1. Check out the Hot Deals section of the Marketplace forum to order an official Mossbergowners.com hat.

Mini Shells for HD

Discussion in 'Mossberg 590 Shockwave' started by Caswell Ranch, Feb 19, 2020.

  1. Caswell Ranch

    Caswell Ranch .22LR

    Messages:
    22
    I thought I would ask the question on this forum also,
    Would you or do you load your shotgun and more so the Shockwave with mini shells, if you answer please say why be it yes or no.

    I use them in my 14" 590, I have had zero fails in 300 rds of testing, the OpSol 2.0 is installed, I'm very happy with the performance of both the slugs and the 15 pellet #4 buck (pattern). Cost is around 52 cents per round and to me that's fine for buffered #4 buck and 1 oz slug load with wad made for the Foster slug (trueball ish).
    Chrono test give me average of 30fps less than full size gun (18.5"), if you go to Federal's web sight and look up low recoil #4 buck 2 3/4" it shows 1,100fps for it at two times the cost, so mini is comparable to some full size loads , less pellets I know but we are talking HD distances and a shot should be well placed no matter the load.

    P.S. I have a TacStar side saddle (have used them 30 years), loaded up and down for 12 rds in saddle , 8 in the tube and one in the chamber for a total of 21 rds, most HD will be run with what you bring (not all), not really the time to fill pockets with spare ammo or boxes, if you have pockets at the time. My luck I would be in my scivies (spell check) and if that didn't scare them, they need shooting.


    Last edited: Feb 19, 2020
    uncle00buck and BoBo522 like this.
  2. BoBo522

    BoBo522 .22LR

    Messages:
    29
    I use minishells exclusively in my Shockwave. My setup is similar to yours. I keep mine “cruiser ready” with an empty chamber, 9 in the tube (I have a +1 mag extension), and 12 more in the 6-slot side saddle.
    Caswell Ranch likes this.
  3. Bobster

    Bobster .30-06 Supporter

    Messages:
    2,225
    I'm curious what your loaded Shockies weigh since you're carrying an extra pound or two of ammo... ;)

    Many MO members have an Opsol and minis in their SWs. I'm sure someone will be around eventually to comment.

    BTW, Welcome Aboard Cas and Bo... :)
    BoBo522 likes this.
  4. Warhammer

    Warhammer .410

    Messages:
    60
    I've played with the minis in my Shockwave at the range and had good feeding and function with the Opsol clip. (I don't know if mine is the 2.0.) Still, something keeps me from feeling comfortable using minis for SD. Maybe, as modded as my gun is, the fact that the Opsol clip is just a friction fit and is responsible for one of the most functions of the gun, feeding, just worries me. This may make no sense whatsoever. Ultimately, I don't want to feel unsure of my SD gun, so I'm sticking with full length shells for now. My mind may change with time.
    uncle00buck and Caswell Ranch like this.
  5. Warhammer

    Warhammer .410

    Messages:
    60
    I haven't tried it, but I see a potential problem with double-loading the side saddle. Normally, I extract a round by pushing it out of the loop. Having a round in the top and bottom of each loop means you can only pull them out by the brass. Couldn't that be difficult with cold and/or wet hands? Just a thought...
  6. Caswell Ranch

    Caswell Ranch .22LR

    Messages:
    22
    Warhammer and anyone else,

    My normal setup with 2 3/4" would be first hole (muzzle end) brass on top and the balance brass at bottom. Reason for this setup, when gun goes dry or appears to be dry, I leave the stock in my shoulder and rotate gun left to see if anything is in the chamber and tube, if the answer is no, still holding the gun in the check position I pull the brass up shell (thumb and index finger grasp) up and it naturally palms holding with print area of thumb and side of little finger, I flat palm the shell into ejection port (gun is still canted pinky finger toward the muzzle ) bring my hand back under and close the action, then continue to rotate gun inverted with stock on shoulder now I load the tube, when done back on shoulder firing position.

    Note: gun can be fired the moment the action is closed and also inverted if needed as my left hand is supporting gun (barrel/receiver point) just got to press the trigger. If no extra ammo is on the gun I will drop it and transition to my handgun (if I have it), I do not use a sling. If the fight is not done in the rounds that are in/on the gun, I missed a bunch and I'm screwed anyway.

    If you have the were for all to combat load it can be done any time with gun up, thumb and middle finger pull down and insert (index finger is the guide down the side of shell) .
    I say were for all because when do do hits the fan in a fast paced HD or just defense situation combat loading is almost never done, great to learn , good for class work, one reason I like the mini's (if the gun likes them) I have 9 shots putting out 1,300 fpe with a .690 diameter hole every time I touch one off.

