Framing Nails and Nail guns

First I would like to thank the members of this forum for taking time to answer my previous questions.
I am a little confused about nails or more specifically the availability of certain size nails. I am framing an attached garage and according to the IRC 2003 code, for example, when face nailing a stud to the base plate 2 16d common nails are required or 3 12d common nails. A 16d common nail is 3 1/2" x .162 diameter. A 12d common nail is 3 1/4" x .131 dia. I assume the difference is for shear strength. I was looking at framing nailers and some only shoot a 3 1/4" nail and those that shoot a 3 1/2" nail, the 3 1/2" nail is only . 131 in diameter. I could not find any 3 1/2" nails at the big box stores and didn't find any at a lumber yard. My framing gun is an old Senco SN325 which shoots a max. 3 1/4" clip head nail. I plan on replacing it but I am at a loss as to which gun to buy. I don't want to use a clip headed nail on sheathing.
1) Any recommendation on framing guns? Should I insist on a gun that shoots a 16d common nail? 2) If code requires a 3 1/2" x .162 nail for the minimun number of nails, why are they not more readily available? 3) Where do framers who frame to code find their nails? 4) Do inspectors really look at nail size and number of nails?
I have read several discussions on this topic but I am still confused. Most discussions have concluded buy a gun that shoots 3 1/2 " .162 nails, but I can't find the nails much less the gun.
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On Jul 16, 8:54 pm, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

You won't find a gun that I know of that will shoot a 16d common. If you do, I have know idea where you will find nails. In fact, even 16d commons aren't really readily available as hand bangers--ask for a box of 16's and you will get 16d sinkers. I like Hitachi or Paslode for framing nailers. I prefer clipped head for everything. I've owned both and clipped head jam less and the clips are more durable IMO (makes them easier to carry in a tool belt). In some areas of the country (again, probably seismic or high wind areas) round head are used more commonly and may even be required by building inspectors.

Don't really see the problem here. If you are using a nail gun, seems like you will need to use three nails, which will still be light years faster than hand nailing it. I always use three nails stud to plate.

Lumberyards, Home Depot, Menards. Some brands have "code compliant" written on the box.

Hasn't happened to me yet but where I live we don't get hurricanes or earthquakes. Unless an inspector happens to show up while you are in the act of building a wall, it's kind of a hard detail to inspect.
In practice, the increased number of nails you use when using a gun versus hand nailing far outweighs the fact that they are usually 12d nails instead of 16d. You'll find this out when you have to take apart your mistakes.

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Thanks marson for the through reply. If the standard practice is to use 12d with 3 nails on studs and 5 attaching the ceiling joists to the stop plate that is what I will do.
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spebby snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote: ...

If there's concern and particularly if you're in a high wind/seismic area, call your local building inspection/permitting department and ask. They'll tell you what local code says (which is _minimum_ acceptable, remember)...
--
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Well, there is at least one gun that shoots 3.5" x 0.162" nails, the Bostitch F21PL. I like it quite a bit, it also shoots metal connector nails by swapping out the nosepiece. I will say that at least with my compressor set to 100 psi, it will not fully sink a 16d common into old growth douglas fir, but I suppose that would be asking a lot.
As for getting collated 3.5" x 0.162" nails, around here everyone carries them, but perhaps that's because I'm in California, which is earthquake country.
Cheers, Wayne
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Method of attaching the stud to the plate is called "toe-nailing". Common 16D nails generally crack or break a stud using this method. Common 12s or 8 maybe, but doubtful. The skinnier version, the box nail, is more commonly used for "toe-nailing" when using a hand held hammer. Nail guns use nails that are somewhat equivalent to the box nail.
If at all possible, layout the bottom (sole) plate and top plate. Nail the plates to the studs.
If its a small project using your own time, use stainless steel screws to attach the bottom plate to the studs. It worked fine on my separate garage. And, I don't have to worry about the chemicals in the treated plate eating up the steel. Dave
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spebby snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote: ...

Several are capable of 3-1/2" -- PC FR350A and Bostitch N88 are two venerable I know of otomh. I know Hitachi has at least one and the new Bostitch F21(?) is.
Not too surprising the box stores don't have the "full" diameter nails, except in those few places that do actually have hurricane codes (FL, primarily) as they use the smaller diameter because more fit in the clip if they can get away with it.
I've not done any extensive framing/siding since finishing the barn a couple years ago, but I ordered everything from Amazon by the case -- w/ the free shipping, wasn't any more expensive than available locally and as you, the selection locally was pretty skimpy...
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It's been cleared up somewhat in the 2006 IRC. Table 602.3[1] now specifies the length and wire gauge. For example, "stud to sole plate, toe nail" requires 3-8d (2-1/2" x 0.113") or 2-16d (3-1/2" x 0.135").
If you use power drive nails other than what's permitted in Table R602.3[1] you nowmally refer back to ESR 1539 (repllaces NER 272) which covers all types of nails and staples from some 16 manufacturers.
http://www.icc-es.org/reports/pdf_files/ICC-ES/ESR-1539.pdf
For example on page 30, wall framing is covered and you can see that for a stud-to-plate fastening, a 3-1/4" nail could be 0.131" or 0.120" dia. and 4 nails would be required.
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