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Old September 25, 2022, 01:16 AM   #1
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12 gauge shelle

I realize this is probably a stupid question. But can all shotguns fire short shells. Plus how powerful are they compared to regular shells? And yes I have tried looking this up and no luck.
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Old September 25, 2022, 06:40 AM   #2
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less powerful.
that's why people use them.
the other reason is tacticool guys want to get more rounds in a mag tube.
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Old September 25, 2022, 10:52 AM   #3
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Depends on how they are loaded whether they are equal or not in power. Some semis and pumps have feeding issues with very short shells without using an adapter kit
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Old September 25, 2022, 11:42 PM   #4
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But can all shotguns fire short shells. Plus how powerful are they compared to regular shells? And yes I have tried looking this up and no luck.
If it fits in the chamber, it will fire. Repeaters MAY not feed shells that are too short.

How powerful? look at the shot charge weight for one. See if velocity is listed anywhere, for the other. That information should be available from the maker.

I believe the short shells use a lighter shot charge, and I think at lower velocity than standard field loads.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old September 26, 2022, 08:40 AM   #5
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i was surprised to find that they are not significantly quieter. fwiw
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Old September 26, 2022, 04:16 PM   #6
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Aguilla claims 1,200FPS with their buckshot mini-shells.
I have an extended Winchester 1200 that holds 18 mini-shells & cycles them without issue. I keep 'em in there mostly in case the Mrs has to use the 12 gauge scattergun, she's very comfortable with these-not so much full size loads.
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Old October 5, 2022, 06:20 AM   #7
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Federal specs its Shorty shotshells at 1200 fps for a 15/16oz. load. Its “premium” SD load is six 00 buck at 1245 fps.
Aquila Minishells specs a 7/8ths oz slug at 1300 fps.
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Old October 5, 2022, 10:56 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Linker View Post
I realize this is probably a stupid question. But can all shotguns fire short shells. Plus how powerful are they compared to regular shells? And yes I have tried looking this up and no luck.
No stupid questions.

First question. YES. But most will not cycle them reliably. I have 1.25", 1.5", 1.75", 2", 2.25" 2.5" 2.75" and 3" shells in 12g, paper, plastic and metal hulls. You need to check the chamber and make sure that the shell length on the chamber is the same length, or longer, than the shell you are using. Also, don't get out the tape measure, read the hull. A 2-3/4" shell (70mm EUR) is about 2.25" unfired. The entire length of the shell, from base of casehead to end of uncrimped hull, is the 2 3/4" length.

2" to 2-3/4" shotgun shells can be, usually are, about equivalent power levels. Light Target to Heavy Target, in the 2.5 to 3.25 dram range. The shorter shells do away with the compression part of the wad and use cards (round thin disks) or fiber wads to separate the powder from the shot. Some use a poly cup only, but still without the compression part that a "wad" typically has. There are also polymer wads that are basically like foam plugs that can be used. In shotshells, we want the powder, wad/cards. shot and crimp (or overshot card) to be slightly compressed. Nothing rattling around. That is why recipes must be followed exactly, and even among experienced loaders, there is little experimentation. The shorter shells typically have a little more recoil and are a little louder than the ones using modern wads with the compression sections.

When you get to 2.25 and shorter (yes, some overlap in the 2" and 2.25") there are reduced pressure loads intended for the older shotguns from Europe, etc. The commercial "mini" (1.75") are about equal to a Std. Target load, but significantly less than buck and slug defense loads.

Then we get to the, "will it run" question you did not ask, but some answered. It depends. There are a few manually operated shotguns that will cycle the shorter commercial "mini" shells that are 1-3/4". There are some that can also be adapted to run them. I have a bunch of the Mini Shells in bird, buck and slug. I do not use them in my defense shotguns. The slugs and buck will run close to 95% in my FN P12, but only 100% is acceptable. If I operate it at the "right" speed, I can keep it 100%, but again, not acceptable for the task. I'll leave it to your Google foo to search and find the videos and articles that describe what shotguns are supposed to run them, which need the little widget mod to run them and which really won't run them. IMHO, you are better off with standard 2-3/4" shells for defense, overall.

My Benelli M2 will run the 2.25 and 2.5 inch shells reliably, as will all of my manually operated shotguns. In 3Gun, under the rulesets of 2 matches, they allow me to get a few extra rounds in my tube at the start. But once I start a stage, I only load 2-3/4" shells into the magazine.

I handload several types of specialty loads in 12g, and a few in 16g, that are cost prohibitive for me to buy factory. 2" roll crimped 1 oz. powder coated slugs made at home with no press are kind of fun in small batches. Rubber buckshot, breachers, some simunitions type loads as well. I also load brass hull (16g and 12g) bird and slug. Again, hand tools, pretty easy, Large pistol primers. Saves me a bucket of money.
Good Shooting, MarkCO
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Old November 7, 2022, 01:23 PM   #9
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Mark gave a very good and comprehensive answer.
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