View Full Version : Finally found a use for those mini-shells

September 22, 2002, 06:43 PM
I picked up a couple boxes (one bird, one slug) of those mini-shells a show a few months back. I had never seen anything like them and I thought they might be a hoot to shoot. They are interesting and they will bust clays but they do not cycle reliably in any of my 870's so they've been sitting in the range bag for a while.
The lovely Mrs. 9mmMike invited me out for some clay bustin' yesterday (kind of a surprise pre-birthday present) so of course I accepted. Be patient, I'm getting to the point! ;)
She has never shown any interest in shotgunning and I do not bother her about it as she does shoot pistol with me (weekly for a while) and that is pretty cool as far as I'm concerned.
Anyway, she invited me shooting and offered to hand-toss clays for me which is my favorite way to shoot.
After about sixty clays or so, (what a trooper!), she asked to try the 870. I was quite surprised and I was anxious for her first boom-stick experience to be a good one and suddenly it dawned on me, mini-shells! Betcha didn't see that coming! LOL
I had her practice stance, mounting and cheek weld and then loaded a mini for her. She went through the motions and fired the round at a stationary box that was already sitting in the middle of the field. Her smile was fabulous. I loaded another, etc.. and she was quite pleased to have fired the scary big gun.
It may be some time (maybe my next birthday) before I can get her out again but at least she is not frightened of the 870.
That's about it from here,

Dave McC
September 22, 2002, 07:04 PM
Kudoes, another non shooter crosses over!!

September 22, 2002, 09:54 PM
Ole 2 U! Resourceful thinking indeed.

September 22, 2002, 11:43 PM
Good headwork 9mmMike.:)

I have an old Higgins that cycles the shorties flawlessly.
Luck of the draw.


September 23, 2002, 12:55 AM
Is there a definitive tutorial online somewhere on how to "fix" a Mossy 590 to reliably cycle these things? I am thinking 12 or so might fit in the magazine.

September 23, 2002, 02:49 AM
The only fix I can think of is to extend the lifter arm so that it runs the length of a shell in the full rearward position.

(reference for those who haven't seen it)

If there's an easy fix, i think it would be cutting some sheet metal and welding it to the lifter at the appropriate position. The "finger" down the middle is about 1/4" too short. Maybe some 16ga and jb weld would do the trick.

Edited to add, from aguila's page: (Aguila's minishell page (http://www.aguilaammo.com/minishells.htm) )

Modification of Shotguns to Fire
"Aguila" Minishells

First of all, any SAAMI/CIP approved 12ga shotgun may fire minishells, be it side-by-side, over-and-under or pump action; however, the latter type will not cycle them flawlessly. The out-of-the-box shotgun that we have tested cycling minishells very well, is the Winchester M1300 18" Defender. Winchesters 1897 seems to like the shorter rounds, however not as much as the Winchester 1300. We still have to test the Winchester 1887.

MOSSBERGS 500/590s will cycle minishells pretty well once the shooter acquires a "feeling" as to how to pump the action; however, this will not prevent the occasional jam. To further solve the problem, we have lengthened and widened the little short metal bar (shell elevator), which catches the round to be subsequently fed to the ramp and chamber. This modification will not prevent you from firing regular size shot shells. The other modification that would decisively help in the proper cycling, would be to install the ejector in a more forward position to catch the spent shorter shell and eject it, before it may flip and cause jams. However, we DO NOT recommend you to do this, because you will most likely no longer be able to fire regular size shells.

Any competent gunsmith should be able to perform the modification to the elevator described above.

REMINGTONS 870s seem to require a more involved modification, which we have never attempted. We have received calls from clients stating that they have tried our minishells in their 870s with excellent results, and that they did not understand why we have always mentioned the potential cycling problems. To this, we would like to state once more that minishells will not cycle flawlessly in regular pump action shotguns, no matter how well some customers are able to cycle them. Again, the Winchester 1300 Defender would seem to be the one cycling minishells best.

We do not know of any semi-automatic shotguns functioning with minishells.

As a final note, we would like to mention that we will very soon be selling our "POSEIDON" Micro-shotgun, which will only fire minishells.

September 23, 2002, 09:27 AM
Hmmm, looks like Mossberg could make a replacement part for the 500/590. They could then say they were "minishell compatible".

I'll take another look at the lifter...I see your point on the length of the arm. Does that mean that with a stock lifter arm you would need to hold the shotgun at an angle to keep the little buggers from falling out when you pump the action?

Out of curiosity, how many minishells were you able to cram in the magazine?

September 23, 2002, 12:47 PM
That's 500a, with the 5 shot tube. It holds 8 mini shells. When I shoot the mini slugs I have to pump it PDQ to make them cycle without problem. If I go any slower during cycling the action, I'll have to wiggle the shotgun to get them to feed correctly.

I have some 16 ga. sheet steel I'm going to try and make a quickie fix with. If that doesn't work, I'll strip the lifter out and see if my sheet metal wise friends can make me an improved one.

Navy joe
September 23, 2002, 03:45 PM
My 870 runs them well with this Caveat. First and last shells in the tube must be std length. It tends to flip the minis over on those shells. All others no problem. My 18" gun goes from 6+1 to 10 +1. The slugs are damn nigh useless as they are sub bore size and unrifled. The wad doesn't expand and the skirt of the slud doesn't much either. It's a ten yd or less slug. The buck is fun though.

September 23, 2002, 04:06 PM
sfoo, keep us updated on your lifter arm project!

I forgot to ask y'all that have tried them...how's the recoil?

Edit: I meant, how's the recoil in comparison to say, a standard 2 3/4" buckshot laod?

October 28, 2002, 02:42 PM
So here's my update.
The sheet metal and jbweld bit didn't hold up to my (ab)use. :( So I'll have to try and get it welded. Anyone know if Mossberg will make the lifter arm with a full length support any time soon?

October 28, 2002, 04:19 PM
Recoil is akin to a .22. No kidding.

Dave R
October 28, 2002, 06:28 PM
Hmmmm, I'll bet I can get my SXS to cycle them with no modification...