    I have been teaching this stuff for 30 years, teaching USMC with the 590A1's when they used them (not that long ago), Army, L.E. local and Federal SRT Teams. The combat load and do do statement above, seen it many times.

    Will get to mini shell loading etc, got to walk dog and hit the head.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
  7. Warhammer

    Warhammer .410

    Messages:
    60
    I really need to go do a shotgun course and practice that kind of thing. I'm a damn good shot, but I have ZERO actual combat training and it's something I'd really like to remedy.

    I wonder how hard it would be to palm a minishell into the ejection port without it flipping around backwards.

    Gotta go to work, I'll read your post-dog walk info later.
  8. Caswell Ranch

    Caswell Ranch .22LR

    Messages:
    22
    Just put it on the scale and I'm getting 8 pounds 9 oz, that's with 21 rounds, TL-Racker forend with batteries and stock.
    Bobster likes this.
  9. Caswell Ranch

    Caswell Ranch .22LR

    Messages:
    22
    I think you have the elastic loop type holder, not so good for this application. As far as pushing shell through holder with finger, that's O.K. but under stress, gross motor skills work best and what I said is not much different, try pulling shell down with middle finger and thumb and let the index finger rest on the loop as you pull.
    Note: if you pull shell using middle knuckle of middle finger with thumb pressing shell to that finger for pressure and index finger resting on loop of holder, pull. You can start the shell moving with the index finger.
  10. Caswell Ranch

    Caswell Ranch .22LR

    Messages:
    22
    Now, mini shells can be tricky (good thing there are 9 in gun), double loading side saddle, I put the bottom row in just a little more than the upper row in case recoil starts to move them but recoil is light, loading from empty is no different than full size with regard to the tube but as noted by Warhammer palm loading into open ejection port can be a concern, understanding palming is the key after the shell is extracted from the holder, thumb and index finger pull, then the shell is held between thumb (pad of, print area) and side of little finger,cup hand over ejection port and let go of shell (don't throw, cover and let go), with gun held with slight cant as noted before.

    To make sure it's clear,
    Loading into empty ejection port, thumb and index finger are used to pull, thumb and little finger to hold.
    Loading tube, thumb and middle finger are used to pull, index finger to guide, thumb to push into tube.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
  11. Caswell Ranch

    Caswell Ranch .22LR

    Messages:
    22
    Double post, removed.
  12. Warhammer

    Warhammer .410

    Messages:
    60
    Let me throw another wrinkle into this.... Have you had any experience with the 2 1/4" "short shells" that fall into the middle ground between standard shells and minis?
    • Standard 2 3/4" 00 buck 9 pellets 1325 fps
    • Low Recoil 2 3/4" 00 buck 9 pellets 1150 fps
    • Short 2 1/4" 00 buck 6 pellets 1150 fps
    • Mini 1 3/4 #4 buck 15 pellets 1145 fps
    I like that the shorts are still pushing the big 00 pellets. The reduced velocity will help with recoil. The shorter length will probably only get 1 more round in the tube.
  13. Caswell Ranch

    Caswell Ranch .22LR

    Messages:
    22
    The only thing I see with the 2 1/4" shells is in some guns they are more reliable than the 1 3/4" (mostly guns that will not run 1 3/4"), remember when estimating capacity the length given for a shotshell is the spent length. 1 3/4" are 1 1/2" before, 2 3/4" are 2 1/2" etc , barrels have a forcing cone that starts past the full length(spent length)to allow hull and shot to occupy the same space or pressure would spike as the shot tried to push past the unfolded/rolled hull (chamber length). Some people have forcing cone lengthened but in most cases is not necessary and in part why the mini shells even at full size velocity feel mild, the Mossberg is chambered for 3" shells ( forcing cone starts after 3") giving a lengthened forcing cone by default . Anyway back to the question, they don't buy you any advantage.

    P.S. Lengthened forcing cone can also include making the transition to bore diameter less of an angle.

    As for experience with ammo types, shot most everything for 12 gauge 240,000 rds down range.
    Handgun 1.5 million rounds down range.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
    Bobster likes this.
  14. Warhammer

    Warhammer .410

    Messages:
    60

    Just to be clear, I wasn't trying to question your experience. I meant to ask what your experience/opinion of the 1 1/2' shells has been. (Sometimes it sounds better in my mind than it does on the written page, lol). So is your opinion that there's not really much benefit in the 00 buck 1 1/2"shells over the shorter #4 buck shells?
  15. Caswell Ranch

    Caswell Ranch .22LR

    Messages:
    22
    Warhammer,
    No problem I did not take the wrong way, correct I do not feel the 2 1/4" OO buys anything over the 15 pellet 1 3/4" #4 buck Federal shells (they are 1200fps). More so after I tested them in my gun a few week ago, the #4 buck load is buffered.
    Side note for anyone else also, there is a difference (in case it's not known by all) between #4 Buck Shot (.240") and #4 Birdshot (.128").

