View Full Version : Aquila Mini Shells in my old double?

August 15, 2001, 03:47 PM
Some of you might have read my other thread about the chopped :( W.C. Scott Double that I have gotten. Can I shoot mini shells from Aguila in it or should I stick to only BP 2 1/2" shells?



August 15, 2001, 06:45 PM
Well if your gun can handle regular loads it should be able to handle these loads without a problem. As I understand it they are light loads in shortened shell casings designed to give tube magazine Shotguns larger capacity. They should not generate pressures that would be dangerous.

Might be a cheaper alternative to those high priced Brit 2 1/2" loads

BTW Fiocchi America also has 2 1/2" loads as does Estate Cartridge Co.


Estate does not list a website but their phone # is 936 856-7277. They are out of Texas.

Geoff Ross

Dave McC
August 15, 2001, 07:31 PM
My semi educated guess would be they'd be OK, but ANY old shotgun should be gone over by a decent gunsmith prior to any firing. Cheap insurance, and he can measure those chambers as he goes.

Gamebore, B&P, and maybe S&B have 2 1/2" loads here now, look around at Vintager shoots, etc...

August 16, 2001, 05:45 AM
If the gun is safe with smokeless powder, the mini's should work fine.

August 16, 2001, 07:48 PM
They should work fine as long as your shotgun is in good shape.

If you mean the 1 1/2" minishells,
I recall that the manufacturer's spec sheet on the rounds stated that these shells were designed for single-shot & doubles only and weren't meant to cycle from tube magazines because of their short length. I've tried it on my 870, they didn't work.

August 16, 2001, 08:05 PM
It's a REALLY old double! Has damascus barrels too! I'm gonna have my smith give it a good once over before I try it!


August 17, 2001, 08:27 AM
If it has Damascus barrels I would definitely have a smith look at it. Damascus barrels were made to handle lower pressure Balckpowder loads and not the modern smokeless powder.

Now some damascus can handle modern smokeless. The brits shoot them all the time AFTER they have been proof tested by Birmingham (the Royal Proofing House).

The problem here is that in cutting the barrels the previous owner may have destroyed the integrity of the barrels. I would not go shooting modern loads in this thing, you may have a bomb on your hands.

The damascus is probably why the jerk originally cut the barrels in the first place, figuring the gun was worthless anyway. Many people shoot the old Damascus guns (The Vintagers organizaion for one) with black powder loads.

I and others should have asked if the barrels were damascus, I assumed they were fluid steel. Damascus is a whole 'nother story.The dip**** still should not have cut the barrels :mad:

I would be careful what you shoot in this gun.

Geoff Ross

You should have the gun checked out by a competent gunsmith who is familiar with doubles. He should be able to check for proof marks, although cutting the barels would negate the proofing.

August 17, 2001, 10:25 AM
I ordered some 2 1/2" black powder loads for it, rather than risking a blow up! My smith is checking it out as we speak. The gun also came with some Savage .410 inserts so I can at least shoot those in it. The previous owner stated that he shot it fairly regularly with black powder loads.


Dave McC
August 18, 2001, 05:53 AM
Great, Canis. If it does prove shootable, recent editions of the shotgun mags have had some low pressure recipes for these older shotguns.

August 18, 2001, 09:05 AM
Geoff's absolutely correct. We should have asked about damascus barrels. Views on whether damacus can be shot vary from -- yes with low power loads, black powder only, to never with anything.

The Double Gun Journal a few issues back tried a destruction test on a damascus Parker that had fallen out of collectable condition. It finally let go around the 30,000 PSI range, about three times the pressure of standard shotun loads. But the problem is that very few damascus guns are less than 100 years old and time and use will thin barrel walls. As well, many of them came from no name makers in Belgium where manfacturing techniques frequently didn't match Parker or Purdey.

Get the Scott to a good gunsmith and get the verdict. If it has been nitro proofed then the gun should be good for low-power smokeless rounds say in the 6 to 7 thousand PSI range.

Making a set of damascus barrels is prety much a lost art in our world of machines. More's the pity they were cut.

August 18, 2001, 03:54 PM
Thanks gentlemen! The gun is indeed black powder capable per my smith, but he did say to not try anything but "reasonable" BP loads. The more I look at the gun, the more I am in awe of the level of workmanship that went into it. The engraving, quality of the wood and lines of the gun are a true joy to see! It is a DAMN shame that it was chopped. I am saving up for having it sleeved. Until then, it will be bp or use of the .410 inserts I have for it.

For a 100+ year old gun, it is amazing to me that it still looks as good as it does. I bet it would have been worth a chunk of change before the circumsicion :(


August 19, 2001, 07:33 PM
Estate makes English game loads in 2 1/2" and indicate that they ar 'light', You can check them on their website www.estatecartridge.com.