I wanted to test my Ithaca Model 37 PUMP SHOTGUN to see if it would handle (feed and eject) the great AGUILA 12 Ga MiniShells.
I see a REAL USE for these Minis for Self~Defensive shotgun work AKA Increased Capacity & Faster Shot Recovery due to nill recoil.
NOT having any spent 12 gauge shotgun shells "on hand" I used a jewelers hand saw to carefully cut seven live shells to 1.75" & then 1.5" and completely emptied them out...save for the primer.
I wanted to see if my favorite pump would "DO" the shorter shells before I spent money on them.
The Ithaca handled them flawlessly. I could not get it to jam.
I am really "good to go" on these in my ITHACA. :biggrin:
My "home pre~test" went very well!
They did NOT do so well in my 870 AT ALL.
If you own an 870 then...I would not buy them.
This new type of 1-3/4" 12 ga shotshell (1-1/2" OAL loaded) was developed as part of the innovation drive carried out by Industrias Tecnos SA de CV from Cuernavaca, Mexico, manufacturer of "AGUILA" ammunition. The original idea was to create a new shotshell with law enforcement and military applications in mind. The new cartridge would generate a milder recoil (less shoulder punishment and faster reacquisition of the target after the first shot is fired), would provide more firepower (being able to load 12-14 rounds in a 20" bbl shotgun) and would be ergonomically friendlier (being able to grab a big lot of shells with one hand and comfortably place them in the pocket). Due to its smaller size one police officer/soldier would be able to carry about 40% more rounds than regular shotshells. All this, while providing the necessary power for Police/Military work.
Early in our development work it was clear that this new round would hardly cycle semi-automatics while also having difficulties in feeding some pump action shotguns flawlessly. This lead us to consider the development of a weapons system which would include a new shotgun (more about this later) especially designed for the MINISHELL. In the meantime, after some testing we realized that the WINCHESTER™ 1300 series cycle MINISHELLS flawlessly (12 rds in an 18" bbl "Defender"); MOSSBERGS™ and REMINGTONS™ needed a minor modification in their elevators to produce similar results.
All Types of MINISHELLS are loaded to SAAMI specs according to 12ga shotshells of regular size, namely 2-3/4" or 3" in length. This means that regular shells and MINISHELLS generate the same pressure in the chamber of 12ga shotguns. MINISHELLS should NEVER be used in signal/flare guns or any other firearm other than 12ga caliber SAAMI approved shotguns. Failure to comply with this may result in injury or death to the user or others.
While we were producing shooting prototypes and focusing in the law enforcement/military markets, information about this project was somehow leaked to the civilian market in Mexico which became intrigued by the new cartridge. Due to this, we decided to do some merchandising by selling MINISHELLS in a 7-1/2 birdshot load; results turned to be quite encouraging. The reason was that the milder recoil encouraged female and young shooters to fire the same 12ga shotgun carried by their older more experienced shooter, who in turn found the lighter shot load (18 grams) a bigger challenge to shoot skeets than with regular loads.
CENTURION ORDNANCE, INC., TECNOS' U.S. wholly owned subsidiary started importing and selling MINISHELLS in birdshot and slugs loads in the U.S. market. The reaction was similar to that in Mexico, plus CAS participants who found the tiny shotshell very convenient to reload. "Coach guns" with automatic ejector are normally not permitted; WINCHESTERS M1897 cycles them fairly well.
Modification of Shotguns to Fire
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.