    Also something to think about is the original standard U.S. 2 3/4" 12 gauge load gave 1,220 fps info from L.C.Smith Shotguns.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
  16. Caswell Ranch

    Caswell Ranch .22LR

    Messages:
    22
    In case anyone is interested I posted this on another forum, should be of interest here also as we are talking low recoil/mini shells etc.

    My 14" gun is loaded with Federal #4 mini shell or Federal 1 oz mini slug.
    My 18 1/2" gun is loaded with what ever I have around in 2 3/4" until I test with mini's.

    Please view the video below, the graphs only indicate effect of a single pellet of each size (still impressive), not cumulative, only one load is above the 1200's in fps (and it didn't gain much), the blocks the gel is sitting on are 1" square with 1" spaces, they do not recommend #8 shot but do not allow for cumulative impact of total shot weight and with some guns shot still in one mass (in shot cup), I have tested it and if the shot impacts the target still in the cup it will penetrate 10" ( my birdshot loads are #6 or #5 mostly, also at the end of the video they note distance the #8 will no longer damage skin, past HD)



    Another person's view, this guy is well known. Tests are not high vel.



    This guy just cracks me up but again another view, Remington STS is interesting.



    Not a great video but they are mini shells (Fed mini are better), gel test is the part to note.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
    uncle00buck likes this.
  17. Caswell Ranch

    Caswell Ranch .22LR

    Messages:
    22
    Added a few video's to last post, first video is the point, if mini shells work in your gun and the velocity is the same or close to what is shown, why not. Slug has about the same effect as the 000 Buck , will look for video of 1 oz foster slug at 1200fps (same as Federal mini shell).
  18. Warhammer

    Warhammer .410

    Messages:
    60
    Caswell, you're starting to bring me around to these little guys. I need to buy a case of them and run enough through my gun to settle my mind that they will function well.

    BTW, here's a cool pic I stumbled across elsewhere on the interwebs. It shows that a LOT of the length difference between a standard and mini shell is just a taller wad.
    [​IMG]

    Another video with some laughably inaccurate assumptions made:

    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
  19. Caswell Ranch

    Caswell Ranch .22LR

    Messages:
    22
    Exactly, what a dipstick. High brass at what velocity, many video's that are made with a bias against mini shell the guy uses some kind of high brass unknown load, high brass does not always indicate more powder.
    Many years ago you could almost get in a fist fight over plastic handgun recommendation, HK-VP70 and others then came Glock, at the time people would go on how they were going to blow up, stupid idea, will not last, fad, can't compare to a steel gun, I WOULD NOT USE ONE TO DEFEND MYSELF OR FAMILY, in the late 80"s Jeff Cooper would throw you out of a class if you came with a Glock 9mm (he changed his position on that later, gone now). The important part to me is people need to make their own decision through research including testing things them selves, pattern testing should be the first thing tested a particular load may shoot bad in one gun (maybe on someones video) and great in another, etc.
    Also at 2:12 on video he states the first buck shot penetrated 14 plus inches, or am I mistaken.
  20. Warhammer

    Warhammer .410

    Messages:
    60
    Yeah, I had to shake my head a laugh at SO much of what was presented as "fact" in that video.

    While I'm pumping (pun intended) you for information, I wonder about your thoughts on the difference between the Federal mini buck and the Aguila mini buck.

    The Aguila has a mix of seven 4B and four 1B pellets. 11 pellets totaling .625 oz of lead. That load is traveling at 1250 fps.
    The Feds have a heavier overall load of fifteen 4B pellets making .937 oz. These have a published velocity of 1200 fps.

    Aguila packs 4 fewer pellets, but with 4 larger, heavier pellets. (I've often read that 1B is the smallest that should be relied upon for SD.) About 1/3 oz (0.3125) less lead than the Feds. Larger individual pellets are arguably better for penetration and immediate damage/shock, but more lead overall is pretty hard to argue against. I'm not sure whether that 50 fps difference makes much difference at all.

    Another thought I had (and this may have already been said) is that comparing the 12ga minis to full sized 12ga might be the wrong comparison. It's pretty common to see advice to go with 20ga for SD/HD due to lower recoil and all the benefits that come from that. So maybe that's really to comparison we should be making: 12ga minis vs. regular 20ga SD ammo.

Share This Page