My .02.. If he isn't going to shoot 3.5" at all, get a 500. You can get them a little cheaper. My 835 struggles with 2 3/4 when i'm shooting clays, but shooting 3 and 3 1/2" for waterfowl it does great. If he wants to shoot 3 1/2 get an 835. The over-bored barrel does wonders with patterning on larger shells. I have a friend that had a 535 and was pleased with it, but having had both a 500 and 835, I would go either or, not really a compromise in the middle.
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